Income reporting

How much you earn affects your payment. We need to know what you have earned each fortnight so you are paid the right amount.

Report your income

Income

Income means:

  • an 'income amount' you earn, derive or receive for your own use or benefit, or
  • a periodical payment or benefit you receive as a gift or allowance

Learn more about how we define income.

What you need to report

If you are working, you must report your employment income to us, usually by the end of your Centrelink fortnightly entitlement period. You still need to report even when your income is zero.

You must report you and your partner's income for the entire reporting period, including the first and last day of your reporting period, even if you haven't been paid by your employer yet. This is so we can make sure you get paid the correct amount. If you are overpaid, you may have to pay it back. Your partner can report earnings and changes for both of you.

When reporting your income, you need to know:

  • your reporting date—this was provided to you after you last reported your income. You may have also received a notification or reminder by online letter, email or SMS
  • your income—this is how much you have earned during the reporting period

To work out your earnings, you need to know:

  • your hourly pay rate, including variations like overtime. You can find this out from your pay office or you can work it out from a recent payslip
  • the total number of hours you worked during your reporting period. It will help if you keep a note of your hours each time you work. You can do this in 'Your earnings worksheets' in a diary, or on a calendar

We can help you work out your reportable earnings

Do not copy the amount on your payslip as the period may not match your reporting period and could be incorrect

You need to keep evidence of your earnings as we may ask you to show proof of your income. We recommend keeping your payslips for at least 6 months.

Change of circumstance

It is important you tell us if your circumstances change. This is so we can make sure you get paid the correct amount. You must report any change of circumstances for you or your partner within 14 days of the change, or by the last day of your Centrelink fortnightly entitlement period if you are receiving a payment with participation or Activity Test requirements.

If you pay or receive child support, you should make sure we know about your change of situation. Changes to your circumstances may affect the amount of child support you pay or receive. You can update your Child Support arrangement by calling 131 272 or using Child Support Online Accounts. Read more about changes that affect your child support.

How to report

You no longer need to report using a paper form. You can report your income and all changes to your circumstances by using the self service option of your choice:

  • your myGov account—if you do not have an account, it’s easy to create one
  • your Centrelink online account—if you do not have an account, it’s easy to register
  • your Express Plus mobile app on your smart device—you can download Express Plus mobile apps from the App Store or Google Play
  • phone self service—by calling 133 276 (13 EARN) between 8 am and 5 pm on your regular reporting day. You will need to provide your Customer Access Number and Personal Identification Number when you call. If you do not have a 6 digit PIN, you can call 136 240 to register and get one

If you are still sent a paper reporting form in the mail, you can choose to report using self service. You can use a self service terminal at one of our service centres, or speak to a Service Officer who can record your reporting information.

View our step by step guide Reporting your employment income so you can report your income, activity test and participation details using your Centrelink online account.

When to report

You need to report by 5 pm on your reporting date to avoid delays in your payment. You cannot report before your reporting date, except when your reporting date is affected by public holidays. We will tell you about any exceptions.

If you report late, the payment you might be entitled to could be late. If you fail to report how much you earned, you will not get paid.

We only accept late reports up to 13 days after your reporting date if you are:

  • a job seeker on a payment with participation or Activity Test requirements, or
  • a student

If you are more than 13 days late, you need to call us on 132 850 or visit your nearest Centrelink service centre.

You can report online up to 13 days after your reporting date if you are not a student or if you do not have to meet the Activity Test.

When you report your income, you can also report your Activity Test or participation details and notify us of any change in your circumstances.

If you still receive a paper form, you will need to report on the date shown on your Reporting Statement. You can do this by calling 132 850 or visiting one of our service centres.

If you do not report, you may have to pay back the payments you received during the period. Read more about owing money.

Reporting notifications and reminders

We can notify or remind you to report your income. You can choose how we remind you.

Self service

If you choose to report via self service, your next reporting date will be given when you report. This includes if you report using your myGov account, your Centrelink online account, an Express Plus mobile app or phone self service.

Online Letters

If you are registered to receive Centrelink online letters, you will receive your reporting reminders and other notifications through your Centrelink online account.

You can register to receive online letters by logging on to your myGov account or Centrelink online account.

Electronic Messaging

If you are subscribed to Electronic Messaging, you will receive your reporting notifications and reminders by email or SMS.

You can register to receive Electronic Messaging reminders by logging on to your myGov account or Centrelink online account.

Letter

You will continue to receive your reporting notifications and reminders by paper if you do not report via your online account or are not subscribed to Online Letters or Electronic Messaging.

Help reporting your income

Working out your reportable earnings

To work out your reportable earnings, divide the gross pay on your payslip by the number of hours you worked—this will give you your standard hourly pay rate. When you have this information, multiply the number of hours worked in your reporting period by your hourly pay rate to calculate how much you have earned at the standard rate.

If your hourly pay rate varies, you can still use the standard hourly rate to work out how much you have been paid.

Working out your income if you are not paid a standard rate

If you do overtime or other work that is paid at a different hourly rate, you need to include the following earnings as well:

  • work out your total gross earnings at the 'standard' hourly rate
  • work out your overtime or penalty earnings by calculating:
    • your hourly overtime rate of pay. You can find this out from your employer or pay office, and
    • how many overtime or penalty rate hours you worked in the Centrelink Reporting Period
  • multiply the number of overtime hours worked in the Centrelink Reporting Period by your hourly overtime rate, and
  • add this amount to the total gross earnings at your standard hourly rate

Keep a record of your overtime hours every time you work, rather than trying to remember them at the end of the fortnight.

To work out your total employment income:

Total gross earnings plus overtime and penalty earnings equals the income you report.

Fixed unit rate

If you are paid a fixed amount for each 'unit' of work completed, such as per item produced, you don't need to know how many hours you worked in the reporting period in order to work out how much you made—you just need to know how many units you produced in your reporting period.

Self employed

If some or all of your earnings are from self employment, contact us to find out how you should report these earnings.

Updating your reported income

If you tell us the wrong amount, you have to contact us as soon as possible to fix the mistake. This will ensure we pay you the right amount. Do not wait until your next reporting day to fix mistakes from previous reports.

You cannot use self service to change an amount you have already reported.

Someone to deal with us on your behalf

If your partner also gets a Centrelink payment, they might be able to report for both of you. If they don't receive a Centrelink payment, they can report on your behalf if you provide consent. You may also be able to have another person such as a family member, friend or a third party, like an institution, contact us on your behalf.

Read more about getting someone to deal with us on your behalf.

Reporting for multiple jobs

If you have more than 1 job during your reporting period, you must report your earnings from each job. You can keep track of your income by using a separate earnings worksheet for each employer.

Reporting your leave payments

If you go on temporary leave from your work, you need to let us know about any money you earn from both leave and hours worked in the same reporting period. If we haven’t told you to report on a specific day, then you have got 14 days to tell us about leave earned at a different rate to your normal wages.

If you are paid out accrued leave from your current employer, but do not take it as a leave of absence, you need to let us know. This is treated differently to other leave.

Reporting redundancy payments

If you get a severance or redundancy payment from your employer when you leave your job, you have to tell us as you may be subject to an Income Maintenance Period.

An Income Maintenance Period is a period of time where leave or redundancy payments received by you or your partner are treated as income. This means your payment might be reduced or stopped for a while, depending on how much you were paid and when it was paid for.

Reporting your superannuation contributions

We'll include any reportable contributions to superannuation as income. These contributions will be included in the income used to work out your payment.

Read more about assessable income.