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  • Individuals with serious hardship

    If you're experiencing serious hardship, we may be able to assist by:

    • releasing you from some, or all, of your tax debt
    • processing your tax return as a priority.

    You're considered to be in serious hardship when unable to provide the following for yourself, your family or other dependants:

    • food
    • accommodation
    • clothing
    • medical treatment
    • education
    • other basic necessities.

    Factors contributing to serious hardship generally include family tragedy, financial misfortune, serious illness, impacts of natural disaster and other serious or difficult circumstances.

    On this page:

    Evidence of serious hardship – individuals

    We may ask you to provide recent evidence to support your claim of serious hardship. Your evidence should support your current financial circumstances. Any documents you provide should be dated within four weeks of supplying them.

    Types of evidence can include the following:

    • official eviction notice (not a warning of possible eviction due to rental arrears)
    • pending disconnection of essential services, like water, electricity or gas (does not include mobile phone or internet bills)
    • notice of impending legal action
    • letter from a charitable organisation regarding loss of employment or inability to provide for basic necessities
    • bank notice, for example, overdraft call or mortgaged property repossession
    • overdue medical bills
    • letter from a doctor verifying the inability to earn an income due to illness or caring for a sick family member
    • final notice from school regarding payment of mandatory fees
    • funeral expenses
    • repossession notice of essential items, like a car or motorcycle.

    We take many factors into account when assessing your claim for serious hardship. Providing one or more of the documents listed above may not necessarily result in you being granted serious hardship status.

    In some cases, these requirements may change, depending on your individual circumstances.

    Find out if you qualify for hardship assistance

    For help, or more information about whether you may qualify for serious hardship assistance, you can talk to your registered tax agent or contact us.

    To apply for release from some, or all, of your tax debt:

    To request priority processing of your tax return:

    If you don't qualify for serious hardship assistance, there are other ways we can help you with your financial difficulties.

    See also:

    Last modified: 07 Jul 2020QC 51693