The ATO have announced that they will no longer be forwarding HELP/HECS statements each year to show your HELP/HECS balance.
The reasoning behind not forwarding HELP/HECS statements is that you only need this information when you are making a voluntary payment.
If you make a voluntary payment over $500 you will receive a 5% reduction in your balance (eg. a $500 repayment would reduce your HELP debt by $550).
When doing your tax return you can use the ATO prefilling report to find out your HELP/HECS balance (and the amount of HELP/HECS repayment, if one is required), either by preparing your own return on E-tax or through your tax agent.
Even if you are preparing a paper tax return, you don’t need your HELP/HECS balance as the ATO automatically calculates any repayment required with your assessment.
Calling the ATO – identification required
If you need to call the ATO to find out your HELP/HECS balance, the ATO phone number is 13 26 61 (note, the ATO are open weekdays between 8am and 6pm). You can be waiting a while to talk to someone, so you might consider calling in non-peak times such as outside lunchtime and not at 5:45pm (as you might not get through to anybody).
Proving your identity
If you wish to call the ATO you will need:
Your TFN (Tax File Number)
And three of the following:
- Your date of birth
- Your phone number, business, residential, postal or email address (maximum of one)
- Your bank account number (BSB not required)
- Details from ATO notices (maximum of two notices) – eg. ATO sequence number from a notice of assessment