Budget 2022: The bottom line for advisers

There are no major changes for financial planners or their clients following this year’s Federal Budget, a reasonably positive development for financial planners, according to the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA).

The FPA said this meant planners could continue to focus on helping their clients and growing their business.

FPA chief executive, Sarah Abood, said: “It is an opportunity for financial planners to catch their breath after years of change”.

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The FPA welcomed several initiatives proposed in the Budget, including tax offsets for small businesses and added support for digital transformation and staff upskilling, initiatives that would be “very useful for financial planning practices”.

The $1 billion Technology Investment Boost would be aimed at encouraging small businesses to go digital.

Small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million would be able to deduct a bonus 20% of the cost of expenses and depreciating assets that support digital uptake, including portable payment devices, cyber security systems or subscriptions to cloud-based services. A $1 spend would equate to a $1.20 deduction.

CPA Australia general manager for external affairs, Jane Rennie, said: “The technology investment boost and skills and training boost are welcome. These two programs go hand in hand and will help establish Australia as a top 10 digital economy.

“What’s missing are measures to make it easier for small businesses to access professional advice.

“The Government has missed an important opportunity to help businesses build resilience to manage future shocks and improve their profitability.”

In superannuation, the Government indicated that the temporary reduction in the minimum income drawdown requirement for super pensions, which applied during the 2019-20 to 2021-22 income years, would be further extended until 30 June, 2023.

AMP’s head of technical strategy, John Perri, provided further clarity.

“This measure will apply to account-based, transition to retirement, and term allocated superannuation pensions.

“Further, this measure is not compulsory. Individuals should carefully consider communications received from their pension providers to better understand how this might impact them and what action may be required.”

Abood said further initiatives should have been added to address housing affordability and women’s economic security and that the ALRC Review and Quality of Advice Review would be of key concern to the association this year.

“We also look forward to the Budget Reply from the Opposition later this week,” said Abood.

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The FPA is so out of touch, it's not funny. Jane Hume has been banging on about reducing red-tape for 12 months and all she has done is add more and more. The Budget was an opportunity to honour her promise, but she did nothing. How the FPA can applaud this behaviour, when we are drowning in red-tape is beyond me.

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