‘Wait a few weeks’: ATO advises clients to hold off returns

Clients knocking on tax agents’ doors for a tax return from today may be better off waiting a few weeks, says the ATO.

With around 160,000 employers now reporting through Single Touch Payroll, covering close to 9 million taxpayers, the ATO has now recommended that taxpayers wait until their employers have finalised their income statements before filing their tax returns.

STP will mean that employers are exempt from providing end-of-year payment summaries, with income statements replacing them and being made accessible through a taxpayer’s myGov account or their tax agent.

Employers will have until 31 July 2019 to make a finalisation declaration for the 2018–19 financial year, with that date to change to 14 July each year subsequently.

“Most employers have until 31 July 2019 to finalise their employees’ income statements, so we strongly encourage taxpayers to wait a few weeks before lodging their tax return,” said ATO assistant commissioner Karen Foat.

“If you lodge your tax return before your income statement is tax-ready, your employer might make changes, and you may need to lodge an amendment. In some cases, additional tax and interest may be payable.”

Taxpayers who have linked their myGov accounts to ATO online services will receive a message when their income statement is tax-ready; for agents this information will be available in prefill reports.

“We know from previous years that the early birds who lodge in the first weeks of July are far more likely to make mistakes or submit incomplete data. That’s why we suggest waiting and letting the ATO do most of the work prefilling your tax return,” Ms Foat said.

While clients can still lodge early this year, several industry experts have also previously warned against doing so, noting the STP changes as well as the government’s proposed tax cuts.

Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Relief So Working Australians Keep More of Their Money) Bill has been tabled for introduction into the Senate this week, and if it passes, will see the end-of-year rebate for low and middle-income earners double from $530 to $1,080.

The ATO has previously said they will automatically amend assessments to add additional credits should the bill be passed after they process taxpayers’ 2018–19 tax returns.

“Our advice is that unless you have certainty and completeness around the information used to finalise your return, we are encouraging all taxpayers to rethink lodging returns early this year especially in light of the above changes,” said the Institute of Public Accountants’ general manager of technical policy, Tony Greco.

“Consistent with prior years, third-party data such as dividends, interest, share disposals etc. is progressively uploaded onto the ATO systems during the month, so it normally takes some time for the prefill information to be finalised.

“The ATO has the right to auto-amend a return, which it has been doing for discrepancies, but interest and penalties can be applied by the ATO.”

If you have any questions or would like advice in relation to your tax returns feel free to contact Darren at Darren@walsheclancyoneill.com.au

Budget 2018: What it means for you

Buoyed by a stronger economy, the 2018 Federal Budget promises to deliver income tax relief, more jobs, guaranteed essential services and the government living within its means. So what does this mean for you?

Encouraging tax cuts

The centrepiece of the budget is income tax relief. There’s immediate relief for Australians on low to middle incomes, as well as light at the end of the tunnel for higher-income earners. Those earning up to $90,000 will get a tax cut of up to $530 via the introduction of a new, non-refundable Low and Middle Income Tax Offset from 1 July 2018. The offset will be available for the 2018-2019 to 2021-2022 income years and will be received as a lump sum on assessment after an individual lodges their tax return. The new offset is in addition to the existing Low Income Tax Offset. The new offset will provide a benefit of up to $200 for taxpayers with taxable income of $37,000 or less and for those with taxable incomes between $37,000 and $48,000 the value of the offset will increase at a rate of three cents per dollar to the maximum benefit of $530. Individuals with taxable incomes from $48,000 to $90,000 will be eligible for the maximum benefit of $530. For individuals with taxable income from $90,001 to $125,333 the offset will phase out at a rate of 1.5 cents per dollar.

Having raised it from $80,000 to $87,000 in 2017, the government is now bumping up the 37c on the dollar threshold to apply to taxable income greater than $90,000 from 1 July 2018. By 2024-25, that threshold will be eliminated and those earning $41,001 to $200,000 will face a top tax rate of no more than 32.5c in the dollar (plus the Medicare Levy), meaning Australians on high incomes will need to wait for relief.

Boomer benefits

As they have with every other life stage, the baby boomers look set to reinvent old age and how it is funded.

Older Australians who want to keep working can take advantage of the Pension Work Bonus being raised from $250 to $300 a fortnight, which will allow them to earn up to $7,800 per year without having their pension reduced.

