Families should lodge their tax returns as soon as possible so that any end of year financial assistance they are entitled to can be paid.
Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen today urged families to get on the front foot with their tax time requirements so Centrelink can finalise Family Tax Benefit (FTB) claims.
"The amount of FTB you’re entitled to depends on your family’s income, so this information is needed to process a lump sum claim at the end of the financial year," Mr Jongen said.
"If you receive FTB fortnightly then you need to lodge a tax return so that Centrelink can balance your actual income against the payments you received and pay any top-ups or supplements you may be entitled to.
"Lodging your tax return automatically triggers the claim process so there’s no need to contact Centrelink once this is done."
Families who are not required to lodge a tax return will need to notify Centrelink to kick-start the claim process. It is expected more FTB recipients will fall into this category now that the tax-free threshold has tripled to $18,200.
Mr Jongen said for the first time customers can notify Centrelink if they are not required to lodge a tax return using their smart phone or tablet thanks to new updates to the Express Plus Families app.
"The app is the quickest and easiest way to let us know that you don’t need to lodge a tax return. You can also log into your Centrelink account online or call us to do this," Mr Jongen said.
"For families receiving taxable payments, the Australian Taxation Office’s pre-fill service is also making tax time easier for families by automatically downloading Centrelink income information when using e-tax or a registered tax agent.
"Last financial year around 90 per cent of our customers lodging tax returns did so electronically.
"Annual income information from tax returns is also used to calculate Child Support assessments to ensure these are as accurate as possible."
Families who receive income support payments can access Centrelink payment summaries using online services, the Express Plus Families app, self-service terminals or by calling their usual payment line.
To find out more, or to download the Express Plus Families app, visit the Human Services website.