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Welcome to the June edition of E-Link, incorporating news from the 2013 Federal Budget

While the government may not have delivered on last year’s promise to return a modest surplus, this year’s Budget does incorporate many of the changes mooted in the lead-up to Budget Night.

Most notable is the introduction of DisabilityCare Australia, to be funded by an increase in the Medicare Levy. There’s also more funding for cancer treatment and research, and the General Practice Rural Incentives Program.

But what the government gives with one hand, it takes with the other.

The Budget outlines $43 billion in savings over the forward estimates. The 2013-14 Federal Budget is expected to deliver an $18 billion deficit over the coming financial year, with a projected balanced Budget in 2015-16.

Families will bear the brunt of many of the cuts, particularly from changes to the Baby Bonus and Family Tax Benefit. Measures to close loopholes in the corporate tax system will see companies hit with an additional $4.2 billion in taxes over the next four years, as the government seeks to claw back the $19 billion deficit recorded in 2012-13.

A cap of $2,000 has been imposed on deductions related to self-education expenses. This could leave thousands of Australians, including health professionals, significantly out-of-pocket as they seek to maintain and upgrade their qualifications.

We’ve identified some of the most relevant changes that could affect you, and actions you may want to take in preparation for the end of this financial year and the one ahead. Of course, each of the proposals contained in the Budget do not take effect until the passage of legislation through Parliament.

As well as discussing the budget, in this edition we explore the rules for maintaining vehicle log books, as well as claiming deductions for rental property expenses.

How much do you need to save to be comfortable in retirement?

Are you one of the 90% of Australians who make charitable donations? We also look at some ways to help you plan your giving to maximise the impact and tax-effectiveness of your gifts.

As always, if you would like further information about any of these topics, please contact us.


The Bongiorno Team

Reforms to work-related self-education expenses

In a move designed to help fund school education reform, the government has restricted the amount individuals can claim for self-education expenses. Read More »

No super surprises

In a move which should provide some comfort and stability, the government has left superannuation relatively untouched in this year’s Budget. Read More »

Changes to pension tax treatment

Pensioners with high superannuation balances could lose some of their tax-free status, while deferred annuities have benefited from changes to their tax treatment. Read More »

A boost for health

The health sector is a winner in this year’s Budget, with new programs rolled out and additional funding for existing schemes Read More »

What’s the economic outlook?

It has been described as an unusual Budget for an election year, but how is it likely to impact the Australian economy? Read More »

A comfortable life…

We all know that saving for retirement is important, but how much do you really need to achieve the lifestyle you want? Read More »

Tax and vehicle log books

If you use a car for work, chances are you also use a log book. Find out how to make sure that your log book meets tax law requirements. Read More »

Becoming a philanthropist

You don’t have to be wealthy to be a philanthropist, but there are some simple ways to ensure that your gifts have the maximum impact. Read More »

Tax tips for property investors

If you have a rental property, knowing what expenses you can claim can make a big difference to your tax liability. Read More »