Jump to content

Do you manage your part time earnings
for maximum tax benefit?


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 PureBliss

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:37 PM

Hoping to gain some insight into how I can better manage our finances. We seem to have been caught out this year.

I have been fortunate to have a well earning career prior to having children. During mat leave I registered a business with the view of working part time for myself (consulting.)

My earnings for my first tax year were good. My tax return was further complicated by rental income for an investment property, and dividends from shares in my husbands business.

This was my first year with the dividends - almost 40k worth. Sadly I don't see a penny of it , as it goes straight back on a loan we took out to purchase the shares - the ATO considers it income though.

So in short, between my earnings, the rental income and dividends I am well and truly in the highest tax bracket, with really not that much "take home pay" to show for it. I am not eligible for family tax, childcare benefit etc etc. This year I didn't get a tax refund, but a compulsory debt of $6k (HELP debt) to be paid in one hit, rather than over time, all due to my "high earnings". At this point we are asset rich, but cash poor, mortgaged and taxed to the hilt, living in an unrenovated 70s delight, and with hardly any capacity to save.

On the advice of our accountant, we are planning to sell the investment property this year to give us some breathing space. I guess I am wondering now with the dividends considered "income" is it worth me strategically managing my earnings to within a certain tax threshold? Do many second earners do that to maximise their tax refund?

Or should I just be trying to earn as much money as possible and suck it up being in the highest bracket?

Any advice welcome!

#2 crayons

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

You should be taking yourself down to your accountant and asking them all these questions as this is exactly what there job is. They should be able to provide you with a couple of scenarios about what would happen if you earnt a, b or c and in whose name the income should be. Then you can go from there and see what work you want to do with the knowledge about exactly how much you will get in your pocket. Please remember that your HELP debt won't last forever and that should free up some cash.

#3 JRA

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

As sparkyredfish says.

We have the philosophy that their are huge benefits in earning a decent income, and the downside of more tax. The higher tax bracket only kicks in now at $180K now, so much lower than 15-20 years ago, that makes it seem easier, and in some ways harder, it would have been a hell of a lot nicer back then.

So if you are earning say $250K, you are still only paying just over 33% in tax, pretty bloody low.  That is the way we look at it, to help the big bill each quarter.

#4 Escapin

Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

I would suggest you see a good financial planner, who has access to some decent modelling software and can model some different options for you to demonstrate the effect of different actions on your cash flow. Or you could have a go at doing it yourself in excel. It sounds like you're mixing up your tax position with your cash flow issues, they are two separate issues.

#5 JRA

Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

QUOTE
This was my first year with the dividends - almost 40k worth. Sadly I don't see a penny of it , as it goes straight back on a loan we took out to purchase the shares - the ATO considers it income though.


actually they don't class the money that was used to pay off interest income.

As has been said, if you over-committ it hurts no matter what.

As escapin said, cash flow and income are very different.

#6 JRA

Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

QUOTE
This was my first year with the dividends - almost 40k worth. Sadly I don't see a penny of it , as it goes straight back on a loan we took out to purchase the shares - the ATO considers it income though.


actually they don't class the money that was used to pay off interest income. - well they do, but you claim the interest so they nett off.

As has been said, if you over-committ it hurts no matter what.

As escapin said, cash flow and income are very different.

Edited by JRA, 27 November 2012 - 08:06 PM.


#7 Julie3Girls

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

The highest tax bracket is really very high, so you are obviously earning a lot.

I have no idea how you have your investments set up, but one of the things that we were advised was to make the investment loans interest only. Which you can then claim some of that back at tax time. Don't pay off the principal.

Instead, anything over the interest payments, put into our home mortgage, and pay that off first. So brings our home loan down, saves us interest on the home loan.  Once the home loan is pretty much gone, that's when we start throwing money at the investment loans.

So if your dividends are going towards paying off the principal amount of your investment loans, I'd look at possible changing that.

You really need to sit down with a financial planner, give them all the details, and see what they suggest to change things to give you a bit more cash flow.

Oh, and also check on the financial implications for this year if you do go ahead and sell the investment property.

#8 tothebeach

Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

I'm in a similar situation to you - I run my own consulting company and have investment income.   As someone who is self-employed, my income fluctuates.  

I work as much as I want/can - I don't try to limit my earnings based on the prospect of paying tax.  Actually, I find that notion very odd.

But I do try to smooth my earnings (some years I earn lots, others not so much).  I work under a company structure.  At the end of the year, my accountant tells me what to pay myself and we retain the rest in the business (and pay company tax).  If I earn less the next year, I pay myself dividends from the company, rather than a salary.

All income from our family trust gets paid to me.  If that pushes me into the highest tax bracket, so be it.  I'm paying what I'm obliged to.  My husband is in the highest tax bracket anyway, so there is no point in investment income going to him.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Two children who were given to the wrong families at birth will soon learn if they will be returned to their biological parents.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.