ATO – Certainty Letter…what is it and why have I received it?

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New for this year, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) are sending out to some of their clients, what is known as a ‘Certainty Letter’. 

Receiving this letter means that the ATO have completed their routine information checks on your tax return and are satisfied with the information provided and they will not be conducting any further review or audit of your return.

This year the letter is being trialed with a sample of people who meet certain criteria.

  • you lodged your return electronically by myTax, e-tax or via a tax agent
  • you had taxable income under $180,000
  • your income was only from salary or wages, allowances, Australian Government allowances and payments, gross interest and dividends deductions
  • you claimed were work-related expenses, interest or dividend deductions, gifts and donations or cost of managing tax affairs
  • a range of other factors, including good lodgment, compliance and debt history
  • you had straight-forward tax affairs (such as no links to other entities).


Routine Information Checks

These checks allows the ATO to detect people operating outside the tax system, detect fraud and recover debt.

The ATO receive information from a variety of third-party sources compiled electronically, validated, analysed and used for a range of activities. Matching returns against this information makes it possible for them to ensure people:

  • lodge tax returns when required to do so
  • correctly declare their income and claim offsets and other benefits
  • comply with their obligations.


Previous Years Returns?

The certainty letter only applies to the 2014 – 2015 year of tax return.


Related:  Client wins ATO Pre-assessment Review

Click here to find out more about the ATO and their new ‘Certainty Letter’.  The link will take you direct to their website and if you have any questions about the ATO ‘Certainty Letter’ please contact your Chan & Naylor Client Manager.


Mark Krywienko


Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Before you make any financial or investment decision you should seek professional advice to take into account your individual objectives, financial situation and individual needs.



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