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ATO’s helping hand for Aussies earning up to $60,000

These Aussies can get free help from the ATO to lodge their tax returns.

ATO and tax return.
Aussies earning less than $60,000 a year can access free help from the ATO. (Source: ATO/Getty)

Tax time is here and Aussies earning $60,000 or less can get an extra helping hand from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

From July to October each year, the ATO offers a free Tax Help program, where its accredited volunteers help eligible people lodge their tax returns online.

ATO volunteers can also help people create a myGov account, lodge an amendment to their tax return and claim a refund of franking credits.

You can speak to a volunteer online, over the phone or in person at Tax Help centres across Australia

Here’s how it works.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for Tax Help if your income is around $60,000 or less for the income year and you didn’t:

  • Work as a contractor - for example as a contract taxi or Uber driver

  • Run a business, including as a sole trader

  • Have a partnership or trust matters

  • Sell shares or an investment property

  • Own a rental property

  • Have capital gains tax

  • Receive royalties

  • Receive distributions from a trust, other than a managed fund

  • Receive foreign income, that is not a foreign pension or annuity

If you are not eligible for Tax Help, you may still qualify for assistance from the National Tax Clinic program.

How to access free tax help

If you are eligible for the Tax Help program, you will need to make an appointment. You will also need to create a myGov account and link it to the ATO.

Once you’re ready to make an appointment, you can call 13 28 61 (select option 3, then option 2) for Tax Help services near you.

For your appointment, don’t forget to bring:

  • Your myGov username or email

  • Your mobile phone to receive your myGov SMS security code

  • Your bank account details (BSB and account number)

  • Your Tax File Number (TFN)

  • An original or amended notice of assessment from any one of the past five years

  • Income statements or payment summaries from all sources

  • All your receipts for gifts, donations and work-related expenses

  • Details of any child support payment made

  • Details of your spouse’s (married or de-facto) taxable income or a reasonable estimate if you had a spouse at any time during the financial year

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