Payment choices for Family Tax Benefit

You can choose how you get Family Tax Benefit (FTB).

Ways to get FTB

You can get FTB:

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

We’ll automatically recommend a payment choice when you claim, or you can choose your own. It’s important to be aware of the best choice for your situation.

The fortnightly payment is available in a number of ways.

FTB Part A

There are 3 ways you can get FTB Part A if you claim fortnightly:

All your FTB Part A fortnightly

This choice is best if you're certain about estimating your income accurately.

The base rate of your FTB Part A fortnightly

If you're not sure about estimating your income accurately, and your family income is likely to be under $94,316, you can choose to get:

  • the base rate of your FTB Part A fortnightly, and
  • any other FTB Part A you're eligible for when we balance your payments after the end of the financial year

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

This choice is best if you aren't certain you can estimate your income accurately and your annual family income is high, but still likely to be under the income limit. You can wait until the end of the financial year to get your FTB Part A.

No matter how you get FTB, you have to take reasonable steps to obtain child support if you care for a child from a previous relationship. If you don’t, you can’t get more than the base rate of FTB Part A for the child. Read more about child support and FTB Part A.

FTB Part B

There are 2 ways you can get FTB Part B if you claim fortnightly:

All of your FTB Part B fortnightly

You may want to get all your FTB Part B fortnightly if:

  • you're a single parent, or
  • either you or your partner don't expect to earn income this financial year

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

This is a good choice if you're a couple and:

  • one of you is temporarily not working to care for a child, or
  • the lower income earner isn't confident about estimating their income accurately

If eligible, you'll get your FTB Part B when we balance your payments after the end of the financial year.

Your payment choice affects other payments

How you choose to get your payment may affect how you get Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement, Rent Assistance and Energy Supplement.

Rent Assistance

If you get Rent Assistance with your FTB Part A, you may have extra payment choices. This depends on your FTB Part A payment choice.

FTB payment choice Rent Assistance choice
All of your FTB Part A fortnightly You'll get Rent Assistance fortnightly with your FTB Part A
The base rate of FTB Part A fortnightly You can get your Rent Assistance:
  • fortnightly, or
  • after the end of the financial year
All of your FTB Part A after the end of the financial year You can get your Rent Assistance:
  • fortnightly, or
  • after the end of the financial year

If you haven't provided proof of your rent before we may ask for this. You can submit your documents online.

Energy Supplement

The way you get your FTB may affect how you get Energy Supplement.

Read more about payment options for Energy Supplement.

We may adjust your FTB Part A and Part B payments

If you get your FTB fortnightly, we may adjust your ongoing payments automatically to avoid or reduce the risk of an overpayment.

Changing your payment choice

You can update your payment choice at any time using:

We’ll automatically recommend a payment choice, but you can change it anytime. Your choice will stay in place until you change it again.

We can’t backdate payment choices unless you can prove financial hardship.

Page last updated: 20 April 2017

This information was printed Tuesday 30 May 2017 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.