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How to Lodge Your 2018 Tax Return!

lodge tax return 2018
1 July marks the start of the 2018 tax season!

Keep your eyes on your calendar!  The 2018 tax season runs from 1 July 2018 to 31 October 2018.

However, don’t get this confused with your financial year dates. In other words, you are lodging your 2018 tax return from the statements you received from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Read on to find out how you can lodge your tax return, at your convenience.

Here’s what you need.

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Accommodation Allowances & Your Taxes

Traveling for work? Deduct your accommodation costs!

Are you missing out on your friend’s barbie to travel for work? No doubt, we know that work can be a drag if you have to travel, especially if it isn’t for vacation time. On the other hand, you could enjoy being pampered for a few days and get away from home. Luckily, whether you enjoy traveling for work or not, you can deduct most of your accommodation costs on your tax return if you are responsible for all of your up-front business trip costs.

Let’s take a look if you’re eligible to deduct these expenses and how to do it.

 

Did your employer issue you a travel allowance?

First, if your employer issues you a travel allowance for accommodations, you need to report it as income on your tax return. In other words, you do not need to declare the allowance on your taxes if:

  • The travel allowance is not on your payment summary.
  • The allowance is a deductible accommodation cost.
  • You can count meal and incidental expenses.


So, if it’s not included as income, then you can’t report it. It’s as simple as that! 

 

Follow this 6 Rule Checklist:

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How Changes to the Family Tax Benefit Affect You

The ATO just announced the 2014 Australian budget. Prime Minister Tony Abbott stated that this budget was going to be a tough one. He was right.

What exactly does a tough budget look like? It looks like the Australian Federal Budget 2014. More specifically, it means less money for those who usually claim the Family Tax Benefit (FTB).

What is the Family Tax Benefit?

The family tax benefit (FTB) is a reduction in personal Income Tax for those with a family. FTB is a two part payment that helps with the cost of raising children.

The family tax benefit is divided into two parts; Part A and Part B.

  • Part A: A tax benefit paid for each child and based off of your family’s circumstances.
  • Part B: A tax benefit that gives extra help to single parents and families with only one main income.

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More Fireworks Courtesy of Budget 2011!

Part 2 of our review of the federal budget for 2011

We conclude our survey of the federal budget proposals, specifically as to their impact on university students and small businesses. As we’ll see regarding the latter, some small businesses stand to lose from the changes while others gain.

Students lose: changes to the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)

We closed Part 1 of our review of the federal budget 2011 by noting changes proposed to the Education Tax Refund. Under the new rule, parents of school aged children would from July 1st 2011 be able to claim outlays made for school uniforms towards the refund.

Unfortunately, the Gillard Government does not seem willing to be as generous toward their older siblings enrolled in uni. Effective January 1st, 2012, the Government would reduce the amounts of the discounts applying to student contribution HECS-HELP payments. Namely, Read the rest of this entry »

The Federal Budget for 2011 Lands with a Bang!

The New May Budget: How it Will Impact the Way You Lodge Tax, Part 1

The temptation, you see, in these early days of winter, what with the new May budget for 2011 delivered and pending legislation, the financial year less than a month to closing and tax planning season on the horizon, would be to bludge the hard work and lodge instead a serious discussion about the success of Aussie actresses in Hollywood.

The eye-boggling list grows yearly and all but careens off the tongue. Nicole, Cate, Naomi, Claudia, Toni, Miranda, Radha, Anna, Abbie, Teresa, Emilie with an e, Emily with a y, Yvonne, and the others: crikey, you could field an all girl roller derby team with them, a mighty fine one with Abbie as Jammer. So, what gives? Important inquiry no doubt, packed with pertinent questions for all matters regarding Australia tax. Can’t we fairly speak of Babe Bonus eligibility?

But no, the hour is dour, the budget beckons, and as usual it’s loaded with both good and bad, including this time around a notable lack of outright income tax cuts. In Part 1 of our report, we address the ways the new budget would affect taxation issues for individuals and families and suggest tips on how to mitigate some of its possible negative aspects. Part 2 deals with tax changes that pertain to students, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Walk with us through the thicket and you’ll be eligible to take the patented Aussie Actress Awareness Test™ courtesy of the Tax Rascal, our mate stateside, who’s known to keep a sharp eye on our sheilas in la-la land and beyond. Read the rest of this entry »

Budget 2012 Recap: Schoolkids get a handout

The Schoolkids bonus replaces the Education Tax refund

Julia Gillard aims to make the life of low and middle income families with kids easier, not to say cushier, and she clearly hopes that her latest initiative, the Schoolkids Bonus, will in turn earn her their goodwill as she bids for reelection next year.

That’s one way to grasp the Government’s decision to ditch the admittedly hard to manage  education tax refund (ETR) and replace it with the twice a year lump sum payments to families that is the Schoolkids bonus.

Previously, parents who had wished to claim a tax refund of their yearly education expenses on such things as laptops and printers had had to shoebox their multifold receipts, not to mention run a gauntlet of stringent tax office requirements before being deemed eligible at tax time.

The ETR’s extensive pre-conditions ensured that many failed to qualify for the maximum ETR available per child – for the 2011-12 financial year, that translated to a $794 ETR limit. In addition, school expenses that were already tax deductible or roped into another tax offset didn’t qualify.

