Including your spouse's income in your tax return allows us to work out if you’re entitled to specific offsets, rebates or reductions and whether you're liable for the Medicare levy surcharge. If you don't include it, we may need to amend your tax return, leaving you with a possible debt. We consider a spouse anyone you've lived with in a genuine domestic relationship at any point during the year, including de facto and same-gender couples. Even if you're not married, you may have a spouse for tax purposes.
We’ve listed some of the commonly asked questions and answers about providing spouse income details in your tax return. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, ask the rest of the Community!
Do I have to include my spouse's income in my tax return?
Yes, even if you keep your tax affairs separate from your spouse, you'll still need to provide us with their income information. We need this information to work out whether:
You'll need to include your spouse's taxable income. Check through the spouse income labels on your tax return to see if there are other fields that apply to your spouse's income.
What if I don't know my partner's income details?
If you can't access this information, you can make a reasonable estimate of these amounts using information such as your spouse's PAYG payment summaries (or income statement) from their employment and taxable government payments such as Centrelink, bank statements, dividend statement or other supporting documentation. As long as you make a reasonable estimate and act in good faith, penalties won’t apply if you make a mistake.
What if I seperated from my spouse or started a new relationship?
If you’ve entered into a spousal relationship during the year, or separated from your spouse part way through, you’ll need to tell us the relevant dates so we can accurately calculate these amounts.If you’ve separated from your spouse throughout the financial year and are now back together, you’ll need to tell us the dates you separated and reunited so we can work out your entitlement to certain tax offsets. We’ll work out the number of days and apportion your entitlement.
We use information about your spouse, your family income and your private health insurance to help work out whether you’ll need to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). You’ll need to work out whether you were liable for MLS for any period during the financial year that you:
were single (that is, you had no spouse or dependent children) so you can apply the single surcharge threshold of $90,000 to your income
had a spouse or any dependent children so that you can apply the family surcharge threshold of $180,000, plus $1,500 for each dependent child after the first, to your income.
If your income was above the relevant surcharge threshold that applies to you, and you and all of your dependants (including your spouse, if any) did not have an appropriate level of private patient hospital cover or were not in a Medicare levy exemption category for the whole year, then you may be liable to pay MLS.