Income reporting

How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner have earned each fortnight so you're paid the right amount.

To report your income, you can:

What you need to report

If you are earning income, or receiving a payment with Mutual Obligation Requirements, you will need to report to us on a regular basis.

You still need to report even when your income is zero.

When you report your income, you may be asked to confirm if you are meeting your Mutual Obligation Requirements and notify us of any change in your circumstances.

Income

Income means:

  • an 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

Read more about how we define income.

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

When reporting your income, you need to know:

  • the reporting date that 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, and
  • 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 out from your pay office or work it out from a recent payslip, and
  • 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 using the earnings worksheet form, the Employment Diary or on a calendar

Read the information you need to know about reporting employment and using the Earnings Worksheet form to understand how your payment is affected by your income.

Our Employment Diary assists you in keeping track of the hours you work. You can access it using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Do not copy the amount on your payslip, as the dates you worked 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, if you have one, within 14 days of the change, or by the last day of your reporting period if you are receiving a payment with Mutual Obligation Requirements.

If you pay or receive child support, make sure we know about any changes to your situation. Changes to your circumstances may affect the amount of child support you pay or receive. You can update your child support arrangement in your Child Support online account through myGov or by calling our Child Support line.

Read more about changes that affect your child support.

How to report

Report your income and all changes to your circumstances by using the self service option of your choice including:

  • your Centrelink online account through myGov. It’s easy to create a myGov account if you don't have one already
  • the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app - you can download the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app from the App Store or Google PlayTM
  • phone self service by calling 133 276 (13 EARN) on your regular reporting day - you will need to provide your Customer Access Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN) when you call. If you don't have a 6 digit PIN, you can register for phone self service to get one

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

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

You can report online up to 13 days after your reporting date.

If you are more than 13 days late, you need to call our Job seekers line or visit a service centre.

When you report your income, you may also be asked to confirm you are meeting your Mutual Obligation Requirements 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 our Job seekers line or visiting a service centre.

If you do not report your income or change of circumstances, you may be paid incorrectly and incur a debt that you have to pay back.

Read more about owing money.

Reporting reminders

We can send you a reminder to report your income before your reporting date. You can choose how we notify you.

You can receive a reminder if you’re:

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

We don’t send reminders if you haven’t reported on your reporting date.

Self service

If you report using self service, your next reporting date will be given when you report. This includes if you report using:

Online letters

If you're registered for Centrelink letters online, you will receive reporting reminders and other notifications through your Centrelink online account.

If you aren't registered for Centrelink letters online, you can register by signing in to your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Once you link your Centrelink online account to your myGov account, your mail will go to your myGov inbox.

Electronic Messaging

If you're subscribed to Electronic Messaging, you'll receive your reporting notifications and reminders by email or SMS.

Register for Electronic Messaging reminders by signing in to your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Letter

You'll continue to receive your reporting notifications and reminders by paper if you don't use your online account or are not subscribed to Centrelink letters online or Electronic Messaging.

Help reporting your income

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.

Non-standard pay 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:

  • your total gross earnings at the standard hourly rate
  • 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 reporting period

Multiply the number of overtime hours worked in the 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're 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 your earnings. You just need to know how many units you produced in your reporting period.

Employment Diary

If you are receiving employment income, use the Employment Diary located in your Centrelink online account through myGov. Select Report employment income from the main menu.

The diary allows you to record your employment income during the reporting period. When you report your income, a summary of your Employment Diary will be displayed and you'll have the option of using the information to report your income on your reporting day.

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, 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 an income support payment, they might be able to report for both of you. If they don't receive an income support 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 one 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 form 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 have not told you to report on a specific day, then you have 14 days to tell us about leave earned at a different rate to your normal wages.

If you're paid out accrued leave from your current employer, but don't 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 the period it was paid for.

Reporting your superannuation contributions

We will 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.

Page last updated: 22 September 2016

This information was printed Friday 30 September 2016 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.