Sunday, 16 December 2012

Key tax and superannuation changes in Jan 2013

With the year end approaching, there are some tax and superannuation changes you can expect from January 1, 2013
  • All unemployed single parents will lose the Parenting Payment when their youngest child turns eight years old. For unemployed partnered parents, the payment will stop when their youngest child turns six. Although the cut-offs were introduced in 2006, it did not apply to parents who were already receiving the support payment. Now, it will apply across the board and force these parents on to the Newstart Allowance while they seek employment. Also, recipients of the Parenting Payment will have compulsory part-time participation requirements when their youngest child turns six.
  • The Government will limit eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A to young people under 18 years of age or, where a young person remains in secondary school, the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19. Individuals who no longer qualify for FTB Part A may be eligible to receive Youth Allowance.
  •  Individuals can travel overseas and continue to receive income support payments such as the Parenting Payment, Austudy, Rent Assistance and Family Tax Benefit Part A and B – among others – for only six weeks as opposed to 13 weeks.
  • The Dad and Partner pay will be available to eligible working fathers and partners who:

·                        care for a child born or adopted from January 1, 2013
·                        work full-time, part-time or are casual, seasonal, contract or self-employed  workers
·                       have worked at least 330 hours – just over a day a week – in 10 of the 13 months  before the birth of their baby with no more than an eight week gap between two consecutive working days
·                       earned $150,000 or less in the previous financial year, and
·                        fulfil the Australian residency test.

  • There will be a more generous income test for single principal carer parents on Newstart Allowance that will allow them to earn   around $400 more per fortnight before ceasing eligibility for payment.
  • The SchoolKids Bonus replaces the Education Tax Refund. Around a million families will receive a cash handout of $820 for every high school child and $410 for every primary school child as part of the new bonus. The direct, upfront payments require no paperwork.
  • The government will restrict telehealth services to those patients for whom distance is the most significant barrier to accessing specialist care, meaning the eligibility criteria for the Medicare Benefits Schedule will be amended to exclude patients in outer metropolitan areas and major cities of Australia.  

  •   The government will increase a number of visa application charges for skilled graduates, partners, working holiday makers and temporary overseas workers.