Jim Chalmer’s first Budget was handed down last night and, while we waited for news of a raft of tax changes that would keep accountants and lawyers gainfully employed for years to come, we were saddened to find there were very few, if any, tax measures announced. So, scrolling through the plethora of Budget summaries that we (and probably you) have received, here’s our take on a few items of interest: Keeping Shtum on the Stage 3 tax cuts No mention means they are probably here to stay, which is good news, but only for those who would like to pay less personal tax from 1 July 2024 than they currently are…   Parents Paid parental scheme changes:
    • From 1 July 2023, either parent will be able to claim.
    • Will be expanded by 2 additional weeks a year from 1 July 2024 until it reaches 26 weeks from 1 July 2026.
    • The maximum childcare subsidy rate for all families earning less than $530,000 (!) in household income will be increased.
    • The current higher childcare subsidy rates for families with multiple children aged 5 or under in child care will be maintained.
    • Can earn an additional $4,000 in 2022-23 before their pension is reduced (from $7,800 to $11,800).
    • Will be able to earn more (up to $90,000 for singles or $144,000 combined for couples) and still qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
  Supporting pensioners who want to work or work more hours, to do so.     Downsizer super contribution eligibility age to be lowered to 55 (from 60) – less house more super     Energy Grants for small and medium sized enterprises The Government will provide funding to support small to medium enterprises to fund energy efficient upgrades, supporting studies, planning, equipment and facility upgrades that will improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions or improve the management of power demand.  $62.6M allocated over 3 years (which is about one each of these for each of the 2.35 million small businesses)     More money to ATO to target taxpayer compliance and international tax
  • Increased penalty unit from $222 to $275 per unit from 1 January 2023
  • Personal Income tax Compliance Program (‘PITCP’!) to extended a further 2 years to 30 June 2025 (targetting over-claiming of deductions and incorrect reporting of income)
  • Shadow economy compliance program and ATO tax avoidance taskforce extended to 30 June 2026
  • Tax Practitioners Board to be given more money to investigate tax advisers
  Deductible Gift Recipients (DGRs) Autralians for Indigenours Constitutional Recognition will be specifically listed as a DGR for donations made from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025.     Struggling to find much else, but…   Australia has signed a new international tax treaty with Iceland, so here is a beautiful photo of Reykjavik for your viewing pleasure… Please feel free to contact us if you need anything or have any queries. With love and gratitude from the Halletts Team 😊

Parliament has passed legislation, with effect from 4 November, to increase the income thresholds for accessing the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, from $61,284 to $90,000 for singles and from $98,054 to $144,000 combined for couples.  If you are a couple separated by illness, respite car or prison, the bar (!) is higher, rising from $122,568 to $180,000.


The Card provides many benefits, including prescription medicines at concessional rates, the Medicare Safety Net Threshold available to Commonwealth concession card holders and bulk-billed GP appointments where available.  It can also entitle holders to other concessions from state and local government authorities, including (check your local guides), rebates on energy bills, rates, free or reduced health care including ambulance, discounts on public transport and eligibility to drive particularly slowly for miles in the right-hand land with no shame.


You must be 67 or over (only 3,502 sleeps to go)


Get yours now! https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/commonwealth-seniors-health-card

Often overlooked, and perhaps not thought too much after you first joined or set up your superannuation fund when you were just a pup, it may have been a while since you thought about whom you would like to receive your superannuation on your death.

Your choices are limited to your spouse, children, a person with whom you are an in an ‘interdependent’ relationship, someone who is financially dependent on you, or you can simply leave it all to your estate to be dealt with by the Executor under the terms of your will (which may also need a revisit).  If you do not nominate it to go to your estate, it does not form part of your estate and is dealt with separately.

If you have a Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN) then your superannuation death benefit must go to where or whom you have nominated and there is no discretion to pay it anywhere else.  A non-binding death benefit nomination provides some discretion to the trustee to consider your wishes more broadly and a range of potential beneficiaries (including your estate).  There are advantages and disadvantages surrounding any decision to make binding or non-binding nominations for where your super goes when you go and there are often situations where what was a good idea at the time fades in its ‘goodness’ as circumstances change.

It is for this reason we recommend reviewing your existing death nomination to make sure it still reflects your wishes and provides the requisite flexibility or rigidity as your circumstances may require.

The decision on where your super goes and whether to make it binding or non-binding should be reviewed regularly as part of your overall estate planning, to consider changing family circumstances, and changes in tax and estate law to re-test ‘the vibe’ of what happens on your demise.

If you are not sure what you have in place it might also be time to check in with your fund.

If you would like to chat about it, your friendly Halletts Team is always here to help.