Regional & Remote Area Employees: Avoid Payment Summary Shock

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Wow, the year has gone by fast, with only another twenty-four Tuesday’s till Christmas. Apart from the cold weather, the Origin and the lack of motivation to go outside and get moving, there is one thing on everybody’s radar, Tax time. And therefore, with this comes Payment Summary Shock, or PSS, as it’s known in accountant circles. Symptoms usually seen or associated with this conundrum are bewilderment, the occasional piece of blue language and ultimately, frustration.

Most people take their Payment Summary into the accountant to file a return and are often met with the accountant shaking their head and being told that there is nothing they can do about the hideous amount of tax they have just donated to Scott Morrison and Uncle Malcolm.

Strangely enough, there is something you can do to change this and this time of year can be a great time to motivate yourself. Don’t let Payment Summary Shock strike again, find out about the various tax saving benefits that employees all over the country could utilise to reduce the amount of income tax you pay. The type of benefits that could be available to you is dependent of the industry you work in and your employer but that is where we, a full-service Salary Package provider, come in to help you through the process.

Are you taking advantage of the extra incentives on offer by working in regional Australia?

You may have the ability to pay your housing and electricity costs in your gross income and, therefore, potentially reduce your taxable income.

Have you had to move location for your work?

You could potentially save on all the selling costs of your home, including the pesky real estate commission, and get up to 12 months rent tax-free.

Did you live away from home during the year for work? Did you claim all of your living costs and rent tax-free? Did you use your own car to get to the mine site camp, or worse, paid for your own flights out of your own pocket?

These are just some of the ways that can help you avoid the dreaded PSS. You have missed out on potentially thousands of dollars that could have been unlocked and instead used for better things, like your family or your next holiday. That’s right, there is no gimmick here, no shonky investment loan schemes. These are genuine ways to save on items that you are already paying for, you’re just missing out on the opportunity to maximise your take-home pay. All that can change today.


Our staff at SPA help you sensibly and legally minimise your tax so you don’t pay more than you should. To find out your potential benefits click on one of the savings calculators, ask a question on our chat service or give us a call on 1300 786 664 and find out how you can stop donating money to those who don’t understand how hard it is to make in the real world. Best of all, you may even significantly reduce your Payment Summary Shock next financial year.


Calculate Your Rent/Mortgage Savings       Calculate Exempt Benefit Savings


Can YOU get the best deal at End Of Financial Year sale time?

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It’s almost June and all the car dealers and manufacturers are out spruiking their wares and dangling incentives to get you into the showroom.

But are you able to get the best deal when you’re up against a seasoned car salesman?

with can you get the best deal when you the is it really the best time of year to buy that new car or is it all just hype?

As an industry insider with access to all the info, we know it can also be a time when car dealers rub their hands together and try to shake down the average punter for everything they’re worth. Yes, you are more likely to get a better deal during this time as car dealers are frantically trying to meet yearly sales targets and clear outdated stock but really, do you stand a chance against a seasoned car salesman to get the best possible deal?

Let’s take David as an example:
He is 32 years old, he bought his first car at 18 and now he’s onto his 5th car. The second child is on the way and he needs a bigger car. David’s first new car was at the age of 28 after that first big promotion and now it’s time to update it so he can fit the whole family. In theory, David has done the driveway dance with other unskilled negotiators for his first few cars and a fifth time if you include the house he bought last year, but don’t get me started on that industry!

The new car salesman at the dealership, Terry, is 52 and as per most typical salespeople, he has a bad haircut, a little too much aftershave and is slightly condescending. Realistically, Terry has probably sold on average 15 cars per month for the last ten odd years, which is approximately 1800 over his career.

What chance does David have against Terry of truly getting the best deal? Zip, buckley’s, nada or none is the correct answer. It could be compared to the QLD origin team playing a local park footy team and losing. Even without Cam, JT and Cooper, the locals wouldn’t stand a chance.

