2021 Risks & Opportunities

With the borders between the State and Territories all but open and 2021 in sight, there is a hunger for a return to ‘normal’. The recent Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment articulates this desire to ‘get on with things’; sentiment reached its highest level since November 2013 and Christmas spending is expected to be consistent with previous years.

However, the Reserve Bank of Australia cautions that the recovery will be uneven and drawn out and GDP is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2021. The risks are not limited to the pandemic but Australia’s geopolitical relationships, notably with our largest trading partner, China.

Here’s our key risks and opportunities as we head into 2021 …

End of Year Deadlines

The ATO has extended the JobKeeper. 31 December 2020 is the last day you can apply to access your superannuation early under the COVID-19 early access measures. Read more here …

APRA reveals $34.4bn super early release

Over $34.4bn has been released from Australian Superannuation Funds under the COVID-19 early release scheme, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority revealed. The figures, which do not include self-managed super funds, show the deep impact of the scheme on superannuation balances. 3.3 million initial applications and 1.3 million subsequent applications were received by funds.

Budget 2020-21: Road to Recovery?

The 2020-21 Federal Budget is a road to recovery paved with cash.

Key initiatives include:
• Personal income tax cuts from 1 July 2020
• A $4 billion ‘JobMaker’ Hiring Credit to encourage businesses to take on additional employees aged 16 to 35 years old
• $110 billion in infrastructure investment over 10 years
• Immediate deductions for business investment in capital assets
• Changes to how companies can manage losses
• Access to generous tax concessions for a wider range of businesses

Q&A: Lock down and working from home

During lock down I have had to work from home. I’ve set up a full home office with paintings, plants, a desk, computer equipment, a water tower and a sculpture. I presume I can claim everything I have purchased for this office and claim part of my mortgage and running costs?