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2015 Tax Changes Roundup: Top 15 Changes

2015 Tax Changes Roundup: Top 15 Changes

Author: Admin/Wednesday, July 15, 2015/Categories: Blog

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2014/15 was a busy year for the government in terms of modifications to various taxation laws. As we prepare your tax return this year we’ll be taking into account a number of changes that have been passed in recent times. Below we’ve summarised the top 15 here to ensure there are no surprises when you read your notice of assessment.


1.     Temporary budget repair levy: You may recall the temporary budget repair levy introduced as part of the 2014-15 Budget. The levy applied from 1 July 2014 and will appear on your 2015 notice of assessment, if your taxable income was over $180,000 (2% of each dollar over this amount).


2.     Mature age worker tax offset: This offset has been abolished and cannot be claimed this year.


3.     Net medical expenses tax offset: This offset is being phased out and is only applicable this year if you claimed it in both 2013 and 2014 (ie the past two tax returns). If you didn’t claim it in either of these years, the offset this year is limited to net medical expenses that relate to disability aids, attendant care or aged care. The exception to this rule is for out-of-pocket medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant care and aged care, which can be claimed until 30 June 2019.


4.     Medicare levy: The Medicare levy rate was increased from 1.5% to 2% for the 14-15 taxable year.


5.     Dependent (invalid and carer) tax offset: A simple change to this offset, which has simply undergone a name change – now known as the invalid and invalid carer tax offset.


6.     Dependent spouse tax offset: The government announced this offset would be abolished in the 2014-15 Budget.


7.     Small business concessions: The instant asset write-off threshold was reduced to $1,000 in January 2014, although this was increased to $20,000 for assets acquired and installed by 12 May 2015.


8.     Accelerated depreciation for primary producers: At the same time as the above change, the government announced that primary producers would receive concessions including being able to immediately deduct fencing and water facilities such as dams, tanks and bores, and depreciate the cost of fodder storage assets over three years.


9.     Research and development tax offset changes: For notional deductions exceeding $100 million, the rate of the R&D tax offset is reduced to the company tax rate (for the portion exceeding this amount).


10. SMSF supervisory levy: There were transitional arrangements in place that had allowed the 2013-14 SMSF supervisory levy payable in two instalments. These have now ended and only the 2015–16 levy amount of $259 needs to be paid on lodgement of the 2015 SMSF tax return.


11. Conservation tillage refundable tax offset: This short-lived offset – which was available where eligible equipment had been installed and ready for use between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2014 – has been repealed and cannot be claimed this year.


12. Managed investment trusts: On 12 May 2015 the government introduced a new tax system for Managed Investment Trusts (MITs), with a start date as early as 1 July 2015 if chosen. There are a number of changes to the way MITs are treated for tax purposes and there is detailed information on the ATO website. If this change is applicable to you we are happy to talk you through the changes


13. Commonwealth penalty units: The value of penalty units – which are the basis for fines under Commonwealth laws applicable to taxpayers – has been increased from $170 to $180


14. Your myGov inbox: For the first time, if you have a myGov account and have it linked to the ATO you will receive your notice of assessment, receipt and other mail to this inbox. Make sure you check!


15. SMSF tax rate changes: Finally; tax rates for SMSFs have changed due to the introduction of the temporary budget repair levy and increase to the Medicare levy, as outlined below. The tax rate for arm's-length income of complying SMSFs remains unchanged at 15%.


Rate for tax on:

Rate in 2013–14

Rate in 2014–15

No-TFN-quoted contributions of a complying SMSF

31.5% additional tax

34% additional tax

No-TFN-quoted contributions of a non-complying SMSF

1.5% additional tax

2% additional tax

Non-arm's-length income



Income of non-complying SMSFs



 Talk to bTa Vantage if you need help

Clearly a lot has changed and we don’t expect you to be on top of it all – that’s our job. However we hope this has provided you with a bit of warning should you see a change on your assessment this year. If you require assistance with any of these points or would like to discuss your tax return in detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



Disclaimer: This information is generic in nature and provided on a discretionary basis only. You must always seek professional advice regarding its applicability to your own circumstance.

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