Date posted: 09/05/2018 3 min read

Budget 2018 – main highlights

Major tax reform was missing again in this year’s Federal Budget, but there were wins in the areas of personal tax cuts, superannuation, tackling the black economy and more funding for the ATO on tax compliance.

In Brief

  • Prepare for lots of questions from clients about the new low and middle income tax offset.
  • Tax agents are on notice about personal tax returns.
  • The ATO will get more money for individual tax compliance activities.

The Federal Budget 2018 was handed down in Canberra on Tuesday 8 May. 2018. Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) Tax Leader Michael Croker and Superannuation Leader Tony Negline participated in this year’s Budget lock-up and prepared on-the-spot commentary. 

Here are CA ANZ expert insights and analysis on what accountants need to know about main announcements in the Budget.

The new low and middle income tax offset – prepare for lots of client questions.

Few clients understand tax offsets. But now many will be curious about what they can claim following the Federal Budget, writes CA ANZ Australia Tax Leader Michael Croker. 

It’s not a super-focused Budget but there’s still plenty to consider

Federal Budget 2018 announces a lot of small adjustments to the super system, such as triennial SMSF audits, plus other measures on infrastructure, the black economy and tax cuts, writes CA ANZ Superannuation Leader Tony Negline. 

Just increase the minimum employer super threshold

Low income super balance measures are welcomed but there are easier and cheaper solutions. 

Digital tax up for discussion, says Treasurer Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison is fond of Budget night surprises, but he couldn’t manage to pull a digital tax out of the hat on Tuesday night. He promised instead to release a discussion paper soon on whether Australia will embrace new policies to target the revenue streams of (mainly US) tech companies such as Google and Amazon. 

Tax agents on notice about personal tax returns

The ATO is to get more money for individual tax compliance activities and individuals and tax agents will be targeted. 

Feeling rich but unloved after Budget night?

The Federal Budget contains a seven-year plan to reduce the personal tax of Australia’s biggest contributors to Canberra’s coffers. It is interesting to see how Australia’s top personal tax rate compares internationally. 

Related: Tax reform still a hard Budget sell

Results of the new CA ANZ Ipsos poll show there is lukewarm support for key Australian Budget themes of lower company tax and cutting the Budget deficit 

Scott Morrison pic credit: Alex Ellinghausen /  Fairfax