Financial Dependency or Empty Promise?

12 Jan 2022

Written by

David Busoli, Principal

Children who are financially dependent on a deceased parent will pay no tax on receipt of the taxable component of the parent’s superannuation benefit.

There is a view that otherwise independent children can qualify as financial dependents simply by

  • being in receipt of regular payments from their parents and
  • arranging suitably worded declarations

This is simply not true.  

Financial dependence occurs where a person is wholly or substantially maintained financially by another person. The ATO’s test is simple.

if the financial support received by a person were withdrawn would the person be able to survive on a day-to-day basis. If the financial support merely supplements the person’s income and represents ‘quality of life’ payments, then it would not be considered substantial support.

What needs to be determined is whether or not the person would be able to meet the person’s daily needs and basic necessities without the additional financial support. Simply providing a financially independent child with a regular payment, however well documented, does not make them a financial dependent.

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