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  • Top call centre questions

    Find answers to top call centre questions here and save time. High call volumes may result in long wait times.

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    How do I claim the Low and middle income earners tax offset (LMITO)?

    You don't need to complete anything in your tax return to get the LMITO. We work out your tax offset for you once you lodge your tax return. This offset will reduce your tax payable only and is not a bonus payment. You can watch our video on ATOtv Low and middle income tax offsetExternal Link.

    The LMITO amount is between $255 and $1,080 and will be used to offset (or reduce) the tax you need to pay on your taxable income. The amount of offset received depends on your circumstances, such as your taxable income and how much tax you have paid.

    Read more about the Low and middle income earner tax offset.

    When will I get my refund?

    Most electronically lodged tax returns are processed within two weeks. We process paper tax returns manually and this can take up to 10 weeks.

    The quickest and easiest way to check the progress of your tax return is by using our self-help services.

    If you’ve received notification that your refund has been processed, remember your refund may take up to five business days to be in your nominated bank account, depending on your financial institution.

    Why is my refund lower than expected?

    You may find your tax assessment is different from what you expected to receive. There are several reasons why your refund might be less than expected, or why you have received a tax bill. Common reasons why your refund might be less than expected, or why you have received a tax bill, could be because:

    • the refund amount has been offset against another debt, either another tax debt (previous income tax bill, or activity statement debt), or another government agency debt (Centrelink or Child Support Agency)
    • your low income tax offset, and low and middle income tax offset, can only reduce the tax you've paid to $0. These are both non-refundable tax offsets, so the unused offset can't be refunded to you. A tax offset reduces the tax you pay on your taxable income.
    • you didn't include all your income or included the wrong amount - we will update your tax return with income based on third-party information provided directly to us. This may include but is not limited to welfare payments, employment income, bank interest or dividend investments.
    • you have a compulsory payment, such as Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), Trade Support Loan (TSL), VET Student Loan (VSL) or Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) repayments
    • you need to pay Medicare levy surcharge because you stopped paying private patient hospital cover and your income is above a certain threshold
    • tax was not withheld from a taxable payment (such as JobSeeker payments) and your total income for the year was more than the tax-free threshold

    More information is available about why your refund is different from what you expected.

    I made a mistake while I was lodging my tax return. How do I fix it?

    Find out how to amend your tax return.

    What's the easiest way to link my myGov account to the ATO?

    To link your myGov account to the ATO, go to your myGov account and select ATO from the list of services.

    Screenshot of what users see when they use 'Link new service' in myGov. It says 'Link New Service. Choose a linking option. Select an option. 1. Questions specific to you. [This option is highlighted] 2. Use a linking code.'

    The fastest and easiest option is to select 'Questions specific to you'. All you will need is your tax file number and two basic facts like your superannuation membership and bank account details. You can find a full list at Information you need for linking to us on myGov.

    We recommend that you select the questions so you can self-serve. Otherwise, you have to phone us.

    If you are having trouble using the questions, try troubleshooting the issue.

    How do I find my TFN?

    If you already have a tax file number (TFN) but can't remember it, there are a few ways you can find it.

    • If you have a myGovExternal Link account that is linked to the ATO, log in and go to 'My Profile' then 'Personal details'.
    • Look at documents like last year's notice of assessment, your most recent super statement or the income statement provided by your employer.
    • Ask your registered tax agent, if you use one.
    • For a business or organisation, log in to Online services for business, select Profile, then Business details.

    If you still cannot find it, you can phone us on 13 28 61 from 8.00am–8.00pm weekdays and 10.00am–4.00pm weekends. Have information ready so we can confirm your identity.

    When will my income statement be tax ready?

    You will need to wait until your employer marks your income statement as 'Tax ready' before you lodge your tax return. Most employers have until 14 July to finalise their data. Your employer will let you know if there are any delays in finalising your income statement.

    Don't use any information that is not marked 'Tax ready'.

    More information is available about accessing your income statement.

    I receive payments from Services Australia. and have been told I need to lodge this year. Why do I need to lodge when I haven’t before?

    If you received payments from Services Australia that are taxable and over a certain threshold then you will need to lodge a tax return. More information is available about Do you need to lodge a tax return in 2021?

    Early release of superannuation – do I need to declare it on my tax return?

    No, if you accessed your superannuation as part of COVID-19 early release of super.

    Yes, if your early release of superannuation was for compassionate grounds other than COVID. More information is available about superannuation lump sum payments 2021.

    Check out the questions and answers on ATO Community about COVID-19 support paymentsExternal Link. You can rely on answers marked ‘ATO certified response’. And if you can’t find an answer, you can ask a question about your situation.

    Medicare levy surcharge – why do I have to pay it?

    You may have to pay the Medicare levy surcharge (MLS) if you, your spouse and your dependent children do not have an appropriate level of private patient hospital cover and you earn above a certain income.

    The base income for surcharge purposes (under which you are not liable to pay the MLS) is:

    • $90,000 for singles
    • $180,000 (plus $1,500 for each dependent child after the first one) for families.

    More information is available about the Medicare levy surcharge.

    How do I get taxed on my second job?

    Second jobs usually have a higher amount of tax withheld from your pay. This is because you are already claiming the tax-free threshold from another paying job. Withholding tax at a higher rate means that you are less likely to have a tax debt at the end of the income year.

    When you start a job, your new employer will give you a Tax file number declaration to complete. Centrelink is also a payer and they will give you this form if you apply for their payments.

    When you fill in this form you can choose whether to claim the tax-free threshold from your employer. If you:

    • are still earning income from your first employer, you should not claim the tax-free threshold for your second job
    • are no longer earning any income (including from paid leave), then you are entitled to claim the tax-free threshold from your second job and have a lower rate of tax withheld
    • start receiving income from both employers, you can request that one employer withhold at a higher rate to avoid a tax debt at the end of the year.

    See also:

    Do I need to pay tax on income earned through the sharing economy (such as Uber or Airbnb)?

    The sharing economy is economic activity through a digital platform (such as a website or an app) where people share assets or services for a fee. Income you earn from the sharing economy is assessable and needs to be reported in your tax return.

    More information is available about including your sharing economy income on your tax return.

    How do I notify the ATO of my hosted SBR software service provider?

    If you have purchased or subscribed to hosted (cloud) SBR-enabled software and you want to use this to send transactions to and from the ATO, start by checking with your provider that the software you have purchased is eligible. The next steps are in Access managerMy hosted SBR software services.

    JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme – am I an eligible employer?

    Eligible employers can claim the JobMaker Hiring Credit for young job seekers they employ aged 16–35 years. You can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible employee you hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021. Register using ATO online services or Online services for business, or through your registered tax or BAS agent.

    See also:

    Do I need to pay tax on cryptocurrency?

    In most cases, yes. Tax applies to the disposal (sale, gifting or trading) of cryptocurrency. How much tax you pay will depend on your circumstances.

    See also:

    My question is not here

    Check out our Tax time essentials.

    If you still need to contact us:

    • Our phone lines are open 8.00am–8.00pm weekdays and 10.00am–4.00pm weekends.
    • Our busiest days are Mondays, so consider calling later in the week.

    We regularly update this page based on the calls we receive.

    Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

    Last modified: 23 Jul 2021QC 62247