Here are the highlights from the 2023 Federal Budget, handed down by Treasurer Jim Chalmers on 9 May 2023.
- The instant asset write-off threshold for small businesses applying the simplified depreciation rules will be $20,000 for the 2023-24 income year.
- An additional 20% deduction will be available for small and medium business expenditure supporting electrification and energy efficiency.
- FBT exemption for eligible plug-in hybrid electric cars will end from 1 April 2025.
- An increased capital works deduction rate and reduced withholding on managed investment trust (MIT) payments will apply to new build-to-rent projects.
- The clean building managed investment trust (MIT) withholding tax concession will be extended from 1 July 2025 to eligible data centres and warehouses, where construction commences after 7:30pm (AEST) on 9 May 2023.
- The start date of a measure to prevent franked distributions funded by certain capital raisings announced in the 2016-17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook has been postponed from 19 December 2016 to 15 September 2022.
- The patent box regime announced in the Coalition government’s 2021-22 Budget, and expanded in the 2022-23 Budget, will not proceed.The introduction of tradeable biodiversity stewardship certificates issued under the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Market scheme will be delayed to 1 July 2024.
- The Location Offset rebate and the Qualifying Australian Production Expenditure thresholds will be increased to boost investment in film production in Australia.
- Deductible gift recipients list to be updated.
- Income support payment base rates will be increased by $40 per fortnight.
- The minimum age for which older people qualify for the higher JobSeeker Payment rate will be reduced from 60 to 55 years.
- The workforce participation incentive measures to support pensioners who want to work without impacting their pension payments will be extended for another 6 months to 31 December 2023.
- Eligibility for Parenting Payment (Single) will be extended to support single principal carers with a youngest child under 14 years of age.
- Housing measures will be introduced to increase support for social and affordable housing and improve access for home buyers.
- The maximum rates of the Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) allowances will be increased by 15% to help address rental affordability challenges for CRA recipients.
- CPI indexed Medicare levy low-income threshold amounts have been announced for the 2023-24 income year.
- Eligible lump sum payments in arrears will be exempt from the Medicare levy from 1 July 2024.
- Australia will implement key aspects of the Pillar Two solution of the OECD/G20 BEPS Project, meaning certain large multinationals will be subject to a 15% minimum tax in the jurisdictions in which they operate.
- The scope of the general anti-avoidance rules in Pt IVA of ITAA 1936 will be expanded from 1 July 2024.
- Changes will be made to petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT), including the introduction of a cap on deductible expenditure at 90% of assessable income for projects that produce liquefied natural gas from 1 July 2023.
- The meaning of “exploration for petroleum” in the petroleum resource rent tax legislation will be amended to reflect the government’s intent and ATO guidance.
- Taxation legislation will be amended to realign the taxation law with the reissued AASB 17: Insurance contracts for income years beginning from 1 January 2023.
- Superannuation tax concessions will be reduced for individuals with total superannuation balances in excess of $3 million from 1 July 2025.
- Employers will be required to pay their employees’ superannuation guarantee entitlements at the same time as they pay their salary and wages from 1 July 2026.
- The non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions will be amended to provide greater certainty to taxpayers.
- Funding will be provided to the ATO over 4 years to lower the tax-related administrative burden for small and medium businesses, cut paperwork and reduce time small business spend doing taxes.
- Reduction in GDP adjustment factor for pay-as-you-go and GST instalments.
- Funding to improve the administration of student loans will be implemented.
- Additional funding will be provided to address the growth of businesses’ tax and superannuation liabilities, and a temporary lodgment penalty amnesty program will be provided to small businesses.
- The Personal Income Tax Compliance Program will be extended for 2 years from 1 July 2025 and its scope expanded from 1 July 2023.
GST and Indirect Taxes
- Funding for GST compliance will be extended for a further 4 years to address emerging risks to GST revenue.
- The Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge rate will increase 6% per year from 2023-24 to 2025-26.
- Indirect Tax Concession Scheme: diplomatic and consular concessions extended.
- The start date for streamlining of excise administration measures announced in the Coalition government’s 2022-23 Budget will be amended.
- Tobacco excise measures to improve health outcomes and align the treatment of stick and non-stick tobacco tax.
If you would like to know more information about any of these measures, download the complete guide here.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has launched a full-on assault on rental property owners who incorrectly report income and expenses.
The ATO’s assessment, based on previous data matching programs, is that there is a tax gap of around $1 billion from incorrect reporting of rental property income and expenses. And, they would like that back now please.
As a result, banks and other financial institutions will be required to hand the ATO residential investment loan data on an estimated 1.7 million rental property owners for the period from 2021-22 through to 2025-26.
