As always, the EOFY brings many changes to fees, charges, taxes, rules, regulations and laws. Here’s some to be aware of.
PLASTIC BAG BAN
From 1 July, single-use plastic bags will be banned in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
NO PASSPORT GLASSES
From 1 July, glasses will not be allowed in passport photos.
SINGLE TOUCH PAYROLL
Employers with 20 or more employees will be required to report payments such as salaries, wages, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation directly to the ATO from their payroll or accounting software from 1 July. This will apply to all other employers from 1 July 2019.
FAMILY PAYMENTS CHANGES
Parents receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part A could have their payments reduced by up to $28.28 per fortnight, per child, if their children aren’t immunised
Meanwhile, the government is overhauling the childcare subsidy scheme by combining existing subsidies into a single means and activity-tested payment from 2 July.
About 1.2 million families are eligible for childcare subsidies, but parents must update their Centrelink details through MyGov or risk missing out. Under the new system, both parents must be working, studying, volunteering or searching for work at least eight hours a fortnight to be eligible.
ONLINE SHOPPING TAX
Amazon will stop shipping to Australian addresses from its international store in response to the government’s new online GST laws coming into effect on 1 July, which require businesses with annual turnover greater than $75,000 to collect GST on purchases under the current low-value threshold of $1000.
From 1 July, people aged 65 and older will be able to contribute up to $300,000 from the sale of their family home to their superannuation. The downsizer contribution, which can only be made for the sale of one home, is not affected by existing contributions caps.
To be eligible, the downsizer must have owned the home for at least 10 years prior to the sale and live in it as their main residence. Downsizer contributions are not tax deductible, however, and will be taken into account when determining eligibility for the age pension.
BETTER CREDIT SCORE
From 1 July, comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) will become mandatory, meaning banks will be forced to share detailed positive and negative financial history with other lenders.
As part of the government’s seven-year tax plan announced in last month’s federal budget, taxpayers will be receiving modest relief in the form of either an annual lump sum tax offset or increased tax brackets from 1 July.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
About 2.3 million of Australia’s lowest paid workers will get a 3.5 per cent pay increase from 1 July, with the national minimum wage to increase by $24.30 per week following the Fair Work Commission’s 2017-18 Annual Wage Review. That brings the weekly minimum wage to $719.20, up from $694.90
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
A two-year transition phase to improve country-of-origin food labelling ends on 30 June, with all food packaged and imported from 1 July required to comply with the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016.
Under the new system, labels will contain a statement about where the food was produced, grown, made or packaged, and Australian food will carry the kangaroo symbol and an indication of the proportion of Australian ingredients by weight through a statement and a bar graph.
SUPERANNUATION GUARANTEE AMNESTY
On 24 May 2018, the Government announced a one-off, 12-month amnesty (the Amnesty), and introduced legislation into Parliament, which allows non-complying employers to self-correct any unpaid superannuation guarantee (SG) amounts dating back to 1992.
According to the media release, the ATO estimates that in 2014–15, around $2.85 billion in SG payments went unpaid
The Amnesty will last for 12 months, commencing on Thursday 24 May 2018 and ending on Thursday 23 May 2019 and is only applicable to non-compliance that occurred prior to 1 April 2018.
But, the Amnesty is not yet law so watch this space….