The Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy Surcharge
Thresholds) Bill (No 2) 2008 was passed by the House of
Representatives on 13 October 2008 after agreeing to amendments
made in the Senate. The Bill now effectively awaits Royal
The amendments made in the Senate increase the thresholds for
payment of the Medicare Levy Surcharge to $70,000 for individuals
(instead of $75,000 as originally proposed in the Bill) and to
$140,000 for couples (instead of $150,000 as originally
The new thresholds will be indexed to Average Weekly Ordinary
Time Earnings in $1,000 increments, rounding down. The new
thresholds will apply from the 2008-09 income year i.e. from 1 July
The Bill also contains transitional measures so that individuals
who obtain appropriate private health cover before 1 January 2009
will avoid the levy surcharge for the period 1 July 2008 to 31
For assignees coming to Australia with whom we share a
reciprocal health care agreement, they are subject to the Medicare
Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge if they were resident in one of
the following countries immediately prior to coming to
Assignees from all other locations will be exempt from the
Medicare levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge provided they obtained a
certificate from the Medicare Levy Exemption
Certification Unit of Medicare Australia showing that they are not
entitled to Medicare benefits because they were a temporary
resident for Medicare purposes.
Please note – this does not remove the employer from
their obligations under a 457 visa to pay all medical or hospital
expenses for an employee (and accompanying family member) for
treatment in a public hospital (other than expenses that are met by
health insurance or reciprocal health care arrangements). This
undertaking continues until all expenses are paid.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The income tax treatment of any property lease incentive will vary, depending on the nature of the inducement provided.
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