Is Child Support Considered Taxable Income in Australia?

In Australia, all children of separated parents are eligible for child support payments.

When it comes to child support, every situation is unique and we recommend consulting an experienced family lawyer to ensure that you are getting the best possible result for yourself and your child.

A common question our family lawyers receive regarding child support is: is child support taxable income? In other words, will the money you receive from child support payments be taxed by the government?

In this article, we provide an overview of the legal concepts involved and answer for people who may be wondering: is child support taxable income?


What is Child Support?

In Australia, child support payments exist to ensure that children under the age of 18 are financially catered for following their parent’s divorce or separation.

Child support payments can cover things such as children’s medical, school, food and clothing costs. Depending on individual circumstances, child support can be paid by one or both parents either to each other or to another person who is looking after the child.

Child support can be paid either with cash payments or non-cash items, and the amount which is due to be paid is calculated according to a variety of factors that will be evaluated by Services Australia.

It’s worth noting that there are some circumstances where financial support can be required for children over the age of 18; in this case, the support is called child maintenance.


What is Taxable Income?

Now that we understand child support, let’s discuss taxable income.

Simply put, taxable income is income on which you must pay tax. This encompasses income earned through things like wages, investments, pensions and taxable government payments.

In Australia, we have a progressive tax system, which essentially means that the higher your income is in a given financial year, the higher percentage of tax you will have to pay.

Now that we understand what child support and taxable income are, we are left with the question: is child support taxable income in Australia?


Is Child Support Taxable Income?

In Australia, child support is not considered taxable income, meaning that you do not have to pay tax on any child support payments you have received. This is because the Australian Taxation Office does not categorise child support payments as taxable income due to their domestic, private nature.

The same rule applies to people who receive spousal maintenance payments: these payments are also not considered taxable income and receiving them will not result in you having to pay higher taxes.


Need Legal Help with Child Support?

If you require further legal advice regarding child support payments in Australia, Emerson Family Law is here to help. Our experienced family lawyers have dealt extensively with children’s matters such as child support or child maintenance payments, and can ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Please get in touch with our team today to see how we can assist.