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Voluntarily Paying for HELP

Article By Adam Hurwood | | Financial Planning
You can make voluntary repayments towards your HELP debt at any time, and this payment immediately reduces the amount.

Legislation to implement the Budget changes to the HELP program that was meant to take effect from January 2014 was not passed by the Senate.

This means that you will still receive a 5% bonus payment until further notice. This bonus only works on payments of $500 or more, and is applied to the amount that you pay, not the total outstanding debt. If you pay off your outstanding debt, but it is under $500, then you may still be eligible for the bonus.

An example:
You have a debt of $5,000 and wish to make a voluntary payment of $1,000. This bonus is applied to the payment (so the value of your repayment would be $1,050) and therefore reducing your debt to $3,950 ($5,000 – $3,950)

Best time to pay
If you plan on performing a voluntary payment, the best time to do so would be before you lodge your tax return. If the tax return is lodged beforehand, then a compulsory repayment may be included on your notice of assessment, and you may not receive the bonus on your repayment.
There may also be a benefit to you if you make a repayment before the 1st of June. This is due to HELP debts increasing in line with inflation. In 2014, this indexation was an increase of 2.6%. It is important to allow time before that deadline for your payment to be received and processed.

Payment Methods
There are a range of payment methods to choose from when making a voluntary payment. You will need your Payment Reference Number (PRN) in order to make a payment using these methods.

You can make a payment directly from a cheque or savings account using your financial institution’s phone or internet banking service. The details that you require are:
• Biller Code
• Reference: Your PRN

Credit Card
You can also pay by credit card online, using the Government EasyPay service, or over the telephone. To do this, you will need:
• A current Visa, MasterCard, or American Express Card
• Your PRN

A card payment fee will apply to transactions made using this service, and you can pay in the following ways:
• Telephone on 1800 815 886
Via the Government EasyPay service website

PRN, what’s that?
If you don’t know your PRN, you can obtain it by logging on to the ATO Online Service for individuals. This site will show you your account balance, voluntary payment options, and your PRN at the same time.

ATO Online Service, what’s that?
To access this service, you will need to create a MyGov account and link it to the ATO. This is done via the website of Here, you will be able to create a new account, or login to an existing account.

Once you have logged in, then you need to click the services button on the MyGov homepage, and then the Link icon next to the ‘Australian Tax Office’

ATO Online Account
If you already have an account, then just use your Tax File Number (TFN) and password to link up. Once you have created this link, then your ATO login will be deleted, and you use your MyGov details to access this service.

If you would like to know more regarding this matter please contact an Altitude team member who will be happy to assist you.

Source –

Altitude Financial Planning is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Altitude Financial Advisers Pty Ltd
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