We all get bombarded with information from every source possible and frankly, it's too much. Even if you haven't already flicked it into spam you probably don't have time to read it. We call it Information Overload. So, on this page we've selected big picture news items we think are relevant and of interest to our clients.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be in the 1500s.
Most people got married in June, because they took their yearly bath in May and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
With many of the changes announced in the 2016 Federal Budget now passed by Parliament, there is an amount of certainty that you can have when approaching your SMSF planning and the contributions you might wish to make to your SMSF.
The Government is lowering both the concessional (pre-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax) contribution limits from 1 July 2017.
One of the original proposed measures which received a lot of comment and caused concern was the $500,000 lifetime non- concessional contributions (after-tax contributions) limit. This proposed measure was dropped and replaced with a $100,000 annual limit on after-tax contributions.
From 26 June 2017, the Government will make a one-off Energy Assistance Payment of $75 for single recipients and $125 per couple for those eligible for qualifying payments on 20 June 2017, and who reside in Australia. The payment is not taxable and will not be counted as income.
The end of the financial year always seems to crop up faster than it should. Given the impending July 2017 superannuation changes, being on top of your end of financial year planning is as important as it has ever been.
This year it is essential that you consider maximising the existing contribution limits for superannuation before they decrease on 1 July 2017. While maximising contributions should be front of mind it is imperative you don’t forget your other obligations as trustee of your SMSF and ensure that your SMSF stays on track!
The changes to superannuation announced in the 2016 Federal Budget have been passed by Parliament. Amongst the changes was legislation which will remove tax concessions for transition to retirement pensions (TTRs) and bring them closer to their purpose of providing income to members as they transition to retirement.
The new rules will remove the tax exempt status that TTRs have long enjoyed on earnings on fund investments. Assets supporting a TTR will generally be taxed at 15% from 1 July 2017.
The Australian Government has introduced changes relating to Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and Trade Support Loan (TSL) repayment obligations. Under these changes, one’s first repayment against their HELP and TSL loan will commence from 1 July 2017 based on their worldwide income for the 2016–17 income year. Similarly, if one was living and working in Australia, if one lives and works overseas and earns worldwide income that exceeds the minimum HELP and TSL repayment thresholds, they will be required to make repayments against their loan.
The changes to superannuation announced in the 2016 Federal Budget have been passed by Parliament. Amongst the changes was legislation which provides CGT relief for members who are transferring assets out of retirement phase in 2016/17 to comply with the changes. The legislation allows you to reset the cost bases of assets in your fund to their current market value.
The ATO has developed work-related expenses risk profiles to help identify how work-related expense (WRE) deduction amounts compare for similar taxpayers. According to the ATO, 8.4 million taxpayers claimed a total of $21.3 billion in WREs in 2015, and the amounts claimed continue to grow.
One of the main goals when considering an investment is to get a decent return – without taking too much risk. If we can achieve this over a sustained period, then generally speaking we’ll put ourselves in a good financial position.
So, how do we do this, particularly if we use the current investment environment as a starting position?