The Commonwealth Assisted Students (DU) file, commonly referred to as the ‘HELP Due’ submission, reports the personal details, including names, tax file numbers (TFN) and Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Numbers (CHESSN) of all Commonwealth assisted students.
Commonwealth assisted students are:
- all Commonwealth supported students who pay their contributions up front, defer their contribution through HECS‑HELP or are contribution exempt
- students who access FEE‑HELP assistance
- students who access OS‑HELP assistance
- students who access SA‑HELP assistance
Student details from this file are provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Timing of submissions is detailed in the reporting schedule for the relevant reporting year.
Two DU files are created and validated in a HELP Due submission each year. The first file includes student details for debts incurred between 1 January and 30 June. The second file includes student details for debts incurred between 1 July and 31 December.
The DU file is the only file in HELP Due submission.
HELP Due is different to other submissions. The data is not submitted. Instead, information from a validated HELP Due submission is provided as a “snapshot” of information in the following submissions:
- Student Revision
- OS‑HELP Revision.
The creation of a “snapshot” is an automated process in the Higher Education Provider Client Assistance Tool (HEPCAT).
When you report any of these submissions to the department, TFN data in the snapshots are encrypted to protect the privacy of students’ personal information. You will need to use your encryption key provided by the ATO when you submit data that includes information from the HELP Due.
Submissions are made using HEPCAT. More information about this process is in the HEPCAT User Guide Part 2.
Information about the structure and the elements in the DU file is in the structure guidelines for the relevant reporting year.
One record for each student and course combination is required on the DU file. Each record must have a unique combination of values for:
- Student identification code (element 313)
- Course code (element 307)
- Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) (element 488).
These elements are the key identifiers for each record on the DU file. The DU file also uses these values to identify matching records in a Student, OS‑HELP, SA‑HELP or related revisions submission.
Updating data in a HELP Due submission
Additional records can be added to HELP Due submission at any time. For detailed information on how to add or update records see the higher education revision guides.
The department may request you to submit a revised HELP Due submission. This generally only occurs when TFN data reported to the Australian Taxation Office has failed the decryption process.
For more information about terms used in these guidelines see the glossary.