What is a Notice of Assessment?

(last updated 01/04/2014)

After the ATO has processed your tax return, you are issued with a "Notice of Assessment". This will tell you if you are entitled to a refund, or if you have a tax debt to pay. The following are details and checklists to help you understand your notice of assessment.

The notice of assessment is an itemised account of the amount of tax you owe on your taxable income. It also contains other details t such as the amount of credit for tax you have already paid throughout the income year, adjustments for outstanding debts (either ATO or child support) and or FTB reconciliations and credits for PAYG instalments paid during the year.

Most of the calculations on the notice off assessment are based on "Taxable Income", which is assessable income less allowable deductions. The ATO also uses a formula based on Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI) to work out other government liabilities. See the following checklist for further information on these terms:

When you receive your notice of assessment, you should make sure that everything is correct.

To understand the items on your notice of assessment refer to the information in Reading your notice of assessment on the reverse side of your notice. To understand how your refund or tax liability is calculated, follow these steps:
  • check that your taxable income is correct (the assessable income you earned minus deductions)
  • add up the amount of tax payable on that amount of income (tax on taxable income, plus Medicare levy and Higher Education Loan Programme/Student Financial Supplement Scheme repayments)
  • minus any offsets from your tax payable, then tax already paid (amounts withheld by your employer and paid on income activity statements)
  • if there is an amount left over, this is refunded to you, and
  • if there is an amount outstanding, this is your tax debt amount payable.
If you think the assessment is incorrect than check all the details on your notice of assessment with those on your tax return. If you think there is a problem, phone the ATO on 13 28 61 for help. You will need your notice of assessment and, if possible, a copy of your tax return.

If you use a Tax Agent they will handle that for your.

For help with your eTax return see our eTax Return Checklist.

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