Finance & Investment

What you really need to know about the 2023 tax year

By Sonia Gibson

THE 2023 TAX YEAR has just begun and it’s important to know what’s changing in the way of your personal and corporate liabilities – and also with respect to changes in superannuation and trust management. 

The good news is that there’s nothing truly shocking to take into account and most changes for this tax year aren’t going to leave you with a huge increase in your tax burden. However, you do need to be aware of these changes, if you want to be prepared for your return next June.

FOR INDIVIDUALS – a minor change

The only change for individuals is that the ‘home office short cut method’ which allowed somebody working from home to claim 80 cents an hour, has been cancelled.

This should come as no surprise as it was a measure meant to provide some relief during the lockdowns when people were being forced to work from home. 

It seems unlikely that lockdowns are going to return on a similar scale and thus, the tax relief provided for that scenario is no longer needed. 

FOR COMPANIES – some good news

The 2023 financial year sees that company tax rate drop from 26 percent to 25 percent for those companies that are ‘base rate entities’ (that is, they turn over less than $50 million a year). 

However, the super guarantee levy goes up to 10.5 percent and the $450 super guarantee threshold is being dropped for monthly wages.

That means you must pay 10.5 percent super on all payments to employees and eligible contractors no matter what the amount you’re paying them. 

It’s worth noting that this change also means that if you have to make super contributions for young workers (those under 18) you will no longer have to make such contributions unless the young person works more than 30 hours each week for you.

The shadow of Covid means that rapid antigen tests are still a useful tool and these tests have been deemed fully tax deductible if they are required in order for someone to attend a place of work. 

The loss carry back provision for 2022 applies again and finishes on June 30, 2023. This allows for a rebate up to the amount of tax paid between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2022, if a tax loss has been incurred between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2023.

Single touch payroll reporting is now mandatory for all business with employees on the payroll. This also incorporates a director taking periodic payments if an adjustment has been done for wages, director’s fees or a bonus at the end of the financial year.

ASSETS – full expensing

Assuming your business turns over less than $50m a year, then all business asset purchases installed and ready for use between October 6, 2020 and June 30, 2023 will be 100 percent tax deductible. 

The only exception to this rule is if you purchase a car for more than $60,733 where FBT (fringe benefits tax) may apply. 


The previous government had put forward a bill which would provide 120 percent deduction for investments in technology by businesses turning over less than $50m, though there would be an annual cap to this of $100,000 worth of qualifying income. 

The measure would cover expenditure and investment related to digital adoption (such as payments to cloud services, portable payment devices, etc.) 

However, this measure has not yet been made law. If it is made law, then it will apply to expenditures incurred between 7.30pm (AEDT) on March 29, 2022 and until June 30, 2023.

A similar measure for small business skills training has also been proposed but has not yet become law. If it does become law, eligible expenses for the 2022 financial year are to be claimed in the 2023 tax return along with any eligible expense from 2023.


There aren’t many changes to superannuation this year. The transfer balance cap has gone up from $1.6 million to $1.7 million. 

The work test has been discontinued for those aged between 67 and 74 when the individual makes personal non-concessional super contributions and salary sacrifice contributions. 

And the age threshold for downsizing contributions, when moving home after selling an original home, has decreased from 65 to 60. The maximum contribution that can be made is $300,000. 

FINAL THOUGHTS on the 2023 tax year

This is a brief overview of the major changes for the year ahead, it’s very important to get specific advice regarding your circumstances from an accountant.

This is doubly true if you are using a trust where the gifting back law change may affect you. This is a complex area and it’s impossible to do justice to it in a couple of paragraphs.

About the author                                  

Sonia Gibson, of Accounting Heart Chartered Accountants has always loved solving puzzles and empowering people to help themselves. Accounting Heart brings these two passions of hers – her head and heart – together. While figures might send you batty, to Sonia they tell the unique story of your business. It’s her role to translate that story into one you’ll understand, so you can then write it your own way. 



Lower quality advice for lower fees? No thanks, says Scott Phillips

By Scott Phillips

Really? 'Lowering standards to lower fees' is the proposed approach to reforming financial advice? That’s a strong 'hell to the no' from me.

See, there’s a review underway, covering financial advice. And boy… as you can tell, I have some thoughts. Strap yourselves in.

