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June Bulletin – Tax Planning for the year ended 30 June 2009

Tax planning involves arranging affairs in order to comply with the income tax legislation resulting in the lowest legal taxation liability. As such, tax planning is contrasted from tax avoidance, which is the entering into a scheme in order to obtain a tax benefit and can result in significant penalties.

As 30 June approaches taxpayers should seriously consider tax planning as many strategies require action prior to 30 June in order to be effective.

The following list is by no means exhaustive but provides a number of items for consideration:

Personal Tax Rates

The table below shows personal tax rates for the current year and next two years. As tax rates reduce, a good strategy is to consider the possibility of deferral of income into the next financial year and the bringing forward of tax deductible expenditure into the current year.

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Business Taxpayers

Capital Gains Tax

Consider the timing of asset disposals before or after 30 June in terms of applicable tax rates, realised capital gains and losses and the availability of any capital gains tax concessions such as the 50% discount.

Non-business Taxpayers

Fringe Benefits Tax Compliance

The Australian Taxation Office has identified significant compliance issues in relation to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) obligations. A tax office provided checklist, in the form of a number of questions, can assist businesses to determine if they have an FBT obligation.

A business may have an FBT obligation if it answers yes to any of the following questions: