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2018 Federal Budget: what bookkeepers need to know

The Federal Budget is usually full of information that would make even the most financial-data-loving expert, yawn and roll his eyes more than once! I’m an interested observer but really, truth be told, most of it just goes over my head. The only aspects of the budget that I’m interested in are those that affect my job and those that affect me personally. As this is a bookkeeping blog, I thought it would be good to look at those parts of the budget that bookkeepers should be across.

 

Budget 2018: What Bookkeepers Need to Know

If you’re anything like me, reading through the whole Federal Budget document to discover some relevant insights, is not something you’d put high on your list of priorities (or list of fun activities!). However, if you are a bookkeeper and/or BAS Agent, it is important to be across any issues or new laws that have come out of the current Budget and which may affect your work. Below is a list of items taken from the 2018 Budget which I believe  every bookkeeper needs to know about:

  • Taxable Payments Annual Reporting (TPAR): the TPAR applies to the building and construction industry as a whole. However, from 1 July 2018. it will also extend to both the cleaning and courier industries. Then, from 1 July 2019, it will also apply to those who are security providers and investigators, those who provide computer design and related services and those involved in road freight transport. The ATO is widening it’s net!
  • Non-Compliant Payments to Employees and Contractors: From 1 July 2019, any employer not withholding PAYG correctly from employees’ or contractors’ payments, will no longer be able to claim tax deductions for those payments.
  • Payments to Contractors without an ABN: From 1 July 2019, any payments made to contractors who do not have an ABN and from which the the business has not withheld the appropriate funds as per the “No ABN Withholding” requirements, will no longer be be tax deductible.
  • ATO Focus on Compliance: It is important to let your clients know that the ATO will be focusing their attention on the cash economy, Superannuation Guarantee payments (and non-payments), tax debts and subsequent debt collection. They mean business!
  • Tax Practitioners Board price rise: From 1 July 2018, both BAS and Tax Agent registration fees will increase by 35%. Ouch!
  • Instant Asset Write-Off: The $20K instant asset write-off has been extended. It was to end on 1st July 2018 but is now available until 30 June 2019.
  • PAYG Withholding Tax Tables: This Budget will see a reduction in income tax for low and middle income earners. This will begin with the new “Low and Middle Income Tax Offset” in the 2018-19 financial year. The top income threshold of the 32.5% bracket will also increase from $87K to $90K. This of course will mean that the Tax Tables for payroll will change – be on the look out for those for the first payroll after 1 July 2018.

This is certainly a very short list considering that the Federal Budget document is big enough to use as a good door stop! However, I believe these are the specific items from the Budget that are relevant to bookkeepers/BAS Agents. Certainly, there are further income tax related issues within the Budget document, however, I only wanted to look at those affecting bookkeepers. If you are a bookkeeper reading this, I hope you have found it useful.