CHOICE membership

Another multi-million dollar scam exposed


The coalition policy is bent on passing a retrospective law giving them capital gains taxes going back to 1985.

If not a scam I am not aware what is. Even if you are not affected this is worth reading. They can do this to anyone about anything, and they do.


Definitely very un-Australian!

Having worked with a small cohort of exPats all have varying reasons to work and base themselves OS. Typically you might consider many of them to be hardcore permanent exPats, who have established life styles, property and even partners living with them for many years OS.

The most frequent reason for doing so was something to do with how little tax they needed to pay given their choices. There was always plenty of discussion on how to minimise it further. Most retained a physical footprint in Australia in different ways and visited on a regular basis, tax rule compliant. Many had a property in Australia, with tenants for various periods of time, between long breaks from work and life back in Australia, before going OS a little while later and finding new tenants.

There are of course others who may be simply working out of the country as one off circumstances, perhaps for several years. Perhaps as government appointments or short term company transfers for experience. Where that might lead is always open ended.

The exemption on the application of CGT which currently applies even if the family home is rented out for up to 6 years at a time would seem a very generous concession. In particular to resident tax payers with an investment rental or even moving cities or for work temporarily and needing to rent out the family home. Doubtless the ATO has some interesting and relevant observations it has not shared.

The opposition appears to be supportive of the change, although not on the retrospective application of the change.

It’s not certain that there are two sides to this proposed legislation. Does it treat all fairly, or should it be more targeted, independent of the retrospective application?


If government wanted to change it, starting at the beginning of the next financial year after passing, so be it. Back dating it to 1985 when all those people, minimising tax or not, were law abiding people who made plans according to the law as it has existed ever since.

Trust government? When there is a tax to be levied (among other things) soon to be effective from 34 years ago if it passes? It reminds me of the stories of people parking their cars and returning from a short trip to find it has been ticketed once per day or towed since the park became controlled or non-parking in their absence. Maybe the residents were informed, but nothing on the streets.

Get them while you can when there are $$$$$ to be had! Bipartisanship at its finest, and Right?

Retrospective laws are the realm of rogues and scoundrels and there should be no excuse for any of it being legal.


Undoubtedly, and per the ABC and Chris Bowen - shadow treasure for the ALP in the previous term of parliament.

He wrote to Scott Morrison when Mr Morrison was Treasurer saying that, while he supported the measure in principle, he was concerned about the “unintended consequences” it would have on expats, because of its retrospective nature.

While the Opposition (ALP) position on the retrospective application of the legislation appears set, might the outcome come down to another Senate cross-bench deal?


And now the grubs at Centrelink are even pursuing dead pensioners.

And they chase a claimed debt of $67.55 from 21 years ago.

Looks like the statute of limitations is a one-way street.



Or the time limitations on actions relating to debt recovery that apply to simple contracts and mortgages do not apply to Government payments made through Centrelink, or tax debts, etc as they are not contracts?

Is it fair to refer to the staff at Centrelink as Grubs? A public servant doing their job as they have been instructed by their employer.

Any grubbery more likely belongs at a higher level with the responsible Minister and how the Government of the day is managing it’s departments. Does it not?

Something about the big ‘A’ word and the big Scomo promise about holding ministers and their departments directly accountable.


I wonder what would be Centrelink’s response if someone tried to get reimbursed for an underpayment from 21 years ago, or even 5 years ago.

Or the estate of a deceased pensioner discovered that the person had been underpayed $6,000 by Centrelink.



When my father passed away he was still owed payments from Centrelink. One of the important actions for one of the family is to within a reasonable time advise Centrelink. They adjusted the final payment due up until his date of death.

I don’t expect that in general the staff at Centrelink deliberately go out of their way to make things harder. They likely do the best with the tools and resources they have. If anything is broken it’s the system. And yes I do know one or two staff directly.

Centrelink don’t spend everyday reading death notices, and death certificates are not issued with an individuals personal CRN. It is important for the responsible family member or executor to ensure others are properly notified.


