I think I may have been holding my breath tonight as the treasurer began his speech – how ridiculous am I? Clearly I was excited about tonight’s budget; last year the report seemed skewed by the looming election date and I was genuinely looking forward to hearing about the general financial plan for our country.
While more detail will be released over the coming days, the main points that stood out were:
* The ability to contribute pre-tax $$ for the purpose of saving for a first home. This will occur through a deposit to the superannuation account. The concept is that a withdrawal will be allowed from the fund from July 2018 and tax benefits will be applied to reduce the negative consequences on the withdrawal.
* Deductions for travel to a residential rental property to inspect, maintain or collect rent will be removed from July 2017.
* The CGT discount will be increased from 50% to 60% for AU residents investing in affordable residential housing from January 2018.
* Foreign and temporary residents will be denied access to the CGT main residence exemption. Further levys will also apply to foreign residents regarding real property.
* The current $20,000 write off for small business entities will be extended until June 2018.
* Purchasers of new residential property or subdivisions will be required to pay the GST directly to the ATO from July 2018.
* The Medicare levy will increase from 2.0% to 2.5% from July 2019.
* A new set of HELP repayment thresholds will be introduced from July 2018.
* Businesses that employ foreign workers on certain skilled visas will be required to pay a levy from March 2018.
And so ends budget night for another year……it’s definitely a mixed bag; particularly for non residents in my opinion.