Harper News


Families

Who is assessable on interest income? Those who “benefit”

It is a fairly well-established and welcome act for an aunt or uncle or of course a parent to start a savings account for a new addition to the next generation. It is not so common however, among the ...

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Centrelink to data match details with ATO records

The Department of Human Services, which overseas Centrelink, has issued a notice of a data matching project that will enable it to compare income data it has on-hand with tax return data that has alre...

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Renting out part or all of your home

Generally, if you rent out part or all of your home, the rent money you receive is assessable. This means that you must declare your rental income in your income tax return, but you can also claim ded...

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Gumboots? check, Akubra? check, tax status?....

Hobby farming is a lifestyle choice that has been around for years and looks like an option that, if anything, is on the increase.  And while it can be easy to poke fun at the success or otherwi...

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Trust essentials

Trust structures and their use can often be misunderstood – we demystify some of the jargon. Why use a trust? Trusts are commonly used to protect assets, as property and other assets that are ...

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Taxing children’s savings accounts: Whose money is it?

Back in the 1980s, people could reduce tax by having their money in bank accounts belonging to their kids. In 1988, the Tax Office intervened by issuing guidance.

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Tax and marriage: Tips on nuptial know-how

Every couple’s “big day” will of course be marked more by flying champagne corks and numerous speeches of questionable quality, instead of the tax implications that go along with swapping rings. Having a general understanding of what it means to be a “spouse” under tax law can change the approach taken to certain financial arrangements, clarify potential pitfalls and allow clearer planning.

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Recent changes to Paid Parental Leave, Family Tax Benefit and other entitlements

The recent passage of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill has given rise to changes across a range of entitlements. Due to the delayed passage of the bill however, several amendments will take effect from a later date than initially proposed. We run through the various changes below and what they mean for you.

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Tax Office reviewing dependant tax offset claims

 The Tax Office has stopped all tax returns with a Dependant (Invalid and Carer) Tax Offset claim and is reviewing them, following an unexpected upsurge in the number of individuals that have made claims for the new tax offset.

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Consolidated dependant (invalid and carer) tax offset

 The consolidated dependant tax offset was introduced in the 2012-13 federal budget in May, and combines and consolidates eight of the existing dependency tax offsets into one single non-refundable tax offset for taxpayers who contribute to the maintenance of someone who is genuinely unable to work because of invalidity or care obligations.

 

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Education

Around a million families will receive a cash hand-out of $820 for every high-school child and $410 for every primary-school child as part of the new SchoolKids Bonus, paid directly to eligible recipients. The SchoolKids Bonus replaces the Education Tax Refund (ETR) and under this new scheme, payments will be made upfront with no paperwork required.

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Families, individuals

Come July 1, 2012, the tax-free threshold will be more than tripled from $6,000 to $18,200 - freeing up to one million Australians from the need to lodge a tax return. Further tax cuts will be delivered in 2015-16 for all individuals with incomes up to $80,000, with most receiving up to $85 on top of this year's tax cut. The marginal tax rates are set out below.

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