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Commonwealth Assisted Students – Help Due (DU) scope

Version Details

Version: 7.0
First Year: 2018
Last Year:


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).

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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.

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Submission method

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 to support the following submissions:

  • Student
  • 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.

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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:

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.

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Revising HELP DUE data

The higher education revision guides provide detailed information on how to revise data reported in a DU submission. This includes how to:

  • add new records to an existing submission
  • update personal details for student records in an existing submission
  • correct a student's TFN or personal details if their information could not be verified by the ATO

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More information

For more information about terms used in these guidelines see the glossary.

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