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Any Aussie age pensioners out there?


We are age pensioners and we AirBnB a couple of rooms in our house. We get an age pension payment from Centrelink every fortnight. We don’t get the whole pension because my wife still works.

If you are an Aussie age pensioner receiving the fortnightly payment you will know that you have to complete an online form every fortnight. I have no idea how to enter our AirBnB income into this form.

We have been into Centrelink for a one hour interview and still have no idea how to do this. They just kept answering questions that we weren’t asking. I used to code for a living so it’s not as though I’m totally stupid.

Has any AirBnB Aussie age pensioner discovered the solution to this mystery?


Do you have a myGov account? I am on the (Australian) DSP not Age Pension and so this may not apply. I declare AirBnB and other STR income using their income and assets declaration form on myGov under offering accommodation with breakfast. Because I offer breakfast I get a 50% reduction on the income (and an initial $4000 off) to determine my “income”. For that alone it is worth offering some packets of cereal, milk, tea&coffee and bread for toast. I just estimate it once a year based on my previous years income rather than update it fortnightly. I figure as long as I am close if they audit me worst I’ll have to pay a few hundred dollars to make up the difference. I still keep all copies of my dockets for tax purposes but this is the first year I’ve earned over the tax threshold.

Anyway I am not sure if any of that is useful but do check if reporting it as accommodation income leads to a reduction. I didn’t know this until i actually went through the process. I was expecting a reduction in my DSP on $24k of AirBnB income of $10k but it was only $5k.

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Many thanks for that James - some valuable info there. Yes we do have a MyGov account. The form only allows us to input income from an Employer. When I try to add the AirBnB income to my part of the form I have to enter an Employer name and ABN.

We don’t have the option of doing an annual declaration. We have to do it fortnightly.

The breakfast idea sounds like a really good one. We have fridges in each room so we could do that.


Wouldn’t your employer be “self”? Or the name of your business?


We can’t do that because the title to our house is in our individual names.

I have a company and I was hoping to run AirBnB through the company but the company would need to own the house for the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink to accept that way of doing things.


Under Income and Assets, as well as “Employment Income” I also have another choice: Income and Assets details/other income/profit from board and lodging. Can you see something like this? Sorry if your answer is the same, that’s all I got.
If I input say $500/fortnight for Bed & Breakfast it automatically tells me my Profit is $250/fortnight and adjusts my next pension payment automatically. It’s not an annual declaration but it stays the same if you don’t change it which I usually don’t. You could adjust it fortnightly I suppose.

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That was SO helpful James. I found that ‘Board and Lodging’ screen. We are going to take your advice and provide breakfast which will give us that 50% benefit instead of the 20% benefit for accommodation only.

I’m going to do a forum search re breakfasts now and maybe ask a question if I can’t find everything I need to know. Thanks again.


I’ve started that topic on breakfast James. KenH makes a good point. What sort of breakfast meets the Australian Govt standard for breakfast? Is there such a thing?


Glad to be of help. There are a few Australians on this site so feel free to ask anything. I don’t know if there are ATO “standards” per se. I didn’t even find out about the 50% discount on “profit” until I actually put it in. They are probably thinking of a B&B with a cooked breakfast served inroom or at table or in a buffet. Minimum toast and something eggy. I only provide packets of cereal, milk, tea&coffee(inc pods), bread for toast and spreads (nutella, vegemite, jam, honey) . I sometimes provide eggs from my chooks. But it is in the space which is separate to mine (downstairs) but connected by a locked door if needs be. It has a kitchenette and I don’t prepare it or serve it (or even wash the dishes). This is all clear on my isting so no one has ever complained.
Should I be raided by the ATO (hopefully coming in from the seaward side in black choppers at sunset) I will plead ignorance if they require a cooked breakfast but I can’t see that happening.
If I recall some people like KenH serve a proper chef cooked breakfast with options as a feature of the listing. I have a neighbour who has AirBnB in her house and she used to offer a cooked breakfast but had no takers so stopped. There is a Maccas up the road if guests really feel the need for something hot they can’t cook themselves and you can’t really beat “the Queen of Breakfasts” aka a Sausage&Egg McMuffin.


Hi, I have recently been up this path as well. When you try to report on the online reporting app, as I have no ABN, I cannot progress any further. Technically we don’t work for AirBnB so cannot input their ABN plus there is no hourly rate or wage to use. Multiple visits & talks with Centrelink have resulted in being told to either phone report the income on the due date each fortnight or go into a Centrelink office. Depending on the scale of your AirBnB you can choose to do a 3 monthly profit & loss statement. I’m all for less paperwork & ease of reporting so I report by phone at this stage. My pension payments start in 3 weeks & my partner is on Newstart until pension age early next year so, when I report my AirBnB income to Newstart fortnightly by phone they apply it to both of us. There certainly are a lot of things to consider regarding loss of some pension due to earnings. Occasionally you question whether or not the monetary gain is worth it for the effort you put in. The $304 a couple can earn without affecting the pension is a hideous amount. Glad I stumbled across this forum for people in similar situation

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