With the lead up to June 30, many business owners are busy tying up their tax affairs. During this time it can be
easy to lose sight of other business issues, especially legislative and compliance changes that have taken place at the
start of the new financial year.

Considering the following changes that have taken effect from 1 July 2018:

Minimum wage increases

A new minimum wage is now in effect starting from the first pay period on or after 1 July 2018. The new hourly minimum wage is $18.93 per hour, up from $18.29 – a 3.5 per cent increase. The base rates of pay in modern awards will also increase. Employers must ensure that they check the new wage rates that apply to their business and take action immediately.

High income threshold

The high income threshold in unfair dismissal cases will increase to $145,400 per annum. The previous threshold was $142,000 per annum for dismissals that took place on or after 30 June 2017. The compensation limit will be $72,700 for dismissals occurring on or after 1 July 2018.

Changes to penalty rates for some awards

From 1 July 2018, Sunday penalty rates for workers in the Fast Food, Hospitality, Pharmacy and Retail awards changed, following a Fair Work Commission decision made last year. The rate cuts are between 10 to 15 per cent, depending on the award.

Tax

Online retailers are now required to register for GST on sales of low-value imports of physical goods imported by consumers.
Businesses that meet the $75,000 registration threshold will need to take action now to review their business systems to ensure that they comply. They will need to:

  • register for GST
  • charge GST on sales of low value imported goods (unless they are GST-free)
  • lodge returns to the ATO.

These businesses may be merchants who sell goods, electronic distribution platform operators or re-deliverers. Also, the 32.5 per cent income tax rate increased to $90,000 from $87,000 as of 1 July 2018.

*** This publication is for guidance only, and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publishers nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication. Publication date July 2018.

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