Means Testing Strategies

By investing up to $13,000 in a Funeral Bond, your clients may reduce the effect of the income and assets tests, and thereby increase their Centrelink entitlements (pension or allowance).

This strategy also provides peace of mind as it sets aside money to pay funeral expenses. The client knows that the family does not need to find money to pay for the funeral if funds are not immediately available from the estate.

Due to the limitations on this strategy it may be combined with other asset reduction strategies to provide a greater benefit. 

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ASIC delays notification requirements relating to FASEA requirements

ASIC has issued a legislative instrument that gives Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licensees a longer time period to comply with new reporting requirements relating to FASEA-administrated obligations. It is important to note that advisers and licensees will still need to meet the underlying legislative obligations, the dispensation merely refers to licensees’ requirement to report them to ASIC.

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Award Winners

We are delighted to announce that our Woodside Retirement Village has been judged the winner in the Seniors Living category of the prestigious Urban Development Institute of Australia’s (UDIA) SA Awards for Excellence. The award program recognises the most outstanding examples of built form and master-planned developments in South Australia. 

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Tax Offsets

Increase in allowable excess on private health insurance passes parliament.

A pair of bills that make amendments to private health insurance laws have passed both houses of parliament. The major change for advisers from these bills is an increase to the allowable excess on private health insurance hospital coverage before Medicare levy surcharge is payable. The allowable excesses will increase from $500 to $750 for individuals and $1000 to $1500 for couples and families from July 1, 2019.

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Running a small business?

Immediate asset write-off bill passes parliament.  The bill to extend the higher threshold for the immediate asset write-off for small businesses has passed both houses of parliament. The bill implements the government’s proposal from the 2018 federal Budget.  Small businesses will be able to immediately write-off assets that cost less than $20,000 if they are purchased and installed before June 30, 2019. From July 1, 2019, the threshold will return to $1000. 

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Company tax rates

The coalition government’s policies on company tax have been under the spotlight for over two years. A proposal was made in the 2016/17 federal Budget to lower the company tax rate to 25%, regardless of company size. Even in 2018, repeated efforts to implement this proposal have been amended or defeated by the Senate, leading to some confusion as to the state of the current rules. More news on this to follow.

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