You may need to pay tax if you got coronavirus payments

20 April 2021

If you get payments from us, you can set up a tax deduction to help you avoid an income tax debt.

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), we paid some customers extra payments and supplements. If you got any of these, it may affect your tax return for 2020-21.

If you got the fortnightly Coronavirus Supplement, it is taxable income.

This extra money means your taxable income might be above the relevant thresholds. If it is, you may need to lodge a tax return and pay income tax or the Medicare levy, or both.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) may reduce the tax you need to pay if you’re eligible for a tax offset. They have offsets that apply when you get certain Australian Government payments or have a low income.

Offsets won’t reduce the amount of Medicare levy you may need to pay.

How to pay tax in smaller amounts

To avoid owing money to the ATO, it’s important to think about whether any of the following apply. You:

  • got the Coronavirus Supplement
  • have earnings, including your Centrelink payment
  • get other taxable income.

If these apply to you, think about paying tax in smaller amounts throughout the year.

When you get a payment from us, we don’t automatically take out tax. But, you can arrange to have tax taken from your payment. The amount of tax you need to have taken out will depend on your circumstances.

You can set up, update or cancel a tax deduction any time using either your:

If you can’t use online services, you can send us a completed Tax Deduction Authority form.

Next steps

Read more about personal taxation on the ATO website.

Page last updated: 20 April 2021