There are some genuinely great people in the motor industry, but as always, they are out to do a job and get a cheque. Sometimes it makes sense to hand some of life’s tasks over to a professional. You wouldn’t do your own electrical work in your house unless you were qualified, so why the hell would you look at spending 30, 50 or even 80k at a dealership without enlisting a professional.

If it could save you a few hundred or thousand, 10 minutes and a second opinion is well worth the investment.


If the idea of going head to head with the dealers is daunting and you’re ready to get a great deal, call Salary Packaging Australia on 1300 786 664 and we can do the hard work for you. Our team of Novated Leasing experts are available to answer any questions about your choice of vehicle and how to keep more money in your wallet.

Do I have to work in government to take up a Novated lease?

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A common question we get at SPA is “Do I have to work in government to take up a Novated lease?” We want take a moment to clear up this misconception.

Novated leasing has been favoured by many levels of government for the last 15 years. But unbeknownst to many people, all companies can set up novated leasing for their staff. Many in payroll find the task daunting when trying to run the program internally, due to remembering to pay a staff members rego or re-imbursement of fuel receipts etc. Most payroll officers simply don’t have time for a cup of tea let alone another 5 hours of work every week.

SPA is an outsourced fleet management and accounting service for your employees. In layman’s terms, your payroll team only need to follow up a few basic steps and SPA can do the rest. The steps are:

1.      Payroll will set up deductions for each payroll cycle.
2.      SPA sends a deduction request sheet
3.      Payroll send deduction amounts to accounts payable who then sends funds to SPA
4.      SPA takes care of everything else!

Only 4 steps to step up novated leasing for your staff – it’s as simple as that! If your payroll team can’t fulfil these sorts of tasks, it might be time to look for a new payroll officer.

There is nothing tricky, hidden or secretive. All the reporting and spreadsheets are done for you. It is really that easy.

Most employers should be able set up and run this for their staff, whether you are in mining, education, financial service or hospitality industries. These are simple items and do not take a great deal or effort per pay cycle and can even be set up as an automated deduction at the employer’s request to make it even less time consuming.

So, ask your yourself. Is your employer doing the best for you?


In the meantime, you can get an instant online quote and see our current vehicle deals by clicking the button below. If you have any questions about novated leasing, talk to the team at SPA by calling 1300 786 664 .



WIN State Of Origin Game 3 Tickets with Salary Packaging Australia

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Why watch game 3 on TV at home when you can win a STATE OF ORIGIN Game 3 package and be a part of the action at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on 11th July, 2018. All you have to do to go into the draw is submit a quote request via phone, email or in person for any SPA provided benefit and if you are a QLD resident, you could win!!

This STATE OF ORIGIN prize package includes:

  • Two Platinum Tickets to State of Origin Game 3 in Brisbane
  • Return Flights to Brisbane*
  • 1 Night accommodation at Rydges Southbank
  • Limo transfer from Brisbane Airport to the hotel
  • $300 spending money

QLDers look after QLDers!! The team at SPA has your back, helping you save and pay less per week. Don’t send your money South of the border, get a novated lease from a local, Brisbane based company. Get your quote now to be in the running for this great STATE OF ORIGIN package.




Competition runs from 4/5/2018 at 8am until 22/6/2018 at 2pm (AESDT). To enter the competition, a participant must submit a valid quote request via phone, email or in person for any SPA provided benefit and provide legitimate contact details, including name, phone and email. This competition is only eligible to QLD residents. The prize winner will be drawn by random selection by the General Manager of SPA at 3pm on 22nd June 2018. The prizes include 2 x platinum tickets to State of Origin Game 3, 1 night accommodation at Rydges South Bank, return flights within Queensland* (if flights are not required, SPA will negotiate an additional prize), limo transfer to and from the airport and $300 spending money. SPA appreciates the importance of confidentiality and the individual’s right to privacy. We are committed to protecting one’s personal information in accordance with the National Privacy Principles. For further information regarding our policy visit

Salary Packaging Australia Pty Ltd ABN 53 009 643 485 Credit Representative 480205 is authorised under Australian Credit Licence 389328.

