RULE CHANGES: Check out this list of just some of the July 1 changes in Australia.
RULE CHANGES: Check out this list of just some of the July 1 changes in Australia.

July 1: What’s changing from today?

HERE are just some of the changes to occur on or just today, across superannuation, property, jobs, travel, government support, online shopping and more.

NO GLASSES IN PASSPORT PHOTOS

Glasses will not be allowed in new passport photos taken after July 1. Research has shown that glasses adversely affect passport facial matching. Matching is more accurate without glasses. A limited exemption for medical reasons may apply where supported by a medical certificate.

BUYING A NEW PROPERTY

New rules require purchasers of new residential premises and potential residential land to remit the GST payable on the supply directly to the ATO.

NEW RESIDENCY RULES FOR AGE PENSION AND DISABILITY SUPPORT

Under the new rules, recipients need to have:

  • 10 continuous years of Australian residence including five working years, or
  • 10 continuous years of residence without having claimed any income support for five years or more, or
  • 15 years of continuous Australian residence.

Currently, Age Pension and DSP recipients are required to have 10 years' Australian residency, including five continuous years.

SUPERANNUATION

The government will start allowing catch-up concessional contributions for those who have a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000.

If your total superannuation balance (includes all balances, if you have more than one super account) is less than $500,000 at the end of a financial year, then you will have the opportunity to start accumulating the unused portions of your concessional caps from previous years (up to five years worth) in the following financial year, or future years.

The unused cap amounts can start to be carried forward from today, that is, from the start of the 2018/2019 financial year, which means the 2019/2020 year is the first financial year that individuals can take advantage of unused cap amounts from previous financial years.

DOWNSIZING

People aged 65 and over will be able to make personal (non-concessional) contributions into their super of up to $300,000 (and $600,00 for a couple) from the sale of their home.

EARLY RELEASE OF SUPERANNUATION

The responsibility for the administration of the early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate grounds is transferred from the Department of Human Services to the Australian Taxation Office.

The ATO will be able to provide electronic copies of approval letters to superannuation funds at the same time as to the applicant. Individuals can upload accompanying documentation simultaneously with their application, rather than the old 'two-step process'.

MOBILE PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING

Drivers can be charged for using a mobile phone when driving, via camera detection. Drivers who are caught using a mobile phone while driving will get $330 fine and will lose four demerit points. If drivers are caught using a mobile phone when driving in a school zone, the fine increases to $439. 

And, all mobile phone offences are also subject to double demerits penalties.

ONLINE GOODS ATTRACT GST

Good purchased at $1000 or less value from overseas retailers will be subject to the GST.

PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS

Victoria, West Australia and Queensland retailers will no longer supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags for free or at a charge.

CREDIT RATINGS

Comprehensive credit reporting starts. Whenever you apply for credit - and this can include opening a new mobile phone or gas/electricity account - the service provider is likely to take a look at your credit history.

ADD ON TO MINIMUM WAGE

The national minimum wage will increase by $24.30 per week to $719.20, or $18.93 an hour.

GRANDPARENTS -  NEW CHILD CARE PACKAGE

From July 2, the child care fee assistance that families receive will change to one new Child Care Subsidy replacing the two current child care payments.

HOME CARE PACKAGES

The Federal Government will combine the Residential Care and Home Care programs to provide greater flexibility to respond to changes in demand for home care packages and residential aged care places.

CARERS / JOB SEEKERS - INTENT TO CLAIM IS STOPPING

You'll no longer be able to submit an intent to claim for certain payments and concession cards. New rules will apply.

ANNUAL PAYMENTS FOR CARERS

The Department of Human Services will pay eligible carers the Carer Supplement and the Child Disability Assistance Payment.

WIDOW ALLOWANCE CLAIMS ARE CLOSING

New claims for Widow Allowance will be closed from today. After today, people who would've claimed Widow Allowance can claim the Newstart Allowance if you're under age pension age, the Age Pension, or Special Benefit if you're over age pension age but don't meet residence rules for Age Pension

If you get Newstart Allowance after today and you would've qualified for Widow Allowance, you won't have to apply for jobs, enter into a job plan or do training or study.

If you currently get the Widow Allowance, you don't need to do anything. As long as you're eligible you'll keep your payment until 2022 or until you transfer to Age Pension, whichever is sooner.

Just before you reach age pension age, you will receive a letter inviting you to claim. If your Widow Allowance is cancelled after today because you're no longer eligible, you can't claim Widow Allowance again.


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