Child or student
- your adopted child, stepchild or ex-nuptial child
- a child of your spouse, and
- someone who is your child within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975 (for example, a child who is considered to be a child of a person under a state or territory court order giving effect to a surrogacy agreement).
A student must be full-time at a school, college or university.
A dependant must be an Australian resident for tax purposes. A dependant can be:
- your spouse
- a child who is under 21 years old (see above) and is not a student
- a student under 25 years old who is studying full time at school, college or university
- an invalid or an invalid carer.
Maintaining a dependant or another person
You maintained a dependant or maintained another person 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 or maintained another person even if the two of you were temporarily separated, for example, due to holidays or overseas travel.
If you maintained a dependant or maintained another person for only part of the year, you may need to adjust your claim accordingly.These myTax 2018 instructions help you determine your entitlement to a zone or overseas forces tax offset.