Under Labor’s proposal to reinstate a budget repair levy of 2 per cent, SMSFs with non-arm’s length income or made non-complying would be hit with a top marginal rate of 47 per cent plus Medicare, warns a law firm.
Speaking in a recent webinar, DBA Lawyers senior associate William Fettes said that Labor has announced that, if elected, it will reinstate the temporary budget repair levy at a rate of 2 per cent.
The original budget repair levy, which was introduced in the 2014–15 federal budget by the Coalition, applied over a three-year time frame, with the levy ceasing after the 2016–17 financial year.
While there isn’t a lot of detail about this proposal yet, Mr Fettes said that it appears if it is implemented by the government, it will be a standing levy.
“There has been some commentary about its removal once the budget reaches a sustainable, fiscal position but not an automatic expiry,” Mr Fettes said.
If the measure is passed by the future government, the top marginal rate will increase to 47 per cent plus Medicare, which means the top tax rate will rise to 49 per cent or potentially even 49.5 per cent if the Medicare levy goes up too, he explained.
The increase in the top marginal rate will also have implications for some SMSFs where the fund is made non-complying or derives non-arm’s length income.
“It could have an impact on SMSFs that are non-complying or funds that don’t have a low tax component and have non-arm’s length income would need to be aware that the rate of tax that applies would be the 47 per cent rate, not the current 45 per cent rate, because of the impact of that levy,” he explained.
Mr Fettes said that, with the election date now called, the superannuation measures put forward by both major parties “now hang in the balance”.
“A lot will be contingent on the outcome of the election and what the future government is going to do,” he said.
By Miranda Brownlee
12 April Brownlee