Balancing your family assistance payments

At the start of each financial year, we ask you to estimate your family income so we can work out how much Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit to pay you.

Want to tell us you don’t need to lodge a tax return? You can tell us using our Centrelink Express Plus mobile app, but make sure you download the latest version.

Find out if you need to lodge a tax return

If you're unsure if you need to lodge a return for 2015-16, read the Do you need to lodge a tax return? 2016 information on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Balancing your payments, now less taxing

The balancing process is now simpler and easier, which means you don’t have to call.

What you have to do at tax time is based on your circumstances.

If you were single and received an income support payment for the entire 2015-16 year

To balance your payment, you don’t need to do anything.

There’s no need for you to call or do anything else. Find out when your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) payment will be automatically balanced.

If you don’t need to lodge a tax return

To balance your payment, you need to complete an online task to tell us you don’t need to lodge a tax return.

You can use your Centrelink online account or select the online task in the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

If the online task doesn't appear, make sure you've received your final Family Tax Benefit payment for the financial year, and have downloaded the latest version of the Centrelink Express Plus mobile app.

Check your FTB payment dates

If you haven’t registered for an online account, we will send you a One Time Access Code by letter, SMS or email. You can use your Customer Reference Number and One Time Access Code to tell us you don’t need to lodge a tax return using the Advise non-lodgement of tax return service.

If you need to lodge a tax return for 2015-16

To balance your payment, you need to lodge a tax return.

Once you’ve lodged there’s no need to do anything else. We’ll get the information we need automatically from the ATO. Your FTB payment will be balanced within 28 days of your Notice of Assessment.

If you didn’t receive family assistance throughout 2015-16 and want to claim a lump sum

You need to submit an online lump sum claim for Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit for the 2015-16 financial year.

You and your partner have until 30 June 2017 to lodge a tax return or let us know that you don’t need to lodge a tax return.

If you’re still not sure, you can use our Tax Time Checker for family assistance to find out what you need to do.

Tax Time Checker for family assistance

The Tax Time Checker provides general information to help you understand what we require from you at the end of the financial year for family assistance and child support. The results will be based on the information you provide and may not be accurate if your circumstances change.

Once you submit the form, content will be revealed under the your results heading after this form.

Your results

You've answered that you were single for the entire year and have a partner. Please review your answers and try again.

These results are based on the information you provided, but may not reflect your full circumstances.

For any tax related questions please contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Family Tax Benefit

You've told us you receive Family Tax Benefit fortnightly or have deferred your payment until after the end of the financial year and you do need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You don't need to do anything. We'll balance your payments automatically.

You'll still need to lodge a tax return for tax purposes. Tax returns can be lodged online with the ATO. To do so, ATO online accounts need to be linked to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

Lodge a tax return as soon as possible so we can balance your payments.

You and your partner should lodge a tax return as soon as possible so we can balance your payments.

We use details from the ATO to work out the amount of family assistance you're eligible for.

Tax returns can be lodged online with the ATO. To do so ATO online accounts need to be linked to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

There's nothing else you need to do and there's no need to call. Read more about what happens after we balance your payments.

You've told us you want to receive Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum and you don't to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You need to submit a lump sum claim for Family Tax Benefit by 30 June 2017 to receive family assistance for 2015-16. The quickest and easiest way is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

You also need to lodge your tax return.

You and your partner also need to lodge your tax returns.

Tax returns can be lodged online with the ATO. To do so ATO online accounts need to be linked to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

Outcome of claim

You don't need to do anything else. Once we've received your income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

You don't need to do anything else. Once we've received your and your partner's income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

You've told us you receive Family Tax Benefit fortnightly or have deferred your payment until after the end of the financial year and you don't need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You don't need to do anything. We'll balance your payments automatically.

Tell us you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income for the year using your:

You only need to tell us once for both Child Care Benefit and Family Tax Benefit.

