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Individuals Stewardship Group key messages 4 April 2023

Key topics discussed at the Individuals Stewardship Group meeting 4 April 2023.

Last updated 22 May 2023

Key topics discussed at the Individuals Stewardship Group meeting 4 April 2023

Opening comments

In her opening remarks, the Chair Hoa Wood welcomed returning and new members. This forum is about discussing topics relevant to all members, and we want to use this forum to get an understanding of what is happening in the community.

Chris Pierson was welcomed as the new representative from Adult Multicultural Education Services Australia.

Tax Time 2023 readiness – help and support for individuals

ATO Marketing and Communications

The ATO has communications planned to support the community for this upcoming tax time. The communications strategy will leverage several channels including mainstream media, Community Leaders Network, Public Relations outreach, paid advertising campaigns, and letters to taxpayers.

The approach this tax time will focus on delivering communication activities to inform and support taxpayers to lodge and pay on time and accurately.

Tax Help program

The Tax Help program is an ATO-funded initiative to provide free tax service and support to eligible taxpayers. ATO-trained community volunteers work in collaboration with community centres, to assist taxpayers meet their lodgment obligations with the aim of them becoming self-sufficient in the future.

Expected impacts from tax time changes

Key changes expected to impact on taxpayers for this tax time include:

  • Low and middle-income tax offset will not be available from 2023, and some taxpayer refunds may reduce as a result of this.
  • Working from home deduction changes.
  • Indexation of Income Contingent Loans, for example, HELP is expected to be higher this year.

National Tax Clinic program

There are now 15 National Tax Clinics operating out of universities. Clinics continue to assist unrepresented clients with advice, lodgments, debts, and disputes. Clinics respond to the needs of their community assisting vulnerable clients, for example clients experiencing domestic violence or homelessness, indigenous clients, incarcerated clients.

The program released its first annual report in March 2023, detailing that during the 2022 calendar year, the clinics assisted more than 3,500 clients to lodge 3,242 income tax returns. This also included 478 BAS lodgments for more than 640 small business clients.

ATO app demonstration

The ATO mobile app was originally released in June 2013 with priority improvements delivered in 2021.

The ATO mobile app allows you to:

  • Follow your 2021–22 tax return from start to finish, including checking prefill information, tracking the progress of your return and its outcome.
  • View in real-time when lodgments and payments are due, and seamlessly action them via ATO Online.
  • Set up streamlined and secure login using your device’s security features like face and fingerprint recognition.
  • View your tax accounts, with links to ATO Online to view transactions, create payment plans or pay.
  • See an overview of your super balance and accounts.
  • View your employment income and superannuation contributions required from your employers.
  • Check your personal, business (sole traders only) and registered agent’s details.
  • Access tools such as
    • myDeductions – Record your work expenses as an employee or sole trader. Sole traders can also record income. At tax time you can easily upload your myDeductions records to your tax return or email a copy to your tax agent.
    • Tax withheld calculator – Calculate the amount of tax to withhold from salary and wage payments.
    • ABN Lookup – Search for an Australian business number.
    • Business performance check – Compare your business with similar businesses in your industry using the latest small business benchmarks.

Offsetting credits against on hold debts

The ATO discussed its approach ahead of tax time for offsetting of debts on hold, our communication approach and expected impacts. Offsetting of credits to debts on hold recommenced in June 2022, after a period on pause. Historically, we have applied some exclusions in our offsetting process which meant not all clients with debts on hold have had their credit offset.

Progressively from June 2023 all clients with debts on hold, who have an available credit, will now have their credit offset to pay the debt. In 2022, we wrote to clients who we anticipated may have been impacted by the recommencement of offsetting to debts on hold. We will now be writing directly to those additional clients who are now likely to have a credit offset due to the removal of the last remaining thresholds.

Environmental scan

Government updates:

  • Treasury is preparing for the delivery of the 2023–24 May Budget.
  • Consultation on Better targeted superannuation concessions will close on 17 April 2023.
  • The Attorney-General’s Department is seeking submissions by 12 May 2023 on the development of a new federal administrative review body.
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has a range of Money Smart resources available which will be shared with members.
  • The ATO’s tax time preparation is going well.

Non-government members provided their insights and perspectives on what support and issues their organisation’s members and clients are most interested in ahead of Tax Time 2023:

  • scope of franking amendment
  • service offerings by Tax Clinic and Tax Help programs
  • assistance for small businesses and sole traders
  • services and support for vulnerable individuals
  • tax time toolkit for investors
  • occupation and industry specific guides
  • changes to working from home deductions
  • other deduction guides
  • financial and tax literacy programs
  • scam awareness
  • fraud and remediation for clients.

Our Forward Work Program for the year will be crafted around the above topics of interest.


Attendees list




Hoa Wood (Chair), Individuals and Intermediaries


Alister Boyes, Individuals and Intermediaries


Angela Allen, Client Account Services


Jacqui Marchment, Lodge and Pay


Trevor Schloss, Superannuation and Employer Obligations

Adult Multicultural Education Services Australia

Chris Pierson

Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Benjamin Law

Australian Shareholders Association Limited

Eden Zanatta

Financial Counselling Australia

Helen Davis

First Nations Foundation

Destiny Dewis

First Nations Foundation

Emma McCashney

National Seniors Australia

Brendon Radford

Real Estate Institute of Australia

Jock Kreitals

Tax Clinic

Connie Vitale


Bede Fraser

Guest attendees

Guest attendees list




Alice Gonano, Individuals and Intermediaries


Anita Challen, Lodge and Pay


Beth Strods, Individuals and Intermediaries


Bianca Armytage, ATO Corporate


Claire Miller, Enterprise Solutions and Technology


Katrina Ambler, Objections and Review


Liana Harrington, Individuals and Intermediaries


Michael Job, ATO Corporate


Rebecca Sullivan, Individuals and Intermediaries


Apologies list




Melanie Casey, Individuals and Intermediaries

Federation of Ethnic Communities' Council of Australia

Beth Hall

Financial Counselling Australia

Carmel Franklin

First Nations Foundation

Phil Usher

People with Disability Australia

Samantha French