health insurance

Income thresholds are changing for the private health insurance rebate

From 1 July, the income thresholds for private health insurance rebate purposes will increase.

Income thresholds

  • The private health insurance rebate is income tested
  • This means that if your income is higher than the relevant income threshold, you may not be eligible to receive a rebate
  • Your rebate entitlement depends on your family status on 30 June
  • Different thresholds apply depending on whether you have a single income or a family income.

When you lodge your tax return, we calculate your income for surcharge purposes and determine your rebate entitlement.

Your entitlement is also based on the age of the oldest person covered by the policy.

The income thresholds used to calculate the Medicare levy surcharge and private health insurance rebate have increased from 1 July 2024.

2024–25 Income thresholds
Family statusBase tierTier 1Tier 2Tier 3
Single$97,000 or less$97,001 – $113,000$113,001 – $151,000$151,001 or more
Family$194,000 or less$194,001 – $226,000$226,001 – $302,000$302,001 or more

Note: The family income threshold is increased by $1,500 for each Medicare levy surcharge dependent child after the first child

Family status on 30 June

Your family status on the last day of the income year (30 June) determines whether the single or family income thresholds apply to you. The information below provides guidance to when single or family thresholds apply.

Depending on your situation, your income may be tested against either the Single income thresholds or Family income thresholds.

Single income thresholds

If you are single on the last day of the income year and have no dependents, you are income tested against the single income thresholds.

This applies even if you had a spouse for the majority of the year, as long as you were single on the last day (30 June) of the income year.

If you separated from your spouse during the financial year and remain single with no dependents on 30 June, your rebate entitlement is calculated only on your own income.

Your entitlement to a private health insurance rebate is based on your income for surcharge purposes.

If you were single on 30 June, but had dependent children, you are considered a family and will be income tested using the family income thresholds.

Family income thresholds

If you had a spouse on the last day of the income year (30 June), your income will be tested against the family income thresholds. Your entitlement to a private health insurance rebate is assessed on your and your spouse’s combined income for surcharge purposes.

The family income thresholds also apply if:

  • you are a single parent with one or more dependents
  • you don’t have a spouse on the last day of the income year and you either maintain a dependent child or children or contribute in a substantial way to the maintenance of a dependent child.

If your spouse died in the income year and you were single on 30 June with no dependants, your and your spouse’s income is used for surcharge purposes to determine your entitlement under the family income thresholds.

If you have two or more children, the family income threshold is increased by $1,500 for every Medicare levy surcharge dependent child after the first child.

Note: Dependent children’s income is not included when calculating family income. Medicare levy surcharge dependent child is different to dependent persons who may be covered by your private health insurance policy.


calculator on AUD$

Using business money for private purposes

2 steps to take

If you use money or assets from your company or trust for private purposes and don’t account for the transactions correctly, there can be tax consequences.

That’s why it’s important to get it right.

Business money and assets you take or use for private purposes can include:

  • salary and wages
  • director fees
  • fringe benefits, such as an employee using the company car
  • dividends paid by the company to you as a shareholder (that is, distribution of the company’s profits)
  • trust distributions if your business operates under a trust and pays you as a beneficiary
  • loans from a trust or company
  • ad hoc drawings or takings
  • allowances or reimbursements of expenses you receive from a trust or company.

If you’ve used business money or assets from a company or trust for private purposes, follow these steps to avoid unintended tax consequences:

  1. Keep accurate records of the transactions, and
  2. Account for the transactions in the company or trust tax return and your individual tax return, if applicable.

Remember, there are different reporting and record-keeping requirements for each type of transaction, so make sure you know how to keep accurate records to suit your circumstances.

You can also practise good record-keeping habits by regularly cross-checking your records against the original documents so you can fix mistakes earlier and monitor your business’s cash flow.

Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for keeping business records and what you claim in your tax returns, however Registered Tax or BAS Agents like Allan Hall on the Northern Beaches can help and advise on your tax.


car buying private or business

Car limit for depreciation

Assets and exclusions

The maximum value for calculating depreciation on the business use of a car first used or leased in the 2023–24 income year has increased to $68,108.