We also need your partner's income details. You may be able to provide this information using your online account. If this option is not available, your partner will need to provide the information to us directly.

There's nothing else you need to do and there's no need to call. Read more about what happens after we balance your payments.

You've told us you want to receive Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum and you don't need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You need to submit a lump sum claim for Family Tax Benefit by 30 June 2017 to receive family assistance for 2015-16. The quickest and easiest way is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your family income.

Outcome of claim

You don't need to do anything else. Once we've processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

You've told us you receive Family Tax Benefit fortnightly or have deferred your payment until after the end of the financial year and only one of you needs to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You should lodge your tax return because we can only balance your payments once we receive this information from the ATO. We use these details to work out the amount of family assistance you're eligible for.

We'll need your partner's income details as well. You may able to provide this information to us via your Centrelink online account through myGov. If this option is not available, your partner will need to provide this information to us directly.

Tell us you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income for the year using your:

You only need to tell us once for both Child Care Benefit and Family Tax Benefit.

We'll need your partner's income details as well. They'll need to lodge their tax return because we can only balance your payments once we receive this information from the ATO.

Tax returns can be lodged online with the ATO. To do so ATO online accounts need to be linked to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

There's nothing else you need to do and there's no need to call. Read more about what happens after we balance your payments.

You've told us you want to receive Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum and only one of you needs to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You need to submit a lump sum claim for Family Tax Benefit by 30 June 2017 to receive family assistance for 2015-16. The quickest and easiest way is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know your partner doesn't need to lodge a tax return and confirm their income.

You'll need to lodge a tax return. We'll receive your income details directly from the ATO. We need this information before we can work out what family assistance you're eligible for.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income.

Your partner will need to lodge a tax return. We'll receive their income details directly from the ATO. We need this information before we can work out what family assistance you're eligible for.

Outcome of claim

Once we've received your income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

Once we've received your partner's income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

Child Care Benefit

You've told us you receive Child Care Benefit via fee reduction or have deferred your payment until after the end of the financial year and you do need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You don’t need to do anything. We'll balance your payments automatically.

You'll still need to lodge a tax return for tax purposes. Tax returns can be lodged online with the ATO. To do so ATO online accounts need to be linked to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

Lodge a tax return as soon as possible so we can balance your payments.

You and your partner should lodge a tax return as soon as possible so we can balance your payments.

You've told us you want to receive Child Care Benefit as a lump sum and you do need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You need to submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit by 30 June 2017 to receive it for 2015-16. The quickest and easiest way is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

You also need to lodge your tax return.

You and your partner also need to lodge your tax returns.

Tax returns can be lodged online with the ATO. To do so ATO online accounts need to be linked to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

Outcome of claim

You don't need to do anything else. Once we've received your income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

You don't need to do anything else. Once we've received your and your partner's income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

When you claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care annually as a lump sum payment, you'll receive any Child Care Rebate you're eligible for as a lump sum along with any Child Care Benefit.

You've told us you receive Child Care Benefit via fee reduction or have deferred your payment until after the end of the financial year and you don't need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You don't need to do anything. We'll balance your payments automatically.

Tell us you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income for the year using your:

You only need to tell us once for both Child Care Benefit and Family Tax Benefit.

We also need your partner's income details. You may be able to provide this information using your online account. If this option is not available, your partner will need to provide the information to us directly.

There's nothing else you need to do and there's no need to call. Read more about what happens after we balance your payments.

You've told us you want to receive Child Care Benefit as a lump sum and you don't need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You need to submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit by 30 June 2017 to receive it for 2015-16. The quickest and easiest way is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your family income.

Outcome of claim

You don't need to do anything else. Once we've processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

When you claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care annually as a lump sum payment, you'll receive any Child Care Rebate you're eligible for as a lump sum along with any Child Care Benefit.

