Are You Paying Too Much Tax?

Tax planning is not just for big business but should be something everybody reviews annually.

In recent years the government has made many changes to the tax system to broaden the tax base with the ultimate objective of making Australians pay more tax.

I just love this picture and think the fellow with the tax cup looks more like Mr Abbott than Mr Turnbull but the policeman could well be the last auditor I met from the ATO!! Anyway, I digress....

These changes have occasionally been political posturing such as the debate surrounding negatively geared properties, but we have definitely witnessed a hardening of attitude towards many traditional tax saving strategies. This attitude has been supported through several announcements by the ATO on what they expect in terms of substantiation for many common expenses.

If you have previously claimed deductions against your salary or wage income for telephone, home office, motor vehicle, and other expenses you may find your substantiation requirements are much greater this year than previously.

 

For a specific example have a look at my previous blog on Claiming Your Phone and Internet Costs.

Recent Announcements Include the Following:

  • Mixed signals on the government's approach to superannuation.
  • Negative gearing changes and the seemingly tunnel vision that all negatively geared property owners are somehow distorting Australia's economic stability.
  • Increases in the top marginal tax rate to include the increased Medicare Levy and "Temporary" Budget Repair Levy of 2%.
  • Reduced deductions available for some work related expenses and changes to the substantiation requirements for some commonly claimed costs including office, phone, and motor vehicle deductions.
  • The phasing out of deductions for medical costs.
  • The Age Pension age will gradually increase to 70.

What Can You Do About It?

While we don't know what's in store in the May 2016 budget, we can expect some further tightening in the government's tax strategy and given the way Mr Turnbull has asserted his authority it may be timely to have a close look at your superannuation strategy if nothing else.

Similarly if you have a negatively geared investment property then you will certainly want to understand the implications of the governments suggestion that you are somehow distorting the economic stability of the country.

If you are not already talking to our team about your tax strategy then contact our office on (07) 5439 1600 to organise your FREE NO OBLIGATION CHAT with one of our experts. We can discuss your specific circumstances with you and if necessary arrange for a follow up assessment.

Call our office now on (07) 5439 1600 or CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT for your FREE NO OBLIGATION CHAT about how we can help you make sure you will not be paying too much in tax this year or in the future.