Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

Ready for 1 July? We summarise the critical legal changes for businesses

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29/06/2018

Do you want to hit the ground running in the new financial year?  We have all the details you need to know about the key legal changes your business will face from 1 July 2018.  Click through via the numbered heading for more information on any of these topics.

Workplace

1.  3.5% wage increase

A wage increase of 3.5% will apply to employees whose pay rates are derived from the national minimum wage or a modern award. The minimum wage is estimated to have a total increase of around $24.30 a week, which will take the weekly minimum wage from $694.90 to $719.20.

2.  A reminder: State labour hire legislative changes

If you have not applied for this licence yet and you operate a business that provides labour hire services then you may be fined up to $380,000. The last date that businesses ought to have lodged an application for a licence was 15 June 2018.

3.  Single Touch Payroll (STP)

Don’t forget! If you are an employer of 20 or more people, then you must commence reporting each payment of salaries, wages, PAYG withholding and super payments through the Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2018. If your software provider is not compliant with the new requirements they may have received a ‘deferral notice’ approving a later compliance date, which covers those users of that software.

Commercial + Property

4.  GST withholding at settlement

If you are the purchaser of a new residential home or land after 1 July 2018, you will be required to withhold an amount of the contract price and pay it directly to the ATO on behalf of the Seller as part of the settlement process rather than paying the GST amount direct to the Seller and the Seller then remitting that amount to the ATO as part of their usual BAS cycle. This change has been made by the ATO in an effort to maximise the GST payments they receive.

5.  First Home Owners’ Grant

From 1 July 2018, the value of the grant will be decreased from $20,000.00 to $15,000.00.If a contract was entered into between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018 you may still be eligible for the $20,000 grant.Eligibility conditions apply.

Construction

6.  Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017(BIF) postponed until 17 December

Further to our email alert on 28 February 2018, the date for commencement of the Security of Payment provisions (the replacement of BCIPA) has been pushed back to 17 December 2018.

Litigation

7.  Ipso facto reforms

From 1 July 2018, the ipso facto reforms will stop parties to a contract from terminating because of the other contracting party’s insolvency event under an ipso facto clause. Refer to our recent email alert for more details.

8.  Country of Origin Food (CoOL) – food labelling laws

New food product labelling rules are set to become mandatory for all food retailers in Australia from 1 July 2018. The new labels will see the return of the iconic kangaroo in a triangle symbol accompanied by a bar chart which shows the percentage of Australian ingredients used.

Tax, Structures and Planning

9.  GST low value threshold goods changes

From 1 July 2018, low value goods ($1,000 AUD or less) imported by consumers will now incur GST. This will impact your purchase of goods from providers overseas, including eBay and Amazon.

10.  Downsizing contributions into superannuation – over 65 years old

From 1 July 2018, if you are aged 65 years or older and meet the Australian Government’s eligibility requirements, you may be able to choose to make a downsizer contribution into your superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your home. However, this is only applicable to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2018.

11.  The $20,000 instant asset write-off 'proposed' extension until 30 June 2019

The latest Federal Budget has proposed an extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses until 30 June 2019. However, this extension has not made its way into legislation yet. From 1 July 2018, the will reduce to $1,000 until the proposed legislation passes. So, get in quick prior to 30 June to take advantage.
 
Something more interesting….

12.  Don’t leave your house without your green bags!

From 1 July 2018, any person who sells goods in trade or commerce in Queensland are no longer permitted to supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags to customers for free or even at a charge. This ban even extends to compostable, degradable and biodegradable bags, which have been proven to still harm the environment and wildlife. Penalties may be up to $6,300 per offence.

13.  No more four eyes – say goodbye to glasses in passport photos

Say goodbye to wearing glasses in your passport photos as from 1 July 2018 they will not be allowed in new passport photos. This is aimed at strengthening the integrity of the Australian passport and supporting Australia’s security protocols.

14.  QLD electricity prices relief

Electricity prices are expected to drop by up to 4.3% in regional Queensland with an expected drop of 2.3% to residential households’ electricity prices in the next financial year. Prices have been reduced due to the State Government’s intervention in 2015 which saw Energex and Ergon Energy directed to not appeal a decision made by the Australian Energy Regulator to reduce its network revenues.

Got a question?

If you have a question about any of these changes or need to discuss how we can help you and your business hit the ground running come 1 July 2018 please give us a call.


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