There’s a common and usually innocent misconception that Centrelink know absolutely everything! I’m here to dispel that myth.
While the ATO and Centrelink data match to try and identify any inconsistencies, just because you have done a tax return, doesn’t mean Centrelink know your asset values, or fortnightly income for that matter. But Centrelink do conduct audits from time to time, sometimes completely at random and sometimes where they have identified an inconsistency.
The responsibility of keeping these records up to date sits with you, the recipient.
Keeping your asset values up to date with Centrelink allows you to optimise your payments, or to avoid any over payment. It may also alter your eligibility status. You should update your details with Centrelink anytime changes to your situation or value of your assets are reasonably significant. You are obliged to inform them of any change in value of your financial assets greater than $1,000, within 14 days. Such updates can easily be done online via your MyGov account.
Scenarios that should prompt an update:
- Buying or selling of an asset, such as a car or caravan
- Receiving an inheritance or other large gift
- The sale or purchase of a home
- Savings that have accumulated in your bank account
- Spending money on anything big, like home renovations
Centrelink applies a bulk valuation update for shares in public companies in March and September. The value used is the latest available price on the share market. However, you can request an update anytime in between, to reflect the current market value. This also applies to Allocated Pension accounts, where an update is given to Centrelink by your super trustee twice a year.
Centrelink are generally not given an update of your bank balances and this is generally where people get caught out.
If you would like assistance with updating your asset values and income with Centrelink, you can visit your local Centrelink office or call 132 300 during business hours Monday to Friday.