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Centrelink warning for millions of Aussies: ‘Need to do’

Centrelink recipients will need to either lodge a tax return or complete a non-lodgement advice with the ATO.

Services Australia has issued a reminder for Centrelink recipients this tax time. (Source: Getty)

Aussies who receive Centrelink payments are being reminded of their obligations this tax time. Taxpayers can now lodge their tax returns for the 2023-24 financial year.

Services Australia said most people who receive payments from them will need to lodge a tax return or tell the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) if they don’t need to. The latter is known as a non-lodgement advice.

“If you get a payment from us, you may need to do things every financial year at tax time,” Services Australia said.



The majority of Centrelink payments, including the age pension, jobseeker payment and parental leave payment, are taxable.

There are a handful of payments that are non-taxable payments, Services Australia notes. These are the Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy.

You can check whether your payment is taxable here and check whether or not you need to lodge a tax return here.

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If you need to lodge a tax return, Services Australia recommends waiting until all your information is pre-filled in myTax.

“If you’re lodging a tax return, you can see your Centrelink payment summary information in the ATO’s myTax now,” Services Australia said.

This shows you the taxable and non-taxable payments you got from Centrelink within the year.

“If you get other income and payments, they should pre-fill from late July,” Services Australia said.

“Using pre-filled information helps you get your tax return right and avoid having to amend and re-submit it again later. If you can, wait to lodge until late July.”

If you wait until your information is in there, you’ll just need to check your pre-filled information is correct and add any income or other information that is missing.

If you lodge before you’re marked as ‘Tax Ready’, you’ll need to find, calculate and add the information about your finances yourself.

If you need help with your taxes, the ATO offers a free Tax Help program for people earning $60,000 or less each year who have simple tax affairs.

Accredited volunteers can help you lodge your tax return online, along with creating a myGov account, lodge an amendment to your return, claim a refund of franking credits, and tell the ATO if you don’t need to lodge a tax return.

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

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