Balancing your Centrelink family payments at tax time

By Hank Jongen

Department of Human Services


TAX time means more than one million families will start to have their family payments balanced.

If you received Family Tax Benefit (FTB) and/or child care payments for the 2017/18 financial year, you will need to lodge a tax return or you will need to let the Department of Human Services know you don’t need to.

This is required so we can ensure you received the right amount of assistance.

If you have a partner, the department will also need to know the same information about them.

Every family’s set of circumstances is different, but the process to balance your family payments is simple.

You don’t need to call us.

We will balance your payments based on your actual income and personal circumstances, and that of your partner if you have one, against the estimate you provided for your family payments.

If you didn’t receive the full amount you were entitled to for the financial year, you may receive a top up.

But if you were paid too much, you may need to pay back your overpayment.

If you, or your partner, need to lodge a tax return we will receive a notification from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with your taxable income to balance your payments.

If you, or your partner, don’t need to lodge a tax return, you can let us know from 3 July 2018 using the Centrelink mobile app or your Centrelink online account through myGov.

If you’re not sure if you need to lodge a tax return, you can use the ‘Do I need to lodge a tax return’ tool on the ATO website at and check the department’s website for helpful hints and information at

If you do incur a debt as a result of balancing your family payments, you can talk to the department.

It’s important you tell us if you’re worried. We can work with you to set up a repayment plan you can afford.

FTB payments can be balanced after you’ve received your last payment for the 2017/18 financial year – between 3 July 2018 and 16 July 2018.

Child Care payments are balanced after FTB payments from 23 July 2018 to ensure your child care service has lodged all the attendance for the financial year.

The quickest and easiest way to ask questions about balancing your family payment is to talk to the department via Family Update on Facebook at or Twitter at

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About the Author: Glenorchy Gazette

The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. 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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