1.2.14 Schoolkids Bonus (SKB) - Description

Cessation of SKB

The final instalment of SKB (in respect of the 30 June 2016 bonus test date) was paid in July 2016. For individuals who claim their FTB Part A via a lump sum for the 2015-16 income year, SKB will be paid with their FTB Part A entitlement if eligible.

The following information is relevant to the 2012-13 to 2015-16 income years only.

Introduction

This section includes information on:

  • SKB objectives,
  • SKB eligibility,
  • SKB rate,
  • how SKB is paid, and
  • background to SKB.

Objective of SKB

SKB aims to:

  • assist families and students with the costs of education for children in primary and secondary school,
  • provide assistance for families and students at a time when they need it most.

SKB eligibility

SKB eligibility is based on entitlement to a qualifying payment, and a student's age and study status (see 2.10.1) on the bonus test dates of 1 January and 30 June each year.

SKB can be paid to an individual in respect of a student or paid to the student themselves if they are entitled to and in receipt of a qualifying payment and meet all other eligibility criteria, including individuals who may be entitled to a qualifying payment in their own right and for a child in their care.

From 1 January 2015, individuals will only be eligible for SKB on a bonus test day if, in relation to that day, their annual adjusted taxable income is $100,000 or less.

Act reference: FAAct section 35UA When an individual is eligible for SKB in respect of a child-general, section 35UB Relevant SKB child, section 35UD Children in respect of whom SKB is payable, section 35UE When an individual is eligible for SKB-general

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.10 SKB Eligibility

SKB rate

SKB is paid in 2 equal instalments each year, in January and July. For individuals receiving a shared or blended care percentage of FTB Part A for a child, a proportion of SKB in accordance with the shared care/blended care percentage would be paid.

Policy reference: FA Guide 3.9 SKB Rate

How SKB is paid

Payments are issued following the test dates for eligible instalment individuals. For individuals who claim FTB Part A via a lump sum, SKB is paid when the lump sum is granted if eligible.

The instalments are paid automatically into the individual's bank account by Centrelink.

Where a child is eligible for both FTB Part A and an eligible DVA payment the SKB payment will be made by DVA.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 35G Payment of SKB

Claims

Individuals do not need to claim SKB. SKB will be automatically paid to individuals in January and July. SKB can also be paid with a lump sum claim. However, parents of FTB children who are starting primary school or transitioning to secondary school would need to contact Centrelink to notify their child/ren's study details in order to establish eligibility or be paid the correct amount of SKB.

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.10 SKB Eligibility

Background to SKB

In May 2012, the Government announced the abolition of the Education Tax Refund (ETR). The ETR allowed families to claim a refund for education expenses through the ATO. From 1 January 2013, SKB was delivered by DHS and replaces the ETR to help families with costs associated with education expenses.

As part of the transition to SKB payments, the ETR was replaced with a one-off, tax exempt lump sum payment in June 2012 to eligible families and students representing ETR entitlement for the 2011-12 financial year.

No claim process was required for the one-off ETR payment as all eligible families and students who qualify for an ETR payment received the one-off payment automatically.

From July 2012 an Administrative Scheme covered families and students who did not receive the one-off ETR payment based on the eligibility criteria and the bonus test date of 8 May 2012, but would otherwise have been entitled to the ETR paid through the ATO for the 2011-12 financial year.

SKB is paid in 2 instalments; in January and July each year to allow families to pay for education expenses upfront and in a timely manner.

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.10 SKB Eligibility

Last reviewed: 15 August 2016