To recognise the additional costs incurred by social security income support customers who live in remote areas and who are excluded, in many cases, from the benefits of Australian Taxation Office zone tax offsets which are available to taxpayers living in remote areas.
Remote Area Allowance is payable to income support, pension and Abstudy recipients in Ordinary Tax Zone A (including, with certain exceptions, Special Tax Zone A) and Special Tax Zone B. It is not payable to residents within Ordinary Tax Zone B.
Remote Area Allowance is paid fortnightly along with the relevant pension or payment.
Remote Area Allowance is payable for up to 8 weeks of temporary absence outside of the defined area – either within Australia or overseas.
It is not payable if a person moves permanently outside the defined remote areas.
It may be possible for customers to receive both Remote Area Allowance and the benefit of the zone tax offset amounts through the Australian Taxation Office in any given year (eg participation in part-time seasonal work).
Remote Area Allowance reduces, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the amount of the zone tax offset that would otherwise be received.
For current rates and further information about Remote Area Allowance please contact Centrelink on 13 2300 or visit the Remote Area Allowance section of the Centrelink website.