Show download pdf controls
  • Tax receipt

    Most individual taxpayers receive a tax receipt with their notice of assessment after their annual tax return is processed.

    On this page

    Who receives a tax receipt?

    You will receive a tax receipt as part of the annual income tax return process if:

    • your assessable income tax for an income year is $100 or more
    • you receive a notice of assessment within 18 months from the end of an income year.

    Assessable income tax is the tax payable on your taxable income minus your tax offsets. This is printed under the heading Assessed tax payable on your notice of assessment.

    When you will receive a tax receipt

    Most taxpayers will receive their tax receipt along with their original notice of assessment. Some taxpayers may receive their tax receipt separately.

    If you have lodged your tax return electronically, your tax receipt will be sent to your myGov Inbox.

    If you lodge your return by paper, you will receive a paper tax receipt along with your notice of assessment. We send this to the postal address on your tax records. From November 2020, we will print the paper tax receipt in black and white.

    We issue your notice of assessment after you have lodge your annual income tax return. If you update your return later (for example, to correct a mistake), we don't issue a revised tax receipt with your amended notice of assessment. We don't issue tax receipts for years earlier than the 2015–16 income year.

    Although your tax receipt is issued along with your original notice of assessment, it is not part of your notice of assessment.

    Understanding your tax receipt

    The tax receipt contains a table showing how your taxes have been allocated to key categories of government expenditure. The sample table below provides an example of how this information is presented on your tax receipt.

    The tax receipt also includes information on the level of Australian Government gross debt for the current and previous years. This is to increase transparency on how the government spends taxpayers' money.

    Sample imagery of a tax receipt for a tax payer whose total tax assessed was $20,000. Coloured bars show the amounts allocated to 20 expenditure categories including health, welfare, recreation and culture.

    Expenditure categories

    We explain the categories of Australian Government expenditure as shown on the tax receipt below:

    Welfare

    Welfare assistance provides:

    • pensions and services to the aged
    • assistance to people with disabilities
    • assistance to families with children
    • assistance to the unemployed.

    It also includes assistance provided to Indigenous Australians which has not been classified elsewhere.

    Aged

    Assistance provided to the aged includes:

    • income support for seniors (age pension)
    • home care
    • home support
    • the residential and flexible aged care programs.

    Disability

    The main components of assistance to people with disabilities are:

    • the disability support pension
    • income support for carers
    • assistance to the states for disability services
    • disability employment services.

    Families

    The main components of assistance for families with children are:

    • family tax benefit payments
    • child care fee assistance
    • income support to parents
    • paid parental leave.

    Unemployed

    Assistance to the unemployed includes payments made to support the unemployed and sick people who are unable to work.

    Health

    Health expenses relate to medical services funded through Medicare and the private health insurance rebate. It also covers:

    • payments to the states and territories to deliver essential health services, including public hospitals
    • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
    • Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs
    • mental health services
    • health workforce initiatives.

    Defence

    Defence spending supports Australian military operations overseas and the delivery of navy, army, air and intelligence capabilities and strategic policy advice in the defence of Australia and its national interests. Defence expenses also include assistance to veterans and dependants.

    Education

    Education expenses support the delivery of education services through:

    • higher education institutions
    • vocational education and training providers (including technical and further education institutions)
    • government (state and territory) and non-government primary and secondary schools.

    General public services

    General public service expenses support:

    • the organisation and operation of government, such as those related to the parliament, the governor-general, conduct of elections, the collection of taxes, and management of public funds and debt
    • costs related to scientific research, including those incurred by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Australian Research Council (ARC)
    • economic and statistical services
    • government superannuation benefits.

    Interest on government debt

    Interest on government debt includes interest expenses on Australian Government securities, plus additional interest expenses incurred on the government's other minor debt liabilities. Interest on government debt is also known as public debt interest expense.

    See also:

    Fuel and energy

    The main expense under this category is the fuel tax credits scheme.

    Transport and communication

    Transport and communication expenses support the infrastructure and regulatory framework for Australia's transport and communication sectors.

    Public order and safety

    Public order and safety expenses relate to:

    • the administration of the federal legal system
    • the provision of legal services, including legal aid, to the community
    • law enforcement and intelligence activities
    • the protection of Australian Government property.

    Foreign affairs and economic aid

    The foreign affairs and economic aid function includes:

    • assistance to developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, particularly countries in the Pacific region
    • contributions to international organisations
    • the operations of the foreign service.

    Industry assistance

    Expenditures under industry assistance include funds to support agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as the mining, manufacturing and construction industries.

    Agriculture, forestry and fishing expenses support assistance to primary producers, forestry, fishing, land and water resources management, quarantine services and contributions to research and development.

    Mining, manufacturing and construction expenses support programs designed to promote the efficiency and competitiveness of Australian industries. The major components include:

    • the research and development tax incentive
    • programs specific to the automotive, textile, clothing and footwear industries.

    Housing and community

    Housing and community expenses relate to:

    • the Australian Government's contribution to affordable housing and related national partnerships
    • other Australian Government housing programs
    • the expenses of Defence Housing Australia
    • various regional development and environmental protection programs.

    Recreation and culture

    Recreation and culture expenses support:

    • public broadcasting and cultural institutions
    • funding for the arts and the film industry
    • assistance to sport and recreation activities
    • the management and protection of national parks and other world heritage areas.

    It also includes expenses relating to the protection and preservation of historic sites and buildings, including war graves.

    Immigration

    The main expenses for immigration relate to providing migration, border management and citizenship services.

    Other purposes

    Other purposes include:

    • providing assistance to state, territory and local governments, excluding goods and services tax transfers
    • natural disaster relief, the Contingency Reserve, and expenses related to the nominal interest on unfunded liabilities for government superannuation benefits
    • other economic affairs that consist of expenses on tourism and area promotion, labour market assistance, industrial relations and other economic affairs not elsewhere classified.

    See also:

    Australian government gross debt

    When receipts fall short of payments, the government raises the money through the sale of government bonds, called Australian Government Securities (AGS).

    These government securities are fixed-term debt issued by the Government to investors. The gross debt figure on your tax receipt is the value of all Australian government securities on issue at the end of the current year of income (2019–20). The previous year's figure (2018–19) is also shown for comparison purposes to enable you to see the annual change in the level of gross debt.

    Interest payments on gross debt

    Interest payments on gross debt refer to interest payments to be made by the government during the current income year (2020–21) on the Australian Government gross debt.

    See also:

    Last modified: 28 Jul 2021QC 40650