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‘It will bite’: Ominous JobSeeker tax warning

Ominous JobSeeker tax warning. Source: Getty

Tax professionals have issued a stern warning for JobSeeker recipients as the end of financial year approaches.

“JobSeeker is taxable,” H&R Block’s director of tax communications, Mark Chapman told Yahoo Finance.

“Centrelink should have deducted tax from JobSeeker payments and will issue you with an Income Statement at the year end,” he said.

“Income and tax data should be automatically downloaded into your tax return so you need to make sure this is present and correct before lodging your return.”

But it’s a fact many Australians aren’t aware of, UNSW’s School of Taxation and Business Law senior director Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar told Yahoo Finance

“I’m getting chills, because it’s that [JobSeeker] top up that’s taxable,” Kayis-Kumar said.

“If people aren’t aware of that, and they think it’s money they get to spend on other things that they have to spend on like paying off credit card debts or whatever else it is, [then] that’s going to bite, and it’s important to be aware of that.”

I receive JobSeeker. How do I make sure I lodge my tax return correctly?

Like Chapman said, Centrelink should have deducted tax from your JobSeeker payments, and issued you with an income statement at the end of the financial year. 

It’s an automatic process, but you do need to double check this is present and correct before lodging your return.

“The ATO receives data from Centrelink, so they can easily identify people who haven’t correctly declared their JobSeeker income,” Chapman said.

“Make sure you’ve included the correct amounts in your tax return to stay out of trouble.”

The ATO website has more information about accessing your income statement.

Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club episode 7.

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