Tag Archives: carbon tax

Top 3 Most Googled Questions From Working Mums in 2012, and the answers!

One of the best features of a WordPress blog is that it has an excellent feature to help you work out how people found you.

google

I love going through the list of search terms regularly and I often wonder if some of these readers found what they came for.  Some of it is a bit odd, (like ’50 shades of grey bogan version’), others make a lot of sense (‘how do I get family tax benefit’) while other search terms are a bit of a worry (‘road rage outside daycare centre’).

Today, we’re working through the list and answering some the questions readers most often ‘googled’ to find us.

We don’t pretend to have all the answers, (does any mum?) so feel free to correct and clarify.   But in the interests of sharing any working mum knowledge there is, here’s our answers to the Top 3 Most Googled Questions from Working Mums in 2012.

1. Can I claim school uniforms on my taxes?

This is officially our Most Googled Question.  The question probably comes from the Education Tax Refund which made school uniforms a legitimate tax deduction for a couple of years there, but it has now been replaced by the SchoolKids Bonus, which is a similar payment to the same families who were previously eligible but with with a bit less paperwork.  Find out moreabout who is eligible and how to get it here.

2. How to be a good working mum?

First, you already are. It makes me sad that so many of us wonder about this – so much that we’re googling the damn question!  If you love your kids, and want to do a good job, you are being a good mum,  so our first suggestion is to relax, and give yourself a little credit.

More practically we’d also suggest the most important thing is to build yourself in wriggle room.  Organise your days, hours, childcare and transport as though things are going to go wrong sometimes. Kids will get sick, work will be unreasonable and the trains won’t always ever run on time.

If you use up all of the time your parents are able help out on a weekly basis, what will you do during school holidays?  Would you be better off putting kids in daycare or after school care and having grandparents help out when things fall apart?  Do any of your daycare centre workers do babysitting out of hours?  Find out ahead of time in case you get caught.

There will be times when you need a backup plan for your backup plan, so when you’re working out how many days to work, make sure you consider the things that can go wrong and not just how it will go when all is running smoothly.

If you’re not yet back at work and think I’m being pessimistic, remember your plans to learn French/lose all of your baby weight/organise the kitchen renovation while on maternity leave.  Yes, working has its practical realities too.

It’s also perfectly reasonable to work out how you’re going to do whatever’s important to your sanity.  Coffee with girlfriends?  Exercise?  Regular access to white wine? Escaping the house without any small people clinging onto your person and wiping their leftovers on your white shirt? It’s all a fair enough ask – and possible even though you’re managing the needs of employer/colleagues/partners and children 24 hours a day.  If you’re not yet convinced, check out this piece what a great Role Model  you are when you take a little something for yourself.

3. Who gets carbon tax compensation?

Interest in this one has died off a little towards the end of the year, probably because the tax came in and THE WORLD DID NOT END.  Amazing really.

We still get asked occasionally though so here’s the short version of the answer.

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A recipients received up to $110 for each child.
  • Family Tax Benefit Part B recipients received up to $69 per family.
  • Single pensioners received up to $250.
  • Pensioner couples received up to $190 per eligible member.

Most of it’s already been paid though, so hope you noticed it!

You can find out more about carbon tax compensation in this post.

What’s your No 1 question as a working mum?  Email me at kirstenandrews(at)bigpond(dot)com

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Heard about carbon tax compensation but not sure if your family is eligible? Find out here

There’s been a lot of debate about the carbon tax, but not much clear information on who’s getting the compensation, what you have to do to get it, and what costs will go up that our compensation is supposed to cover.

Here are some answers.

If you have any questions or would like clarification on anything, please say so in the comments section and we’ll try and find out for you!

  1. Who’s getting compensation?

There is some money which the government is calling a Clean Energy Advance which will go to pensioners and others on income support, plus everyone who receives Family Tax Benefit part A and B.

This money will be paid as a lump sum and you should have received it already.

We always suggest you check the official government websites before determining your eligibility but the general rules are:

  • Family  Tax Benefit Part A is paid to families earning up to around $160,000 a year, depending on number of kids and their ages.
  • Family Tax Benefit Part B is limited to families (single parent or couple) where the primary earner earns up to about $150,000 a year and the secondary earner earns up to $25,000 a year

So what do I get?

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A recipients will receive up to $110 for each child.
  • Family Tax Benefit Part B recipients will receive up to $69 per family.
  • Single pensioners will receive up to $250.
  • Pensioner couples will receive up to $190 per eligible member.

These lump sum payments are designed to cover the first 9 months of the carbon price for pensioners and the first 12 months of the carbon price for families.

There will also be regular payments called the Clean Energy Supplement added to your regular payments.  Or added at the end if you receive your Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum.  These start from March next year for pensioners and from July next year for families.

It’s ridiculously hard to find out details about this supplement and rates on government websites that is in plain English, but if you want to find out more about your specific circumstances, there is a pretty good estimator here where you can enter your personal circumstances.

Note it says it takes about 15 minutes to fill out, but it only took me three. Maybe that’s working mum efficiency 🙂

  1. What do I have to do to get it?

Nothing.  Everyone eligible for these payments is already ‘in the system’ so the payments will be made to the bank account you’ve already provided the government.

Changes to your tax rate if you’re earning under $80,000 (more details here) should be made automatically by your employer.

  1. But what will the carbon tax cost in extra costs for power etc?

The estimator can give you specific details for your family, but for mine it reckons prices will go up around $20 a week.  Less if I can get Miss 3 to watch less Dora the Explorer and save on the power bill. Unfortunately there is no chance of that happening anytime soon…

There are some typical scenarios of different family types here if you don’t have time for the Estimator but want a general idea for your family type.

Other assistance details are available for:

Low income earners here

Single income families (where the income earner doesn’t get much of a tax cut) here

And some families may be eligible for an essential medical equipment payment and you can get more info here.

Check it out and let us know how you think you’ll go.

What will your costs be?

Do you think you’ll be worse off or better off?

Do you have more questions?

Earn less than $80,000? Did you know about your pay rise?

Do you earn less than $80,000? Congratulations. You’re about to get a pay rise.

There’s been a lot of debate about the carbon tax, but did you know that under the changes to the tax system, anyone earning less than $80,000 is going to get a tax cut?

Sweet.

Under the changes, the tax-free threshold increases from $6,000 to $18,200.

So if you earn less than $18,200 per year you do not need to pay income tax and probably won’t have to lodge a tax return.

If you earn more then $18,200 per year you will only pay income tax on earnings over $18,200.

There are new rates of tax for anyone earning up to $80,000. If you have a taxable income below $80,000, you will receive a tax cut (around $300 a year).

You can get info about how much tax you will pay under the new system here.

** Important note. See your accountant or payroll officer to check your eligibility before heading off to the toy sales with your newfound cash!