Families are being urged to finalise their family assistance obligations for the 2015/16 financial year before 30 June 2017, or risk missing out on payments.
Department of Human Services General Manager, Hank Jongen, said families can lodge their tax returns through the Australian Taxation Office’s online services, and those who don’t need to lodge one can easily tell the department via their Centrelink online account on myGov, or by using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
“From early July, the department balances Family Tax Benefit payments by comparing families’ actual income against the estimate they provided to check they have received the right amount. The department also uses this income confirmation to check eligibility for supplement payments,” Mr Jongen said.
“Families have 12 months from the end of the financial year in which they received Family Tax Benefit payments to confirm their income by either lodging a tax return or advising the department they do not need to lodge.
“Otherwise, they will miss out on any top-up and supplement payments to which they might have otherwise been entitled. If they leave it too late, they may also have to pay back the Family Tax Benefit they received in the previous financial year.”
Mr Jongen said there is still time for families to take action to avoid a debt.
“As Family Tax Benefit is linked directly to the tax system, when it is paid fortnightly, it is paid in advance and based on a family’s estimated income,” Mr Jongen said.
“This means families must lodge their tax returns before the department can properly assess and balance their entitlements.
“Families who have not lodged their 2015/16 tax returns, or told the department they don’t need to lodge, have until 30 June 2017.
“If left too late, families will receive an Account Payable notice and may have to pay back the full amount of Family Tax Benefit they received in 2015/16.”
For further information visit humanservices.gov.au/balancing.
Spoken by Department of Human Services General Manger Hank Jongen.
Download audio: Tax Time Grab 1 (MP3, 796 KB)
Transcript: We’ll start balancing family assistance payments from July, to make sure families were paid the right amount for 2016/17 financial year. Not everyone who receives family assistance has to do the same thing at tax time, but no one needs to call us. Everything can be done online or using your Express Plus mobile app.
Download audio: Tax Time Grab 2 (MP3, 703 KB)
Transcript: In most cases, you’ll need to either lodge your tax return with the Australian Taxation Office or notify the Department of Human Services if you are not required to lodge. Families have 12 months to do this, but the sooner the better to make sure they don’t miss out on top-ups or supplements, and to avoid a debt.
Download audio: Tax Time Grab 3 (MP3, 378 KB)
Transcript: If you haven’t already done this for the 2015/16 financial year, make sure you do so by 30 June 2017.
Download audio: Tax Time Grab 4 (MP3, 657 KB)
Transcript: Our tax time checker explains what you need to do, based on your circumstances. Find it at humanservices.gov.au/balancing. For information and updates, like our Family Update Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.