Welcome to the latest edition of The Boutique Bulletin
2021 has been flying by and here we find oursleves already in July!
With COVID-19 still proving difficult and throwing up its challenges, it’s been a juggling act at times for us, ensuring our staff can continue to operate at their normal capacity and that you still have full access to us, even though this is sometimes at a virtual level.
Our advice team has grown over the past 6 months with two new advisers joining our team in the first half of 2021.
Jodi Escudier commenced with us in January of this year. Jodi has been advising clients in Australia since 2013. She is an awards finalist and is currently working towards her CFP designation.
Jodi helps women and families identify and reach financial goals through positive strategic advice. Over the last 8 years Jodi has worked together with clients to develop a pathway to a better financial future and secure wealth for themselves both now and as they navigate life’s everchanging demands.
Outside of work Jodi attends sporting events with her young family and participates in running events for “fun” often raising money for charity.
In May 2021, Damien Quirk joined the Boutique team. With over 15 years’ experience in advice, Damien brings a wealth of knowledge to our team and specialises in helping clients who are planning for, or want to make the most of their retirement years.
In this edition we’ve also included a couple of articles of interest. The first one details the increase to the super contribution caps which came into effect on 1 July 2021. The second one is a great article around Capital Gains Tax and in which circumstances you would have to pay this. Finally we have an Market Outlook update from Dr Shane Oliver.
We hope that you and your family are staying healthy and we look forward to seeing you soon.
The amount of money you can contribute into your super each year is about to increase.
The caps on concessional and non-concessional super contributions will increase from 1 July this year, meaning you may be able to put more money into super.
Below we explain how the new caps differ to the old ones and what these changes could mean for you.
What are the new concessional and non-concessional contribution caps?
If you’re making contributions to your super, there are limits on the amount of concessional and non-concessional contributions you can make each year.
Below you can compare the current contribution caps with the contribution caps that will apply from 1 July 2021.
What’s the difference between concessional and non-concessional contributions?
Concessional contributions include:
- Compulsory contributions – these are the before-tax contributions your employer is required to make into your super fund under the Superannuation Guarantee scheme, if you’re eligible.
- Salary sacrifice contributions – these are additional contributions you can get your employer to make into your super fund out of your before-tax income if you choose to.
- Tax-deductible contributions – these are voluntary contributions you can make using after-tax dollars (such as when you transfer funds from your bank account into your super), which you then claim a tax deduction for. These can be made by both self-employed people and employees.
Concessional contributions are usually taxed at 15% (or 30% if your total income exceeds $250,000). This will typically result in an overall tax saving when compared to the tax rates most people pay on their personal income.
Non-concessional contributions include:
- Personal after-tax contributions – these are contributions you put into your super fund using after-tax dollars, which you don’t claim a tax deduction for. Some reasons why you might choose to make non-concessional contributions, include if you’ve reached your concessional contributions cap, if you’ve received an inheritance, or if you’re after a government co-contribution into your super fund.
Will there be any changes to the total super balance cap?
Currently, if you have a total super balance of $1.6 million or more, as at 30 June of the previous financial year, you can’t make additional non-concessional contributions to your super, or you may be penalised. While non-concessional contributions can’t be made once you reach this limit, concessional contributions can be.
Meanwhile, from 1 July 2021, this cap will increase from $1.6 million to $1.7 million.
How does the total super balance cap affect bring-forward rules?
Your total super balance may also impact your ability to contribute up to three years of non-concessional contributions under the bring-forward rules.
Currently, your total super balance must be below $1.4 million, as at 30 June of the previous financial year, for you to be able to contribute up to three years of annual caps ($300,000) under the bring-forward rules.
From 1 July 2021, that figure will change, and your total super balance will need to be below $1.48 million, as at 30 June of the previous financial year, to contribute up to three years of annual caps ($330,000) under bring forward rules.
As your total super balance rises above this level, your ability to bring forward future year caps may be reduced, or no longer available at all, meaning only the standard cap may be available.
What other things should I know about super contributions?
- If you exceed super contribution caps, additional tax and penalties may apply.
- If you’re 67 or over when a super contribution is made, you’ll need to have met the work test or be eligible to use the recent retiree work test exemption.
- If you’re 65 or over, you can make an after-tax downsizer contribution to your super of up to $300,000, using the proceeds from the sale of your home (if it’s your main residence), regardless of your work status, super balance, or contributions history.
- The government sets general rules around when you can access your super, which typically won’t be until you reach your preservation age and meet a condition of release, such as retirement.
Superannuation rules can be quite complex, so speak to us about what might be right for you.
