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Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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25 changes that commence 1 July 2018 for Queensland Businesses

For the Queensland business community numerous new legislative obligations and other initiatives commence Sunday 1 July 2018. Some of these will benefit you whilst others unfortunately will not.  QEAS has provided below a list of the more prominent changes that will occur.

Relevant benchmarks to contrast the changes against are forecasted (2018-19) CPI growth of 2 per cent, wage price growth of 2.5 per cent and Queensland economic growth of 3.0 per cent. (Source: Queensland Treasury)

Employment

  • The national minimum wage will increase by 3.5% to $719.20 per week or $18.93 per hour. The increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2018, for employees on the national minimum wage or a modern award. (F)
  • Employees in fast food and hospitality will have Sunday penalty rates reduced by 10% in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 bringing the final rate down to 125% and 150% respectively. (F)
  • Retail and pharmacy sector employees will have their take-home Sunday pay reduced by 15% each year until 2020-21. (F)
  • Payroll tax rebates for businesses employing apprentices and trainees will be extended and maintained at 50 per cent until 30 June 2019. (S)
  • The average WorkCover Queensland premium will be maintained at $1.20 per $100 of wages for the 2018-19 financial year. Small-to-medium size businesses employing apprentices will continue to receive a discount of 10 to 20 per cent and an early payment discount will increase from 3 per cent to 5 per cent. (S)

Taxation

  • Commencement of the ‘Personal Income Tax Plan’ with up to $530 for middle and lower income earners through a new tax offset and the top threshold of the 32.5 per cent tax bracket will be further increased to $90,000. (F)
  • Companies with a turnover between $25 million and $50 million will have their company tax rate reduced from 30% to 27.5%. Business with a turnover of less than $25 million already have a company tax rate of 27.5%. (F)
  • The goods and services tax (GST) will apply to retail sales of low value physical goods ($1000 or less) that have been imported to Australia and sold to consumers. (F)
  • Changes will affect companies accessing the R&D Tax Incentive with income years commencing on or after 1 July 2018. (F)
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will introduce the Single Touch Payroll (STP) for businesses employing 20 or more employees with them needing to report to the ATO each time they pay their employees. The information to be sent to the ATO includes employees' salaries and wages, allowances, deductions (for example, workplace giving) and other payments, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation. (F)
  • The Government has streamlined GST reporting for small businesses by reducing the number of BAS GST questions to only three and scrapping the requirement for a 20 question worksheet. (F)
  • Small businesses will continue to be eligible for the instant asset write off initiative and will able to deduct purchases of eligible assets costing less than $20,000 first used or installed ready for use by 30 June 2019. (F)
  • Interstate online betting companies will face a 15 per cent wagering tax. (S)
  • Taxes for overseas property buyers will rise from 3 per cent to 7 per cent. (S)
  • Duty on cars worth more than $100,000 will rise 2 per cent. (S)
  • A 0.5 per cent rise in land tax on properties or property holdings worth more than $10 million. (S)

 
Cost of Living

  • Electricity bills in regional Queensland will decrease by 1.3 per cent for a typical customer on the main residential tariff (tariff 11) and 3.4 per cent for a typical customer on the main small business tariff (tariff 20). Origin Energy in SEQ where full retail competition exists have committed to reducing residential and small business electricity bills by 1.8 per cent. (S)
  • All State Government fees and charges including for licenses and motor vehicle registration will rise by 3.5 per cent. (S)
  • Council rates across Queensland will rise. Councils that have announced their increase for 2018-19 include: Brisbane (2.5%), Gold Coast (1.7%), Sunshine Coast (3.5%), Moreton Bay (2.9%), Ipswich (3.0%), Cairns (1.7%). (L)
  • The utility component of the water and sewerage bill will increase for example by 2.0 per cent in Greater Brisbane (Queensland Urban Utilities). Sunshine Coast and Noosa will increase by 0.6 per cent and Moreton Bay will reduce by 0.5 per cent (Unity Water). (L)  
  • The State Government’s bulk water component of a water and sewerage bill in SEQ council areas will reach a common price of $3.12 per kilolitre by 1 July 2020. Residents who have not yet reached the common price, will see the bulk water component of their total water bill increase by approximately 6 per cent per for Sunshine Coast and Noosa residents; 7.3 per cent for Redland residents; and 3.5 per cent for all other SEQ councils each year until they reach that price. (L)


Other

  • Businesses growing, producing, manufacturing, distributing, importing or selling food in retail stores in Australia will need to comply with the new Country of Origin Labelling laws. (F)
  • The Queensland plastic bag ban will commence on 1 July. No more lightweight plastic shopping bags for in-store or online customers. (S)
  • Individuals seeking to purchase their first home will be able to access specific voluntary contributions made in to superannuation after 1 July 2017. The voluntary contributions will be accessible by individuals from 1 July 2018.  Limits apply to the amount that individuals can contribute under this measure to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total. (F)
  • The Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant will be retained but will decrease from $20,000 to $15,000 for contracts on newly constructed homes. (S)


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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