What is the family tax benefit?

Family Tax Benefits (FTB) helps eligible families with the cost of raising children. Payouts are either fortnightly or the total amount of the money at the end of the financial year. Supplements and additional payments may be available to FTB-eligible families.

The family tax benefit is made up of two parts:

Part A

Services Australia pays Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A is paid per child. The amount being paid depends on the family’s individual circumstances.

Part B

On the other hand, FTB Part B is paid per family. This gives extra assistance to single parent families, non-parent carers, partnered grandparent carers, and couple families with one main income.

Who is eligible for family tax benefit part A?

To be eligible for FTB Part A you must care for a dependent child who’s either 0 to 15 years of age. You can also be qualified for family tax benefit part A if you have a 16 to 19 years old dependent who meets the study requirements. It is necessary for children to be enrolled full-time in secondary school, have an adequate study load, and be exempt from Services Australia.

FTB eligibility requirements include residence in Australia and having either Australian citizenship, a permanent visa, a special category visa or a certain temporary visa type such as a Partner Provisional or Temporary Protection visa.

In addition, you have to do an income test and care for the child at least 35% of the time. Eligible children meet all immunisation requirements and Healthy Start for School requirements if they apply. Cost of payment per fortnight may be reduced for each child who doesn’t meet these.

Services Australia balances payments after the financial year and beneficiaries may get an FTB Part A supplement and a top-up.

Who is eligible for family tax benefit part B?

You may be qualified for family tax benefit part B if you’re a member of a couple with one primary earner or one main source of income. You also have to be caring for a dependent child under 13 years old.

FTB B is also available to single parents, non-parent caregivers, and grandparents caring for dependent children under 18. An eligible child aged between 16 to 18 must be attending full-time secondary study in an approved course leading towards a year 12 or equivalent qualification.

Additional study requirements include having an acceptable study load and an exemption from the Australian government or Services Australia.

As for the carer, they are required to undergo an income test, meet residence rules, and care for the child at least 35% of the time. FTB Part B can’t be claimed if the carer or their partner is receiving Parental Leave Pay.

How much do you get paid for the family tax benefit?

Family Tax Benefit payment rates may vary. The base rate for Family Tax Benefit Part A is $63.56 for each child per fortnight. Services Australia may pay less than the base rate due to your income.

A child’s age determines the maximum rate for FTB Part A. It differs for each child per fortnight. For a child 0 to 12 years of age, $197.96 is the maximum rate, $257.46 for a child 13 to 15 years, $257.46 for a child 16 to 19 years who meets the study requirements, and $63.56 for a child 0 to 19 years in an approved care organisation.

If you are receiving FTB Part A, you may also get the FTB Part A supplement, a yearly payment given out after balancing all your payments at the end of the financial year.

Factors that affect the amount of payment you receive include how many children you have in your care, if you share care, your family income, and the number of days you were eligible for FTB Part A.

For FTB Part B the maximum rate is dependent on the age of the youngest child. When the youngest is 0 to 5 years of age, the family’s maximum rate each fortnight is $168.28. For those families whose youngest child is 5 to 18 years of age, the max rate each fortnight will cost $117.46. Families eligible for FTB B may also receive FTB Part B supplement.

What affects your family tax benefit?

Percentage of care

Services Australia evaluate the care of percentage based on how often each parent or non-parent carer cares for a child. In the event that a carer does not agree with another carer on the level of care they provide, Services Australia will do the evaluation and request evidence to work it out.

Evidence may include a diary or calendar showing when you care for the child, a court order or parenting plan, proof of foster care placement, details of child’s care arrangements form signed by both carers, and documents that show the child is in day care, school or other regular activities.

Other evidence may also include records of visits to health care or other services, proof of travel arrangements, social worker reports and records from government departments proving patterns of care.

A statement from a professional member of the community such as a teacher, police officer, minister of religion, or doctor may also be requested by Services Australia.

Amount of child support

Your FTB can be affected if you or your partner receive child support. In the event of a change in child support payment, your FTB payments may also change. The more child support payments you get, the less FTB A you receive.

The way you collect child support, changes on how you transfer support, and support assessment updates can also affect the cost of FTB Part A you get. Your FTB is reduced by 50 cents for every dollar earned of child support over the threshold or the Maintenance Income Free Area.

Family’s income

Your family’s income determines how much FTB Part A you receive. You can check Services Australia’s income test for Family Tax Benefit Part A for more information.

Age of child and study

When your child turns 16 or stops studying after they turn 16, your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) may change.

Change of circumstances

You need to inform Services Australia when your circumstances change. These changes may include your name, address, rent cost, partner’s income, if your kid starts or stops full time secondary study from the day they turn 16, you or your kid leaving the country, temporarily or permanently, and if you and your partner don’t have to lodge a tax returns. Informing them on the change in your circumstances must be done before your next Family Tax Benefit payment is due.

How to apply

Claim for Paid Parental Leave and Family Assistance

Application for Parental Leave Pay can be done within the 40 weeks after the birth or adoption of your child. The best time to apply is before the birth or adoption of your child but Services Australia will not pay before the birth or adoption of your child. You can apply for the maximum 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay.

For the payment to start, you must make a claim, provide all supporting documents including proof of birth or adoption.

Your employer needs to register with Services Australia. Ideally you inform them 10 weeks before your child’s expected birth or adoption regarding your leave and intent to claim the leave pay.  

Make sure all your supporting documents are ready to help answer questions in the claim. To make your claim you need to sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink. Answer all the questions and submit your claim.

Claim for Annual Lump Sum of FTB

Within one year of the end of the financial year, you must confirm your family income to claim Family Tax Benefit (FTB) or claim FTB as a lump sum. You can submit a claim online, which is fastest and easiest. Claim payment using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

If you can’t claim payment online, use and complete the ‘claim for an annual lump sum payment of FTB for the 2021-22 financial year’. Claims for the 2021-22 financial year must be made by 30 June 2023.

Confirming your family income is a must. There are two ways to do this. You and your partner can file a joint tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or you can advise ATO on non-lodgement of your tax returns and confirm your income.

Can both parents get the family tax benefit?

It is possible for both parents to receive family tax benefit payments from Services Australia and to share FTB Part A.

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