The Government is making assistance for families with education costs more generous, timely and flexible, by replacing the Education Tax Refund (ETR) with a new Schoolkids Bonus.
Providing more assistance to more families
The Government is investing an additional $2.1 billion over five years on a new Schoolkids Bonus. The Bonus will replace the ETR and be paid directly to all eligible recipients, helping more families, with more generous, timely and flexible support.
From 2013, eligible families will automatically receive a payment of $410 for primary school students and $820 for secondary school students, paid in two equal instalments, in January and July of each year. As a transitional arrangement, families will receive the full 2011-12 ETR entitlement in a single payment in June 2012.
Ensuring support for more families
Replacing the ETR with a direct payment means that more families will receive assistance. For 2010–11 to date, 774,000 eligible families have missed out on the full amount of ETR, and 284,000 families have not claimed at all. The Schoolkids Bonus will allow all families to receive the full amount of assistance with education costs. This will provide assistance to around 1.3 million families in 2013.
Parents and carers of children who are currently eligible for the ETR will receive the new Schoolkids Bonus. This will assist them with costs such as uniforms and school books.
Providing more flexible assistance with education costs
The Schoolkids Bonus will provide families with more flexible guaranteed assistance and will provide assistance for costs such as school fees, school excursions, or extra–curricular activities including music lessons or sports.
Previously families were required to retain receipts to claim the ETR in their tax return. The Schoolkids Bonus will mean that eligible families will automatically receive assistance, without the need to retain receipts and make a claim. This will simplify support for families with the cost of their children's education.
Average ETR claim across all eligible families (2010–11) and Schoolkids Bonus amounts