3.6.7.33 CA Income Test Method Statement

Method statement

This is how to work out whether a person satisfies the CA income test on a day (the test day).

Step Action
1 Work out the amount of the person's ATI for the reference tax year (1.1.R.103).
2 If, on the test day, the person is a member of a couple, work out the amount of the person's current partner's ATI for the reference tax year applicable under step 1.
3 If, on the test day, the person is not a member of a couple, the person has reached the minimum age mentioned in section 301-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and the person has at least one account-based income stream, work out the person's deemed income under SSAct subsection 957D(1).
4 If, on the test day, the person is a member of a couple and the person, or the person's partner, or both, have reached the minimum age mention in section 301-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and have at least one account-based income stream, work out the person's deemed income amount under SSAct subsection 957D(2).
5 Work out the sum of the amounts at steps 1,2,3 and 4 (as applicable).
6 The person satisfies the CA income test if the amount at step 5 is less than $250,000.

Note: The process above is based on the method statement, which is the legislative process for the CA income test. For the full method statement refer to SSAct section 957A.

Act reference: SSAct section 957A Carer allowance income test, section 957B Adjusted taxable income, section 957C Accepted estimates, section 957D Income from long-term financial assets, section 1061ZK(3) Qualification: general rules

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7.30 Qualification for CA, 3.6.7.32 Assessment of Income for CA

Example: Member of a couple, deemed income

Lauren and Joe claimed CA for their son, Tim, in October 2018. Their reference tax year is 2017-18. In 2017-18, Lauren's taxable income was $200,000. She also paid $15,000 in child support for children from a previous marriage. Her ATI for 2017-18 is $185,000.

Joe did not earn income in 2017-18. However, he has reached the minimum age mentioned in section 301-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and receives a tax-free account-based income stream from a long-term financial asset totalling $600,000. The deemed income amount worked out under provisions for members of pensioner couples is $18,225 for 2017-18.

Deemed income is calculated as follows (based on deeming thresholds and rates as at July 2018):

  1. $85,000 (deeming threshold) × 1.75% (below threshold rate) = $1,487.50
  2. $600,000 (total asset value) − $85,000 (deeming threshold) = $515,000
  3. $515,000 (total at step 2) × 3.25% (above threshold rate) = $16,737.50
  4. $1,487.50 (total at step 1) + $16,737.50 (total at step 3) = $18,225 (deemed income amount)

Together, their income for 2017-18 is $203,225, and is below the CA income test threshold of $250,000. Lauren and Joe are assessed as below the CA income test threshold.

Example: Estimating income

Jason claimed CA in November 2018 for caring for his partner, Vicky. His ATI for 2017-18 is $260,000 from a salary. Vicky has nil ATI. Jason can show that he has partially retired from the workforce because of Vicki's increased care requirements, his ATI will reduce to $150,000 from a salary for 2018-19 and subsequent tax years. It is acceptable for Jason to use an estimate of income for 2018-19 for his CA claim. His ATI is assessed as being below the CA income test threshold.

Last reviewed: 20 September 2018