How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.
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, the dates on it may not match your reporting period dates.
Don't forget to keep records. We may ask you to show proof of your income, such as payslips.
Your total income from your job is:
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
- keep a record of the roster for the fortnight you work if you can
Once you have these details there are ways to help you keep track of your pay rates during a 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 - this will give you the total amount you earned
- add this amount to the total you earned at your standard pay rate
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, including any paid sick leave hours
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, you can keep track of your total income rates during a reporting period by:
- calculating the number of items you produced
- multiplying the fixed unit rate by the number of items
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.
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.
If your income, including work earnings, reduces your payment to zero for 6 fortnights in a row, we may cancel your payment.
If you continue to report your income, you may keep your concession card and other benefits for the 6 fortnights.
If, during the 6 fortnights, your income reduces, you may start getting a payment again without having to reclaim.
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.
Read about changes that affect your child support.
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.
When to report
When you start getting a payment, we’ll tell you when you need to report. There are 2 types of reporting:
- scheduled reporting, and
- unscheduled 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.
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 don’t report your income
If you have mutual obligation requirements and don’t report how much you earned, we won't pay you.
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 regular payment line.
How to report
There are 4 ways you can report your income and changes to your circumstances:
- use your Centrelink online account through myGov - it’s easy to set up an online account. The employment diary helps you record and report your income
- use the Express Plus Centrelink app - it’s quick and simple to add the app to your mobile phone. The timesheet helps you record and report your income
- call the report income line for phone self service - it’s easy to register for phone self service
- if you still get report forms by post:
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.
Correct 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.
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.
How to get reminders to report
We can remind you not to miss your reporting date. You can get reminders:
- sent to your myGov Inbox through your Centrelink online account
- as an email or SMS through electronic messaging - it’s easy to register for electronic messaging and set up reminders
- by letter through the post
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.