The data collected will include:
- identification details (names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, etc.)
- account details (account numbers, BSB’s, balances, commencement and end dates, etc.)
- transaction details (transaction date, transaction amount etc.)
- property details (addresses, etc.)
In addition to identifying whether landlords are declaring their residential investment property income at all, the data matching program is looking specifically at how rental property loan interest and borrowing expense deductions have been reported in the rental property schedules, and whether net capital gains have been declared for property used to generate income.
Banks are not the only source of data. In a complimentary program, the ATO is targeting rental property management software. Over the last decade, much of the financial management of residential rental property has moved online, facilitated by various platform providers. The ATO will require these rental property software providers to provide details of property owners including their bank details, income, expenses and the amount of those expenses, and details of their associated rental properties and agents. Data collection of the estimated 1.6 million individuals in this data program will cover the period from 2018-19 to 2022-23.
With that, let’s recap on the common problem areas:
Claiming interest and redrawing on the loan
The interest component of your investment property loan is generally deductible. However, if you redraw on your invest loan for personal purposes, interest on this portion of the loan will not be deductible. This means that interest expenses will need to be apportioned into deductible and non-deductible parts and repayments will often need to be apportioned too. If the redrawn funds are used to produce investment income, then the interest on this portion of the loan should be deductible.
You can claim a deduction for borrowing costs (typically over five years) such as application fees, mortgage registration and filing, mortgage broker fees, stamp duty on mortgage, title search fee, valuation fee, mortgage insurance and legals on the loan. Life insurance to pay the loan on death is not deductible even if taking out the insurance was a requirement to get finance. If the loan is repaid early or refinanced, the whole amount including mortgage discharge expenses and penalty interest can often be deductible.
Repairs or Maintenance
Deductions claimed for repairs and maintenance is an area that the Tax Office always looks closely at so it’s important to understand the rules. An area of major confusion is the difference between repairs and maintenance, and capital works. While repairs and maintenance can be claimed immediately, the deduction for capital works is generally spread over a number of years.
Repairs must relate directly to the wear and tear resulting from the property being rented out. This generally involves a replacement or renewal of a worn out or broken part – for example, replacing damaged palings of a fence or fixing a broken toilet. The following expenses will not qualify as deductible repairs, but are capital:
- Replacement of an entire asset (for example, a complete fence, a new hot water system, oven, replacing a shower curtain with a glass wall, etc.)
- Improvements and extensions.
Also remember that any repairs and maintenance undertaken to fix problems that existed at the time the property was purchased are not deductible.
A business mentor can provide guidance and support, so you make the right decisions and stay focused on the end goal as a business owner. They can also help you move forward in your career by providing advice and feedback on what steps to take to reach the pinnacle of success.
But have you ever thought of your accountant as a mentor?
Why your accountant is the ideal mentor
Having someone who understands your business journey is incredibly important. You might see an accountant as someone who files your tax returns. But, in fact, we’re experienced business owners, with access to a significant network of other business professionals.
An accountant can be the mentor you didn’t know you needed. No-one knows your business better than us, so we’re perfectly placed to offer you advice, guide your business journey and help you push your skills and capabilities as a business owner.
As a mentor, an accountant will:
- Expand your knowledge as an entrepreneur – as business owners, we have the knowledge and experience to help you move your business forward. And we can work with you to expand your leadership skills, business thinking and entrepreneurial ideas.
- Be a shoulder to lean on – we’ll offer 1-2-1 mentoring sessions where we can listen to your unique worries and concerns as a business owner. Having someone on the same page to listen and empathise is vital for your business and your own mental health.
- Guide the important elements of your business – we’ll help you manage and improve your business strategy, planning and decision-making skills. We’ll also provide the management information systems you need to guide your finances and planning.
- Keep your finances on track – we’ll show you how to maximise profits, reduce costs, and make better financial decisions. We’ll also help you plan your own personal wealth and tax strategies, so you can achieve your own entrepreneurial goals and lifestyle.
- Introduce you to a broader business network – we work with hundreds of other business owners across a range of industries. This means we can link you up with other entrepreneurs and founders, so you have a network of other like-minded individuals to connect with. This can be vital when brainstorming and benchmarking, or if you need to talk to someone who understands the specific pain points you’re experiencing.
Having someone to guide your business journey can be invaluable. A business owner must grow and evolve along with their business, and having regular mentoring catch-ups is the ideal way to progress, offload your concerns and look for new inspiration.
If you want to grow as an entrepreneur, please come and talk to us about our mentoring services and how we can guide your business future.