Special circumstances are by their very nature incapable of precise or exhaustive definition. The qualifying adjective 'special' looks to circumstances that are unusual, uncommon or exceptional. Whether circumstances answer any of these descriptions must depend upon the context in which they occur.
It is not possible to predict all the situations where special circumstances should be applied as the circumstances of each particular situation need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Domestic/family violence (1.1.F.15) or bereavement situations could be possible examples of where special circumstances could be applied.
All deferrals are approved on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Secretary after consideration of the individual circumstances; these are not able to be applied automatically.
As a general rule, individuals may request a deferral of the application of the non-payment of FTB provision due to special circumstances, such as a result of hardship, lodgement and/or ATO extension to lodge at a later date, or review and appeals. Individuals may also seek deferral under other special circumstances.
Non-payment of FTB based on an estimate may be temporarily deferred at the request of an individual who is experiencing hardship due to:
Deferrals under hardship provisions may be backdated to apply from a day in the past at the discretion of the Secretary.
A prohibition may be temporarily deferred for an individual (or their partner, if applicable) who has been granted an extension of time in which to lodge their income tax return or who has been granted a suspension of enforcement action regarding an outstanding income tax return. These deferrals are generally for a period up to ATO due date plus 7 days.
You can find more information about tax return extensions of suspensions of enforcement action on the ATO website.
If there have been a number of non-lodger decisions for the previous income years and the individual has only been granted an extension or suspension for one of these years, the non-payment of FTB will still be applied for the other previous income years.
If the individual seeks review of, or appeals the decision not to pay them (and their partner, if applicable) FTB based on an estimate, the prohibition period may be deferred until the review and/or appeal process is complete.
If an individual seeks review of or appeals all of the non-lodgers decisions which led to the application of the non-payment provision, the prohibition for all the relevant income years may be deferred for the period of the review and/or appeal process.
If there have been a number of non-lodger decisions for the previous income entitlement years and the individual has not sought a review of all of these decisions, whilst the decision is under review or appeal, the prohibition will still be applied for the other previous income years.
Under special circumstances, a deferral under this category may also apply to an FTB individual who is subject to losing their FTB entitlement due to the application of the non-entitlement provision outlined in 184.108.40.206.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 32AB Prohibited period for claimant, section 32AC Prohibited periods for relevant partner, section 109A Review of certain decisions may be initiated by applicant
Last reviewed: 12 August 2013