Category: Tax Updates | Blog

Our team of tax experts stays current on Australian tax topics so that we can keep our readers up-to-date on major (and minor) changes. It’s tough to keep up with all ATO news and we know that. Let us do the heavy lifting so that you don’t have to. If you have a question that we didn’t answer in one of our blog posts, feel free to visit our Tax FAQ section or email on team of tax pros: contact@elodge.com.au.  We’ll cover tax updates relating to the following topics:

tax season deadlines
tax season start dates
financial year deadlines
financial year start dates
tax deductions
tax offsets
superannuation
income types
dependents
residency and visas
tax-free threshold limits
record keeping
tax benefits
HECS/HELP debt
health insurance
and more!

Archive for the Tax Updates | Blog category

2016 ATO Tax Update: Taxpayer Gender Identifiers

Australian government takes steps to engage controversy among taxpayers.

When preparing your tax return, you’re more or less relaying the facts of your tax situation for that financial year. However, what happens when some of those facts end up in a grey area?

In recent years, there has been controversy among Australians about gender. Beginning with the hefty pay gaps between men and women in the workplace, a majority of taxpayers already aren’t thrilled with the government.

Well, this takes a step beyond gender equality and hits home with gender identifiers; specifically on birth certificates, toilet stalls, passports, and…you guessed it…tax returns.

 

What’s the real issue here?

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, “Individuals should be handed the power to decide their gender identity for themselves, without prior approval from doctors and psychologists…”.

This statement hit the nail on the head for those who are going through this thought process themselves or happen to know someone who is. On the flip side, for others, this belief has been chewed up and spit back out. The issue, in general, remains controversial among Australians. However, the ATO (not to mention some other government agencies) has done what they can do to make both parties happy.

 

If you can prove it, you can change it.

When it comes to your tax return, whether you’re a male or female really makes no difference to the ATO. You’re asked for your personal details in order to match what is currently on file, and has been since birth.

The ATO has more recently allowed the option to update your gender. All you need to do is provide a certified copy of one of the following documents:

  • Statement from a registered medical practitioner or a registered psychologist which specifies your preferred gender/sex
  • Valid Australian Government travel document (eg: passport) which specifies your preferred gender/sex
  • State or territory birth certificate which specifies your preferred gender/sex
  • Document from a state or territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages recognising a change of gender/sex

Read the rest of this entry »

ATO Limits Car Expense Calculation Methods for 2016

Less is more when it comes to home decor, your golf score… and calculating your vehicle expenses?

That’s right! The ATO has decided to try out the minimalist trend and limit us to only two car expense calculation methods. Up until 2015, we were able to choose between the following methods:

  1. 12% of the original value
  2. Cents per kilometre
  3. ⅓ of actual expenses
  4. Logbook for 12+ continuous weeks

 

Don’t get too cozy with the list above. This year, the ATO is narrowing down our options to the following:

  1. Logbook method
  2. Cents per kilometre method

 

It’s important to know the ins and outs of these methods in order to choose the one that works best for you. Let’s take a look.

 

The Car Logbook Method

This method is the more popular choice among business owners and sole traders. Why, you ask? It will typically give you a bigger refund than other methods.

How does it work? Read the rest of this entry »

Australian Tax Rates 2015-2016

Get a head start this year.

The 2016 financial year starts on 1 July 2015 and ends on 30 June 2016. The financial year for tax purposes for individuals starts on 1st July and ends on 30 June of the following year. Why not get ahead of the game and see what to expect for this year? For most of us, our tax rates will remain the same as they were for 2014.

Want a refresher? Keep reading for the 2015-2016 tax rates for Aussie residents and non-residents.

 

Australian tax rates for residents

For residents of Australia, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • tax free threshold will remain at $18,200
  • an additional Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 2% is payable on incomes over $180,000 pa from 1 July 2014 to 30 June, 2017. This increases the highest marginal tax rate to 47%.

 

Below is a table to further show tax rates for 2015-2016 as applied to residents.

Read the rest of this entry »

2015 Financial Year Tax Updates

The 2014-2015  financial year closes on 30 June 2015

The Australian financial year, also called the fiscal year, runs from 1 July to 30 June.

Starting on 1 July, you are required to report the income you earned and the expenses you incurred during the preceding financial year on a tax return which is lodged with the Australian Taxation Office.

Changes from the previous financial year

The ATO hasn’t made any drastic changes to the tax situation of the majority of taxpayers in 2015.

The tax-free threshold, for instance, stays at $18,200. And if you made less than $180,000 a year you are much in the same boat in tax terms except for one notable change:

  • the basic Medicare Levy rate increases from 1.5% to 2% to continue the funding of Medicare

However, if your income falls above $180,000 you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. Here’s what you can expect effective 1 July 2014:

  • taxpayers in the top marginal rate of 45% will face an additional 2% Temporary Budget Repair Levy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do you know the ATO Tax Rates 2014?