Salary package your bus fare for travel to and from work

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Have you ever wondered why we have to pay to get ourselves to work? That extra $90-100 per week is an absolute killer. But did you know that you can Salary Package your bus fare that gets you to and from work?

With SPA’s bus travel benefit, you can pay for your bus fare using your pre-tax gross income.

It works just like a go card and is loaded up with cash using pre-tax dollars from your salary. The Bus Travel Benefit has no limit to the amount you can salary package, as long as the journey is to and from your work and the card is automatically topped up, again, with pre-tax dollars, to help you stretch your salary that much further.

Here’s an example:

Sally makes approximately $85,000 a year and pays bus fares of around $39.00 a week travelling between her home at Chermside and work in Brisbane CBD. Using the SPA bus travel benefit, she can save almost $25.00 a week, which is $1,300 a year! Imagine what you could do with that money. Sally could put that $25.00 a week to her coffee budget, Christmas presents, or it could go towards the power bills. Over the course of 3 years, Sally could be $3,900 richer!

So, while you’re on that dreaded bus ride to and from work, think about how much you save and I promise your ride will be much more enjoyable.


The bus travel benefit is eligible to any employee whose employer offers this benefit to them. Talk to SPA to find out if you are eligible for the Bus Travel Benefit card. To calculate what your savings will be when salary packaging your bus fare, click the button below to use our online calculator.



Lost the company car and need a novated lease for work?

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SPA gets close to one hundred enquiries every month from staff members and employees who are leaving the company car behind and taking allowances instead.

The big change that has pushed the death of the company car over the edge has been the change in tax legislation that requires operating leases to be placed on balance sheets. This has forced most CFO’s, and HR managers to rethink the way that they use the company car and to what level.

Many organisations have moved towards a car allowance program allowing the employee to take advantage of an extra payment back to the salary instead of using the work supplied vehicle. This all of a sudden has thrown some questions into the market, so, we are here to debunk them.


Your company has just announced you’re losing your company car.

Firstly, don’t panic, most employers will give an employee suitable notice to change over. Don’t rush out the first weekend and buy the first car that you drive. Make an assessment of what you require in the car, what it’s primary function will be, will it be suitable for the role and will it do the job safely. Remember, there is no point buying a Mazda MX5 convertible if you need to take sample products with you that won’t fit in the boot.

Vehicle Expenses: How much are the running costs?

Gauge what it costs to run your current car. How much will it cost to register and insure? How many services will it need? How much driving do you currently do? These are all great questions to ask yourself when considering a new vehicle that will be used for work. Some preparation will allow you to assess if the allowance you have been offered is fair and reasonable or if your boss really is related to Scrooge McDuck as you have always suspected.

Evaluate the current car you’re using.

So, what are you driving at the moment, a Camry or Hyundai i30? More than likely your employer is looking for and has budgeted on a like-for-like scenario. They won’t be budgeting on you driving around in a brand new Landcruiser Sahara when you just hopped out of a Honda Jazz.

If you are unsure, get your employer to speak to an expert.

A few people are generally involved in making this decision. Normally, HR and your finance manager. Get them to give us a call to ensure they have run through the whole of life situations and understand what this means to you.


SPA can easily put together quotations to show the difference between your current salary and what the current out of pocket expenses are, if any. Many employees choose to update their current car and the generous tax discounts that come into play and then transfer the vehicle over to become the family vehicle at a heavily reduced purchase price that has been paid for by your employer before the government would have normally taken their slice.


Talk to the team at SPA by calling 1300 786 664 and we can help you through the novated lease process and find the correct vehicle that fits both your business and personal needs. Click one of the buttons below to get an instant online quote or see our current vehicle deals.



What is the Salary Packaging Living Expenses Card and how can it be used so you can save?

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The Salary Packaging Living Expenses Card is the easiest way to spend your living expenses. SPA and MyCardPlus have teamed up to provide employees with a simple and easy way to pay for your living expenses. This way, you don’t have to provide receipts or proof of purchase as they are easily tracked using the card.

