Child Care Benefit

Balancing your family assistance payments

We compare your income estimate with your actual income at the end of each financial year. This is to make sure we pay you the correct amount of Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit.

Want to tell us you don’t need to lodge a tax return? You can tell us using our Centrelink Express Plus mobile app, but make sure you download the latest version.

Check if you need to lodge a tax return

If you're unsure if you need to lodge a return, use the Do I need to lodge a tax return? tool on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Balancing your 2016-17 payments is based on your circumstances

When it comes to tax time, everyone’s different. To work out what you need to do, there’s no need to call.

What you need to do

Firstly, check if you need to lodge a tax return. If you have a partner, they should check too. Once you know if you need to lodge, try our Tax Time Checker. Simply answer a few easy questions, and it'll tell you what you need to do this tax time.

Once you know if you need to lodge, look at the most common examples families face when balancing their payments.

Family Tax Benefit (FTB)

You’ll be paid your final FTB payment for 2016-17 between 4 and 17 July 2017. Once you receive this final payment, we’ll be able to start balancing your family assistance.

When we balance your FTB payments, we’ll check if you’re eligible for any supplements. This includes:

You don’t need to do anything.

You’ll only be eligible for FTB Part A supplement if your income is $80,000 or less. Read more about changes if you receive family assistance payments.

Child care assistance

We assess child care payments separately to FTB. We’ll review your payments from Monday 24 July 2017.

We assess Child Care Rebate and Child Care Benefit payments at the same time.

After we balance your payments

We’ll send you a letter once we’ve balanced your payments. If you receive your letters electronically, this will be through your myGov account.

If you were single and received an income support payment for the entire 2016-17 financial year your payments will be balanced automatically. Find out when your payment will be balanced.

We’ll automatically pay you any top-ups or supplements you’re eligible for when we balance your payments.

If you’ve been paid too much, you’ll have to pay any overpayments back. We’ll let you know if this happens. We may take the amount from future family assistance payments, including top up payments, supplement payments and tax refunds. It’s important you talk to us if you’re worried about paying back a debt. We can work with you to set up a repayment plan you can afford.

If you didn’t receive your full family assistance payments during the year, you may receive a top up. We use your top up to repay your family assistance or tax debts. This may happen even if you have a current repayment arrangement in place with us.

Top ups of child care payments will only be used to repay child care debts. They won’t be used to repay debts from other payments.

Read more about when we balance your child care payments.

Check if your payments have been balanced

You don’t need to contact us.

You can check if your payments have been balanced using:

You'll need to register for a Centrelink online account through myGov if you haven’t already.

Centrelink payment summaries

You don’t need to contact us.

Some payments are non-taxable so won’t be on our payment summaries. If you only receive FTB or child care payments, you won’t receive a payment summary from us. You don’t need to declare FTB or child care payments as income.

You can view, download or request a copy of your Centrelink payment summary using your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Family Tax Benefit Account Payable notice

If you don’t confirm your income in time, we’ll send you an Account Payable notice.

Child Support

If you pay or receive child support, your taxable income is used to calculate child support payments. This means you either need to lodge a tax return, or tell Child Support what your taxable income is. The easiest way to tell Child Support is by using your Child Support online account through myGov. You can also use the Express Plus Child Support mobile app.

Read more about how your income is used to calculate child support payments.

Changes to your child support payments may also affect your Family Tax Benefit Part A.

Page last updated: 12 May 2018