The Pension Loan Scheme is also being expanded. This means many more retirees including full rate pensioners and self-funded retirees can boost their retirement income by up to $11,799 for singles and $17,787 for couples per year by borrowing against the equity they have in their home.

Older Australians wanting to stay in their own homes despite confronting medical challenges, can take advantage of the additional 14,000 high-level home care packages that have been provided. There’s also more money for palliative care and mental health services for those in residential aged care.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has received a $1.4 billion boost to list more medicines including those to treat breast cancer and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Super fees slashed

There’s not a lot in this Budget for younger Australians but they will at least get a better deal on their super.

Measures applicable from 1 July 2018

To avoid unintentionally breaching the concessional contributions cap, individuals with income exceeding $263,157 from different employers can elect to have wages from certain employers not be subject to the Superannuation Guarantee.

Measures applicable from 1 July 2019

Administration and investment fees on accounts with balances under $6,000 will be capped at 3 per cent (of the balance). Exit fees will be banned, making it cheaper to switch super funds. The ATO will be supported to proactively consolidate any inactive super accounts a taxpayer has with their active account, where possible.

Rather than being the default option, life insurance will be offered on an opt-in basis for super fund members under the age of 25, those with account balances below $6,000, and those with inactive accounts with no contributions received in 13 months.

For individuals aged 65 to 74 with super account balances below $300,000, an exemption from the work test for voluntary contributions will be applied in the first year that they do not meet the work test requirements.

Cigs up, beer down, commutes quicker, power cheaper

In more bad news for smokers, the Government is cracking down on the sale of black-market tobacco. But Australia’s craft beer lovers may enjoy more affordable artisan ales following changes to the excise rate on small kegs.

The Government is funding infrastructure projects across the country. Among other benefits, this should result in safer, less congested roads. Australians will also benefit from the introduction of the national energy guarantee which is estimated to result in the power bill of an average household falling by $400 from 2020.

Counterfactual cost savings

Although these cost savings won’t affect the hip pocket, the measures are welcome news. The planned 0.5 per cent increase to the Medicare Levy to fund the NDIS has been scrapped. The franking credits cash refund remains. Negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount on investment properties and other investment assets have not been curbed. Furthermore, the government is funding its largesse through measures such as cracking down on welfare overpayments and targeting the black economy rather than jacking up taxes and levies on working Australians.

Having taken the GFC and end of the mining boom in its stride, Australia’s AAA-rated economy continues to power along. The Budget is even set to return to modest surplus in 2019-20 and, barring any unforeseen events, the Treasurer looks likely to achieve the goals he has set.

If you’d like more information on how the measures contained in the Budget will affect you, please give us a call.

Fitness on a budget this winter

As the weather begins to cool it can be easy to avoid exercise. However, there are plenty of options out there that are inexpensive, fun and can double as all important family time.

Healthy body, healthy mind

As we reach the midyear hump, and with many of us suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), exercise can be the perfect antidote. Not only does staying active get your endorphins pumping (thus moderating your mood), it can also boost your brain power. In fact, often the mental health benefits outweigh the physical. The problem of course can be finding the time.

Finding time

Often the biggest thing that hinders us getting out and exercising is that we simply feel that there’s not enough time. Why not, then, kill two birds with one stone. For example, next time you’re considering getting coffee with a friend, why not go for a bike ride, or hit a few rounds of golf? Perhaps you’re meant to be seeing the folks, why not take them for a walk? Even going to the market or to a gallery entails a lot of movement. Moreover, exercising in groups has been shown to yield better results.

Fun for the whole family

Perhaps the biggest struggle some of us face is that all important work-life balance. The result: exercise comes last. It can, however, be fun for the whole family. Involve your kids in some group activity by turning the music up loud and having a daggy dance or get everybody involved in the chores and make it a game.

Keep it incidental

Many of us lead increasingly static, deskbound lives, but there are plenty of simple ways to make your daily grind more active. Why not walk or ride to work? Even public transport usually entails a bit more exercise, or if you do have to drive, park further away to give yourself just those few extra steps. While you’re at work remember to break up your day with little stretches or a short walk. And at home keep in mind active chores and walking the dog also get your heartrate up. These all fall under the category of incidental exercise, it’s inherent in your day, but studies have shown the health implications of increasing it are huge.i

Take it indoors

Often the most daunting thing about going to the gym in the cooler months is just getting there. Don’t let this stop you as there are simple, cheap ways to stay active, many of which don’t even involve leaving the house. Why not try a YouTube search for some yoga or Pilates videos? It’s cheaper than a class, and if you’re new to it, potentially less embarrassing. Simply search “yoga tutorial”, get out the mat, and Chromecast the video to your telly.

