INCOME TAX AND OTHER MODELLED DATA ITEMS
Some data items of interest cannot reliably be collected from respondents, and some cannot be collected at all. However, it is sometimes possible to utilise other information provided by respondents as a basis for estimating the data items of interest. This process is referred to as modelling.
Income tax and the Medicare levy
Disposable income (as described in the 'Income' section of this User Guide), is calculated by deducting income tax (including the Medicare levy) from gross income.
The model is based on the liability rules described in the Tax Pack for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 financial years (depending on the date of household interview), the income reported by respondents, and other characteristics of household members reported in the survey.
Additional information on modelling of income tax and the Medicare levy is available in Chapter 2.5 'Income tax and other modelled data items' of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2011–12 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Family Tax Benefits
Family Tax Benefit (FTB) are received from the Family Assistance Office either as fortnightly payments, a lump sum after the end of the financial year, or a combination of both. Payments received as fortnightly payments, collected in the HECS were used in the derivation of "Current weekly income from family tax benefits". Components received in the form of lump sum payments are modelled using responses to the FTB questions relating to method of payment, as well as other demographic and income information.
Information on the Baby Bonus, formerly known as the Maternity Payment, was collected in the HECS for the current and previous financial year. Recipients of the Baby Bonus receive income for 26 weeks (in 13 instalments), and payments are paid at the same rate to all eligible recipients. The Baby Bonus rate was calculated using the total value of the payment at the time of interview divided by 26 weeks, to calculate the average weekly amount received. The amount was allocated to those who reported they received the Baby Bonus.
Paid Parental Leave
Information on Paid Parental Leave payments was collected, including whether the payment was received, the duration of receiving the payment, and whether the payment was included as wages and salary. Similar to the Baby Bonus, the same rate was payable to all eligible recipients, and received as income for up to 18 weeks. The Paid Parental Leave rate was calculated using the total value of the payment at the time of interview divided by 18 weeks to calculate the average weekly amount received. The amount was allocated to those who reported they received Paid Parental Leave.
Pension Supplement, Seniors Supplement, and Utilities Allowance
Estimates for the Pension Supplement, Seniors Supplement, and Utilities Allowance were modelled in the HECS. For more information on these payments, see Chapter 2.5 'Income tax and other modelled data items' of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2011–12 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Clean Energy Advance
The Clean Energy Advance (CEA) is a tax-exempt lump sum payment, paid to pensioners, other income support recipients, families receiving Family Tax Benefit payments and Seniors Supplement recipients, provided they meet eligibility requirements. As part of the Household Assistance Package, an initial payment was paid to eligible families and parents, seniors and individuals during May and June 2012. As the announcement of the CEA payments were made in early 2012, payments were not able to be fully captured in the HECS. Therefore the CEA was modelled as a current weekly government payment for eligible households enumerated between January and June 2012 using the applicable rates. The CEA was not modelled for households enumerated between July and December 2012.
Education Tax Refund
In early 2012, the Australian Government announced changes to the Education Tax Refund (ETR). Previously, families had to have receipts for expenditure on education expenses and apply to receive the ETR as a refundable tax offset through the Australian Taxation Office. To ensure more families receive assistance with the costs of educating their children, it was announced that the ETR will be replaced by the Schoolkids Bonus from 1 January 2013. However, a transitional one-off payment was made to all eligible families in June 2012. As the changes to the ETR were only announced in early 2012, payments were not able to be fully captured in the HECS. Therefore, the ETR payment was modelled and allocated to all households receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A, plus young people in school receiving Youth Allowance and some other income support and veterans' payments, providing they meet the age and education requirements. Households enumerated from January to June 2012 were modelled based on the ETR amounts in the 2011–12 financial year. Households enumerated from July to December 2012 were modelled based on the 2012–13 Schoolkids Bonus.
Child Care Benefit (CCB) is a payment from the Australian Government payment that assists families with the costs of registered or approved child care. The scheme is means-tested and allocates an hourly amount that can either be remitted to child care consumers after child care has been paid, or child care organisations can receive the CCB from the Government, therefore reducing the child care fees payable by the amount of the benefit.
Child Care Rebate (CCR) is also an Australian Government payment that, like CCB, assists families with the cost of child care. Unlike CCB, it is not a fixed hourly rate, but a refund of 50% of child care costs (after any rebates like CCB), up to a per child, per year limit ($7,500 per child per year throughout 2012). Families are eligible for CCB for up to 50 hours a week per child. Although certain requirements must be met to qualify for CCR, the eligibility tests are different from those for the CCB.
Estimates of CCB and CCR are collected from the child care questions, however there has been a significant gap between the reported number of households receiving assistance and the total value of that assistance, compared to administrative records. In HECS, CCB and CCR have been modelled to improve the estimates of these payments. The modelled amounts of CCB and CCR are available at the household and income unit level.