Tax Changes 2013

What’s New For 2012-13?

A listing of the more significant personal income tax changes for the tax year ending 30 June 2013

October 2012 – MYEFO

The Treasurer’s Mid-Year Economic Forecast statement (MYEFO 2012-13) announced a number of tax and budget changes, primarily aimed at preserving the (then) projected surplus in the face of declining projected revenues. Most measures commence on or after 1 July 2013, and so won’t significantly affect the 2012-13 tax position for individuals. For detailed info and links see MYEFO 2012-13

Lower Personal Tax..

From 1 July 2012 the first 2 marginal tax rates will increase from 15% to 19% and from 30% to 32.5%, respectively; but the biggest adjustment comes from tripling of the tax-free threshold from $6,000 to $18,200. This is part of the tax reductions promised as part of the carbon tax package. You can see a simple [popup url=”/2012-to-2013-tax-rates” width=”950″ height=”500″]comparison of the tax scales for 2012 to 2013 here.[/popup]

Low Income Tax Offset (LITO) Reduced..

The LITO has been reduced to $445 as a full entitlement, with a withdrawal rate of 1.5 cents per dollar of income over $37,000. With LITO, the effective tax-free threshold is $20,542. For further information, see Low Income Tax Offset

Flood Levy..

Just a reminder, it’s gone. The Flood Levy was a 1-year only measure for the 2011-12 tax year.

Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA)..

Tighter rules commence 1 October 2012. The tax concession only to be available to employees who maintain a home for their own use in Australia, that they live away from for work, and for a maximum period of 12 months for an employee at each work location. Read more here.. LAFHA

New “SAPTO” to replace Seniors and Pensioners offsets..

The pensioner tax offset is merged with the senior Australians tax offset
(SATO), creating a new seniors and pensioners tax offset (SAPTO). From 1 July 2012, the pensioner tax offset is no longer be available and all individuals previously eligible for the pensioner tax offset are eligible for the SATO, which becomes SAPTO. Medicare exemption thresholds will also be consolidated at SATO levels.

Mature Age Worker Offset (MAWTO) is phasing out..

The mature age worker tax offset (MAWTO) ceases from 1 July 2012 for taxpayers born after 30 June 1957. Taxpayers who were at least 55 years in 2011-12 continue to be eligible.

Non-resident tax rates change from 1 July 2012..

From 1 July 2012, the first 2 marginal tax rate thresholds are merged into a
single threshold, which aligns with the second marginal tax rate for residents
(32.5%) and applies to all taxable income below $80,000. The 2012-13 non resident tax scale is here..

School Kids Bonus..

Replaces the previous Education Tax Refund and commences on 1 January 2013 administered by the Department of Human Services. For further information, see School Kids Bonus

ETP offset for “golden handshakes” removed above $180,000..

Before 1 July 2012, the ETP tax offset limits the tax on ETPs to 15% for those over preservation age and 30% for those under preservation age, up to an indexed cap. From 1 July 2012, only that part of a “golden handshake” below total income of $180,000 will receive the ETP tax offset. Amounts above the cap are taxed at marginal rates. There are some exceptions and concessions. For more information, see ETP Offsets

Further Dependent Spouse Offset Restriction..

The availability of the dependant spouse offset is further restricted to dependent spouses born before 1 July 1952, with effect from the 2012-13 tax year. (In 2011-12 the phase-out of the spouse offset was introduced for spouses born before 1 July 1971). For more information, see Dependent Spouse Offset  and the new legislation Explanatory Memorandum.

Medicare levy thresholds..

Low income thresholds for singles up from $19,404 to $20,542
(Low income threshold for families stays on $32,743)
The Medicare levy family income thresholds for seniors/SATO merged to SAPTO becomes $32,279 or $46,000 for couples. For more information, see Medicare Levy 2012-13

Medicare Levy Surcharge increase for higher income earners..

The Medicare Levy Surcharge of from 1% to 1.5% (previously just 1%) increasing in bands of higher incomes from 1 July 2012. For more information, see Medicare Levy Surcharge..

Dependant offsets to be consolidated..

For 2012-13 a number of offsets are simplified by merger as recommended by the 2010 Henry Tax System review. The offsets to be combined are:

  • Invalid spouse and carer spouse offsets
  • Housekeeper (with or without child) offset
  • Child-housekeeper (with or without child) offset
  • Invalid relative offset
  • Parent/parent-in-law offset.

The new offset is based on the highest previous, resulting in no loss of benefit. Taxpayers who could previously claim more than one offset for multiple dependants genuinely unable to work will still be able to.