Technology is your friend.

There are plenty of free apps to help meet your fitness needs. Here are some of our favourites.

Fitnet. This app is perfect for people who are on the go. It includes a wealth of five and seven-minute targeted workouts, leaving you with more time for family and friends. It even hooks up with your phone’s camera to determine how well you are following the moves on the screen. www.fit.net

Strava is a smart phone app that’s popular with runners and cyclists. It uses GPS to help you plot a route, share/compete with friends, and track your personal best over segments you take on a regular basis. www.strava.com

Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal is a nutrition and fitness app that’s great for those who have trouble balancing calories in vs calories out. It integrates with a variety of fitness trackers, as well as being a standalone app. www.myfitnesspal.com

What are you waiting for?

With so many low-cost options out there and Australian winters being relatively mild, now is the perfect chance to get active. So, what are you waiting for? Get that body moving.

http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/study-finds-lives-and-money-to-be-saved-from-incidental-exercise

What is your risk tolerance – and why?

Risk is inherent in investing and there is no one size fits all approach to managing and dealing with risk. What keeps you awake at night might be well within someone else’s comfort level.

The central principal of investing is the higher the risk of a particular investment, the higher the possible return. Of course the flip side of that is that low risk investments typically offer low returns. Those that are attracted to high returns need to be sure that they can cope with the volatility that can accompany those types of investments and those who want stability need to ensure that they are prepared to compromise on return for investment.

It’s worth developing an understanding of how you feel about risk as your risk tolerance should dictate your investment strategy.

What is risk tolerance?

Risk tolerance is the degree of variability you’re willing to withstand with your investments. In other words, the ups and downs you can put up with. Risk tolerance varies from person to person as well as over time. For example, someone with a very short investment time frame and a very important investment goal might not be willing to put up with peaks and crashes. They might not have time to start again if something goes wrong with a risky investment. On the other hand, someone with a longer time frame (someone at the start of their career, for example) might be willing to take that risk, for a potentially higher payout.

What shapes people’s risk tolerance?

Part of your risk tolerance is based on hard numbers. Put simply, it’s comparing your investment goal to the data available on your potential investment options. And then putting that in the context of other factors, like economic risk. It’s the other part that’s particularly interesting.

The psychology of risk tolerance draws from many different areas of behavioural psychology. Risk taking behaviour can be influenced by emotional factors; how the person is feeling at the time, or how they think they’ll feel if their decision pans out as expected. Your decisions can also be shaped by your past experiences.

It’s possible that your approach to some types of risk might be formed by an early age – when you’re in primary school.i By that age, you’ve already absorbed a lot from your parents and siblings. But that doesn’t mean you can’t understand more about where you’re coming from, and in doing so, get closer to your goals.

Balancing your risk tolerance and goals

In general, problems arise when your risk tolerance is low, and your goals are particularly ambitious. But when you have a more-than-high tolerance for risk – even a love of the thrill of chasing extraordinary returns – you may be tempted to break your medium to long term plans. Even when you’re on track to achieve your goals. In other words, balancing your risk tolerance and goals takes a consistent effort.

What is your risk tolerance?

Risk tolerance is different for everyone. ‘Know thyself’ is the adage, and a common and simple test is to think about how you’d be likely to react to a significant fall in the value of your investments.

Conservative investors are likely to want to sell and run, believing that this will mitigate their losses. Aggressive investors on the other hand might use the drop to increase their holdings. Most people are somewhere in between these two poles.

We can help you to work out your risk tolerance, and assist you to make investment choices based on your profile, situation and investment goals.

If this article has left you feeling like it’s time for a discussion – and maybe even a change – get in touch with us. We’re here to assist you in planning your investments in order to achieve your goals.

i In context of physical injury: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2610559/

Four things to remember when choosing a beneficiary

Choosing a beneficiary is usually a simple task, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when you decide.

A beneficiary is the person who will receive your life insurance payment should you pass away. When choosing yours, it’s important to think about who would be most financially vulnerable without you in their life. For most people, this is their spouse or children.

If you’re yet to nominate your beneficiary for your Life Insurance, you can easily do so. Nominating a beneficiary may seem straightforward, but there are a number of things to be aware of and plan for.

1. If you don’t have a beneficiary

If you hold the policy in your name, your benefit will go to your estate and be managed as part of your will.

