2020 has been a big year: Australia’s economy took a double hit with the coronavirus pandemic following swiftly after the devastating bushfires over the summer.
The government has implemented multiple economic stimulus packages in order to prop up the economy, keep people in jobs and keep businesses afloat.
As we go into the new financial year, some initiatives and schemes are set to end, while other laws will kick in on 1 July.
Also read: What can I claim on tax this year?
Here’s Yahoo Finance’s ultimate run-down of what’s changing up when we enter the new financial year:
Ending 30 June:
If you’re working from home…
The ATO’s work-from-home tax shortcut only applies for the 2019-20 financial year. The 80-cents-per-hour shortcut will only apply for if you worked from home between 1 March and 30 June 2020. So if you’re working from home beyond 1 July, expense claiming will go back to the old methods. The ATO has explained exactly how to claim back expenses for your remote hours worked during Covid-19.
If you’re under 31 years old and you don’t have health insurance..
You could be penalised with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in loading fees down the track. Something called the Lifetime Health Cover Loading fee kicks in when you turn 31, and it adds an extra 2 per cent to your private hospital cover for each year you don’t take it out for the next ten years.
What can you do about it? Buy an ‘appropriate level’ of hospital insurance before 1 July hits. This is any hospital policy with an excess of $750 or less for singles, according to Finder.
If you want in on the early access super scheme…
You can still apply for the first round up until 30 June. Then from 1 July, you can apply for the next round of up to $10,000. However, you might want to consider whether it’s right for you. Here’s how to apply for the scheme.
If you want a broadband upgrade…
Check now. The NBN has met its milestone target of having 11.5 million homes ready to connect to the NBN by the end of June.
Starting 1 July:
If you’re on minimum wage…
You’ll get an extra $13 a week. On 19 June the Fair Work Commission declared an increase of 1.75 per cent to the minimum wage, so from 1 July your employer will start paying you $19.84 an hour instead of $19.49 an hour.
If you work Sundays…
Retail workers will see your penalty rates reduce further, from 165 per cent to 150 per cent. This is the final round of a number of phased cuts to the penalty rate that was decided way back in 2017.
If you want an easy way to switch financial products…
‘Open banking’ will kick in from 1 July, which means that you’ll be allowed to direct your data from your financial institutions to trusted third party service providers – if you want. From 1 July, customers with the Big Four Banks can direct their data to be shared with accredited providers.
Why would you want to do this? It’s actually to help you find a better deal and increase competition. It’s difficult to know if another product or service out there is better for you, but ‘open banking’ lets you be in control of the data you want to share to compare these products more easily. Ensuring privacy has been a core priority in the development and roll-out of open banking in Australia.
If you want to contribute to your spouse’s super…
The age limit will be lifted from 69 to 74, meaning people older than 70 can receive superannuation contributions from their spouse so long as they meet the work test.
Why would you want to do this? Low income earners and stay-at-home parents are accumulating little to no super for their future nest egg. In order to help even it out, the higher-earning partner is able to make contributions to their partner’s super.
If you’re 65 or 66 years old…
You can now bring forward three years’ worth of concessional contributions. The age limit for this was capped at under 65, but from 1 July those aged 65 or 66 are now included.
Concessional contributions are capped at $25,000 a year. If you didn’t use all this up for three years, you can ‘bring forward’ the unused sum to make one concessional contribution to your super.
If you don’t own a home but want to...
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme opened up another 10,000 places for eligible home buyers in the 2020-21 financial year. Here’s information about how you can apply for it, and here’s an official fact sheet. Here’s a list of the participating lenders.
If you’re a business owner…
Good news; the instant asset write-off scheme was supposed to end on 30 June, but has been extended for a further six months to 31 December 2020.
Under this scheme, the $30,000 threshold is upped to $150,000 and also expanded to businesses that have annual turnover of less than $500 million (previously $50 million).
Small- and medium-sized businesses with turnover of less than $50 million will also see the corporate tax rate reduced from 27.5 per cent to 26 per cent. Then next year, on 1 July 2021, it will fall even further to 25 per cent.
For businesses with turnover under $5 million, the small business tax discount will rise from 8 per cent to 13 per cent. Next year it’ll rise again to 16 per cent.
Also, closely held payees – someone directly related to the business entity, which might be family members, directors or shareholders – will also have to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll.
If you’re a parent…
Get ready to start paying for childcare again soon. Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan indicated that the government’s free childcare scheme will end 12 July. Here’s what that means for you.
If you’re in NSW and with Ausgrid, Endeavour or Essential Energy…
You’ll pay more for your energy bills. Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy proposed electricity distribution tariffs that have been approved by the regulator, so from 1 July, your bills will be:
$13.78 higher for households for Ausgrid customers
$21.62 higher for households for Endeavour Energy customers
$16.61 higher for households for Essential Energy customers.
If you’re part of a community sports team…
You’ll be allowed to play again. All children’s and full-contact sport in NSW can resume from this date, and food stalls at sports facilities are also allowed to reopen.
If you’re on welfare payments…
You could have fines collected by Revenue NSW halved. Anyone on Centrelink, including people on JobKeeper and JobSeeker, is eligible for this.
If you drive and text…
Drivers in Western Australia caught using their phones while driving would have copped a maximum on-the-spot fine of $1,000 from 1 July, as well as four demerit points. This is more than double the previous fine of $400. However, the implementation date has actually been delayed til 1 September.
If you touch your phone while your vehicle is stopped at a traffic light or make a call while holding your phone, you could cop a $500 fine and three demerit points.
Did we miss anything? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to the list.
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