The Family Tax Benefit is a payment which aims to assist families with the cost of raising dependent children. There are two parts of the Family Tax Benefit – Part A and Part B. Part A is the primary payment designed to help with the cost of raising children. It is payable to a parent/guardian or an approved care organisation for a child aged under 21 years or a dependent full time student aged between 21 and 24 years. The second part (Part B) provides extra help to families with just one main income earner, including sole parent families with a dependent full time student up to the age of 18 years. The amount of Family Tax Benefit you can receive will depend on your family’s individual circumstances such as family income and the number and age of your dependents.
Family Tax Benefit Part A
You may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A if you meet certain residency requirements and if you care for a dependent child for at least 35 percent of the time (at least 128 nights a year), if you have:
• a dependent child aged under 16, or
• a dependent child aged 16-20 years who has completed a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, or who is undertaking full-time education or training leading to a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, or
• a dependent full time student aged 21 to 24 (who are not receiving Youth Allowance or similar payments like ABSTUDY or Veterans’ Children Education Supplement.)
If you are eligible for Part A you might also qualify for additional benefits such as, Large Family Supplement, Multiple Birth Allowance, Rent Assistance or a Health Care Card. These will be added on to your Family Tax Benefit Part A rate. You may also be eligible to receive the Supplement which is paid for each eligible child at the end of each financial year after you and/or your partner have lodged an income tax return.
Your Family Tax Benefit Part A may also be affected by shared care and child support and can be paid in fortnightly instalments, or as a lump sum payment.
Family Tax Benefit Part B
Part B gives extra assistance to sole parent families and to families with one main income where one parent chooses to stay at home or balance some paid work with caring for their children. You can receive Family Tax Benefit Part B if you and/or your partner and your child meet the basic eligibility conditions relating to children, residency, two parent families and single parent families.
• You have a dependent child who is under 16 years, or 16-18 years and a full-time student who does not receive youth allowance or a similar payment.
• The parent earning the higher amount earns $150,000 or less for that financial year. If the primary earner’s income is under that limit, an income test is then applied to the parent earning the lower amount. The parent earning the lower amount can earn up to $4,672 for the financial year before it reduces the rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B payable.
• If you are a single parent, you can get the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B provided your income is $150,000 per year or less. (If you share the care of your child, there are special rules about how much Family Tax Benefit Part B you can be paid.)
Much the same as Part A, you may also be eligible for the Part B supplement which is paid per family at the end of each financial year after you and/or your partner have lodged an income tax return, if required to do so. Your Family Tax Benefit instalment payments may also be stopped if you and/or your partner have not lodged income tax returns or informed the Family Assistance Office that you are not required to do so within the required timeframe.
Here at The Quinn Group, our experienced team of tax agents and accountants are able to assist you and your family with understanding and applying for the Family Tax Benefit and other general tax queries. To find out more information submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to book an appointment.