No doubt everyone has been madly trying to calculate how much they’ll get if the Nation Building and Jobs Plan is passed. There has been some confusion, so here it is plain and simple.

There are five groups of one-off cash bonuses.

1) The Tax Bonus for Working Australians

Who gets it? Australian resident taxpayers who paid tax in the 2007-2008 financial year, depending on income.

How much do I get?

$950 — If your taxable income was up to and including $80,000

$650 — If your taxable income exceeds $80,000 and is up to and including $90,000

$300 — If your taxable income exceeds $90,000 and is up to and including $100,000

Do I have to apply to get the money? No.

How will it be paid? The Australian Taxation Office will make the payment automatically, the same way that you get your tax return.

When do I get it? The payments will be made starting in April.

What if I didn’t file a tax return? You have until the end of June to file your Tax Return and still be eligible.

2) Single Income Family Bonus

Who gets it? Families who were receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part B on 03 February.

How much do I get? $950.

How will it be paid? Automatically by Centrelink into your nominated account (where your other Centrelink payments go).

When do I get it? In the fortnight commencing 11 March 2009.

3) Farmer’s Hardship Bonus

Who gets it? People who, on 03 February 2009, are receiving one of the following:

  • Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment for Farmers;
  • Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment for Small Business;
  • Interim Income Support for Farmers;
  • Interim Income Support for Small Business;
  • Transitional Income Support; or
  • Farm Help Income Support.

How much do I get? $950.

How will it be paid? Automatically by Centrelink.

When do I get it? In the fortnight commencing 24 March.

4) Back to School Bonus

Who gets it? Families who are eligible for the Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A) on 03 February 2009.

How much do I get? $950 per eligible child of school age (4-18 at 03 February 2009). This is separate from and in addition to the Education Tax Refund.

How do I get it? Automatically through Centrelink.

When do I get it? In the fortnight commencing 11 March, except if you receive the FTB-A as a lump sum, in which case you get the payment next year.

5) Training and Learning Bonus

The bonus consists of two categories:

Category 1

  • A one-off $950 bonus for recipients of: Youth Allowance (students and apprentices); Austudy; ABSTUDY and related payments
  • The one-off bonus will also be available to recipients of Sickness Allowance and Special Benefit (under age pension age)
  • If a student attracts the Government’s Back to School Bonus they are not eligible for the one-off $950 Learning and Training Bonus

Category 2

  • A temporary supplement (from 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2010) to the Education Entry Payment (EdEP) of $950. This is in addition to the existing EdEP payment of $208, which provides assistance with the costs of training courses, for income support recipients who are returning to study.
  • A temporary extension (from 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2010) of the EdEP to Youth allowance (other); and
  • A temporary relaxation (from 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2010) of the requirement that recipients must have been receiving social security payments from 12 months to 1 month

The big questions:

Can I double dip? Yes. For example, if your taxable income was less than $80,000 and you are receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part B, you get the $950 Tax Bonus AND the Single Income Family Bonus (also $950).

I’m a student not on Youth Allowance or a related payment, can I get the Training and Learning Bonus? No, you get nothing unless you filed a Tax Return for 07-08. In that case you get the Tax Bonus.

I am a casual/part-time worker; do I get the money? If you filed your tax return, then yes.

I’ve got three kids; do I get $950 for each? If you get the Family Tax Benefit Part A, then yes.

What happens if the Plan is not passed in the Senate? We all get nothing … unless they approve something else.

Peter Fray

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