Working for Families was introduced in 2004 to help with the cost of raising a family.
The Families Package (Income Tax and Benefits) Act 2017 became law on 20 December 2018 and increased the scope of Working for Families to include Best Start payments for children under 3.
Working for Families is designed to reduce child poverty with targeted social assistance to low and middle-income families with children.
Most of the payments are income tested. The Best Start payment is universal in the child's first year and income tested for the next two years.
Working for Families is made up of four parts.
In-work tax credit
The in-work tax credit payment is for families in paid work. Couples need to work at least a combined 30 hours per week. Single parents need to work at least 20 hours per week.
Minimum family tax credit
The minimum family tax credit payment is for families with dependent children. This payment tops up a family's annual net income to $26,572 per year ($511 per week). Couples need to work at least a combined 30 hours per week. Single parents need to work at least 20 hours per week.
Family tax credit
The family tax credit payment is made for each dependent child in the family. The payment depends on the annual family income and number of dependent children.
Best Start replaced the parental tax credit and provides extra support to all families for the child's first three years. Best Start is universal in the child’s first year and income tested for the next two years. Best Start begins when paid parental leave finishes.