• T1 Seniors and pensioners (includes self-funded retirees) 2016

    You can claim the seniors and pensioners tax offset only if you meet all the following conditions relating to:

    • eligibility for Australian Government pensions and similar payments, and
    • income.

    If you have a spouse you also need to work out whether they were eligible. See the definition of spouse in Special circumstances and glossary.

    You cannot claim this tax offset if you were in jail for the whole of 2015-16.

    Work out your rebate income using the worksheet in Rebate income.

    Answering this question

    Condition 1: Eligibility for Australian Government pensions and similar payments

    You meet this condition if any of the following applied to you in 2015–16.

    A You showed at item 6 on your return an Australian Government pension or allowance from Centrelink, or a pension, allowance or benefit from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).

    B You satisfied the Centrelink age pension age requirement and were eligible for an Australian Government age pension during 2015–16, but did not receive it because you did not make a claim or because of the application of the income test or the assets test, and you satisfy one of the following:

    • you have been an Australian resident for age-pension purposes for either 10 continuous years or for more than 10 years of which five years were continuous
    • you have a qualifying residence exemption (because you arrived in Australia as a refugee or under a special humanitarian program)
    • you are a woman who was widowed in Australia (at a time when both you and your late partner were Australian residents), you have made a claim for the age pension and you had two years residence immediately before your claim
    • you received a widow B pension, widow allowance, mature age allowance or partner allowance immediately before turning age-pension age
    • you would qualify under an international social security agreement.

    To find out whether you meet the Centrelink age pension age requirement, go to More information.

    If you need help to determine your eligibility for a social security or Centrelink pension only, go to humanservices.gov.auExternal Link or phone the Department of Human Services on 13 24 68. For all other enquiries about the seniors and pensioners tax offset, phone 13 28 61.

    C You satisfied the veteran pension age test and were eligible for a pension, allowance or benefit from Veterans' Affairs during 2015–16, but did not receive it because you did not make a claim or because of the application of the income test or the assets test, and you satisfy either of the following:

    • you are a veteran with eligible war service, or
    • you are a Commonwealth veteran, allied veteran or allied mariner with qualifying service.

    To find out whether you meet the veteran pension age test, go to More information.

    If you are not sure whether you were eligible for a payment, go to dva.gov.au or phone Veterans' Affairs on 13 32 54.

    Do you meet condition 1?

    Yes

    Read condition 2.

    No

    You are not eligible for this tax offset. Go to question T2 Australian superannuation income stream 2016, or return to main menu Individual tax return instructions 2016.

    Condition 2: Income

    You meet this condition if any of the following applied to you in 2015–16.

    • You did not have a spouse, and your rebate income was less than $50,119
    • You had a spouse, and the combined rebate income of you and your spouse was less than $83,580
    • At any time during the year you and your spouse had to live apart due to illness or because one of you was in a nursing home, and the combined rebate income of you and your spouse was less than $95,198.

    The combined rebate income is the total of:

    • your rebate income
    • your spouse's rebate income, and
    • the amount on which a trustee of a trust was liable to pay tax in respect of your spouse because your spouse was under a legal disability, such as being an undischarged bankrupt or a person who was declared legally incapable because of a mental condition.

    Do you meet condition 2?

    Yes

    Go to Completing your tax return.

    No

    You are not eligible for this tax offset. Go to question T2 Australian superannuation income stream 2016, or return to main menu Individual tax return instructions 2016.

    Completing your tax return

    Step 1

    Work out which of the following code letters applied to your circumstances at any time in 2015-16.

    Seniors and pensioners tax offset code letters

    You were single, separated or widowed.

    A

    You and your spouse were both eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset, and 'had to live apart due to illness'* or lived apart because one of you was in a nursing home.

    B

    Your spouse was not eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset, and you and your spouse lived apart due to illness or because one of you was in a nursing home.

    C

    You and your spouse lived together and you were both eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset.

    D

    You and your spouse lived together, but your spouse was not eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset.

    E

    *'Had to live apart due to illness' refers to situations where you and your spouse did not live together because one or both of you have an indefinitely continuing illness or infirmity and, as a result your combined living expenses were increased.

    If only one code letter above applied, go to step 2.

    If more than one code letter applied, use the first code letter in the list above that applied to you, except as shown in the following table.

    If both A and B applied, and your spouse's taxable income was less than $18,334, use

    B

    If both A and D applied, and your spouse's taxable income was less than $12,494, use

    D

    Your spouse's taxable income is the amount shown at label O on page 9 of your tax return.

    Step 2

    Print your code letter in the Tax offset code box at N item T1.

    We will work out the amount of your tax offset.

    Step 3

    If you or your spouse was a veteran, war widow or war widower, read on. Otherwise, go to step 4.

    Select the code letter that applies to you.

    Veteran code letters

    You were a veteran, war widow or war widower.

    V

    Your spouse was a veteran, war widow or war widower.

    W

    Both V and W apply to you.

    X

    Print the code letter in the Veteran code box at Y item T1.

    Step 4

    You must read Income tests 2016 and complete all income tests items.

    Step 5

    If your seniors and pensioners tax offset code letter is A go to question T2 Australian superannuation income stream 2016.

    If your seniors and pensioners tax offset code letter is B, C, D or E, you must complete Spouse details - married or de facto.

    Any unused portion of tax offset

    If both you and your spouse are eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset and one of you does not use all of it, the unused portion may be available for transfer to the other person. We will work this out automatically and transfer any entitlement.

    In working out if there is any unused spouse’s seniors and pensioners tax offset available to transfer to you, we do not take your spouse’s other credits and tax offsets into account.

    More information

    To be eligible for an Australian Government age pension from Centrelink, on 30 June 2016 a pensioner must be 65 years old or older.

    To be eligible for a pension, allowance or benefit from Veterans' Affairs you must meet the veteran pension age test and on 30 June 2016 and be 60 years old or older.

    You meet the veteran pension age test if one of the following applied to you and you were eligible for a pension, allowance or benefit under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

    • You have eligible war service, that is, service in World War II or operational service as a member of the Australian Defence Force.
    • You are a Commonwealth or allied veteran who served in a conflict in which the Australian Defence Force was engaged during a period of hostilities that is, World War II, or in Korea, Malaya, Indonesia or Vietnam.
    • You are an Australian or allied mariner who served during World War II.
    • You are the war widow or widower of a former member of the Australian Defence Force.

    'Pension, allowance or benefit' includes:

    • disability pension
    • service pension, and
    • white or gold Repatriation health cards for treatment entitlements.

    If you are not sure if you meet the veteran pension age test, go to dva.gov.au or phone Veterans' Affairs on 13 32 54.

    Where to go next

      Last modified: 26 May 2016QC 48535