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2018-19 Federal Budget

This year's Federal Budget - the third handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison - is rightly being called an 'election' Budget. The flagship item is the measure to reduce personal tax rates and increase tax offsets for low and medium income earners. Beyond that, however, there's little for business owners to get excited, or agitated, about. There are still a few bright spots though. The Budget is predicted to return to a small surplus a year earlier than previously estimated (by 2019-20), and for the first time in a while, there are some logical, positive changes to superannuation fund management and compliance.

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December 2017 Newsletter

You may have noticed we've been gone for a while! It had been our intention to provide some clarity on the practical implications of the company tax rate cuts, including the impact on franking credits, but there has been so much uncertainty about how these cuts are to be implemented that we had to keep putting this issue on hold and re-writing it as more information came to hand. Even now the landscape ahead is far from clear, and we've considered numerous theoretical instances over the last few months where the implications for a company would be, at best, difficult to determine. At the very least, most companies that have retained earnings and receive the benefit of the tax cut will be penalised with a hit to their franking account. Read on for more detail.

In other news, Single Touch Payroll will be mandatory for employers with 20 or more employees from 1st July 2018, and on that same date, online shopping may start costing you more.

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2017-18 Federal Budget

Scott Morrison handed down his second Federal Budget as Treasurer on Tuesday night. The Budget projects a deficit for 2017-18 of $29.4 billion, and overall it presents a more optimistic outlook for the Australian economy than in recent years.

Our approach to reviewing the Budget highlights each year has always been to focus on the impact for small-medium business owners. This year however, the way in which this Budget is received by people in business will really depend on their own outlook.

There's very little in the Budget of any consequence for business. If you're a glass half-full person, that may be a relief. For the first time in a long time, there's no changes in tax rates, the heretofore perennial undermining of retirement confidence has abated, and there are few other measures that might negatively affect business owners. If you're a glass half-empty person though, no news for business may well be bad news, with only minor assistance measures and no wider structural reform.

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