The Hon Wayne Swan MP, handed down the Labour Government’s 2010 Budget yesterday evening, Tuesday 11 May.

The key elements of the recent budget are:

  • Setting the highest standards for responsible fiscal management, with the budget returning to surplus in 2012-13, three years ahead of schedule
  • Easing the cost of living and making tax time simpler by delivering tax relief, a lower tax on savings, and fairer and simpler tax returns that increase after-tax income for 6.4 million Australians
  • Beginning the task of modernising the tax system, investing in skills and infrastructure, boosting national savings, making new investments in renewable energy; and funding historic reforms to the health system

But in practice, what does this mean for the average taxpayer and Australian business owners? Some of the more specific outcomes that were presented include:

  • Raising the tax free threshold to $16,000 from 2010 11
  • 50 per cent discount on up to $1,000 of interest income from savings for eligible taxpayers
  • Introducing standard deductions to simplify the tax system
  • Company tax rate cut to 29 per cent from 2013 14 and 28 per cent from 2014 15
  • Company tax rate cut to 28 per cent for small business companies from 2012 13
  • Instant asset write off for assets under $5,000 for all small businesses from 1 July 2012
  • Increasing the super guarantee to 12 per cent
  • From 1 July 2012, contributing up to $500 to offset contributions tax for those on incomes up to $37,000
  • From 1 July 2012, allow catch up contributions by older workers with super balances less than $500,000

Under the Budget there will be Government spending in the following areas:

  • $661 million for the Skills for Sustainable Growth strategy
  • $5.6 billion for a new infrastructure fund and $1 billion to renew rail networks
  • $652 million Renewable Energy Future Fund
  • Total new investment of $7.3 billion over five years, and $23 billion over the rest of the decade
  • Additional $2.2 billion to meet the needs of our modern health system
    $355 million for GP Super Clinics
    $417 million to enhance after hours services
    $523 million to train our nurses
  • $467 million to introduce individual electronic health records

There are many changes that are set to take place over the next few financial years, particularly in relation to income tax and tax returns. For more information about anything in the 2010 Budget or for any other tax or accounting related queries please contact the team of accountants and tax agents at The Quinn Group – click here to submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or +61 2 9223 9166.