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What's new in 2012?

A list of new initiatives incorporated in this year's Individual tax return instructions.

Last updated 31 May 2012

Individual tax return instructions

This year we have replaced the TaxPack suite of publications with new products called Individual tax return instructions and the Individual tax return instructions supplement. These are shorter, more streamlined guides to help you to complete your paper tax return.

We have made the new instructions shorter by removing the more technical and less commonly used information and placing it on our website at

Here you can find a complete set of instructions, as well as a range of tools, calculators and publications to help you to complete your tax return.

The Business and professional items instructions are only available online from this year at You can still get a paper copy of the Business and professional items schedule for individuals from our Publications distribution service.

Flood levy

The Government has introduced a flood levy for the 2011-12 year only, to assist flood affected communities to rebuild essential infrastructure.

The flood levy applies if your taxable income is greater than $50,000 and you do not fit into one of the exemption categories. Go to Flood levy exemption to see if you qualify for an exemption.

If you are liable to pay the flood levy, we will work the amount of levy and show it on your notice of assessment.

Changes to dependent spouse tax offset

There have been changes to the eligibility criteria for claiming a dependent spouse tax offset.

If your spouse was born on or after 1 July 1971, you can no longer claim a dependent spouse tax offset for them at question T1. You may, still be able to claim for them at question T8 if you are entitled to a zone or overseas forces tax offset, or at question T10 if your spouse is an invalid or carer spouse.

Study expense deductions for youth allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY recipients

The Government has introduced legislation to prevent deductions being claimed against all government assistance payments from 1 July 2011. At the time of publication these changes had not become law.

Removal of the education tax refund

In the 2012 budget, the Government announced that it will be replacing the education tax refund with a Schoolkids Bonus, to be paid by Services Australia.

For 2011-12 you will not be able to claim the education tax refund.

Go to Services Australia for further information.