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Eight tax changes taking effect from 1 July 2013

Jun 27, 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 tax changes coming into play from 1 July.

1. Notification of superannuation paid by employers

From 1 July 2013, employers must advise employees of the date that they last paid their superannuation contributions. So start checking those payslips and make sure that you are getting everything you are entitled to!

2. Net medical expenses tax offset being phased out

In changes proposed in the 2013 federal budget, the government plans to phase out the net medical expenses tax offset. Only those taxpayers who claim the medical tax expenses offset in 2012/13 can continue to be eligible for 2013/14 (pending having net expenses above the relevant thresholds).  The offset will continue to be available for out-of-pocket medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant or aged care until 1 July 2019.

3. No more cheques for tax refunds

When you submit your 2012/13 income tax return, you will need to enter your bank account details, including BSB and account number, using the electronic lodgment service, where a refund is expected.

4. Super guarantee contributions increase

After no changes for several years, the superannuation guarantee contributions (SGC) is being increased over the next decade commencing with a 0.25 per cent increase in the 2013–14 (to 9.25% of ordinary time earnings) and 2014–15 financial years, followed by 0.5 per cent rises each financial year until the SGC reaches 12 per cent in 2019–20.    The age limit of 70 is being abolished for those that are entitled to have superannuation guarantee contributions paid on their behalf.

5. Allocated pension drawdown relief no longer available

Over the last few years, the minimum amounts required to be drawn from allocated pensions were halved as a result of superannuation fund balances getting hammered during the GFC. This relief is no longer available for the 2013-14 year and beyond with the minimum drawdown being 4% for those under age 65 increasing to 14 per cent for those aged 95 and over.

6. Baby bonus

Before it is scrapped altogether in March 2014, from 1 July the baby bonus payment for second and subsequent children will be reduced to $3000.

7. Private health insurance rebate

The private health insurance rebate will no longer be paid from 1 July 2013, on any lifetime health cover loading applied to the cost of a private health insurance policy.

8. Super contribution limits lifted for those over 60

The concessional contributions 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.

101 Ways to Save Money on Your Tax - Legally! 2013 - 2014

Other tax changes also in the pipeline: 

1. Only six months left for discount on voluntary HELP payments

If you have a HELP debt, you only have until 1 January 2014 to receive a 5 per cent discount on voluntary repayments of $500 or more.

2. Medicare Levy increasing to 2 per cent

From 1 July 2014 the Government will raise the Medicare levy by half a percentage point to 2 per cent to provide a funding stream for DisabilityCare Australia.

3. Last year of unlimited self-education expenses deduction?

The government have proposed that from 1 July 2014, work related self-education expenses will be subject to an annual cap of $2,000 a person. If this legislation gets passed it might be a good idea to bring forward as many education expenses as possible in 2013/14.

4. Taxation of retirement income streams

There are changes being drafted up for those in retirement which will cap the current tax free status of retirement phase earnings at $100,000 (indexed by CPI) per individual and that any earnings above that amount be taxed at 15 per cent from 1 July 2014.  It is also proposed that capital gains tax will also apply to assets in pension phase from this date.

 

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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