Australian Federal Budget 2018-19

The Treasurer handed down Australia’s Federal Budget 2018-19 on Tuesday 8 May.

There was nothing unexpected in this budget, and it is largely business as usual. Most notable are the personal tax cuts (a seven-year personal income tax plan, which gives moderate personal income tax cuts for low to middle-income earners and in time making changes to the tax brackets), the extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off for SMEs and the abolition of the proposed 0.5% Medicare levy increase from 1 July.

Innovation continues to be the Government’s mantra with the medical industry a clear winner. The Government has dedicated a total of $1.3 billion to fund genomic research projects investigating medicines that can be tailored to individual patients, clinical trials of new drugs and development of new medical technologies.

As you would expect from an election budget, there is not a lot of bad news or serious cuts. The black economy however features consistently with a multiagency taskforce and all manner of programs including the imposition of a limit of $10,000 on cash payments.

There are also several tax changes to close loopholes and while not presented in the budget, the Treasurer has flagged the release of a discussion paper that will explore options for taxing digital business in Australia. There will be more to come – just not this year.

Key initiatives

  • $20k accelerated depreciation extended until 30 June 2019
  • Research & development incentive shake-up
  • Black economy – new initiatives and more industries rolled into the taxable payments system
  • Introduction of a three-year cycle for SMSF audits for compliant funds
  • Seven-year personal tax cut plan
  • Major innovation funding

Download our full budget summary here.