General tax issues
The information on this page reflects the legislation as it currently stands. Please note, SCOA is not licensed to give financial advice. The information on this page is provided purely as information to our members.
Where information has been provided on the basis of the 2017/18 tax year that means the government has not yet announced the figures for the 2018/19 tax year.
2018/19 Personal Income Tax Rates
|Taxable income||Tax payable|
|$0 – $18,200||Nil|
|$18,201 – $37,000||Nil + 19cents for each $1 over $18,200|
|$37,001 – $90,000||$3,572 + 32.5cents for each $1 over $37,000|
|$90,001 – $180,000||$20,797 + 37 cents for each $1 over $90,000|
|$180,001 +||$54,097 + 45cents for each $1 over 180,000|
Medicare Levy for 2017/18
The Medicare Levy is currently 2%, which includes a 0.5% component to cover costs associated with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There is no ceiling on the amount of levy payable by individual taxpayers.
For 2017/18, the Medicare Levy low-income threshold for families is $37,089, and the additional amount of threshold for each dependent child or student is $3,406. The full levy is payable when income exceeds $46,361.
The concessional Medicare Levy low-income threshold for individuals is presently $21,980; the full levy is payable when income exceeds $27,475.
The Medicare Levy low-income threshold for single Senior Australians (applies to those eligible for the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO)) is $34,758; the full levy is payable at the full rate of 2% when an individual’s taxable income exceeds $43,447.
The Medicare Levy low-income threshold for family Senior Australians (applies to those eligible for the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO)) is $48,385; the full levy is payable at the full rate of 2% when an individual’s taxable income exceeds $60,481.
Low Income Tax Offset (LITO) for 2018/19
|LITO||From 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019|
|Lower withdrawal limit||$37,000|
|Upper withdrawal limit||$66,667|
|Withdrawal rate per $||1.5%|
An effect of the full low income rebate is no tax is payable on the 2018/19 taxable income of $20,542.
Low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO)
The government introduced a low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO), which replaced the low income superannuation contribution (LISC) policy that was repealed from 1 July 2017.
LISTO will provide continued support for low-income earners and ensure that, generally, they do not pay more tax on their super contributions than on their take-home pay.
Effective 1 July 2017, eligible individuals with an adjusted taxable income up to $37,000 will receive a LISTO payment to their super fund. The LISTO payment will be equal to 15% of their total concessional (pre-tax) super contributions for an income year, capped at $500.
The LISTO is calculated on 15% of the concessional (before tax) super contributions you or your employer pays into your super fund. The maximum payment you can receive for a financial year is $500, and the minimum is $10. If you’re eligible for less than $10, we will round this up to $10.
If you do not lodge a tax return, we will work out your eligibility using contributions information provided by your super fund, in addition to other income information we collect.
If you lodge a tax return, your LISTO will be paid directly to your super fund account when we have processed your income tax return and received information from your super fund about your super contributions.
As the LISTO is paid directly into your super fund, you just need to make sure your super fund has your TFN. Without your TFN, your super fund cannot accept a LISTO payment.
If you’ve reached your ‘preservation age’ and are retired, you can apply to have your LISTO paid directly to you.
To request a direct payment, you can use myGov to lodge a request online, or complete an Application for direct payment of a government super contribution (NAT 10759).
Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO) for 2017/18
This tax offset is available to both pensioners and self funded retirees as long as they meet certain criteria. The “rebate income” used to assess eligibility for this offset comprises taxable income, reportable superannuation contributions, total net investment loss and adjusted fringe benefits. The SAPTO for the 2018/19 tax year has yet to be announced.
The maximum tax offset is $2,230 and is reduced by 12.5 cents per dollar above the “rebate income” of $32,279 and cutting out when the individual’s income reaches $50,119.
For each partner of a couple, the maximum offset is $1,602 and is reduced 12.5 cents per dollar above the “rebate income” of $28,974; it cuts out when the partner’s income reaches $41,790.
Illness separated couple
For each partner of a couple separated by illness, the maximum offset is $2,040 and is reduced 12.5 cents per dollar above the “rebate income” of $31,279; it cuts out when the partner’s income reaches $47,599.
The government abolished the former Dependent Spouse Tax Offset (DSTO) for all taxpayers from 1 July 2014.
Eligibility for the Dependent (Invalid and Carer) Tax Offset (DICTO) from 1 July 2014 applies to taxpayers with a dependent who is genuinely unable to work due to a care obligation or a disability, who may be eligible for DICTO.
The test for satisfying the criteria for DICTO is very onerous; a dependent spouse with a disability must generally be receiving either a Social Security or Veterans’ Affairs pension or benefit, and the taxpayer must be receiving the Carer Payment. The care receiver must have a disability that requires constant care, and the carer must apply to Centrelink to be assessed according to the “Adult Disability Assessment Tool” (ADAT). To make the assessment, Centrelink has two forms, one for the carer and one for the doctor. The Carer Payment is means tested, against the same test used for the Age Pension.
If you need more information, see the fact sheet about Carer Payment and Carer Allowance at www.welfarerights.org.au.