If you have outstanding debts when you pass away, your benefit may be used to pay them before it is distributed to the people named in your will – this means your loved ones could miss out on the payment.

2. Naming a beneficiary

Naming a beneficiary ensures your benefit is not paid to your estate and goes directly to the person you nominate.

It’s important to consider that if your beneficiary has any debts the proceeds might be used to pay them off. As well as this, keep in mind that if you nominate your children, they will only receive the full amount once they turn 18.

3. Having multiple beneficiaries

You can easily name multiple people as beneficiaries to your policy – you can check with your insurer as to how many beneficiaries can be named on your policy.

If you do decide to choose several people, it’s useful to designate a percentage of the payment to each person, as opposed to a specific amount (as this may change).

You should also consider having a contingency beneficiary, should a primary beneficiary pass away before or around the time of your passing (for example, in an accident).

4. Keeping your beneficiary up to date

You should evaluate your beneficiary and policy at any major life event – for example, purchasing a home, having children, getting married, or at the death of a loved one.

Remember, you can easily update your policy and beneficiary. And if you have any further questions concerning beneficiaries, feel free to contact us.

Be different today so you can be different tomorrow

Every generation thinks life will be different – and of course, each one is right – but when it comes to planning for the future, while we’re young we have a habit of thinking there is still plenty of time. After all, when you’re in your mid-thirties or even early forties, retirement is still decades away; later if the government decides so!

However, like anything forgotten too long, the years pass quickly and the time we could have used constructively has disappeared. For example, early Generation X is now on the countdown to retirement.

If you want to be different today, plan to be different tomorrow.

Start with your grandparents…

What did their working life and retirement look like?

Let’s imagine your grandparents are both in their eighties. It’s likely that Grandad started working in his teens and stayed with one employer for most of his life. Structured superannuation was available to the very few. He retired at 55. Grandma may not have had much paid employment, if any. Their lives can be broken into three phases – education, work and leisure.

But they didn’t anticipate retirement being as long as it’s turned out to be. They’re still healthy, have outlived their savings and are relying solely on the age pension to fund their frugal lifestyle.

Then your parents…

What did their working life look like? How will their retirement be different?

We’ll envisage your parents are aged in their sixties – typical baby boomers. They were better educated than their parents and both worked; though Mum took years off to raise the kids. They accumulated quite a bit of superannuation; Dad has more than Mum.

Their lives can be broken into the same three phases. Education may have extended into their early twenties or they studied later during their working lives. They worked for a couple of employers and, thanks to technology, ended up in careers they never imagined in their youth.

Whilst they have long talked about retirement, now that it’s almost here they face it with some trepidation. They may consider moving to part-time work that will give them more freedom, keep their minds stimulated and still have enough to pay the bills. After all, now they are independent and the mortgage is paid off, life is cheaper.

It would be nice to have more time to travel and do the things they would like to do. They’re both fit and healthy and if they live as long as their parents that will be 20 or 25 years of leisure.

Will Mum and Dad have enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle for that long?

And what about you?

You and your siblings are not going to rely on one employer or one lifetime career. Balancing life and work is more important as you take time off to travel, do volunteer work or try new adventures earlier in life. And being so versatile, when you resume your career you simply re-train.

What this means is that you will have multiple periods of education-work-leisure in your life, and as you will probably be much healthier than previous generations you don’t see working longer as a problem.

But will you be able to afford 20 or 30 years with no income? That’s a sobering thought at any age.

It’s time to be different now.

Many social commentators class Generation X as stuck in between the two “noisier” and more well-known generations – Baby Boomers and Gen Y – but that doesn’t mean you should fade into insignificance. Be the first generation to truly take control of your retirement at a younger age. Stop the trend and talk to us about the many strategies available to give your retirement savings the boost it needs.

Be different today so you can be different tomorrow.

Stepped and Level Premiums: What’s the difference?

When it comes to protecting your family, knowledge is not just power – it’s security.

You have a choice when it comes to paying premiums: stepped or level. But what does that mean and which one is right for you? There is no one-size-fits-all answer as both policies will be suitable for different types of policyholders.

We aim to lay out both the benefits and drawbacks to stepped and level premiums, that proves the question is not complicated; in fact, it offers consumers greater choice in protecting their loved ones. Use this guide to help you make a more informed decision about which option is the best fit for your unique lifestyle, needs, and circumstances from now and into the future.