The ATO tax rates 2014 remain the same as the 2013 rates

It’s time to lodge your 2014 taxes.

What does that mean exactly? It means you need to report the income you received between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014. It also means you might end up receiving a tax refund or paying tax due.

To avoid any surprises, you can get a quick estimate of your 2014 tax refund or tax due with the E-Lodge tax calculator before actually doing your taxes.


Australian Tax Rates 2013-2014

Tax rates and the tax-free threshold are the same as last year. In other words, if the details to your tax return haven’t changed much since you completed your 2013 tax return, then your refund or tax due probably won’t either.

Read the rest of this entry »

10 Changes to the Australian Tax Return 2014

Life is full of change. No, not the change in your pocket. The change which is often expected and other times, completely unexpected.

In fact, the only thing constant is change. That newborn baby you brought home from the hospital has grown and changed before your eyes.

Your once slim and muscular body has transformed into the body of…. well, let’s just say a “softer” person. Or if you’re disciplined,  your once unfit body has gradually changed and transformed for the better. The list of life changes- that we are sometimes completely unaware of- goes on and on.

Change also applies to the law, government and more specifically, taxation. Throughout certain years, the updated Australian tax return incorporates major changes.


Not any major changes but some may affect your 2013-2014 tax return

Although the taxation changes that affect your 2014 Australian tax return aren’t drastic, they still may affect you. With that said, before lodging your 2013- Read the rest of this entry »

How Changes to the Family Tax Benefit Affect You

The ATO just announced the 2014 Australian budget. Prime Minister Tony Abbott stated that this budget was going to be a tough one. He was right.

What exactly does a tough budget look like? It looks like the Australian Federal Budget 2014. More specifically, it means less money for those who usually claim the Family Tax Benefit (FTB).

What is the Family Tax Benefit?

The family tax benefit (FTB) is a reduction in personal Income Tax for those with a family. FTB is a two part payment that helps with the cost of raising children.

The family tax benefit is divided into two parts; Part A and Part B.

  • Part A: A tax benefit paid for each child and based off of your family’s circumstances.
  • Part B: A tax benefit that gives extra help to single parents and families with only one main income.

Read the rest of this entry »

What is the 2014 Tax Free Threshold?

The first $18,200 of your income won’t be taxed if you’re claiming the tax free threshold on your 2014 tax return.

As of 1 July 2012, the Australian tax-free threshold increased to $18,200. That means, if you still need to file your 2012-2013 taxes,  you might be surprised to see a refund waiting to be claimed.

You’ll also have peace at mind knowing the tax-free threshold remains at $18,200 this year.

In other words, if you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, you’ll notice when lodging your 2014 tax return that the first $18,200 of your income is not taxed.

The Tax Free Threshold Remains The Same

In 2011-2012, the tax free threshold was $6,000. Thanks to the Clean Energy Future package, that threshold increased to $18,200, starting in the 2012-2013 tax years.

That means, just like last year, if you are an Australian resident for tax purposes, you’ll only pay taxes on your taxable income exceeding $18,200. The higher your income, the higher the tax rate.

Last year, the ATO reported that the $18,200 tax free threshold for PAYG (pay as you go) withholding purposes would be equivalent to you making;

What are the Australian 2014 Tax Rates?

The Australian Tax Rates for 2014 Remain the Same as 2013.

If you are a resident or non-resident of Australia, it’s good to note that the tax rates haven’t changed for 2014. That means when it’s time to lodge your taxes for the year, the same tax rates will apply as they did during the past year.

Below are the 2014 tax rates for residents. It’s important to note,  the listed tax rates do not include the Medicare levy.To see a larger view of the rates, simply click the photo below.

Australian Resident Tax Rates

Read the rest of this entry »

Latest News About the TaxPack Booklet

Starting this year, the 20 year old TaxPack instruction booklet has been renamed to the Individual Tax Return Instructions 2012. The ATO has revamped the traditional instructional booklet, drastically shrinking it from 130 to 82 pages, to provide taxpayers with a more streamlined guide to completing paper tax returns. The TaxPack Supplement is also updated and is reborn as the Individual Tax Return Instructions Supplement.

You can of course bypass both, still quite long, versions altogether and lodge your tax return with us in a short 10 minutes!

The ATO’s new booklet edits out out the technical information used by relatively few taxpayers. A complete set of instructions is still available on the ATO website, as well as a suite of tools, calculators, and publications that can give you more detailed information about completing your tax return. With this redesign, the ATO hopes to encourage the 750,000 people who lodged a paper return last year to file their tax online.

The benefits of filing online are numerous. Not only is it easier and more accurate, but instead of waiting 42 days to get a refund, you could have your money in just 12 working days if you lodge your return electronically.

Lodging your tax return electronically with a service like E-Lodge is the best way to get all the benefits of online filing with the same expert advice you would get from a tax agent. Read the rest of this entry »