You've told us you receive Child Care Benefit via fee reduction or have deferred your payment until after the end of the financial year and only one of you needs to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You should lodge your tax return because we can only balance your payments once we receive this information from the ATO. We use these details to work out the amount of family assistance you're eligible for.

We'll need your partner's income details as well. You may able to provide this information to us via your Centrelink online account through myGov. If this option is not available, your partner will need to provide this information to us directly.

Tell us you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income for the year using your:

You only need to tell us once for both Child Care Benefit and Family Tax Benefit.

We'll need your partner's income details as well. They'll need to lodge their tax return because we can only balance your payments once we receive this information from the ATO.

Tax returns can be lodged online with the ATO. To do so ATO online accounts need to be linked to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

There's nothing else you need to do and there's no need to call. Read more about what happens after we balance your payments.

You've told us you want to receive Child Care Benefit as a lump sum and only one of you needs to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

You need to submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit by 30 June 2017 to receive it for 2015-16. The quickest and easiest way is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know your partner doesn't need to lodge a tax return and confirm their income.

You'll need to lodge a tax return. We'll receive your income details directly from the ATO. We need this information before we can work out what assistance you're eligible for.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income.

Your partner will need to lodge a tax return. We'll receive their income details directly from the ATO. We need this information before we can work out what family assistance you're eligible for.

Outcome of claim

Once we've received your income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

Once we've received your partner's income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

When you claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care annually as a lump sum payment, you'll receive any Child Care Rebate you're eligible for as a lump sum along with any Child Care Benefit.

Child Care Rebate

You've told us you receive Child Care Rebate fortnightly or quarterly and you do need to lodge a tax return

Once your Child Care Benefit is balanced, we'll be able to confirm the amount of the rebate you're eligible for.

Child Care Rebate isn't income tested. You don't need to do anything to balance your payments.

You don't need to contact us. We'll send you a letter about your Child Care Rebate payments.

You've told us you want to receive Child Care Rebate as a lump sum and you do need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

To claim Child Care Rebate for 2015-16 as an annual payment, you need to submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit by 30 June 2017. Even if your income is too high to receive Child Care Benefit, you still need to submit a claim for Child Care Benefit to have your Child Care Rebate assessed.

The quickest and easiest way to claim is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

You also need to lodge your tax return.

You and your partner also need to lodge your tax returns.

Outcome of claim

Once we've received your income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

Once we've received your and your partner's income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

You've told us you receive Child Care Rebate fortnightly or quarterly and you don't need to lodge a tax return

Once your Child Care Benefit is balanced, we'll be able to confirm the amount of the rebate you're eligible for.

Child Care Rebate isn't income tested. You don't need to do anything to balance your payments.

You don't need to contact us. We'll send you a letter about your Child Care Rebate payments.

You've told us you want to receive Child Care Rebate as a lump sum and you don't need to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

To claim Child Care Rebate for 2015-16 as an annual payment, you need to submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit by 30 June 2017. The quickest and easiest way is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your family income.

Outcome of claim

Once we've received processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

You've told us you receive Child Care Rebate fortnightly or quarterly and only one of you needs to lodge a tax return

Once your Child Care Benefit is balanced, we'll be able to confirm the amount of the rebate you're eligible for.

Child Care Rebate isn't income tested. You don't need to do anything to balance your payments.

You don't need to contact us. We'll send you a letter about your Child Care Rebate payments.

You've told us you want to receive Child Care Rebate as a lump sum and only one of you needs to lodge a tax return
What you need to do

To claim Child Care Rebate for 2015-16 as an annual payment, you need to submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit by 30 June 2017. Even if your income is too high to receive Child Care Benefit, you still need to submit a claim for Child Care Benefit to have your Child Care Rebate assessed.

The quickest and easiest way to claim is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know your partner doesn't need to lodge a tax return and confirm their income. You'll need to lodge a tax return.

As part of the claim, you'll be able to let us know you don't need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income. Your partner will need to lodge a tax return.

