Hank Jongen

General Manager

Services Australia

IT’S that time of year again.

As the door opens to a new financial year, tax time brings with it a flurry of activity.

Many families who get Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Subsidy know Services Australia will balance family payments during this period.

However, if this is your first year getting a family payment, this may be the first time you’re hearing about ‘balancing’.

There are currently more than two million Australian families receiving Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Subsidy or both, and these payments are balanced each financial year.

This is where we assess your estimated family income against your actual income to confirm what you were entitled to.

This is to check we paid you the right amount for your circumstances.

When we balance your payments, if we find you were paid less than you were entitled to, we’ll pay you a ‘top-up’.

If you were paid more than you were eligible for, you’ll need to pay it back.

If you’re in this situation, don’t worry – we’re here to help.

You won’t have to pay it all back at once.

Most people repay the money over time and we will work with you to find a repayment plan that suits your circumstances.

For most families, we confirm your income when you lodge a tax return.

If you don’t need to lodge a tax return, you’ll need to let us know (even if you’ve already told the Australian Tax Office).

You can do this through your Centrelink online account through myGov or Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

If you can’t use our online options, you can call the families line on 136 150.

It’s open Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm.

For families receiving Family Tax Benefit, balancing commenced in mid-July after people received their final payment for the financial year.

We’ll then start balancing Child Care Subsidy payments from mid-August.

This is because we have to wait until your childcare provider sends us your family’s final attendance record for the year.

You don’t need to call us to find out where your balancing is up to.

Once balancing has started, you can track this through the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Once we’ve finished balancing your payments, we’ll write to you with the outcome.

For more information about this process, visit the Services Australia website and search “payment balancing”.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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