There is a limit on the cost to work out the depreciation of passenger vehicles (except motorcycles or similar vehicles) designed to carry a load of less than one tonne and fewer than nine passengers.

The maximum value for calculating a claim is the car limit, irrespective of any amount paid for a trade-in in the year in which the car was first used or leased.

Income yearCar limitATO reference
2023–24$68,108The indexation factor is 1.052, calculated as 435.5 divided by 413.8
2022–23$64,741The indexation factor is 1.066, calculated as 413.8 divided by 388.1
2021–22$60,733The indexation factor is 1.027, calculated as 388.1 divided by 377.9
2020–21$59,136The indexation factor is 1.027, calculated as 377.9 divided by 368.1
2019–20$57,581No indexation – the indexation factor is 0.987 calculated as 368.1 divided by 373.0
For examples of how to apply the car limit visit the ATO website

How the yearly car limit is calculated

The car limit is indexed annually in line with movements in the motor vehicle purchase sub-group of the consumer price index.

The indexation factor is calculated by dividing the sum of the index numbers for the quarters in the year ending 31 March by the same numbers for the quarters in the year ending on the previous 31 March.

The car limit amount is then indexed by multiplying it by the indexation factor unless the indexation factor is one or less.



Superannuation health check

Use this checklist to review the health of your super in 5 easy steps

Getting started

  • The best way to perform these checks is either on ATO online services through myGov or by contacting your super advisor directly
  • You need a myGov account linked to the ATO
  • Once you link your myGov account, you can also use the ATO app.

Check 1: Check your contact details

Check your contact details, tax file number (TFN) and bank account are up to date with the ATO and your super fund. This helps prevent lost super and assists us in matching any unclaimed super to you.

Log on to ATO online services through myGov. In the top menu, select My profile. From the drop-down options, select either:

  • Personal details to update your name, contact number, email and home address
  • Financial institution details to update your bank account and
    • under the Account heading, you will see Income Tax and Superannuation
    • select either Add or Update.

To update your contact details, bank account and TFN with your super fund, see their website or contact them directly.

Check 2: Check your super balance and employer contributions

It’s important to check your super balance each year to see how much you have and keep track of your employer contributions. You can do this anytime on ATO online services or through your super fund.

Your employer should pay your super at least every 3 months. They may choose to do it more frequently, such as your regular pay cycle. From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, your employer should pay at least 10.5% of your salary into your super. From 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024, the rate increases to 11%. If you’re under 18, you need to work more than 30 hours a week to be eligible for super.

Funds report account balances to us at certain times of the year. Balances shown in ATO online services may be different to your actual current balances.

Log on to ATO online services through myGov. From the top menu, select Super and then either:

  • Fund Details to see all your super accounts and balances (including those held in funds or with us) and the most recent date reported by your fund
  • Information then Employer contributions to see the total year-to-date employer contributions in a selected year – select Transactions to see each contribution separately.

For help calculating the amount of super your employer should be paying, use the ATO’s Estimate my super tool. If you do not receive super contributions or the amounts are incorrect:

  • contact your employer and request an update
  • report it.

Check 3: Check for lost and unclaimed super

You may have lost track of some of your super when you changed your name, address or job, for example. This is why it’s important to ensure your fund has your current details.

Lost super is when your fund has lost touch with you, or your account is inactive. This money is held by your fund. Unclaimed super is when your fund transfers lost super to the ATO.

All your super accounts including lost and ATO-held super are displayed on ATO online services.

Log on to ATO online services through myGov. From the top menu, select Super. Then select either:

  • Fund details to check for lost super – if you want to keep your super with the same fund, contact them directly to update your details
  • Manage and then Transfer super to transfer this lost super to an eligible super account – or ask your fund to complete the transfer for you
  • Manage and then Transfer super to transfer ATO-held super to an eligible super account
  • Manage then Withdraw ATO-held super to have your super paid directly to you if the amount is less than $200 or you are over 65.

