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How your coming tax cut could pay off

Over the coming weeks, around 12 million working Australians will start receiving extra cash in their pay packets as a result of changes to personal income tax brackets announced by the federal government.

   
Over the coming weeks, around 12 million working Australians will start receiving extra cash in their pay packets.
 
It's an artificial pay rise that's largely come about from changes to personal income tax brackets that were announced by the federal government in the 6 October budget.
 
By lifting tax bracket thresholds, more Australians will now be paying less overall tax.
 
As shown in the table below, most individuals will receive a tax cut of between $1,060 and $2,745 per year, depending on their taxable income. The individual tax savings equate to between about $20 and almost $53 per week more in after-tax cash income.
 
And because the start of the new tax scale has been backdated to 1 July this year, workers also will receive a one-off lump sum amount for the higher income tax rates paid since the beginning of this financial year after they lodge their 2020-21 annual tax return.
 
Working couples, of course, will receive a double benefit in terms of more combined weekly income and two backdated lump sum payments.
 

Tax relief by taxable income, 2020-21 compared with 2017-18 2017-18 2020-21

2017-18 2020-21
Taxable income $ Tax liability $ Tax liability $ Change in tax $ Change in tax %
40,000 4,947 3,887 -1,060 -21.4
60,000 12,147 9,987 -2,160 -17.8
80,000 19,147 16,987 -2,160 -11.3
100,000 26,632 24,187 -2,445 -9.2
120,000 34,432 31,687 -2,745 -8.0
140,000 42,232 39,667 -2,565 -6.1
160,000 50,032 47,467 -2,565 -5.1
180,000 57,832 55,267 -2,565 -4.4
200,000 67,232 64,667 -2,565 -3.8

Source: Commonwealth Government. Actual outcomes for individuals and households may differ.

 
In announcing its tax changes, the government noted the measures will support Australia's economic recovery by giving individuals and families more immediate money to spend on what they need.
 
Yet, depending on personal circumstances, it also may be worthwhile considering whether some or all of the new tax windfall can be used as part of a longer-term wealth building strategy.
 

A tax cut compounding strategy

 
Scientist Albert Einstein famously described compound interest as "the eighth wonder of the world".
 
Why? Einstein rightly calculated that any savings balance will grow significantly over time when interest payments are added. As an initial balance increases, so does the size of the interest payments made because they are applied to the higher savings balance amount.
 
As such, even a small weekly deposit amount will steadily add up over time when combined with compounding investment returns on the growing savings balance.
 
As noted above, a person on a taxable income of $40,000 per year will now be receiving an extra $1,060 a year in take-home pay as a result of the government's announced tax changes. This works out to $20.40 per week. Someone on a taxable income of $120,000 will receive an extra $52.79 per week.
 
The table below incorporates the announced tax savings and shows how regular deposits can add up over time with the benefit of compounding returns.
 
The numbers are based on a hypothetical starting balance of $5,000 and are calculated using an annual return of 8 per cent.
 
This largely matches the 7.9 per cent actual annualised total return from the top 300 companies listed on the Australian share market over the last 10 years.
 
To simulate the effect of compound interest, the total return assumes than an investor had reinvested all of the company dividends that were paid since 2010 back into the Australian share market.
 
This would have been possible using either an Australian share market managed fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) offering a dividend reinvestment program (DRP) option. In this way, whenever dividend distributions are paid, they are converted into additional fund units.
 

Using the tax savings to achieve compound growth

Extra cash per year Extra cash per week (rounded) Total deposits Total interest earned Total savings
$1,060 $20 $10,400 $11,554 $26,954
$2,160 $42 $21,840 $17,554 $44,394
$2,445 $47 $24,440 $18,918 $48,358
$2,565 $49 $25,480 $19,464 $49,944
$2,745 $53 $27,560 $20,555 $53,115

Source: Vanguard.

 
The annualised 8 per cent return number used in the calculations is for illustration purposes only. Past investment performance should never be seen as an indicator of future performance.
 
However, the long-term positive effect of compound growth would still apply on lower annualised returns.
 

A superannuation angle

 
Investing the new tax savings directly is one option, but individuals also may want to consider channelling their higher after-tax income into their superannuation account.
 
It's now possible to make after-tax payments into a superannuation fund, up to the annual allowable $25,000 concessional limit, and then claim a 15 per cent tax refund deduction in the next year's tax return.
 
That's because superannuation payments are generally paid from one's salary using pre-tax income, and are concessionally taxed at 15 per cent.
 
In a practical sense, what that means is that individuals can use the new tax cuts to claim an additional 15 per cent deduction by directing their after-tax income into superannuation.
 
Done over an extended period of time, such a strategy will have the same benefits of compounding returns as someone investing outside of superannuation, but have the extra benefit of being able to claim a tax deduction – which also could be reinvested.
 
Conclusion
How the new tax cuts are spent, or invested, is absolutely an individual choice – and probably a joint decision for most couples.
 
Used as part of a disciplined, low cost and diversified long-term investment strategy, however, the benefits of making regular deposits and leveraging compounding returns are clear.
 
Before making any investment decision, it may be worthwhile to consult with a licensed financial adviser.
 
