Budget 2024-25

The federal budget was released on Tuesday, 14 May 2024. The extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off for depreciating assets has been announced by the government until 30 June 2025 for small businesses with a total turnover of less than $10 million. A small business is eligible to deduct the cost of multiple assets as the write-off applies per asset. While an existing proposal from the last Budget is to maximise the instant write-off threshold to $20,000 for the current 2024 year, it is crucial to notice that legislation dealing with this measure is stalled in Parliament.

From 1 July 2025, the CGT regime will be amended to broaden the type of asset subject to CGT for foreign residents and present an amended 365-day principal asset testing time. In addition, foreign residents selling shares and other membership interests exceeding $20 million in value will have to notify the ATO before the transaction. In order to reduce the burden of living expenses, Australian households are expected to receive a $300 credit on their energy bills, disbursed as automatic quarterly instalments throughout the 2024-25 period. Small businesses will also get energy relief in the form of a $325 rebate.

Strengthening Regulatory Arrangements

Two consultation papers have been issued by the treasury in response to the priority areas addressed by the Government arising from the latest tax adviser misconduct.

  • Regulation of Accounting, Auditing and Consulting firms in Australia

The first consultation paper focuses on the regulation of accounting, auditing and consulting firms in Australia. Identifying the roles they play in the functioning of Australian markets and the economy, the consultation paper is receiving views and responses on the following issues:

    • The sufficiency of governance requirements for large partnerships
    • The sufficiency of current professional standards, regulations and laws
    • Whether the transparency needed for accounting, auditing and consulting firms is sufficient to
      • Provide capital markets confidence that independent audit services are offered by laws and standards
      • Allow stakeholders to get the information they need to inform their involvement with the firm(s)
    • The sufficiency of regulatory enforcement capabilities and standard-setting
    • The safety of whistleblowers
    • Competitiveness and resilience within the audit industry.
  • Tax Regulator Information Gathering Powers

Considering recent instances of tax advisor misconduct highlighting deficiencies in this area, the second consultation paper is focused on enhancing ATO and TPB’s information-gathering capabilities. This paper invites opinions and input on proposals concerning:

    • Whether the ATO’s formal information-collecting powers are accurate for the purpose (including whether they must be expanded to improve its ability to investigate criminal tax offences and also to allow it to receive telecommunications data independently and store communications in such criminal investigations)
    • Eliminating the limits on the TPB using formal information-collecting powers prior to starting a formal investigation.