You've identified the deductions that go with your job, and you'll be able to use that information in the years ahead. But what changed regulations (and potential refund enhancers) will apply in 2009 when you submit your tax return? While your individual circumstances will obviously differ (and you should consult a professional if you want specific advice), the ATO had highlighted a number of key changes that are likely to affect lots of Australians. We've outlined them below, along with links to the relevant ATO documents so you can check the detail. (This doesn't include business-related expenditure, which we'll look at later in the week.)
- Parents with school-age children and independent students under 25 can claim a refund on some education-related expenses under the Education Tax Refund scheme.
- Students in specific areas (maths, science and some early childhood teachers) can apply for a reduction of their HECS-HELP payments (though the form won't become available until July 1).
- If you've claimed Family Tax Benefit in the past, note that you can no longer claim this through your annual tax return, though it remains available to eligible families through either fortnightly payments or a lump sum from the Family Assistance Office
- The threshold for paying the Medicare levy surcharge (an extra 1% if you don't have private health insurance) has risen to $70,000 for individuals and $140,000 for families.
- People with a taxable income of $150,000 or more can no longer claim offsets for a dependant spouse, child-housekeeper, housekeeper, invalid relative or parent.