Tax and Your Family Frequently Asked Questions
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If you married during the year you may be eligible to claim a reduction in Medicare based on your income. You will need to know the income of your spouse before and after marriage. If your spouse has earned income during the year, they will also have to lodge their own tax return. On both of your returns you will be required to disclose information about the other partner so that any entitlements you may have to certain family tax benefits can be calculated correctly.
From 1 July 2014 the dependent spouse tax offset rebate has been abolished for all taxpayers. Some taxpayers may be eligible for the Invalid and Invalid Carer Tax Offset. If your spouse is genuinely unable to work because they are an invalid or they care for an invalid you might qualify for the Invalid or Invalid Carer Tax Offset. The invalid must be receiving a Government disability payment to qualify.
Please contact H&R Block on 13 23 25 to speak with a tax expert to find out whether you are affected or not.
Since 1 July, 2009 the definition of 'spouse' has changed to include same-sex partners. If you are living in a domestic situation, in a relationship as a couple, you will be entitled to claim the same family tax benefits that can be claimed by partners in an opposite-sex relationship. If you pass the relevant income and age tests you may be able to claim an Invalid and Invalid Carer Tax Offset if your spouse is genuinely unable to work because they are an invalid or they care for an invalid (the invalid must be receiving a Government disability payment to qualify). Depending on your combined income you may also be entitled to claim a reduction in the amount of Medicare levy you pay. Any other tax benefits you may be entitled to will be determined on the basis of your income, not your gender.
Families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A receive a payment of up to $422 for each child in primary school, and up to $842 for each child in secondary school.
When is the school bonus paid?
The Schoolkids Bonus is automatically paid to eligible families (ie those receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A) in two separate instalments each year— half in January and half in July. The Schoolkids Bonus is paid automatically and upfront meaning eligible taxpayers don’t need to keep receipts for education expenses or make a separate claim.
However, legislation has passed to end the Schoolkids Bonus payments. The Schoolkids Bonus will continue until the end of 2016. The last instalment will be paid in July 2016.
An income test will also apply to the School kids Bonus from 1 January 2015.
You have 12 months after the end of the year to lodge your tax return so that the FOA can check that you have been receiving the correct amount. If you overestimated your income you will receive a top-up payment but if you underestimated your income they will require the over payment to be paid back.
For example, for payments received during the 2013-2014 income year you will be required to lodge your 2014 tax return by 30 June 2015. If you have a partner their tax return will also have to be lodged by that date. Failure to meet the deadline could result in your payments being stopped and the repayment of amounts already received. If the tax office does not require you to lodge a tax return then you should notify the Family Assistance Office.
The Family Tax Benefit helps with the cost of raising children. It is therefore available for those who:
- have a dependent child or secondary student younger than 20 years of age who is not receiving a Government benefit such as Youth Allowance
- provides care for a child at least 35% of the time
- meets an income test
This is the basic eligibility for the FTB, but if you would like further information, head to the Department of Human Services website.
At H&R Block nothing is too complicated. We can assist you with any number of tax questions. Find an office near you and book an appointment online or call us today on 13 23 25.