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EYE-BALL Opinion – eBay Traders on welfare tracked for income and tax investigations …

December 13, 2012
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Latest ‘EYE-BALL Opinion’ Posts:


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– 11th Dec – Gillard is Dividing A NATION – It’s not about Politics, but rightful entitlement –


– 6th Dec – Gillard’s Judgement again challenged – what she’ll do for any positive publicity  –


– 5th Dec – ALP Senator John Faulkner – Perhaps a dark horse for the PM job  –


– 5th Dec – QLD ALP Badguys land plum jobs – Gillard continues to add to the mediocrity –


– 3rd Dec – Bob Katter’s Australian Party – an alternative –


– 3rd Dec – Some ‘Carbon-Tax’ reality
– The World is not listening to the real facts –


– 29th Nov – A Slithering, Slimy, Spitting Lizard – Part II – Gillard’s been hiding in the Tall Grass – A follow-up Story –


– 28th Nov – A slithering, slimy, spitting Lizard – Gillard’s been hiding in the Tall Grass – now exposed –


– 26th Nov – The Collective v the Abstract – Gillard is aware of her wrong doings –


– 25th Nov – Distressed Damsel Gillard’s Black Knight – Bruce Wilson’s 11th hour offer to defend Gillard –


– 24th Nov – The Jewish v Arab problem – A naive perspective –


– 24th Nov – Hedley Thomas plunges the knife – Gillard mortally wounded –


– 23rd Nov – Immigration and Asylum Seekers – What is the real answer –


– 20th Nov – Schoolies Week Starts – The Booze for Kids debate again heats up –


– 16th Nov – How Deep does the AWU corruption cover-up go? – An exposé on innuendo, evidence, hearsay and conjecture –


– 15th nov – Hedley Thomas exploding on Gillard – Gillard has a case to answer … –


– 14th Nov – Gillard behaves like a Guilty Person – Asks for allegations to be made –


– 14th Nov – The Australian Media – Lapdog’s at best – absolutely lost the plot on integrity, and their charter of responsibility –


– 9th Nov – Open Letter to “The Independents” Re: –
– Julia Gillard, Peter Slipper, and Craig Thompson, three MP’s who bring continued shame to our Parliament –


– 9th Nov – “Courage is an Angle” – the difference between a good day and a great day –


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– 6th Nov – Gillard’s caucus and union support in revolt – her position becoming more untenable by the day –


– 5th Nov – Referendum Discussion Part 1 – Compulsory Voting – Eye-Ball’s – “None of the Above Campaign” –


– 4th Nov – Gillard Sunburnt – the flames of discontent begin to impact –


– 2nd Nov – A Montage of AWU Scandal Reports – Gillard to become “Open-Season” –


– 1st Nov – Education … A white Elephant – Politicising the future of young Australians –


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Title:
– eBay Traders on welfare tracked –
– for income and tax investigations –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 13th Dec 2012 |
The Department of Human Services have become the new ‘jackboots’ in Gillards Nazi like approach to welfare recipients doing some on-line eBay trading.   The Dept now has the ability with new laws now allowing them to track eBay traders responsible for threshold trade limits.  It can also match these people with the Centerlink database to catch out undeclared incomes.

Read story below:

Wheeler-dealer eBay sellers pinged for $230k as the hunt for welfare cheats goes online


| Author: Patricia Karvelas | Date: Dec 13th, 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

A CRACKDOWN on welfare recipients using eBay to make undeclared money has led to 71 investigations, with six cheats found to owe a total of $237,861, but so far only $725 has been recovered.

In the first tangible results from the trial run by the Department of Human Services, eBay has been forced to reveal the identities of about 15,000 people who sold more than $20,000 worth of goods on the site in a year.

The Australian can also reveal that 337 welfare recipients — 15 of them on child support — have been spied on using optical surveillance to check if they are receiving income they are not declaring, to keep their welfare payments. This compared with 588 — 22 child support — investigations in 2010-11.

Human Services Minister Kim Carr said while many people were honest, online trading was a growing problem.

“Unfortunately, there is a small minority who may seek to exploit online trading at the expense of the social security system,” Senator Carr told The Australian.

“The rapid growth of global online trading forums such as eBay has created more opportunities for people to earn income, in some cases without declaring it.

“This kind of activity, where fraudulent, has been met with a highly effective compliance program.”

Senator Carr said if the eBay data matching pilot continued to produce results, it could become a permanent part of the department’s compliance armoury.

“If the pilot is successful, the eBay data matching program may be used in the future as part of our broader compliance program,” he said. “Overall, our compliance program has shifted over the past year towards early intervention — to help people avoid getting behind with reporting, and free up resources to enable a more personalised service to those most in need.”