In the meantime, remember the value of your investment in super can go up and down. Before making extra contributions, make sure you understand and are comfortable with any potential risk you might be taking on.
©AWM Services Pty Ltd. First published April 2021
Capital gains tax impacts every tax-paying Australian, and given the strong market returns, will be a nice earner for the Australian Government for years to come.
So what is Capital Gains Tax?
Capital gains tax may be payable when you sell a certain asset (such as shares, land or property) and make a profit.
Capital gains tax is charged on the profit you make from the sale of certain assets. These could be assets that you’ve purchased or inherited.
To give you a few examples, capital gains tax might apply to things such as shares, investments, land and property (unless it’s your primary residence), and it may even apply to certain collectibles and personal items, depending on what you paid for themi.
The good news is, if you understand the general ins and outs of capital gains tax in Australia, which we explain in more detail below, you could reduce the amount you have to payii.
When is capital gains tax payable?
When you make a capital gain, the amount is included as part of your personal income for tax purposes. While capital gains tax has its own name, it’s not a standalone tax.
What that means is any capital gains you’ve received will need to be declared when you lodge your annual tax return and will then be assessed as part of your total income for the year. The amount of tax you pay on that income will then vary depending on what income bracket you fall into.
In the instance you have a shared asset, you need to work out each owner’s individual interest in the asset, as this is how capital gains and losses are determined for each party involvediii.
You might be interested to know that strategies that reduce your total income might help to reduce the amount of tax you pay on any capital gains you make.
One example is if you make a tax-deductible super contribution. For instance, if you’ve sold an asset that you have to pay capital gains tax on and you decide to contribute some or all of that money into super, which you then claim a tax deduction for, this could reduce or even eliminate the capital gains tax that’s owing altogether. However, there are things you should keep in mind.
How are capital gains calculated?
Generally, you can calculate your net capital gain by adding up your capital gains over the financial year and subtracting your capital losses (including any net capital losses from previous years that haven’t been claimed already) and any capital gains discountsiv or small business capital gains tax concessions you may be entitled tov.
The important thing to note is a capital gain is typically reduced by 50% when an asset has been held for at least 12 monthsvi. So, if you sell an asset you’ve owned for less than a year (an investment property or shares in a business for example), the entire gain will need to be included in your taxable income.
What assets does capital gains tax not apply to?
If you make a profit on an asset, there are instances where you won’t be hit with capital gains tax.
Capital gains tax generally doesn’t apply tovii:
~ Assets acquired before 20 September 1985
~ A property that is your main residence
~ A car, motorcycle or similar vehicle
~ Personal-use assets, which you paid under $10,000 for
~ Winnings or losses from gambling and prizes.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has further details as to which assets are subject to capital gains tax and which assets are exempt on its website.
How important is keeping records?
You must keep records of everything (every transaction, event or circumstance) that may be relevant to working out whether you’ve made a capital gain or loss from an asset for a period of five yearsviii.
Also note, there’s no time limit on how long you can carry forward a net capital loss and it can be deducted against capital gains in future yearsix, helping to reduce the tax you pay in future years.
©AWM Services Pty Ltd. First published June 2021
Outlook for Investment Markets
Shares remain vulnerable to a short-term correction with possible triggers being the inflation scare and US taper talk, coronavirus Delta variant related setbacks and geopolitical risks. But looking through the inevitable short-term noise, the combination of improving global growth and earnings helped by more fiscal stimulus, vaccines allowing reopening once herd immunity is reached and still low interest rates augurs well for shares over the next 12 months.
Still ultra-low yields and a capital loss from rising bond yields are likely to result in negative returns from bonds over the next 12 months.
Unlisted commercial property and infrastructure are ultimately likely to benefit from a resumption of the search for yield but the hit to space demand and hence rents from the virus will continue to weigh on near term returns.
Australian home prices now look likely to rise 20% this year before slowing to around 5% next year, being boosted by ultra-low mortgage rates, economic recovery and FOMO, but expect a progressive slowing in the pace of gains as poor affordability impacts, government home buyer incentives are cut back, fixed mortgage rates rise, macro prudential tightening kicks in and immigration remains down relative to normal.
Cash and bank deposits are likely to provide very poor returns, given the ultra-low cash rate of just 0.1%. We remain of the view that the RBA won’t start raising rates until 2023.
Although the A$ is vulnerable to bouts of uncertainty and RBA bond buying and China tensions will keep it lower than otherwise, a rising trend is likely to remain over the next 12 months helped by strong commodity prices and a cyclical decline in the US dollar, probably taking the A$ up to around US$0.85 over the next 12 months.
Dr Shane Oliver
Head of Investment Strategy & Economics and Chief Economist, AMP Capital
2 July 2021