I’m a new home owner and towards the end of July I received my first Rates Notice from ACT Revenue along with a Land Tax Notice. Now, I don’t have to pay Land Tax so I tried contacting ACT Revenue via the numbers on the Notice.
After two days trying I eventually got someone via a number off their website instead. I was told that an upgrade in May caused a “computer error” and my records indicate that I don’t have to pay Land Tax. I was advised to disregard the Notice and that it won’t happen again.
Well now I get another notice for not paying the previous notice, including interest! Once again I tried calling and it wasn’t until the second day that I reached someone who then gave me the exact same excuse I was given previously.
Turns out I’m not the only one either to be receiving these Land Tax Notices by “mistake”. I know of others who have had the same treatment from ACT Revenue. It doesn’t look like anything is being done about this “computer error” and there is nothing about it on their website to help people. Just how many people have these false notices gone out to? Even more concerning is how many people just went ahead and paid it anyway!? Double check your own account to see if you really are meant to be paying it or not.
If the ACT Revenue is raking in money from people via these false Land Tax Notices it seems to me they are obtained money by deception. In other words they are committing fraud, plain and simple. For people who have paid they should not only be refunded immediately but also including interest at the same rate they are charging everyone else: 15.75%.
While the revenue staff may reassure you over the phone that the computer error has been fixed and that no more notices will be sent out this is clearly not the case. Some computer somewhere still thinks I and others are required to pay it. So what happens if we follow the advice of ACT Revenue staff and disregard it? Will debt collectors show up one day and cause trouble? Will credit histories be ruined? It’s also worrying that ACT Revenue staff refused to send me anything in writing that states my account is not liable for Land Tax so what tangible proof have I got to protect myself? None at all.
ACT Revenue, this is NOT good enough. If there really ever was a computer error it was your responsibility to ensure it was fixed and steps taken to repair damages and ensure it does not occur in future. You need to:
- provide information about this on your website,
- send letters to who have been affected so they have written proof against any future action your fraud may cause to innocent tax payers and
- refund with interest (at 15.75%) anyone who paid when they were not required to.
So far my enquiries with the minister regarding this issue have had no response.
People, check your accounts and don’t let this corrupt department know they can not pull one over on the public.