3.2.1 Adjusted taxable income - general provisions
This topic provides general information about ATI (1.1.A.20) and includes:
- what is ATI
- estimates provided by the individual
- indexed estimates
- indexed actual income
- treatment of income if the individual is a member of a couple (1.1.M.50)
- income year used for the assessment
- reasonable estimate of income (1.1.I.20), and
- income to be used when an individual dies during an income year.
What is adjusted taxable income
ATI is used in the FTB, CCS and SBP income tests when assessing an individual's (1.1.I.90) eligibility for these payments. While the income tests are different for FTB, CCS and SBP, the types of income used in the assessment are the same.
An individual's ATI is:
- the sum of the following amounts for the relevant income year
For FTB Centrelink uses either:
- an estimate provided by the individual and assessed as reasonable by Centrelink
- the indexed current estimate, or
- the indexed actual income, based on the previous year's taxable income.
Act reference: FAAct Schedule 3 clause 1 Adjusted taxable income relevant to FTB, schoolkids bonus and CCS, Schedule 3 clause 2 Adjusted taxable income
Estimates provided by the individual
Individuals claiming FTB by fortnightly instalments or CCS are required to provide Centrelink with an initial estimate of annual family income. Centrelink will ask individuals to provide a new income estimate for each subsequent year they receive FTB by fortnightly installments and/or CCS and to update their income estimate at any time if their income changes.
Individuals claiming SBP are required to provide Centrelink with an estimate of family income for the 6-month period beginning on the day of the child's delivery.
Indexed current estimates - FTB & CCS only
If, having provided an initial income estimate, the individual chooses not to provide an estimate of family income for a subsequent year, Centrelink will determine payment on the basis of an indexed estimate. The indexed estimate is worked out by adjusting the individual's most recent estimate by an indexation factor determined by movements in the average weekly earnings over the relevant 12-month period.
Policy reference: FA Guide 4.9 New financial year assessments
Indexed actual income - FTB & CCS only
If an individual's payments are determined on the basis of an indexed estimate, it may be subject to a second adjustment once the individual's actual income for the previous financial year becomes known. Centrelink will adjust the actual income by an indexation factor determined by movements in the average weekly earnings over the relevant 12-month period and compare the result with the indexed estimate. Payments will be based on the higher amount for the rest of that income year.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 20 Determination of rate may be based on estimate, indexed estimate or indexed actual income, section 20A Indexed estimates, section 20B Indexed actual incomes, section 38(3) Estimate of adjusted taxable income
Policy reference: FA Guide 1.1.I.85 Indexed income - actual or estimate (FTB), 4.9 New financial year assessments
Treatment of income if the individual is a member of a couple
For the purposes of FTB Part A, if an individual is a member of a couple, their ATI for a tax year includes their partner's (1.1.P.30) ATI for that year. The same rule applies for the 6-month period beginning on the day of the child's delivery for SBP.
For the purposes of FTB Part B, if the individual is a member of a couple, only the ATI of the lower income earner (1.1.L.40) is used to calculate the rate of FTB Part B (noting that the primary earners income must be below the primary income earner limit to attract any FTB Part B).
Example: William and Erica receive FTB Part A and FTB Part B. William is self-employed and has an ATI of $5,500 per year and Erica has an ATI of $45,500 per year. Erica works part-time and is the primary carer (1.1.P.120) of the children. Their entitlement to FTB Part A and CCS is worked out using their combined income of $51,000. Their entitlement to FTB Part B is however calculated on William's income of $5,500 a year. This is because whereas Erica is the primary carer, William is the lower income earner.
For the purposes of CCS, if an individual is a member of a couple, for part or all of the tax year, their ATI for a tax year includes their partner's ATI for that year for the period they were part of a couple. If an individual was a member of a couple from the beginning of the CCS year for the duration of the year, their ATI includes their partner's ATI for that year. If an individual become a member of a couple part way through the CCS year, their own ATI is used for the period they were single. Their partner's ATI is included as part of their ATI for the period they were partnered.
Act reference: FAAct Schedule 3 clause 3 Adjusted taxable income of members of a couple-FTB and schoolkids bonus, Schedule 3 clause 3AA Adjusted taxable income of members of a couple-CCS, section 36 When an individual is eligible for SBP in normal circumstances
Policy reference: FA Guide 220.127.116.11 Current FTB rates & income test amounts
Income year used for the assessment - FTB & CCS only
The income used to assess an individual's FTB or CCS eligibility is the income for the year to which the claim relates. Where an individual claims a payment in the current income year, they must make a reasonable estimate of their income for that year.
Reasonable estimate of income
If the individual has estimated their family income, Centrelink must determine if the estimate is reasonable. If it is determined by Centrelink that the estimate is not reasonable the individual has no entitlement to receive FTB by instalment or CCS. The individual may still be eligible for FTB after the end of the financial year or CCS after the end of the current or following financial year when their actual ATI is known.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 20 Determination of rate may be based on estimate, indexed estimate or indexed actual income, section 28A Variation of instalment entitlement determination where estimate of an amount is not reasonable, section 67DB Determinations when adjusted taxable income is not known
FAAct section 36 When an individual is eligible for SBP in normal circumstances
Policy reference: FA Guide 3.2.8 Reasonable estimate of income
Income to be used when an individual dies during an income year
For annualising income when an individual dies during an income year, see 18.104.22.168.