Family Tax Benefit – Your balancing explained

As we get to the end of another financial year, people tend to focus on tax returns. But what do you need to know about Family Tax Benefit (FTB)?

Services Australia pays FTB Part A and B to about 1.6 million families across the country. If you get FTB, there are some things you need to do at the beginning of the financial year.

What do you mean by balancing?

Every year, we pay families FTB based on an estimate of their total annual income—we call this an income estimate.

When you can confirm what your family actually earned, we’ll compare your actual income with the estimate you gave us. You won’t be able to do this until the financial year wraps-up.

The reason we do this is to make sure we paid you the right amount of FTB during the year.

How do I get my payments balanced?

The good news about balancing is most people can give us the information we need quickly and easily online. What you need to do depends on your situation.

For your FTB to be balanced, you need to either:

  • lodge a tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • tell us that you don’t need to lodge and confirm your income online.

If you had a partner at any point during the year, they’ll need to do this too.

The only exception is if you were single and getting an income support payment (like JobSeeker Payment or Parenting Payment Single) for the entire year, with no gap in payments.

If you’re in this situation, we already have all the information we need from you and we’ll balance your payments automatically.

What happens next?

After you lodge your tax return, we will get your income information from the ATO. It generally takes 28 days from when you get your notice of assessment.

Once we have all the information, we’ll compare your actual income with your family’s income estimate. Then we’ll let you know your balancing outcome.


If we didn’t pay you enough FTB during the year, you’ll be paid a top up.

If we paid you the right amount, there’ll be no further activity.

If you were paid too much FTB, you’ll need to pay back any overpayment.

If you’re in this situation, don’t panic—we’re here to help. You won’t have to pay it back at once. Most people repay the money they owe over time.

You can speak to us about setting up a payment arrangement that works for your family.

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