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21 changes in Queensland commencing 1 July 2017

 The one thing that never changes is change itself and the new financial year beginning this Saturday has numerous fresh arrangements coming into operation.
 
This year is unique in that many legislative changes commence at the same time as the usual suspects that occur every year. There are swings and roundabouts with some that will benefit us and others that will no doubt make our eyes roll.  Each of these changes is applied in isolation with little consideration to the overall impact that the combined outcome has on business or the community.  There is never whole of Government strategic oversight instead there are individual decisions made on the basis of political calculations or other claimed justifications.
 
Life is becoming increasingly complex and we have a continuing responsibility to keep track of new obligations foisted upon us by the three tiers of Government.  Some interesting benchmarks to contrast the changes against are forecasted (2017-18) CPI growth of 2%, wage price index growth of 2.25% and Queensland economic growth of 2.75%. (Source: Queensland Treasury)
 
1 July often represents a 'burdensome' day for the community and here is a brief list of some of the more prominent changes that will occur:
 
Employment


Cost of Living

  • Commencement of the Major Bank Levy on NAB, ANZ, CBA, Westpac and Macquarie and anticipated flow on increases in home and commercial lending rates. (F)
  • Electricity bills in Regional Queensland will rise by 3.3% for households and 4.1% for small businesses (these increases are half of those originally proposed as a result of State Government funding the removal of the Solar Bonus Scheme from electricity prices for three years and directing Energy Queensland to remove costs from network charges across Queensland). (S)
  • All State Government fees and charges (including for licenses and motor vehicle registration will rise by 3.5%. (S)
  • Council rates across Queensland will rise. Brisbane (2.4%), Gold Coast (1.8%), Sunshine Coast (2.3%), Logan (1.7%), Moreton Bay (3.99%), Western Downs (2.9%), Bundaberg (3.45%), Redlands (2.73%), Cairns (1.75%), Townsville (1.48%), Ipswich (2.95%). (L)
  • Water and sewerage charges will increase for example by 2.3% in Greater Brisbane (Queensland Urban Utilities) and 3% in SEQ (Unity Water). (L) 

Tax

  • The corporate tax rate reduced from 30.0% to 27.5% for businesses with a turnover between $10 million and $25 million. Business with a turnover of less than $10 million already have a company tax rate of 27.5%. (F)
  • Business with a turnover between $2 million and $10 million will now be eligible for the instant asset write off initiative and will able to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets costing less than $20,000 first used or installed ready for use by 30 June 2018.  Business with a turnover less than $2 million are already eligible for the accelerated depreciation initiative. (F)
  • A 1.5% surcharge will be introduced for absentee payers of land tax, applying to land holdings of $350,000 or higher in addition to other land tax payable (does not apply to Queensland residents but anticipated to impact on property investment). (S)
  • Foreign tax residents will be subject to an increased CGT withholding rate of 12.5% (up from 10%) and a reduced CGT withholding threshold of $750,000 (down from $2 million). (F)
  • ATO will disallow deductions for travel expenses relating to inspecting, maintaining, or collecting rent for a residential rental property. (F)
  • ATO will tighten the accessibility for 
small businesses to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) concessions by limiting the assets eligible for the concessions. Eligibility for the concessions will be denied for assets unrelated to small business. (F)
  • The Government will align the GST treatment of digital currency (such as Bitcoin) with money. (F)
     

Other

Finally my personal favourite - outgoing passenger cards in Australia will be abolished! (F)


F = Federal Government and applies across Australia
 S = State Government and applies across Queensland
 L = Local Government and applies across council area

The above is a general summary only and accordingly please do not hesitate to contact me for specific details or assistance on these or any other matter.

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