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[av_heading heading=’The News Brief_20201125′ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=’6vw’ av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’20’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#000000′ icon_color=” margin=’0′ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0′ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-khvy0561′ admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’][/av_heading]

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[av_heading heading=’Tips for businesses’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-khvy1uqc’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Are your ABN details up-to-date?

Did you know that emergency services and government agencies use ABN details to help identify businesses in affected areas during times of emergency or natural disaster? It is therefore important to ensure your ABN details are correct, including:

It is advisable to list your own contact details and not your tax adviser’s details.

The fastest way to update your details is through the Australian Business Register (ABR) online services.

Log in using myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).

Are you changing your business structure?

If you are changing your business structure, for example from a sole trader to a company, you will need a new ABN. Other situations where you need to cancel your ABN and apply for a new ABN include where changing from:

You must ensure that your ABN details are updated on your tax invoices. This is essential as your ABN is used to:

Other businesses and entities must withhold payment at the top marginal tax rate if the ABN quoted on the invoice is incorrect or the details do not match up.

Remember to ensure that you update your GST registration details whenever you get a new ABN.

Tip! Contact your tax adviser if you are considering changing your business structure. There are likely to be tax issues.

Working out if you have to pay superannuation for your workers

It is not always easy to work out when you have to make contributions under the superannuation guarantee (SG) scheme.

Generally, if you pay an employee $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month, you have to make SG contributions on top of their wages. This includes a family member working in your business.

If your employee is under 18, they must work for more than 30 hours per week to qualify.

You are required to make SG contributions regardless of whether the employee:

Although you generally don’t need to make SG contributions for independent contractors, you may be required to make contributions for a contractor where the contract engaging them is wholly or principally for their labour.

Tip! It is not always easy to decide if a person working for you is an employee or an independent contractor. If you are at all uncertain, talk to your tax adviser.
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[av_heading heading=’Victoria announces stamp duty waivers’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-khvy2lxt’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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The move has been announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21, which invests $1.5 billion in new tax relief for Victorian businesses and families.

This includes a stamp duty concession of up to 50 per cent* for residential homes valued at up to $1 million. It is for residential property contracts entered into from 25 November to 30 June 2021.

Relief will be targeted at newly built or “off-the-plan” homes, which will receive a 50 per cent waiver.

Existing homes will be eligible for a 25 per cent waiver.

A first home buyer, for example, purchasing an existing home worth $700,000 would be eligible for both the first home buyer duty concession and then the new 25 per cent waiver, totalling tax relief of some $18,500.

“With a waiver on stamp duty, we’ll help more Victorians find their home and get more Victorians back to work,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.

“We will encourage Victorians back into the property market, by waiving up to 50 per cent of stamp duty on eligible homes, for the remainder of the financial year.”

Victorian Homebuyer Fund

A new homebuyers fund has also been announced by the government.

The  Victorian Homebuyer Fund provides $500 million to accelerate Victorians into home ownership.

The fund will contribute to the purchase price in exchange for a proportionate equity interest in the property. This aims to help reduce the size of the deposit required and will help Victorians afford their homes sooner. 

It will support the purchase of both established and newly built homes. 

The government has also extended the $20,000 First Home Owner Grant for people buying or building a new home in regional Victoria to apply to contracts of sale entered up until 30 June 2021.

“This extension gives more Victorians the opportunity to live locally and enter the property market for the first time, while also supporting jobs in regional Victoria,” the Treasurer said.

Build-to-rent support

In order to increase the supply of housing and create more options for renters by establishing the build-to-rent sector in Victoria, from 1 January 2022, Victoria will provide a 50 per cent land tax discount for eligible new developments until 2040.

These developments will also be exempt from the absentee owner surcharge over the same period. Investment in the build-to-rent sector will stimulate construction activity, create jobs and support Victoria’s economic recovery.

Australia’s largest investment in social housing

The Victorian government will also deliver a “historic” $5.3 billion Big Housing Build to construct more than 12,000 new homes throughout metro and regional Victoria, it has been announced.

