Important terms

Australian resident



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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Generally, we consider you to be an Australian resident if:

  • you have always lived in Australia or you have come to Australia and live here, or
  • you have been in Australia for more than half of the income year - unless your usual home is overseas and you do not intend to live in Australia.

Base year

A base year is the year which acts as a basis to compare taxable income in your claim year. This base year stays the same for all future claim years for the baby bonus for an eligible child. Once a base year is chosen, it cannot be changed or revoked.

If you have claimed the baby bonus before for your child, your base year is shown on the notice of assessment or advice notice you received from us.

For an eligible person, their base year will be the year before legal responsibility for the eligible child started, unless they choose the year that legal responsibility started.

For an eligible person who is an adoptive parent, their base year can also be the year before, or the year that, the child entered their care if this will give them more baby bonus. However, a base year cannot be earlier than the 2001 income year.

See How to choose your base year for information to help you choose your base year.

For a transferee, if this is the first year they will claim the baby bonus for the eligible child their base year is 2007.

For an eligible person who was not an Australian resident in the year immediately prior to gaining legal responsibility for the eligible child, their base year is the year they gained legal responsibility for the child.


For a child to be in your care, it is not a requirement for the child to be living with you on a daily basis. For example, parents who place their child in a cr che or home-based day care would still be considered to have care of the child. This is because the parents are ultimately responsible for making decisions in relation to that child and will continue to make those decisions.

Where parents share the legal responsibility for and care of a child (for example, where a child spends alternate weeks with their separated parents), the child is considered to be in the care of both parents at all times. Where there is shared care, usually the mother will be the eligible person (see the Selection list).

A parent who has ceased to be involved in the child's daily life and has ceased to provide for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child would not be considered to have care of that child.

Claim period

A claim period is the period within the claim year for which you are eligible to claim the baby bonus.

Claim year

A claim year is the year in which you make a claim. You may make a claim each year until your eligible child turns five.

Eligible child

The eligible child is the child for whom you first satisfy steps 1 and 2. It is usually the first child you gave birth to or the first child you gained legal responsibility for and care of, on or after 1 July 2001 and before 1 July 2004. It is not necessarily your oldest or first-born child.

A stillborn child cannot be an eligible child.

Gross tax

Your gross tax is the amount shown as 'Tax on taxable income' on your notice of assessment. If you are unsure of how to calculate your gross tax, you can get more information:

  • on our website
  • in TaxPack 2008, or
  • by phoning the Personal Infoline on 13 28 61.

Legal responsibility

You have legal responsibility for a child if:

  • you are responsible (whether alone or with someone else) for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child


  • you are their natural mother or natural father


  • you have a court order giving you legal responsibility (for example through adoption).


Your spouse is your husband or wife to whom you are legally married, or a person who lives with you on a genuine domestic basis as your husband or wife. Under Australian law your spouse cannot be the same sex as you.

Taxable income

Your taxable income can be found on your notice of assessment from us or on your tax return.

Taxable income is your assessable income - for example, salary, wages, most Centrelink payments, interest, dividends - less any allowable deductions that you have incurred in earning that income.

Centrelink payments such as maternity allowance and family tax benefit are not assessable income.

If you are unsure of how to calculate your taxable income, you can get more information:

  • on our website, or
  • by phoning the Personal Infoline on 13 28 61.


When a person who is the eligible person for baby bonus transfers their eligibility to their spouse, their spouse is referred to as the transferee.

Last modified: 04 Feb 2010QC 21666