Make sure you’re ready for July 1
FASTEN your seatbelts – a massive wave of change is about to hit all of us on July 1.
From young workers through to pensioners, ignore them and you could miss out on thousands.
If you receive anything from Centrelink, July 1 is when means test thresholds rise. If you’re already on the maximum rate of pension or an allowance like Newstart this won’t matter, but if your benefit is clipped because of the income or asset test, expect a pay rise.
It’s also a great time to ensure asset values Centrelink are using are up to date – your five-year-old car you bought five years ago will have depreciated.
If you’re an age pensioner, you’ll be able to take advantage of an enhanced working bonus system. In a nutshell, you can earn up to $300 a fortnight from employment before the income test starts to kick in. A single could earn up to $472 and an eligible couple a combined $904 a fortnight before losing any pension.
The new rules extend to include the self-employed for the first time. If you’ve got a small super fund that’s been inactive for 16 months, then watch out for the tax man. Inactive means you’ve not made any changes or there’s been no contributions made.
Depending on legislation being passed by Parliament, we’ll hopefully all be getting a boosted tax refund or at least a smaller tax debt this financial year.
The Government’s tax cuts should result in most taxpayers getting a benefit worth up to $1080. Nick Bruining is a columnist for Your Money every Monday in The West Australian.
CITY OF COCKBURN
The City of Cockburn has a range of senior discounts, rebates and subsidies available for its residents.
Among those is the Local Government Rates Rebate, which gives Cockburn homeowners with a valid concession card a discount on their rates. Pensioner Concession Card and State Concession Card holders, as well as those with both a Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card and WA Seniors Card, can get a rebate of up to 50 per cent on their rates.
Those with a WA Seniors Card are eligible for a 25 per cent rebate.
The City also offers various subsidies to help seniors improve security, including $300 for roller shutters, $200 for a home intruder alarm and $100 per security screen door.
Cockburn Libraries offer a home library service which can deliver books and other materials on loan. The Cockburn Seniors Centre is for those aged over 50 and offers free groups locals can join, as well as classes, outings and activities at a small cost.
Visit www.cockburn.wa. gov.au for more information.
Art Gallery of WA: free of charge except major exhibitions.
WA Maritime Museum: 50 per cent off the admission fee, except on the second Tuesday of each month when admission is free.
Local Government Rates Rebate: a rebate or a deferment on annual rates charged by local government.
Spectacles Subsidy Scheme: up to $53.85 subsidy to eligible applicants every two years.
Cost of Living Rebate: To get an application form, contact the WA Seniors Card Centre on 6551 8800 or 1800 671 233 (country free call) or email se[email protected]
Emergency Services Levy Rebate: To receive a concession you must on July 1 of the current financial year own and occupy the property as your ordinary place of residence
HBF Arena: reduced fees for aquatic and health and fitness classes and entry fees.
Perth Zoo Entry and Tours: reduced fees are available to holders of valid concession cards and seniors from overseas who are aged 65 years or more.