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Centrelink 2019: Don't miss out on family tax benefits

Image: AAP

The end of the financial year is drawing closer so it’s important taxpayers consider where they may be eligible for payments.

But if you’re hoping to claim a Family Tax Benefit (FTB), there are a few boxes you need to tick before 30 June.

What to know if you’ve claimed the Family Tax Benefit before

If you received FTB in the 2017-18 financial year, you will need to confirm to Centrelink your family’s income details. This can be done either by lodging a tax return, or informing Centrelink that you don’t need to lodge a return. If you have a partner, they’ll also be required to do this.

If you don’t need to lodge a tax return, families can register this through their Centrelink online account through myGov, or through the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

The Department of Human Services said it needs this information to confirm it paid families the right amount throughout the year.

And, the department warned, if families’ income details are not confirmed by 30 June 2019, they may miss out on top up payments and supplements.

“You may also have to pay back any FTB you got in 2017-18 and your future fortnightly FTB payments may stop.”

The DHS said it will have already written to affected families on the topic to urge them to confirm income levels.

What if I haven’t claimed this benefit before

If you didn’t claim the FTB during 2017-18, you may be able to make a claim for the 2018-19 financial year. However you will need to meet the FTB eligibility rules.

Broadly speaking, an individual is eligible if they have at least one child in their care for at least 35 per cent of their time, are an Australian resident, a single parent, or have an income of less than $100,000 either as an individual or within the family or carer unit. The level of benefit is also determined by these factors.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will need to submit a lump sum claim before Sunday 30 June 2019 in order to claim the benefit for the 2017-18 financial year.

Those looking to make a claim can do so via their Centrelink online account through myGov.

Centrelink’s robo-debt in hot water

The DHS’ advice comes as Centrelink finds itself in hot water over its controversial robo-debt system.

A local government employee mounted a fresh challenge against the program earlier this month, claiming the robo-debt system had sent her an incorrect debt notice.

Deanna Amato said she discovered the alleged $2,574 debt when her entire tax return was claimed by Centrelink.

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