If you get both Child Care Subsidy and Family Tax Benefit

We pay both the subsidy and Family Tax Benefit (FTB) based on your family income estimate. The higher your estimate is, the less subsidy and FTB you’ll get.

If you get FTB and Child Care Subsidy, it’s twice as important your family income estimate is accurate.

If you earn more than what you estimated, we may pay you too much subsidy and FTB. If this happens, you’ll owe us money which you’ll have to pay back.

If you overestimate your income and don’t get enough subsidy or FTB, we may pay you a top up  when we balance your payments.

Read more about how your income affects Child Care Subsidy.

What you need to do

You need to let us know when there’s a change to your family’s income. You may also want to update your subsidy withholding percentage or your FTB payment choice.

Update your family’s income estimate

Even a small change in your family’s income can affect your payment. When you know there may be a change, update your family income estimate as soon as possible.

You can update your estimate at any time using your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. It only takes a few minutes to do.

Adjust the subsidy amount withheld

You can increase your subsidy withholding percentage. We withhold 5% of your subsidy payments to help reduce the chance of you owing money. You can increase your withholding online, up to two times a year.

You can update your withholding using your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. It only takes a few minutes to do.

Example where a family underestimates their income

Monique and Jon have a child in centre based care 5 days a week. Monique has claimed Child Care Subsidy. At the start of the financial year, Monique estimated their family income to be $67,000. Monique estimates she will earn $50,000 and Jon will earn $17,000. Based on this we’ll subsidise the child care fees up to 85%.

During the year, Monique got $24,700 in subsidy paid direct to their child care provider. We withheld $1,300 in subsidy. Monique also got $3,900 in Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B.

After balancing their payments, their actual family income was $82,000. Monique earned $60,000 and Jon earned $22,000 during the year.

Because Monique and Jon earned more than they estimated, they have an overpayment. The overpayment is $2,750 for FTB and Child Care Subsidy. We’ll use the $1,300 we withheld to reduce the amount of Child Care Subsidy owed. They’ll still have to pay back $1,450. This includes $230 in Child Care Subsidy, $580 in FTB Part A, and $640 in FTB Part B.

Page last updated: 26 September 2019