The essential single parent guide to tax time

The essential single parent guide to tax time

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Jason Bryce – Business & Finance Specialist

When will I get my Schoolkids Bonus?

  • The last Schoolkids Bonus EVER is coming soon
  • Here’s how much you get – and when!

By Jason Bryce | 26 June 2016

The essential single parent guide to tax time

This is the last instalment of the Schoolkids Bonus no matter which party wins the 2016 Election

Only one thing can save the Schoolkids Bonus – the election of a Di Natale Greens majority government – and that is not going to happen.

The Liberal/National government has abolished the Schoolkids Bonus (SKB), after this payment coming in July. Now, in the heat of the election campaign, Labor has announced that, if elected next week, they will NOT bring the Schoolkids Bonus back. The SKB costs the government’s budget $4.5 billion per year.

“We have had to make a hard decision,” said Labor leader Bill Shorten, “We can’t go on with the Schoolkids Bonus.”

So this is absolutely the last SKB payment you will ever get. Make the most of it.

Bill Shorten says the School kids bonus won't be brought back if Labor wins the 2016 Election - Image source:
Bill Shorten says the SKB won’t be brought back

How much Schoolkids Bonus will I get?

If you are eligible for SKB, you will receive $215 for each primary school aged child and $428 for each high school aged child.

Who gets Schoolkids Bonus?

Preschoolers and kids in childcare do NOT get Schoolkids Bonus but Preparatory, Kindergarten, Reception and Pre-primary students are eligible.

Children move to high school and the higher SKB payment in Year 7 in all states except South Australia, where high school starts in Year 8. South Australian parents get $215 for Year 7 students.

The household income limit for Schoolkids Bonus is $100,000.00. If your taxable income from last year is less than $100K, you are eligible for SKB.

There are exemptions from this income test for blind people and people receiving Disability Support Pension, Special Benefit and Veterans’ Education Allowance.

When will I get my Schoolkids Bonus?

The last Schoolkids Bonus will be paid between Friday 1 July 2016 and Monday 18 July 2016. The exact payment date you get your for the July payment of Schoolkids Bonus is the same day as your Parenting Payment, Newstart or Disability pension. For people getting Family Tax Benefit only, your SKB payment will be in your bank account the day after, or the day before, your regular fortnightly FTB payment.

School kids bonus - Image source:

How to check on my Schoolkids Bonus

You may like to check up on your payment online or via the Express Plus Centrelink app. From the home page, click on the blue “next payment” rectangle to bring up a listing of “Your Payments.”

If you don’t see Schoolkids Bonus listed, go to the “Search/Filter for a payment” box and start typing ‘schoolkids bonus.’

This will bring up all your SKB payments for the year. If you still don’t see a SKB payment scheduled, check your child’s details are correct. You can do that by returning to the home page and selecting “My Profile.” Scroll down to “My family” and check your child is marked as ‘studying primary’ or ‘studying secondary.’

Below that is your family income estimate. Check that Centrelink has your current annual household taxable income correct.

If all that fails, use the purple envelope button to contact Centrelink and ask about your SKB.

Back-to-school costs cause financial stress

Sixty per cent of Aussie parents with primary school aged children suffer from stress caused by back-to-school costs, according to research by Queensland’s Heritage Bank. And costs go up in high school. The average Australian family spends a total of $50,000 on education expenses to get a child to year 12.

School kids bonus - Image source:

That education stress is about to get worse. SKB is now $430 per primary school aged child per year, and $856 for high schoolers. The payment is delivered, without applying, straight into the bank accounts of families receiving FTB Part A, generally. It is paid in two lump sums, at the beginning of the school year in January and at the beginning of Term three in July. Low income families with two high school aged children will lose $1,712 in income next year.

Some background on the Schoolkids Bonus

The Schoolkids Bonus was born in 2013, replacing the complicated Rudd-era Education Tax Refund. Julia Gillard’s Schoolkids Bonus eliminated the need to keep receipts and make a claim at tax time and ensured that even families who paid no tax received assistance. The Schoolkids Bonus was never linked to funding from the, now dead, Mining Tax, like the Income Support Bonus and Clean Energy Supplement.

The Abbott government first tried to abolish the SKB in 2014. Legislation finally passed the senate to axe the SKB in 2016.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has recently performed a 180 degree policy backflip on SKB. On the 30 May 2016, the ALP Website was promoting a petition condemning the government’s axing of the SKB. On 31 May it was gone and Mr Shorten announced that Labor would not bring back the Schoolkids Bonus.

Jason Bryce
Business & Finance Journalist

Further Single Parent reading

Who should single parents vote for in the 2016 Election?

Single parent anger over Centrelink income management

Have your say on this story – will you miss the School Kids Bonus? Comment below!

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go to Jason Bryce's Biography

Jason is a business and finance journalist with 20 years experience, and is also a member of the Expert Opinion Panel. He has a regular weekly column in the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) and writes regularly for the Business Daily section of the Herald Sun in Melbourne and many other newspapers and magazines.

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