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ATO providing additional help for these Aussies

A person filling out a tax return form and the ATO logo.
The ATO is providing additional support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. (Source: Getty/ATO)

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has continued to provide dedicated support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this tax time.

ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said the first port of call for those needing help this tax time was to visit or to call the Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.

Loh said the ATO staff would provide specialised tax and super assistance that was tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Our staff are keen to make tax easier this tax time and can help with things like getting a tax file number, lodging your tax return, or finding your super,” Loh said.

Last year, the ATO Indigenous Helpline received more than 40,000 calls for tax and super assistance, answering questions on a range of topics, Loh said.

The ATO can help with completing tax returns, including what to do if someone:

  • Needs to find or apply for a tax file number

  • Runs a business

  • Has a second job

  • Received income from the gig economy

  • Received an education scholarship or bursary

  • Received a government payment

In addition to the Indigenous Helpline, the ATO has several programs on offer to make managing tax and super affairs simpler.

“We want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to feel confident in managing their tax and super affairs, and know that they can come to us for assistance at any time of the year,” Loh said.

“And if you have a registered tax agent or BAS agent, we can work with them to manage your affairs.”

Free tax assistance

The ATO also provides a Tax Help program, which is a free and confidential service open to people who earn $60,000 or less each year and have simple tax affairs.

From July to October, trained volunteers help people lodge their tax returns online.

The volunteers can also help with creating a myGov account, lodging an amendment in a tax return and assist with lodgments from previous years.

The ATO has Tax Help centres located across Australia with more than 20 centres providing support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Assistance can also be provided online or by phone so even those living in rural or remote locations can access the service.

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