News / Taxation News

TAXATION NEWS

Latest updates about taxation rules and news about taxation accounting from Billings + Ellis, the taxation accountants in Melbourne.

Billings + Ellis, Accountants South Melbourne

 

Superannuation changes

Superannuation changes effective 1 July 2017

There are a number of changes to superannuation starting on 1 July 2017 that are summarised below however, the key question is to decide what has to be done before 1 July 2017.

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Homebuyer benefits

Benefits for homebuyers and seniors in 2017-2018 Budget

There are no changes to personal income tax rates and thresholds in the 2017-2018 Budget, and there will be relief from the 2% Budget deficit levy, as anticipated, from 30 June 2017. On the other hand, the Medicare levy will be increased to 2.5% from 1 July 2019. There were changes for people repaying HELP debts for higher education, and the unexpected token of a small, one-off payment to pensioners.

Perhaps the most significant initiatives contained in the Budget are the housing affordability measures, a comprehensive approach which includes assisting first home buyers to build a deposit inside superannuation and allowing older Australians to contribute downsizing proceeds into superannuation.

Here is an outline of changes in the 2017-2018 as relevant to individuals:

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Property investment advice Melbourne

Budget 2017 changes for SMSF and property investors

There were no major superannuation measures in the May 2017 Budget, with slated super reforms commencing 1 July 2017. However, there are now changes to depreciation and deductibility which many residential property investors, including SMSFs with residential property investment portfolios, will need to take into account. There is also encouragement for people over 65 to downsize their own homes to make a non-concessional super contribution from proceeds, the general idea being to help free up the stock of larger homes held by empty-nesters for more effective usage.

If you’re involved in property investment and superannuation decision-making and administration, here are the key points to consider:

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Changes small business 2017-2018

Some good news for small business in Federal Budget 2017

The Federal Budget announced on 9 May 2017 delivered no sweeping changes to the small business landscape, and increased compliance is something that most business owners have become used to. However, there was some good news for business owners wanting to continue investing in assets to improve business productivity, profitability, and capacity for innovation.

Here we explain Budget highlights as relevant to small business owners:

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Airport lounge club membership benefits

Are airport lounge club membership fees tax deductible?

Belonging to The Qantas Club or Virgin Australia Lounge can provide business travellers with somewhere comfortable and convenient to relax, revitalise, or work productively whilst remaining inside the airport terminal. Exclusive amenities like deluxe armchair seating, hot showers with complimentary towels and toiletries, ‘free’ food and beverages, WiFi, workstations, and priority passenger services don’t come too cheaply, however. Any airport lounge club membership will cost hundreds of dollars per year for each traveller.

Many frequent flyers regard membership of an airport lounge club as vital for relieving some of the stress and work-disruption associated with business travel, and at Billings and Ellis we’re often asked the question: “Are airport lounge club membership fees tax deductible?”

The good news is that airport lounge club memberships can be wholly deductible for businesses with travelling employees. Even sole traders and employees may claim a deduction for their own membership fees in whole or part, subject to general rules summarised below.
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Budget 2016 for small business

Federal Budget 2016 – changes affecting small business, tax, super

The May 2016 Federal Budget announcement has delivered changes that will affect many people of all ages and stages in life. Some changes affect small business owners, and changes to taxation and superannuation (which includes SMSF members) will affect almost everyone. It’s not all bad news, of course! The changes for business owners and wage-earners are generally being received as favourable. Here we summarise the major changes, in easy point form. As always, we’re here to discuss the finer details and implications with you.
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Repairs to SMSF rental property

Repairs and improvements on properties held by SMSFs

What happens when a property held by an SMSF needs repairs? Is it possible to use borrowed funds for renovations? Geoff Morris explains the rules…

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What does the May 2015 budget mean for you and your business?

The big news on 12 May was the government handing down their second budget. There have been some significant changes announced in the budget and it’s important to understand how these changes will affect you. There wasn’t a lot of tax reform in the budget because of the government’s forthcoming White Paper on Tax Reform, which is considering a number of different aspects of the taxation system in terms of fairness, complexity and how it can be improved. The White Paper on Tax Reform will not be completed quickly. However, it will most likely form the government’s policies leading into the next election.
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Employee or contractor – where do you really stand?

One of the most commonly-asked questions in our discussions with professional consultants and small business owners is the definition of employees v. contractors from a tax law perspective.

This conversation is often had with clients who want to minimise their tax and are thinking of earning their income through a company structure (to limit their tax rate to 30%) or splitting their income via a trust to their spouse.

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Medicare levy, Medicare levy surcharge, private health insurance rebate, and medical expense deductions finally explained

Over the past year many people have been turning to Billings and Ellis for expert advice on the confusing interaction between the Medicare levy, the Medicare levy surcharge, private health insurance rebates and the ability to claim the medical expense offset.

This article attempts to explain each of these topics in plain language so that you can more easily structure your affairs with tax minimisation in mind.

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