7.1.2 FA Debts - Individuals & ACOs

Introduction

This section covers information on debts of FA of an individual (1.1.I.90) or an ACO (1.1.A.80) including:

  • recoverable debts (1.1.D.60) that relate to FTB, FTB advances, SIFS, SKB and SBP,
  • recoverable debts that relate to CCB and CCR, and
  • debts that relate to all FA payments.

Debts arising in respect of FTB, SIFS, SKB & SBP

The following table shows the types of recoverable debts that relate to FTB, SIFS, SKB and SBP.

If the debt occurred because the individual was… Then the amount of the recoverable debt is the… FA(Admin)Act reference
not entitled to payment for a particular period or event, full amount of the payment paid for that period or event. section 71(1) No entitlement to amount
paid an amount that was greater than their correct entitlement, difference between their correct entitlement and the amount they were paid. section 71(2) Overpayment

Debts arising in respect of FTB advances

The following table shows the types of recoverable debts that relate to FTB advances only.

If the overpayment occurred because the individual… Then the amount of the recoverable debt is the… FA(Admin)Act reference
was not entitled to FTB Part A on the advance assessment day (1.1.A.55) based on their actual circumstances, full amount of the advance paid to the individual. section 71A(1) No entitlement to advance.
was paid an advance amount that was greater than their correct advance amount based on their actual circumstances, difference between the correct advance amount and the advance amount that was actually paid. section 71A(2) Overpayment
ceased to be entitled to FTB Part A by instalments during an advance repayment period, the amount of unrepaid advance from when the individual's entitlement to FTB Part A ceased. section 71A(3) Debt arising during the repayment period for a family tax benefit advance
is not currently entitled to FTB Part A, the repayment period for a previous advance has expired and, due to a variation in FTB Part A entitlement during the advance repayment period, the FTB Part A rate was insufficient to recover the repayments, the amount of the advance left unrepaid as a result of the variation. section 71A(4) Debt arising due to variation or review after the repayment period for a family tax benefit advance has expired
is subject to a non-lodger determination (6.4.3.20) affecting an advance repayment period, the amount of the advance left unrepaid as a result of the determination*. section 71A(5) Debt arising due to variation under subsection 28(2) or (6)
at the discretion of the secretary, has an FTB Part A rate that is insufficient to cover the reduction, i.e. FTB Part A rate is below the base rate for one child under 18, the amount of unrepaid advance from when the discretion is applied. section 71A(7) Debt arising due to determination under clause 45 of Schedule 1 to the Family Assistance Act

* If the individual's non-lodger status is subsequently resolved, the advance debt is taken to never have occurred and normal reconciliation processes apply.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 3(1)-'family tax benefit advance', section 3(1)-'advance assessment day', section 3(1)-'FTB advance debt', section 35C Amount of FTB advance, section 71A Debts arising in respect of FTB advances

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.2.8.10 FTB Advance Payments - Details, 3.1.11 Advance Payment of FTB Part A

Recoverable debts in respect of CCB & CCR

The following table shows the types of recoverable debts that relate to CCB only.

If the overpayment occurred because the individual… Then the amount of the recoverable debt is the… FA(Admin)Act reference
was not entitled to payment for a particular period, full amount of the payment paid for that period. section 71B Debts where no entitlement or where enrolment advance wrongly paid
was paid an amount that was greater than their correct entitlement, difference between their correct entitlement and the amount they were paid. section 71C Debts arising in respect of CCB where overpayment
- knowingly made a false statement or misrepresentation to an approved child care service or a Centrelink officer, and
- was paid an amount of CCB that was greater than their correct entitlement,
difference between their correct entitlement and the amount they were paid. section 71D Debts arising in respect of CCB where false or misleading statement by individual-debt owed by individual

The following table shows the types of recoverable debts that relate to CCR only.

If the overpayment occurred because the individual… Then the amount of the recoverable debt is the… FA(Admin)Act reference
was not entitled to payment for a particular period, full amount of the payment paid for that period. section 71CAA Debts arising in respect of CCR where no entitlement
was paid an amount that was greater than their correct entitlement, difference between their correct entitlement and the amount they were paid. section 71CAB Debts arising in respect of CCR where overpayment
was paid to wrong account, full amount of the payment paid for that period. section 71CAC Debts arising in respect of CCR paid to wrong account

AAT stay orders

If, as a result of an individual applying to the AAT second review for a review of a decision, the AAT orders that the amount of FA paid to the individual was more than they were entitled to, the difference is a recoverable debt.

Note: This provision does not apply if the Secretary made the application for review.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 73 Debts arising from AAT stay orders, section 128 Application for AAT second review

Individual other than the payee obtains payment from a cheque

If an amount of FA is paid by cheque, the amount of the cheque is a debt due by the individual who obtained the value of the cheque if:

  • an individual other than the payee obtains possession of the cheque, and
  • the payee has not endorsed the cheque, and
  • the individual obtains value for it.

Individual convicted of assisting a debtor to breach FA law

Both the individual and the other individual are jointly and severally liable to repay the debt if:

  • FA was overpaid to the individual because they breached a provision of the FA law, and
  • another individual is convicted of assisting the individual to breach FA law.

Consideration should be given to any views expressed in the criminal court hearing about the responsibility of the individual to repay the debt.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 75 Debts arising from conviction of person for involvement in contravention of family assistance law by debtor

Criminal Code Act 1995 section 11.2 Complicity and common purpose, section 11.4 Incitement, section 11.5 Conspiracy

Last reviewed: 3 July 2017