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5.2.3 Determining if a Residence is a Remote Area


Last amended: 20 March 2013

Residence is in a remote area

For determining whether a person's usual place of residence is in a remote area, most cases should be resolved through reference to the database on the ATO web site.     

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Zone A and a special area in Zone B



The specific areas which attract RAA consist of zones that are defined in tax legislation in geographic terms and references to remoteness. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) web site contains a database of points in all states and territories that fall within Zone A as well as details of points that are in a special area of Zone B. If a person lives in Zone A, they will satisfy paragraph 5Q(1)(a) of the definition. If the person lives in a special area of Zone B, they will satisfy paragraph 5Q(1)(aa) of the definition.  RAA is not payable to residents within ordinary Zone B.

The ATO database of accepted urban centres (for the purposes of determining whether a person resides within 250 kilometres of an urban centre of more than 2,500 people) is derived from the defined terms of urban centre and census population within section 79A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, which are based on the results of the census undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1981.

When the precise location is not listed

In some cases, the precise location of the person may not be listed on this database, for example properties etc. in these circumstances it may be appropriate to seek verification from the person whether the ATO treats them as residing in Zone A or a special area within Zone B. We should also ask the person to clarify whether they have sought a decision of the Tax Commissioner in relation to the place they live under subsection 79A(3E) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. Documentary evidence of the Tax Commissioner's decision should be obtained from the person. If the matter cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the delegate through consulting the ATO database or the person concerned, advice as to these matters can be sought from the ATO.    

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