One of the key measures in the Victorian budget 2020-21 is a package to build more than 12,000 new homes throughout metro and regional Victoria, the majority of which will be social and low-cost housing.

The investment will deliver 9,300 new social housing homes, including replacing 1,100 old public housing units. 

The package is expected to boost the state’s social housing supply by 10 per cent in four years.

The Big Housing Build is expected to support over 10,000 jobs over the next four years, which the state government said would help “supercharge Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic and beyond”.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne commented: “This unprecedented housing blitz will deliver new homes and jobs across Melbourne and regional Victoria.”

“We’re delivering the biggest investment in social housing Victoria has ever seen – we’re not just investing in bricks and mortar, but the lives of Victorians for decades to come.” 

Tenancy support

The Victorian budget 2020-21 also includes funds to provide ongoing support to help keep tenants in their homes, including the $80 million set aside in April to give certainty for those Victorians facing financial hardship.

The budget also provides a further $6 million to help ensure Consumer Affairs Victoria can continue to provide support through the Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Scheme and the Residential Tenancy Relief Scheme.

To help vulnerable tenants, an additional $600,000 (previously announced) has been provided to advocacy groups to “continue their crucial work providing assistance throughout the pandemic, including support for Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities”.

Premier Andrews said: “The pandemic has made paying the rent hard for many Victorians.

“The Victorian budget 2020-21 will continue to provide ongoing support to help keep tenants in their homes,” he said.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne, commented: “It’s been a tough year for many, particularly tenants. 

“We’ve provided support and certainty throughout the pandemic – that will continue into our recovery, too.”
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[av_heading heading=’The Federal Government continues the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme’ tag=’h1′ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ margin=” padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” icon_size=” custom_class=” id=” admin_preview_bg=” av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=”][/av_heading]

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The very popular First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is back again with first home buyers once again set to benefit.

The latest Federal Budget has put a clear focus on helping first home buyers get into a new home and as a result, the FHLDS has been extended and expanded. 

However, there are some key changes that will impact first home buyers.

What is the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme?

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is a program that allows first home buyers to purchase a property with as little as a 5 per cent deposit without being forced to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI). 

In many cases, LMI can cost a homebuyer upward of $10,000 and can significantly hurt the chances of a first home buyer getting into a new home. Under the program, the Federal Government effectively guarantees the difference between what the first home buyer has saved and the 20 per cent deposit that most lenders require, which helps in reducing the LMI burden.

The Government only makes 10,000 places available, so it is important to act quickly if you’re interested in taking up the scheme.

Changes to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

The most notable change has been the focus put on buying a new or a newly built home.

The program has also been expanded with the thresholds increased across the country, meaning there will be more homes that will be available for first home buyers to purchase with the help of the scheme.

State Capital city/regional centre – new cap Capital city/regional centre – previous cap Rest of state – new cap Rest of state – previous cap
NSW $950,000 $700,000 $600,000 $450,000
VIC $850,000 $600,000 $550,000 $375,000
QLD $650,000 $475,000 $500,000 $400,000
WA $550,000 $400,000 $400,000 $300,000
SA $550,000 $400,000 $400,000 $250,000
TAS $550,000 $400,000 $400,000 $300,000
ACT $600,000 $500,000 N/A N/A
NT $550,000 $375,000 N/A N/A

Some of the largest increases have come in both Sydney and Melbourne, where house prices are generally higher. Both states have increased their caps by $250,000 to $950,000 and $800,000 respectively. While the other states and regional areas have increased the threshold by between $100,000 and $150,000.

Round three of the FHLDS began on Tuesday (October 6) and places with the 27 lenders are limited to 10,000.

The starting point to access the program is to speak with a mortgage broker to find out if you qualify and meet the list of eligibility criteria.

It’s also important to note that you must also be able to qualify for finance based on normal serviceability requirements. 

