Update your family income estimate

Your family income estimate plays an important role in getting your payments right. We use it to work out how much Child Care Subsidy you can get.

After you and your partner complete a tax return, we’ll know your actual adjusted taxable income. We get this information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If you don’t need to lodge a tax return, you’ll need to let us know.

We look at what we paid you, based on the family income estimate you gave us. We compare this with the details you or the ATO gives us for your family’s actual adjusted taxable income. We call this balancing your subsidy.

If you end up earning less than your family income estimate, we may not have paid you enough subsidy. If this happens, we’ll pay any outstanding amount directly to you.

However, if your family end up earning more than what you estimated, we may have paid you too much. If this happens, you’ll owe us money which you’ll have to pay back.

Keep in mind, a number of things could change your and your partner’s income during the year. You may get a pay rise, change the number of days you work or start a new job. Read about what to include in your family income estimate.

You should review your family income estimate regularly. If your family income estimate has changed you need to tell us.

Read more about how your income affects Child Care Subsidy.

What you need to do

It’s important you let us know when there’s a change to your family’s income. You may also want to update your withholding percentage.

Update your family’s income estimate

Even a small change in your income can affect your payment. As soon as you know there may be a change, update your estimate as soon as possible. We’ll adjust your payments so we don’t overpay you.

It’s even more important you check and update your estimate regularly if your income is close to $530,000.

Remember, if you overestimate your family income, you’ll get any outstanding payments when we balance your payments.

It only takes a few minutes to do the update and you can do it yourself online. If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, sign in now and select Update family income estimate.

Sign in to myGov

You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Adjust the amount withheld

You can increase your withholding percentage. We automatically 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. Use our online guide to help you change your withholding percentage for Child Care Subsidy. You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. It only takes a few minutes to do the update and you can do it yourself online.

Page last updated: 10 July 2023.
QC 48491