Tag Archives: Family Tax Benefit

Aside

Did you see the news today that the child support scheme is so complex that only a handful of experts can understand the rules? If are you one of the 1.5 million divorced and separated parents who pay or receive child … Continue reading

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?

3 things to do before the end of financial year

I’ve got a guest post at Mamamia today on 3 things to do before the end of financial year.

Regular readers of Working Mums Australia will already know some of these tips, but you can check them out here.

Happy end of financial year!

Kirsten

Is your child care costing you more than it should?

Apologies for the hiatus, but our day care arrangements are changing and our house is in a state of chaos.

However, we break from this personal hiatus to share some important information all working mums need to know, and potentially do something about, before the 30th of June.  Yep, that’s in a few days ladies.

DID YOU KNOW ALL MUMS WHO WORK OR STUDY MORE THAN 15 HOURS A WEEK ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CHILD CARE SUPPORT?

Not just those who earn below a certain level of income.

Not just those who receive Family Tax Benefit.

All of us.

If this is new information to you, and you had kids in care in between July 2009 and June 2010, you have only a few days to get your forms into the Family Assistance Office because you can get the money retrospectively, but only for two years.

If your children started care more recently and you’re not claiming the rebate, you have a bit longer to get everything in order, but it’s still a good time to get your finances in order and claim all you can.

Here are the facts you need to know.

  • The Child Care Tax Rebate is not means tested. You have to be working, studying or training to qualify but you can get up to $7500 per child per year regardless of your income.  Verification of this from a government website is here.
  • The other form of support, the Child Care Benefit is designed as what the government calls an ‘equity measure’, in that it is designed to help people who need the financial help most.  This one is only available to families on incomes up to around $160,000.  You can read more about this one here.
  • For both forms of care, long day care, family day care and outside school hours care and occasional care all qualify but any informal care (grandparents, nannies or babysitters) doesn’t.
  • You can get the form for both forms of support from the Family Assistance Office (located in Medicare offices).

There is an online process, but you need to know things like your CRN number.   If you don’t know what a CRN is, or whether you have one, I’d suggest an in-person visit.  Personally I found the website incredibly clunky and unfriendly, and I like my local Medicare ladies, so I gave up and went into the office where all of my questions could be answered and my form received with confidence.

They even gave me a little receipt that is pasted on our fridge until they process my form.

The form itself is pretty straightforward and took about 15 minutes to fill out.  You need to know things like your Medicare numbe, bank account details and passport details if any of you have travelled overseas lately.

Working mums work really hard, and many of us are also responsible for managing the household finances and general administration as well as our paid job and the mum job, but the benefit of adding this one to your To Do list is that it has the potential to make you money.  And hopefully make paying that heating bill just a little bit easier 🙂

Kirsten

Our guide to the Federal Budget

Show me your surplus.  A billion this and a billion that.

The billions don’t mean much either way unless you know whether your family stands to benefit or not.

Here’s our quick summary of this year’s Federal Budget and how it will affect working mums and their families.

Let us know what you think and whether your family will be better off – or if we’ve missed anything important to you 🙂

Changes to Family Tax Payments

You probably already know if you receive Family Tax Benefit Part A.

If not, and your household income is below about $150,000, you can find out more here to see if you are eligible.

The Government has announced extra payments of up to $600 per family – but that amount doesn’t go to everyone.

This year’s Budget will increase the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit A which could mean an extra $300 for families with one child, and $600 for families with two or more children. Families receiving the base rate will get $100 if they have one child, and $200 if they have two or more.

When it comes, more than a million families will receive an increase of at least $300. 

Fine print: The benefits don’t start until July 2013 so don’t spend the money yet. There will also be new eligibility criteria so that families will no longer receive the payment if their child is over 18 and not in full-time study.

Tax Changes

From 1 July 2012, the tax‑free threshold will increase from $6,000 to $18,200, which means anyone who earns less than that won’t need to lodge a tax return.  Even better it means a tax cut for anyone on an income of less than about $80,000, which means most part time workers.  Like lots of mums.  Big tick for this one 🙂

The Schoolkids Bonus

We’ve written previously about the Education Tax Refund and tried to encourage everyone to claim it.  Despite our efforts, the Government says that more than 1 million families still aren’t receiving their full entitlement because we’re not very good at keeping receipts or knowing whether we’re eligible.

The new SchoolKids Bonus will go to everyone who was eligible for the old benefit but it will be delivered automatically without a need to keep receipts or make a specific claim.

So what do you get?

  • $410 for each child in primary school
  • $820 for each child in high school

This is about the same are you could get under the Education Tax Refund so if you were one of the super diligent and receipt keeping parents, you’ll be no worse off.

Important note – Joe Hockey has indicated that the Opposition may not support these changes so they’re not yet guaranteed.  Parliament has to vote on the Budget for them to come into effect.  You can let him know how you feel if you’re concerned on Twitter @JoeHockey.

Mums of children with a disability

For mums with a child with a disability there is great news with the first steps towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

According to the Every Australian Counts campaign which has been calling for the NDIS to be funded, the scheme will:

Revolutionise the way people with a disability, their families and carers are supported in Australia.  It will replace all the current state and territory disability systems, because they don’t work.

The NDIS will [help]… hundreds of thousands of Australians with disability and their families to have the opportunity to participate actively in their communities by providing targeted supports aligned to need.

The Government has announced $1 billion to start getting the scheme established.  There will be a need for more, but it’s a very good start.

So, most of us should do quite well out of it all, especially those families on average incomes or below.  Good stuff.

Want more information specific to your family circumstances?  The Daily Telegraph has an excellent calculator where you can put in your income and number of kids and it will tell you what it means for you here.

What do you think?  Will your family benefit?