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Best Start tax credit (BSTC) is a payment to help families with the costs in a child’s first three years.
BSTC is a new component of Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC). It’s available for all qualifying families with children due or born on or after 1 July 2018. It replaces PTC. Our Best Start payments video has more information.
Apply for Best Start through SmartStart
It's easy to apply - you can do it while registering the birth of your baby through the SmartStart website.
Otherwise, you can complete a Working for Families Tax Credits registration (FS1) form online or by hand and posting it to us.
You can also get BSTC while you receive any of the following for children in your care:
If your child is born before 1 July 2018 but had an expected due date after this, they qualify for BSTC.
If you also qualify for PTC, you need to choose which payment is best for your family - you can't receive both.
In your child's first year
The amount of BSTC is up to $60 a week ($3,120 a year).
For your child's second and third years
The amount reduces by 21 cents for every dollar your family income goes over $79,000.
The table below is based on a family with one child qualifying for BSTC.
|Annual family income||Best Start tax credit entitlement for second and third years|
|$79,000||$3,120 ($60 a week)|
|$80,000||$2,910 ($55 a week)|
|$85,000||$1,860 ($35 a week)|
|$90,000||$810 ($15 a week)|
Your BSTC entitlement will end when your child turns three.
Best Start tax credit and shared care
If you share care of your child, your payments will be reduced according to the number of days your children are in your care.
You can't get BSTC and PPL for the same child, at the same time. BSTC will start once your PPL has finished.
Use our Estimate your Working for Families Tax Credits calculator to check what you may be entitled to.