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  • ATO offers Indigenous support this tax time

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is continuing to provide dedicated support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this tax time.

    Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh explained the first port of call for those needing help this tax time, is to visit ato.gov.au/Indigenous or to call the Indigenous Helpline. The ATO staff will provide specialised tax and super assistance that’s tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    “Our staff are keen to make tax easier this tax time and can help with things like getting a tax file number, lodging your tax return, or finding your super,” Mr Loh said.

    Last year, the ATO Indigenous Helpline received over 40,000 calls for tax and super assistance, answering questions on a range of topics, including what to do if someone:

    • needs to find or apply for your tax file number
    • runs a business
    • has a second job
    • received income from the gig economy
    • received an education scholarship or bursary
    • received a government payment.

    In addition to the Indigenous Helpline, the ATO has several programs on offer to make managing tax and super affairs simpler.

    “We want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to feel confident in managing their tax and super affairs, and know that they can come to us for assistance at any time of the year. And if you have a registered tax agent or BAS agent, we can work with them to manage your affairs.” Mr Loh said.

    For more information, visit Lodge with a registered tax agent.

    Free tax assistance

    The ATO’s Tax Help program is a free and confidential service open to people who earn $60,000 or less each year and have simple tax affairs. From July to October, trained volunteers help people lodge their tax returns online. The volunteers can also help with creating a myGov account, lodging an amendment in a tax return and help with prior year lodgments.

    The ATO has Tax Help centres located across Australia with more than 20 centres providing support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Assistance can also be provided online or by phone so even those living in rural or remote locations can access the service.

    Phone the Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30 or visit ato.gov.au/taxhelp for more information.

    Those who are not eligible for Tax Help may be able to access free advice and support through the National Tax Clinic program. The program is a government-funded initiative to help those who may not be able to afford professional advice and representation with their tax affairs.

    Find your nearest tax clinic at ato.gov.au/taxclinic.

    “We also have teams available to provide general tax and super online education sessions to community groups, including indigenous communities.’ Mr Loh said.

    To book a session, email communityeducation@ato.gov.au

    Support for small businesses

    Small businesses experiencing difficulties can also access free advice and support through the National Tax Clinic program. This program also offers services to help improve cash flow capability and assess business health.

    The ATO’s Reach Out program helps Indigenous small businesses meet their tax and super obligations by providing tailored education and support. The program also connects businesses with Indigenous partners and other government and non-government agencies with the aim of building strong, mutually beneficial relationships.

    Email ReachOut@ato.gov.au for more information.

    Career opportunities

    For those on the look-out for employment opportunities, the ATO’s Evergreen and Jumpstart programs are 12-month development programs that are open exclusively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    Both programs provide candidates with on-the-job training, dedicated support and an opportunity to complete a certified course while doing paid work.

    Visit ato.gov.au/evergreen or ato.gov.au/jumpstart for more information.

    Find out more

    Call the ATO Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30 or visit ato.gov.au/Indigenous for more information about support services.

    Last modified: 10 Aug 2022QC 70162