Outcome of claim

Once we've received your income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

Once we've received your partner's income details directly from the ATO and processed your claim, we'll let you know what assistance you're eligible to receive. The amount you'll receive depends on your family income and circumstances.

Child Support

If your partner or you pay any child support for a child from a previous relationship, this amount will be deducted from your adjusted taxable income when we assess your family assistance payments. This includes child support we collect, private maintenance and non-cash maintenance.

If you or your partner receive, or are entitled to receive, child support or spousal maintenance and you get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A, a maintenance income test may also apply. Read more about child support and your Family Tax Benefit Part A.

You've told us you receive or pay child support and don't need to lodge a tax return

You need to confirm your income with Child Support as soon as possible to ensure your assessment is accurate.

You can do this by completing the child support income declaration form online using your Child Support online account through myGov.

You've told us you receive or pay child support and need to lodge a tax return

Tell Child Support what your taxable income is as soon as possible so your assessment is accurate. You can do this by completing the child support income declaration form online using your Child Support online account through myGov.

You can lodge your tax return online with the ATO. To do so you'll need to have linked your ATO online account to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

You've told us you receive or pay child support and only one of you needs to lodge a tax return

Tell Child Support what your taxable income is as soon as possible so your assessment is accurate.

You can do this by completing the child support income declaration form online using your Child Support online account through myGov.

You can lodge your tax return online with the ATO. To do so you'll need to have linked your ATO online account to myGov. Read more about how to lodge online at the ATO website.

You don't receive Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate or receive or pay child support

The Tax Time Checker is for customers who receive family assistance only. If you don't claim Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate, you don't need to use this tool.

If you haven't received any family assistance payments, but think you might be eligible for Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate, you have until 30 June 2017 to submit your lump sum claim for the 2015-16 financial year.

The quickest and easiest way to submit a lump sum claim for Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Benefit is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Automatic FTB balancing

If for the full 2015-16 financial year you were single and received an income support payment, your FTB payments will be balanced automatically.

Date of your final FTB payment for 2015-16 is paid Earliest date we can balance your FTB payments Date any supplements and top ups should be paid by
4 July 2016 5 July 2016 8 July 2016
5 July 2016 6 July 2016 11 July 2016
6 July 2016 7 July 2016 12 July 2016
7 July 2016 8 July 2016 13 July 2016
8 July 2016 11 July 2016 14 July 2016
11 July 2016 12 July 2016 15 July 2016
12 July 2016 13 July 2016 18 July 2016
13 July 2016 14 July 2016 19 July 2016
14 July 2016 15 July 2016 20 July 2016
15 July 2016 18 July 2016 21 July 2016

Balancing child care payments

Your child care payments will be balanced separately to FTB payments. This is because we need to check attendance information, and we do so from the 4th Monday in July to ensure all attendance information for the year is included when we do this check.

Read more about balancing your child care payments.

If you haven't lodged a tax return or told us you don’t need to

If you and your partner haven't lodged your tax returns with the ATO or told us you don't need to lodge by 30 June 2017, you’ll no longer be eligible for family assistance payments for 2015-16. This includes the Family Tax Benefit supplements. You’ll be required to repay any family assistance you received during that year.

What happens after we balance your payments

We’ll send you a letter once we’ve balanced your payments. If you receive your letters electronically, this will be through your myGov account.

When we balance your FTB payments, we’ll automatically check if you’re eligible for any supplements such as Single Income Family Supplement, FTB Part A supplement and FTB Part B supplement.

If you didn’t receive your full family assistance payments during the year, you may receive a top up. Top ups may be used to repay any outstanding family assistance or tax debts.

If you’ve been paid too much, this is an overpayment you’ll have to pay back. We’ll let you know if this happens.

How to check if your payments have been balanced

You don’t need to contact us.

You can check if your payments have been balanced using:

You'll need to register for a Centrelink online account through myGov if you haven’t already.

Page last updated: 26 August 2016