You may be able to claim this tax offset if you:
- lived in a remote or isolated area of Australia (not including an offshore oil or gas rig), or
- served overseas as a member of the Australian Defence Force or a United Nations armed force.
If eligible, the zone or overseas forces tax offset is made up of:
- a fixed amount, and
- a base amount.
The 'fixed amount' is a prescribed amount available to all people in the zone or overseas area eligible for the tax offset.
You may be able to include a 'base amount' if you:
- maintained a child under 21 or full time student under 25, or
- were entitled to claim the Invalid and invalid carer offset.
Your fixed and base amounts are determined by your circumstances.
Zone tax offset
Eligibility for the zone tax offset is based on your usual place of residence. If your usual place of residence was not in a zone, you are not eligible for the zone tax offset.
Remote areas are classed as either zone A or zone B. There are also special areas within these zones. If you do not know which zone your area is in, see Australian zone list.
To qualify for the tax offset, your usual place of residence must have been in a remote area (not necessarily continuously) for:
- 183 days or more during 2017–18, or
- 183 days or more during the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018 (including at least one day in 2017–18), and you did not claim a zone tax offset in your 2017 tax return.
If your usual place of residence was in a zone for less than 183 days in 2017–18, you may still be able to claim a tax offset as long as your usual place of residence was in a zone for a continuous period of less than five years after 1 July 2012 and:
- you were unable to claim in the first year because you lived there less than 183 days, and
- the total days you lived there in the first year and in 2017–18 is 183 or more. The period you lived in a zone in 2017–18 must include the first day of the income year.
Overseas forces tax offset
You may be eligible for an overseas forces tax offset if:
- you served in a specified overseas locality as a member of the Australian Defence Force or a United Nations armed force in 2017–18, and
- income relating to that service was not specifically exempt from tax.
Periods of service for which your income was ‘exempt foreign employment income’ are excluded in working out your eligibility for the tax offset.
Your employer will be able to advise you whether you served in a locality that qualifies for the overseas forces tax offset. You can also see which localities qualify for the overseas forces tax offset at Overseas forces tax offset or phone 13 28 61.
To claim the full overseas forces tax offset:
- you must have served in the overseas locality for 183 days or more in 2017–18, or
- the total number of days served in the overseas locality, when added to the number of days served in one or more zones, must be 183 days or more. If you served as a member of the Australian Defence Force, days spent in a zone must be defence force service.
If your overseas service was less than 183 days, you may be able to claim part of the tax offset. Unlike the zone tax offset, you cannot carry forward any unused days from previous years to make up 183 days.
If you qualify for both a zone tax offset and an overseas forces tax offset, you can claim only one of them. Claim the higher one.
- Do the following circumstances apply to you?
- Your usual place of residence was in only one zone or you served in only one specified overseas locality for at least 183 days, and
- You are not able to include a base amount as:
- you were not entitled to claim the Invalid and invalid carer tax offset, and
- you either did not have a dependent child or student at any time in 2017–18 or if you did have a dependent child or student, their adjusted taxable income (ATI) was equal to or greater than $282 plus $28.92 for each week you maintained them.
No – Go to step 3.
Yes – Note the tax offset amount for your circumstance from Table 1. Go to step 2.
You were able to claim the fixed amount only (you were not able to include a base amount)
- Are you claiming the zone tax offset?
No – Go to step 4.
Yes – If you received a remote area allowance from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs you must reduce the amount of your zone tax offset by the amount you received for this allowance. Go to step 4.
- Work out your tax offset amount using the Zone or overseas forces tax offset calculatorThis link opens in a new window, or see Working out your tax offset - complex circumstances.
- Enter the amount of your tax offset into the Offset amount field.
- Select Save and continue when you have completed the Offsets section.