Income specific to Indigenous Australians

The amount of money you receive from us depends on your family circumstances and all your income and assets.

We use the income and assets test to work out how much money you will receive. If you or your partner earn money by working, selling arts and crafts, or from other sources, it is important that you let us know.

Income includes:

  • money or goods that you earn, or are given, for work or providing a service
  • money given as regular payments
  • profits - the money your business makes after the costs of running the business, or buying goods for the business, have been taken out
  • money received on investments, including investments from outside Australia

If you or your partner receives any income, your payments may change. It is important that you contact us to let us know about any changes to you or your partner’s income to make sure you are paid the right amount. If you are overpaid, we will work with you to make a plan to repay the money.

Types of income

Gate takings

Gate takings is the sum of money paid to someone, or a community, as remuneration for selling tickets at an event, for example, an Indigenous sporting or cultural event. If the payment is paid as a lump sum, we will include this money as income for 12 months from the date the payment is made.

Heritage survey payments

These payments are paid by miners, scientists or explorers for your help with Heritage surveys. These payments are assessed as income from employment.

Native Title claim payments

If your community has received payment for a successful Native Title claim, we do not count it as income when the money is used by the community. If you receive a Native Title claim, let us know why so we can decide if it is income.

If the money is compensation for the loss of use and enjoyment of your traditional lands, it may not be counted as income.

Money for travel and accommodation to go to meetings with state governments is not counted as income. If you have money left and plan to keep it, you should let us know because that money is income.

Consultancy fees

These payments are made by developers when they build on a sacred site. Consultancy fees may be paid to you or your community as 1 large payment or regular smaller payments. If you get regular payments, consultancy fees may be treated the same as a part time job. If the fee is 1 payment, we will count this money as income for 12 months from the date you get the money.

Sales of arts and crafts

If you work for yourself selling arts and crafts, we consider you to be self employed. If you share this money with your community, let us know.

You may need to show us a profit and loss statement. This shows us how much money you received before you paid tax and how much you had to pay to make your arts or crafts.  

Read more about income from sole trader or partnership businesses.


We treat royalties as income if the money is paid to you as an individual. Royalties are not counted as income if paid to the community. Royalty payments are counted as income if a payment is made to the community and it is shared with people who plan to keep the money for themselves rather than use it for the community.

Sometimes royalty payments are paid to communities because they may no longer be able to use and enjoy their traditional lands. Let us know if this is the case as it may not count as income.

Sitting fees

Sitting fees are paid to members on a committee as remuneration for their attendance at committee meetings. These sitting fees are counted as income. Money paid for costs such as travel and accommodation to go to meetings is not counted as income. However, if you have money left over to keep, that money is income.

Page last updated: 22 July 2016