To sell or not to sell is the question for moving into aged care

Moving into residential aged care can trigger a range of emotions, particularly if it involves the sale of the family home.

What is often a major financial asset, is also one that many people believe should be either kept in the family or its value preserved for future generations.

Whether or not the home has to be sold to pay for aged care depends on a number of factors, including who is living in it and what other financial resources or options are available to cover the potential cost of care.

It also makes a difference if the person moving into care receives Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs payments.

Cost of care

Centrelink determines the cost of aged care based on a person’s income and assets.i

For aged care cost purposes, the home is exempt from the cost of care calculation if a “protected person” is living in it when you move into care.

A protected person could be a spouse (including de facto); a dependent child or student; a close relative who has lived with the aged care resident for at least five years and who is entitled to Centrelink income support; or a residential carer who has lived with the aged care resident for at least two years and is eligible for Centrelink income support.ii

Capped home value

If the home is not exempt, the value of the home is capped at the current indexed rate of $201,231.iii

If you have assets above $201,231 – outside of the family home – then Centrelink would determine you pay the advertised Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) or equivalent daily interest rate known as the Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), or a combination of both.

The average RAD is about $450,000. Based on the current interest rate of 8.36% [note – this is the rate from July 1] the equivalent DAP would be $103.07 a day.

Depending on your total income and assets, you may also be required to pay a daily means tested care fee. This fee has an indexed annual cap of $33,309 and lifetime cap of $79,942.

This is in addition to the basic daily fee of $61.96 and potentially an additional or extra service fee.

There is no requirement to sell the home to pay these potentially substantial costs, but if it is a major asset that is going to be left empty, it may make sense.

Other options to cover the costs may include using income or assets such as superannuation, renting the home (although this pushes up the means tested care fee and can reduce the age pension) or asking family to cover the costs.

Centrelink rules

For someone receiving Centrelink or DVA benefits, there is an important two-year rule.

The home is exempt for pension purposes if occupied by a spouse, otherwise it is exempt for up to two years or until sold.

If you are the last person living in the house and you move into aged care and still have your home after two years, its full value will be counted towards the age pension calculation. It can mean the loss of the pension.

Importantly, money paid towards the RAD, including the proceeds from a house, is exempt for age pension purposes.

Refundable Deposit

As the name suggests, the RAD is fully refundable when a person leaves aged care. If a house is sold to pay a RAD, then the full amount will ultimately be paid to the estate and distributed according to the person’s Will.

The decisions around whether to sell a home to pay for aged care are financial and emotional.

It’s important to understand all the implications before you make a decision.

Please call us to explore your options.

Steer clear of these red flags on your return

The Australian Taxation Office has provided a heads-up about the areas it will be focussing on when reviewing tax returns this year.

The ATO says there are three common errors made by taxpayers:

  • Incorrectly claiming work-related expenses
  • Inflating claims for rental properties
  • Failing to include all income

ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson says while the mistakes are often genuine, sometimes they are deliberate. “The ATO is focussed on supporting taxpayers to get their lodgement right the first time,” he says.

The ATO has also warned that its more lenient pandemic-era approach is over, and that debt collection and unpaid superannuation guarantee charges will be actively pursued.i

Check work-related expense claims

More than eight million people claimed work-related expenses last financial year, but the ATO says taxpayers are still claiming expenses they did not pay for themselves, or for which they have already been reimbursed.

If you claim expenses with no connection to your work, or those covered by a work allowance, your return is likely to face extra scrutiny. It’s also essential to have a record (usually a receipt) to prove the expense.

For those working from home, the ATO has made some changes to the fixed rate of calculating a working from home deduction to broaden what is included, increase the rate, and change the type of records you need to keep.

You now need comprehensive records to substantiate your claim including proof of the actual number of hours worked from home in a calendar, diary, or spreadsheet. You’ll also need proof of the extra running costs you have incurred such as a copy of your electricity or internet bill.ii

The ATO says that copying and pasting your working from home claim from last year may be tempting, but it will likely mean you’ll receive a ‘please explain’.

Another way to attract the ATO’s attention is to suddenly claim a large expense you haven’t claimed in previous years, or to claim a deduction unlike those made by other taxpayers in the same industry.

Take care with rental property deductions

Rental property owners are also coming under the ATO’s watchful eye after data showing that some 90 per cent of rental property owners make mistakes on their tax returns, most often by inflating expenses.

