Top call centre questions: ATO



At this time of year, high call volumes at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) may result in long wait times. To help save time we have collated a list of the top call centre questions and answers as outlined on their website.

What’s the easiest way to link my myGov account to the ATO?

  • The fastest and easiest way to link your myGov account to the ATO is to go to your myGov account and select ATO from the list of Services. You’ll need your tax file number and details from two tax documents – see Link your myGov account to the ATO.
  • If you’re having trouble, try troubleshooting the issue. A common problem is when people enter their tax agent’s bank details (financial institution details) instead of their own. If you can’t link using Questions and Answers, you can phone us for a linking code.

When will my business receive JobKeeper?

  • 5 business days – we issue most payments within 5 business days from when you submit your application form.
  • It may take longer if we need to run extra checks or you make a mistake on your form.

Am I eligible for JobKeeper payments?

  • Check the eligibility criteria for employers and employees.
  • Businesses can continue to enrol for JobKeeper until the scheme ends.
  • To be reimbursed for payments you have made to employees, you need to enrol and identify your eligible employees before the end of the month you want to claim for.
  • For step-by-step instructions, visit JobKeeper guides or contact your registered tax or BAS agent.

When is the monthly declaration due?

  • Complete the declaration by the 14th of each month to get reimbursed for payments you made in the previous month.
  • Learn how and more at Make a business monthly declaration.

Will I lose JobKeeper if my business turnover improves?

  • No. Up until 27 September 2020 you only need to meet the decline in turnover test once to be entitled to JobKeeper.
  • For example, if you met all eligibility criteria in March that is enough even if your business recovered in later months.

When will I get my tax refund?

  • 12 business days – we aim to process electronically-lodged tax returns within 12 business days.
  • It may take longer if we need to run extra checks or you made a mistake in your return.
  • You cannot speed up this process, even if you phone us.
  • To check the progress of your return, you can
    • log into myGovExternal Link, if your account is linked to the ATO
    • call our automated self-help phone line on 13 28 61 (choose option 3, then 1) with your TFN handy
    • contact your registered tax agent, if you use one.
  • Find out what the status of your tax return means, including ‘Balancing account‘, ‘Cancelled‘ and more.

When will I get my early release of super payment?

  • 5 business days – once we approve your application, your super fund should pay you within 5 business days.
  • It can take longer – if your super fund needs to do more checks.
  • If you do not have your payment after 5 days, talk to your super fund.

Can I apply for the second early release of super payment even if my hours have gone back to normal?

  • Yes. If you are eligible, you can apply for a second payment of up to $10,000 between 1 July and 24 September 2020. The government has announced they will extend the application period to 31 December 2020.
  • Check that you meet the eligibility criteria to access early release of super.

How do I find my TFN?

  • There are a few different ways you can find your tax file number (TFN)
    • If you have a myGovExternal Link account that is linked to the ATO, log in and go to ‘My Profile’ then ‘Personal details’.
    • Look at documents like last year’s notice of assessment, your most recent super statement or the payment summary provided by your employer.
    • Ask your registered tax agent, if you use one.
    • For a business or organisation, log in to the Business portal and see the entity TFN displayed in the screen header on most portal screens.
  • If you still cannot find it, you can phone us on 13 28 61 from 8am–8pm weekdays and 10am–4pm weekends. Have information ready so we can confirm your identity.

How do I claim working from home expenses?

  • If you are eligible to claim a deduction for working from home, there are three ways to calculate your home office expenses
    • the shortcut method (80 cents) – only available between 1 March to 30 June for this year’s tax return
    • the fixed rate method (52 cents)
    • the actual cost method.
  • For examples on how the three different methods work, see Examples – comparing methods.

Where do I claim working from home deductions in my tax return?

My question is not here

  • Check out our Tax time essentials – we know 2020 has been difficult, but your tax return doesn’t need to be.
  • Visit ATO CommunityExternal Link, which is available 24/7 with questions, answers and regular updates.
  • Still need to contact us?
    • Our phone lines are open 8am–8pm weekdays and 10am–4pm weekends.
    • Our busiest days are Mondays, so consider calling later in the week.

The ATO  regularly update this page based on the calls they receive to keep people better informed.

Last modified: 03 Aug 2020

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Note: This communication (including taxation) is general advice only and does not consider your personal circumstances. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your individual needs, and not act on any information without obtaining professional financial advice specific to your circumstances. This communication including any attachments is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. Any unauthorised use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this communication including any attachments is prohibited. It is your responsibility to scan this communication including any file attachment for viruses and other defects. To the extent permitted by law, we will not be liable for any loss or damage arising in any way from this communication including file attachments.



The information has been given in good faith and has been prepared based on information that is believed to be accurate and reliable at the time of publication. The information is general in nature and does not take into account your particular financial needs, circumstances and objectives.


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Categories: Tax