Mini-budget tightens fringe benefits, health rebates and more

Published on December 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

The Government’s mid-year budget update was handed down in late October 2012. The Treasurer revised down the expected Budget underlying cash surplus to $1.1 billion for 2012–2013 – down from $1.5 billion estimated in the May 2012 Budget.

The Government did not announce anticipated changes to claw-back superannuation tax concessions (much to the relief of many superannuation investors). However, the update did contain a host of small, but not insignificant, tax proposals.

In the mini-budget update the Government announced the removal of the concessional treatment for in-house fringe benefits that are accessed through a salary sacrifice arrangement. The proposal will apply from 22 October 2012 to salary sacrifice arrangements entered into on or after 22 October 2012, and from 1 April 2014 for salary sacrifice arrangements entered into prior to 22 October 2012.

Changes to the Private Health Insurance Rebate were also announced. From April 2014, the premium to which the rebate is applied will move in line with the CPI or commercial premium increase, whichever is lower.

The Government is also widening the circumstances for which monies in “lost” or “inactive” superannuation accounts are to be transferred to the ATO. However, the Government said that from 1 July 2013, interest at a rate equivalent to CPI inflation will be paid on lost superannuation monies reclaimed from the ATO.

TIP: These proposals, including many others, are subject to the formal enactment of legislation. Please contact our office for further information.

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