Apparently, if reports in the Australian Financial Review are to be believed (and there’s no reason not to) the review is going to recommend that financial advisors no longer have to apply the ‘best interest’ test, when giving financial advice.

Whoa! What the actual? 

If these changes go through, financial advisors would no longer have to ensure their advice was in the clients’ best interest? Think about that for a minute.

Imagine being a doctor, and not having your patients’ best interest as your number one obligation. Or a lawyer, and not having to act in the best interest of your client.

And yet this review is (apparently) about to let financial advisors act in some other way?

Apparently ‘good’ advice will now be enough. Bloody hell.

Maybe, after a decade or so, the industry is about to win, putting itself ahead of its clients again? Oh, they don’t actually say that. They say they’re worried that advice isn’t affordable enough.

See, having to act in clients’ best interest is apparently too expensive. And if they don’t have to do that any more, they can make advice cheaper.

Sure, it may not be in our best interest any more, but at least it’s affordable. If that sentence doesn’t strike you as completely absurd, you need to read it again.

Apparently the options are:

  • We’ll do what’s in your best interest, but it’ll be expensive; or
  • You can pay less, but we can’t promise the advice is in your best interest

Frankly, I’m not sure I have the words.

Some people will say the administrative burden of the ‘best interests test’ excludes those who can’t afford the fee. I’m sure that’s right. After all, most financial advisors are driving 15-year old Toyota Camrys, right?

A cheap shot? Maybe. And they're not bad guys and girls. Frankly, they're right -- the admin burden is a debacle.

They're not wrong about the problem. But it's the proposed solution that stinks.

See, there IS a problem.

But it’s not the one you think. It’s not the ‘best interests’ duty that’s the problem. It’s the fact our system is so bloody complex that so many of us need, or could possibly benefit from, financial advice in the first place.

Which, if you’re a financial planner, you’re not really going to complain about, are you? Because it’s that very patchwork of tax complexity that is your meal ticket.

I don’t blame those advisers for helping us navigate it, by the way.  But if they were honest with themselves, I’m pretty sure they’d admit that the complexity isn’t actually necessary for our society to function.

And many of their clients, if they were being honest, would suggest the same.

(Don’t believe me? Compare the number of people who want less red tape for business with the number of people who love it, when it helps them get one over the taxman. Ideology is kinda Swiss-cheesy like that – it gets very holey when you might benefit.)

So they’re right – much of the financial advice regulation requires lots of overheads to make sure its in the client’s best interest… which is as it should be. 

Who honestly thinks ‘Ah, close enough’ is okay? Financial advice should always be in the clients’ best interest.

So the answer isn’t to give advice which is okay-ish, to save a few bob. It’s to change the law so that the financial advice isn’t needed.

Seriously, when I can pay a financial adviser a few thousand dollars, and still make more than that based on the advice she gives me, the system is broken. 

Super, family trusts, company structures, negative gearing, estate planning, work deductions… the list goes on.

Why? Because the politicians and regulators have been captured by the industry and its wealthiest clients.

How many people got formal financial advice (other than an accountant helping them lodge their tax) a few decades ago? Probably a small fraction of the adult population.

These days?  The dog’s breakfast of loopholes and (legal) tax dodges gets bigger by the year. And it’s no wonder the industry keeps growing.

If the government is serious, and Treasury is fair dinkum, they won’t repeal the best interests test. They’ll change the law so that my financial adviser says ‘Sorry, mate. I can’t justify taking you on as a client. There’s nothing I can do for you’.

Or, ‘taking you on as a client is expensive, because my advice needs to be in your best interests, and I can save you enough to offset my fee’. 

The middle ground – slightly less expensive advice that isn’t in my best interest – is something only a government (or a financial advice industry looking for a payday) could love. 

I guess we’ll see who has the ear of those in power, and whether they’re truly trying to improve things.

Over to you, Prime Minister.

  • Scott Phillips is the chief investment officer for The Motley Fool and a regular financial issues commentator online, on radio and on television. He also produces podcasts and can be found on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. He also appears on The Motley Fool's subscription YouTube channel.



Move to monthly inflation data gets thumbs-up from CPA Australia

CPA AUSTRALIA has welcomed the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) decision to commence providing a new monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator.

