7 min read

New Ways High Income Earners Can Reduce Taxes In Australia

Are you a high-income earner in Australia looking for effective ways to reduce your taxable income? With the highest tax rate reaching up to 45%, coupled with the additional 2% Medicare levy, it's essential to explore strategies that can help minimise your tax liabilities.  


While the highest income earner bracket applies to those earning over $180,000, we will be discussing strategies for people who fall below this bracket as well. The following insights and techniques can be equally beneficial for individuals at various income levels.  


We will be considering changes in tax laws for 2023 that affect the tax deductions you can claim in this article.  


Do you want to discover how you can optimise your tax situation and potentially keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket? 


How Do High-Income Earners Reduce Taxes Australia?  

timber block, people stamped on them in black except top block red

High-income earners in Australia have a range of options at their disposal to help reduce their tax bill. From leveraging tax deductions and offsets to exploring salary packaging and strategic investments, there are numerous options to explore.   


Get ready to uncover practical tips and actionable strategies to help you navigate the Australian tax landscape like a pro.  


5 Tax Strategies For High-Income Earners  

 These five tax strategies are specifically designed for high income individuals to optimise their personal tax return and maximise their tax refund, so lets dive in!


Negative Gear An Investment Property  

timber house frame full of Ausralian $100 dollar notes

Negative gearing is a strategy that can be used by high-income earners to offset the expenses of a property against the investment income (rental income), resulting in a net rental loss which reduces your taxable income resulting in a reduction of tax.  


 Seems confusing right? Consider the following example:


Imagine Alex, a well-paid engineer, buys a rental property for $500,000. The rental income is $2,000/month, but expenses like mortgage, maintenance, etc., add up to $2,500/month, causing a $500/month loss.


Despite the loss, Alex benefits because this loss reduces his taxable income, saving him money on taxes. So, high-income earners like Alex use this strategy, called negative gearing, to make property investments more appealing and potentially profitable in the long run.


This method is particularly attractive when the property is expected to depreciate in value over time. Obtaining a Tax Depreciation Report from a Quantity Surveyor will account for the depreciation which is then used as a tax deduction, resulting in individuals reducing their overall income tax.  


However, negative gearing can be risky, especially in light of interest rate hikes in 2023, as well as the instability of the property market. As interest rates rise, the cost of paying off the mortgage on the property increases, potentially reducing the financial benefits of negative gearing.  


It is best to consult with a mortgage broker to get the best loan for your circumstances. Thus, while a negatively geared investment property can offer tax advantages and the possibility of capital gains, investors must carefully assess the potential risks and consider the prevailing economic conditions before implementing this strategy.  


Salary Sacrifice For Insurance  

Salary sacrificing gives you a tax deduction by lowering your taxable income. Salary sacrifice for insurance can be a smart and savvy move for individuals looking to protect their assets and secure their financial future. Salary sacrificing through insurance gives you a tax deduction by lowering your income tax.  


Whether you're a self-employed professional or a skilled tradesperson, there are various insurance options available that can be funded through salary sacrifice.   


For those who work for themselves, professional indemnity insurance or public liability insurance becomes a crucial safeguard against potential legal claims and liabilities, which is also tax deductible. 


 Meanwhile, tradies and workers in physically demanding roles can benefit from insurance coverage such as icare or workers' compensation, which provide financial protection in case of accidents or injuries on the job.  


Private health insurance can be an option for those working in certain industries. It is best to consult with a tax professional about this as the industries are specific.  


However, one insurance that holds value for individuals across various professions is income protection insurance. This versatile insurance can act as a financial safety net, providing a regular income stream if illness, injury, or disability prevents you from working.  


Income protection insurance can only be claimed by certain individuals, it is best to consult with a tax professional to see if you are able to claim this.  


By incorporating insurance tax planning into a salary sacrifice arrangement, individuals can gain peace of mind and build a strong financial foundation to support their professional journey.  


Cut Your Losses  

Inflation, global conflicts, supply issues caused a lot of stocks to dip massively in 2022 and 2023. But here's a silver lining for high-income earners: if you find yourself holding onto a stock that you believe won't bounce back, selling it for a capital loss can work in your favour.  


By realising that loss, you can offset it against your taxable income, reducing the amount you owe to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This tax-saving strategy can be particularly beneficial for individuals, allowing them to navigate the volatile market while minimising their taxable income.   


So, if you have done your due diligence, analysed the market trends, and determined that a stock is unlikely to recover, consider seizing the opportunity to sell it for a capital loss.  


Not only will this help protect your overall investment portfolio, but it will also provide a valuable tax advantage that can contribute to your financial well-being.   


Capital Gains Tax: Invest Long Term  

Capital gains tax is a crucial consideration for high-income earners who engage in the sale of assets like property, shares, or cryptocurrency. When you sell such assets and make a profit, you will be subject to capital gains tax.   


However, there's a potential tax benefit for those who hold the asset for over a year. In this case, only 50% of the profit from the sale will be taxed as part of your assessable income.   