With the Salary Packaging Living Expenses Card, you may be able to package up to $9,010 of your gross annual salary for everyday items, such as bills, groceries, clothing, private travel and many more.

Many of us have different accounts for certain expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, bills, fun expenses and savings. Having the MyCardPlus card, this will eliminate most of those accounts, as well as doing so with your pre-tax salary. The amount that you and your salary packaging advisor agree on will be loaded onto the card and can be used the same as a debit card. It even has PayWave!

Are you interested in getting a Salary Packaging Living Expenses Card or transitioning your existing one? The team at SPA we make the process simple for you, you can use our instant savings calculator to find out how much tax you can save and spend smart.



Salary Packaging Living Expenses Card Frequently Asked Questions

To give you a little more information about the Salary Packaging Living Expenses Card we have put together some FAQs to help you through the process.

What is a Salary Packaging Living Expenses Card?

MyCardPlus is a living expenses card that SPA has partnered with which allows employees to easily pay for various items under their applicable Fringe Benefits Tax cap. This is used similarly to a normal debit card but using pre-tax dollars! This is a simple and easy way for employees to pay for their salary packaged items.


What are considered living expenses?

Living expenses are everyday expenses that are incurred by you or your family such as electricity and phone bills, council rates, groceries, household expenses, clothing and shoes, and private travel (domestic and overseas).


How do I make payments from my Salary Packaging Expenses Card?

You can use your card with Visa PayWave, or insert the chip and pay using your PIN. You can also use it when paying third parties and to do so, simply use your 16 digit card number to make the transaction.

NB: No other funds can be transferred to your salary packaging cards, other than those predetermined and agreed upon by your Salary Packaging Administrator and your payroll officers.


Does my balance need to be zero at the end of the FBT year?

It is recommended that you have zero balance at the end of the FBT year (March 31). This means that you are eligible to salary package the full benefit amount in the following year. Please contact SPA for further details. MyCardPlus can also assist you in spending remaining funds on your card.


How do I check my balance?

You can access your general living expenses by accessing internet banking.


Can I order additional cards?

Yes, you may request up to two additional cards for family members. The additional card transactions will be included in your overall annual purchases. Please contact SPA to request the additional cards.


What will happen when/if I leave my job?

From the date of your termination, you will have a certain period of days to spend the funds on your card.

Don’t wait to start spending wisely. Apply today.



Thinking of buying a Mitsubishi ASX LS?

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When reviewing small SUVs, I must admit I have been known to turn up my nose and give them a pretty bad review. Well, there is a first time for everything, and this time it’s the Mitsubishi ASX LS.

To put it simply, this car rocks it with the big boys.

It has dollar for dollar features and is about $3000-$4000 cheaper than its brethren. Over a 2 day period, I put approximately 300kms on the odometer in this car’s home territory, the inner city suburban landscape. Make no mistake, this car won’t take you to Bourke and back on unsealed roads and bush tracks, but it’ll navigate car park shopping centres with ease.
It’s simple to drive and actually has road feeling, so when you feel the bumps in the road and turn the steering wheel, it responds. It doesn’t feel like the typical mid 20K new car that lollipops all over the road and has the behaviour of a dog on a wet Lino floor.

Who should buy an ASX LS?

First-time new car buyers and those wanting a second family car. You will never be able to pack half of what’s needed for a family road trip but you’ll be able to use this as a versatile run around car that is able to seat four adults comfortably and a suitcase or two.

It’s easy to drive, packed full of everything you need, and has mod cons without blowing the budget.

What more could you want? If the answer is nothing more and you’re interested in buying this low-maintenance, worry-free SUV then contact the team at SPA. Click the button below and you can be in the driver’s seat in no time.

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Can I get a novated lease on two vehicles?

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One of the most common questions that we get asked by clients is, ‘can I have two car leases running concurrently?’ The answer is simple, yes. You can also novate a car for your wife/husband/spouse or children. Now, every employer is different and some have rules about whether you can have two or more leases or the cylinder requirements of the vehicle, however, the majority of employers allow multiple leases.

