3.8.8.40 Usual Place of Residence for RAA

Summary

A person can only have ONE 'usual place of residence'. This topic:

  • defines usual place of residence,
  • provides guidelines for itinerant persons,
  • provides criteria that may help determine whether a person's current address is their usual place of residence,
  • provides criteria that may help determine whether a person is changing, or has changed, their usual place of residence, and
  • discusses verification requirements for usual place of residence.

Definition

A person's usual place of residence is the area where they normally live, sleep and eat.

Explanation: The term usual place of residence is not defined in the SSAct. The AAT has held that, for TAL purposes, usual place of residence is more restrictive than the general concept of 'residence'.

To change their usual place of residence, a person has to completely abandon the former place of residence.

Example: A person who sells or leases their house has abandoned their former place of residence.

Determining usual place of residence

The following table lists indicators that may help a delegate to determine if a person's location is their usual place of residence, and provides examples for each indicator.

Indicator Example
Property arrangements
The person owns or rents the home in which they are living.
Family arrangements

The person's partner (1.1.P.85) and children live in the area.

The person's children are enrolled at the local school.

Mailing arrangements
The person rents a post office box at the local post office.
Financial arrangements
The person has a bank account with the local bank.

Determining changes to usual place of residence

The following table lists indicators that may help a delegate to determine if a person has changed or is changing their usual place of residence and provides examples of each indicator.

Indicator Example
Reason for travelling to the area
The person cites improved employment prospects, a desire to be close to family, medical or educational facilities as reasons for travelling to the area.
Expected length of stay
The person expects to stay in a place for one year.
Changes in property arrangements
The person sells their previous home and leases a home in the new area.
Changes in family arrangements

The person's partner and children have moved, or will move, to the new area.

The person's children are enrolled at the local school in the new area.

Changes in mail delivery

The person rents a post office box in the new area.

The person arranges for mail to be redirected to the new area.

Changes in financial arrangements
The person opens a bank account or accounts with a bank branch in the new area.

Itinerant persons

It may be difficult for a person who travels frequently to establish a usual place of residence. However, the onus is on that person to provide evidence to support their qualification for RAA.

A person who travels from a residence in one RAA remote area (1.1.R.150) to a residence in a different RAA remote area remains eligible for RAA.

Explanation: The person does not become NOT qualified and then qualified again.

Example: A person, who moves from an RAA remote area in Western Australia to an RAA remote area in Queensland, remains qualified.

Postal address in an RAA remote area

If the postcode of a person's postal address is IN an RAA remote area the delegate MUST verify that the:

  • person's usual place of residence is also in the postcode area, AND
  • that the person is physically present in that area.

Explanation: A person's postal address can be in an RAA remote area, but their usual place of residence may NOT be in an RAA remote area. However, generally, if a person's postal address is NOT in an RAA remote area, then their usual place of residence will not be in an RAA remote area either.

Exception: A person who lives on the border of an RAA remote area MAY qualify for RAA.

Person lives on border of an RAA remote area

If a person lives in a local government area that is partly in an RAA remote area, the person is taken as living in an RAA remote area.

This provision does NOT apply to postcodes that are partly an RAA remote area.

Explanation: A postcode is NOT a legally definable area.

A delegate MUST accept that a person's area is an RAA remote area if the Commissioner of Taxation deems the area to be within the RAA specified area.

Explanation: If a person lives in an area that is next to, or close to, an RAA remote area, they CAN apply to the Commissioner of Taxation, who has the discretion to deem the area to be within the RAA specified area. A person can apply to the Commissioner of Taxation even if they are not liable to lodge an income tax return.

Verifying a person's usual place of residence

A delegate should ALWAYS accept the information provided by a person about their usual place of residence UNLESS there is some reason to doubt it. If there is doubt the person MUST provide documentary evidence to verify their usual place of residence.

Examples: A rate notice or accommodation rental agreement.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.8.10 Qualification for RAA

Last reviewed: 7 November 2016