The government emphasised the trial was in its early days, but first results were encouraging. The department secured the 15,000 eBay user records in September last year after a privacy protocol was agreed to with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Since then the department has methodically cross-checked those 15,000 records against Centrelink’s records to find people who were Centrelink recipients as well as big eBay earners in the 2010-11 financial year.

The nine debts worth $237,861 pinned on six customers on November 8 represent the first tangible results from this trial.

An assessment of the trial’s future will be made once the results from the initial 15,000 records have been produced.

In a sure sign that the Government is in a revenue crisis – eBay sales and or purchases by people on welfare are now being targeted as a new source of welfare savings.

The welfare system has a program where recipients can become eligible for credits, or work a number of hours and not have their pension offset.  All designed to supplement the welfare payment which is grossly inadequate.   What is this message telling welfare recipients?

What the above story does not tell us is what types of pension these people were receiving, except for the small numbers quoted as earning ‘child-support’ benefits.

Surely with the ‘tax minimisation’ schemes operating that effectively reduce the tax paid by high net worth individuals through Trusts, and off-shore registrations, the Tax office could come up with better ways to use the Human Resources investigators to catch larger fish.

This Government is so desperate for positive news during thus AWU hiatus, the Department Minister Senator Carr,  believes this is a big enough story to warrant national broadcasting – if they wanted to really catch people why broadcast the technology?

Genuine welfare cheats are a problem – but if you are a middle-income earner and work on commission incentives – estimating incomes forward to allow Social Security to make child-support payments can be a tricky business.   Under and over estimates happen all the time – what is the Dept telling those on child-support welfare – declare your eBay trades.   That is a stone best left unturned – because then ‘losses’ can become a part of the equation with tax offsets.

If one was to compare the taxpayer cost of say – former Speaker in the House of Representatives Mr Slipper and his ‘rorts’ and overseas ‘junkets’, it would take how many welfare cheats to cover what Slipper has ripped out of the ministerial expense system?   The latest report had Mr Slipper spending $300k on parliamentary expenses since he stood down as Speaker.  This included $100k worth of overseas trips for himself and family – see linked story here.

Slipper cried foul recently and declared he would go bankrupt if he had to pay his own legal costs to fight the Ashby case.   The Judge did him a favour yesterday by giving him a favourable verdict – see story here.  EYE-BALL wrote a post on this story and it can be read here – the point being is that income accountability shout start at the highest level – if Slipper can escape punishment with ‘pay-back’ deals if he gets caught, why would he not continue to test the system for all he can rip off..

I’m a little on the fence on this subject – unemployment benefit is less than $400 a week – where is the Human Resources Dept targeting – child support type welfare, disability, or single mother support welfare.   Rents around Australia are pushing $300 a week in rural areas, and 4-$500 in metropolitan zones.   How can the unemployment benefit allow anyone to survive.

Rent assistance has not been increased on any index basis since the early 2000’s.   In that time rents in some areas have more than doubled.   Advocates have argued for years about the inadequacy of the welfare payment to genuine applicants.   It is a political football – the perception in giving welfare increases to unemployed persons over and above normal indexing is always a negative poll trigger.   Targeting disability and middle-income child support type welfare is a vote winner.

There are many mixed messages in this announcement.

Tax evasion is a National past-time for everybody – if someone is arbitraging eBay buyers and sellers good luck to them – what is the margin/profit being made … if turnover is the benchmark criteria, not all sales would be profitable.

These traders are paying GST on new store items sold/purchased on eBay – many bored home makers do eBay trading whilst at home taking care of their children.   Would the Government rather them be watching TV, or down the pub playing the pokies … if they are intuitive and smart enough to make good use of the time and make a few bucks doing it – why should the Government want to intercede and try and make a case to have child-support welfare removed, reduced and/or paid back.

Where is the incentive in life when the Government has its hand in you pocket all the time.   The GST is supposed to take care of the tax on these types of items … second-hand goods don’t attract GST nor should they.

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The EYE-BALL Opinion …

  1. Gerry Hatrick
    December 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Is it ironic the sums involved are in the same region as the claims against parliamentarian Craig Thomson.

    Tax evasion and welfare cheating is rife. Take the example of Starbucks in the UK. Most feel it is rife amongst all multi-nationals. Rio transferring profits to low tax regimes, or General Motors or many others.

    How many children 15 to 18 are receiving child support? Most layers of social security are deficient, but how many recipients are truly genuine?

    This is really about a system that struggles to maintain a proper welfare net while those who are well off fail to pay income tax or meet their social obligations with decency.

    As it is run in the Australian it is something else again. Now expect to see Today Tonight and A Current Affair play it for all it is worth! Any story that gets rating with the aged pensioners who are not computer savvy. Yet those same aged pensioners will buy the grandchildren computer accoutrements this Christmas so that they might prosper. The kids by learning to play the game, and the grandparents through reflected fame and glory.

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