This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.
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All references made to 'year' are to 'income year' - 1 July to 30 June. For example, the income year for 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 is 2003.
What is the baby bonus?
The baby bonus is a refundable tax offset, even if you do not pay tax, do not have any income or do not have to lodge a tax return you can still claim it. You can only claim it from the Tax Office. The baby bonus is paid whether or not you currently get any other family benefits - for example, maternity allowance - and it is not income tested.
Who is it for?
If you had a baby or you gained legal responsibility of a child aged under five (for example, through adoption), after 30 June 2001 - whether or not you already have other children - you could receive the baby bonus. Usually, it is the mother of the child who is eligible to claim the baby bonus.
How much will you get?
How much baby bonus you get depends on your own taxable income each year. If your taxable income is $25,000 or less you will be entitled to an annual amount of $500. You may get less in the first year, as the baby bonus is calculated from your baby's date of birth (or the date you gained legal responsibility of your child).
If your taxable income is more than $25,000 when you claim, you will only get the baby bonus if your income has reduced. You may get more than $500 if there is a significant reduction in your taxable income.
How do you make a claim?
Your baby bonus claim and any enquiries are dealt with by the Tax Office. You can make a claim in a number of ways:
- Visit the Tax Office website and lodge your baby bonus claim online using e-tax. Most claims are processed within 14 days.
- Use these instructions and the claim at the back - then post your claim to the Tax Office (attached to your tax return if you have to lodge one). Most claims are processed within eight weeks.
- Go to a registered tax agent.
Lodge your claim at the end of the income year - any time after 30 June 2003. The baby bonus may be claimed each year until the child turns five.
If you need help with making your baby bonus claim you may be able to use the Tax Help service.
Last modified: 17 Dec 2009QC 16835