Deferring your compulsory HELP, HECS or Financial Supplement repayment
Deferring your compulsory HELP, HECS or Financial Supplement repayment
This document consists of the Deferring your compulsory HELP, HECS or Financial Supplement repayment application and instructions that will help you complete it.
You can download this application in Portable Document Format (PDF) - download Deferring your compulsory HELP, HECS or Financial Supplement repayment (NAT 2471, PDF, 424KB).
On the application, some questions will have directions and information provided to help you give the right answers. Other questions will direct you to refer to the instructions for more detailed information.
If you are unsure or need help completing your application, see the More information section.
Instructions to help you complete this application
You may be able to defer your compulsory Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) or Financial Supplement repayment if you can show that:
- making your repayment has caused or would cause you serious hardship, or
- there are other special reasons that make it fair and reasonable to defer making your repayment.
Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
Compulsory HELP repayments only relate to 2005-06 and later income years. There are time limits for applying to defer compulsory HELP repayments.
If you have received a notice of assessment or amended assessment that includes a compulsory HELP repayment, your application to defer the compulsory repayment must be made within two years after the day the notice issued.
If the application is made outside this time period, you must provide reasons to justify the late application.
If you have not lodged your tax return and you do not want a compulsory HELP repayment raised on your notice of assessment for that particular year, you may apply to defer the repayment for that year only if it is one of the following:
- current income year
- previous income year
- next income year.
- We cannot consider an application made outside these years.
Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)
Compulsory HECS repayments only relate to 2004-05 and earlier income years. You can apply to defer your compulsory HECS repayment at any time.
You can apply to defer your compulsory Financial Supplement repayment at any time.
How to complete your application
Your tax file number (TFN)
Your TFN will be on your last notice of assessment or your payment summary from your payer (employer).
Your personal information
Fill in your personal details. If we need to ask you about your application or request further information, it is quicker by telephone.
Type of compulsory repayment to be deferred
Compulsory repayments can include:
- Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) - compulsory HELP repayments only relate to 2005-06 and later income years and there are time limits that apply for this type of deferment.
- You can also apply to defer part of your compulsory HELP repayment raised on your notice of assessment. For example, you may wish to defer part of your compulsory repayment to reduce the income tax payable on your notice of assessment to nil. Indicate the income year(s) you wish to apply for and the amount to be deferred.
For more information about partial deferment, phone 1300 650 225 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.
- Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) - compulsory HECS repayments only relate to 2004-05 or earlier income years. There are no time limits for applying to defer this type of compulsory repayment. Indicate the income year(s) you wish to apply for.
- Financial Supplement - there are no time limits for applying to defer your compulsory Financial Supplement repayment. Indicate the income year(s) you wish to apply for.
What are your reasons for applying for a deferment?
Indicate your reason for applying for a deferment by placing an X in the boxes that apply to your situation. Your reason may include:
- serious hardship
- other special reasons.
If you are applying for a deferment on the grounds of other special reasons, and these reasons do not include financial reasons, you only need to complete this question and go to section F.
Serious hardship exists when you are unable to provide food, accommodation, clothing, medical treatment, education or other necessities for you, your family or other people for whom you are responsible.
If your expenditure exceeds your income, it does not automatically mean that your application will be successful under serious hardship. We consider other factors, such as your actions or decisions.
There are several types of assets that are generally regarded as normal and reasonable possessions. You are not expected to sell these to meet a compulsory HELP, HECS or Financial Supplement repayment. These assets include:
- your home
- your motor vehicle
- tools of trade.
You will not be expected to use any cash on hand or a bank balance which you need to meet the cost of your necessities to pay a compulsory repayment.
If you have assets such as rental property, shares or other investments, you may be regarded as having the capacity to make your repayment without suffering serious hardship.
You must clearly describe in writing your own particular situation and why the repayment will cause you serious hardship.
Other special reasons
These cover any unusual or exceptional circumstances that do not qualify as serious hardship. For example, natural disasters affecting you, death or serious illness in the family that requires you to travel, or if you had not commenced study in the year that a compulsory repayment was raised on your notice of assessment.
If you consider that there are other special reasons why you should not have to make your compulsory repayment, you should clearly explain the grounds and reasons for your claim.
Do you have any dependants (or other persons) who rely on you for financial support?
List anyone you consider to be a dependant. In general we consider a dependant to be:
- a child
- a student under 25 years old who is studying full-time and still living with you
- your spouse or partner
- an invalid relative.
Indicate age of dependants and if they personally receive a regular income (for example, Austudy, Aged pension).
Are you currently employed?
If 'No' supply the date and reason you stopped working (for example, termination of employment). List any payments you received from an eligible termination payment (ETP) or redundancy package. These payments may include:
- an ETP, which is a lump sum paid to you by your payer when you retire or cease employment
- a redundancy package paid to you as a lump sum by your payer when you cease employment.
Is your spouse or partner currently employed?
If 'No' supply the date and reason they stopped working (for example, termination of employment).
Your fortnightly household income
Where requested, specify the amount received by you and your spouse or partner.
