Foreign income for family assistance

Foreign income can affect how much Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Subsidy you get.

What foreign income is

Foreign income includes any income you and your partner earn, or get from outside Australia.

This may include any of the following:

  • foreign employment income
  • overseas pensions
  • gifts or allowances of money you get regularly including money or gifts from relatives living overseas
  • income from foreign business interests or investments.

We include foreign income as part of your adjusted taxable income.

How it affects family assistance

You must include any foreign income you expect to get in your family income estimate.

Your estimate must include the following:

  • be in Australian dollars
  • cover the income you expect for the Australian financial year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June.

We use this estimate to work out how much family assistance you can get. This includes Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Subsidy.

The way foreign income affects your family assistance depends on whether it’s taxable or not. If you’re unsure, it’s important you confirm with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) how they’ll assess your foreign income. Do this before updating your family income estimate.

Read about foreign income on the ATO website if you’re not sure if your foreign income is taxable in Australia.

If you don’t pay tax on foreign income

If you don’t pay Australian tax on foreign income you get, you must include it. List it as foreign income in your family income estimate.

Tax exempt foreign income

This is income you earn while overseas in foreign service or on an approved project for 91 days or more.

This can include income you earn if you are either:

  • a member of the armed services serving overseas
  • on an overseas project approved by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

You must include this income in your family income estimate.

If you pay tax on foreign income

If you pay Australian tax on foreign income you get, you must still include it. List it as taxable income in your family income estimate.

If you can’t access it from Australia

We don’t count your foreign income if you can’t access it in Australia. You don’t need to include it in your family income estimate.

If you visit a country where you can access it, you must list it in your family income estimate. You should list it as foreign income. We’ll then reassess your payment rate.

What exchange rates we’ll use

We use the exchange rate from 1 July each year. These are the rates we apply when calculating your foreign income for that financial year.

Exchange rates for 2020-21

We’ll use these rates for the 2020-21 Australian financial year.

Currency Rate
English Pound 0.5933
European Currency Unit 0.6546
US Dollar 0.7353
Canadian Dollar 0.9989
New Zealand Dollar 1.113

Exchange rates for 2019-20

We’ll use these rates for the 2019-20 Australian financial year.

Currency Rate
English Pound 0.5903
European Currency Unit 0.6597
US Dollar 0.7494
Canadian Dollar 0.9805
New Zealand Dollar

1.0893

If you need the rate for a currency that we don't list above, please call the families line.

How foreign income affects other payments

We assess income from outside Australia differently for our other payments and services.

Page last updated: 8 July 2021