Level premiums

Level premiums will cost more to begin with, but the premium you are charged will be based on your age at the time you took out that cover. You can still have the cover adjusted to keep pace with inflation – the cost of that new cover will be added to the premium each time inflation is applied. Because level premiums don’t increase each year with your age, they can give you more certainty on cost when planning ahead for the future.

Depending on how long you hold the cover – and as long as you can afford them – level premiums can save you money in the long-term.

Stepped premiums

As the name suggests, stepped premiums start off at a cheaper point and rise from there. Premiums are recalculated each year as you get older and/or with changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). With stepped premiums, you can save money in the short-term, while resting safely in the knowledge that loved ones are protected.

One drawback to a stepped premium is the inability to accurately predict and properly plan for the increasing premiums. In some cases, stepped premiums may be reduced if, for example, you change from a high-risk to a low-risk occupation.

According to RiskInfo, stepped premiums are the “dominant choice in the Australian marketplace”, but is this a lack of foresight?i Policyholders with stepped premiums need to look ahead to think about whether they will have the funds required for higher premiums as they enter their fifties and sixties.

How long will I hold the policy?

A major consideration when choosing between stepped and level premiums: How long do you intend to hold the policy? While nobody can predict the future, life insurance policies are generally a long-term purchase, and thus a level premium may be the way to go.

Let’s not imagine that your life is cut short, but think about your circumstances. Maybe you only plan on keeping it for the short-term, and not for several decades? You may also plan on keeping it for a shorter length of time if you are on a work contract from overseas and only planning on living in Australia for a few years. In both these unique cases, a stepped level premium may be a better fit.

Keeping up with inflation

If you have Inflation Protection selected on your policy, both stepped and level premiums will increase with inflation so that your cover stays relevant to the rising costs of living. Inflation protection adds incremental increases (usually 5 percent)ii to premiums, but your family’s future is safeguarded at the same value of cover you began with. Check your policy for more information on this. If keeping out-of-pocket costs as low as possible is essential for you, there is always the option to remove inflation protection from your policy.

When are you taking out cover?

Another important thing to remember when deciding between policies is how old you are. Once you reach a certain age, due to ever-increasing risk of illness and death, Level policies will generally revert to being stepped. If you’re unsure about which option is best for you, we can help.

http://riskinfo.com.au/news/2013/05/28/latest-poll-stepped-versus-level-premium

ii https://www.finder.com.au/life-insurance-stepped-vs-level-premiums

Insurance in super – is your cover adequate?

If you’ve got super you probably have some life insurance included. It’s an easy way to get a basic level of cover, but is it enough to give you and your family true peace of mind?

More than 70% of Australians hold life insurance policies, more than 13.5 million separate policies, through their super funds.i Yet despite this, underinsurance remains a huge problem in Australia.

Rice Warner estimates that the median level of life cover in super meets only 60% of the basic needs for the average household and less for families with children. The position is even worse where total and permanent disability (TPD) and income protection cover are concerned. The median level of cover in super will provide just 13% of TPD needs and 17% of income protection needs.

Of course, some insurance is better than no insurance and insurance in super is convenient to set up and pay for. But it comes with a couple of points to be aware of and this is where professional advice is invaluable.

Limited cover

Firstly, a portion of your super is used to pay the insurance premium. This can help your cash flow if money is tight, but it also means you may not be contributing as much to your retirement savings as you thought.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that super funds offer standardised ‘off the shelf’ policies that may not suit your needs. This helps keep costs down, but that’s no consolation if your policy falls short when you need it most.

Because the insurer pays your super fund which then pays you, it may take longer to receive the money. What’s more, unless you make a binding nomination the fund trustees have the ultimate say in who receives benefits when you die. Your beneficiaries may also be taxed more heavily than they would if you held the insurance outside super.

A tailored solution

Your insurance needs are as individual as you are and should be reviewed regularly along with your other financial affairs. Whenever your circumstances change – if you marry, have a child, or buy a new home for instance – your life insurance should be reviewed.

It’s easy to underestimate what it would cost to ensure your family is able to maintain their current lifestyle, come what may. It’s important not to forget partners who don’t earn an income and may not necessarily have cover in their super, particularly where dependent children are involved.

Take the example of Mark, whose wife Suzy, 43, passed away suddenly after an illness. Thankfully, the couple had arranged a full suite of insurance cover in and outside their super. Mark claimed on Suzy’s life insurance which covered his mortgage, credit card and car loan repayments; it also allowed him to hire a part-time nanny to help with their two children.

