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Glossary of Budget terms

Australian business number (ABN)
An Australian business number (ABN) is a unique number used to identify each business to the government and community.
accelerated depreciation
Accelerated depreciation speeds up the usual depreciation arrangements, providing businesses with tax deductions sooner, assiting cash flow, improving resilience and reducing red tape..
administered funds
The funds or expenses a government agency manages on behalf of the Australian Government.
administered items
Expenses, revenues, assets or liabilities managed by agencies on behalf of the Australian Government. Administered expenses include grants, subsidies and benefits and funding for other agencies.
additional estimates
Where amounts appropriated at budget time are not enough, Parliament may set aside more funds through the Additional Estimates Acts.
annual appropriation
The annual appropriation is the two bills introduced into Parliament in May which form the Budget for the financial year beginning 1 July. Further bills are introduced later in the financial year as part of the Additional Estimates process.
Apportionment is spreading (apportioning) a tax deduction to more than one category of deduction or more than one income year.
An appropriation is any authorisation by Parliament to spend money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, for a particular purpose.
assets test
An assets test looks at the value of your possessions to determine whether you are eligible for particular government support.
black economy
The black economy refers to the sector of the economy where goods and services are traded illegally. Because it is largely unseen, tax is evaded.
bracket creep
Bracket creep occurs when a pay rise results in a taxpayers’ income associating with a higher tax bracket which means they pay more tax.
capital gains tax (CGT)
Capital gains tax is the tax applied to the capital gain (profit) made on the sale of assets (or disposal), other than for specific exceptions.
capital gains tax (CGT) rollover
Capital gains tax rollover is the ability to defer capital gains resulting from the sale of an asset (or disposal).
child care benefit (CCB)
Child care benefit is a payment from the government to help with the cost of approved and registered child care.
Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF)
All money received by the Australian Government forms one Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). Public accounts reflect most of the operations of the CRF.
Commodities are largely homogenous items produced for the market. In Australia they mostly refer to mining resources, energy and agricultural produces but they can also be goods and services.
Compliance means following a direction or law.
A concession is a form of assistance offered, usually in the form of lower fees or tax deduction.
consumer price index (CPI)
The consumer price index measures changes in prices of everyday household goods and services.
cross-portfolio budget measure
A budget measure that affects programmes administered in a number of portfolios.
Tax deductions are amounts of money subtracted from taxable income.
If a government’s proposed spending exceeds its anticipated revenue for the year, the government budget is in deficit for that year.
Depreciation is recognising the decline in value of an asset over estimated useful life, to take account of normal use, obsolescence, or time.
Deregulation is the process to remove or reduce regulations that have proved unnecessary or have stifled efficient business practices.
digital transformation
Digital transformation refers to the changes to the economy and society as digital technology becomes widespread.
dividend imputation
Dividend imputation is when some or all of the tax paid by a company is assigned to shareholders as a tax credit. This reduces income tax for shareholders.
eligibility criteria
Eligibility criteria are measures used to determine whether you are eligible for a particular government program or government support. Commonly, eligibility criteria include an assets test, an income test or a means test.
equity or net assets
Equity is the value of an asset (like a house) after deducting liabilities (debt).
exchange rate
The value of a nation's currency (the Australian dollar) compared to another currency.
Expenses are the total value of all resources used to produce goods and services. It can also refer to the loss of future economic benefits through reductions in the value of assets or increases in liabilities.
fringe benefits tax (FBT)
Fringe benefits tax is a tax employers pay on certain non-cash benefits they provide to their employees, such as cars.
family tax benefits (FTB)
Family tax benefits are payments that help eligible families with the cost of raising children.
fiscal consolidation
Fiscal consolidation is the practice of reducing an underlying deficit.
fiscal policy
Fiscal policy is a government’s approach to taxation and spending, both of which can affect the economy.
forward estimates
The forward estimates are the estimated financial statement projections for the four years following a budget (the budget year and the three out years after the budget year).
franking credit
A franked distribution is a shareholder distribution which has already had income tax paid by the company. A franking credit is equal to the amount of company tax paid on the company's underlying share.
gross domestic product (GDP)
Gross domestic product is the combined value of the nation’s goods and services produced within its borders for a particular time.
goods and services tax (GST)
A tax applied to good and services purchased in Australia.
Hypothecation refers to setting aside or earmarking a particular source of revenue for a particular expense.
income test
An income test looks at your income to determine whether you are eligible for particular government support.
input credits
Input credits are tax credits that can be claimed for the value of goods and services tax paid on supplies required to produce another good or service.
intergenerational report (IGR)
The intergenerational report is a document that projects the implications of demographic changes on the nation’s finances and economic growth. It is required to be produced every five years.
Indexation is an adjustment to amounts of money in line with another measure of value.
The increase in the general price of good and services (or wages) in an economy over time.
interest rate
The rate of interest paid by borrowers on an amount of money loaned from a lender. In Australia, the Reserve Bank determines the official interest rate independent from the government.
Intermediaries are third parties that provide services between two parties.
A liability is something someone is liable or has responsibility for. It often refers to a debt.
Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset can be sold without losing its value.
A loophole is a colloquial term for a shortfall in the law. When found, loopholes tend to be exploited.
means test
A means test looks at your savings, assets and sources of income to determine whether you are eligible for particular government support.
Measures are plans of action to achieve a particular policy purpose.
monetary policy
Monetary policy refers to adjustment to the official interest rate to influence the economy.
multilateral agreements
Multilateral agreements are agreements involving a number of nations.
Multinational companies are companies that operate in a number of countries.
Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO)
The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook is issued around six months after the Budget to update the economic and fiscal prospects.
national partnership
A national partnership is when the Australian Government works with one or more state or territory governments to deliver a policy.
new policy proposal (NPP)
New policy proposals are policy ideas sought from portfolio agencies which are assessed and costed for possible inclusion in the budget. Agencies are invited to submit new policy proposals around six months before the budget.
An option is a contract which provides someone with an option to purchase something in the future.
The intended result, consequence or impact of government actions on the Australian community.
paid parental leave (PPL)
Paid parental leave is the government funded financial support for employers providing parental leave pay to eligible employees.
parental leave pay (PLP)
Parental leave pay is the pay received by eligible employees during their paid parental leave, payable for a maximum of 18 weeks.
portfolio budget statement (PBS)
The portfolio budget statements are the budget documents that relate to a particular Cabinet ministry.
Pressures are factors determining the strength of the economy, like inflation, the exchange rate and the interest rate.
A rebate is money returned or refunded. It can also be allocated in the form of reduced payments.
red tape
Red tape is a colloquial term for unnecessary regulation.
Regulation is a legal devices used to influence conduct.
Revenue is income received by the government through taxes, customs duties and interest.
A share is a stake in a business, which makes you a part-owner of that business.
special account
Special accounts are funds within the CRF regularly set aside as directed by appropriation for a certain purpose. Amounts credited to a special account may only be spent for its purpose. Special accounts can only be established by a written determination of the Finance Minister or through an Act of Parliament.
A subsidy is financial support provided to individuals or businesses with the aim of promoting a particular policy outcome.
If a government’s anticipated revenue exceeds its proposed spending for the year, the government budget is in surplus for that year.
tax brackets
Tax brackets refer to each of the thresholds at which the tax rates change in a progressive tax system.
thin capitalisation laws
Australia’s thin capitalisation laws prevent multinational enterprises from using Australian tax law to reduce their tax liabilities.
withholding requirements
Withholding requirements are the obligations on businesses to withhold tax from the payments made to employees, contractors and businesses.