2018-19 financial year: Top 10 legislative updates

W1siziisijiwmtgvmdcvmjcvn3hzcnbiejzxy19uzxdzmtgwos5qcgcixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisijm0nxgymdujil1d

As we kick off the new financial year, we thought we would provide you with a list of the top 10 legislative updates that are due to take effect in the 2018-19 financial year – either on or after 1 July 2018.

Please note: Some of the below listed legislative updates were proposed measures in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Federal Budget, some which have now been legislated, whilst others are yet to pass through the legislative process. As such, where applicable, we have noted legislative updates that are still pending.

Importantly, changes could be made or the proposals may be rejected.

 

Superannuation
1. Contribution Caps and General Transfer Balance Cap.

  • The concessional contributions cap will remain unchanged at $25,000

Please note: From 1 July 2018, the new carry forward provision will apply for concessional contribution caps; however, the first year that you will be entitled to carry forward unused amounts is the 2019-20 financial year.

  • The non-concessional contributions cap will remain unchanged at $100,000 (or up to $300,000 under the bring-forward rule over 3 years, subject to transitional rules).
  • The general transfer balance cap will remain unchanged at $1.6 million.

2. Downsizing Measure. From 1 July 2018, the Downsizing Measure will allow those aged 65 or over to use the proceeds from the sale of their home, to make a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 each into superannuation (subject to complying with some finer details).

3. First Home Super Saver Scheme. From 1 July 2018, the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) will allow eligible prospective first homebuyers to withdraw their voluntary superannuation contributions, and an amount of associated earnings, to assist with the purchase or construction of their first home.

4. Superannuation Guarantee and Employees with Multiple Employers. From 1 July 2018, individuals who have multiple employers and earn more than $263,157 will be able to nominate their wages from certain employers are not subject to the Superannuation Guarantee. This will help them avoid breaching the concessional contributions cap of $25,000. This proposal has not yet been legislated.

5. Government Co-contribution. From 1 July 2018, the income thresholds for the 2018-19 financial year will be increased due to indexation. Moving forward, the maximum co-contribution of $500 will be reduced by 3.333 cents for each $1 of income earned over $37,697 (previously $36,813), and cuts out when your total adjusted taxable income reaches $52,697 (previously $51,813).


Taxation
6. Personal Income Tax Plan. From 1 July 2018, the top threshold of the 32.5% tax bracket will be increased to $90,000 (previously $87,000). Below is a brief overview of the Personal Income Tax Plan income levels and tax rates for the 2018-19 financial year, as well as the other legislated changes due to take effect in the 2022-23 and 2024-25 financial years. 

7. Personal Income Tax Plan – Continued. From 1 July 2018, a new non-refundable Low and Middle Income Tax Offset will be introduced, which is aimed at providing a benefit of up to $200 for taxpayers with a taxable income under $37,000; up to $530 for taxable incomes between $37,001 and $90,000, before phasing out at $125,333. 

8. HECS/HELP Loan Repayment Rates and Thresholds. A bill has entered the Senate that if legislated in its current form (third reading*) would see the repayment rates and thresholds for HECS/HELP loans amended.  

*Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Bill 2018. Third Reading.

 

Social Services
9. Child Care Subsidy. From 2 July 2018, the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate will be replaced with a new financial assistance payment, the Child Care Subsidy. Moving forward, the level of Child Care Subsidy that you may be entitled to will be assessed against several interconnected factors: combined family income; activity test (the activity level of parents); and, hourly rate cap applied in relation to the child care service type and age of your child.

Please note: This is not an automatic transition process. You will be required to complete a ‘Child Care Subsidy Assessment’ task with Centrelink. If you do not complete the required assessment, the Child Care Subsidy will not be paid to your approved child care provider.

10. Age Pension Residency Test. From 1 July 2018, new applicants will be faced with enhanced residency requirements (however, existing exemptions would still be preserved). This proposal has not yet been legislated. The enhanced residency requirements to be deemed eligible to receive the Age Pension are as follows:

  • 15 years of continuous Australian residence, or
  • 10 years of continuous Australian residence, with at least five years of this during their Australian working life (i.e. between age 16 and Age Pension age), or
  • 10 years of continuous Australian residence, and not have been an activity tested income support payment recipient for a five-year cumulative period.

Moving forward
If you would like to discuss any of these legislative updates and their relevance to your financial situation, goals and objectives, please do not hesitate to contact us.