Death Duties (I told you so)

Death Duties (I told you so)-

Until March 2016, the Court fee for a Grant of Probate in Common Form in South Australia was a flat $1,114.00, regardless of the value of the estate.

This changed from 28th February 2016, but only the very smallest estates saw any reduction in the Court fee. Everyone else is now paying more. And then the State Government increased these fees again just 4 months later!

Death Duties May Be On The Way Back

Death Duties May Be On The Way Back

On 15 October 2009 the most senior tax-policy advisor to the Australian Federal Government, Dr Ken Henry (Chair – Australia’s Future Tax System Review Panel and Secretary to the Treasury) gave an Address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

In that address he identified 6 areas of future opportunities and challenges governments will need to address in respect to taxation.  At the very top of his list was:

“the ageing of the population, posing challenges for the financing of retirement incomes and of increasing health and aged care needs”.

Dr Henry said that taxes levied on broader bases would be more efficient policy tools, probably more equitable and certainly more transparent ways of raising revenue. Without such tools, governments would otherwise be compelled to continue to rely on bad taxes to achieve their spending objectives.

What does this mean, and why should you care?

A number of senior political commentators have recently speculated in mainstream Australian newspapers, that Death Duties, Estate Taxes or Inheritance Levies might well be one of the options likely to be seriously explored, as part of the current tax-reform inquiry.

The re-introduction of death duties could have a severe impact on most deceased estates, unless great care has been exercised to create an effective estate-plan. This is just one example of how a change in the law could drastically affect you & your family.  Make sure that you have a valid, effective & integrated estate plan.  And keep it up to date.

Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: Glass Ceilings, Black Holes, Budget Deficits & Estate Plans

Glass Ceilings, Black Holes, Budget Deficits & Estate Plans

Australia now has its first female Prime Minister.  The glass ceiling has at last been shattered.  But what does this mean for the federal budget, and how might this affect your estate planning?

Bear with me for a minute, as we explore some of the possibilities.

That the new PM is female is largely irrelevant to these considerations.  But the change of Prime Minister allows the government to distance itself from some of the more unpopular policies of the outgoing PM Kevin Rudd, notably the Mining Tax.

The 40 per cent resource super profits tax – known as the Mining Tax – was the single biggest tax impost since the introduction of the GST.

This new tax on mining profits was supposed to be worth up to $12 billion a year, and was the government’s funding mechanism to boost the retirement savings of workers, lower business taxes and build infrastructure – while still leaving room for the other $2.6 billion in election promises.