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12 new tax rules this year

Jun 25, 2013

The only constant about tax is change. Adrian Raftery, author of 101 Ways to Save Money on Your Tax - Legally! 2013-14 edition (Wrightbooks, June 2013, AU$24.95), provides us with some of the new tax rules that came into effect in 2012/13.

1. Income tax cut

Hooray! For the first time in 2 years we received a tax cut this year. But we haven’t exactly been popping the champagne corks as the maximum tax cut of $600 (mostly going to low income earners) barely offset the increased cost of living after the introduction of the new carbon tax. Those earning above $80,000 have received a paltry $3 tax cut … for the whole year!

2. Immediate write-off for small business assets

Small businesses are eligible to immediately write-off new business assets that cost less than $6,500 (or $7,150 if registered for GST). Small businesses can also claim the first $5,000 on any new vehicles purchased after 1 July last year.

3. Super contribution limits halved for those over 50

The concessional contribution limit for those over age 50 was halved to $25,000 in line with everyone else. However, from 1 July 2013, this limit will be lifted to $35,000 for all individuals aged 60 and over.  From 1 July 2014, the new limit will apply for those aged 50 and over.

4. Super contribution tax double for high income earners

The tax on concessional superannuation contributions has doubled - from 15 per cent to 30 per cent – on contributions made by individuals who earn more than $300,000.

5. Super co-contribution halved

The government has halved the super co-contribution by only matching 50 per cent of personal super contributions, up to a further $500. The upper threshold has also being reduced from $61,920 to $46,920.

101 Ways to Save Money on Your Tax - Legally! 2013-14 edition

6. $500 superannuation bonus

The government will provide a contribution of up to $500 annually into the superannuation account of workers on adjusted taxable incomes of up to $37,000. This will ensure that no tax is paid on superannuation guarantee contributions and is to be offered in addition to the co-contribution scheme. Employers have had to include the date that they intend on paying accrued superannuation on payslips provided to employees this financial year. From 1 July 2013, employers must also advise of the date that they last paid contributions on behalf of employees.

7. Means test for private health insurance rebates

The 30 per cent rebate on private health insurance premiums is gradually being phased out for those who earn over $84,000 (singles) or $168,000 (couples). It will be eliminated altogether for those earning above $130,000 (singles) or $260,000 (couples).

8. Medicare levy surcharge increasing for high income earners

If you earn above $130,000 (singles) or $260,000 (couples) and do not have adequate private hospital cover then the Medicare levy surcharge rises by 50 per cent to 1.5 per cent of your taxable income in 2012/13.

9. Carry back tax losses

Subject to the legislation being passed through parliament, companies will be allowed to carry-back tax losses up to $1 million (subject to its franking account balance) against tax paid in the 2011/12 tax year. This will increase to two years from 2013–14.

10. Reporting contractor payments

This financial year is the first year that businesses in the building and construction industry need to report the total payments they make to each contractor for building and construction services each year.

11. Medical expenses tax offset means test

For taxpayers with adjusted taxable income above the Medicare levy surcharge thresholds ($84 000 for singles and $168 000 for couples), the threshold above which a taxpayer may claim the medical expenses offset increases from $2,120 to $5,000. The rebate will also be halved to 10 per cent for eligible out-of-pocket expenses incurred for these taxpayers.

12. Dependent spouse & mature age rebates phased out

Those taxpayers with spouses born on or after 1 July 1952 are no longer eligible for the dependent spouse rebate. The mature age offset has also been phased out for taxpayers born on or after 1 July 1957. Eight dependency tax offsets (including invalid relative and parent/parent-in-law tax offsets) are now also consolidated into a single, streamlined and non-refundable offset that is only available to taxpayers who maintain a dependant who is genuinely unable to work due to carer obligation or disability.

 

These tips are provided by Mr Taxman, Adrian Raftery, author of 101 Ways to Save Money on Your Tax - Legally! 2013-14 edition  (Wrightbooks, June 2013, AU$24.95). This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. You must seek professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances before acting.  

For further information or to request an interview, please contact: Katie Elliott, Wiley Publicist (T) 03 9274 3225 (E) kelliott@wiley.com. Adrian Raftery can also be reached directly on 0418 210 599.

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