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Budget Announcements 2019-20 Tax

Personal income tax cuts

The Government has announced it will extend the personal income tax cuts that were announced in last year’s Federal Budget. This is proposed to be achieved as follows:

From 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2022 – increase the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) from a maximum of $530 to $1,080 ($2,160 for dual income families). The LMITO (which is in addition to the Low Income Tax Offset) will be received after individuals lodge their tax return for the relevant income years.
From 1 July 2022:

* the upper threshold for the 19% tax bracket will increase from $41,000 to $45,000, and
* the LITO maximum amount will increase from $645 to $700. The increased LITO will be withdrawn at a rate of 5 cents per dollar between taxable incomes of $37,500 and $45,000.  LITO will then be withdrawn at a rate of 1.5 cents per dollar between taxable incomes of $45,000 and $66,667.

From 1 July 2024, the 32.5% marginal tax rate will be reduced to 30%. The 37% tax bracket will also be abolished as per the Government’s already legislated plan.

Increasing the Medicare Levy low-income thresholds

Effective 1 July 2018

The Government will increase the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for singles, families, and seniors and pensioners from the 2018-19 income year.

Increase and expand access to the instant asset write-off

Effective 2 April 2019 to 30 June 2020

The Government is proposing to increase and expand access to the instant asset write-off from Budget night until 30 June 2020. These changes are in addition to a measure announced on 29 January 2019 that is currently before Parliament and is yet to be legislated.

The Government announced two changes in the Budget:

* increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from the proposed $25,000 to $30,000 for small businesses (with aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million)
* expanding the instant asset write-off measure to medium sized businesses with aggregated annual turnover of $10 million or more, but less than $50 million.

This means both small businesses and medium sized businesses can immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets costing less than $30,000 that are first used, or installed ready for use, from Budget night to 30 June 2020. Medium sized businesses must also acquire these assets after Budget night to be eligible as they have previously not had access to the instant asset write-off.

The $30,000 threshold applies on a per asset basis. This means eligible businesses can instantly write off multiple assets.

Tax integrity – deferring the start date of proposed Division 7A amendments

Effective date 1 July 2020

The Government will defer the start date of the 2018-19 Budget measure, Tax Integrity — clarifying the operation of the Division 7A integrity rule, from 1 July 2019 to 1 July 2020.

The Government issued a consultation paper in October 2018 seeking stakeholder views on the proposed implementation approach for the amendments to Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. The Government indicated that it has received valuable feedback from stakeholders which highlighted that this is a complex area of the tax law and raised implementation issues that warrant further consideration.

Delaying the start date by 12 months will allow additional time to further consult with stakeholders on these issues and to refine the Government’s implementation approach, including to ensure appropriate transitional arrangements so taxpayers are not unfairly prejudiced.

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