As a business, you’re probably bombarded with all sorts of business advice. Much of this advice arrives as a never ending stream of paperwork that you have to wade through, comprehend and put into action in a timely manner. If you’re not vigilant in this area you could see yourself missing important changes and wasting time trying to pick up the pieces. One such area is tax rates.
UNDERSTANDING TAX RATES
You most certainly need to ensure you keep abreast of any changes in this area. The last thing you want is a disgruntled employee coming to see you in July or August after they have had their tax return prepared, telling you that they have a tax bill because you didn’t deduct enough tax from their pay. Quite often this employee had their heart set on what they were going to do with their tax refund and worse still they may have already gone out and made that purchase or paid for that holiday knowing that it would be covered by their tax refund! Seriously, this happens and I have been that accountant sitting across the desk having to explain that “no, I definitely haven’t made a mistake but your employer has”.
This situation can be avoided by ensuring that your software always has up to date tax tables. Tax tables are produced & updated by the ATO each year. They tell you how much you need to withhold from payments you make to your employees.
HOW DO OUR TAX RATES WORK?
In Australia, we have a progressive tax system. It works on “tax brackets” and at each bracket, different levels of tax is paid. For example, if one of your employee’s earns less than $18,200 they will pay no tax. For amounts over $18,200 and up until $37,000, they will pay tax at 19 cents in the dollar.
As your employee earns more and more, they will progressively pay a higher tax rate on certain amounts of their income. The below table show the latest tax table updates for tax on the income.
Tax Rates 2015-2016
|Taxable income||Tax on this income|
|$18,201 – $37,000||19c for each $1 over $18,200|
|$37,001 – $80,000||$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000|
|$80,001 – $180,000||$17,547 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000|
|Over $180,000||$57,547 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000|
Compulsory superannuation rate: 9.5%
There are different tax scales depending on the individual’s circumstances. For example: An income earner with a HELP debt will utilise a different tax table to ensure the correct calculation of their payment.
Under our progressive tax system, the rates are based on the concept that high-income taxpayers can afford to pay a higher tax rate and low-income taxpayers pay not just lower taxes overall, but a lower percentage of the income they do have.
UPDATING TAX TABLES
I’m sure that you have enough going on in your business that you don’t need to be constantly checking the news and newspapers to see if certain tax measures get passed or not. This is something you can leave to the accounting software providers like MYOB who ensures your software is constantly up-to-date to reflect ATO requirements.
All you need to do is to ensure that at all times you are using the latest version of your software and you can concentrate on operating your business – doing what you are best at, doing what you like doing and making money. To ensure your software is on the latest version, visit myob.com.au/upgrade.
ATO RECOMMENDATION TO TAX TABLE UPDATES
In the last few weeks, you would’ve received a letter from the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), stressing the importance of being compliant by updating your tax tables. The tax tables help you work out your obligations as an employer, particularly calculating how much to withhold from payments to employees.
RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS
- Ensure your accounting software is constantly on the latest version by visiting myob.com.au/upgrade.
- Ensure you have setup the employees details correctly ie. selected the correct tax free threshold
- Ensure that allowances are being taxed correctly
- Ensure that additional superannuation payments are setup correctly (ie. are the contributions meant to be before tax or after tax)