At tax time

Find out what you need to do after each financial year at tax time if you get a payment from us.

Tax time is from July to October each year.

A financial year is from 1 July to 30 June each year.

Most people need to lodge a tax return or tell the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) if they don’t need to. Some customers will need to confirm their income online with us too. To prepare and lodge a tax return online, you need a tax file number (TFN).

When you need to lodge

It’s easier to lodge your tax return if you wait for your income statement to be marked as tax ready and for your information to be pre-filled before you lodge.

The best time to lodge your tax return is from late July when most of your information has been pre-filled into your return. This helps you to avoid mistakes. All you need to do is check the pre-filled information is correct and add any income or other information that is missing

If you lodge before you’re tax ready, you’ll need to find, calculate and add the information about your financial situation yourself.

Your Centrelink payment information will pre-fill in ATO’s myTax by late-July. If you got other payments from us that don’t show on your Centrelink payment summary, for example an emergency payment, you need to add these yourself.

You should check all your information is right before you lodge your tax return, otherwise you may have to amend your tax return later and lodge it again.

The information you provide about your income, and any dependents you have, helps when you do your tax return.

It can help with any of the following:

  • the ATO calculate the amount of Medicare levy you need to pay, and if you need to pay a Medicare Levy Surcharge
  • work out if you had enough tax deducted or withheld from your income and any government payments, including Centrelink
  • balance your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) and Child Care Subsidy (CCS) to make sure you got the right amount
  • calculate and confirm your child support assessment.

Each year is different so your outcome may change each time. Getting a tax refund, FTB or CCS top up, or family supplement payment can change depending on your family’s income and circumstances.

To lodge your tax return online, you’ll need to link the ATO to your myGov account. You can set this up any time.

Follow the instructions on the myGov website to create and use a myGov account.

If you need help to do your tax, find out how the ATO can help and support you to lodge your tax return on their website.

When you don’t need to lodge

If you don’t need to lodge a tax return you need to tell the ATO. If you got CCS, you’ll need to confirm your income with us too. You need to do this even if you had no income or you’ve already told the ATO. This is so we can balance your CCS. You can do this in your Centrelink online account linked to myGov or Express Plus Centrelink app.

How to protect yourself online at tax time

Scams and identity threats often increase during tax time.

When you’re doing your tax and waiting for your outcome, make sure you’re only dealing with genuine websites. To safely access your myGov account and linked services, use the official myGov app or enter my.gov.au into your browser to sign in.

Be wary of emails, phone calls, texts and social media messages claiming to be from the ATO, myGov or another government department. If in doubt, don’t respond.

Find out how to know if it's a scam and what to do if you’re affected. There are also a number of ways to protect your personal information and stay safe online.

See the latest tax scam alerts on the ATO website.

Page last updated: 29 May 2024.
QC 65981