Regarding 'Other sources of regular fortnightly income', specify what type. Include payments received over an income year, for example, bonuses, director's fees, net foreign income, Defence Force Reserve income. Show as fortnightly amounts.
Your fortnightly household expenses
Where requested, specify the expenses incurred by you and the household.
Regarding 'Other', specify the type. For example, donations to charities or religious groups, anniversaries, birthdays, alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, gambling, lotteries, pets, hobbies, sport, recreational activities, holiday home, caravan, recreational vehicle, holidays, travel.
This section collects information in relation to assets acquired or disposed of in the last two years and any liabilities. These assets and liabilities may be in your name, or in joint names with your spouse or other people.
Have you acquired or disposed of any assets in the last two years?
Lists any asset acquired in the last two years. Assets include homes, rental properties, motor vehicles, shares or other investments. If assets were disposed of in the last two years indicate how the funds were used.
Minimum monthly repayment for liabilities
List liabilities owing for mortgage, personal loans (include reason for each personal loan) and credit card debts. We may ask you to provide evidence of these debts such as loan contracts, conditions of the loan repayments and credit card statements.
Section F: Appointment of a representative
Complete this section if you would like to appoint a representative to deal with us on your behalf about any matters relating to this application.
Once you have completed this application, you need to read and sign the declaration.
In signing the declaration you are stating that you have provided accurate and complete information.
Penalties may be imposed for giving false or misleading information.
Send your completed application, including any attachments, to:
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 1032
ALBURY NSW 2640
Fax your application to 1300 130 900.
Make a copy of your application for your own records before you send it.
We will advise you of our decision in writing within 28 days of receiving your application.
If your application is successful and you had a compulsory repayment included on an assessment, we will amend your tax assessment taking out the amount of repayment that was deferred.
The amended notice of assessment you receive may not show a refund. It may simply show a reduction of your total outstanding tax debt.
Your compulsory repayment is not waived. It is added back on to your accumulated debt which we continue to index. A compulsory repayment will again be included on an assessment in the next income year that your repayment income is above the minimum repayment threshold. If you want to defer your repayment in later years you will need to reapply.
If you have additional amounts withheld from your payments and have been granted a deferment for the current or future income years, we will send you a PAYG withholding variation short application (NAT 5425). When we receive your completed application, we will advise your payer of the reduced amount to withhold. Your compulsory repayment may be deferred for any period we consider appropriate. However, in most circumstances it would not be deferred for more that one year.
Unsuccessful application or the granted amount is different
If your application is not successful or is different from the amount requested, we will send you a letter including an explanation of the reasons for the decision. If you are unhappy with the decision, you may:
- lodge a new application to defer the compulsory repayment if you have any new grounds or supporting documents not supplied with the first application
- apply to us for a review of our decision.
If you apply for the decision to be reviewed, you must make the request in writing within 28 days after the day you receive notice of decision. We will tell you the outcome of the review within 28 days of us receiving your request.
If you disagree with our decision, you may then apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of our decision. The application must be lodged with the AAT within 28 days of the letter advising you of the outcome of the review.
Unable to pay your tax debt on time
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to:
- defer the payment
- enter into an arrangement to pay by instalments.
In some circumstances, you will need to provide written details of your financial position, including a statement of your assets and liabilities and details of your income and expenditure. You may also be asked to substantiate or provide further explanation of that expenditure.
We will also want to know whether you have taken steps to obtain funds to pay your tax debt and how you will ensure you pay future tax debts on time.
If we agree to defer the time for payment, general interest charge (GIC) will not apply until after the deferred date for payment. Alternatively, if we allow you to pay by instalments, we will charge you GIC on the outstanding balance from the original due date.
You can claim any interest we charge as a tax deduction in the income year you incur it. If we charge you interest, you can request a remission of all or part of the charge.
If you cannot pay your tax debt on time, or would like further information, phone 13 11 42 between 8.00am and 6.00pm (EST), Monday to Friday to discuss your situation.
Visit www.ato.gov.au to download HELP, Financial Supplement and general tax publications.
- 13 28 61 for information about HELP, Financial Supplement and personal tax topics. We can help you:
- understand how repayments are calculated and how indexation works
- order a HELP or Financial Supplement account information statement
- get the balance of your account
- confirm a voluntary repayment
- confirm your HELP or Financial Supplement PRN.
- 1300 650 225 for help with:
- the effect of bankruptcy on your debt
- completing the Deferring your compulsory HELP, HECS or Financial Supplement repayment (NAT 2471) form
- eligibility for the HECS-HELP benefit and how to apply.
Write to us at:
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 1032
ALBURY NSW 2640
If you do not speak English well and need help from the ATO, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, phone the ATO through the National Relay Service (NRS) on the numbers listed below:
- TTY users, phone 13 36 77 and ask for the ATO number you need
- Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users, phone 1300 555 727 and ask for the ATO number you need
- internet relay users, connect to the NRS on www.relayservice.com.au and ask for the ATO number you need.
If you would like further information about the National Relay Service, phone 1800 555 660 or email email@example.com
Last Modified: Monday, 14 January 2013