Balancing your family assistance payments

At the start of each financial year, we ask you to estimate your family income so we can work out how much Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit to pay you.

Want to tell us you don’t need to lodge a tax return? You can tell us using our Centrelink Express Plus mobile app, but make sure you download the latest version.

If you haven't lodged a tax return or told us you don’t need to

If you and your partner haven't lodged your tax returns with the ATO or told us you don't need to lodge by 30 June 2017, you’ll no longer be eligible for family assistance payments for 2015-16. This includes the Family Tax Benefit supplements. You’ll be required to repay any family assistance you received during that year.

Find out if you need to lodge a tax return

If you're unsure if you need to lodge a return for 2015-16, use the Do I need to lodge a tax return? tool on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to find out.

Balancing your payments, now less taxing

The balancing process is now simpler and easier, which means you don’t have to call.

What you have to do at tax time is based on your circumstances.

If you don’t need to lodge a tax return

To balance your payment, you need to complete an online task to tell us you don’t need to lodge a tax return.

You can use your Centrelink online account or select the online task in the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Make sure you’ve downloaded the latest version of the Centrelink Express Plus mobile app.

If you need to lodge a tax return for 2015-16

To balance your payment, you need to lodge a tax return.

Once you’ve lodged there’s no need to do anything else. We’ll get the information we need automatically from the ATO. Your FTB payment will be balanced within 28 days of your Notice of Assessment.

If you didn’t receive family assistance throughout 2015-16 and want to claim a lump sum

You need to submit an online lump sum claim for Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit for the 2015-16 financial year.

You and your partner have until 30 June 2017 to lodge a tax return or let us know that you don’t need to lodge a tax return.

What happens after we balance your payments

We’ll send you a letter once we’ve balanced your payments. If you receive your letters electronically, this will be through your myGov account.

When we balance your FTB payments, we’ll automatically check if you’re eligible for any supplements such as Single Income Family Supplement, FTB Part A supplement and FTB Part B supplement.

If you’ve been paid too much, this is an overpayment you’ll have to pay back. We’ll let you know if this happens. We may take the amount from future family assistance payments, including top up payments, supplement payments and tax refunds.

If you didn’t receive your full family assistance payments during the year, you may receive a top up. We may use your top up to repay your family assistance or tax debts. This may happen even if you have a current repayment arrangement in place with us.

However, top ups of child care payments will only be used to repay child care debts. They won’t be used to repay debts from other payments. We balance child care payments separately from the fourth Monday in July to ensure all attendance information for the year is included.

Read more about when we balance your child care payments.

How to check if your payments have been balanced

You don’t need to contact us.

You can check if your payments have been balanced using:

You'll need to register for a Centrelink online account through myGov if you haven’t already.

Page last updated: 21 February 2017