How to take advantage of a big tax loophole to get the full $ 1,080 compensation on your return this year – but it’s bad news for low-income people
- Ten million Australians will benefit from a $ 1,080 extension of tax credit
- Compensation with last year’s budget was due to expire on June 30 and will now remain
- The tax cuts will affect all Australian workers who earn up to $ 126,000 per year
- People with a higher income can use a loophole to reduce taxable income and get full compensation
- This could mean that people with a lower income could lose money for the same reason
A compensatory loophole could ensure that high-income people get back $ 1,080 on their returns this year if the tax-deduction scheme is extended by 12 months as expected.
The 10 million Australian workers who earned up to $ 126,000 received tax cuts of up to $ 1,080 last year in the form of low and middle-income tax compensation to boost spending during the Covid-19 pandemic.
That tax cut was due to expire on June 30, but high government sources have said it could be extended by 12 months in May’s budget at a cost of $ 7 billion.
About 4.5 million income earners are entitled to the maximum compensation, but tax experts said those earning above the threshold could “ manipulate ” the system and receive the full $ 1,080 even if they chose to collect a salary. sacrifice to lower their taxable income.
Millions of Australians could potentially take advantage of a tax loophole to get the full $ 1,080 compensation as the tax cut is extended for another year (Sydney CBD workers pictured)
But at the lower end of the scale, salary sacrifice could have the opposite effect, shrinking compensation to $ 255 for those making less than $ 37,000 a year.
For those who earn $ 48,000 to $ 90,000, the compensation is increased to $ 1,080 and gradually disappears for those who earn up to $ 126,000.
Johnston Advisory accountant, Ben Johnston, said news.com.au higher-income workers can benefit from sacrificing their salary, which means taking money from your pre-tax salary to go towards benefits.
As a result, you take less income home and you therefore have to pay less income tax.
The accountant said that someone who was previously not entitled to the full $ 1,080 compensation could sacrifice their salary and lower their salary so they could receive the amount.
But Mr Johnston called the loophole a “major flaw” and said it was “unfair” for lower-income workers, such as nurses, who often use salary packs.
‘It is very common for such employees to provide their salary in a package. So it’s quite common for nurses to have to pay retirement contributions, credit card debt, or even marriage expenses out of their pre-tax paycheck, meaning their income goes from $ 60,000 to $ 30,000, ” he said.
The loophole could mean that those with a lower salary, such as health workers who use salary sacrifice, may not be able to claim the full compensation (stock image)
He said that in order for the government to take into account that workers must make wage sacrifices, the compensation should be based on an adjusted taxable income.
“The government is ignoring income tax adjustments when it comes to compensation, which inadvertently gives people with higher incomes more of it and potentially misses those with lower incomes,” he said.
Tax offsets for low and middle incomes
Those who make $ 37,000 or less: $ 255
Between $ 37,001 and $ 48,000: $ 255 plus 7.5 cents for every dollar over $ 37,000, up to a maximum of $ 1,080
Between $ 48,001 and $ 90,000: $ 1,080
Between $ 90,001 and $ 126,000: $ 1,080 minus 3 cents for every dollar of the amount above $ 90,000
Source: Australian Taxation Office
‘It’s a shame because the people who want to reach the tax compensation to benefit may be the ones who are missing out as they are in the clear income brackets where people need it most, and those with higher incomes can access it by able to manipulate their taxable income. ‘
Parliamentary staff charged with finalizing the details of the budget this week discussed the possible extension of the tax clearance, a source said. The Herald Sun.
An Australian making $ 80,000 a year took home $ 63,013 in 2020-2021, but that figure would drop to $ 61,933 in 2021-22 if the tax clearance is lifted.
This would add up to $ 62,808 by 2024-25 when another round of tax cuts begins, cutting the number of tax brackets from five to four for the first time since 1984.
Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg has shut his lips when asked about the fate of the tax clearing, saying only that the government was “working on a series of priorities.”
‘We are in the middle of a pandemic and are switching from emergency aid to more targeted aid. So we have a lot of pieces in the puzzle working, ”he said.
Mr Frydenberg will hand over the budget on 11 May.
Higher income employees can benefit from sacrificing their salary to lower their income and income tax to be entitled to the tax compensation (stock image of businessman)