“This change will deliver more timely information into the hands of businesses and others who rely on economic data,” CPA Australia general manager for media and content, Jane Rennie said

“In June we raised the alarm that Australian governments, businesses and others were reliant on out-of-date inflation data. This is due to Australia’s practice of reporting CPI data quarterly, unlike other advanced economies such as the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Japan.

“Quarterly CPI reporting puts Australian governments, regulators and businesses at a distinct disadvantage, especially in economically uncertain times like now. Using quarterly CPI data when the majority of the world receives it monthly is like waiting for a letter in the post when neighbours are receiving updates by phone,” Dr Rennie said. 

“We’re very pleased CPA Australia’s call for more timely inflation data has been heard. Access to a monthly CPI indicator will close the information gap and help organisations make better financial decisions.

“A monthly CPI indicator will enable a clearer understanding of the effects of monetary policy, geo-political tensions, supply chain disruptions and local interventions on prices across the Australian economy. Australia’s economy will benefit as a result.

“In a high inflation environment, we need our institutions to be agile and innovative. With this announcement, the ABS has demonstrated its willingness to be responsive to the needs of the community and embrace new lower cost data sources to deliver monthly updates.”


Master Builders say first home buyers' access to superannuation 'will work'

THE COALITION GOVERNMENT'S proposed home ownership policy will help to keep the dream of homeownership within reach of Australians while maintaining the integrity of the country's world class superannuation system, according to Master Builders Australia.

“The success of this policy is that it is aligned with the intent of superannuation which is to provide sufficient retirement income,” Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said.

“People who own their home, particularly in retirement, are significantly more secure financially than those who do not. They enjoy a higher standard of living.

“This policy will mean that many Australians who do not currently own a home will not have to choose between the benefits of home ownership and an adequate super balance in retirement,” Ms Wawn said. 

“It will be a step up for all the aspirational people on middle incomes who yearn to own their own home but need to overcome the deposit gap and who are not eligible for current schemes.

“Master Builders also commends the Coalition on its policy to assist seniors to ‘right size’ into more suitable housing for their stage of life,” Ms Wawn said.

“Senior Australian’s want to remain in their own home as long as possible and they will welcome the Coalition’s policy to support them in achieving that aspiration,” she said.

“Master Builders has been calling for policies to help address the lack of supply of housing for families and we commend the Coalition’s move to address this issue in its policy,” Ms Wawn said.


Releasing super for first home buyer deposits can only work if supply is increased says FSC

PRIME MINISTER Scott Morrison's announcement to allow access to superannuation, for first home buyers to fund a deposit, will undermine the purpose of the superannuation system and could force up to 5.3 million young Australians to decide between owning a home or their retirement savings, the Financial Services Council (FSC) has warned.

FSC CEO Blake Briggs said,  “The FSC is concerned the (Federal) Government’s proposal weakens the sole purpose of superannuation, which is to provide higher standards of living in retirement. 

“The FSC recognises there is a correlation between renting in retirement and poverty amongst older Australians, but Australians should not have to choose between a home and their retirement savings. 

“The government’s own majority report into Housing Affordability and Supply in Australia concluded that superannuation should only ever be used for housing if there were commensurate measures to increase supply. 

“The government’s supply measure only extends downsizing to 1.3 million households, whilst potentially allowing approximately 5.3 million under 35-year-old Australians that do not yet own a home access their superannuation to buy a first home.

“The government has an obligation to do more to boost supply, otherwise unleashing superannuation savings on the housing market risks driving prices higher still.”

The FSC is a peak financial services industry body which sets mandatory standards and develops policy for more than 100 member companies. FSC's  full members  represent Australia’s retail and wholesale funds management businesses, superannuation funds, life insurers and financial advice licensees. Supporting members represent professional services firms such as ICT, consulting, accounting, legal, recruitment, actuarial and research houses in the financial sector.


DiviPay gives financial flexibility to SMEs

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

THE BIG MISTAKES start-ups make is focusing on their good idea instead of what their customers want and need.

That’s the advice from Russell Martin, the co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of digital expense platform DiviPay,

DiviPay, which began in 2017, is an all-one virtual corporate card and expense management platform for small business which allows finance teams to better manage, control and streamline their spending across their organisation.

It is a very easy to use web and mobile application that allows a business to instantly issue corporate cards for employees and pay bills. It automates expense management workflows

Mr Martin  said small business had been neglected in expense management and DiviPay was created to fill that gap. 


