The Australian Federal Government’s 2020 annual budget is set to boost spending and will help the optometric community with incentives to invest in practice building equipment.
Incentives to Hire
From 7 October 2020 to 6 October 2021, the JobMaker Hiring Credit will incentivise practices to hire young employees who have been on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or the Parenting Payment for at least one of the three months prior.
• For every employee you hire aged between 16 and 29, your practice will be eligible to claim $200 each week.*
• For every employee you hire aged between 30 and 35, your pratice will be able to claim $100 each week.*
The Federal Government announced a new training and jobs initiative aimed at boosting apprenticeship commencements
To be eligible, your practice needs to employ the person for an average of at least 20 hours a week over the reporting period (7 October 2020 to 6 October 2021).
Incentives to Train
The Federal Government announced a new training and jobs initiative aimed at boosting apprenticeship commencements. The benefits apply to a range of Group Training Organisations, including the Australian College of Optical Dispensing (ACOD).
This means that any employer who engages a new employee and registers them for ACOD’s the Certificate IV Optical Dispensing HLT47815 will receive a 50% wages subsidy. To qualify, employees must be appointed as part or full time in the next 12 months and be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
When registered with ACOD, the employee will qualify for an Optical Dispensing Traineeship. Under the initiative, their employer will then receive the following:
• 50% wages subsidy for the life of the traineeship (up to two years),
• If part time – $1500 training support when the employee is course complete,
• If full time – $1500 on course commencement and $2500 on course completion ($4000 in total training support), and
• Other traineeship benefits, such as financial assistance for transport and accommodation associated with attendance at the workshops.
For more information about this government announcement visit
To register an employee for the Certificate IV Optical Dispensing visit or contact ACOD Directors James Gibbins (0425 278 227) or Chedy Kalach (0416 095 263).
Incentives to Retrain
Retraining and redeploying your employees to new roles within the will cost less as the Government is exempting employer-provided retraining activities from fringe benefits tax.
Incentives to Invest in Assets
“Temporary full expensing” means that from 7.30pm (AEDT) on 6 October 2020 until 30 June 2022, you can:
• Deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets of any value in the year they are installed,
• Fully deduct the cost of improvements to existing eligible depreciable assets during this period,
• Offset losses against previous profits on which tax has been paid, to generate a refund, and
• Carry back losses incurred up to 2021 22 against profits made in or after 2018 19 – you can elect to receive a tax refund when you lodge your business 2020 21 and 2021 22 tax returns.
The Government will extend a range of COVID-19 response measures including:
• $111.6 million in 2020-21 to extend the COVID-19 telehealth services for a further six months.
• $100.8 million over two years to expand the Better Access to Mental Health initiative by providing ten additional sessions per calendar year and $47.3 million over two years from 2020-21 in additional support services for people experiencing mental illness and distress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria.
The Australian Government has committed to reforming Private Health Insurance, with $19.5 million committed over four years from 2020-21 to improve access to and affordability of Private Health Insurance, by:
• Increasing the maximum age of dependents allowed under private health insurance policies from 24 to 31 years;
• Removing the age limit for dependents with a disability; and
• Enhancing the Medical Costs Finder website to include voluntary fee disclosure for specialists.
The Australian Government has also committed to making home and community-based care more accessible through Private Health Insurance commencing with mental health and general rehabilitation services. Formal consultation on the implementation will commence with the sector in October 2020.
Personal Tax Cuts
The Government will bring forward personal tax cuts that were originally scheduled for the middle of 2022, and it will back date them to 1 July 2020. Furthermore, adjustments to tax payable through to the end of the financial year mean you and your employees will get the benefit straight away.
Changes to tax thresholds mean:
• The low income tax offset will provide up to an additional $255 in tax relief as it increases from $445 to $700. This relief applies from 1 July 2020 and will be available through the 2020-21 personal income tax returns.
• The current Low and Middle Income Tax Offset of up to $1,080 will remain in place for 2020-21. This Offset was originally scheduled to cease when the ‘Stage Two’ tax cuts came into effect.
• The top threshold of the 19% bracket will increase from $37,000 to $45,000, providing up to $1,080 in tax relief.
• The top threshold of the 32.5% bracket will increase from $90,000 to $120,000 preventing individuals from facing higher marginal tax rates in the future, and providing tax relief of up to $1,350.
• The commencement date for the ‘Stage Three’ personal income tax cuts (which predominantly impacts middle-to-high income earners) has not been changed in this Budget and remains as 1 July 2024.