How to get a home loan with an ATO tax debt

While having an ATO debt is not ideal, this doesn’t disqualify you from borrowing money for a home loan.

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If you have a debt with the Australian Tax Office (ATO), there are several steps you can take to consolidate your tax debt in order to get the finance you need.

Can I get a home loan if I have a tax debt?

The size of your tax debt and your history of repaying the debt will be crucial factors that a lender will consider when reviewing your home loan application. One option worth considering is refinancing your tax debt and combining it with the new home loan you take out. While Australian banks are highly unlikely to allow you to refinance your debt to the ATO, there are non-bank lenders available who may be able to help.

They will take into account the reason for your tax debt and the steps you have taken to repay it when deciding whether or not to offer you a loan. Some lenders are more conservative than others, so this will affect their final decision.

How to get approved for a loan

Each lender has its own approach to risk that borrowers must satisfy in order to be approved for a loan. However, there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of getting approved for a loan:

  • Provide evidence of income. From pay slips and bank statements to business activity statements, you’ll need to supply proof of income to your lender so that your propensity to repay the loan can be evaluated.
  • Manage your debt. If you have a tax debt in your name, the lender will assess what steps you are taking to pay off the money you owe. So if you’ve set up a payment plan with the ATO and made regular instalments over a period of six months or more, the lender will view your loan application in a more favourable light.
  • Provide explanation for your tax debt. There are several reasons why you may have ended up with a tax debt: perhaps you made an error on your return, maybe you were late lodging your return, or you may have incurred a large capital gains tax bill. You’ll need to provide the lender with a reason for your tax debt, and this reason may affect its decision to offer you financing. For example, if an error by your accountant led to the bill, you’ll most likely be seen as a more reliable borrower than someone who forgot to complete their tax return on time.
  • Try to stay out of court. If you have a history of missing repayments or if you have failed to communicate effectively with the tax office, the ATO may launch legal action against you. This could lead to a court writ or judgment being included in your credit file. which will count against you in the eyes of lenders. Make sure you liaise with the ATO every step of the way to signal your intention to repay the debt as quickly as possible.

Tips for paying off tax debt

Keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you repay your tax debt to the ATO as quickly as possible:

  • Stay in touch with the ATO. It can be tempting to ignore repayment notices and correspondence related to your tax debt, but this will only lead to more financial pain. You or your accountant will need to keep in regular touch with the ATO and respond to any requests for information as quickly as possible.
  • Set up a payment plan. Set up a payment plan with the ATO to help you pay off your debt at an affordable rate. Do everything you reasonably can to make sure that you pay your regular instalments on time.
  • Listen to your accountant. You pay your tax accountant for advice, so listen to what they say. Experienced accountants will have been through the process several times before with other clients and can help you get your finances back on track.
  • Consider refinancing. While banks are reluctant to refinance tax debt, there are several other lenders who can help. Consider the refinancing options available to find one that will allow you to consolidate your debt into an affordable loan.