The other advantage of the FHLDS is that it is able to be used in conjunction with other state and federal incentives including the FHOG and various state building grants. However, it is worth noting that the cut-off period for these building grants is fast approaching and building contracts need to be signed prior to the end of the year depending on your state.
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[av_heading heading=’Key tax dates’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-khvy3rcj’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Date  Obligation 
8 Nov 2020* Wage condition deadline for JobKeeper fortnight 16
14 Nov 2020* October JobKeeper monthly business declaration due 
21 Nov 2020* October monthly BAS due 
22 Nov 2020* Wage condition deadline for JobKeeper fortnight 17
28 Nov 2020* Lodge and pay September quarterly SGC (if required) 
1 Dec 2020  Full self assessment companies – pay 2019–20 income tax

Non-full self assessment companies – lodge 2019-20 return

6 Dec 2020* Wage condition deadline for JobKeeper fortnight 18
14 Dec 2020  November JobKeeper monthly business declaration due
19 Dec 2020* Wage condition deadline for JobKeeper fortnight 19
21 Dec 2020  Lodge and pay November monthly BAS
3 Jan 2021* Wage condition deadline for JobKeeper fortnight 20
14 Jan 2021  December JobKeeper monthly business declaration due
21 Jan 2021  Lodge and pay December monthly BAS 
31 Jan 2021* Closely held trust – lodge December quarterly TFN report 
14 Feb 2021* January JobKeeper monthly business declaration due 
21 Feb 2020* Lodge and pay January monthly BAS 
28 Feb 2021* Lodge and pay December quarterly BAS 

Lodge and pay December quarterly instalment notice 

Lodge annual GST return (if no tax return due)

Lodge and pay December quarterly SGC (if required)  

Lodge and pay SMSF annual return for new SMSFs (unless otherwise advised)  

*Next business day

Note! Talk to your tax agent to confirm the correct due dates for your own tax obligations. For example, you may have more time to lodge and pay if impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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[av_heading heading=’Retirement costs rising despite COVID impacts’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-khvy4drx’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Research by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has shown that couples aged around 65 living a comfortable retirement needed to spend $62,083 per year, up 0.3 per cent, and singles $43,901, up 0.5 per cent on the previous quarter.

The increase from a year earlier was 1.8 per cent for couples and 1.6 per cent for singles.

“COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on Australia’s financial and economic conditions, but there has been a partial unwinding of both price increases and decreases that immediately flowed from the impact of the pandemic,” said ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy.

ASFA noted that retiree lifestyles were yet to return to normal as restrictions on travel and changes to entertainment and dining-out options had a significant short-term impact on retirement lifestyles.

During the September quarter, health insurance premiums remained unchanged but would have increased from 1 October by around 3 per cent for many retirees.

“Recent reductions in interest rates and dividends are having an impact on the financial position of many Australian retirees,” Dr Fahy said.

“Dramatic changes in our lifestyles had a big impact on demand and prices right across the economy, but for at least some categories of expenditure, there is a return to something closer to normal.”

Dr Fahy noted that the increase in the cost of retirement despite lifestyle changes means members who are currently still working require greater accumulation of superannuation during their working lives.

“For wage earners, the increases in costs in retirement have highlighted the need for the superannuation guarantee to move from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent as legislated. Over the year to September 2020, official figures indicate that wages grew by only 1.4 per cent on average for the entire economy, and by only 1.3 per cent in the private sector. Over the September quarter, increases in wages in the private sector averaged just 0.1 per cent,” the ASFA statement read.

Increases in retirement costs are outstripping growth in wages and higher contributions are needed for future retirees to achieve the standard of living they want and deserve in retirement.
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Sources: The Adviser, SMSF Adviser and CFH Partners
Disclaimer: This is general information only and is subject to change at any time. Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product. The Content provided herein has been prepared for informational purposes only. The Content does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek tax, legal or accounting advice before acting or relying on any Content.

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