9th April 2019
2019/2020 Federal Budget
The Federal Treasurer, Mr Josh Frydenberg, handed down the governments Federal Budget on the 2nd of April 2019. Being an election year budget, this one was always going to be highly scrutinised and compared to the leader of the oppositions reply budget measures, because at this point we can’t be sure which party will be leading the country by the end of the year. As always there are winners and losers and we have provided a summary below of the key changes to individuals, business owners and superannuants.
- The legislated Personal Income Tax Plan will be changed to further lower taxes for individuals, including changes to the low and middle-income tax offset (LMITO), the low-income tax offset (LITO) and the personal income tax (PIT) rates and thresholds.
- The instant asset write-off threshold for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million will be increased to $30,000 for eligible assets that are first used, or installed ready for use, from 7.30pm (AEDT) on 2 April 2019 to 30 June 2020.
- Businesses with an aggregated turnover of $10 million or more but less than $50 million will be able to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets costing less than $30,000 that are first used, or installed ready for use, from 7.30pm (AEDT) on 2 April 2019 to 30 June 2020.
- The Medicare levy low-income thresholds for singles, families, seniors and pensioners will be increased from the 2018-19 income year.
Tax integrity and black economy
- Australian Business Number (ABN) holders will be required to lodge their income tax return and confirm the accuracy of their details on the Australian Business Register annually to retain their ABN status.
- The start date of amendments to Div 7A will be delayed by 12 months to 1 July 2020.
- Minor amendments will be made to the hybrid mismatch rules to clarify their operation from 2019.
- The ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce will extend its operations and expand its activities, including increasing its scrutiny of specialist tax advisors and intermediaries that promote tax avoidance schemes.
- The ATO will receive funding to increase activities to recover unpaid tax and superannuation liabilities with a focus on large businesses and high wealth individuals.
- A dedicated sham contracting unit will be established within the Fair Work Ombudsman to address sham contracting behaviour by some employers.
- Members of regulated superannuation funds will not have to meet the work test after 1 July 2020 if they are 65 or 66 years of age.
- The restrictions on claiming the spouse contribution tax offset will be eased from 1 July 2020, giving 70 to 74-year old spouses eligibility.
- The calculation of exempt current pension income will be simplified for superannuation funds from 1 July 2020, allowing a preferred method of calculation and removal of some actuarial certificates.
- Transitional tax relief for merging superannuation funds will become permanent from 1 July 2020.
- SuperStream will be expanded from 31 March 2021 to include electronic ATO requests for release of superannuation funds and SMSF rollovers.