Compare current home loan deals

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$
years
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate^ Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
St.George Basic Home Loan
2.54%
2.56%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$596.91
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback. With this competitive variable rate loan from St.George, refinancers borrowing $250,000+ can get up $4,000 cashback and borrow up to 80% of the property's value. (Terms, conditions & exclusions apply).
Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan
2.29%
2.72%
$0
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
95%
$577.55
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
A flexible and competitive variable rate loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get $2,000 cashback per property plus a bonus $1,000 for their first application. Other conditions apply.
HSBC Fixed Rate Home Loan
1.88%
2.98%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$546.6
Lock in a competitive fixed rate for 2 years and buy your home with a 20% deposit.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.19%
2.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$569.91
Owner occupiers with 40% deposits or equity can get this competitive variable rate loan. No upfront or ongoing fees.
Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed
1.89%
2.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$547.35
Lock in a low fixed rate loan for two years and get the annual package fee waived in the first year. Available for borrowers with 20% deposits.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate
2.34%
2.34%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$581.39
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan
2.49%
2.49%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$593.01
A competitive variable rate home loan for owner-occupiers. Requires a 40% deposit.
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan
2.54%
2.55%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$596.91
A competitive variable interest rate loan with low fees. The establishment fee is waived if you borrow $150,000 or more.
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan
1.94%
2.18%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
$551.07
Owner occupiers can get a sharp fixed rate for the first year, plus an offset account. Available with a 10% deposit.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
1.95%
2.27%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$551.82
A competitive fixed interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit.
St.George Fixed Rate Advantage Package
2.09%
3.46%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$562.33
Lock in a low fixed rate for the first two years. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get cashbacks between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on their loan to value ratio (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply
Westpac Fixed Option Home Loan Premier Advantage Package
2.09%
3.5%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$562.33
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
Competitive fixed rate home loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get up to $3,000 cashback. Other conditions apply.
HSBC Home Value Loan
2.59%
2.6%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$600.83
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.14%
2.16%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$566.11
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fee. This loan is not available for construction.
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable
2.17%
2.2%
$250
$0 p.a.
80%
$568.39
A very low interest rate for home buyers with 20% deposits saved. Add an offset account for a small fee. This special discount rate is available for new borrowers who apply and get approved by 30 November 2020. Not available for construction purposes.
Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.04%
2.79%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
$558.56
$3,000 refinance cashback.
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Get a $3,000 cashback when you switch to Virgin Money with a loan amount of $300,000 or more with an LVR up to 80%. You must apply by 30 November 2020 and settle by 23 April 2021.
Macquarie Bank Offset Home Loan Package
2.49%
2.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$593.01
A sharp variable rate with low fees for borrowers with 40% deposits or refinancers with equity in their properties.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.24%
2.26%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$573.72
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments. This loan is not available for construction.
Macquarie Bank Basic Fixed Home Loan
2.19%
2.53%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$569.91
Borrow up to $750,000 with this basic 3 years fixed rate home loan.
St.George Basic Home Loan
2.59%
2.61%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$600.83
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback.
With this competitive variable rate loan from St.George, refinancers borrowing $250,000+ can get up $4,000 cashback and borrow up to 90% of the property's value. (Terms, conditions & exclusions apply).
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan
2.04%
2.17%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
$558.56
A low 3 year fixed rate for home buyers. Add a 100% offset account with a $10 monthly fee. Not available for construction purposes.
Bank of Melbourne Basic Home Loan
2.54%
2.56%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$596.91
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback
A competitive variable rate loan from Bank of Melbourne. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get $4,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.24%
2.21%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
$573.72
A low variable rate for owner occupiers with 30% deposits. No upfront or ongoing fees.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
2.14%
2.35%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$566.11
Fix your mortgage for 1 year with a very competitive rate and no ongoing fees.
Bank of Melbourne Advantage Package Fixed Home Loan
2.09%
3.46%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$562.33
Competitive fixed rate loan. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get cashbacks between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on their loan to value ratio (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply
BankSA Basic Home Loan
2.54%
2.56%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$596.91
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback
A competitive variable rate loan from BankSA. Refinancers borrowing $200,000 or more can get a $4,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
Westpac Fixed Option Home Loan Premier Advantage Package
1.99%
3.29%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$554.81
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback. Lock in a very low rate for four years with this owner occupier loan. You will need a 30% deposit or equity to get this loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get up to $3,000 cashback. Other conditions apply.
St.George Fixed Rate Advantage Package
1.94%
3.21%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
$551.07
A competitive fixed rate loan. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $4,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
Bank of Melbourne Advantage Package Fixed Home Loan
1.94%
3.21%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
$551.07
A competitive fixed rate loan. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get cashbacks between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on their loan to value ratio (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply
BankSA Advantage Package Fixed Home Loan
1.99%
3.26%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$554.81
A competitive fixed rate loan. Refinancers borrowing $200,000 or more can get cashbacks between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on their loan to value ratio (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.59%
2.61%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$600.83
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit. This loan is not available for construction.
CUA Achieve Variable Home Loan
2.55%
2.6%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
$597.7
Home buyers can get a competitive, low-fee variable rate plus a 100% offset account. Low deposit option available. Eligible new home buyers with low deposits can apply for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme with this lender and avoid LMI costs.Eligible refinancers can get a $2,000 pre-paid credit card when they switch to CUA.
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan
1.99%
2.17%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
$554.81
A low fixed mortgage with an optional 100% offset account. Not available for construction purposes.
Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan
2.59%
2.6%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
$600.83
Pay no deposit or LMI and get a discounted rate with this family pledge loan. Requires a family member to act as guarantor. NSW, QLD and ACT only.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.29%
2.23%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$577.55
A competitive variable rate mortgage for owner occupiers $0 application and $0 ongoing fees. This interest rate falls over time as you pay off the loan.
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable
2.52%
2.55%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
$595.35
A very low variable interest rate for borrowers with a 10% deposit. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month. Not available for construction purposes.
Virgin Money Reward Me Variable Home Loan
2.59%
2.76%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
60%
$600.83
$3,000 refinance cashback.
A variable rate loan for owner occupiers with a 40% deposit (or equity) borrowing under $500,000. Get a $3,000 cashback when you switch to Virgin Money with a loan amount of $300,000 or more with an LVR up to 80%. You must apply by 30 November 2020 and settle by 23 April 2021.
BankSA Advantage Package Fixed Home Loan
2.09%
3.46%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
$562.33
Competitive fixed rate loan. Refinancers borrowing $200,000 or more can get cashbacks between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on their loan to value ratio (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.54%
2.54%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$596.91
Investors with large 40% deposits or equity can get this low variable rate. A competitive option for investors looking to refinance.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate
2.74%
2.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$612.67
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.
Macquarie Bank Basic Fixed Home Loan
2.09%
2.43%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
$562.33
Get a low interest rate and a mortgage with flexible, basic features. No application or ongoing fees. Requires a 30% deposit.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.59%
2.56%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
$600.83
Athena's refinance offer for investors and owner occupiers.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
2.29%
2.65%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$577.55
Pay no ongoing fees on this investment loan fixed for 3 years.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.64%
2.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$604.76
A competitive investor variable rate that falls as you build equity.
HSBC Home Value Loan
2.64%
2.65%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$604.76
A competitive value home loan with no ongoing fee.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan
2.64%
2.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$604.76
Pay no application and ongoing fees and take advantage of split and redraw options.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.84%
2.68%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$620.63
A competitive interest-only investor rate with no application or ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit.
Heritage Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.19%
4.23%
$600
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
95%
$569.91
Get a partial offset account and the option to make interest-only repayments.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.84%
2.46%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$620.63
Owner occupiers can refinance to one of the most competitive interest-only rates in the market. No application fee and no ongoing fees.
Heritage Bank Advantage Package Fixed
2.39%
3.23%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
$585.25
Get a partial offset account and flexible repayments with this package loan.
AMP Bank Essential Home Loan
3.34%
3.37%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$661.31
For a limited time, pay no application or settlement fees. You can also take advantage of a free redraw facility.
Heritage Bank Discount Variable Home Loan
2.68%
2.73%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
$607.92
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
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Up to $4,000 refinance cashback. With this competitive variable rate loan from St.George, refinancers borrowing $250,000+ can get up $4,000 cashback and borrow up to 90% of the property's value. (Terms, conditions & exclusions apply).

