If you get Child Care Subsidy, the Department of Human Services needs to balance your subsidy after the end of the financial year, to check you received the right amount.
The amount of subsidy you get during the year is calculated based on your family income estimate.
Child Care Subsidy started from 2 July 2018 so this the first time it’s being balanced. However, the balancing process will be familiar to many families who get Family Tax Benefit or were receiving the previous Child Care Benefit.
What is balancing
When your Child Care Subsidy is balanced, we compare the amount you got during the financial year with what you were actually entitled to, based on your confirmed family income and circumstances.
There are different possible outcomes for balancing, depending on your situation.
If you got too much subsidy during the financial year, you may have an overpayment you’ll need to repay.
This can happen if you underestimated your family income or your circumstances changed, which means you received more subsidy during the year than you were entitled to.
If you were overpaid, we will use the amount that’s been withheld from your subsidy to reduce your overpayment.
If you didn’t get enough subsidy during the financial year, you may get a top up when your subsidy is balanced. This will include the amount the department withheld during the year.
For example, this may happen if you overestimated your family income, which meant you received less during the year than you were entitled to.
What you need to do
We can start balancing Child Care Subsidy for the 2018-19 financial year from 29 July 2019.
We can only balance your Child Care Subsidy once we’ve received information from your child care provider, and you’ve confirmed your family’s income for the financial year.
To confirm your family’s income, you and your partner will need to lodge tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Your income information will be sent to us by the ATO so we can balance your subsidy.
If you don’t need to lodge a tax return, you need to advise this and confirm your family’s income with your Centrelink online account via myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
You must do this for us to start balancing your Child Care Subsidy, even if you didn’t need to for your Family Tax Benefit to be balanced.
Once we have the information we need, we’ll balance your Child Care Subsidy.
There’s no need to call. You’ll get a letter when your subsidy has been balanced. You can also check if it’s been balanced with your Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
If you’re eligible for a top up payment, this will be paid into your bank account.
If you got more Child Care Subsidy than you were entitled to and need to pay this back, your letter will explain your repayment options.