The ATO says that claims for repairs and maintenance are often incorrect. While general repairs and maintenance expenses can be claimed as immediate deductions, capital expenses (such as initial repairs on a newly purchased property or improvements) must be deducted over time as capital works.

An immediate general repair deduction might be the replacement cost for a damaged carpet or broken window. But replacing an old kitchen with a new and improved one is considered a capital improvement.iii

Include all income when lodging

Taxpayers who don’t include all of the income they receive in their returns are also under the microscope.

Failing to declare income (including rental income and any from online platforms like Airbnb, Uber or AirTasker) can result in significant penalties, with the ATO’s data-matching program making it easier to get caught.iv

The ATO is also warning taxpayers against rushing to lodge returns in early July because their interest information may not be available. Many taxpayers are forgetting to include interest from banks, dividend income and payments from government agencies and private health insurers when completing their returns.

Taxpayers are being urged to wait until the end of July before lodging to ensure their income information is pre-filled, making the return process smoother. According to the ATO, lodging in early July doubles the chances of having your tax return flagged as incorrect.

Checking your employer has marked your income statement as ‘tax ready’ and that your myTax information is pre-filled will avoid later amendments and unnecessary delays. Failing to lodge your return on time can also trigger an ATO audit, as can making mistakes in your return.

If you need help with preparation of your income tax return this financial year, contact our office today.

Market movements and review video – July 2024

Stay up to date with what’s happened in markets and the Australian economy over the past month.

Despite some signs of a weakening economy with stalling growth and a softening labour market, persistently high inflation is acting as a roadblock to the RBA’s possible rate cuts.

Markets have now priced in a risk that the RBA could hike rates as soon as the next meeting in August.

Australian shares finished the month close to where they started, with investor sentiment influenced by news of higher inflation and fears of another interest rate hike.

Click the video below to view our update.

Please get in touch if you’d like assistance with your personal financial situation.

Market movements and review video – July 2024

Stay up to date with what’s happened in markets and the Australian economy over the past month.

Despite some signs of a weakening economy with stalling growth and a softening labour market, persistently high inflation is acting as a roadblock to the RBA’s possible rate cuts.

Markets have now priced in a risk that the RBA could hike rates as soon as the next meeting in August.

Australian shares finished the month close to where they started, with investor sentiment influenced by news of higher inflation and fears of another interest rate hike.

Click the video below to view our update.

Please get in touch if you’d like assistance with your personal financial situation.

How to end the financial year on a high note

As the financial year draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to review your financial affairs and set the stage for a successful new financial year. By taking care of essential tasks and implementing strategic planning, you can position yourself for a smooth transition and a strong start for the year to come.

Topping up super

One important item for the To Do list is to top up your super with either concessional (pre-tax) or non-concessional (post-tax) contributions. For example, you could make a voluntary concessional contribution up to the limit allowed and then claim a tax deduction on your personal assessable income for it.

Consider making additional contributions to your own super account or your spouse’s account, to take advantage of tax concessions.

If you have unused concessional cap amounts from the previous five years and a super balance less than $500,000 on June 30 the previous year, you may be eligible to make a catch-up (or carry-forward) contribution greater than the annual limit.

Maximising contributions not only helps you build your retirement savings but can also provide valuable tax benefits. But it’s critical to be mindful of your caps and to ensure that you make any super contributions before the end of the financial year to meet the deadline.

Reviewing investments

Reviewing your investment portfolio is a valuable task at any time but particularly now.

For example, you could take a look for any capital gains or losses that could be used strategically to manage your tax liability.

Also, it is worth considering how your portfolio performed over the past 12 months against your goal of capital growth, income, or balance.

You may decide to readjust your goals or your investments to help steer performance in the right direction for the next 12 months.

Of course, if you’re planning any changes, it’s important to check in with us to ensure you’re making informed decisions about your investments.

Paying expenses early

Another useful strategy at tax time can be to bring forward any deductible expenses or interest payments before 30 June to reduce your taxable income.

That could include incurring expenses on an investment property, prepaying interest on investment loans, making charitable donations, or claiming eligible work-related expenses.

Make sure you keep detailed records and receipts to support your deductions.

The ATO’s myDeductions app is a great place to start for free record keeping and to assist you to be ready for tax time.

Setting up salary sacrifice

As you look ahead to the new financial year, consider whether a salary sacrifice arrangement might be right for you.

Salary sacrifice allows you to divert a portion of your pre-tax salary directly into your superannuation, which effectively reduces your taxable income and boosts your retirement savings.

