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Archives for February 2019

Why You Should Salary Sacrifice To Super

For many of us, we are able to contribute to superannuation for our entire working lives. Thanks to the superannuation guarantee arrangement, employers are obliged to contribute a minimum percentage (currently 9.5%) of your earnings to your nominated super fund. While this might seem like a lot, depending on your ideal cost of living in retirement, you may wish to contribute additional money to boost your savings. One way of doing this is through salary sacrificing.

Salary sacrificing is where you establish an arrangement with your employer to pay a portion of your pre-tax salary to your super account as a concessional contribution. There are a few benefits to this:

  • Boost to your overall contributions to your super fund
  • Reduce your taxable income, therefore, paying less tax
  • Works as a forced saving so you don’t need to worry about putting money away to contribute later

To show you how this could work for you, here’s an example for someone earning $90,000 p.a.:

The above example shows how your after-tax pay would be affected if you salary sacrificed $10,000 in one year, the difference is $6,550 per year or $126 per week. If this looks too much for your circumstance, perhaps consider reducing your super contributions to $5,000. Now your take-home pay is $64,658, therefore an after-tax reduction of $3,275 per year or $63 per week.

Salary sacrificing is a great tool to help boost your super savings, however, there can be some traps for young players. Be sure to speak with your financial adviser to establish how salary sacrificing can best work for you.

Please note this article provides general advice and has not taken your personal or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored superannuation or financial advice, please contact us today. One of our advisers would be delighted to speak with you.

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PAYG Tax: What Is It & Why Am I Paying It?

During our lifetime we all pay tax on our income at some point.  This is called Pay As You Go tax (PAYG).  In Australia, our PAYG is a progressive tax, which means the more you earn the more you pay.  This and all other taxes are defined as the contribution to the government revenue compulsorily levied on individuals, property, businesses, goods etc.  This money is used to provide those services we expect in our society, roads, hospitals, schools etc.

PAYG tax can be confusing, especially if you have a varied income.  Some weeks you will only earn a small amount and so may not pay tax at all but the next you will work extra hours perhaps even on a weekend and suddenly you lose a lot in tax.  In Australia, our rate of PAYG is based on our annual income but this is calculated based on each pay event.  Below is a table from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) showing the individual resident rates of tax for the 2018-2019 financial year.

Taxable Income Tax on this income
0 – $18,200 Nil
$18,201 – $37,000 19c for each $1 over $18,200
$37,001 – $90,000 $3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
$90,000 – $180,000 $20,797 plus $37c for each $1 over $90,000
$180,000 and over $54,097 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

**These rates do not include the Medicare levy.

For a lot of people where the confusion will come in is when they are changing tax brackets because of their variable earnings.  If you are a part-time or casual worker but perhaps do some extra work during holidays or peak work periods you could see your weekly income move from the second tax bracket to the third, which means a significant increase in your tax for the week.  It doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to earn over $37,001 for the year but because our tax is calculated on each pay event you will be taxed that period as if you are.

For a working example, we have someone who works casually and this week earns $519 before tax.  They would pay $41 that week in tax.  The next week is busy and they work extra shifts and earn $769 for the week, the amount of tax is $102.  When we look at the weeks individually the employee has jumped up in tax brackets.  Come to the end of the financial year they have only earnt $30,000 for the year.  They will be issued with a PAYG statement showing this and also the amount of tax they are have paid throughout the year.  This is when the ATO will look at those amounts and a refund would be issued for the overpaid tax.

For many Australians they find this confusing and unfair, however, the alternatives can be even more confusing and can result in people having large tax bills at the end of the financial period to pay resulting in hardship and meaning that the Government doesn’t get the income it is expecting.  This can have serious flow-on effects for all of the economy.

Please note this article provides general advice and examples, it has not taken your personal or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored financial advice, please contact us today.

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