The process is the same regardless of the number of vehicles you lease. You find the right make, model and colour and then work out the car’s usage and term of the lease but this is what your Novated Account Manager is here to help you with. From finding the best deal on the car, looking through our panel of lenders, working out how much fuel the shiny new V8 Mustang could use.

So, why have two novated leases?

  • You have a teenage child, about to spend $5000 on a private sale Corolla which has done 220,000kms. Think again, that so-called bargain that was driven by Thelma from church and back probably isn’t that much of a bargain. Regardless of how you purchase this vehicle, you will still have to pay rego, fuel, servicing, tyres, and insurance. Why not get your daughter or son a safe new car with airbags that will actually deploy in case of an accident? For an extra thirty odd dollars per week, he or she can drive a safe reliable car with warranty included. Most people are on-selling cheap cars for a reason, what seems like a bargain could actually be a car which needs a timing belt replacement or has a dodgy transmission that needs replacing. That $5000 car just became a $8000 car very quickly.
  • You need a new family car. You already understand the benefits of a novation, why not add the family car to this? Even if your spouse is driving the car, this additional lease is still perfectly legal and once again it helps reduce the running cost of the vehicle that you have to pay for anyway. This means, not only are you paying for the car and it’s running cost but you are once again saving cash flow within the family budget.
  • Retirement, yep that’s right, are you getting ready to retire shortly? Why not set up that car now and pay for it out of your taxable salary rather than dipping into your superannuation? If you are looking for a tow vehicle or looking to do the Big Lap around Australia, take advantage of your fleet discount. Set the car up right with all the correct gear from ARB/TJM or ECB and get a professionals help with procurement so that you are not making expensive decisions twice. This can also help reduce your taxable income in your transition to retirement phase.

So, let’s look at the benefits of novating;

  • Further reduction in taxable income,
  • GST savings on purchase price of new and used vehicles,
  • GST and Tax savings on running costs of the car,
  • Everything, including running costs, is budgeted and taken care of,
  • Cheaper purchase price on a new car due to fleet discount,
  • And finally, a happy family driving their new car.


And of course, the cons;

The awkward speeding fine conversation. If a family member gets a speeding fine, since the vehicle is registered under the employee’s name, the speeding fine will be addressed to them as the registered operator of the vehicle. But if you obey the road rules like everybody does, this shouldn’t be a problem.

So, if your daughter is about to go off to uni, your husband needs that new ute for work or the family runabout is on its last legs, it could be time to look at taking advantage of the extra tax saving and hop into driver’s seat of your new car. To find out more, simply get in contact with one our fleet experts. They will run the numbers and get a second opinion for you. Just 10 mins on the phone could save you from either heartache or a few thousand in tax each year. Click the button below to get your instant quote now.

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Toyota Hilux continues to be Australia’s best-selling vehicle.

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After taking the title in 2016 for Australia’s best-selling vehicle, the Toyota Hilux has done it again and continues to hold the title for 2017.

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), in December alone the Toyota Hilux topped the market at 3949 sales, followed by the Holden Astra (3533), the Ford Ranger (3458), the Holden Colorado (3222) and then the Mazda3 (2807).

Not only have Hilux 4X4 sales increased by 13.6 percent when compared with 2016 but overall vehicle sales for 2017 that amounted to 1,189,116 units, meant a 0.9 percent sales increase. Another record year for overall vehicle sales. Despite economic warnings, this sales boom is expected to continue in 2018, as predicted by the FCAI, due to economic growth, low-interest rates, and competition.

Now the question is, will Australia continue to shun traditional sedans and hatchbacks in favour of utes and SUVs?

And with the sales growth of utes which now account for one in five new vehicle sales, will the Hilux take out the title in 2018? Stay tuned.

Want to help get the Hilux to the best-selling vehicle in 2018? Click the button below to our vehicle deals page to see our Hilux and many other deals.

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