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Dependants for Medicare levy exemption

Find out what a dependant means for the Medicare levy exemption.

Last updated 29 June 2023

Medicare levy exemption dependants

For the Medicare levy exemption (but not for the Medicare levy reduction), dependant means an Australian resident for tax purposes you maintained who was either:

  • your spouse
  • your child under 21 years old
  • your child, 21 to 24 years old
    • receiving full-time education at a school, college or university, and
    • whose adjusted taxable income for the period was less than the total of $282 plus $28.92 for each week you maintained them.

Maintenance of a dependant

You maintained a dependant if any of the following applied:

  • you both lived in the same house
  • you gave them food, clothing and lodging
  • you helped them to pay for their living, medical and educational costs.

If you had a spouse for the whole income year and your spouse worked at any time during the income year, we will still consider you to have maintained your spouse as a dependant for the whole income year.

If the two of you were temporarily separated, for example, because of holidays or overseas travel, we still consider you to have maintained a dependant.

A child is treated as an equal dependant of each parent (irrespective of the number of days the child was in each parent’s care) if:

  • the parents of the child lived separately and apart for all, or part, of the income year, and
  • the child was a dependant of each of them.

However, if a parent receives Family Tax Benefit Part AExternal Link for the child, the child is a dependant of that parent for the number of days they were in their care.