Current customers

Information for current customers who had an income compliance debt raised using averaged Australian Taxation Office income information.

If you didn’t pay any money towards this debt, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll reduce your debt to zero, this means the debt no longer exists.

If you’re not currently getting a payment from us, read our information for past customers.

What you need to do

If you get a regular payment from us, you don’t need to do anything to get your refund. We’ve already contacted most customers who are eligible for a refund.

We are still contacting a small number of current customers with special circumstances about their refunds.

We started processing refunds for eligible customers from 27 July 2020. You’ll be able to see your refund in your Centrelink online account within 5 days of us processing it. We’ll also send you a letter letting you know how much we refunded you.

If you have an eligible debt, and haven’t made any repayments, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll reduce this debt to zero and send you a letter to let you know.

What to do if you haven’t received a letter from us about a refund

You can check to see if you’re eligible for a refund by doing the following:

  1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
  2. Select Payments and ClaimsManage payments from the menu.
  3. Select Income Compliance refund query to see if you’re eligible for a refund.

We’ll only refund eligible debt repayments.

What you need to know about your refund

Customers who need to declare income

We won’t assess refunds as income for welfare payments. However, if your assets change because of your refund, you’ll need to let us know within 14 days. It can affect your payment.

Customers who have other Centrelink debts

We won’t use your refund to repay other Centrelink debts you might have. However, if you don’t have a current payment arrangement on a child support debt, contact us to set one up. If you don’t, we may garnishee your bank account or tax return.

Customers who will receive their refund in instalments

We’ll pay a small number of refunds in large instalments over consecutive business days.


The Australian Taxation Office won’t tax your refund. You don’t need to do anything further in relation to your tax. Read more about the tax treatment of refunds on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Customers with a BasicsCard or Cashless Debit Card

If you have a BasicsCard or Cashless Debit Card, we’ll pay your refund into your regular bank account. You won’t need to use your card to access this refund. We’ll contact some people to offer support and services to help them manage their money. This includes financial information and social worker support.

What to do if you disagree with a decision

You have the right to ask for a review if you disagree with a decision we’ve made.

Where to find more information

If you need further information, read more about compliance refunds.

If you can’t find the information you need or need help, call our compliance helpdesk on 1800 171 846.

Page last updated: 1 June 2021