‘Certainty’ letters being issued by the ATO

The ATO will be contacting more than 500,000 taxpayers through a pilot program it is running to let them know that their recently submitted 2014-15 tax returns are finalised and will not be subject to any further review.

The ATO says that individuals who receive a ‘certainty’ letter can be assured that the ATO is happy with their tax return, and has closed the books permanently on the return, provided there is no evidence of fraud or deliberate avoidance of tax.

The letter is intended to acknowledge and provide certainty to taxpayers who meet their obligations with their tax. Receiving this letter means the ATO has completed its routine information checks on a recipient’s tax return and is satisfied with the information provided. There will be no further review or audit of that return.

The letter is being trialled with a sample of people who meet certain criteria. These include:


  • the taxpayer lodged his or her return electronically by myTax, e-tax or via a tax agent;
  • the taxpayer had taxable income under $180,000;
  • the taxpayer’s income was only from salary or wages, allowances, Australian government allowances and payments, gross interest and dividends;
  • deductions 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 lodgement, compliance and debt history;
  • the taxpayer had straight-forward tax affairs (such as no links to other entities).

Not everyone who meets the criteria will receive a letter during the pilot. Depending on the success of the pilot, the ATO aims to expand this program to more taxpayers for tax time 2016.

For more information, go to the ATO website.