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Definitions – Medicare levy reduction or exemption

Last updated 27 June 2018

Adjusted taxable income

A person's adjusted taxable income is the sum of the following amounts:

  • taxable income
  • adjusted fringe benefits total, which is the sum of:
    • reportable fringe benefits amounts received from employers exempt from fringe benefits tax under section 57A of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 multiplied by 0.53, and
    • reportable fringe benefits amounts from employers not exempt from fringe benefits tax under section 57A of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986  
  • reportable employer superannuation contributions
  • deductible personal superannuation contributions
  • certain tax-free government pensions or benefits received by the person
  • target foreign income (income and certain other amounts from sources outside Australia not included in your taxable income or received as a fringe benefit)
  • net financial investment loss (the amount by which the person's deductions attributable to financial investments exceeded their total financial investment income)
  • net rental property loss (the amount by which the person's deductions attributable to rental property exceeded their rental property income)


Maintaining 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 of 2017–18 and your spouse worked at any time during the year, we still consider you to have maintained your spouse as a dependant for the whole income year.

We consider you to have maintained a dependant even if the two of you were temporarily separated, for example, due to holidays or overseas travel.

If you maintained a dependant for only part of the year, you may need to adjust your claim accordingly.

Shared care

You had shared care if you, and your spouse if you had one, cared for your child for some of the income year, and someone else, such as a former spouse, cared for the child for the rest of the income year.

If you received family tax benefit (FTB) Part B as part of a shared-care arrangement, you will need to know your FTB shared-care percentage to calculate your spouse offset. Your FTB shared-care percentage is usually not the same as your ‘shared care percentage’ which appears on correspondence you have received from the Department of Human Services (now known as Services Australia).

If you do not know your FTB shared-care percentage, refer to the Department of Human Services (now known as Services Australia) website.

Sole care

Sole care means that you alone had full responsibility, on a day-to-day basis, for the upbringing, welfare and maintenance of a child or student. You are not considered to have sole care if you are living with a spouse (married or de facto) unless special circumstances exist. Generally, for special circumstances to exist, you must be financially responsible for the dependent child or student and have sole care without the support that a spouse normally provides.

Situations where special circumstances may arise include the following:

  • You were married at any time during 2017–18 but during the year you separated from, or were deserted by, your spouse and for that period you were not in a de facto relationship.
  • Your spouse was in prison for a sentence of at least 12 months.
  • Your spouse is medically certified as being permanently mentally incapable of taking part in caring for the child or student.

If you are not sure whether special circumstances apply, phone 13 28 61.


Your spouse includes another person (of any sex) who, for the income year:

  • you were in a relationship with that was registered under a prescribed state or territory law
  • although not legally married to you, lived with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.