Getting additional insurance outside super can be a little more expensive but you will have access to a wider range of policies that can be tailored to your individual needs. Some policies, such as Trauma insurance, can only be bought outside super.

Even if you have some level of cover inside super, it’s important to do your sums to work out exactly how much your family would need to maintain your current lifestyle if you or your partner were to die or become seriously ill. It may take a little time, but with so much at stake guestimates won’t do and we will be only too happy to assist.

i Ricewarner, Insurance through superannuation, 20 April 2016.

Early retirement: living the dream

When you visualise your retirement, what do you see? If you’re like thousands of other Aussies, chances are you think about getting stuck into a hobby, spending more time with your family, seeing the world, or exploring the great outdoors right here in our own backyard. Whatever your image of the ideal retirement, it gives you something to work towards; a goal to keep you on track.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that many people have shifted their goal posts, so to speak. Early retirement is now one of the top ambitions amongst those getting ready to give up work. A global survey of pre-retirees by HSBC revealed that nearly three quarters (74%) of Aussies aged 45 and over would like to retire within five years, but 43% say they won’t be able to do so.i The ABS’s stats are a bit more conservative – 30% of people (all ages) want to retire before 65, the official retirement age right now.ii

Perhaps you’re one of those who’ve dreamed of retiring while you’ve still got the energy and drive to enjoy your time off. But have you thought about how you will afford it?

Who can afford to retire early?

It’s tempting to assume that those who do retire early were simply lucky; perhaps they were born into wealthy families and always had ‘options’. But the truth is usually much different. Early retirees are:

  • Disciplined savers. The choice to save, not spend, is one that has to be made over and over again throughout one’s lifetime. All that saved money, plus the compounding interest, means that significant wealth can be built before the ‘traditional’ retirement age.
  • Goal-setters. Humans are hard-wired to focus on anything we can see (or visualise strongly). But the same mechanism that makes you reach for a chocolate bar at the checkout, or lets a salesman upsell you on a shinier newer car, can actually work in your favour. Having a formal written goal, or a visual representation of your goal such as a picture, can help keep you on track.
  • Contrarian investors – with a sensible edge. It’s important to not allow your investment decisions to be driven by trends and the latest ‘hot tips’. But that doesn’t necessarily mean swinging wildly in the other direction in terms of where you choose to park your money. Make sure you get to know your own risk appetite, and ensure that any investment you choose is right for your life stage and individual circumstances.
  • Debt-free. Paying off debt should be a top priority. It’s not exactly fun, but diverting a few dollars whenever you can to your mortgage or credit card means you’re saving on interest in the long run. To really enjoy that early retirement, you’ll want to be debt free and able to budget predictably each month.
  • Those with diverse income. Conventional wisdom says that the best way to avert investment risk is to diversify your portfolio. The same goes for income in retirement. Don’t rely on just one income stream; start early and work towards multiple streams, such as a diverse share portfolio, cash-positive property and fixed income products.

Getting started

One thing all early retirees have in common? They start planning and working towards their retirement early in life. In other words, if you’re keen on enjoying a long and comfortable retirement, there’s no time like the present to get started on a plan. Start now by developing your picture of an ideal retirement – and we can help you achieve it.

HSBC: Nearly half of Australians who want to retire can’t

ii ABS, 6238.0 – Retirement and Retirement Intentions

Changes in Rental Property deductions

In the 2017 – 2018 Budget, the government announced changes to deductions relating to residential rental properties.

Firstly, the travel deductions relating to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent for a residential investment property will no longer be deductible. The travel expense will also not be included in the cost base of the property for CGT purposes.

Although, if you have a property agent managing the property on your behalf, these travel expenses incurred by the agent will still be deductible.

Secondly, Investors who purchase an established residential investment property after 7.30pm 9th May 2017, will no longer be able to depreciate the existing plant & equipment using a depreciation schedule.

For investors to be able to claim depreciation on existing plant and equipment for properties purchased after 9th May 2017, they will need to purchase a brand new residential property or renovate and replace the existing assets with new assets they purchase themselves.

There is no change for those who purchased their investment properties before 7.30pm 9th May 2017. If these investors don’t already have a depreciation schedule for their existing investment property, a schedule for these properties will still be prepared in accordance with the legislation that was in place when they purchased their property.

Commercial, industrial and other non-residential properties won’t be affected by these changes either.