Stuck for conversation topics for when you get together with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year break?

Who to turn to?  Your accountant surely springs instantly to mind.

You could spend time discussing the Australian Cricket Team’s challenging summer, how much rain we’ll get, or any number of things.

Politics is always good for a robust discussion especially with a federal election due within months. Be ready with a quick brush up on the ALP opposition’s tax proposals such as:

·       An increase to some of the Coalition’s tax cuts, but only for lower income earning individuals.

·       Pay less tax in a year by being able to claim some of the cost of more expensive equipment up-front, but pay more tax in later years as future deductions reduce.

·       Receive SGC super when you’re on government Paid Parental Leave

·       Pay more tax on most trust distributions with a new minimum 30% tax, including for many small business owners who run their business through a Family Trust.

·       Pay more tax on dividends received from a company if you don’t have enough income to soak up the tax credits and aren’t on Centrelink.

·       Lose the opportunity to buy an existing investment property and pay less tax. Be ready for house price changes as it becomes a lot harder to sell your home to an investor.  Especially as that investor will also face more capital gains tax when they eventually sell.

·       Lose the ability to contribute to your own super and claim a tax deduction without using complicated salary sacrifice rules.

·       Reinstate various penalty rates, and require more SGC super to be paid by phasing out the $450 threshold.

·       Reintroduce the “temporary” budget repair levy of an extra 2% tax once your income reaches a certain level.

·       Limit how much advice you can obtain from tax agents and solicitors, as well as interest paid to the Tax Office, by imposing a deduction cap.

·       And more…

Whether you think these policies are good or bad will depend on your point of view. As is usual, you don’t get a lot of detail about proposals from an opposition. We will need to see if we get to learn more in the lead up to the election.

Or it might just be safer to talk about how the Broncos will go with Seibold…

Or just focus on your friends and family for whatever time you have to yourself this Christmas and New Year period.  Make those moments as merry as can be.

Please note that these measures are not yet law (as at the date of writing). You should not solely rely on the summarised information provided.  Contact Burnett Business Centre to discuss these issues further.