Check 4: Check if you have multiple super accounts and consider consolidating

If you’ve had more than one job, you may have more than one super account. It’s important to know how many super accounts you have. Combing your super may reduce fees and make it easier to manage.

If you decide to consolidate your super, it’s important to choose the fund that’s right for you. You should check that it provides better value, and the insurance cover suits your needs, which may change throughout your life. To see which fund is the best option for you, visit MoneySmart. If you are unsure of what to do, contact your super fund or seek independent financial advice.

Log on to ATO online services through myGov. From the top menu, select Super then either:

  • Fund details to see all your super accounts and balances
  • Manage and then Transfer super to consolidate your accounts, then
    • select the fund you want to close (transfer)
    • select the fund you want your money transferred to from the accounts listed
    • confirm your selection and submit request.

Check 5: Check your nominated beneficiary

Take time to ensure you have a valid death beneficiary nomination in place in your super fund as this isn’t covered by your will. This means your loved ones will not be put through unnecessary difficulties to finalise your estate.

Most binding nominations expire every three years. Some super funds have an option where nominations do not expire and remain in place until they are revoked.

If you don’t nominate a beneficiary, your fund may not know who your benefit should be paid to. In these cases, they will follow the law. This usually means they pay it to one or more of your dependents or your legal personal representative.

To check or nominate your death beneficiary:

  • Refer to your super fund’s website or contact them to check if you already have a valid nomination in place
  • To update it, complete the form from your super fund, sign and date in the presence of two witnesses
  • If you are unsure, contact your super fund or seek independent financial or legal advice from a qualified advisor

Why you should review your super

Your super is one of the biggest assets you’ll accumulate in your lifetime.

However, many Australians think they don’t need to worry about their super until retirement. Some don’t think about it at all.

It’s never too early to think about your super and the earlier you get on top of it, the better. It’s a good idea to regularly review and manage your super. At the very least, make sure you:

  • are getting the super you are entitled to from your employer
  • know where it is.

Small decisions you make today can have big impacts on your final super outcomes. For instance, missing out on some employer contributions today, could have a huge impact on your super balance in retirement due to the compounding effect of earnings. The same can happen if you have lost or unclaimed super.

Benefits of a super health check

A super health check consists of 5 simple and important things you can do to get on top of your super. It will help you:

  • manage your super
  • understand your entitlements
  • make better choices for when you retire.

You can check on your super at any time. However, we suggest you get into the habit of doing a health check each year when you prepare your tax return.


Disclaimer: This article contains general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account particular objectives, financial circumstances and needs. The information provided is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances. The information provided in this newsletter is objectively ascertainable and therefore does not constitute financial product advice.  If you require personal advice, please contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our licensed SMSF advisors. Source: ATO

tax amnesty

Small business lodgement penalty amnesty

Small Business – Lodgment Penalty Amnesty Program

On 9 May 2023 as part of the 2023-24 Budget, the government announced a lodgement penalty amnesty program for small businesses to encourage re-engagement with the tax system to get tax obligations up-to-date.

A lodgement penalty amnesty program is being provided for small businesses with aggregate turnover of less than $10 million to encourage them to re-engage with the tax system.

The amnesty will remit failure-to-lodge penalties for outstanding tax statements lodged in the period from 1 June 2023 to 31 December 2023 that were originally due during the period from 1 December 2019 to 28 February 2022.

If those returns are lodged between 1 June 2023 and 31 December 2023, any failure to lodge a penalty applying to the late lodgement will be automatically remitted. No action is required to request a remission.

To be eligible for the amnesty the small business must, at the time of lodgment, be an entity with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million.

This does not apply to privately owned groups, or individuals controlling over $5 million of net wealth.



Medicare levy surcharge income threshold and rates 2023–24

Medicare levy surcharge income threshold and rates 2023–24

Income thresholds for the Medicare levy surcharge are changing

The income thresholds for Medicare levy surcharge purposes will increase from 1 July 2023.

