Taxation

A Guide To Super Contributions

A Guide To Super Contributions

As well as super guarantee payments from your employer, there are all sorts of ways to save more into super and boost retirement savings. Find out more in our comprehensive super contributions guide…

2018 Federal Budget

2018 Federal Budget

The 2018-19 Budget will be the last before the next election (due by May 2019) and so had to provide pre-election goodies, but in a way that keeps the return to surplus on track. Read here for a complete run down…

Alert: Residential Property Deductions

Alert: Residential Property Deductions

The ATO have now made the following changes to residential property deductions, applicable from 1st July 2017...

Mistakes To Mastery (Free eBook)

Mistakes To Mastery (Free eBook)

Life doesn’t revolve around money. Lots of other things - like family, friends, and health - can be much more important to you than your bank balance. But some personal goals are hard to achieve if you don’t have much money. That’s why the FPA have put together this handy guide to getting to grips with the do’s and don’ts of your finances...

STARTING A NEW BUSINESS?

STARTING A NEW BUSINESS?

Statistics show that 'baby boomers' are simply refusing to retire, and instead, are choosing to start new businesses. The same trend also applies to the recently retrenched, which is great news for the Australian economy and financial markets....

ESTATE PLANNING: A cautionary tale...

ESTATE PLANNING: A cautionary tale...

Every year, Australian tax payers voluntarily pay the Tax Office millions of dollars in “Death Taxes” - I'd like to make sure you are not going to be one of them. Proper Estate Planning ensures that your estate goes to those you care about, and not the Tax Man...

2016/17 Review

The past financial year turned out far better for investors than had been feared a year ago. This was despite a lengthy list of things to worry about: starting with the Brexit vote and a messy election outcome in Australia both just before the financial year started; concerns about global growth, profits and deflation a year ago; Donald Trump being elected President in the US with some predicting a debilitating global trade war as a result; various elections across Europe feared to see populists gain power; the US Federal Reserve resuming interest rate hikes; North Korea stepping up its missile tests; China moving to put the brakes on its economy amidst ever present concern about its debt levels; and messy growth in Australia along with perennial fears of a property crash and banking crisis.

Predictions of some sort of global financial crisis in 2016 were all the rage. But the last financial year provided a classic reminder to investors to turn down the noise on all the events swirling around investment markets and associated predictions of disaster, and how, when the crowd is negative, things can surprise for the better. But will returns remain reasonable? After reviewing the returns of the last financial year, this note looks at the investment outlook for the 2017-18 financial year.

Read more here

Federal Budget 2017: Snapshot

On Tuesday 9 May, the Federal Government handed down its Budget for the 2017–18 financial year.

According to Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, this year’s Budget is founded on the principles of fairness, security and opportunity. Mr Morrison claims that the government’s proposed measures will raise almost $21 billion in revenue over the next four years, returning Australia’s budget to surplus by 2021.

Here are some of the key Budget announcements. Note that each of these proposals will only become law if it is passed by Parliament...

Read Budget Summary Here (Colonial First State)

Watch Budget Overview Here (MLC)

Read Budget Commentary Here (AMP)

The July 1 Super Changes...

We're now only a few months away from sweeping changes to the superannuation and pension environment, but for most people, the impact of these changes will be either positive or neutral.

At the end of the day, super remains a very attractive place to save for retirement. So with all of the 'noise' surrounding the super changes coming on July 1st, its important to remember some basic super facts...

Fact 1:  While you are building your super, pre-tax contributions and investment earnings will generally continue to be taxed at the low rate of up to 15%, not your marginal tax rate of up to 49%. That alone is a massive advantage in favour of super versus other forms of savings.

Fact 2: When you eventually retire, you can still transfer a generous amount into a superannuation pension, where no tax is paid on investment earnings - and payments are generally tax-free from age 60.

The major changes the are occurring from July 1st, primarily revolve around 'limits' - limits on how much you can contribute to super (pre or post tax), and limits on how much you can start a super pension with (i.e. $1.6 million each).

In addition, the 15% contributions tax will be doubled if your income is greater than $250,000 - this single rule change is an unpopular one, and might be a 'game changer' for some higher income earners.

Moving closer to July 1, there is some work to do, especially if you run your own self-managed super fund. Please, contact your financial adviser asap to see if any of the upcoming changes will impact you, and if so, find out what action you need to take, before it's simply too late.

Rick Maggi

WILL THE SUPER REFORMS HURT?

From 1 July 2017, a range of super reforms announced in the 2016 Federal Budget will take effect.

For most people, the impact of these changes will be positive or neutral.

Super remains a very attractive place to save for retirement. And there may be opportunities to grow your super and retire with more.

If your income is below $250,000 (for 2017/18), while you build up your super, pre-tax contributions and investment earnings will generally continue to be taxed at the low rate of up to a maximum of 15%, not your marginal tax rate of up to 49%. 

Also, when you retire, you can still transfer a generous amount into a superannuation pension, where no tax is paid on investment earnings and payments are generally tax-free at age 60 and over.

Next steps...

Once you have read through this guide, you should consider making an appointment with your financial adviser. They can assess the impact the super reforms could have for you, as well as review your retirement savings plans and the strategies you are using. 

Beyond that, as we head towards the end of another financial year, now is a great time to see if there is anything else you could be doing to tax-effectively build and protect your wealth.

If you don’t have an adviser, you call us (Westmount Financial) on 9382 8885 to arrange an appointment. 

View a basic, 'at a glance' guide here.

Rick Maggi