You will need to think carefully about your living expenses to work out the amount you can afford to contribute to your super, ensuring you do not exceed your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap of $27,500 (which will increase to $30,000 from July 1 2024) to avoid paying any extra tax.

Your employer or payroll department can help you set up a salary sacrifice arrangement.

Checking your budget

This is a good time to revisit your financial goals and how you’re tracking, and then put together a strong budget for the new financial year that will help get you further along the track.

Take the time to review your income and expenses and identify any areas where you can cut back spending or improve your income.

This exercise not only helps you understand your financial habits but also allows you to reallocate funds towards your goals, such as paying down debt, building an emergency fund, or increasing your investment contributions.

Consult with professionals

Don’t forget to check in with your trusted advisers – financial advisers, accountants, or tax professionals – to make sure you are making the most of any opportunities for financial growth and maximising tax savings.

Taking advantage of our expert advice to review your current financial situation and goals, and check that you are making the best decisions for you can make a difference. It provides peace of mind, ensures that you are complying with any obligations and, importantly, puts you in the best position to achieve your financial goals.

Tax update June 2024

Tax cuts ease the message of greater ATO oversight

Every taxpayer can look forward to a tax cut from 1 July thanks to the centrepiece of the Federal Budget delivered in May.

On average, taxpayers will save around $36 a week under the new rules, which were legislated in February.i

The lowest tax rate in 2024-25 reduces from 19 per cent to 16 per cent, and the 32.5 per cent marginal tax rate reduces to 30 per cent for those earning between $45,001 and $135,000.

The current 37 per cent marginal tax rate will be retained for people earning between $135,001 and $190,000, while the existing 45 per cent rate now applies to income earners with taxable incomes exceeding $190,000.

The Budget also included a commitment to reform current tax laws and give the ATO discretion to stop chasing on-hold historical tax debts of individuals and small businesses.

Boost for tax compliance

Other Budget tax measures include a $2.5 billion crackdown on the shadow economy, as well as other fraud and tax avoidance through upgrades to the ATO’s IT systems to enable real-time identification and blocking of suspicious activities.ii

A new compliance taskforce will also be formed to focus on recovering lost revenue and stopping fraudulent refunds.

Instant asset write-off retained

Small businesses will be pleased to know that the deadline for the popular $20,000 instant asset write-off has been extended to 30 June 2025.iii

Under the instant asset write-off rule, small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million are permitted to immediately deduct eligible assets of less than $20,000, rather than depreciate them.

Key focus areas

The ATO has announced it will be taking a close look at three common errors taxpayers are making in returns lodged this financial year.

These include incorrectly claiming work-related expenses, inflating deduction claims for rental properties and failing to include all income when lodging a return.

Work-from-home expenses will need comprehensive substantiation and rental landlords will need to carefully check their repairs and maintenance deductions.

Meanwhile, existing CGT exemptions for foreign residents buying and selling assets will be tightened.

Unpaid GST and income debts

The ATO has signalled it intends to increase its focus to ensure both individuals and businesses pay their tax and super obligations on time.

For example, there will be a crackdown on businesses failing to pass on $50 billion in undisputed debts for GST and PAYG from employee wages.

Around 65 per cent of this debt is owed by small businesses and the ATO has warned it is returning to its normal, pre-pandemic debt collection practices.iv

Changes for trust tax returns

Small business owners who are trustees or trust beneficiaries need to remember new income tax reporting changes commence on 1 July 2024.

Trustees will be required to provide additional information about capital gains tax on the trust’s tax return statement of distribution to provide beneficiaries with additional information when completing their trust income reporting obligations.

Trust income from managed funds will also be reported with the additional details.

SG payment reminder

With the new Super Guarantee (SG) payday rules due to start on 1 July 2026, the ATO is  reminding employers they need to ensure timely payment of their quarterly SG obligations.

Payments for the fourth quarter (1 April to 30 June 2024) are due by 28 July at the latest, with more frequent payments being encouraged.

Check for unlawful tax schemes

The ATO has warned businesses again about the potential risks of becoming involved in unlawful tax schemes, including structured arrangements incorrectly classifying revenue as capital, exploiting concessional tax rates and obscuring the source of funds or party relationships.

Warning signs for these schemes include zero-risk guarantees, being asked to maintain secrecy and fees or commissions based on the tax saved.

We’d be happy to provide further information or clarification about any of the new tax measures or to provide advice if they affect you.

Victorian Stamp Duty for Industrial and Commercial Property changes

In the latest budget, the Victorian Government announced significant changes to the payment and application of Stamp Duty for Industrial and Commercial Properties as of 1 July 2024.

