How Tax Rules Are Changing This Year

Every year as tax time rolls around, we have to grapple with changes to the rules. Here's what you need to know for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Picture: Pascal

New electronic options for submitting your tax Basic tax returns can now be done through your browser via the MyTax service; for more complicated returns, e-tax is still the go. Check our full report for all the details.

Changes to private health insurance rebates. From 1 April, private insurance rebates are calculated on a different basis (and are less generous). This means that when you receive your statement, it will include two separate lines of information relating to private insurance, not just one. That relatively late change also means that if you're hoping to have those details automatically pre-filled in MyTax or e-tax, you may have to wait until August.

Net medical expenses tax offset is no more. The net medical expenses tax offset — which let you claim medical expenses above a given amount against the amount of tax you pay — has been eliminated for most people. If you received it in the 2012-2013 financial year, you may be eligible, and expenditure on disability aids, attendant care or aged care expenses still counts. But for everyone else, it's out.

Compared to some years past, changes are relatively minor this year. In part, that's because of the change of federal government last year. Some new policies the Coalition government would like to have introduced won't happen this financial year, as the Senate has been unwilling to vote them in.

Reminder: For specific tax advice relating to your individual situation, consult a registered professional.


Comments

    From 1 July 2013, those taxpayers who received the offset in their 2012–13 income tax assessment will continue to be eligible for the offset for the 2013–14 income year if they have eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses above the relevant claim threshold. Similarly, those who receive the tax offset in their 2013–14 income tax assessment will continue to be eligible for the offset in 2014–15.

    The changes mentioned above will not apply to all taxpayers – the offset will continue to be available for taxpayers with out-of-pocket medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant care or aged care expenses until 1 July 2019.

    The net medical expenses one definitely sucks the big one. Very very glad I had some major surgery done when I did, it saved me a bucket. Sorry to see others wont be able to do the same and will just have to live with their issues if they can't afford it.

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