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    WetworkerNovember 16, 2016

    My wife and I are hoping to buy a home very soon. We have deposit in bank of about 20% of the value of homes we are looking at. Most of this is proceeds from the sale of my wife’s house and some savings we have added in last 6 months. Repayments will be quite comfortable, considerably less than we are paying as rent and allow room for interest rate increases without stressing much.

    The sticky bit is I have a tax debt. The debt arose when I was operating a small business a number of years ago and wasn’t diligent in getting activity statements and returns done as I should have. This debt was incurred before I met my wife. I have made some contribution toward paying the debt. I have contacted the accountant that prepared my returns for the years in question to try to get the activity statements completed. When he was preparing the returns he didn’t think they would be required as he was confident the ATO would release the debt. I was unemployed and on sickness benefit for a period of time and ATO did release the debt. When I started working and lodged a tax return the debt was reinstated about 12 months ago. The debt was raised 7-9 years ago.

    As I understand home loan requirements (I have never had a home loan or owned/part owned a home)the Lender would prefer the loan to be in both our names (joint application). If we do this would the ATO be able to prevent the loan or force us to sell it to cover the debt that I have?
    Alternatively, If the loan was in my wife’s name only would the ATO have a problem with that? As I earn more than my wife some of my income would go toward servicing the loan. It might be possible for my wife’s income to service the loan and my income used for food, fuel, car expenses, etc so I wasn’t actually contributing to the payment of the mortgage.

    Constructive advice appreciated.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayNovember 22, 2016Staff

      Hi Wetworker,

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au – a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions.

      Sorry for the delayed reply. Generally, all lenders will assess their applicant’s financial position and will take into account including but not limited to your assets, income, other debts and liabilities, credit rating, etc. So either you or your spouse will apply for the loan, the same assessment will be done. Obviously, you’ll need to be in good standing in your financial position as that would tell your capability of paying off the loan.

      Furthermore, whether you or your spouse will apply for the loan, as you have an outstanding debt with ATO, most likely your tax debt and repayments history are critical factors that a lender will consider in approving your loan application.

      Nonetheless, you still have the option to refinance your tax debt and combine it with the new home loan you take out. Unfortunately, most banks do not offer to refinance your tax debt, but some non-bank lenders may be able to help. You can discuss your loan options by contacting a non-bank lender featured on this page. Again, your approval will still be on a case-by-case basis, depending on their assessment financial circumstance.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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