Jul 7, 2010

Tax time 2010 – fairer treatment of same-sex couples

Tax time 2010 – fairer treatment of same-sex couples

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

July 7 2010

Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, Member for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek, and Anthony Albanese, Member for Grayndler are today reminding same sex couples of changes to the tax law that could benefit them in doing their tax returns.

The Labor Government’s changes ensure that same-sex couples and families are treated the same way as other couples and families for income tax and superannuation purposes.

The income tax changes applied from 1 July 2009 onwards, so couples will need to take note when completing their tax returns this year.

Changes in the superannuation law have already had more than a full year of effect, having applied from 1 July 2008.

“As people begin preparing their tax returns for the 2009-10 financial year, same-sex couples need to be aware that the differential treatment of same-sex couples and their children has been removed,” the Assistant Treasurer said.

“While the amount of tax that people have to pay depends on their personal circumstances, including whether they have children, it’s a big win that same-sex couples can, when doing their taxes this year, access a range of tax concessions previously not available to them.”

Examples of the changed treatment include:

  • rollover relief for some capital gains arising due to a relationship breakdown,
  • access to the dependent spouse tax offset,
  • transferring unused senior Australians tax offset to a partner; and
  • claiming the net medical cost of a partner and children through the net medical expenses tax offset.

“The Gillard Labor Government’s commitment to removing discrimination has meant that same sex couples in my electorate can, for the first time, receive all of the benefits that heterosexual couples get at tax time.” said Ms Plibersek.

Mr Albanese said, “This announcement is another practical step in removing discrimination against same-sex couples in our community.

“Since I was elected to Parliament, I have worked to introduce and support laws that bring us closer to achieving equality for same-sex couples. This included the historic removal of discrimination from over 100 pieces of federal legislation since the Federal Labor Government came to office in November 2007.”

The removal of the differential treatment of same-sex couples in the tax law is in addition to similar changes in the law covering social security, veterans’ entitlements, workplace relations, workers’ compensation, health and immigration.