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  • Government benefit letters

    We send you a letter about your government benefits if the amount paid to you by Services Australia and other government agencies doesn't match the amount you declared in your tax return.

    The letter will include a schedule that compares the details you declared in your tax return with the information we have.

    If you have a myGov account that is linked to ATO online services, we’ll send the letter to your myGov Inbox titled: We have found an error in your income tax return.

    If you don’t have a myGov account, we’ll send the letter to the most recent postal address we have for you.

    On this page:

    What you need to do

    You need to review the schedule and compare the information it contains with your records. You can then determine if you agree or disagree with the amended details.

    If you have a question, we have a dedicated phone line you can use. You can phone us on 1300 768 912 and select option 3 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

    You’ll need to quote the reference number from your letter when you contact us. The reference number can be found at the top right of your letter.

    Find out about:

    Government benefits schedule – sample

    Below is a sample government benefits schedule. Keep in mind your schedule will show the relevant information from your tax return compared with information we hold and may not look exactly the same. Use the definitions to help you understand your schedule.

    Sample: Reported payment summaries for the year ended 30 June <CCYY>

    Reported income statement summary

    Income difference

    Overclaimed credit

    $16,781

    $1,379

    Breakdown of government income as reported by third parties

    Source of income

    Payer ABN or account number

    Income amount

    Credit or offset amount

    Government department

    55555555555

    $16,781

    $5,973

    Another government department

    77777777777

    $3,972

    $476

    Schedule definitions

    The following definitions will help you understand your schedule:

    • Income discrepancy – the amounts of income not declared on your tax return.
    • Overclaimed credit – the amounts of extra credit you claimed which is above the total credit we were advised by your payers.
    • Source of income – a list of each source of government benefits paid to you, as reported to us by government departments.
    • Payer ABN – the payer's ABN for each source of government benefit income reported to us.
    • Income amount – the income amount for each source of government benefit income reported to us.
    • Credit amount – the credit amount for each source of government benefit income reported to us (the tax withheld from income paid to you).

    If you agree

    If you agree with our information, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll send you an amended notice of assessment 28 days after the date shown on your letter. If you have a myGov account linked to ATO online services, we’ll send your amended notice to your myGov inbox.

    Once you receive your amended notice of assessment, you'll need to pay any amounts you owe us by the due date.

    If you disagree

    If you disagree with the details reported, you need to let us know before the due date noted in your letter. You can contact us by either:

    • Mail to

    Australian Taxation Office
    PO BOX 3543
    Albury  NSW  2640

    Be aware that the internet isn't a secure environment. We don't control the path of inbound and outbound emails. If you choose to communicate with us by email, the privacy of your personal information can't be guaranteed.

    Once we've assessed your response, you'll receive an amended notice of assessment. The case officer reviewing your supporting documents may contact you if we require additional information.

    If we don't receive a response from you within 28 days of your letter's date of issue, we’ll automatically amend your tax return using the information we have. You’ll then receive an amended notice of assessment.

    Supporting documents

    If you disagree with information contained in the letter from us about your government benefits, we may ask you to provide these supporting documents:

    • your PAYG payment summary from the relevant agencies
    • a letter from any agencies that paid your allowance or payment, stating the amount you received.

    See also:

    Last modified: 11 Jan 2021QC 41708