Certainty letter

This year we are sending letters to some taxpayers as part of a trial to confirm their 2014-15 tax return is finalised.

Certainty letter information

Why have I received this letter?

You have received this letter because we want to acknowledge and provide certainty to taxpayers who meet their obligations and do the right thing with their tax. Receiving this letter means we have completed our routine information checks on your tax return and are satisfied with the information provided. We will not be conducting any further review or audit of this return.

Your 2014-15 return is now finalised.

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How was I selected to receive the letter?

This year the letter is being trialled with a sample of people who met certain criteria. You received this letter because:

  • you lodged your return electronically by myTax, e-tax or via a tax agent
  • you had taxable income under $180,000
  • your income was only from salary or wages, allowances, Australian Government allowances and payments, gross interest and dividends
  • deductions you claimed were work-related expenses, interest or dividend deductions, gifts and donations or cost of managing tax affairs
  • a range of other factors, including good lodgment, compliance and debt history
  • you had straight-forward tax affairs (such as no links to other entities).

Not everyone who meets the criteria will receive a letter during the trial.

What routine information checks have been done against my return?

We receive information from a variety of third-party sources compiled electronically, validated, analysed and used for a range of activities. Matching returns against this information makes it possible for us to ensure people:

  • lodge tax returns when required to do so
  • correctly declare their income and claim offsets and other benefits
  • comply with their obligations.

This allows us to detect people operating outside the tax system, detect fraud and recover debt.

See also:

I received my 2014-15 notice of assessment. Doesn’t that mean my tax return is already finalised?

Under the self-assessment system we accept the claims you make in your tax return, usually without adjustment, and issue a notice of assessment. However, your return may still be subject to further review or audit, and your assessment amended, if we consider your return contained materially incorrect information. We usually perform these reviews within two years of issuing your assessment; although, in some circumstances, this period can be extended.

The certainty letter is confirmation we will not be conducting any further review or audit of your return. This applies, except in exceptional circumstances if, for example, we receive additional information about your return that would indicate fraud or evasion.

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What do you mean by fraud or evasion and what action would you take?

If we become aware of additional information that indicates deliberate avoidance of tax due to fraud or evasion then we will advise you that the certainty letter no longer applies to you and outline the reasons why you are now subject to a review or audit.

Does this mean that my prior year returns are also finalised?

No, this letter relates to your 2014-15 return only.

Do I still need to keep my tax records relating to my 2014-15 return?

Yes, you still need to keep your tax records for this tax return. Good records can help you complete your tax return in future years.

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Can I still lodge an amendment to my 2014-15 return?

Yes, if you discover a mistake with your original 2014-15 return you can still lodge an amendment. We will reassess your return based on your amendment. We will advise you if certainty no longer applies to you and outline the reasons.

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I didn’t get a letter, what does this mean?

If you don’t receive a letter it doesn’t mean something is wrong with your return. The certainty letter is currently in a trial phase, so we have only selected a small group of people to receive the letter.

Does my tax agent get this letter?

We are advising tax agents about the trial and if you’ve received a letter your agent will have been advised, and have received a generic copy of the letter.

    Last modified: 11 Aug 2016QC 46616