There are two ways that tax practitioners can look at the election result — and these have nothing to do with the shades of blue or red that may have tinged your voting intentions in the lead up to May 18. During the election campaign, with now de-bunked polls asserting a change of government, some tax agents probably thought they were looking down the barrel of a great deal of restructuring for their clients, and the relevant advice that goes along with it.

The changes would have required practitioners to pour over the new legislation that enacted these changes, so it’s likely that some will have breathed a sigh of relief that they do not need to undertake this work. The other side to this coin however is that others will be disappointed at the lost fees connected to advising their clients on these issues.

Should the Opposition’s policy agenda have become a reality, the legislation to come to grips with would have included:

  • abolishing negative gearing on housing that was not new
  • abolishing the cash refund of excess franking credits
  • introducing a 30% tax applied to trust beneficiaries
  • reducing the general CGT discount to 25%
  • removing the carry forward concessional contribution rules
  • reinstituting the budget levy to bring the highest marginal tax rate to 49%, and
  • limiting the tax deduction for taxation services to $3,000.