Balancing your Centrelink family payments at tax time

kids jumping

Tax time means over one million families will start to have their family payments balanced.

If you received Family Tax Benefit (FTB) and/or child care payments for the 2017–18 financial year you will need to lodge a tax return or you will need to let the Department of Human Services know you don’t need to. This is required so we can ensure you received the right amount of assistance.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said if you have a partner, the department will also need to know the same information about them.

“Every family’s set of circumstances is different, but the process to balance your family payments is simple,” Mr Jongen said.

“You don’t need to call us. We will balance your payments based on your actual income and personal circumstances, and that of your partner if you have one, against the estimate you provided for your family payments.

“If you didn’t receive the full amount you were entitled to for the financial year, you may receive a top up. But if you were paid too much, you may need to pay back your overpayment.

“If you, or your partner, need to lodge a tax return we will receive a notification from the ATO with your taxable income to balance your payments.

“If you, or your partner, don’t need to lodge a tax return, you can let us know using the Centrelink mobile app or your Centrelink online account through myGov.”

If you’re not sure if you need to lodge a tax return, you can use the ‘Do I need to lodge a tax return’ tool on the ATO website and check the department’s ‘Balancing your Centrelink family payments’ flow chart for helpful hints.

Mr Jongen said if you do incur a debt as a result of balancing your family payments, you can talk to the department.

“It’s important you tell us if you’re worried. We can work with you to set up a repayment plan you can afford,” Mr Jongen said.

“FTB payments can be balanced after you’ve received your last payment for the 2017–18 financial year – between 4 July 2018 and 17 July 2018.

“Child Care payments are balanced after FTB payments, from 23 July 2018 to ensure your child care service has lodged all the attendance for the financial year.”

Family Payment Flow Chart

More information

More information can be found at – including common family circumstance examples that may help you understand what you need to do.

The quickest and easiest way to ask questions about balancing your family payment is to talk to the department via Family Update on Facebook or Twitter.