The government recently announced changes to the income thresholds for the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS), which will take effect from 1 July 2023. The MLS is a tax that is applied to individuals and families who do not have an appropriate level of private hospital cover, and earn above a certain income threshold.

So, what exactly are these changes to the MLS income thresholds?

From 1 July 2023, the income thresholds for MLS purposes will increase, which means that more people will be exempt from the tax. The income thresholds and MLS rates for the 2023-24 income year are outlined below.

MLS Income threshold and rates 2023–24

ThresholdBase tierTier 1Tier 2Tier 3
Single threshold$93,000 or less$93,001 – $108,000$108,001 – $144,000$144,001 or more
Family threshold$186,000 or less$186,001 – $216,000$216,001 – $288,000$288,001 or more
Medicare levy surcharge0%1%1.25%1.5%

It’s important to note that if you have dependent children, the family income threshold will be increased by $1,500 for each MLS dependent child after the first child. To work out which MLS rate applies to you, you can use the MLS income threshold table above once you have determined your income for MLS purposes.

It’s also worth noting that the MLS is separate from the Medicare Levy, which is a tax that is used to fund the public health system. The Medicare Levy is a flat rate of 2% of your taxable income, and it is paid by most Australian taxpayers.

Overall, these income thresholds play a significant role in determining the amount of tax an individual or family will be required to pay each financial year. It is important to stay informed about these thresholds to ensure that you are meeting your tax obligations and avoiding any penalties. If you have any questions or concerns about your tax obligations, it is recommended that you seek advice from a qualified tax professional.


suited man seated in a field

ABN cancellation program

Is your ABN current?

Inactive Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) are being cancelled

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has started reviewing existing ABNs, to identify any potentially inactive for cancellation.

Your ABN may be selected if you haven’t reported business activity in your tax return or there are no other signs of business activity in other lodgments or third-party information.

If your ABN is identified for cancellation, the ATO write to you. If you still require your ABN you’ll be told exactly what you need to do to stop cancellation.

Inactive ABNs are cancelled to make sure information on the Australian Business Register (ABR) is correct. Emergency services and government agencies use this information during natural disasters and to identify where financial disaster relief is needed to help businesses.

If your ABN is cancelled and you need it later:

  • you can reapply for the same ABN if your business structure is the same
  • you’ll get a different ABN if your business structure is different, for example you were a sole trader but you’re now a company.

If the ATO cancels your ABN and you disagree with the decision, contact them and they’ll try to resolve the issue.

Remember, registered tax agents and BAS agents can help you with your tax.


house key

Tax time focus on rental property income and deductions

ATO cracks down as 90% of rental income tax statements are wrong

Income and tax deductions from rental properties is one of the four key areas the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is focusing on this tax time.

It’s an area that’s easy to get wrong and needs extra care when lodging.

The ATO Random Enquiry Program has found that nine out of ten tax returns that reported rental income and deductions contain at least one error, even though most of those property owners were assisted by a registered tax agent.

The ATO is therefore urging rental property owners to ensure they carefully review their records before declaring income or claiming deductions this tax time, and for registered tax agents to ask a few extra questions of their clients.

Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh explained, “Registered tax agents can only work with the information they gather from their clients, and we know some clients won’t know everything they need to tell their agent. We don’t expect agents to be Sherlock Holmes, but we do expect them to ask the right questions to ensure their client’s return is right.”

Mr Loh said that rental property owners are urged to ensure they know what income they need to declare and what can be claimed as a deduction.

“We are concerned about mistakes, and in particular, leaving out income or deliberate over-claiming of rental property deductions this year.”

“Getting it right the first time, will ensure you receive the tax refund you are owed, and avoids us knocking on your front door down the track.”

Include all rental income

The ATO receives rental income data from a range of sources including sharing economy platforms, rental bond authorities, property management software providers, and state and territory revenue and land title authorities.

