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Changes to spouse rebate

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The main emphasis of the federal government’s budget is "to help encourage more Australians into paid employment".

One of the decisions announced was the removal of the dependant spouse offset (DSTO), starting with those aged under 40, and taking effect on 1 July 2011. The government says this change recognises that dependent spouses who may have been out of the paid workforce for many decades would find securing work more difficult, so they will continue to be eligible for the DSTO.

The change will not affect:

  • taxpayers whose dependent spouse is a carer, an invalid, or permanently unable to work

  • taxpayers with children (eligible for Family Tax Benefit B), or who are eligible for the zone, overseas forces or overseas civilian tax offsets.

Dependent spouses with children are not affected by this measure because they receive Family Tax Benefit B rather than the DSTO.

Over time, the entire offset will be removed.


 Institute of Public Accountants – 2011 Budget Report

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