Parental income limit

We check your parents’ or guardians’ income when you claim Tertiary Access Payment.

To be eligible for the Tertiary Access Payment, you must meet either of the following:

  • your parents’ or guardians’ income is under the limit of $250,000
  • you’re exempt from providing your parents’ or guardians’ income.

What income we assess

We look at the income of your parents or the guardians you live with, or last lived with. This includes step parents if you live with them.

If your parents are separated, we’ll assess the income of the parent you spend the most time living with. If you spend equal time living with each parent, we’ll assess the income of the parent you ask us to. If you don’t live with either parent now, we’ll assess the income of the parent you last lived with. If you last lived with both parents equally, we’ll assess the income of the parent you ask us to.

Your parents or guardians can give us this information online, using the Advise Parental Income Service. We’ll provide you with a Verification Code at the end of your claim so your parent or guardian can use the service.

What tax year we use

The parental income limit uses your parents' or guardians’ combined taxable and other income for the last tax year.

If you’re studying in 2022, we use the combined parental income for the 2020-21 tax year.

Parental income includes:

  • combined parental taxable income
  • tax free pensions and benefits
  • fringe benefits
  • income from outside Australia
  • reportable superannuation contributions
  • total net investment losses such as negative gearing losses for that tax year.

We deduct any child support or maintenance your parents or guardians pay from their parental income. This might be any child support or maintenance for a child or former partner.

What evidence we need

When you make a claim, your parents or guardians will need to give us evidence of their income.

We’ll ask them for their notice of assessment from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for the last tax year.

If they can’t give us their notice of assessment, they need to provide us with relevant documents. These can be one or more of the following:

  • a letter from their tax agent or accountant saying their income isn’t expected to be more than a certain amount
  • a statement of benefit for the tax year for payments they get from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • a payment summary, ATO Income Statement or statement of benefits with a statutory declaration, confirming their taxable income
  • a statement on a letterhead for any foreign income.

Page last updated: 14 February 2022