“The amount of data we access grows each year, making it easier and faster for us to spot any rental income that you have charged your tenants, but haven’t declared,” Mr Loh said.

When preparing tax returns, make sure all rental income is included, such as from short-term rental arrangements, renting part of a home, and other rental-related income like insurance payouts and rental bond money retained.

“Income and deductions must be in line with a rental property owner’s ownership interest, which should generally mirror the legal documents.”

Get your expenses right

Not all expenses are the same – some can be claimed straight away, such as rental management fees, council rates, repairs, interest on loans and insurance premiums. Other expenses such as borrowing expenses and capital works need to be claimed over a number of years. Capital works can include replacing a roof, or a new kitchen renovation. Depreciating assets such as a new dishwasher or new oven costing over $300 are also claimed over their effective life.

Refinancing or redrawing on a rental property loan for private expenses such as holidays or a new car, means that the amount of interest relating to the loan for the private expense can’t be claimed as a deduction.

If income from a rental property in a holiday location is earnt, it needs to be included in tax returns.

“You can claim expenses for the property to the extent that they are incurred for the purpose of producing rental income, not where your family and friends stayed in the property for a mini getaway at mate’s rates, you use it yourself, say at Christmas, or you stopped renting the property out,” Mr Loh said.

“Other circumstances where deductions cannot be claimed include pretending that your property is available for rent when it really isn’t, for example you advertise significantly above a reasonable market rate compared to similar properties or you place unreasonable restrictions on potential tenants.”

“Our 2022 Tax Time Toolkit for Investors also contains a number of fact sheets for landlords, including Top 10 tips to help landlords avoid common tax mistakes. These tips will help you avoid common mistakes and save you time and money.”

Selling a rental property

When selling a rental property, capital gains tax (CGT) needs to be considered and any capital gains or capital losses need to be reported.

When calculating a capital gain or capital loss, it’s important to get the cost base calculation right. Cost base is usually the cost of the property when purchased and any costs associated with acquiring or selling it. These can be things like stamp duty, legal fees, valuations and real estate sales fees. Any capital works claimed as deductions may also need to be subtracted from the cost base.

“If you’ve sold a rental property that was once your home, you may be entitled to partially claim the main residence exemption. You will need to claim this exemption in your tax return when you lodge.” Mr Loh said.

Records of all income and expenses relating to rental properties, including purchase and sale records, must be kept. This ensures all eligible deductions are captured when preparing tax returns and capital gains tax can be calculated correctly when the property is sold.

“It’s also important to note that when selling any property for more than $750,000, vendors / sellers must have a clearance certificate otherwise 12.5% will be withheld.” Mr Loh said.

Clearance certificate applications can take up to 28 days to process so to avoid delays, sellers should apply as early as practical using the online form. Having tax affairs up to date, including all lodgments, helps speed up the assessment of an application and a certificate being issued. The certificates last for 12 months and if selling more than one property in the year, it can be used for multiple sales. Foreign residents are generally not eligible for a clearance certificate but may apply to vary the withholding amount.

Apply for a certificate and find out more at

Keep good records to prove it all

Records of rental income and expenses should be kept for five years from the date of tax return lodgments or five years after the disposal of an asset, whichever is longer.

“Get your books in order and start keeping records as soon as you make the decision to earn rental income. It makes tax time so much easier for you and your registered tax agent” Mr Loh said.

Adequate records should demonstrate how the expense was incurred for the rental property and the extent they relate to producing rental income. They must include the name of the supplier, the amount of the expense, the nature of the goods or services, the date the expense was incurred, and the date of the document.

“We can ask for proof of any claim that you make, so good record keeping is the only way to ensure you can claim everything you are entitled to.”

“Remember, when your return is lodged, you are on the hook for the claims you are making, not the registered tax agent.”

