Show download pdf controls
  • Apply for a refund

    How you apply for a refund depends on whether you have to lodge a tax return.

    If you lodge a tax return

    If you are required to lodge a tax return, you declare your dividend income, including unfranked amounts, franked amounts and franking credits in your Tax return for individuals. We then use this information to work out your refund.

    You don't have to do anything else.

    See also:

    If you don't need to lodge a tax return

    If you are not required to lodge a tax return, you can still claim a refund of your franking credits.

    On this page:

    Online

    You can apply online for a refund of your franking credits.

    Lodging online allows us to complete your form using your personal details and the dividend records that have been reported to us. This will save you time and make your claim more accurate.

    If you don’t already have one, you will need a myGov account linked to the ATO. A myGov account gives you access to a range of government services online, all in one place. You might already have one if you deal online with Centrelink or Medicare. Go to my.gov.auExternal Link complete the simple registration process, and link to the ATO.

    Once you have logged into your ATO Online account, from the menu at the top of the screen select 'Tax’, then 'Lodgments' then ‘Refund of franking credits’.

    Your personal details, and the dividend records that have been reported to us, will automatically download for you, making the process very streamlined. All you need to do is check the information, add any missing details and submit your form.

    The majority of dividend records are usually available by late July so if you wait until then, most of the work will be done for you.

    Once you have submitted your form, you will be emailed a receipt confirming that we have received your application. There's no need to send any franking credit documentation to us – just keep it with your other financial records.

    We usually process online forms within two weeks.

    If you want to review your online form and details at any time just login to our online services again.

    See also:

    Automatic refund of franking credits

    During tax time 2021, to make it easier to receive your refund we will automatically refund franking credits to eligible individuals and issue them a notice of assessment. To do this we use information that is reported to us by share registries. Unless advised by us, eligible people won't need to separately apply for a refund of their franking credits.

    Eligibility for an automatic refund of franking credits

    You may be eligible to receive an automatic refund of franking credits if you meet all of the following:

    • you are over 60 years of age at 30 June 2021
    • we have your current postal address – you can check this on ATO online services
    • you are not represented by a tax agent – you can check this on ATO online services
    • you have held the same parcel of shares for the last two financial years
    • you were a resident for tax purposes for the whole financial year
    • your total franking credit refund is not more than $5,460
    • you don’t have to lodge a tax return due to other income you've received (for example, rental or personal services income, losses or deferred losses from primary or non-primary production, partnership or business income)
    • your total dividend income is not more than $18,200 and your basic tax liability is less than your franking credits after considering any other tax offsets you may be entitled to
    • you didn’t lodge a TFN (employment) declaration during the financial year
    • your Super Income Stream total taxed and untaxed amounts don’t exceed $100,000
    • you don’t have any capital gains tax.

    We base eligibility on your previous year’s information and other information reported to us by banks, employers and others. Even if you received an automatic refund of franking credits in a prior year, you may not be eligible again if:

    • your circumstances have changed
    • we later receive information that means you are no longer eligible.

    If this happens, we will notify you in writing that you are no longer eligible and you may need to lodge a tax return.

    Who is not eligible for an automatic refund of franking credits

    You are not eligible to receive an automatic refund of franking credits if you:

    • have already lodged a 2020–21 income tax return
    • have submitted a refund of franking credits application form
    • are tax agent client.

    When we are notified of a deceased person's death, we will remove them from the automatic refund of franking credits process. Any dividend income and franking credits entitlement may be included when managing the deceased person's tax affairs.

    See also:

    How it works

    Each year, we receive information from share registries and other third-parties in relation to dividends and investment holdings.

    Once all expected information has been received for you, based on your previous share holdings, we will calculate your refund and issue you a notice of assessment. We will deposit your refund directly into your bank account.

    If we don’t receive any information from share registries or other third-parties, we will not be able to provide a refund or issue a notice of assessment. You will then need to lodge, before 31 October, either an:

    • income tax return
    • application for refund of franking credits form.

    If we receive some, but not all expected information, we will refund these amounts to your bank account and issue a notice of assessment. If further information is received after this time, we will refund the subsequent amounts to your bank account and issue an amended notice of assessment.

    Refunds are issued from mid-July, with most finalised by August, however the timing of your refund is dependent on when the information is reported to us. If you are one of the eligible individuals, we will send you a letter or SMS in mid-June detailing the process and indicate when you should expect your refund.

    If you don't want to receive an automatic refund, call 13 28 65 (Fast Key Code 2, then 2) to opt out. Opting out doesn’t change your eligibility to be included in a future year.

    If you are not participating in the automatic program and would like to apply for a refund of your franking credits, you can do this online, over the phone or by post:

    Over the phone

    You can complete a paper copy of Application for refund of franking credits for individuals and then lodge your form over the phone.

    • Phone us on 13 28 65 to lodge it. Have a copy of the completed form with you.
    • At the prompts, enter your tax file number (TFN), and then press 2.
    • After you have verified your identity you will hear a series of automated questions asking you for the information on your application. Simply provide your answers by speaking into the phone.
    • At the end of the lodgment you will be given a receipt number. Write this number in the space provided on page 2 of your form.

    Do not send your completed application to us – just keep it with your other financial records.

    We process most forms lodged over the phone within two weeks.

    Next step:

    By post

    You can complete a paper Application for refund of franking credits for individuals.

    You need to post your application to:

    Australian Taxation Office
    GPO Box 9845
    [insert the name and postcode of your capital city]

    For example;

    Australian Taxation Office
    GPO Box 9845
    SYDNEY NSW 2001

    We take up to 50 business days to process claims received by post.

    Next step:

      Last modified: 01 Jun 2021QC 16183