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New rules made simple

In all the hysteria surrounding the GST and its attendant introductory issues, we seem to have forgotten that an income tax system still applies.

The main changes to the tax system and how they will impact on the public have recently been outlined by the Australian Taxation Office.

For those 55 years and over with a taxable income in either 1998-99 or 1999-2000 less than $30,000, there could be an entitlement to certain bonuses. However, the calculations to determine entitlement are somewhat complex.

There are also changes to the way to capital gains and the tax payable on them is calculated.

Averaging of capital gains ceases in 1999-2000.

For assets acquired before September 21, 1999, and owned for at least a year, there is an option to use indexation or the general discount which is set at 50 per cent for individuals.

Indexation for assets acquired after September 21, 1999 has ceased.

The changes to depreciation on items such as cars, libraries, computers and other plant acquired after September 21, 1999 relate mainly to their effective life estimates.

TaxPack provides examples of how the claims need to be made.

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