fbpx

BALANCING ACT

Hank Jongen

General Manager

Services Australia

SERVICES Australia works hard to pay Australians the right amount according to their circumstances.

The beginning of the new financial year is an important time for families and students who get a payment from us.

This is when we do annual income reviews for Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Subsidy, Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY.

Most families who get Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Subsidy have their payments based on their estimated income for the current financial year.

Now that the 2020/21 financial year has ended, Services Australia has begun comparing your estimated income against your actual income for the year.

The process is called balancing.

There are three possible outcomes from balancing:


No change – you got the right amount.


Top up – you’ve been underpaid for the financial year and we’ll pay you the right amount.


Overpayment – you’ve received more than you’re entitled to and will have an overpayment that you’ll need to repay.

If you get an overpayment, you don’t have to pay it all back at once.

Most people pay it back over time and Services Australia will work with you to find a plan that suits your circumstances.

To start the balancing process, you need to either lodge your 2020/21 tax return or tell Services Australia if you don’t need to lodge a return.

Once you’ve lodged your tax return, you don’t need to do anything else.

The ATO will give us your tax details and we’ll balance your payments.

In September each year, we also make sure we are paying people on Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY the right amount by checking their parents’ income. 

If you have children under 22 who receive ABSTUDY or Youth Allowance, you may get a request from your child to provide your income details.

We send letters out to the person getting the payment, so it’s important that your child passes the letter on to you as soon as possible.

The letter outlines how to tell us about your income.

Once you give us this information, Services Australia will use it to work out your child’s payment rate.

If you don’t give us the information, your child’s payment may stop.

If we didn’t send a letter, you don’t need to worry.

It means we already have the information we need.

Have a great day. See you next time.