With the cost of raising a child in Australia estimated at around $140 to $170 per week, any form of financial support will provide welcome relief for families.
There’s the cost of baby equipment, child care and school fees, as well as an increase in your weekly expenses and grocery bills…the list goes on.
Whatever your family circumstances, the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is a payment made to eligible families to offset the costs of raising children.
The Family Tax Benefit is made up of two parts, Part A and Part B. It is available to eligible parents and carers of dependant children up to 15 years old, or those with dependent children up to 19 years old who meet study requirements.
Eligibility is determined by a number of factors, such as residency status and income.
So, how do you know if you are eligible to make a claim? Are online claims easy enough to make? Do income thresholds apply?
At Vacancy.Care, we know that the range of financial supplements available from the Department of Human Services are confusing. To help you so we have broken down each component of the Family Tax Benefit, uncovering what it means for you and your family.
What is family tax benefit?
Family Tax Benefit is a family assistant payment for carers of young children. It consists of two parts, known as Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B. You may be eligible for one, or both of these payments.
Each payment is subjected to various criteria, including income thresholds, and can be claimed on top of any other financial supplements you already receive.
Your rate of payment can be affected by various factors, such as changes in circumstances or income, your child’s immunisation status, or if the amount of care you provide to your child is reduced for any reason. Travel outside of Australia for extended periods is also a factor for payments stopping or being reduced.
Family tax benefit calculator
There are maximum rates available for Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B, which are detailed below.
Family tax benefit part A
Family Tax Benefit Part A is paid per child in your care. The amount paid to the carer is based on family circumstances, residency status and income.
These circumstances include:
- The age of your child
- Whether or not they meet study requirements (for teens aged 16-19 years)
- Your income
- Your residency status
- How much time the child spends in your care
- Your child’s immunisation requirements
- Whether your child meets the Healthy Start requirements
Payment waiting periods of 12 months may apply if you are a resident who has recently arrived in the country.
Family tax benefit part A calculator
You can find a handy Family Tax Benefit Part A Calculator. This should be used only as a guide.
Family tax benefit part B
Family Tax Benefit Part B differs to Family Tax Benefit Part A in that it is paid per family, and income thresholds do apply.
It is payable to single parents, carers and families who earn less than $100,000 per year and is dependant on the age of your children. If you earn over the threshold of $100,000 you will not be eligible to claim.
Are you a grandparent providing care to your grandchild for at least 35% of the time? You could also be eligible to claim Family Tax Benefit Part B.
Family tax benefit part B calculator
You can find a handy calculator for Family Tax Benefit Part B. This should be used only as a guide.
Family tax benefit eligibility
If you’re ready to claim Family Tax Benefit Part A, B, or both, you need to know if you are eligible to do so. Some basic eligibility factors include:
- Living in Australia
- Meeting certain residency requirements
- How much care you provide for the child you are claiming for
- Whether or not your child is in approved study (if they are aged 16-19 years)
- Your child meets the immunisation requirements or Healthy Start for School requirements.
To claim, you must meet the following residency requirements:
- Australian Citizenship
- Permanent Visa
- Special Category visa
- Certain temporary visa type, for example a Partner Provisional or Temporary Protection visa
Family tax benefit threshold
The Family Tax Benefit, Part A and B, are subject to family income thresholds. This means any income tests are based on your income as a family, as opposed to individual incomes.
The threshold for claiming Family Tax Benefit Part A is known as the income free area, and is $98,988. An income threshold of $104,184 is applied to families with one child. This is then increased with each subsequent child. If your family income exceeds this, you will not be able to claim Family Tax Benefit Part A.
Family Tax Benefit Part B payments are also subject to a family income threshold of up to $100,000. It’s important to note that you will need to update your details if you do start to earn over this amount to avoid an overpayment. You can do this online.
The tables below provide further details about these thresholds.
Family tax benefit income limit
Income limits apply to both Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B. Table 1 provides some handy information regarding income limits for claiming Part A, while Table 2 covers the income thresholds for Part B.
Income Limits for Claiming Family Tax Benefit Part A
|Ages of child/children||
|1 child aged 0-15||
|1 child aged 16-19 years in secondary education||
|2 children aged 0-15 years||
|1 child aged 0-12 and 1 child aged 16-19 in secondary study||
|2 children aged 13-15 or 16-19 in secondary study||
|3 children aged 0-12||
|2 children aged 0-12 years and 1 child aged 13-15, or 16-19 in secondary study||
|1 child aged 0-12 years and 2 children aged 13-15, or 16-19 in secondary study||
|3 children aged 13-15 or 16-19 in secondary study||
|3 children aged 0-12 years and 1 child aged either 13-15 years or 16-19 years in secondary study||
|2 children aged 0-12 and 2 children aged either 13-15 or 16-19 in secondary study||
|1 child aged 0-12 and 3 children aged either 13-15 or 16-19 in secondary study||
|3 children aged 0-12 and 2 children aged 13-15 or 16-19 in secondary study||
|2 children aged 0-12 and 3 children aged 13-15 or 16-19 in secondary study||
|Income Threshold for claiming the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B|
Single Parents or Carers
Primary Earner Income threshold
Up to $100,000
Families with more than one carer
|Primary Earner Income Threshold per year||
Up to $100,000
|Secondary Earner Income Threshold per year||
Up to $5,694
If you are a secondary earner and earn over $5,694, your rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B is reduced by 20c per dollar you earn over this figure.
If you are a secondary earner, your youngest child is under 5 and your income is below $28,197, you may be eligible to claim a part payment of Family Tax Benefit Part B, rather than the maximum amount. If your child is aged 5-12 years and earn under $21,973, you may also be eligible to claim a part payment of Family Tax Benefit Part B.
Furthermore, the maximum fortnightly rates you can claim are detailed in Table 2 (seen below).
|Maximum Rates Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B|
Family Tax Benefit Part A (per child, per fortnight)
|Age of child||
|16-19 years who meet the study requirements||
|0 to 19 years in an approved care organisation (this doesn’t apply to a child care facility)||
Family Tax Benefit Part B (per family, per fortnight)
|Age of youngest child||
|5 to 18 years||
Apply for family tax benefit
Gone are the days of having to wait in line at your nearest Centrelink office to make a claim for a payment. Online claims are completed through the Department of Human Services’ online portal, MyGov, making it easier than ever to receive a payment from the comfort of your own home.
You will need to have the following information on hand before you start:
- An online Mygov account, linked to a Centrelink account
- Any supporting documents, including proof of identity and proof of residency status
- Your family’s income details, plus your Tax File Number
- Your child or children’s birth details
- Details of any child support
- Details of a shared care arrangements
How to claim child care subsidy/benefit online
Along with making a Family Tax Benefit Part A and B payment, you can also claim a child care benefit/subsidy online.
Previously known as the Child Care Benefit, the Child Care Subsidy is the Australian Government’s subsidy program for children attending approved care such as day care, family day care, vacation care and after school care.
The subsidy is applied directly to your child care provider payments, helping offset the cost of childcare. Calculate the childcare subsidy you qualify for your Vacancy Care’s childcare subsidy calculator.
Eligibility for this subsidy is based on a number of factors, including:
- The age of the child
- The childcare service your child attends
- Your child’s residency and immunisation requirements.
You can make this claim online in the same way as you would claim the Family Tax Benefit – via the Mygov online portal.
The Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B are available for families as a supplement to existing income, or to provide a little extra cash for all those additional costs our children bring.
Online claims are fairly easy, but you do need to be aware of thresholds and eligibility before you start your claim. To get started with an online claim or to find out more, visit the Department of Human Services website.