Tax Changes Under the New Government

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has announced that the new government is dealing with a final backlog of 92 measures of announced but unlegislated tax and superannuation measures.

The government is determined to resolve all policies relating to these matters by 1 December 2013 for inclusion in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) and it intends that the bulk of legislation that is to be progressed should be passed by the Parliament by 1 July 2014.

Of the 92 unlegislated and unresolved tax and superannuation changes, the government stated it will proceed with 18 initiatives, a further three initiatives will be significantly amended, and it will not proceed with seven initiatives.

Specifically, the government will not proceed with the following three measures which directly affect individual and business taxpayers:

¨SelfEducation Expenses Cap – the proposed $2,000 cap on the amount people would be able to deduct as self‑education expenses, including training and educational courses, textbooks and other accreditation expenses.

¨      Removal of the FBT Statutory Formula method for car fringe benefits.

¨      Tax on Superannuation Pensions proposed new tax on earnings on super assets, which would have taxed superannuation fund income above $100,000 in the draw‑down phase.

The un‑enacted measures the government will proceed with include:

¨      Tobacco Tax Changes – index the tobacco excise and customs duty to Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings instead of the CPI – meaning that it will increase at a faster rate.

¨      Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset phase out – the phasing out will allow current claimants to remain eligible for the offset until 2014/15.

¨      Increase FMD threshold – increasing the non‑primary production income eligibility threshold for Farm Management Deposits from $65,000 to $100,000.

¨      Dividend washing – preventing ‘dividend washing’ whereby sophisticated investors can ‘double dip’ on franking credits.