Mr Martin developed the idea that eventually became DiviPay when he worked at the innovation space at Westpac.

“We learned a lot of skills about identifying customer needs, what their jobs to be done are, what problems they were having in their life and how we might be able to build prototypes and viable products around these problems using different types of technology,” Mr Martin told Talking Business.

“I think a trap that a lot of start-ups fall into is being very attached to their idea and thinking their idea is the most important thing but what is important is understanding the problems the customer has in their life, building a small solution around that and then validating whether that solution has called what called ‘product market fit’. That is, do your customers adopt your product, are they willing to pay you for it, and does it have the growth potential to make a successful company?

“We’ve been very focused on making sure the things we build have product market fit.”

He said when DviPay spoke to its customers about expense management workflows, it learned these companies had a number of expense workarounds like employees paying for expenses out of pocket, and being owed by their employer for long periods of time and sharing one or two company cards around the office.

“We have a funny story of a customer who had a photocopy of a credit card in filing cabinet for about 30 different people, and eventually that corporate card was compromised, they couldn’t work out who was spending what,” Mr Martin said.

“Just hearing stories of ways people are trying to solve problems in their life, and then honing in on how can we do that better?

“How can we identify a solution that solves that particular problem for this customer in a new way.”


Mr Martin said DiviPay had customers ranging from companies with one to two employees all the way through to medium sized businesses with 500 to 1000 employees. It covers small to medium sized businesses of all types.

“These expense management workflows are common themes across any type of business, whether you run a trade business, whether you run a digital marketing company, or a consultancy, everyone is looking for ways to optimise and do things more efficiently,” Mr Martin said.

One of the benefits of DiviPay for small business was the speed of onboarding. 

“We onboard customers in under an hour where that customer may have been in the seventh or eighth week of the application process with a big four bank,” Mr Martin said.

“It’s really that lack of access to financial products that a lot of fintechs have set out to solve, where – through new technologies, new compliance and processes –  e can actually serve smaller customers that have been under-served by large institutions.”


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at


REIQ chief accuses Qld Govt of 'milking the property cash cow' again

THE Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is accusing the Queensland Government of "dipping into the piggy bank of property owners yet again" with a new land tax regime which "is a slap in the face to the very sector that is propping up the economy".

The REIQ's reaction has come off the back of the Queensland Government pocketing soaring stamp duty revenue with $5.38bn in transfer revenue this financial year, as announced by State Treasurer Peter Dick. It will increase overall from $16.53bn to $19.93bn over the forward estimates.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said disappointingly the government had not consulted with relevant property stakeholder groups on this new land tax regime, which was "the wrong move at the wrong time". Under the Treasurer's announcement, interstate property investors with multiple landholdings across different states would have their annual land tax assessment based on the worth of all their land, rather than just the worth of their Queensland property. However, primary places of residence would continue to be exempt. 

“This treatment of property investors as an endless money pit is outrageous – the government is raking in a huge stamp duty windfall, then relying on private investors to provide the lion’s share of housing supply, and now they’re slapping investors yet again with new taxes,” Ms Mercorella said.

“How can the government possibly justify slugging property investors with tax for land they own that isn’t even within our state borders? It’s utter nonsense that there’s a 'loop hole' to close.

“From a practical standpoint, it’s also baffling to understand how on earth they intend to get this data in order to double-tax investors who are already paying this tax elsewhere.”

Ms Mercorella said that property investors were tired of being the ATM for the State and given the flagged second wave of tenancy rental reforms, many could decide to vote with their money.

“There is no other state or territory that takes this approach, and by treating property investors with contempt like this time and time again, investors may very well pull up stumps,” Ms Mercorella said.

“All this is doing is deterring people from investing in Queensland and instead, opting to invest where no multi-jurisdictional land tax applies.

“For those not scared off from investing in Queensland, and current investors brave enough to stick around, this tax will make their holding costs more expensive and the logical consequence of that is that rent goes up.

“In the midst of a rental crisis, it beggars belief that this would be the lever the government pulls. It shows the government lacks the ability to think outside the square and come up with alternative and innovative solutions to find new revenue streams.

“You only have to look at the timing of this bombshell legislative reform to see the government is clearly trying to sneak this in under the radar at a time most people have clocked off for the year.”



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