Budgeting FAQs

All grant applications are submitted through our online system. 

We have anticipated a few of the questions about the application process below.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Will receiving a grant affect my Centrelink payment?

    Grants can be considered income by Centrelink. The amount is generally assessed as a lump sum and could affect your Centrelink payment for the financial year. Artists who are running a business (even on a small scale) may have their grant treated differently. It is possible to have your grant paid to an administering body if you wish.

    Applicants should contact Centrelink on 13 28 50 for advice. Additionally, Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is an education and information service available to everyone in the community and may be of benefit to applicants who also receive assistance through the social security system. To contact FIS phone 13 23 00.

  • Can I include artist fees in my budget?

    Yes.  The Australia Council expects that artists professionally employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be remunerated for their work in line with industry standards. Payment of artist fees should be reflected in your application budget.

    For more information, see our Payment of Artists page.

  • Can I include organisational administration costs?

    Our grants program is primarily designed to support projects that have a defined start and end date, rather than ongoing organisational administration costs. Project budgets that include a high proportion of administration costs may be less competitive. However, if you do need funding to cover administration costs directly related to the delivery of your project, you can include them in your grant request.

  • If I receive a grant, will my tax be affected?

    Grants paid by the Australia Council may be considered part of your income in a financial year and may be subject to tax. You must determine your own taxation liabilities. We suggest you consult your financial adviser or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66.

  • Will the higher cost of some activities in regional locations adversely affect my application?

    No. The Australia Council encourages applicants whose projects will take place in regional and remote locations to budget accurately and realistically, as it is recognised that costs may differ between regions and major cities.

  • Should I include GST in my budget?

    If you are GST-registered when you receive an Australia Council grant, the Australia Council will pay the grant amount plus GST. The budget provided in your application should be exclusive of GST.

  • Can I include disability access costs in my budget?

    Yes. The Australia Council recognises that funding may be required for access costs incurred by applicants with disability, or for costs associated with working with artists with disability - who may have particular access needs (e.g. use of an interpreter, translation services, specific technical equipment, support worker/carer assistance). Access costs are viewed as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget. The Australia Council encourages applicants to ensure that their work is accessible to everyone. Therefore, budgets may also include costs associated with making activities accessible to a wide range of people (e.g. performances using Auslan, captioning, audio description, temporary building adjustments, materials in other formats such as Braille or CD).

  • How do I enter my grant request?

    The application form calculates your grant request as the difference between your total cash income, and your total cash costs. The gap between these two numbers is the grant request. In-kind contributions are not included in this calculation.

    Total cash costs – total cash income = grant request

    For example –

    $50,000 cash costs - $30,000 cash income = $20,000 Australia Council grant request.

  • Can I include childcare costs in my budget?

    Yes. The Australia Council recognises that childcare needs may impede access to employment in the arts. Accordingly, childcare is a legitimate expense to include in an applicant’s budget.

  • How important is it to have co-funding for your project?

    We encourage our applicants to seek funding from other sources to cover the complete costs of their projects. While it does depend on the size of your grant request to us, we would expect that applicants with large grant requests would also secure funding from elsewhere to cover all costs associated with a large scale project.

  • Can I include volunteer costs in my budget?

    Yes. Out-of-pocket expenses such as telephone calls or petrol for travel, are recognised as legitimate expenses and may be included in an applicant’s budget.

  • Can I include in-kind support for the project in my budget?

    Yes. In-kind support refers to resources, goods and services (for example, use of a venue, materials, and/or people’s time) provided by yourself or others either free of charge, or below market value. Detailing in-kind costs in the budget is important as it gives peers a full understanding of the viability of your project and levels of support you are receiving. In-kind costs are also an expense so, when you save your application, any in-kind income you included will auto-populate to the expenses side of the budget.

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