Other Federal Budget changes

Other announced changes

Increased refunds for eligible primary producers and tourism operators

The Government will provide further relief to farmers and tourism operators by amending the luxury car tax refund arrangements. For vehicles acquired on or after 1 July 2019, eligible primary producers and tourism operators will be able to apply for a refund of any luxury car tax paid, up to a maximum of $10,000.

Currently, primary producers and tourism operators may be eligible for a partial refund of the luxury car tax paid on eligible four-wheel or all-wheel drive cars, up to a maximum refund of $3,000.

The eligibility criteria and types of vehicles eligible for the current partial refund will remain unchanged under the new refund arrangements.

North Queensland Flood Recovery Package — tax treatment of qualifying grants

The Government will provide an income tax exemption for qualifying grants made to primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations affected by the North Queensland floods.

Qualifying grants include Category C and Category D grants provided under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018, and grants provided under the On-Farm Restocking and Replanting Grants Program and the On-Farm Infrastructure Grants Program.

The exemption will apply where the grants relate to the monsoonal trough, which produced flooding that started on or after 25 January 2019 and continued into February 2019. The grants will be made non-assessable non-exempt income for tax purposes.

Queensland storms — tax treatment of payments to primary producers

The Government will treat payments made to primary producers in the Fassifern Valley in Queensland (which was affected by storm damage in October 2018) as exempt income.

The tax treatment relates to payments distributed to affected taxpayers through a grant totalling $1 million to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, working with the Salvation Army and a local community panel.

Concessional treatment for the forced sale of livestock under the Farm Household Allowance Program

Over two years from 2018/19, farmers receiving Farm Household Allowance (‘FHA’) will be able to exempt income from the forced sale of livestock from the FHA income test when that income is invested in a farm management deposit.

This measure will ensure that FHA recipients who are destocking retain access to income support, while making long-term financial plans.

Addressing sham contracting

The Government will provide substantial funding to establish a dedicated sham contracting unit (within the Fair Work Ombudsman) to address sham contracting behaviour engaged in by some employers.

This measure is targeted at those who knowingly or recklessly misrepresent employment relationships as independent contracts to avoid employment and statutory obligations.

Extension and expansion of the ATO Tax Avoidance Taskforce

The Government will provide $1 billion over four years, from the 2020 income year, to the ATO to extend the operation of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce and to expand the Taskforce’s programs and market coverage.

The Taskforce undertakes compliance activities targeting multinationals, large public and private groups, trusts and high wealth individuals.

This measure will allow the Taskforce to expand these activities, including increasing its scrutiny of specialist tax advisors and intermediaries that promote tax avoidance schemes and strategies.

Increasing engagement on tax and superannuation liabilities

The Government will provide $42.1 million over four years to the ATO to increase activities to recover unpaid tax and superannuation liabilities.

These activities will focus on larger businesses and high wealth individuals to ensure on-time payment of their tax and superannuation liabilities.

The measure will not extend to small businesses.

Supporting small business with tax disputes

The Government will provide $57.5 million over five years from 2018/19 to the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the ATO for the purpose of providing access to a fast, low cost and independent review mechanism for small businesses in dispute with the ATO.

This measure came into effect from 1 March 2019.

Related reading

2019/20 Federal Budget for business