There’s been a lot of talk lately about childcare benefits, the baby bonus and other tax and government breaks relating to caring for your children. We asked Anthony Bell to take us through the minefield of what’s available and who’s eligible.
There are many benefits and tax breaks available when considering the birth and raising of a child in your care. Below is a list of items to consider:
There are many aspects which will impact your eligibility for the Baby Bonus, one of these aspects is based on your income.
To meet the income test criteria you and your partner must have a taxable family income of $75,000 or less for the 6 month period following the birth of your baby.
The maximum entitlements are effective from 1 July 2010.
- You can be paid $5,294 per eligible child in 13 fortnightly instalments or
- If your baby has died or was stillborn, you may ask for your Baby Bonus to be paid in a lump sum instead of fortnightly instalments.
Child Care Benefit
Qualification of a Child Care benefit payment is based on;
- your use of approved or registered child care, and
- your child is immunised (or on an immunisation catch up schedule), or is exempt from the immunisation requirements, and
- you are responsible for paying the child care fees for your child.
From 1 July 2010, an income test has also been incorporated to assess eligibility.
The maximum rate is payable for actual annual family income under $37,960 or families on income support. However nothing is payable should that family income go over the following thresholds;
Number of children Income limits
3 or more $157,329 plus $29,721 for each child after the 3rd
Just remember, registered care also includes care provided by the guardian, grandparents or other relatives, friends or nannies who are registered as carers with the Australian Government’s Family Assistance Office. However, you can only make this claim if you are working, studying or training at some time during the week when the care is provided.
Family Tax Benefit Part A
You may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A 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, is undertaking full-time education or training leading to a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, has been granted an exemption from this requirement,
- or a dependent full-time student aged 21–24, or
- have care 35% of the time, and
- your family income is $45,114 or less
If so, your payment will not be affected by the income test.
If your family income is more than $45,114, it does not mean you are ineligible for the payment, it simply reduces and ceases to be paid if your family income goes over the following thresholds;
No. of children 0–17 years No. of children 18–24 years
Nil 1 2 3
1 $98,769 $108,539 $119,270 $130,001
2 $107,018 $117,749 $128,480 $139,211
3 $116,229 $126,960 $137,691 $148,422
These figures do not include the supplement.
Family Tax Benefit Part B
You may also be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part B if you satisfy certain conditions. One condition is the income test, which requires the primary earner having an adjusted taxable income of $150,000 per year or less.
The maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B payment is;
Age of youngest child Each fortnight Each year
Under 5 years $136.36 $3,909.15
5–15 years (or 16–18 years if a full-time student) $95.06 $2,832.40
Medical Expenses Tax offset
Net medical expenses are the medical expenses you have paid after refunds you have received from Medicare or a private health insurer. You will be able to claim back 20 cents in the dollar of your net medical expenses over $1,500.
As you can see there are a significant number of benefits available. Other benefits that you may be eligible for include;
- the parenting payment
- the carer allowance
- a health care card
Should you require more information, it is best to speak to your accountant or visit Centrelink and the Family Assistance Office.
For more information about your finances or to make an appointment with a specialist from Bell Partners, go to www.bellpartners.com