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Hewison Private Wealth - Insights
Hewison Insights

Impact of recent adjustments to Stage 3 Tax Cuts

Tess McIntosh
Senior Associate Adviser
8 Feb 2024

Marginal tax brackets play a pivotal role in financial planning, influencing decisions regarding income, investments, and retirement strategies. Understanding how marginal tax rates apply to income levels enables us to optimise tax liabilities and maximise post-tax income. Leveraging marginal tax brackets to make informed decisions about investment diversification, and the timing of asset sales to manage tax consequences is crucial for developing long-term wealth accumulation and distribution strategies, ensuring financial stability and security across various life stages. From a financial planning perspective, the proposed tax adjustments underscore the importance of implementing a proactive and flexible investment strategy which will ultimately assist in navigating changing tax regulations now and, in the future, to ensure optimal financial outcomes.

Labor’s proposed changes to Australia’s tax landscape are set to impact earners across all tax brackets. As a result of these changes, high-income earners are facing a significant reduction in their expected tax cuts while middle-income earners stand to gain. These amendments alter the trajectory of the stage three tax cuts that were initially outlined by the government and are due to take effect from July 2024.

The recalibration of tax cuts means that individuals earning between $135,000 and $200,000 annually will witness a significant reduction in their expected tax relief, with their anticipated cut slashed from $9075 to $4529. Meanwhile, those earning $130,000 will experience an $804 improvement in their tax benefits, receiving a cut of $3379 instead of the initially projected $2575.

The revised plan represents a strategic move by Labor to prioritise relief for low- and middle-income Australians faced with the escalating cost of living. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese affirmed this commitment, emphasising the need to address the financial strain faced by these demographics.

Critics have emphasised the need for a broader discussion on Australia’s tax structure, highlighting the overreliance on personal income tax as a revenue source. With personal income taxes projected to comprise an increasingly significant portion of tax receipts in the coming years, there’s a growing call to diversify the tax base for long-term economic sustainability.

For now, the new financial year will bring a renewed focus on strategic planning decisions such as investment structures to ensure our clients are best served by these tax cuts both now and in the future.