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The Federal Budget has come and gone, and tax time is rolling around again. So what's the lowdown for FIFO families and how can you maximise your income?  

By Victoria Wallis-Smith

With the 2015 Federal Budget done and dusted, it looks like FIFO families will again be slugged – this time with the removal of the zone tax offset, potentially stripping thousands of dollars of tax benefits.

To ensure FIFO families don't miss out, here are three top tips on getting back in front financially, in just minutes...

1. Save stacks on your home or investment loan

Right now the banks are in a heated battle for your business. With competitive pressures at a peak, it's the perfect time to get a better deal on your loans, and the great news is you probably won't even need to change banks. 

Simply call your lender and say these seven words: "Is that the best you can do?"

Our clients have been offered 0.25% to 0.5% savings off their loans just by asking nicely. On a typical $400,000 loan that's $1000 to $2000 per annum. Not bad for a five-minute phone call!

While you're at it, why not increase your repayments by the same amount as the interest saving? That way you pay the same, but clear your debt sooner.

2. Super – time to catch up

Here's a typical scenario...

FIFO worker earns a good salary and is building a healthy super balance, but pays tax through the nose. FIFO partner pays no tax and has little or no super. Sound familiar?

By making a $3000 'Spouse Super Contribution', the FIFO worker can receive an extra $540 tax refund, and his/her spouse will start building that nest egg.

Call your super fund to confirm that you are eligible, and make it happen.

3. Find your lost riches!

If you've ever moved house, you'll know how easy it is for banks and other financial institutions to lose track of your contact details.

By simply visiting the Government’s MoneySmart website for unclaimed money, you can track down lost bank accounts, unpaid interest and dividend cheques, deceased estates and a host of other potential goldmines.

Click here for the MoneySmart Unclaimed Money Search. Just enter your name for instant results (and you can even win some brownie points with friends and family, by checking their name).

If you can see the potential benefit in these 3 simple tips, imagine what other gems a professional money expert may unearth for you! Taking the time to find the right financial planner could be the best investment you ever make.


Victoria Wallis-Smith is a Financial Planner and Director with Adelaide-based Wallis-Smith Financial Planning, specialising in wealth creation, debt reduction and risk management. She believes her varied experience as a consultant, team leader and parent give her a valuable perspective on problem solving and looking at the bigger picture. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.wallissmith.com.au

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way.

Victoria Wallis-Smith and Wallis-Smith Financial Services Pty Ltd T/a Wallis-Smith Financial Planning are Authorised Representatives of GWM Adviser Services Limited ABN 96 002 071 749, an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Registered office at 105 –153 Miller St North Sydney NSW 2060 and a member of the National Australia group of companies.