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Managing payments

How to manage your payments, including prepayments and payment transfers.

Last updated 1 May 2023

Budgeting for tax

Keep an adequate amount aside to cover tax whenever you receive a payment that hasn't been taxed, such as:

  • income as a contractor
  • profit from selling shares or property (capital gains tax may apply)
  • rental income
  • interest and share dividends
  • sharing economy payments.

You can make voluntary repayments at any time to reduce the balance of your debt.

You can use our income tax estimator to work out if you're likely to owe tax this income year.

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Making prepayments

You don’t need to wait for a bill from us to make a payment. You can make prepayments at any time and as often as you like to make it easier for you to manage your tax.

What you need to do:

We will hold prepayments you make towards your expected bill unless you, or your agent, request a refund. If you already have an existing debt with us, these payments may be used to pay that debt.

See also

How to prevent debt

Our research shows that you are more likely to stay on top of your payments to us if you:

  • keep amounts for GST, superannuation and income tax payments separate from your other business affairs – for example in a separate bank account or by making a prepayment to us
  • manage your cash flow and budget for monthly income and expenses
  • keep good business records and update them frequently – for example, weekly or monthly.

It's important to have a good understanding of your payment obligations so you can plan ahead to pay the right amount at the right time.

Request a payment transfer

A payment transfer is the movement of a payment from one ATO account to another ATO account if a payment has been credited to the wrong account. You can request a partial transfer where a payment should have been made for two different accounts.

You need to provide the following details to request a payment transfer:

  • your contact details, including your name and phone number – you must pass proof of identity on the account the payment is being transferred from
  • details of the account the payment was made to, including the PRN, account name, tax file number (TFN) or Australian business number (ABN)
  • amount of the payment
  • payment method – for example, credit card or BPAY
  • date of the payment
  • payment receipt number (if known)
  • tax type – for example income or activity statement
  • details of the account that the payment is to be transferred to, including the PRN, account name, TFN or ABN
  • details of the amount of the payment to be transferred – you can request a transfer of the whole, or partial amount.

You can request a payment transfer by phoning 13 11 42 during our operating hours.

Businesses can use the Online services for businessExternal Link and registered agents can use Online services for agents.