The Schoolkids Bonus removes the ATO from the equation – the payments will be handled by the Department of Human Services – and beginning January 2013 eligible families will get a full $820 a year for each kid they have in highschool – primary schoolers will get half of that or $410.

But recipients will still have to meet the key provisions originally put in place for the discarded education tax refund, namely, they will need to be receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part A, the Youth Allowance, or other forms of eligible payments such as a disability support pension.

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Budget 2012 Recap: SMEs lose something, gain something

Company tax rate stays fixed but some small businesses will benefit from the new loss carry-back tax scheme.

If you are a business owner the new budget unveiled last month will probably have come as a bit of a disappointment.

Indeed, the hoped for reduction in the overall corporate tax rate from its current 30% to 29% turned out to be a mirage after all. The government effectively chose to jettison it for the more targeted, not to say cheaper, option presented by its the loss carry-back measure.

This new scheme, operative from July 1st 2012, would allow a business, irrespective of size, to claim a refund of tax paid in the previous two years against a loss in revenue in the third year.

For example, if a shop selling  tourist goods made a profit in its first couple  of years of operation and paid $300,000 in taxes on its earnings, but then found itself in difficult financial straits the following year, say, because of a decrease in the tourist market, it would be able to get a refund of the money it had previously paid to the tax office.

The loss carry-back measure aims to minimize the cash flow pressure undergone by companies that suddenly find themselves in the red after a period of profitable business.

This said, it is essential to note that the losses eligible to be carried back under the measure would be capped at $1 million of lost revenue. In other words, given the company tax rate remaining unchanged at 30%, the maximum amount of refunded tax would be $300,000. Furthermore, the scheme would only apply to a business that is structured as a corporation, leaving quite a few small companies out of the loop.

Also, the scheme may not make the tax refund available if the profits gained in the previous year have been distributed to the company’s shareholders as franked dividends on which tax has already been paid, a distinct possibility in numerous cases.

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Budget 2012 Recap: New super tax rules soak the rich, help the needy

The tax on concessional super contributions doubles for incomes above $300K

The pattern set in other parts of this year’s federal budget, as noticed in part 1 and part 2 of our budget 2012 recap, whereby low and middle income taxpayers gain while the wealthy lose, is confirmed when we come to superannuation.

A clear indication of the Gillard Government’s aptly dubbed “Robin Hood” intent is its introduction of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution.

Starting on July 1st, 2012, those with incomes of $37000 or less, roughly four million Australians, will effectively pay zero tax on their super guarantee contributions.

The Government will accomplish this aim by providing each taxpayer who qualifies with up to $500 in annual super contribution, equivalent to 15% of the total eligible concessional contributions made by an individual or her employer to their super savings.

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Budget 2012 Recap: Non-residents & foreign workers in for a tax return surprise

Expats, non-residents and foreign workers sure to see their tax burden grow

For every action, so goes Newton’s third law, we can expect an equal and opposite reaction. The 2012 Australian federal budget introduced last month offers ample corroboration for the continuing validity of this basic principle.

We mentioned in the first part of our budget 2012 recap how low and middle income families would largely benefit from the tax compensation package designed to mitigate the dollars-and-cents impact of the carbon tax on the daily life of every Australian.

It should come as no surprise then that for every winner it seeks to relieve the budget offers its fair share of losers who will see their potential tax liability bloom in the coming financial years.

Crested at the top of that unlucky list are working holidaymakers, non-resident employees, expatriates, and Australians living away from home for work purposes. The new budget goes at their pocket-book in a three-pronged approach that is bound to leave them shell-shocked.

Marginal tax rates:

The first, dramatic change goes into effect on July 1st of this year and strikes at the personal income tax rates currently active for non-residents regardless of whether the income is earned from work in Australia or from rental property they own.

Up to now, those earning less than $37000 have benefited from a relatively less onerous marginal tax rate of 29%.

They will now be corralled with their better remunerated colleagues – those whose income fell above the $37K threshold but below $80000 – and see their earnings taxed at a new 32.5% marginal rate.

Simply put, a working holidaymaker who had earned, say, $20000 last year and paid a total of $5800 in Australian tax – remember that non-residents are not entitled to the tax-free threshold – will now have to fork out $6500, or $700 more than the previous amount. A nice little bump!

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Budget 2012 Recap: Tax free threshold tripled; Marginal rates go up

Key changes to note before you lodge your 2012 tax return.

As predicted, the introduction of the carbon tax this year will have an immediate impact on the financial situation of the majority of Australians who will begin to file their tax return on July 1st.

The tax on fossil fuel emissions is expected to result in an overall increase in the price of both energy and goods as power producers pass on their increased cost to customers and manufacturers.

To this effect, the Australian Government has announced a number of important tax reforms that are intended to mitigate the added out of pocket burden to the average consumer resulting from the carbon tax implementation.

To start with, the 2012 budget allows for a tripling of the annual statutory tax-free threshold. This is the amount of income under which you are not required to pay any tax. Currently slotted at $6000, it is scheduled to move up to $18,200 on July 1st.

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