Your family income estimate for family assistance payments

We use your family income estimate to work out how much family assistance to pay you. This includes Family Tax Benefit (FTB) and Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

Why we need a family income estimate

We use your family income estimate to work out how much Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Subsidy you get during a financial year. So your family income estimate needs to be accurate and up to date.

We’ll ask you to update your family income estimate before the start of each financial year. You can also update your estimate any time during the financial year if your circumstances change.

After the end of each financial year, you need to confirm your family income. To do this, you and your partner need to either:

  • lodge a tax return
  • tell us if you don’t need to lodge a tax return.

You must confirm your family income by 30 June of the following financial year. Read about time limits if you get:

Once you’ve confirmed your family income, we’ll:

This is to make sure we paid you the right amount of family assistance.

If you don’t give us a family income estimate

We’ll estimate it for you to reduce the risk of us overpaying you. We may update your family income estimate using either:

  • your or your partner’s previous financial year income information from the Australian Taxation Office
  • the latest family income estimate you’ve given us.

We may also adjust your estimate based on changes to the Australian Average Weekly Earnings. Read more about Australian Average Weekly Earnings on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

What to know before you estimate your income

If the income estimate you give us is too low, you may get a debt when we balance your payments. You’ll have to pay this back.

If it's too high, we may pay you less than you’re entitled to. If this is the case, you may get the amount you missed out on when we balance your FTB and balance your CCS.

If you get FTB, you can choose to get some or all of your payment as a lump sum when we balance your payment. This can help reduce your risk of getting a debt. Read more about payment choices for FTB.

You must update your family income estimate when your circumstances change. This is to reduce the risk of getting a debt. Read about what change of circumstances you need to tell us about if you get CCS or FTB.

What to include in your family income estimate

You need to tell us about your and your partner’s adjusted taxable income for the whole financial year.

This should include both:

  • income already earned during the financial year
  • income likely to be earnt for the rest of the financial year.

Remember, if you're paid weekly or fortnightly, the number of pay days in a financial year can vary.

When you update your family income estimate, think about the things you may need to include, such as:

  • any taxable payments you get from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs,
  • certain non-taxable Australian Government payments you get from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Farm Household Allowance Supplement lump sums
  • foreign income
  • taxable lump sum payments
  • other income, such as capital gains or commissions
  • any child support or spousal maintenance you pay.

You also need to think about whether you’ll get any of the following during the financial year:

  • extra pay for working overtime or extra hours
  • income from casual work, shift work or contract work
  • pay rises or work bonuses
  • redundancy payouts
  • income from business or self-employment
  • reportable fringe benefits, ask your employer first, because how we assess these depends on the type of employer you have
  • early released superannuation, except for the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

Read more about the First Home Super Saver Scheme on the ATO website.

If you changed jobs, or started or returned to work, you need to keep this in mind too.

Any child support or spousal maintenance you receive may also affect the amount of FTB you get.

What not to include in your family income estimate

You don't need to include FTB or CCS.

You also don’t need to include any of the following that you or your partner get:

How to update your income estimate

The easiest way to update your income estimate is online. Use your Centrelink online account through myGov, or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. Make sure you’re using the latest version of the app first.

For help, use our guide to update your family income estimate and payment choice.

When you need to report income for other payments

If you get an income support payment from us

You need to report your income separately if you get an income support payment from us.

This is different to updating your income estimate for family assistance.

If you pay or receive child support

We need to know your income for the financial year. We need it so we can work out the amount of child support you need to pay or receive.

We won’t use your family income estimate for this. To make sure we base your child support on the right income, always lodge your tax return on time.

Read more about how your income affects child support.

Page last updated: 30 August 2021