Before you complete your tax return for 2019, there are some changes you should be aware of in case they affect you.
Capital gains tax changes for foreign investors
If you’re a foreign resident for tax purposes, new rules proposed in the 2017–18 Budget take effect from 9 May 2017. You will no longer be able to claim the CGT main residence exemption when you sell property in Australia unless certain circumstances apply.
If you already held property on 9 May 2017, you will be able to claim the CGT main residence exemption if the CGT event (disposal) of the property occurred on or before 30 June 2020.
For property acquired at or after 9 May 2017, you will no longer be able to claim the CGT main residence exemption from that date. That is unless certain life events occur within a continuous period of six years of you becoming a foreign resident for tax purposes.
Changes to payment summaries
You may not receive a payment summary from your employer this year.
Many employers are now required to report their employees’ income, tax and super information directly to us each payday, so you can find all your information in one place when you need it.
If you use a registered tax agent to prepare your income tax return, you don’t need to do anything. We provide agents with a direct link to this information so they are fully equipped to lodge your tax return as usual.
If you lodge your own tax return, you can access your payment summary information or income statement at any time through ATO online services in myGov. If you don’t have a myGov account, creating one is easy.
If you can’t access your information through myGov, you can contact us for a copy of your income statement.
Private health insurance statement
From 1 July 2019, health insurers are no longer required to send their members a private health insurance statement. It is optional for them to send you this information.
If you lodge your tax return online with myTax or a registered tax agent, your health insurance tax information should be pre-filled in your tax return by 20 July. We pre-fill this information to save time and help you to get your tax return right.
Some health funds send us their member information before 20 July. You can check if we have received your information from your health fund by starting your tax return or checking the availability at Health fund data.
If your health fund details are not pre-filled by 20 July or you lodge a paper tax return, you may need to contact your health insurer to get a private health insurance statement so you can complete your income tax return. If you request a statement, your fund is required to send it to you within 14 days.
First home super saver scheme
There have been recent law changes that affect the First home super saver (FHSS) scheme.
The changes come into effect from 1 July 2019, but apply from 1 July 2018 to valid FHSS release requests and contracts.
Specific tax time information
FHSS payment summaries
If you have had money released by your super fund, you will receive a payment summary at the end of the financial year. It will show tax withheld and your assessable FHSS released amount.
We will only issue payment summaries once all of the FHSS amounts have been paid to you. This could be several weeks after the end of the financial year. We will write to you if you will receive your payment summary after 14 July.
You need to include the FHSS assessable released amount in your tax return for the financial year you request the release, not the year the FHSS amount was received.
The tax payable on this assessable amount will have received the FHSS 30% tax offset.
Prefill – where the FHSS amounts need to be shown
If you lodge your tax return online with myTax or a registered tax agent, your FHSS payment amount and any tax withheld will be pre-filled in your tax return. If these amounts are not pre-filled or you lodge your tax return on paper, you can use the payment summary issued by us to manually enter the required information.
FHSS tax assessment notices and methods of payment
If you are liable to pay FHSS tax, you will be sent an FHSS tax assessment that will state the reason you need to pay FHSS tax.
You are able to pay your FHSS tax assessment by the usual payment methods, such as BPAY, credit card or by entering into a payment plan.
Personal Income Tax Plan
The government’s Personal Income Tax Plan, as announced in the 2018–19 Budget, has been passed by parliament
The changes introduced taking effect from the 2018–19 income year include:
- an increase to the top threshold for the 32.5% bracket from $87,000 to $90,000
- delivering a new low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) for those who are eligible
- you don’t have to do anything to receive this offset – when you lodge your income tax return, it will be calculated and applied on your income tax assessment
- it won’t reduce the amount of tax withheld from your pay
- if you are eligible for the existing low income tax offset, you will also receive this new LMITO.
There has been a further expansion to the Personal Income Tax Plan, announced in the 2019–20 Budget and it is now law. This means the LMITO has increased from a maximum amount of $530 to $1,080 per year, and the base amount has increased from $200 to $255.
The amount of the offset you may be entitled to and the amount of any refund will differ for everyone depending on your individual circumstances, such as your income level and how much tax you have paid throughout the year.
When lodging your tax return, there’s nothing you need to do. The new offset amounts will be factored in to your assessment even if you have already lodged your return.