By Alex Neighbour

Important changes coming in new financial year

Accountants

June 30 is fast approaching and that can be met by some with anticipation (the hope of a nice tax return) and some with trepidation. If you fall on the business owner side of the equation it is likely that tax time is one of the most stressful times of the year for you especially if you are in the building and construction industry where for the first time this year a Taxable Payments Annual Report will fall due.

It’s also a busy time for us preparing updates to business software for the upcoming financial year and ensuring the programs meet compliance changes required. Below we’ve given a brief summary of the major changes for the upcoming in the 2014/15 financial year, and things you should be aware of.

PAYG tax tables

The PAYG tax tables have again been updated this year to incorporate the indexation of the HELP repayments and also to deal with the deficit levy for high income earners that the Federal Government has introduced for the next three years. Reckon Accounts business accounting software and Reckon Payroll Premier payroll software is being updated to take into account these new rates. If you currently use one of these products, expect news on an update next week.

Medicare levy

Originally announced as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the increase to the Medicare Levy comes into effect this upcoming financial year changing the rate for most tax payers from 1.5% to 2%. This has in turn led to an increase in the PAYG taxation on salaries and termination and bonus payments. For example, the rates for an Employment Termination Payment are now 17%, 32% and 49% (inc. deficit levy) depending on age and levy of payment.

Previously these rates were 16.5%, 31.5% and 46.5%. Reckon Accounts business software and Reckon Payroll Premier software will be updated to take into account these new rates.

Super guarantee rate increase

Despite it originally being announced as delayed, the Super Guarantee will increase to 9.5% come 1 July, 2014. This means that eligible employees will need to be paid at least 9.5% of their wages for superannuation. Like last year, both Reckon Accounts business software and Reckon Payroll Premier payroll software have been updated to include an upgrade procedure for you to have employees automatically update to the new required rate.

If you have a pay close to the end of June then you should keep in mind the ATO’s ruling from last year on the rate of super that needs to be paid. It revolves around the reasonable expectation of when the employee will receive the payment into their bank account. If it is reasonably expected that the employee would receive the money before July 1st, then the rate is likely to be 9.25%. If not, 9.5%. However it is best to check with the ATO and/or your accountant before making a decision.

Paid Parental Leave

The government’s proposed paid parental leave scheme is still on the drawing board so the existing scheme remains for the upcoming financial year. However there has been a change to the rate of payments. Due to the change in the minimum wage in Australia to $640.90, that will become the Paid Parental Leave rate.

Superstream

Although it was originally to be made mandatory for 1 July 2014, the Federal Government recently announced changes to delay that compliance requirement until 1 July 2015. However you can choose to opt in anytime over the next 12 months.

Superstream is set to save you a great deal of time if you currently prepare clients superannuation payments manually – we predict days of manual work could soon be done in minutes. Reckon Payroll Premier will be updated for you submit payments via the new method from 1 July 2014, an update to Reckon Accounts business software will be made available later this year.

Read our factsheet on Reckon and Superstream here > 

We wish you all the best over the next week and over the tax time period. If you have questions about any changes and how they may have an impact on your Reckon software feel free to post your comments below.

Remember this blog is not intended to be advice specific to your circumstances and should not be relied upon as such. So speak to your own adviser if you have specific questions.

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