Federal Budget 2023-24
Key Takeaways for Small Businesses and Individuals
The 2023 Federal Budget, announced on 9 May 2023, has placed a strong emphasis on addressing cost-of-living pressures and modernising Australia's economy. With relatively few tax and superannuation changes, the budget has generally been well-received by small businesses and individuals. However, the lack of mention regarding the previously announced Stage 3 Income Tax cuts, set to begin on 1 July 2024, has raised concerns about potential cancellations. Furthermore, the Government has not extended the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset, resulting in reduced tax refunds for eligible individuals in 2023. In this blog post, we'll explore the key takeaways from the 2023 Federal Budget and discuss their implications for small businesses and individuals in Australia.
Important Changes Affecting Individuals
JobSeeker Payment Increase
The 2023 Federal Budget includes a significant change to the JobSeeker payment, with the base rate set to increase by $40 per fortnight starting on 20 September 2023. This will provide much-needed financial relief to individuals relying on income support payments.
Expanded Eligibility for JobSeeker
In an effort to support older Australians in need of financial assistance, the Government has lowered the minimum age requirement for the higher JobSeeker payment rate from 60 to 55 years. This change will make the payment more accessible to a larger demographic.
Energy Price Relief
With the establishment of the $1.5 billion Energy Bill Relief Fund, the Government aims to alleviate the financial burden of energy costs on low-income households. As part of this initiative, 5 million households will receive a $500 rebate, providing significant relief from rising energy prices.
Single Parent Payment
Increase In another effort to support vulnerable families, the Government has expanded eligibility for the Single Parent welfare payment. Starting in September 2023, single parents with children aged up to 14 years will be able to claim the benefit, an increase from the previous age limit of 8 years.
PAYG Instalment Uplift
The 2023 Federal Budget has reduced the GDP uplift for PAYG instalments for the year 2024 from 12% to 6%. While this may initially seem like a positive change, it's important to consider the potential impact on PAYG instalment payments in 2024, as individuals may need to plan for higher payments in the future.
Increased Tax on Super Earnings
The 2023 Federal Budget has introduced an important change to the taxation of superannuation earnings. Beginning on 1 July 2025, an additional 15% tax will be applied to total superannuation balances that exceed $3 million. This means that for those with balances above this threshold, the tax rate on super earnings will increase from the current rate of 15% to 30%. This change aims to maintain the fairness and sustainability of the superannuation system, while potentially impacting high-balance account holders.
Unaddressed Concerns and Future Implications
Stage 3 Income Tax Cuts The 2023
Federal Budget did not mention the previously announced Stage 3 Income Tax cuts, which were planned to begin on 1 July 2024. This omission has raised concerns among taxpayers and experts, as it could potentially signal the Government's intention to cancel or modify these tax cuts in the future. The uncertainty surrounding the Stage 3 Income Tax cuts may impact individuals' financial planning and expectations for the coming years.
Low and Middle Income Tax Offset
Another notable change in the 2023 Budget is the lack of extension for the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset. This means that eligible individuals who received up to $1,500 in extra tax refunds last year will not see this benefit in 2023. The discontinuation of the tax offset may lead to reduced tax refunds for those in the low and middle-income brackets, potentially affecting their financial wellbeing and spending capacity.
In summary, the 2023 Federal Budget primarily focuses on cost-of-living relief and modernising the Australian economy, with several changes impacting individuals and small businesses. While there are some positive measures such as the increased JobSeeker payment and energy price relief, concerns have arisen due to the absence of Stage 3 Income Tax cuts and the discontinuation of the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset. It's essential for individuals and small business owners to stay informed about these changes and adapt their financial planning strategies accordingly. As the economic landscape evolves, it remains crucial to keep an eye on future government decisions and announcements to effectively navigate any potential challenges or opportunities that may arise.
To get the maximum benefits from the new measures announced in the 2023 Federal Budget, please contact us immediately to book in your 2023 Tax Planning meeting with us.