 
 
Tony Kaye
Senior Personal Finance Writer
04 Nov, 2020
vanguardinvestments.com.au
 

David Forrest Download David's Adviser Profile

David Forrest

Director
BEc (Acc), MBA, CPA, FFin

David has been in the Financial Services Industry for nearly 30 years. He was one of the founding Directors of the successful Financial Planning and Stockbroking Practice, Henderson Gregory Forrest, for a decade. Prior to that, he held senior roles in companies such as ING, KPMG Accountants and AMP. David was previously Chairman of OAMPS Superannuation Trustee Board and currently serves as an independent Board Director for several companies.

David’s extensive experience in all forms of superannuation, including Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF), Defined Benefit Funds, retirement funding through Account Based Pensions, stockbroking with a focus on Direct Share Investment, Taxation/Remuneration Planning, Centrelink, Aged Care and business management, equip him to advise expertly on all aspects of Financial Advice.

Those with a particular interest in superannuation/SMSFs, direct share investment, salary packaging or applying for the Centrelink Pension will find his knowledge and ability in formulating and implementing creative, logical and simple wealth creation strategies a valuable asset.

David maintains a strong personalised client service focus, providing tailored solutions for clients.

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David Forrest is an Authorised Representative of Integrity Financial (SA) Pty Ltd ABN 16 133 921 187 — AFSL No 334846

Michelle Forrest

Michelle Forrest

Business Finance Manager
B Bus (Acc), CPA

Michelle’s career has spanned across the Financial Services, Retirement Living and Aged Care industries working in the private sector, not for profit and more recently with the state government for over 20 years. Her experience extends to many facets of the financial services industry, having worked in superannuation administration, technical support and financial planning practice administration.

Commencing with AMP and subsequently working in commerce and accounting roles with companies such as Brambles, Adelaide Bank Retirement Services, ECH Inc and SA Health and Wellbeing, Michelle returns to financial services after working in practice financial management at Henderson Gregory Forrest. This wide range of experience from senior accounting and management roles has provided Michelle with a strong background in business administration.

With an astute financial acumen and keen interest in business improvement strategies, Michelle ensures the smooth running of the Integrity Financial Advisory practice providing valued management support to our personalised client service focus.

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Darren Chalk Download Darren's Adviser Profile

Darren Chalk

Financial Adviser
B Com, Dip FP

Darren joins the Integrity team as a strong technical specialist with almost 20 years’ in the Financial Services industry. He has extensive experience advising clients on how to build and protect wealth, prepare for retirement and retire comfortably.

Commencing with advising clients on direct equities for over 10 years at Baker Young, Tolhurst Noall, and ABN AMRO Morgans, his career expanded to providing holistic client advice, having operated his own financial services licence and company. Most recently having worked for a 'Big 4' bank, he has welcomed the more personalised ‘client first’ approach that is evident at Integrity Financial Advisory.

With a deep understanding of investment markets, he is appropriately qualified and authorised to provide direct share advice, as well as superannuation/SMSF advice, encompassing both investments and insurance.

Meticulous in his approach, he aims to deliver quality outcomes for clients by understanding their financial situation and needs before providing advice which is central to our advice process. Darren supports David in tailoring solutions for all client financial advice needs.

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Darren Chalk is an Authorised Representative of Integrity Financial (SA) Pty Ltd ABN 16 133 921 187 — AFSL No 334846

Natasha Bartlett

Natasha Bartlett

Client Service Manager

Natasha commenced working in the financial services industry in June 2008 and is a new addition to the Integrity team. During the past 11 years, she worked closely with advisers providing administration support in a share broking and financial advice business.

Having successfully completed her RG146 accreditation in securities and managed investments and continued her studies to complete her competency in Superannuation, Natasha can ably assist with all aspects of fixed interest, cash management, portfolio administration, direct shares and client advice implementation.

Natasha takes time to ensure she understands our client’s financial goals and needs and believes in creating, preserving and utilising wealth through effective financial management as a key objective in helping clients.

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Kelly Collins

Kelly Collins

Client Service Manager

Kelly has worked in the Financial Services Industry for over 10 years and has supported David since 2013. Kelly’s primary background is in customer service and administration.

On starting in the industry, Kelly initially focused on direct shares, stockbroking administration and client liaison. Since moving to the Client Service Manager role, Kelly has developed skills encompassing all aspects of financial planning including client advice implementation and term deposit management.

Kelly’s experience in the direct share environment, especially management of estates, provides a key part of the direct equity expertise in Integrity’s Client Service Team.

Returning from Parental Leave following the arrival of her second child, Kelly has developed further honed multi-tasking skills after juggling the demands of a growing family.

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Jasmine Smith

Jasmine Smith

Client Service Manager

Jasmine has worked in the financial services industry for over 12 years in all areas of client administration, working with David since 2013.

Jasmine has extensive knowledge and experience in client service including implementation of advice, portfolio reporting, assisting with the establishment of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs), term deposit management and a long history of helping clients with their enquiries.

Jasmine’s attention to detail, yet gentle approach, means she is able to solve the trickiest of questions for our client community.

Jasmine has gained her Certificate III in Financial Services qualification.

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Merrilyn Smith

Merrilyn Smith

Client Service Manager

Merrilyn has worked in the financial services industry for over 11 years in all areas of client administration, and is a new addition to our client services team, returning from Melbourne to join the team in June 2019.

Merrilyn has extensive knowledge and experience in client service including implementation of advice, managed fund administration, assisting with the establishment of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) and process improvement for the previous practices she has worked with. Merrilyn’s experience with direct shares constitutes the other part of our administrative support for direct equity investments.

Merrilyn’s warm and caring nature continues to endear her to our clients and she has already established herself as a valued member of our team.

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