ATO’s Indigenous helpline is ready to take calls this tax time
The ATO is urging Indigenous Australians to reach out to the Indigenous helpline for assistance during tax time.
The ATO’s Indigenous helpline is open for calls, with staff specialising in helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with things like getting a TFN, running a business, lodging a tax return, or locating superannuation accounts.
ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh reported that lines were busy in 2020, with more than 47,000 calls made to the Indigenous helpline. That’s more than double the number received in 2017, with the service responding to roughly 22,000 inquiries.
Mr Loh said ATO was ready to keep up with demand.
“Our staff are ready to make tax easier this tax time,” Mr Loh said.
Helpline saff are able to answer questions on a range of tax questions, including what to do if you run your own business, have a second job or receive income from the gig economy, received an education scholarship or bursary or were the recipient of a government payment.
“We want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to feel confident in managing their tax and super affairs,” Mr Loh said.
The helpline can be reached at 13 10 30, from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
In addition to the Indigenous helpline, the ATO has a number of resources intended to make managing tax and super affairs simpler for Indigenous Australians.
The ATO has a dedicated website for information on support services available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
And in January 2020, ATO expanded its Reach Out Indigenous business support pilot program to help Indigenous small businesses meet their tax and superannuation obligations.
Initially trialled in Townsville and Brisbane beginning in July 2019, ATO extended the program into NSW, South Australia and Victoria in 2020.