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Act now — 3 business Budget measures

The October 2022 Federal Budget and what it means for business

Last month the Treasurer, Dr Jim Chalmers, handed down Labor’s first Federal Budget (an updated Budget for the 2022/23 financial year).

The good news is there were virtually no tax or superannuation changes that affect small or medium size businesses. This is very much welcomed.

The bad news is with interest rates and labour costs rising, as well as high inflation, businesses looking for assistance from the Government will be very disappointed by this interim Budget.

Based on our analysis, the big winners appear to be:

  • Families – Childcare subsidies extended, increased benefits with the Paid Parental Leave scheme

  • Pensioners – Deeming rates are frozen at current rates until 30 June 2024, new measures to incentivise pensioners to downsize their homes, and income levels lifted significantly for eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

  • Retirees – Downsizer superannuation contribution eligibility age is reduced from 60 to 55 years, starting from first quarter after this legislation is passed. This allows each eligible person to contribute up to $300,000 into their super at a much earlier age, benefiting from super’s low tax rates.

Our concerns for future years

This wasn’t the usual Federal Budget held in May where tax, super and other changes that affect business owners are announced. Instead, it was a Budget to wind back what the previous Government said they would do and to “fix” things and put in place new policies from the new Government.

Based on the negative economic expectations discussed by the Government after releasing this Budget, it appears highly likely that significant tax increases will occur in the 2023 or future Budgets.

Additionally, the ATO is clamping down further on business owners and ramping up audit activity in an attempt to raise tax revenue to support the new Government’s spending.

We need to start planning for this now.

1. New ATO Ruling affects “Professionals” and profit allocations

New ATO guidance changes the way that professional firm profits can be allocated (or split) among a family group from 1 July 2022 onwards. As a result, most professionals will end up paying larger amounts of tax from the 2023 financial year onwards.

A professional firm is one that offers customised, knowledge-based services to clients which include medicine (doctors, dentists, medical specialists, etc), lawyers, architects, engineers, accountants, financial advisors and consultants.

​Key change

How this will affect you

Professional Firm Profit Allocations

More tax to pay in 2023

​To stay in what the ATO calls the “Green Zone” and not be audited, the ATO expects a professional and their family group to pay tax at a combined average rate of 35% or higher.

  1. You need to plan for higher tax payments from 2023 onwards.

  2. The ATO requires you to document annually your assessment of your profit allocations along with PCG 2021/4.

2. Business cash flow may be “crunched”

With inflation running the highest it has been in decades, interest rates rising, labour costs increasing and power costs exploding, you need to closely monitor your profit margins and ensure your prices are set at a level that keeps your business profitable.

We believe it is ESSENTIAL for you to plan for the next 18 months by preparing a monthly Profit and Cash Flow Forecasts to prove to yourself that your business model (i.e. your way of running your business to succeed) is sustainable, or to alert you to the fact that you need to consider immediate changes to your pricing and operations to keep your cash flow positive.

Collins Hume can help you with this essential work.

3. Big changes affecting Family Trusts (also known as Discretionary Trusts)

We need to alert you to two key changes that will affect people using Family Trust in this 2023 financial year:

Key change

How this will affect you

S100A + Distributions to Family Members

The ATO has released draft Tax Rulings based on S100A of the Tax Act that restrict Trusts making distributions to adult children or family members unless the cash amount of the distribution is paid to the beneficiary.

More Tax to Pay in 2023

You may be restricted in the amounts your Family Trust can allocated to adult children or parents when compared with prior years.

Our Tax Planning meeting with you in May/June 2023 will be crucial to get this right and not expose you to any penalties from the ATO.

“Owies” Case + Consideration of Beneficiaries

In this recent Court case, the Trustee was removed, and an independent Trustee was appointed when 2 beneficiaries complained they weren’t considered.

More Work to Administer your Trusts in 2023

Prior to 30 June, accountants will have to assist all Trustees to:

  1. Reconsider the default beneficiaries in a Trust

  2. Consider the purpose recited in a Trust

  3. Consider the terms of a Trustee exercising their discretion.

This process will take time and will need to start taking place from the beginning of May 2023.

Next steps

For peace of mind, let’s meet for an initial review of how these key changes may affect you:

1. Professional Firm Profit Allocations

2. Cash Flow “Crunch”

3. Family Trusts – S100A and Distributions to Family Members

4. Family Trusts – “Owies” Case and Consideration of Beneficiaries

When are you available to meet with us? Make a time with us here and let’s get started.


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