The 2024 Federal Budget introduces a variety of tax measures aimed at stimulating the economy and ensuring fair tax contributions. This article will explore these key measures, highlighting their benefits and potential pitfalls, to provide a balanced view of the government’s fiscal strategies.

Extension of the Instant Asset Write-Off

The Budget extends the $20,000 instant asset write-off for eligible businesses until 30 June 2025. This measure encourages small businesses to invest in new assets by offering immediate tax deductions. This extension can boost business growth and modernization, allowing small enterprises to enhance their operations. However, the temporary nature of this benefit may lead to financial strain once it concludes, and businesses must be cautious not to over-leverage in anticipation of these write-offs.

Tax Incentives for Hydrogen and Critical Minerals Production

The introduction of tax incentives for hydrogen production and critical minerals production marks a significant step toward supporting Australia’s transition to a green economy. These incentives, available from 2027-28 to 2040-41, are designed to promote investment in renewable energy and critical minerals processing. While these incentives are forward-thinking, their delayed availability may postpone immediate benefits to these sectors. Moreover, larger corporations with substantial capital may disproportionately benefit from these incentives, potentially sidelining smaller, innovative players crucial to the industry’s growth.

Strengthening Foreign Resident Capital Gains Tax Rules

The Budget strengthens the capital gains tax (CGT) regime for foreign residents, effective from 1 July 2025. This measure ensures that foreign investors pay their fair share of tax on gains from Australian property. While this move could enhance revenue and promote fairness, it may also deter foreign investment in the property market, potentially affecting property prices and the broader economy. Balancing local economic interests with maintaining Australia as an attractive destination for foreign investment will be crucial.

Penalties for Multinational Tax Avoidance

From 1 July 2026, a new penalty regime will target multinational corporations that mischaracterize or undervalue royalty payments to avoid Australian royalty withholding tax. This initiative is part of a broader effort to clamp down on tax avoidance by large multinationals, ensuring a fairer tax system. However, the complexities involved in defining and proving mischaracterization may pose challenges for both the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and businesses. Clear guidelines and robust enforcement mechanisms will be essential for this measure’s success.

Other Income Tax Measures

Several other notable income tax measures include:

1.     Removing minimum length requirements for content and the above-the-line cap for total qualifying production expenditure for the producer tax offset.

2.     Discontinuing the denial of deductions for payments related to intangibles held in low- or no-tax jurisdictions.

3.     Deferring the start date of the expanded Pt IVA general anti-avoidance rule to income years commencing after the enabling legislation’s assent.

4.     Providing income tax exemptions for World Rugby entities for the Rugby World Cup 2027 and 2029.

These measures aim to simplify the tax legislation and provide targeted incentives. However, frequent amendments and deferrals can create uncertainty for businesses planning their tax strategies.

Social Security Highlights

The Budget includes several social security measures:

1.     Freezing social security deeming rates until 30 June 2025.

2.     Increasing flexibility for carer payment recipients.

3.     Extending eligibility for the higher rate of Jobseeker payment to single recipients with partial capacity to work.

4.     Increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance rates by 10% from 20 September 2024.

5.     Providing funding for military invalidity payments and a social security agreement with Uruguay.

While these measures offer much-needed support to vulnerable populations, freezing deeming rates is a short-term fix rather than a sustainable solution to rising living costs. The effectiveness of these measures will depend on their implementation and recipients’ ability to navigate the welfare system efficiently.

Superannuation Reforms

Significant changes to superannuation include:

1.     Paying superannuation on government-funded paid parental leave (PPL) for parents of babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2025.

2.     Recalibrating the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery Program to pursue unpaid superannuation entitlements.

These reforms aim to address gender inequity in retirement savings and ensure workers receive their due entitlements. However, the delayed implementation date for PPL-related superannuation may limit its immediate impact on parents currently in the workforce.

Tax Administration Changes

The ATO will receive additional powers and responsibilities, including:

1.     Discretion to not use taxpayer refunds to offset old tax debts on hold.

2.     Limiting the indexation of Higher Education Loan Program debts to the lower of the Consumer Price Index or Wage Price Index.

3.     Establishing a compliance taskforce to recover tax revenue lost to fraud.

These administrative changes are designed to enhance efficiency and fairness in the tax system. However, the success of these initiatives will depend on the ATO’s capacity to manage these expanded responsibilities effectively.

GST and Excise Adjustments

The Budget addresses indirect taxes by:

1.     Extending refunds of indirect taxes under the Indirect Tax Concession Scheme.

2.     Removing nuisance tariffs on a range of imported goods from 1 July 2024.

3.     Deferring start dates for measures to streamline excise administration for fuel and alcohol.

These changes aim to reduce red tape and promote trade. However, phased implementation of excise reforms may delay the intended benefits for businesses and consumers.


The 2024 Federal Budget introduces a range of tax measures designed to stimulate economic growth, support vulnerable populations, and ensure a fairer tax system. While many of these measures are commendable, their success will hinge on effective implementation, clear communication, and the ability to balance immediate benefits with long-term sustainability. Businesses and individuals will need to stay informed and adaptable to navigate the evolving fiscal landscape.