Payment choices for Family Tax Benefit

There are 2 ways that you can claim Family Tax Benefit (FTB):

  • as a lump sum after the end of each financial year, or
  • as an ongoing fortnightly payment

If you choose to claim FTB as a lump sum, you will need to submit a separate claim each financial year. You need to do this within 12 months of the end of the financial year you are claiming for. If you are eligible, your FTB will be paid once you and your partner have lodged your income tax returns and we have received your actual adjusted taxable income from the Australian Taxation Office, or you tell us that you are not required to lodge a tax return.

If you claim FTB fortnightly, you only need to claim once and you will continue to be paid as long as you are eligible. If you claim this way, there are several payment options which allow you to choose how and when you will receive FTB Part A and Part B.

Choosing the right payment option can help you reduce the risk of an overpayment when we balance your payments after the end of the financial year.

If you have a child in your care from a previous relationship, you are required to take reasonable steps to obtain child support. If you do not, you will not be able to receive more than the base rate of FTB Part A for your child. This applies to any payment option you choose. Read more about child support and FTB Part A.

Your payment choices for FTB Part A

There are 3 different ways you can get FTB Part A if you choose to claim FTB fortnightly.

You can choose to receive:

All of your FTB Part A fortnightly

If you are confident about estimating your income accurately, you can receive all of your FTB Part A as a fortnightly payment.

The base rate of your FTB Part A fortnightly

If you are not confident about estimating your income accurately, and your family income is likely to be under $94,316, you can elect to receive:

  • the base rate of your FTB Part A fortnightly, and
  • any further payments for which you are eligible after the end of the financial year when we balance your payments - you and your partner must lodge an income tax return, or tell us you are not required to lodge one, before you can be paid the balance

All of your FTB Part A after the end of the financial year

If you are not confident that you can estimate your income accurately and your annual family income is high, but still likely to be under the maximum adjusted taxable income limit, you can wait until the end of the financial year to receive your FTB Part A.

Your payment choices for FTB Part B

If you choose to claim FTB fortnightly, there are 2 different ways you can get FTB Part B.

All of your FTB Part B fortnightly

You may wish to receive your FTB Part B fortnightly if:

  • you are a single parent, or
  • you have a partner and either you or your partner does not expect to earn an income any time this financial year

All of your FTB Part B after the end of the financial year

Receiving all of your FTB Part B after the end of the financial year is a good choice for couples where one member of the couple is out of the work force temporarily to care for a child. Since FTB Part B is based on the income of the lower income earner, it is also a good choice if the lower income earner is not confident about estimating their income accurately.

If eligible, you will receive your FTB Part B after the end of the financial year when we balance your payments. You and your partner must lodge an income tax return, or tell us you are not required to lodge one, before you can be paid.

How your payment choice affects other payments

How you choose to receive FTB may affect how you will receive other payments, such as Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement, Rent Assistance and Energy Supplement.

Rent Assistance

If you are eligible to receive Rent Assistance with your FTB Part A, you may have additional options for receiving your Rent Assistance, depending on your FTB Part A payment choice.

Payment method Payment options
If you receive all of your FTB Part A fortnightly You must receive your Rent Assistance fortnightly with your FTB Part A
If you receive the base rate of FTB Part A fortnightly You can receive your Rent Assistance:
  • fortnightly, or
  • after the end of the financial year
If you receive all of your FTB Part A after the end of the financial year

If you have not previously provided proof of the rent you pay, you may be asked to provide this. You can do this by submitting your documents online.

Energy Supplement

Energy Supplement is paid for both FTB Part A and Part B. It can be paid fortnightly, quarterly in October, January, April and July or annually, depending on your FTB payment choice. However, if you get both FTB Part A and Part B fortnightly, both of your Energy Supplement payments must be paid the same way: either both fortnightly or both quarterly.

If you choose to receive the base rate of FTB Part A fortnightly, your Energy Supplement Part A will also be paid at the base rate.

If you choose to receive either your FTB Part A or Part B after the end of the financial year when we balance your payments, your Energy Supplement will be paid at the same time as the FTB payment.

Read more about how Energy Supplement is paid.

Your FTB Part A and Part B payments may be adjusted

If you receive your FTB in fortnightly instalments, your ongoing payments may be adjusted automatically to avoid or reduce a projected FTB overpayment.

You can change your payment choice at any time

You can change your payment choice at any time, but your new payment option will only apply to the remaining part of the year. This means we cannot backdate your change of payment choice unless you can prove financial hardship.

If you would like to change your payment choice, contact us

Submit a claim

Read more about claiming FTB Part A and Part B.

Page last updated: 5 July 2016

This information was printed Saturday 10 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/payment-choices-family-tax-benefit 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.