ATO adjusts surcharges for card payments


The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has amended the surcharges that apply when paying tax bills on a card. The changes seem to have come into effect from July 3, and coincide with changes the the interchange fee regulations.

The latest fees (as published by the ATO) are shown in the following table:>

Card type Fee
American Express 1.45%
MasterCard – International 2.70%
MasterCard – Domestic Debit 0.15%
MasterCard – Domestic Credit 0.40%
Visa – International 2.70%
Visa – Domestic Debit 0.15%
Visa – Domestic Credit 0.58%


This compares to the prior fees of 1.45% for American Express and 0.54% for Visa/Mastercard. As can be seen, there is no change for people paying on an American Express card. On the other hand, payments by Visa or Mastercard have new surcharge rates.

Visa and Mestercard surcharges

The big movers here are the introduction of a 2.7% fee when paying with an international Visa or Mastercard. I am not sure how many people have been paying their tax bills on an international card. I suspect that it would be a fairly small number of people.

The more interesting changes are with domestic cards, and there are now a range of surcharges. Instead of being lumped together as one surcharge, there are now different fees for different card types. It is notable that Mastercard and Visa now have differeing surcharges.

The biggest drop has come with the debit cards. In the case of Visa and Mastercard debit cards, the fee has reduced to 0.15%.

Points through ATO payments

Earning points through ATO payments has been significant source of points for a number of Frequent Flyer members. Things have got more difficult over the past few years as many credit card issuers have wound back on allowing points to be earned on ATO payments.

However, if you do still pay by credit card, these surcharge changes may affect which card you may like to use.

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About Author

Mark is the founder of FlyStayPoints, and caught the travel bug early in life. He discovered the benefits of travel loyalty programs in 2001, and is always learning how they can make travel better. While work takes him between Perth and Melbourne, he is always plotting his next adventure.