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The Tax Help program can help with your tax return

If you've earned less than $60,000 or you're a student, pensioner or migrant, the ATO's free Tax Help program can help you to complete your tax return correctly.

Looking for free tax help?

You can access free help from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to lodge your tax return, via its Tax Help program. Here's how it works and how to access support.

What is the Tax Help program?

The Tax Help program is a free service provided by the ATO designed to help people complete their tax return. Tax Help is a community of volunteers who provide expertise and advice for those trying to complete their tax returns themselves. The volunteers don’t actually work for the ATO, but are given full training and support.

Tax Help is designed especially to help people on low incomes (less than $60,000 for the year) or people who would describe themselves as:

  • Seniors
  • Students
  • People from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • People with a disability
  • Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

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What can the Tax Help program support you with?

The main way that the program can help you is by helping you lodge your tax return correctly and by the due date. The volunteers can also help you with the following:

  • Lodge amendments with previous tax returns
  • Claim a refund of franking credits
  • Create a myGov account so you can do your taxes online
  • Tell you if you don't need to lodge a return

Here's what the free program doesn't help you with.

  • Lodging returns if you're a contractor
  • Business tax returns
  • If you've sold investments
  • If you own a rental property or have any capital gains tax
  • If you receive foreign income

The program is only really able to help those filling out straightforward returns, so if you're filing on behalf of a business, trust or corporation, if your return has many complications, they may refer you to a professional tax service.

How to get help with Tax Help

The volunteers at Tax Help are based across Australia and are available to help you lodge your return online during tax season (that's July to October).

You can speak to a Tax Help volunteer either online, by phone or in person at Tax Help centres across Australia.

To book an appointment you can call the Tax Help program on 13 28 61 (select option 3, then option 2).

What if you need help, but aren't eligible for the Tax Help program?

If you're not eligible for the free Tax Help program but you want some help with your tax return, a professional tax agent or tax accountant can help you. Unlike the Tax Help program it's not free to use a tax agent, however there are many benefits to doing it. The fee to use a tax agent is around the $100 mark (give or take a bit and could save you lots of money compared to doing it yourself.

A tax agent will be able to help you claim everything you're entitled to, and also make sure you're doing everything correctly and by the due date. Plus, you can claim the cost of using a tax agent as a tax deduction.

DISCLAIMER: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information applicability to their own particular circumstances.

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28 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    VivieneFebruary 16, 2024

    If you have a capital gain, do you have to add your old age pension to taxable income too?

      SarahFebruary 17, 2024Finder

      Hi Viviene,

      Yes, you need to declare your full income to the ATO, including any capital gain and any money received via government payments.

    Default Gravatar
    ChatuSeptember 2, 2023

    Hi ,

    If someone works in a jewelry shop and is required to wear jewelry by the employer, can she claim it in her tax return? there is no uniform.

      AlisonSeptember 8, 2023Finder

      Hi Chatu, we recommend you speak to a licensed tax accountant for personal tax advice.

    Default Gravatar
    SheikhJuly 6, 2023

    i am 73 on DSP I withdraw my super lum sum on 5 oct 2022 amount 93716.85 do i need to pay tax on this amount

      AlisonJuly 6, 2023Finder

      Hi, your super is generally able to be access tax free after you’ve retired. However, I’d suggest speaking with a tax accountant or financial advisor who can provide personal advice on your tax situation.

    Default Gravatar
    PatrickNovember 7, 2022

    ATO Income Tax Return Online Program will not offset Cost of Sales against Net Income in calculating Taxable Income. Why?

      AlisonNovember 10, 2022Finder

      Hi Patrick,

      You may want to get in touch with ATO directly and learn more about the issue you’re having.


    Default Gravatar
    AnushaJuly 3, 2022


    I am repaying overseas education loan and am currently working full-time in the same field as I graduated in Australia. How do I include this expense in my tax return and is it deductible?

    Thank you

      AlisonJuly 10, 2022Finder

      Hi Anusha,

      It is best to get in touch with a tax professional for personalized advice. There are volunteers at Tax Help and they are based in all major cities in Australia. They are available to help you during tax season (that’s July to October). The volunteers can also come to you in your home, or you can receive help and advice over the phone if you’d prefer. To book an appointment you can call the Tax Help program on 13 28 61.


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