On 9 May 2023, Federal Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, handed down the 2023/ 24 Federal Budget.
The full Budget papers are available at www.budget.gov.au and the Treasury ministers’ media releases are available at ministers.treasury.gov.au.
The superannuation highlights are set out below.
Reducing tax concessions for superannuation balances exceeding $3 million
Superannuation earnings tax concessions will be reduced for individuals with total superannuation balances in excess of $3 million.
From 1 July 2025, earnings on balances exceeding $3 million will incur a higher concessional tax rate of 30% (up from 15%) for earnings corresponding to the proportion of an individual’s total superannuation balance that is greater than $3 million. The change does not impose a limit on the size of superannuation account balances in the accumulation phase and it applies to future earnings, ie it is not retrospective.
Earnings relating to assets below the $3 million threshold will continue to be taxed at 15%, or zero if held in a retirement pension account.
Interests in defined benefit schemes will be appropriately valued and will have earnings taxed under this measure in a similar way to other interests.
Sources: Budget Paper No 2, p 15; Budget Factsheet — Stronger foundations for a better future, p 63; Treasurer’s press release “Superannuation tax breaks”, 28 February 2023.
Employers to be required to pay super guarantee on payday
Employers will be required to pay their employees’ superannuation guarantee (SG) entitlements at the same time as they pay their salary and wages from 1 July 2026.
Employers are currently required to make SG contributions for an employee on a quarterly basis to avoid incurring a superannuation guarantee charge.
The proposed commencement date of 1 July 2026 is intended to provide employers, superannuation funds, payroll providers and other stakeholders sufficient time to prepare for the change.
Changes to the design of the superannuation guarantee charge will also be required to align with the increased payment frequency. The government will consult with relevant stakeholders on the design of these changes, with the final framework to be considered as part of the 2024–25 Budget.
In addition, funding will be provided to the ATO to, among other things, improve data matching capabilities to identify and act on cases of SG underpayment.
Sources: Budget Paper No 2, p 26; Budget Factsheet — Stronger foundations for a better future, p 62; Assistant Treasurer’s press release “Introducing payday super”, 2 May 2023.
Non-arm’s length income (NALI) amendments
The non-arm’s length income (NALI) measure announced by the Coalition government in 2022 will be amended to provide greater certainty to taxpayers.
The Coalition government announced on 22 March 2022 that the non-arm’s length expense provisions would be amended to ensure they operated as intended from 1 July 2022.
On 24 January 2023, Treasury released a consultation paper on the following potential amendments to the NALI provisions:
- self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and small APRA funds would be subject to a factor-based approach which would set an upper limit on the amount of fund income taxable as NALI due to a general expenses breach. The maximum amount of fund income taxable at the highest marginal rate would be 5 times the level of the general expenditure breach, calculated as the difference between the amount that would have been charged as an arm’s length expense and the amount that was actually charged to the fund. Where the product of 5 times the breach is greater than all fund income, all fund income will be taxed at the highest marginal rate, and
- large APRA-regulated funds would be exempted from the NALI provisions for general expenses of the fund.
To provide greater certainty to taxpayers, the NALI provisions which apply to expenditure incurred by superannuation funds will be amended by:
- limiting income of SMSFs and small APRA regulated funds that are taxable as NALI to twice the level of a general expense.
- Additionally, fund income taxable as NALI will exclude contributions
- exempting large APRA regulated funds from the NALI provisions for both general and specific expenses of the fund, and
- exempting expenditure that occurred prior to the 2018–19 income year.
Source: Budget Paper No 2, pp 13–14
This article contains information regarding taxation and legislative change, which is based on policy announcements that are yet to be passed as legislation and may be subject to future change. Any advice included in this article is general and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. As such, you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. Any tax information refers to current laws, is not based on your unique circumstances and should not be relied on as tax advice. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain financial product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement.