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Key Tax Planning Strategies Prior to 30 June 2018

Make the Most of Small Business Tax Concessions, Now Available to Businesses With Turnover Under $25 million:

If you have a grouped turnover of less than $25 million, from 1 July 2017 you will now be considered a Small Business. Tax concessions available to Small Businesses include:

  • Simplified depreciation rules, with an immediate tax deduction available for asset purchases less than $20,000 (GST exclusive)
  • Reduced corporate tax rate of 27.5%
  • Immediate deduction for prepaid expenditure when payment covers a period of less than 12 months
  • Immediate deduction for certain costs incurred in relation to establishing a business
  • Simplified rules for trading stock
  • A Small Business tax offset for individuals up to a maximum of $1,000, calculated as 8% of the tax payable on any Small Business net income (turnover under $5 million)
  • A new rollover for tax-free changes to business structures

Please note the eligibility for Small Business CGT concessions is not included in these changes and therefore the previous turnover threshold of $2M or the $6M net asset test still apply

Prepay Interest on Investment Loans

Taxpayers who have borrowed money for investments can check with their lenders to see if they can prepay interest to gain an early tax deduction by paying 12 month's of interest in advance as a one-off tax benefit. This is an option for investment loans on properties, margin loans on shares and business loans.

Interest Deductibility on Financing Business Expenses

Interest on financing of business expenses is tax deductible in most circumstances. If you are maintaining a line of credit or  overdraft to finance your day to day business expenses, the interest will be tax deductible except in the following cases:

  • Payments from the account are for personal purposes
  • Payments made for the payment of personal income tax (including PAYG instalments)
  • Payments made for personal superannuation contributions

Consideration should be given to external finance if you are currently using your personal funds to finance your business activities and would prefer to use your personal funds elsewhere.

Superannuation Contributions

Maximise your superannuation deductions prior to 30 June 2018 by:

  • Ensuring superannuation contributions for employees are paid and cleared by 30 June 2018;
  • If you are an employee, consider salary sacrifice superannuation to reduce your taxable income and maximise your superannuation contributions up to $25,000 p.a. including any superannuation guarantee payments made by your employer;
  • From 1 July 2017, most individuals under the age of 75 can claim a personal tax deduction for contributions up to $25,000 p.a.
  • For those expecting to have a much larger taxable income in the 2018 financial year compared to the 2019 financial year, a double contribution is available for deduction in some circumstances. Please contact our office to discuss if you think this would benefit you.
  • If you earn less than $51,813 p.a., you could be eligible for the government co-contribution. The government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar of after-tax contributions you make to your superannuation fund up to a maximum of $500. The full benefit is available for income earners under $36,813 and phases out where adjusted taxable income is between $36,813-$51,813.

Bad Debts

Review your aged debtors and determine if any debts are bad debts (i.e. not recoverable). If they are, write them off prior to 30 June 2018 to receive a tax deduction this year. For a debt to be bad, there must be little or no likelihood of recovery, such as when the debtor is in receivership or cannot be traced. Records should be kept to show you have taken reasonable steps to recover the debt prior to writing off. If circumstances later change, you can recommence pursuing the debtor. 

Stock Management

Review your stock and identify any obsolete or unusable stock. Write off these stock items prior to 30 June 2018.

Farm Management Deposits (FMDs)

Investing in Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) can help primary producers to reduce fluctuations in taxable earnings caused by economic and seasonal changes to primary production income. Interest is paid on such FMDs and they must be held for at least 12 months otherwise the tax benefit of investing in an FMD will not be retained. The maximum limit for deposits is $800,000 per person.  Consider whether FMDs would be useful to reduce this year's taxable income or whether you have any FMDs to withdraw if your income is lower than average. 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

If you have derived any capital gains from the sale of your investments or business assets this year, consider whether you are able to offset them by crystallising any capital losses on the sale of other assets (where possible), or be able to use the CGT small business exemptions. Please contact us to discuss prior to 30 June to minimise or eliminate any potential CGT.

Private Health Insurance Rebate Changes

Entitlements to the private health insurance rebate are income tested. This means that if you have a higher income, your rebate entitlement may be reduced, or you may not be entitled to receive any rebate at all. 

However, many private health funds set the rebate amount as a default at the highest rebate amount and it is your responsibility to inform your private health insurer if you fall into a higher income bracket. This can be achieved by one of two ways:

1. Login to your private health insurance portal and following the prompts. (This will usually say something like nominate rebate tier.)

2. Call your private health insurer and advise them of your rebate tier that you are eligible for.

The rebate entitlement is then checked within your income tax return each year, with any balance refunded or over-claim paid back to the Australian Taxation Office. 

 

Maximum Rebate/No surcharge

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Singles

$90,000 or less

$90,001-$105,000

$105,001-$140,000

$140,001+

Families

$180,000 or less

$180,001-$210,000

$210,001-$280,000

$280,001+

Rebate under Age 65

25.415%

16.943%

8.471%

0%

Rebate Age 65-69

26.651%

21.180%

12.707%

0%

Rebate Age 70+

33.887%

25.415%

16.943%

0%

Note: The above rebate rates are subject to CPI adjustment each April

When you move into the next tier, the level of rebate and surcharge applicable will change. In view of these changes, consideration should be given as to the financial effect of private health insurance cover. The test is taken when your private health insurance is paid. If you believe you are going to move into the next tier in the next financial year, thought should be given into paying your health insurance premiums now, this will entitle you to your current level of rebate.

 

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Disclaimer
The information provided in this information sheet does not constitute advice.  The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual situation.  It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice.  We recommend that you contact Brentnalls SA before making any decision to discuss your particular requirements or circumstances.

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