Have you ever gone to pay for your coffee or lunch and saw the tip jar at the local café counter, and wondered how (or if) the business and/or its staff accounts for tax on that money? Depending on a number of factors, this can add up to quite a sum over a year, assuming the café owner empties the jar each day. Not surprisingly, the taxman has thought of this scenario, and has devised guidance for dealing with “tips and gratuities”.
It is possible to receive amounts that you do not need to tell the taxman about, and don’t have to include as income on your tax return. The ATO classifies these into two different categories (or three, if you count “other” as a category).
Exempt income. This is simply amounts that have been deemed to be tax-free. Most often this includes government allowances such as disability pensions, carer payments, rent assistance and such, but also some scholarships, child care payments and so on (some of which are listed below).