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Thursday, July 25, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Stay sharp, the new financial year brings challenges

Just like most every other year, there are many changes in the superannuation area from July 1, says chartered accountant GAIL FREEMAN.

Of interest to employers and employees alike is that from July 1 the superannuation guarantee increases to 11.5 per cent.

Gail Freeman of Gail Freeman & Co.

There will be one further increase on July 1 2025 to 12 per cent, which will be the last of the legislated obligatory increases.

If you make maximum contributions, the maximum amount you can contribute from July 1 is $30,000. This is an increase of $2500.

In addition, if you are able to make carry forward concessional contributions the first year has now dropped off and you can only make contributions going back five years.

So this is an opportunity if your superannuation balance is less than $500,000 on July 1 to use up some of your carry forward concessional contributions because once your balance exceeds $500,000 you will not be able to use up your balance.

In addition to being able to make a $30,000 tax deductible (concessional) contribution, you can also make a non-concessional contribution of $120,000. It is also possible to bring forward three years so you can actually make a maximum contribution of $360,000, this is also effective from July 1, 2024.

However, if you have contributed the maximum you can’t make any other contributions for three years, so you need to be focused if you decide to put in the maximum amount.

Have you checked whether you are eligible to get a Centrelink pension? I have seen a few people who are eligible for some Centrelink, but have not applied.

It is a good idea to get some professional advice just in case it’s something you can apply for. In addition, even if you aren’t eligible for any Centrelink pension you still may be eligible for a senior’s healthcare card. The Centrelink pension test has both an income and an assets test whereas the healthcare card is only based on income. So it is possible to qualify for a health-care card and not be eligible for a Centrelink pension.

Also a reminder to employers to make sure to pay staff superannuation on time. Not only do you have to pay an extra charge if your super is paid late, but the payments you make are not tax-deductible. Also a reminder that from July 1 2026 you will have to pay your staff superannuation when paying staff wages.

It’s a good idea to plan for that now so that it will not be too much of an impost on your cash flow when it becomes law.

If your superannuation balance is approaching $3 million or is over $3 million, it is important to remember that from July 1 2025 there will be an extra tax on earnings where superannuation balances exceed $3 million.

If this sounds like it might impact you, I suggest you get professional advice and guidance now. The legislation is restrictive and while you have to pay the 30 per cent tax rate on earnings if you make a loss or go below $3 million there is not an offsetting deduction. So it will take careful planning in the future.

And don’t forget you may be eligible to make a downsizer contribution to super if you sell your home. You can also make non-concessional contributions up to the age of 75 without having to pass the work test whereas you have to satisfy the work test if you are making concessional contributions up to age 75.

There are always plenty of changes in the superannuation area. Please make sure you are up-to-date and if you are managing a self-managed fund (SMSF) make sure that you are doing everything correctly as these funds have to be audited every year.

If you need any advice on superannuation, retirement or your SMSF contact the expert team at Gail Freeman & Co on 6295 2844, email info@gailfreeman.com.au or visit gailfreeman.com.au

Disclaimer
This column contains general advice, please do not rely on it. If you require specific advice on this topic please contact Gail Freeman or your professional adviser. Authorised Representative of Lifespan Financial Planning Pty Ltd AFS Lic No. 229892.

 

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