Budget 2015: The "Have a Go" Budget

May 2015

The Government's 2015 Budget neatly encapsulates the three-word slogan style for which it has become renowned: jobs, opportunity and growth.

Most analysts are saying that it's the right type of budget for the current economic climate as the resources boom recedes and the traditional drivers such as construction have not yet fired as they need to in order to stimulate growth.

The 2015 Budget has also been widely perceived as an attempt to repair the political damage of the previous budget. 

If the 2014 Budget was perceived as a case of survival of the fittest, then 2015 is an attempt to reposition the Government as a friend for small business and families, with some suggesting that a visit from the Fairness Fairy prompted the Government to deliver few surprises in a "safe, dull budget."

With the focus shifting from deficits to stimulus, the Government is painting an optimistic future of growth, job creation and a fairer distribution of welfare, however there is some concern that there has been too much emphasis placed on the economy's ability to grow when unemployment remains high and wage growth has been slow.

So how does the budget affect you, your business and your family? Here are the key highlights:

Accelerated depreciation across multiple areas
  • Micro business - immediate deductibility from Budget night for any assets purchased and used or installed and ready to use by 30 June 2017 that cost less than $20,000
  • Start ups – immediate deductibility for professional expenses – cost of lawyers and accountants to get a business up and running
  • Farmers – immediate deductibility for fencing and water facilities
Tax cuts for small business (under $2m) from 1 July 2015
  • 1.5% company tax reduction 
  • 5% tax discount for unincorporated small businesses
GST on digital supplies
  • Similar GST treatment applied to supplies of digital products to Australian consumers – including consulting and professional services – regardless of whether they are supplied by a local or foreign supplier
FBT changes
  • Changes to salary sacrificed meal entertainment for not for profits
  • Expansion of FBT exemption for work related electronic devices provided by small businesses
  • Changes to work related deductions for car expenses – 12% of original value and one third of actual cost methods removed and simplification of cents per kilometre method
Accessing government benefits
  • Changes to how superannuants' income counted for social security
  • Child care shake up - Collapses three current eligibility tests with one means and activity test  
  • Asset test changes mean 91,000 pensioners no longer qualify and 235,000 will have pension reduced
  • 'Double dipping' Government and employer paid parental leave stopped
Multinationals targeted
  • Changes to Part IVA target around 30 global companies with revenue in excess of $1bn 

More from the 2015 Budget:

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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