How to Defer HELP Repayment

Long story short, I'm owing $5000 in HELP debt, office worker, 2016/17 taxable income will be just over $60,000, no salary sacrifice to super. Is there any way that I can lower the repayment income down below 2016/17 threshold $54,869? An obvious solution is a nice deduction of $5000 - but need to be more specific and realistic on what to spend on in the next 30 days!
P/S: I prefer to pay it next year or two when getting some extra income, it has a been a tough year for me in terms of finance :(

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  • +1

    $5000 in 30 days is going to be hard. Any large items will be depreciated over 3 years.

    Claiming 5000kms or work travel, will lower your taxable income by $3750 for a 6 cylinder (Less for a 4 cylinder)

    Surely your HELP repayment won't be that much?

    Edit: So your repayment is $2400 according to the ATO calculater. If you elected to have the HELP repayments deducted from your wage/salary, you shouldn't have to pay any more.

    • If you elected to have the HELP repayments deducted from your wage/salary

      On the other hand, I think the OP will get a refund if he can reduce his taxable income.

    • No difference between size of car since 2015. Will be $3300, not $3750.

  • +2

    Feeling generous? You could donate the 5k to a charity.

    • That's about the only thing I could think of.

    • +11

      Paying $5k to charity or spending it for the sake of it to save $2.4k reduction of your debt is counter-productive. Just pay the debt, the sooner it's gone the better. In a couple of years it will be gone entirely. You can't avoid it forever. It sucks, but so does paying back any debt. All in all, your debt is pretty low and you aren't going to be paying it off for decades.

    • My family fund? Got kids to raise too

  • +1

    Yeah why? Youll pay more in avoiding the tax than in the amount that you will owe. And by the end of next year (assuming similar income) you will owe basically nothing.

  • +2

    HELP repayments are calculated on your total income, even if you salary sacrafice under the threshold you'll still have to pay it.

    • So the only way is deduction? Sad face :(

      • Deductions won't help.

  • Salary packaging a car could help … it can be done, so it doesn't show up as a taxable benefit.

    But doing it in 30 days might be difficult.

    • Good idea! I saw this before but Comments box was closed at that time.

  • +3

    Your answer is above, but I'll say it again.
    HELP repayments are not calculated based on taxable income. They are calculated on total income.
    Won't matter what you do, there is no way out of it.

    • So the only way is deduction? Sad face :(

      • +4

        No, the only way is to earn less money.

        • -3

          too bad so sad, too late now, tell me earlier! By the way $60k is not much with a growing household you know :(

        • +2


          Get a good job that pays good money - Joe Hockey

        • +3

          @MiaSanMia: don't grow a household if you have debts to repay?

        • +1

          @jjjaar: Usually there is quite a strict "No Returns, No Refund" policy in place.

        • @bob smith: Need to repay the debt, finish studying while growing own family before getting a hand on 'a good job that pays good money'. By the way what is it?

        • @jjjaar: Majority of households in this country may not agree with you

        • @MiaSanMia: Majority of households must be stretched thin then, 60k is just enough for me to live alone comfortably. I couldn't imagine supporting others.

    • This is the truth!

    • +1

      It's actually calculated on Adjustable Income. Your deductions count to determine your Taxable Income but then certain things (like net investment losses) are added back to determine your adjustable income.

      That being said $5000 in senseless deductions are hard to achieve and counter productive in this situation.

  • Can you take leave without pay for the last month of the financial year?? That should get you pretty close to a $5k reduction in income.

    • Actually depending on how flexible your employer is, you could ask them to defer payment of a paycheck until the first pay after June 30.

    • You have to be UNDER. Being close doesn't count. As soon as you are $1 over the minimum percentage payments kick in.

      • Well yes but then they'll only need say 3000 in deductions instead of 5k

  • +1

    Australia Post CEO's method of 'donating' it to your brother's museum.

  • Employer should have been withholding tax for the debt, when you tell them your TFN you get to tell them you have a HELP debt.

    The compulsory payment for earning 60 grand is $2,400.

    They have deferrals and payment plans if you can't pay debts.

  • OP….you Agreed to the terms of HELP when you happily took the money to pay for your education.

    Some of those terms funnily enough contain repaying back this loan from taxpayers.

    You are earning above that threshold, its kinda time you repaid that loan.

    I put it to you that if you are on 60k and have a growing family, you will derive more from the welfare system that you pay in HELP.

    • What do you mean by "you will derive more from the welfare system that you pay in HELP"?

      • +1

        He might mean the family tax benefit, and childcare rebates, and all those baby bonuses people were happy to pocket etc etc etc. All the stuff families get that no one else does. Everyone else gets a kick in the teeth (and being dental can't even get that fixed on Medicare).

        • @MiaSanMia: It's actually more than it used to be. 18 weeks of minimum wage is $12,106.80. Childcare rebate is $7,500 per child per year

  • +1

    Help i bought a house, motorbike and had a kid but don't want to pay back my HELP debt….

  • +4

    So the options are: Screw around spending $5K on some tax deductable things you don't really need so you can put off the inevitable $5K HELP debt, OR, pay the $5K HELP debt and be free of it forever. No brainer really.

  • Nothing annoys me more than people trying to avoid paying their HELP/HECS debt.

    • Mind you that Avoiding vs Deferring is completely different.

      • What do you gain by deferring if you need to spend $5k to defer payment? As mentioned above you are spending 5k either way….

  • Man up and pay it

  • if you are payable, why don't you get a tax agent to lodge your tax in May 18, you will be payable in June 18. Just better save throughout the year.

  • You can apply to defer HELP repayments due to financial hardship or other special circumstances.

    There are options to complete fully or partially defer the payment

    • That is a great help. However most people when they fill it in would struggle to get deferment.
      I have seen it before, but only when unemployed and badly in debt.

  • -1

    How about enrolling on some higher education studies before 30/06 and claim them as tax deduction?

    • If you only have to pay $2400 repayment of HELP debt, there is no point trying to find $5000 in deductions.

      • -1

        My cashflow this year is not great therefore I'd like to defer repayment until next year.

        • My cashflow this year is not great

          So how are you going to find $5k right now (before 30 June)

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