The Commercial and Industrial Property Tax Reform Act 2024 (Vic) (the Act) provides that commercial and industrial properties in Victoria will be subject to stamp duty for a final time when it is next sold or otherwise transacted after 1 July 2024. Ten years later from the time at which the transaction takes place, it will transition to the new annual Commercial and Industrial Property Tax (CIPT) imposed at the rate of 1% of the unimproved value of the land. The CIPT will be in addition to land tax.

Notably, properties that are not sold or transacted (a change of ownership of more than 50%) will remain outside the CIPT regime and CIPT will not be payable even after the 10 year transition period.

What properties does this apply to?
Only properties and land zoned Commercial or Industrial fall within this new reform. The State Revenue Office will rely on Council Rates for assessing whether a property is Commercial or Industrial.

Mixed-use properties will be assessed on a case by case basis and the Commissioner will make a determination as to whether the property is primarily used for Commercial or Industrial. If so, CIPT will be payable. If not, CIPT will not be payable. This is an all or nothing situation.

What triggers the introduction of CIPT?
A change of 50% or more ownership in a property will trigger the transition to CIPT. Minority investors may become subject to CIPT directly or indirectly if a majority interest in the property is changed (which may occur in a syndicate) on or after 1 July 2024.

Owners seeking to change ownership of their commercial or industrial property between trusts, SMSFs or corporations that transact after 1 July 2024 will also trigger the implementation of CIPT.

Do I still pay Stamp Duty?
Stamp Duty will still be payable on the first transaction for that particular property that occurs on or after 1 July 2024. Stamp Duty can be paid upfront (as would usually occur) or you can apply for a Government Funded Support Loan which incurs interest (rate still be determined but looking like approximately 7%pa) and repayments are to be paid annually over 10 years. If you sell within the 10 years the Loan is to be repaid in full and it is likely that break costs will be charged. The Loan does not fall to the next purchaser.

This first transaction triggers the property to enter the CIPT scheme and 10 years from that date CIPT will be payable. If, for example, 3 years after the first transaction, the property is then sold, this next transaction does not incur Stamp Duty but CIPT will be payable in 7 years time by whoever owns the property at that time.

What is the rate of CIPT?
The rate of CIPT is 1% of the unimproved value of the property (as assessed on your Council Rates Certificate). It is an annual tax and is to be paid in addition to regular land tax. For example, if the unimproved value of the property is $800,000 your CIPT will be $8,000 annually.

The owner of the property as of 31 December immediately preceding the tax year has the liability of the CIPT and this cannot be adjusted on the sale of the property.

Can I pass CIPT onto my Tenant?
In most instances, no you cannot pass CIPT onto your Tenant for payment as an outgoing. The Retail Leases Act 2003 prohibits the passing on of CIPT and Land Tax to a Tenant as an outgoing. If your Lease does not fall within the confines of the Retail Leases Act 2003 then, subject to the terms of your lease, you may be able to pass on payment of CIPT to the Tenant.

What if I leave my property as it is for the next 20 years?
If you do not change the ownership of your property over the next 20-30 years then you will not trigger CIPT and it will not be payable. Bear in mind that this is the case under the current legislative framework and there is no guarantee that this, or the rate of the CIPT, will not change in the future.

What should I do?
If you have no intention of changing the ownership structure of your property for the foreseeable future, then you do not need to do anything. If a change is on the cards, you should transact this change (sign a Contract or Transfer of Land) prior to 1 July 2024.

If you are looking at purchasing a Commercial or Industrial property, you should sign a Contract of Sale before 1 July 2024.

In summary:

  1. CIPT applies to changes in ownership of Commercial or Industrial properties with a Contract signed and settlement taking place after 1 July 2024;
  2. The first transaction after 1 July 2024 will incur Stamp Duty which can be paid in full or via a government funded transition loan;
  3. 10 years after the first transaction, CIPT will be payable by the then current owner at the rate of 1% of the unimproved value.

Managing risk when growing your business

It’s a risky business being in business for yourself, so knowing how to identify and manage risk is an important part of running a thriving business.

Anything that impedes a company’s ability to achieve its financial goals is considered a risk, and there are many issues that have the potential to derail a successful business. Some of these can ruin a business, while others can cause serious damage that is difficult to recover from.

However, taking risks is an essential part of growing a business – it’s how you thrive and expand. The key to achieving the rewards that come with risk and avoiding the devastation that can occur, is identifying and actively managing your business risk.

