Where the income a person reported to us is different to what their employer reported to the ATO, we send them an initial letter.
The letter asks them to contact us to explain the discrepancy. This isn’t a debt letter. It doesn’t mean a person was overpaid and has a debt. We want people to confirm their past income so we can make sure we paid them the right amount in the past.
Once a person gets a letter or message through myGov, they have 28 days to contact us and give us more information. This may include bank statements or pay slips. We understand everyone’s situation is different. If a person can’t get these documents, our staff work with them to find other ways to get the information. If people need more time, they can ask us for an extension online or over the phone using the dedicated compliance line in their review letter.
If a person chooses not to respond to their review letter or not to contact us, we make a decision based on the best available information. This can include the information the person previously reported to us and what the ATO provided. We may use income averaging to calculate their earnings for particular periods. We divide the income the ATO told us the person earned by the time period the ATO told us they worked. This gives an average of a person’s earnings for that time. This process isn’t new or specific to the income compliance programme.