For more information, visit


covid test

Tax rules and exemptions for COVID-19 testing

FBT, COVID-19 tests and the otherwise deductible rule

Be aware of the rules and exemptions regarding COVID-19 testing

Whilst FBT obligations do exist, there are exemptions and deductions that can be granted when providing COVID-19 tests to employees

You may have to pay Fringe benefits tax (FBT) if you:

  • provide your employees or their family members with COVID-19 tests such as a rapid antigen test, or
  • pay for a polymerase chain reaction test.

However, the otherwise deductible rule (or a different concession or exemption) may apply to eliminate or reduce any FBT payable.

Types of benefits that may arise from providing COVID-19 tests

Different types of benefits may arise for FBT purposes when you provide, or pay for, your employees’ or their family members’ COVID-19 tests.

The types of benefit that may arise under the FBT law are:

  • an expense payment benefit – where you pay for, or reimburse, an employee’s or their family member’s, COVID-19 test.
  • a property benefit – where you purchase the COVID-19 tests and give them to your employees or their family members for free or at a discount.
  • a residual benefit – where you provide your employees or their family members with a COVID-19 test that isn’t an expense payment or property benefit.

Exemptions from FBT

Some benefits are exempt from FBT. If an exemption applies, you won’t need to:

  • pay FBT for providing the COVID-19 tests to your employees, or reimbursing them for their cost
  • consider whether the otherwise deductible rule applies.
Work-related medical screening

Work-related medical screening tests are exempt from FBT if both of the following apply:

  • testing is carried out by, or on behalf of, a legally qualified medical practitioner or nurse, and
  • testing is available to all employees.

If only some of your employees get COVID-19 tests, the tests are still exempt if they are offered to all employees.

If the tests you provide or reimburse do not meet these requirements, you may need to pay FBT unless the minor benefits exemption or ‘otherwise deductible rule’ apply.

Minor benefits exemption

This exemption will only apply if:

  • the tests are provided infrequently and irregularly
  • the cumulative value of the tests provided to an employee during the FBT year is less than $300.

The otherwise deductible rule

You can reduce the taxable value of an expense payment, property or residual fringe benefit by what’s known as the otherwise deductible rule.

This is the amount your employee would have been entitled to claim as a once-only income tax deduction if they had provided or paid for the COVID-19 test themselves.

There are special records that must be kept for the otherwise deductible rule to apply.

When the otherwise deductible rule applies to COVID-19 testing

From 1 July 2021, if an employee paid for a COVID-19 test for a work-related purpose they could have claimed a deduction if certain conditions were met.

To have claimed a deduction for the cost incurred to buy or pay for a COVID-19 test, your employee must have:

  • used the test for a work-related purpose, such as to determine if they can attend or remain at work
  • received a qualifying COVID-19 test, such as a
    • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test through a private clinic
    • other tests in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, including rapid antigen test (RAT) kits

The otherwise deductible rule only applies to the extent that your employee could have claimed the work-related portion of the expenditure on COVID-19 tests as an income tax deduction. For example, if you buy a multipack of COVID-19 tests and allow your employee to use some for private purposes (such as by other family members or for leisure activities), the otherwise deductible rule only applies to the portion of the expense, property or residual benefit used for a work-related purpose.

For the otherwise deductible rule to apply, you must have the appropriate records, including the relevant declaration(s).

When the otherwise deductible rule doesn’t apply

The otherwise deductible rule doesn’t apply:

  • to COVID-19 tests you provide if
    • your employee uses the test for private purposes – for example, to test their children before they return to school or daycare
    • your employee works from home and doesn’t intend to attend the workplace, or
    • you haven’t received the declarations that are required under the FBT law
  • to any travel or parking expenses you pay or reimburse your employees to get their COVID-19 test. This is because these expenses do not have a sufficient connection to your employee obtaining or undergoing a COVID-19 test to be regarded as being incurred in respect of testing them for COVID-19.

Keeping records for COVID-19 tests

To apply the otherwise deductible rule, you must keep records, including:

  • a record of the costs of COVID-19 tests you pay for your employees (including those you reimburse them for) and the dates you paid for them. This may include a receipt or invoice.
  • a completed appropriate employer declaration or employee declaration.