Taxpayers who live or work in remote areas of Australia may be entitled to a Zone Tax Offset depending on the time spent in the relevant zones.
Generally, taxpayers qualify as residents of a zone if they reside there for 183 days or more. This period of stay doesn’t necessarily need to be a continuous 183 days.
Remote areas do not include offshore rigs.
To find out whether a location is currently in a zone or special area, refer to the Australian Zone List on the Tax Office website. You’ll notice that areas in Zone A are more remote than those in Zone B.
How much is the Zone Tax Offset?
The zone rebate levels for the 2015-16 financial year are listed below:
|Special Area in Zone A||$1,173 + 50% of the relevant rebate amount|
|Special Area in Zone B||$1,173 + 50% of the relevant rebate amount|
|Zone A||$338 + 50% of the relevant rebate amount|
|Zone B||$57 + 20% of the relevant rebate amount|
The ‘relevant rebate’ amount means the sum of the tax offsets the taxpayer is notionally entitled to, or would be notionally entitled to (ie. a dependent, sole parent or housekeeper offset) if tax offsets were still allowable for dependent children and students.
The phasing out of the Dependent Spouse Tax Offset does not affect your entitlement to a notional spouse/child component in the Zone Tax Offset.
The Taxation Office have an online Zone or overseas forces tax offset calculator available.
The calculator will help you determine your eligibility for a zone or overseas forces tax offset, and calculates the tax offset that you can claim.
You may need to know:
- The number of days you lived or worked in a remote area and/or overseas forces area
- If you have any of the following dependents during the year:
- child under 21
- student under 25
- parent, your spouse’s parent or an invalid relative
- the period they were a dependent during the year and their adjusted taxable income (ATI). To calculate your ATI, or your dependents ATI, for 2014-15, refer to the Income tests calculator on the ATO website.
- If you had a housekeeper during the year, the period that you had the housekeeper
- If you are calculating for a zone tax offset and you lived or worked in a remote area for less than 183 days in 2014–15, your prior year zone and claim details.