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4.2.9.20 Family Actual Means Test - Actual Means

Summary

This topic covers the following matters:

  • what is included as family actual means,
  • areas of family spending, and
  • areas of family saving.

 

What is included as family actual means

The spending and savings of all family members in the base tax year (1.1.B.10) are taken into account to determine a family's actual means. However, 'assessable' family members are determined by the family's current situation. For example, if a sibling is no longer considered a dependent YA recipient at the time of the YA claim, then they would not be included as a family member for a base tax year assessment. Where applicant and/or sibling is a family member and is living away from parental home all their separate spending and savings must be included.

 

All spending and savings must be reported from ALL sources including related entities, third parties and financial institutions.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 23(15) For the purposes of Part 2.11 and the YA Rate Calculator...

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.9.30 Family Actual Means Test - Amounts not included in Family Actual Means Test

 

Areas of family spending

The following table lists the mains areas of family spending and provides examples of each. The spending relates to the base tax year, and should also apply for the current year (base tax year + 1) for current family actual means test assessment.

Area of spending

Examples

Principal home

- the purchase of a home and associated costs such as solicitor/accountant fees, land tax, stamp duty etc,

- mortgage repayments, rent & insurance,

- rates, gas, electricity and water,

- repairs and extensions,

- furniture and appliances,

- repayments of principal and interest on any personal loans from a financial institution to cover any costs associated with the principal home.

Transport

- purchase costs of any motor vehicles, including lease payments,

- maintenance, repairs, and running costs,

- insurances and registration, and

- public transport,

- repayments of principal and interest on any personal loans from a financial institution to cover any costs associated with transport.

Education

- school, tuition and boarding fees,

- books, uniforms and amenities fees, and

- evening and leisure classes,

- up front HECS,

- repayments of principal and interest on any personal loans from a financial institution to cover any costs associated with education.

General living

- food and clothing,

- entertainment,

- holiday costs,

- insurances, medical and pharmaceutical expenses not covered by Medicare or private health insurance,

- books, newspapers, magazines,

- non-refundable child care expenses, and

- telecommunications costs (phone & fax),

- repayments of principal and interest on any personal loans from a financial institution to cover any costs associated with general living.

Other

- other loan costs,

- expenditure on investments, such as real estate, shares, art & coin collection,

- tax deductible business expenditure not necessary for carrying on the business, such as donations to charities, and

- the taxable value of any fringe benefits, covering what would have been an expense to the family,

- money paid into the business that was not derived from the earnings of the business,

- repayments of principal and interest on any personal loans from a financial institution to cover any costs associated with other expenses.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.9.30 Family Actual Means Test - Amounts not included in Family Actual Means Test

 

Areas of family saving

The following table lists the main areas of family savings and examples of each. The savings relate to the base tax year, and should also apply for the current year (base tax year + 1) for current family actual means test assessment.

 

Area of saving

Examples

Financial institutions

The net increase, including interest, in any bank, building society or credit union account.

Explanation: A decrease in the amount owed on a loan or credit card is a repayment under the spending categories. Any repayments on a personal loan or credit card should be reported in the appropriate spending categories for the FAMT.

Retained profits

The value of a family member's share of:

- any undistributed profits from, and retained earnings in, a private or unlisted public company,

- any increase in their partnership capital accounts and/or current accounts,

- undistributed trust profits if the family member is a beneficiary or trustee.

Superannuation

Contributions above:

- the minimum amount required under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 for an employee (1.1.E.87), OR

- $3,000 per family member (these are total voluntary contributions made by each family member who were sole traders or partners in a partnership. In these cases the first $3,000 of voluntary contributions should not be included).

Other

Loans by a family member to a related entity.

 

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.9.30 Family Actual Means Test - Amounts not included in Family Actual Means Test

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Last reviewed: 1 July 2013


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