Most types of income count in your income test. We use this and your assets test to assess if you can get a payment, and to calculate your rate of payment.


Income includes:

  • an amount you earn, derive or receive for your own use or benefit
  • profits
  • some regular payments you get as a gift or allowance.

It can be in the form of:

  • money
  • goods, services or other benefits in return for an item, action or promise.

We use the gross amount in the income test. This is the amount before tax or any other deductions.

The income test includes income from anywhere in the world, not just Australia. This includes pensions from other countries. Read about overseas income.

Assessable income

This is the amount we count in your income test. This also includes your partner’s income.

Examples of assessable income

Assessable income includes the gross employment income you earn from work. This can be:

  • wages
  • bonuses
  • penalty rates and overtime
  • commissions
  • fringe benefits
  • amounts you salary sacrifice
  • directors fees.

Assessable income can also be:


Deeming is the method we use to work out the income from your financial assets. We include this deemed income in your income test.

Read more about deeming.

Details we need from you

Normally we ask for your gross income.

If you own a business or rental property we’ll also ask for one or both of the following:

  • income tax return
  • profit and loss statement.

If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov you can:

  • report your income
  • update details of your savings, shares, managed investments, income streams, real estate and other assets
  • report any gifts you get.

Sign in to myGov

If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink online account you’ll need to create them.

Exempt income

This is income we don’t include in your income test.

Examples of exempt income

Exempt income can be:

  • rent assistance from government
  • most payments from us - these may still count in the Family Tax Benefit income test
  • compensation for loss or damage to things you own
  • child support - this may still affect your Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • any free board and lodging you get
  • regular payments from a close relative
  • emergency relief or similar assistance
  • payments as a victim of National Socialist persecution
  • First Home Saver Account withdrawals or interest
  • repayment for expenses
  • some allowances if you spend the whole amount on what it’s meant for, for example, work travel
  • payments through a National Disability Insurance Scheme package
  • some lump sums.
Page last updated: 28 September 2023.
QC 30376