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  • Important information

    We will only process your application for a downwards variation if you:

    • have lodged all required tax returns and activity statements, or notified us in writing if you were not required to lodge tax returns in prior years
    • did not receive a debit assessment on your last tax assessment (if you also had an approved withholding variation for that year)
    • don't have any outstanding tax debt owning to the Australian Government
    • don't have any outstanding debts under any other Acts administered by us.

    We may seek more information from you before or after your application is processed. If you fail to provide this, your application may not be approved.

    We process your application based on the information you provide. It is your responsibility to make sure that you provide enough information to allow us to work out a withholding rate to meet your end-of-year tax liability.

    If you are granted a variation, this does not mean we have accepted the tax treatment of the income and deductions on your application. Your actual tax liability will be determined after you lodge your tax return.

    Starting and finishing dates

    If we approve your application, the varied rate or amount of withholding will start from the next available payday after your pay office receives the notice of withholding variation from us.

    Your variation finishes on the date shown on the letter you receive from us. To continue to have varied or reduced tax withheld from payments after this date, you must lodge another variation application – at least six weeks before the expiry date.

    Multi-year variations

    Variations for allowances may be issued for more than one year. The date on the letter we send after your application is processed will show if the variation has been issued for more than one year.

    Change of circumstances

    You must complete a new application and advise us of any change in your circumstances during the year For example, when you sell a rental property, or your taxable income changes to the extent that you will receive a debit assessment of $500 or more.

    Class variations

    If you and your work colleagues want an identical variation, your payer can apply for a class variation on your behalf. For example, you and your colleagues' withholding may be too high if you receive an allowance and reasonably expect that your expenses in relation to that allowance will be deductible. In this case, your payer may apply for a class variation on your behalf.

    Your payer can apply for a class variation if all of the following apply:

    • the allowance can reasonably be expected to be spent for the intended purpose
    • you can reasonably be expected to spend an amount at least equal to the amount of allowance paid
    • the expenses relating to the allowance can reasonably be expected to be deductible on assessment at the end of the financial year
    • it is for six or more payees.

    If there are fewer than six payees, each payee must apply for the variation on their own behalf using the PAYG withholding variation application for allowances or study and training support loans (NAT 5425).

      Last modified: 07 Dec 2020QC 19428