I wasn’t referring to the individual employees as grubs, rather the overall organisation.

It is appropiate for any organisation which tries to gouge menial amounts after 21 years or upsets the grieving families of deceased persons.


They do have a time limit to ask for an underpayment to be adjusted, from memory it is 13 weeks. The pensioner who was 70 odd was issued an incorrect debt notice I understand. The Tax Office while perhaps able to go back several years does not require the proof of expense or income to be retained more than 7 years and in some personal income situations no more than 3 years. If they raise a debt after these time limits have expired I understand they must have exceptional reasons eg proceeds of crime.

While Centrelink has no responsibility to refund or even calculate an underpayment that has not been notified with 13 weeks of it existing/ending, the agency has the ability to raise a debt for any time in the past but this is being challenged in the Federal Court at present as well as the legality of the Robodebt programs to use data that is averaged rather than applied to the relevant period of earnings (with the onus placed on the “debtor” to prove the period). There has been at least one case I am aware of where they raised a debt based on earnings that were earnt prior ,but averaged over the year so they appeared to affect, to the applicant being a beneficiary of the Centrelink payments. This debt had to be removed after it was proven, thankfully, that the earnings had occurred prior and were not therefore subject to the Govt Income test for eligibility or rate of payment and should not have been averaged. I am very sure there are more.


@Fred123, Understood.

I have a lawn full of grubs and the Sawfly caterpillars (larvae) are busily stripping and leaf tip pruning several of my melaleucas. I let them all be to the bandicoots and birds. For the Sawfly which nothing much eats except perhaps the Currawong I just accept the free gardening service.

I much prefer to target the root cause of the problem. The unwanted apex predators. Feral Cats are number one on the list. They affect all the local wildlife which results in the grubs running amok!

I was hopeful of opening up the conversation to target the root cause of the problem with all things Centrelink.


As to the Death notices yes they did at one time. Every day the local death notices from the paper was read by a designated officer who then had to contact the funeral director to obtain verified proof of identity of the deceased person and if they were a beneficiary they then entered the details on the system. How do I know this, because I have had to do it. While this is many years old, the reason it was removed as a process was not because it wasn’t effective but was challenged as a result of the Privacy Laws and the Govt decided not to continue the practice.

The 13 week limitation was imposed so the Govt was not exposed to claims for reimbursement that went back years and would thus have to repay and pay interest or Ex Gratia payments for failure to properly calculate entitlements. We used to pick up these underpayments quite regularly on reviews of entitlements.


Unfortunately death doesn’t negate a persons debt. They are often resolved through probate:

Maybe they should bring in that if there is a genuine or intentional case of fraud, the statute of limitations does not apply. Where there is no provable intentional fraud, the 7 years limitation should apply (which is the duration one is required to keep income records for the ATO).


Perhaps better said in the Robo case ‘their alleged’ debt. Robodebt has been shown to raise a large number of overpayments either of over valued debt (too much) or where no debt actually exists. The trouble is they are raising debts for periods where it is no longer possible to get satisfactory records to prove the debt was incorrect nor are some records that Centrelink used to have retained any longer because of the age of the record eg copies of payslips provided as proof of income in the days of paper files. The ATO Data Match guidelines may have been breached and this is one of the reasons why the scheme is being challenged in the Courts.


And if that was not disgusting enough, they now have blood on their hands.



From twitter feeds on the issue it may likely have been more than this one you posted. I would also assume that it has caused depression, attempts to suicide, marriage/relationship stress and breakups, financial pressure all the way up to the point of bankruptcy, Domestic Violence (though it should never happen anyway and is a sad reflection of some peoples behaviour) and many other “hidden” issues eg starving, loss of accommodation (homelessness).



This has apparently been around for a while:


Another article regarding Centrelink stupidity resulting in another suicide.

And over 2.030 people have died after receiving notices from Centrelink.

Absolutely disgusting.



Another article regarding Centrelink’s stupidity and incompetence in regard to their “robodebt” scam.

With fiends like that, who needs enemies?