Assessing your tolerance for risk

The first step is to think about what level of risk you are comfortable with. A range of factors influence your appetite for risk including your individual circumstances, financial resources, specific industry dynamics, economic conditions, and business goals.

It’s important to acknowledge the relationship between risk and reward. High-risk activities may provide the potential for significant returns when you are going for growth but are also associated with greater uncertainty and the potential for larger losses.

Not all risk is equal

Some types of risk are best managed through insurance while others can be managed through thoughtful decision making and risk mitigation.

Risk taking is often associated with innovation and entrepreneurship and there are countless examples of reckless business behaviour that paid off – and as many examples that did not pay off. To expand, evolve and stay relevant in a changing marketplace, businesses may need to take calculated risks. This can encompass the development of new services or targeting a different client base, employing staff, developing new products, the adoption of emerging technologies, or exploring new markets.

Taking calculated risks involves some planning – conducting research, gathering supporting data and considering possible outcomes before making a decision. Informed, calculated decisions have a greater chance of success and doing your homework is a great way to mitigate risk in business.

Managing business risk

There are many ways to manage business risk, depending on the type of risk. Threats come in many shapes and forms and can include strategic, compliance, operational, environmental, and reputational, but one of the most fundamental risks is that of the business no longer being financially viable. All the above can impact a businesses’ bottom line so when considering your strategies, it’s a good idea to identify the risks that could affect your business’s ability to meet its financial obligations.

Setting up and maintaining a cash reserve is critical for small businesses, particularly ones with narrow margins. Half of all small businesses hold a cash buffer of less than one month which may not be adequate.i A cash reserve is a great risk mitigation strategy as it can help you get back on your feet when faced with an adverse event.

Keep an eye on cashflow

Growing a business can put pressure on cashflow, and managing your cashflow is a powerful way of managing your business risk.

If you have not already done so, creating, and maintaining a cash flow forecast helps you anticipate and cash shortages. Monitoring your cash flow over time gives you visibility of your financial situation and an understanding of any seasonal ebbs and flows.

Some things you can do to manage your cashflow include being responsive with invoicing and chasing overdue payments. Negotiate payment terms that support your cashflow requirements and consider offering incentives for early payments or penalties for overdue invoices.

For many businesses, one of the leading causes of cash flow shortfalls is overstocking, which increases the amount of cash you have locked up in your stock. Effective inventory management and working with suppliers to reduce lead times can assist with cashflow.

We can help you develop solid cash flow management and provide expert advice to make growing your business less of a risky proposition.

Living your best life in retirement

If you’re nearing retirement age, it’s likely you’re wondering if you will have enough saved to give up work and take it easy, particularly as cost-of-living increases hit some of the basic expenses such as energy, insurance, food and health costs.

Fortunately, someone has already worked out what you might need.

The Association of Superannuation Funds in Australia (ASFA) updates its Retirement Standard every year, which provides a breakdown of expenses for two types of lifestyles: modest and comfortable.i

Based on our average life expectancy – for women it is just over 85 years and men 81 – if you are about to retire at say age 67, you will have between 14 and 18 years in retirement, on average and depending on your gender.ii

ASFA finds that a couple needs $46,944 a year to live a modest lifestyle and $72,148 to live a comfortable lifestyle. That’s equal to $902 a week and $1387 respectively. The figure is of course lower for a single person – $32,666 for a modest lifestyle ($628 a week) or $51,278 ($986) for a comfortable lifestyle.iii

What does that add up to? ASFA estimates that, for a modest lifestyle, a single person or a couple would need savings of $100,000 at retirement age, while for a modest lifestyle, a couple would need at least $690,000.iv

A modest lifestyle means being able to afford everyday expenses such as basic health insurance, communication, clothing and household goods but not going overboard. The difference between a modest and a comfortable lifestyle can be significant. For example, there is no room in a modest budget to update a kitchen or a bathroom; similarly overseas holidays are not an option.

The rule of thumb for a comfortable retirement is an estimated 70 per cent of your current annual income.v (The reason you need less is that you no longer need to commute to work and you don’t need to buy work clothes.)

Building your nest egg

So how can you build up a sufficient nest egg to provide for a good life in retirement? There are three main sources: superannuation, pension and investments/savings. Superannuation has the key advantage that the money in your pension is tax free in retirement.

Your superannuation pension can be augmented with the government’s Aged Pension either from the moment you retire or later when your original nest egg diminishes.

