30 June might not ring any immediate bells in your calendar, but if your family receives the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), this date is important.
30 June 2021 is the second deadline for confirming your 2018-2019 income, and it’s the first deadline for confirming your 2019-2020 income.
To ensure your CCS continues, and you don’t have to pay any back, here’s what you need to do before the end of this month.
- Confirm your 2018-2019 income
You’ve probably already done this, because the first deadline was back on 31 March, but if you haven’t confirmed your income for 2018-2019 yet, then your CCS payments will have stopped and it’s vital that you confirm your income before 30 June 2021.
If you miss this second – and final – deadline, you may have to pay back all the CCS you received in 2018-2019 and will lose your CCS eligibility, so don’t let this date slide!
- Confirm your 2019-2020 income
It’s also important to confirm your income for the following financial year. 30 June 2021 is the first deadline to do this, and although you might think there’s a bit of wriggle room, your CCS will stop if you don’t confirm your 2019-2020 income by then and you’ll be paying full fees for child care.
How do you confirm your income?
After each financial year has ended, you need to confirm how much your family earnt, so the government can ‘balance’ your income estimate with your actual earnings, and make sure you’ve been paid the correct amount of CCS.
It’s not hard to get your financial affairs in order, and there are two ways you can confirm your income for balancing CCS:
- You can lodge your tax return for the relevant year, or
- You can tell Services Australia that you don’t need to lodge a tax return. To do this, simply complete an Advise Non-lodgement of Tax Return using your Centrelink online account via MyGov or through the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
You need to do this, even if you’ve already told the Australian Taxation Office that you don’t need to lodge a tax return.
Keep in mind that if you’ve separated from your partner, Services Australia will also need your ex’s income.
If you’re worried that ex-partner won’t lodge their tax return by 30 June 2021, then call the Centrelink Families line on 136 150 before 1 July 2021. They’re available to help, weekdays between 8am and 8pm.
How will you know if your CCS payments have been balanced?
You can check your balancing status in your Centrelink online account or Express Plus Centrelink mobile app (in the ‘Child Care / Payment Balancing’ section), and Services Australia will let you know the outcome, once they’ve balanced your payments.
How do you get CCS again if you miss the 30 June deadlines?
If you miss the second deadline to confirm your income for 2018-2019 and lose your CCS eligibility, you’ll need to make a new claim to get reduced child care fees.
You can only claim CCS entitlements again once you’ve confirmed your income and:
- Repaid any current or previous CCS or Child Care Benefit debt, or
- Entered into a repayment arrangement.
If you miss the first deadline to confirm your 2019-2020 income, your CCS payments will stop. Services Australia will be able to re-start your CCS after you confirm your income, but it’s recommended that you meet the deadline, so you don’t miss out on CCS you may have otherwise received (payments won’t be backdated for the period when CCS payments were stopped).
What about the 2021-2022 financial year?
You obviously can’t confirm income that hasn’t yet been earnt, but it’s important to provide Services Australia with a family income estimate for 2021-2022.
They’ll remind you to do this, and you should try to give as accurate a figure as possible, then keep this figure up-to-date if your circumstances change during the financial year (e.g. you get a pay rise).
This is important, because if your estimate is too low, you could end up with a CCS debt, and if it’s too high, you might receive less than you’re entitled to.
Services Australia does withhold five per cent of your family’s CCS (to reduce what you owe at the end of the year if you receive too much CCS), and you can change your family’s withholding percentage if you wish.
To provide your new income estimate for 2021-2022, or update the figure going forward, you can use either your Centrelink online account (via myGov) or your Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
So, there you have it.
Balancing is underway for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 financial years, and time is of the essence to confirm your income and keep your CCS coming.