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  • When you can apply – time limits

    HELP, VSL, SSL, ABSTUDY SSL and TSL

    Compulsory repayments and overseas levy relate to particular years for each loan type and there are time limits that apply to defer them:

    • HELP – 2005–06 and later income years
    • TSL – 2014–15 and later income years
    • SSL/ABSTUDY SSL – 2016–17 and later income years
    • HELP/TSL overseas levy – 2016–17 and later income years
    • VSL and VSL overseas levy – 2019-2020 and later income years.

    If you have lodged your tax return

    If you have received a notice of assessment, notice of overseas levy or amended assessment that includes a compulsory repayment or overseas levy, you must make your application to amend the compulsory repayment or overseas levy within two years after the day the notice was issued.

    If you apply outside this time period, you must provide reasons to justify the late application.

    If you haven't lodged your tax return

    If you have not yet lodged your tax return and you do not want a compulsory repayment or overseas levy raised on your notice of assessment or notice of overseas levy for that particular year, you may apply to defer the repayment for the following years:

    • current income year
    • previous income year
    • next income year.

    We cannot consider an application made outside these years.

    If you have lodged your return, but not yet received an assessment, please wait until you get your assessment before applying.

    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.

    Financial Supplement

    You can apply to defer your compulsory Financial Supplement repayment at any time.

    Note: You cannot apply for a partial reduction of a compulsory Financial Supplement repayment.

    Find out about:

    How to complete your application form

    On this page:

    Section A: Personal details

    We are authorised to collect your TFN. You are not required by law to provide it; however, quoting your TFN reduces the risk of administrative errors that could delay the processing of your application.

    Section B: Details of amendment or deferment request

    Complete Question 6 for a compulsory repayment and Question 7 for an overseas levy.

    Also, check whether time limits apply – see When you can apply.

    6 Details of compulsory repayment to be amended or deferred

    Compulsory repayments can include:

    • HELP – compulsory Higher Education Loan Program repayments only relate to 2005–06 and later income years
    • HECS – compulsory HECS repayments only relate to 2004–05 or earlier income years
    • VSL – Compulsory VET Student Loan repayments only apply to the 2019-2020 and later income years
    • Financial Supplement – there are no time limits for applying to defer your compulsory Financial Supplement repayment.
    • SSL/ABSTUDY SSL – compulsory Student Start-up Loan and ABSTUDY Student Start-up Loan repayments only relate to 2016–17 and later income years
    • TSL – compulsory Trade Support Loan repayments only relate to 2014-15 and later income years.

    You can also apply to reduce your compulsory repayment raised on your notice of assessment. For example, you may wish to reduce your compulsory repayment on your income tax notice of assessment to nil. Indicate the income years you wish to apply for and the amount to be reduced.

    For more information about reducing your compulsory repayment, phone us on 1300 650 225 between 8.00am and 6.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday.

    7 Details of overseas levy to be amended or deferred

    Overseas levy can include:

    • HELP – HELP overseas levy only relates to 2016–17 and later income years
    • VSL – VSL overseas levy only relates to 2019-2020 and later income years.
    • TSL – TSL overseas levy only relates to 2016–17 and later income years.

    You can also apply to reduce the overseas levy raised on your notice of overseas levy. For example, you may wish to reduce the amount of overseas levy on your notice of overseas levy to nil. Indicate the income years you wish to apply for and the amount to be reduced.

    For more information about reducing your overseas levy, phone us on 1300 650 225 between 8.00am and 6.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday. If you are calling from overseas, phone +61 2 6216 1111 and ask for the Loan Accounts Service Delivery line on 1300 650 225.

    8 Reason for applying for an amendment outside the time limits

    Provide reasons for why your application should be considered if it is outside of the time limits.

    This question should only be completed where you have already received a notice of assessment or notice of overseas levy for the relevant year and it is more than 2 years after the date on the notice.

    Note: If you have not lodged your return and do not want a compulsory repayment (or overseas levy) raised on your notice of assessment (or notice of overseas levy) for that particular year, you may apply to defer the assessment for that year if it is the current income year, the previous income year, or the next income year. We cannot consider an application made outside these years.

    Section C: Reason for your application to amend or defer

    9 Reason for your application

    Indicate your reason for applying for a deferment or amendment 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 on the grounds of other special reasons, and these do not include financial reasons, you only need to complete this question and go to section F.

    Serious hardship

    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 repayment or overseas levy. These assets include:

    • your home
    • your motor vehicle
    • tools of trade.

    To pay a compulsory repayment or overseas levy, 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.

    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 or overseas levy was raised on your notice of assessment or notice of overseas levy.

    If you consider that there are other special reasons why you should not have to make your compulsory repayment or pay the overseas levy, you should clearly explain the grounds and reasons for your claim.

    Section D: Household income and expenditure

    You only need to complete this section if you are asking to defer or amend your compulsory repayment or overseas levy due to serious hardship.

    Use Australian dollars for all amounts.

    10 Do you have any dependants (or other people) 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 the age of each dependant and if they personally receive a regular income (for example, Austudy, Age Pension).

    11 Are you currently employed?

    If 'No', supply the date and reason you stopped working (for example, termination of employment). Payments from an eligible termination payment (ETP) or redundancy package 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.

    12 Is your spouse or partner currently employed?

    If 'No', supply the date and reason they stopped working (for example, termination of employment).

    13 Your fortnightly income

    Where requested, specify the amount received by you and your spouse or partner.

    If you have added an amount to 'Any 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 these as fortnightly amounts.

    Your combined fortnightly expenses

    Where requested, specify the expenses incurred by you and the household.

    If you have added an amount to 'Other', specify the type, for example:

    • donations
    • gifts
    • pets
    • holidays and travel.

    Section E: Assets and liabilities

    This section collects information in relation to:

    • assets acquired or disposed of in the last two years
    • any liabilities.

    These assets and liabilities may be in your name, or in joint names with your spouse or other people.

    14 Have you acquired or disposed of any assets in the last two years?

    List any asset acquired in the last two years. Assets include homes, rental properties, motor vehicles, shares or other investments. If you disposed of any assets in the last two years, indicate how the funds were used.

    15 Minimum fortnightly repayment for liabilities

    List your liabilities owing for mortgages, personal loans (including reasons 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.

    16 What is the estimated value of household furniture and personal effects owned by you or jointly owned with your spouse?

    Estimate the total market value of your furniture and personal effects.

    17 List accounts held at banks, credit unions, building societies, cooperative societies or other financial institutions, include accounts held in joint names and accounts held under other names.

    List all of your accounts held at financial institutions. If you need more space, you can attach additional pages.

    Section F: Do you want to nominate 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.

    Section G: Declaration

    Once you have completed this application, you need to read and sign the declaration.

    If an authorised person is signing the declaration, then the name and contact details fields will need to be completed.

    In signing the declaration you are stating that you have provided true and correct information. Penalties may be imposed for giving false or misleading information.

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    Last modified: 01 Jul 2019QC 18874