Business income reviews for the compliance program

We check the business income you reported was correct and if we paid you the right payment and amount in the past.

Why you might get a letter

We check your business income information is up to date by comparing both:

  • the business income information you told us
  • how much business income the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) tells us you got in past financial years.

If the information is different it could mean we paid you the wrong payment or amount in the past. Because of this, we may send you a letter asking you to confirm your business income details. You may get this letter if you meet both of these conditions:

You’ll get the letter in your myGov Inbox or by registered mail. If we can’t contact you using the address we have, we may suspend your payment until you contact us. We do this in line with the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999.

We may also send you reminder messages through SMS or email.

If you’re not getting a payment from us anymore, we may ask a third party organisation for your current address. We do this in line with our Privacy Policy. Read more about your right to privacy.

Letters about business income are a part of our compliance program.

Keep your details updated

If you get payments from us, you must tell us when there’s a significant change to your income. This includes when you earn money from a business or start a new business. We use all the income you get to calculate your payment rate, including business income.

Read more about income reporting.

Why the information we have may be different

We might have different information about your income in the following scenarios. You:

  • didn’t keep us updated about your business income, for example by giving us your annual financial statements and tax return
  • reported your employment status differently with us compared to the ATO
  • claimed some deductions with the ATO you can’t claim with us.

Read more about how we assess sole trader or partnership income.

What you need to do

If we send you a letter about a business income review, call us within 28 days of getting your letter. You can call us on 1800 064 586. When you call us, make sure you have your business information with you, including your:

  • full income tax returns, personal and business
  • tax notice of assessment.

The following documents may also be useful:

  • profit and loss statement
  • depreciation schedule
  • balance sheet.

You need to call us even if you’re not currently getting any payments from us.

If you need more time to get your financial documents, call us to let us know. We can discuss an extension with you. You can call between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

We use the information you give us to confirm your business income or update any information that’s changed.

How to give us documents

When you call us we may ask you to give us documents. You can submit your documents online.

If you can’t do this online, you can send copies to us at:

Services Australia
Customer Compliance
Reply Paid 83340
Canberra BC ACT 2610

What happens next

If we don’t hear from you it may affect your payment

If you don’t call us within 28 days of getting your letter we may suspend your payment.

We may also contact your tax accountant or the ATO to get this information.

We check we paid you the right payment and amount

We use the information you give us to check we paid you the right payment and amount in the past.

When you call, we’ll discuss your situation and next steps.

The outcome may be:

  • no change to your current payment
  • we confirm we paid you the correct amount in the past
  • we overpaid you in the past and you need to pay money back.

We’ll send you a letter to tell you we overpaid you in the past. The letter will explain:

  • why you owe the money
  • the amount you owe
  • when you need to pay it back
  • how you can pay it back.

Read more about owing money.

If you don’t agree with the outcome, you can ask for a review at any time. You can ask us even if you’ve started paying us back. You can also ask us to pause your repayments until our review is complete.

Read more about reviews and appeals.

How to get help

If you need help with your business income review, call 1800 064 586. Please make sure you have all your relevant income details ready.

If you have a nominee, you can also ask them to deal with us on your behalf.

We can offer you support

We can help if you’re in crisis. This includes if you’re in severe financial hardship, recovering from a disaster or need special help.

Page last updated: 14 February 2020