Social Security amnesty on foreign pensions

THE Federal Minister for Family and Community Services, Jocelyn Newman, has announced an amnesty for Social Security recipients who have failed to declare their foreign pensions to Centrelink.

The amnesty, which began on September 20, and applies to January 19, allows people to declare their foreign pension receipts without fear of penalty.

It is a simple process of recipients of foreign pensions contacting Centrelink by telephone or in person and declaring their foreign pensions.

The amnesty will apply to all types of foreign pensions but does not cover income derived from bank interest, shares, business or real estate.

While the amnesty applies only to Social Security, Senator Newman did indicate that the ATO would also offer limited concessions to people declaring their foreign pensions during the term of the amnesty.

The concession from the ATO is to require the payment of tax and any interest due but only for the years 1998-99, 1999-00 and beyond.

The ATO will also waive the penalties that would normally apply to the undeclared income.

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