Income reporting

We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.

To report your income you can:

Your income affects your payments from us. Read the information you need to know about reporting employment and using the earnings worksheet form to find out more.

Types of reporting

When you start getting a payment, we’ll tell you when you need to report your and your partner’s earnings. There are 2 types of reporting.

Scheduled reporting

Most people need to report every 14 days. We call this your reporting period. We’ll tell you when your reporting period starts and ends. You must report your and your partner’s income for the most recent reporting period.

Unscheduled reporting

If we don’t give you a reporting period, you must still tell us if your or your partner’s income changes. You must tell us about any changes within 14 days. You can only tell us about your income changes by calling us on your usual payment line.

What to report

We need to know how much you and your partner earn. This is so we can pay you the right amount. If your earnings change, even by a small amount, you need to tell us.

If you get a payment with mutual obligation requirements, you must report even when your income is zero.

Income can be:

  • money you earn from a job or you get from another source, for example an investment
  • money you get as a gift or allowance

Read more about how we define income.

Income from self employment

Income from your or your partner’s business arrangement affects your payment differently to employment income.

If you’re self employed, contact us to find out how you should report your income.

Report the right amount

Report your and your partner’s income for the whole reporting period, including the first and last days. Report it even if your employer hasn’t paid you yet.

You need to know:

  • your standard hourly pay rate
  • other pay rates like overtime or penalty hours
  • the total hours you worked at each pay rate

Don’t just copy the amount on your payslip. Bear in mind the dates on it may not match your reporting period dates.

Remember to note your hours each time you work. You can use our employment diary to keep track of the hours you work. Find it in your Centrelink online account through myGov.

You can also use our timesheet tool in the Express Plus Centrelink app or the earnings worksheet form.

Keep records

We may ask you to show proof of your income, such as payslips.

Your total income from your job is:

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

Standard pay rate

Employers will include the date, hours you worked, and your hourly rate on your payslips.

If they don’t, divide the gross pay on your payslip by the hours on your payslip. This gives you your standard hourly rate unless some hours were at another pay rate. Ask your pay office if it’s not clear.

Add up the hours you worked in the reporting period and multiply the total hours worked by your standard hourly rate. This gives you your income to report unless some hours were at another pay rate.

Find out more about payslips and what your employer should include on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Other pay rates

Overtime and penalty work have different hourly pay rates.

There are ways to help you keep track of when you work:

  • write down your overtime or penalty hours every time you work - don’t try to remember it at the end of the reporting period
  • find out from your pay office what your hourly overtime or penalty pay rate is
  • multiply your pay rate by the number of hours you worked at that rate in the reporting period - this will give you the total amount you earned at that rate
  • add this amount to the total you earned at your standard pay rate
  • keep a record of the roster for the fortnight you work if you can

Leave payments

If you take leave from work you need to report how much of your income in the reporting period was:

  • paid leave
  • hours you worked

If you don’t have mutual obligation requirements, you have 14 days to tell us about leave earnings at a different rate from your normal wages.

You also need to tell us if your employer pays you for leave you built up but didn’t take time off for. We count this differently from other leave.

Job income – fixed unit rates

Some people get a set amount for each item of work they finish rather than an hourly rate.

If you get a fixed unit rate your total income is the fixed rate multiplied by the number of items you produced in the reporting period.

Income from more than one job

You need to report your income from each job separately.

Keep track of your income from different jobs by using a different earnings worksheet form for each employer.

Severance or redundancy

You need to tell us if you leave your job and get a severance or redundancy payment. Your payment may stop for a period of time.

Read more about the income maintenance period.

Superannuation

If you make voluntary superannuation contributions, it counts as income. We include this in your assessable income when we work out how much to pay you.

Other things we need to know

When you report your income you must also tell us any changes in your circumstances.

You may also need to tell us if you have met your mutual obligation requirements for the reporting period.

Child support

Changes in circumstances can change how much Child Support you get or pay. Use your Child Support online account through myGov or call our Child Support line to tell us about changes.

Read about changes that affect your child support.

When to report

If you have scheduled reporting

Each time you put in a report we’ll tell you what your next reporting date is. Report by 5 pm on your reporting date to make sure we can pay you on time.

You can’t report before your reporting date unless it’s on a public holiday. We’ll tell you if you need to report on a different day.

If you report late

If you report late, your payment could be late. You can report online up to 13 days after your reporting date. If you’re more than 13 days late, you need to call us or visit a service centre.

If you don’t report your income

If you have mutual obligation requirements and don’t report how much you earned, you won’t be paid.

If you don’t have a regular reporting schedule

When you first get a payment we’ll tell you when you need to report. If we don’t give you a regular reporting schedule, you must tell us within 14 days if you or your partner’s income changes. The only way you can tell us about changes is by calling your usual payment line.

Debt

If you report the wrong amount of income or don’t tell us about changes of circumstances, we may pay you too much. This means you’ll have a debt to pay back.

Read about owing money.

How to report

There are 4 ways you can report your income and changes to your circumstances:

Please tell us if you don’t need to report regularly. The only way you can tell us about changes to your or your partner’s income is by phoning us on your usual payment line.

Employment diary and timesheet

You can record your income so it’s ready to report in the employment diary. Record it in your:

When you go online or use the app to report your income, you can use the details from your employment diary or timesheet.

Our reporting employment income and job plan requirements online guide can help you use your online account to report.

If you make a mistake

If you tell us the wrong amount, contact us as soon as possible to fix the mistake. Don’t wait till your next reporting day to tell us about it.

If you want someone to report for you

Someone close to you or an organisation can report for you if you tell us that’s what you want. You will need to set them up as a nominee.

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

Reminders

We can remind you not to miss your reporting date. You can get reminders:

You can get a reminder if you’re:

  • on a variable reporting arrangement, or
  • able to report early because of a public holiday

We don’t remind you if you miss your reporting date.

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Page last updated: 20 July 2017

This information was printed Wednesday 26 July 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/income-reporting It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.