Changes to Family Tax Benefit Part A..

  • From 1 January 2013, FTB Part A will be limited to young people under 18 years or for secondary school students, the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19. Individuals no longer eligible for FTB Part A may be eligible for the Youth Allowance.
  • Update May 6 2013: Due to the declining budget position, planned increases in the Family Tax Benefit are being [popup url=”″ width=”950″ height=”500″]dumped.[/popup]
  • Absences from Australia from 1 January 2013: The FTB Part A payments above the base rate will be reduced to the base rate after 6 weeks of temporary absence from Australia (down from 13 weeks). In addition, the current portability reset period will be reduced to 6 weeks (from 13 weeks).

For further information, see Family Tax Benefit A

Medical expenses offset means test..

The offset threshold for higher income earners is to be increased to $5,000 (indexed annually thereafter) and the rate of offset reduced to 10%. For further information, see Medical Expenses Tax Offset

Seasonal labour mobility program – non-residents flat rate 15% tax

Non-resident individuals participating in the Seasonal Labour Mobility Program will be taxed a flat rate of 15% from 1 July 2012. The 15% rate will be administered as a final withholding tax, with therefore no requirement to lodge a tax return. This replaces the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme, which ended on 30 June 2012. In addition, participants in the Program will no longer be required to pay the Medicare levy.

Company tax loss carry-back scheme..

Under this proposal, a one year loss carry-back is to apply from 2012-13, where tax losses incurred in that year can be carried back and offset against tax paid in 2011-12.

For 2013-14 and later income years, tax losses can be carried back and offset against tax paid up to two years earlier.

Losses of up to $1 million can be carried back for each year, providing a cash benefit of up to $300,000 (based on the company tax rate of 30%)

It will be only be available for revenue losses of companies and entities that are taxed like companies and limited to the franking account balance.

There’s more information on this measure here: Company Tax

Increase in MIT withholding rate..

From 1 July 2012 managed investment trust (MIT) final withholding tax rate is 15% (up from 7.5%). The legislation was passed and came into effect in June 2012.

Removal of CGT discount for non-residents..

The Government will remove the 50% CGT discount for non-residents on capital gains accrued after 7.30pm (AEST) on 8 May 2012. The CGT discount will remain available for capital gains that accrued prior to this time where non-residents choose to obtain a market valuation of assets as at 8 May 2012. For more information, see CGT and Non-residents

Superannuation contributions tax to double to 30% for incomes above $300,000..

From 1 July 2012, individuals with income greater than $300,000 will have the contributions tax on concessional super contributions double from 15% to 30%. For more information, see  Superannuation Contributions Tax

Additional Government Low Income Superannuation Contribution (“LISC”)

This measure was announced in the 2010-11 budget and has been law since March 2012. It first applies from 1 July 2012. The benefit pays an additional amount, up to $500 into the complying super fund of a low income member. Further info, see LISC superannuation

Higher concessional contributions cap for over 50s deferred to 1 July 2014..

The proposed higher concessional contributions cap for individuals aged 50 and over with superannuation balances below $500,000 is to be deferred from 1 July 2012 to 1 July 2014. Accordingly, all taxpayers, regardless of age, will be subject to a concessional contributions cap of $25,000 for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 income years.
In 2014-15, the general cap is expected to increase to $30,000 through indexation, and the higher cap would then commence at $55,000 for eligible taxpayers aged 50 and over. For more information, see Super Contributions Caps

Absence overseas – Government payments period reduced..

From 1 January 2013, the period of time that people who travel overseas will continue to be paid government payments and benefits will be reduced from 13 to 6 weeks for most income support and family payment recipients.

Beneficiaries who are outside Australia on the date of implementation will retain the 13 week portability of their payments until they return to Australia.

The Age Pension will be excluded as it can be paid overseas indefinitely, once certain criteria are met.

This measure affects the following payments and benefits: Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment, Carer Payment, Carer Allowance, Widow B Pension, Wife pension, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, Youth Allowance (student), Austudy, Mobility Allowance, Telephone Allowance, Pension Supplement, Utilities Allowance, Seniors Supplement, Clean Energy Supplement, Low Income Supplement, Concession Cards, Family Assistance, and Paid Parental Leave.


A new Commissioner’s Effective Life schedule has been released, and is applicable from 1 July 2012. More information:  ATO depreciation rates

Small Business Entity write off limit increased to $6,500 including $5,000 for motor vehicles from 1 July 2012, and the general pool rates simplified at more generous percentages. For further information, see ATO Depreciation – Small Business concessions

This page was last edited on 16 May 2013