Your income and assets will be taken into account if you apply for the Age Pension but even if you receive a pension from your super fund, you may still be eligible for a part Age Pension. You may also be eligible for rent assistance and a Health Care Card, which provides concessions on

Money keeps growing

It’s also important to remember that the amount you accumulate up to retirement will still be generating an income, whether its rentals from investment properties or merely the growth in the value of your share investments and the accumulation of money from any dividends paid.

You can also continue to add to your superannuation by, for instance, selling your family home and downsizing, as long as you have lived in the home for more than 10 years.

If you are single, $300,000 can go into your super when you downsize and $600,000 if you are a couple. This figure is independent of any other superannuation caps.vii

Planning for a good life in retirement often require just that – planning. If you would like to discuss how retirement will work for you, then give us a call.

Retirement Standard – Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia
ii Life expectancy, 2020 – 2022 | Australian Bureau of Statistics (
vi Assets test for Age Pension – Age Pension – Services Australia
vii Downsizer super contributions | Australian Taxation Office (

Federal Budget 2024-25: Tax Implications

Major tax cuts were the centrepiece of the Albanese government’s third Federal Budget, even though the changes have already been announced and legislated.

Small businesses can breathe a sigh of relief, with the popular $20,000 instant asset write-off hanging on for another year and a valuable bill rebate on the way to help with the burden of high energy bills.

Tax cuts for everyone

From 1 July 2024, all 13.6 million Australian taxpayers will receive a tax cut, with the average taxpayer’s tax bill being $1,888 (or $36 a week) lower.

Under the new rules, the lowest tax rate reduces from 19 per cent to 16 per cent, with the 32.5 per cent marginal tax rate reducing to 30 per cent for individuals earning between $45,001 and $135,000.

The current 37 per cent marginal tax rate will be retained for people earning between $135,001 and $190,000, while the existing 45 per cent rate now applies to income earners with taxable incomes exceeding $190,000.

Low-income earners (under $45,000 p.a.) are the biggest winners from the changes. A single taxpayer with a taxable income of $40,000 who pays $4,367 in tax in 2023 24, would have received no benefit from the original Stage 3 tax plan, but now receives a tax cut of $654.

Boost for tax compliance

On the revenue side, the Budget includes savings of $2.5 billion in tax receipt measures through a crackdown on the shadow economy, fraud, and tax avoidance.

Taxpayers can expect the ATO to continue its recent tougher stance, with technology upgrades to enable better identification and blocking of suspicious activities in real-time and a new compliance taskforce focussed on recovering lost revenue and stopping fraudulent refunds.

Foreign residents will pay an additional $600 million over the next three years due to strengthening of the capital gains tax rules applying to this group.

Law change for old tax debts

However, one controversial measure, labelled ‘robotax’ by the media, may be abandoned, according to the Budget papers.

The ATO had been calling in historical tax debts, some accrued more than a decade ago, saying it had no choice under current laws. But the government now intends to change the tax law to give the ATO discretion about whether to collect the individual, small business, and not-for-profit debts.

Instant asset write-off retained

The deadline for the $20,000 instant asset write-off will be extended to 30 June 2025, allowing small businesses with annual turnovers of less than $10 million to immediately deduct eligible assets.

In addition, $23.3 million will be spent boosting adoption of eInvoicing to help improve small business’ cash flow and productivity.

Relieving energy bill pressure

Direct relief for small business energy bills will come in the form of a $325 rebate, while there will also be new funding for reforms to help businesses find their best electricity contract.

Assistance for smaller entities

With trading conditions remaining difficult, small business will receive $641.4 million in new targeted support. This includes $10.8 million to extend both the NewAccess for Small Business Owners program providing free mental health support and the free phone-based Small Business Debt Helpline.

An additional $25.3 million will be provided to expand the Payment Times Reporting Regulator and help improve payment times.

Nuisance tariffs abolished

From 1 July 2024, 457 nuisance tariffs will be abolished by the government to cut business compliance costs.

New funding to expand the government’s Digital ID system is designed to lower the administration burden for small businesses storing identification data on their customers and employees.

Anti-money laundering crackdown

The Budget includes $168 million over four years to pay for reforms to Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime. Tighter rules are expected to result in lawyers, accountants and real estate agents being required to undertake due diligence on their customers and report any suspicious activities. Information in this article has been sourced from the Budget Speech 2024-25 and Federal Budget Support documents.

It is important to note that the policies outlined in this article are yet to be passed as legislation and therefore may be subject to change.