Tax Updates for the 2008-2009
The following are the changes to the tax code for the 2008-2009 tax year:
Education Tax Refund
This year the Government introduced the Education Tax Refund, which allows certain parents to claim eligible educational expenses they incurred for their children in primary or secondary school. Independent students under 25 in primary or secondary school may also be able to claim some of their educational expenses. In order to claim the refund you must have receipts documenting the expenses.
Family Tax Benefit
The Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is no longer administered through your tax return beginning 1 July 2009. The Department of Human Services is now responsible for addressing FTB claims.
First Home Saver Accounts
Beginning 1 October 2008, you may be able to open a first home saver account. Not only do you not have to pay tax on the account’s earnings or declare income from the account on your tax return, but the Australian Government will make an annual contribution to the account based on how much you contribute.
A new HECS-HELP benefit is available for
- mathematics and science graduates who completed a natural or physical science course during or after the second semester of 2008 and were thereafter employed in a related occupation
- early childhood education teachers working in regional or remote areas, Indigenous Australian communities, or socio-economically disadvantaged areas
Medicare Levy Surcharge Thresholds
The income threshold for the Medicare levy surcharge has been increased to $70,000 for a single filer and $140,000 for families.
Same Sex Couples - Death Benefits Dependent
The definitions of ‘spouse’ and ‘child’ changed with regard to death benefits dependents for employment termination payments and Australian superannuation lump sum payments.
Upper Income Limit for Certain Tax Offsets
Individuals whose taxable income is below $150,000 may no longer be able to claim certain tax offsets including spouse, child-housekeeper, and housekeeper tax offset.