Let's consider a simple example:  


Suppose Greg purchased shares for $10,000 and sold them a year later for $20,000, resulting in a capital gain of $10,000. If Greg falls into a high-income bracket and is subject to capital gains taxes, only $5,000 (50% of $10,000) will be included in your assessable income, reducing the overall tax liability associated with the capital gain. This would result in a tax saving of $2,350!  


This provision can be a valuable tax planning strategy for individuals, encouraging long-term investment strategies and potentially reducing the financial impact of capital gains.   


Talk To An Accountant About Tax Planning Strategies For Your Taxable  Income


An accountant can provide top tax planning strategies that are unique to your individual circumstances. At Coleman Advisory, we have helped many high-earning individuals lower their income tax.   


Our team is aware of tax offsets and all things tax deductible for high-earning individuals. We strive to be approachable and easy to contact as we know how important it is to get hold of your accountant. In fact, we are just one click away.


Book a Free Chat


Tax Considerations To Keep In Mind  

glass jar with tax on a sticker and  Australian dollar notes

For high-income earners, navigating the intricate world of taxation requires careful consideration and strategic planning.   


Understanding the tax implications and implementing effective strategies can help individuals maximise their income, minimise their tax liability, and ultimately preserve their wealth.  


Superannuation Salary Sacrifice  & Concessional Super Contributions  

Salary sacrificing in an industry super fund, or a self managed super fund can be a great tax planning strategy depending on the circumstances.   


This salary sacrifice doesn't stop you from having to pay tax, it does however often lower the amount of tax paid as it is contributed into your super fund from pre-tax income, and therefore lowering your taxable income which means a reduction in tax. 


The super contribution is normally only taxed at 15% which makes it seem like a great option if you're a high-income earner.   

However, this is without considering the concessional contributions cap which is currently $27,500 is subject to change.  


You may be able to access your unused concessional contribution cap if available and if you have a super balance of under 500,000. If you exceed these concessional contribution caps, your excess amount will be added to your taxable income tax, although you will receive a tax offset of 15% of the excess concessional contribution. 


Then you may be subject to paying the highest marginal tax rate. This is dependent on your income of course and it is best to consult a taxation specialist as this is a complex issue.   


Depreciation Of Assets  

Claiming depreciation of assets is a savvy tax strategy that can benefit mainly sole traders and other business owners and some individuals. As assets age and wear down over time, they naturally lose value, and this decrease in worth can be claimed as a deduction on your tax return.   


By accurately assessing the depreciation of your assets, you can potentially offset your taxable income and reduce your overall tax liability. This approach is particularly advantageous for sole traders who rely heavily on their business equipment, machinery, or vehicles to generate income.  


By diligently keeping track of depreciation and consulting with a tax professional, sole traders can maximise their deductions and ensure they are not paying more taxes than necessary.   


What you can and can't claim for depreciation is complex, and depends on your individual circumstances, it is best to consult with a tax professional for this.   


Use Your Business To Your Advantage  

Setting up the right business structure can be a game-changer for individuals seeking tax relief and financial advantages. Choosing the appropriate structure, such as operating as a company, can provide significant benefits.   


For instance, a company enjoys a maximum tax rate of 30%, which may be lower than individual tax rates for high earners. By directing income through the company, individuals can effectively manage their tax liability and retain more of their hard-earned money.  


Additionally, if a spouse is involved in the business, understanding tax brackets for wages can further optimise tax planning.   


By strategically allocating income between spouses, taking advantage of lower tax brackets, and utilising available deductions and offsets, high-income earners can maximise tax relief and achieve substantial savings.  


The timing of the purchase of assets for your business can play a crucial role as well. This is because of Instant Asset Write Off, which can be advantageous for a lot of businesses


Careful consideration of the business structure and collaboration with a knowledgeable tax professional can pave the way for smart tax planning, ensuring that high earners retain more of their income and capitalise on valuable tax benefits.  


Foreign Income  

Foreign income tax can be complex and confusing, especially for those who find themselves earning a high income. The taxation rules and rates differ for foreign residents, often with unique circumstances that require specialised knowledge.  


Fortunately, Coleman Advisory specialises in foreign income tax and can help you navigate the complexities.   


The End Of LMITO  

The Low and Middle-Income Tax Offset (LMITO) is a tax offset that was introduced to provide relief to low and middle-income earners, this makes it not very applicable to high income earners.  


However, if your taxable income has dropped substantially this financial year you may expect to claim the offset. You can't do this however as the offset has ended, we have an article that goes more in detail about LMITO.   



The information provided on this tax blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional tax advice. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and currency of the content, tax laws and regulations are subject to change, and individual circumstances may vary. We recommend consulting a qualified tax professional or seeking advice from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation. The authors and creators of this blog disclaim any liability for errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information provided. Use the information at your own discretion, and always exercise caution when making financial or tax-related decisions.


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