Lodging an individual tax return as a married individual requires that you include your spouse’s income when you lodge your tax return. There is no joint tax filing option for married couples in Australia, and each spouse must declare their own and each other’s income in separate tax filings.
Who Qualifies as a “Spouse”?
Married relationships can be either de facto or legally binding:
- any couple who have a domestic relationship together
- legally married couples
It also applies to same-sex domestic relationships.
Any changes in marital status at the time of lodging should also be shown.
Why You Need to Put Your Spouse’s Information in Your Tax Return
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) uses spousal income information to work out whether you are entitled to:
- private health insurance rebates
- pensioners and seniors’ tax offsets
- Medicare levy reduction
ATO also calculates your Medicare Levy Surcharge based on your spouse’s income.
You can get your spouse’s tax data from:
- Your spouse or their current tax return
- Their PAYG statement(s) plus any
- Other Financial statements like trust income/ family trust distribution statements etc, current child support papers, and others.
You can find the complete list here.
If you cannot obtain the needed information, just write a reasonable estimate. An incorrect estimate will generally not be penalised if made in good faith.
What Information You’ll Need to Include
The following information is needed:
- who your current spouse is, for the current taxable year
- your spouse’s current:
- taxable income
- net trust income, if any
- government pensions or allowances received
- superannuation contributions (from their retirement benefits fund)
- foreign income, if any
- net investment loss
- child support payments
- superannuation lump sum
For more detailed information, see ATO’s official spouse details guidelines.