The best financial planning is done at the beginning of the year not the end so now is a good time to take stock and get your finances in order with the help of our new financial year checklist.
But the shadow of COVID-19 means many of us face unexpected pressures, in a changing economic environment.
Many people will have concerns around job security and paying down debt, which makes long-term planning seem less important but it’s actually more important than ever.
There are also changes due to the pandemic that may affect your tax return. For example, if you’ve worked from home this year, the ATO will accept a shortcut method for calculating home office running expenses from 1 March to 30 June.
Now more than ever, the experienced team at DFK Everalls is here for you and with our expertise across multiple financial areas, from accounting & tax to debt management and financial planning, we have the right people to help you make the right decisions.
Here is our New Financial Year checklist, with some things to consider as we move into the new financial year.
1. What’s new in terms of retirement
Changes kicking in this financial year include lower minimum pensions drawdown requirements. This is to help retirees affected by significant losses in financial markets as a result of COVID-19.
The minimum annual payment required for account- based and allocated pensions and annuities has been cut by 50% in the 2019–20 and the 2020–21 financial years.
If you’ve recently retired, you may still be able to make voluntary super contributions. You may also potentially claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions. Current regulations allow eligible ‘recent’ retirees a limited exemption from having to meet the work test.
This is also the first year that those who are eligible can use unused carried forward concession cap amounts from the previous financial year to increase the amount of deductible personal or salary sacrifice contributions they can make this year beyond the normal annual maximum of $25,000.
Also, super fund members born between 1 July 1962 and 30 June 1963 will reach their preservation age during the 2020/21 financial year and may wish to consider whether a transition to retirement pension is appropriate.
See below for more details on these changes:
Contribution Rules changes
From 1 July 2020, the following changes, may benefit members aged 65 and 66 who want to make additional contributions to super.
- Up to age 67 (previously 65) you are able to make personal and non-mandated employer contributions to super without needing to satisfy the work test (ie been gainfully employed for 40 hours in 30 consecutive days during the financial year in which the contributions are made).
- You are able to access the bring forward provisions for the non-concessional cap up to age 67 (previously 65). This means you will be able to contribute up to $300,000 to super (you can generally bring forward up to $300,000 if your total super balance on the previous 30 June is less than $1.4m, or up to $200,000 if it’s less than $1.5m).
- The maximum age at which you will be able to receive a spouse contribution has been increased from 70 to 74.
2. Asset Protection & Insurance
With the world being so much less certain it’s time to talk to us about how to protect yourself and your family by protecting your income stream.
It is important to make sure that you have the right level of cover and the appropriate terms of the policy.
From an asset protection point of view, particularly if you are in business, reviewing your asset protection strategies could be a really good idea too.
Make sure you get some tax advice as to whether doing so this year is a good idea for you.
3. Estate Planning
The last few months has shown everybody that life can throw curve balls at everyone.
Now is the time to review your wills and power of attorney for your family to ensure that everything is in order so that you will be looked after appropriately if you lose capacity and/or your family will be looked after if the worst should happen to you.
With markets changing rapidly in response to the pandemic and every penny counting more than ever, it is important to review your investment strategy and your portfolio. It probably doesn’t need major changes but regular reviews to fine-tune and make sure you are best placed whatever the markets throw at you this coming year is a good idea.
Talk to the team at Everalls Wealth to make sure your money is working as hard as you do!
5. Debt Management
During this pandemic anecdotal evidence is suggesting that people are looking to pay down debt or at least review their current debt structures. There is “good debt and bad debt” so let our new team at Everalls Finance Broking help you get your debt management strategy right and the most tax effective. And, we can help you keep the banks honest!
6. Talk to a professional
To discuss your situation and how you may benefit from any of these strategies, please get in touch.
At Everalls we want to help clients with all of their financial needs to ensure you have a comprehensive, consistent and co-ordinated strategy to maximise & protect your wealth and achieve your financial goals.
So, whether you’re looking for help as an individual or business – we can help with tax planning, business development, bookkeeping, debt management, superannuation and wealth creation. Give us a call!