June 20, 2012
Ninety per cent of ACT families have been missing out on their full education tax rebate entitlements because keeping receipts in shoe boxes has been too cumbersome a task, according to the federal government.
But from today 12,650 families will get the extra support, no questions asked, as part of the government's new Schoolkids Bonus handouts.
Payments totalling $14.5 million will flow into territory homes between today and the end of the month.
Families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A fortnightly will receive $409 for each child in primary school and $818 for each child in high school. Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan said the system of keeping receipts for certain school expenses and claiming them back needed an overhaul.
''We decided it was time to reform it and reform it we did,'' he said.
''This was the proposal we took to the people in 2007 and I think it was enthusiastically supported. But the practice that we found over time was that many people, probably those who most needed it, were those that were not receiving it.''
He said the payments would be directly deposited into bank accounts and would be a welcome relief for families struggling to pay for school uniforms, excursions and stationery. ''I think we all know that these costs can pile up, which is why we announced a Schoolkids Bonus in last month's budget.''
A total of 3200 eligible ACT families did not claim any education tax rebate for 2010-11 and a further 9450 failed to claim their full entitlement. Chris Johnson