The treasurer delivered the Federal Budget on 29 March 2022. Below we outline the key announcements of the 2022-23 budget.
In the Budget, the Government did not announce any personal tax rates changes. The Stage 3 tax changes commence from 1 July 2024, as previously legislated.
The 2022-23 tax rates and income thresholds for residents are unchanged from 2021-23.
The low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) will be increased by $420 for the 2021-22 income year so that eligible individuals will receive a maximum LMITO benefit up to $1,500 for 2021-22 (up from the current maximum of $1,080).
This one-off $420 cost of living tax offset will only apply to the 2021-22 income year. Importantly, the Government did not announce an extension of the LMITO to 2022-23, so it remains legislated to only apply until the end of the 2021-22 income year (albeit up to $1,500 instead of $1,080).
The Government said the LMITO for 2021-22 will be paid from 1 July 2022 to more than 10 million individuals when they submit their tax returns for the 2021-22 income year. Other than those who do not require the full offset to reduce their tax liability to zero, all LMITO recipients will benefit from the full $420 increase. That is, the proposed one-off $420 cost of living tax offset will increase the maximum LMITO benefit in 2021-22 to $1,500 for individuals earning between $48,001 and $90,000 (but phasing out up to $126,000). Those earning up to $48,000 will also receive the $420 one-off tax offset on top of their existing $255 LMITO benefit (phasing up for incomes between $37,001 and $48,000).
All other features of the current LMITO remain unchanged (including that it will only apply until the end of the 2021-22 income year). Consistent with the current LMITO, taxpayers with incomes of $126,000 or more will not receive the additional $420.
For the 2021-22 income year, the Medicare levy low-income threshold for singles will be increased to $23,365 (up from $23,226 for 2020-21). For couples with no children, the family income threshold will be increased to $39,402 (up from $39,167 for 2020-21). The additional amount of threshold for each dependent child or student will be increased to $3,619 (up from ($3,597).
For single seniors and pensioners eligible for the SAPTO, the Medicare levy low-income threshold will be increased to $36,925 (up from $36,705 for 2020-21). The family threshold for seniors and pensioners will be increased to $51,401 (up from $51,094), plus $3,619 for each depend child or student.
Legislation is required to amend these thresholds, and a Bill will be introduced shortly.
The Government will make a $250 one-off cost of living payment in April 2022 to six million eligible pensioners, welfare recipients, veterans and eligible concession card holders.
The $250 payment will be tax-exempt and not count as income support for the purposes of any Government income support. A person can only receive one economic support payment, even if they are eligible under two or more of the eligible categories.
The Government will reduce the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rate that applies to petrol and diesel by 50% for six months. The excise and excise-Equivalent customs duty rates for all other fuel and petroleum-based products, except aviation fuels, will also be reduced by 50% for six months.
The treasurer said this measure will see excise on petrol and diesel cut from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents. Mr Frydenberg said a family with two cars who fill up once a week could save around $30 a week, or around $700 over the next six months.
The Government has announced two support measures for small businesses (aggregated annual turnover less than $50 million) in the form of a 20% uplift of the amount deductible for expenditure incurred on external training courses and digital technology.
An eligible business will be able to deduct an additional 20% of expenditure incurred on external training courses provided to its employees. The training course must be provided to employees in Australia or online, and delivered by entities registered in Australia.
Some exclusions will apply, such as for in-house or on-the-job training.
The boost for eligible expenditure incurred by 30 June 2022 will be claimed in tax returns for the following income year. The boost for eligible expenditure incurred between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2024, will be included in the income year in which the expenditure is incurred.
An eligible business will be able to deduct an additional 20% of the cost incurred on business expenses and depreciating assets that support its digital adoption, such as portable payment devices, cyber security systems or subscriptions to cloud-based services.
The annual cap will apply in each qualifying income year so that expenditure up to $100,000 will be eligible for the boost.
The boost for eligible expenditure incurred by 30 June 2022 will be claimed in tax returns for the following income year. The for for eligible expenditure incurred between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 will be included in the income year in which the expenditure is incurred.
The Budget papers confirm the Treasurer’s earlier announcement that companies will be allowed to choose to have their PAYG instalments calculated based on current financial performance, extracted from business accounting software.
The commencement date is “subject to advice from software providers about their capacity to deliver”. It is anticipated that systems will be in place by 31 December 2023, with the measure to commence on 1 January 2024, for application to periods starting on or after that date. There are no details yet as to what tax adjustments will be required (although presumably this will involve a reverse, modified form of tax effect accounting).
The Budget papers confirm the Treasurer’s earlier announcement that the GDP uplift factor for PAYG and GST instalments will be set at 2% for the 2022-23 income year. The papers state that this uplift factor is lower than the 10% that would have applied under the statutory formula.
The 2% GDP uplift rate will apply to small to medium enterprises eligible to use the relevant instalment methods (up to $10 million annual aggregated turnover for GST instalments and $50 million annual aggregated turnover for PAYG instalments) in respect of instalments that relate to the 2022-23 income year and fall due after the enabling legilsation receives assent.
The budget did not announce any change to the timing of the next super guarantee (SG) rate increase. The SG rate is currently legislated to increase from 10% to 10.5% from 1 July 2022, and by 0.5% per year from 1 July 2023 until it reaches 12% from 1 July 2025.
The increase in the SG rate to 10.5% from 1 July 2022 also means that the SG opt-out income threshold will decrease to $261,904 from 1 July 2022 (down from $275,000). High-income earners with multiple employers can opt-out of the SG regime in respect of an employer to avoid unintentionally breach the concessional contributions cap.
The temporary 50% reduction in minimum annual payment amounts for superannuation pensions and annuities will be extended by a further year to 30 June 2023.
The reduction in the minimum payment amounts for 2022-23 is expected to apply to account-based, allocated and market linked pensions. Minimum payments are determined by age of the beneficiary and the value of the account balance as at 1 July each year under Sch 7 of the SIS Regulation.
No maximum annual payments apply, except for a transition to retirement pensions which have a maximum annual payment limit of 10% of the account balance at the start of each financial year.
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