The Rudd Government has decided to invest $2.6 billion to help families with the costs of education in the 2009 academic year. 1.2 million families across Australia receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB‑A) are expected to receive the one‑off lump sum payment of $950 per eligible child -for example a family with two children of school age, eligible for FTB‑A on 3 February 2009 will receive $1900.
Who is eligible for the Back to School Bonus?
- Families with children of school age eligible for FTB‑A on 3 February 2009 will receive the Back to School Bonus for each eligible school aged child (aged 4 to 18 on 3 February 2009).
- Families with dependents in receipt of Youth Allowance (students and apprentices), Austudy or ABSTUDY will also receive the one-off payment.
- Full-time student aged 21 to 24 years that are eligible to receive FTB‑A could also expect the Training and Learning Bonus.
- Full-time students aged 19 or 20 will not receive the Back to School Bonus but they will be eligible to receive a $950 payment through an administrative scheme.
When and how will it be paid?
- For those eligible beneficiaries receiving FTB‑A as a fortnightly payment, Centrelink will pay the $950 bonus from the fortnight commencing 11 March 2009.
- For eligible families receive FTB‑A as a lump sum, the Back to School Bonus will be paid in 2009‑10 or 2010‑11, after their 2008‑09 tax returns have been processed by the Australian Taxation Office.
How does this interact with the Education Tax Refund?
- The Back to School Bonus is in addition to assistance for education expenses that is available through the Education Tax Refund (ETR). Families entitled to FTB‑A in respect of children undertaking primary or secondary school studies for the relevant financial year are also eligible for the ETR.
- Under the ETR eligible families will be able to claim:
- a 50 per cent refundable tax offset every year for up to $750 of eligible expenses for each child undertaking primary school, (that is, a refund of up to $375 per child, per year); and
- a 50 per cent refundable tax offset every year for up to $1,500 of eligible expenses for each child undertaking secondary school (that is, a refund of up to $750 per child, per year).
- The Back to School Bonus will not affect eligibility for the ETR.