Can the government take your money from your bank account?
There are some instances when the government can take money from your bank account. This generally occurs in situations where you have an outstanding government debt.
Before it can take money from your bank account, the government authority owed money would first need to issue a garnishee notice.
A garnishee notice is issued by the government agency (such as Centrelink or the ATO) to a third party that holds money for you or owes you money.
To take money from your bank account, your bank would be issued with the garnishee notice requiring it to pay ‘your money’ to the requesting agency to satisfy the debt.
Yes, Centrelink can access your bank account, but only if you give them a reason to. Centrelink uses data-matching software with other federal government agencies to help it crack down on welfare cheats.
This is why it’s important to give true and matching information to all government agencies.
For example, if you report to Centrelink your annual income is $25,000, but at tax time you report your income as $50,000 with the ATO, it’s likely you’ll be ‘red flagged’.
At this point, Centrelink can legally request that your bank hand over your personal bank account details, to review your finances.
In most cases, Centrelink does not have the authority to take money out of your account. You will usually be given written notice to repay the debt.
However, Centrelink can also reduce your benefits until you’ve paid back what you owe. In extreme cases, Centrelink can garnish your wages and assets (including money in your bank account) until your debt is repaid.
Many people find themselves struggling to cope with debt at one time or another. In these cases, a debt collector could contact you to demand payment for a debt, to explain the consequences of you failing to pay a debt, or to organise alternative payment arrangements.
If you’re contacted by a debt collector, you may be wondering what their rights are and whether they can take money out of your bank account.
Creditors cannot access money in your bank account unless a court order (also known as a ‘garnishee order’) is made to allow creditors to recover debt by taking money from your bank account or salary.
If this happens, the creditor can take money out of your bank account unless you pay the debt in full or make an alternative payment arrangement such as paying in instalments through the court.
Transferring money from PayPal to an Australian bank account is simple. Just follow these three steps:
- Go to your Wallet
- Click ‘Transfer Money’
- Follow the instructions
The money will take three to seven business days to reach your bank account.
Once you’ve made the transfer request, it can’t be withdrawn.
Transferring cash from Paypal into your bank account is simple…if you have a Paypal account that is.
Once you’re logged into your Paypal account, the account balance will appear on your home page. Below your balance are two options:
- Add money
- Withdraw money
Choose option two if you want to transfer money from your Paypal account to your personal bank account.
The next screen will prompt you to either enter new bank account details or choose a bank account that’s connected to Paypal. You can always add more bank accounts to your Paypal profile.
Another way to transfer out of Paypal is by jumping to the wallet tab on the top menu, and clicking ‘transfer money’. Both options will give you the same result.
The length of time it takes to open a bank account varies, depending on whether you want to open it online or in person.
Most banks and credit unions have simple online applications that usually take no more than 10 minutes to fill out. It can be especially fast if you have your identification documents like your driver’s licence and passport handy. Sometimes you will instantly be approved and the bank account opened. However, depending on the financial institution, it may take a day or so to be processed and your account number issued. Your account information and ATM or debit card will then be mailed to you, which usually takes between five to 10 days.
If you decide to go into a branch or office to open a bank account, it may take about half an hour. Make sure you bring your identification documents with you. Also book an appointment if you can, otherwise you might be forced to wait in line. Sometimes your ATM or debit card will be issued on the spot, otherwise you’ll need to wait for one to arrive by mail, which usually takes between five to 10 days.