There are usually two ways to get a pay increase: ask for a raise or find a higher paying job. You might want to consider a third option for enjoying more hard-earned cash – salary sacrificing (also called salary packaging).
Salary sacrificing is a smart way to restructure your income, giving you cash-saving benefits. To make sure you understand salary sacrificing – and get it right – you might want to talk to an expert salary sacrifice service.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how salary sacrificing works, and share where to find the best salary sacrifice service in Canberra.
What is salary sacrificing, and how does it work?
Salary sacrificing, or salary packaging, reduces the tax you pay so you can do more with your money. Salary sacrifice is:
- approved by the ATO
- tightly controlled by the ATO, including items that can be salary sacrificed
- not an entitlement – you’ll only receive financial benefits if your employer agrees to provide them
- an arrangement that takes place between you and your employer
Without salary sacrifice, some of your salary is removed as tax on payday. The rest is paid into your bank account.
With salary sacrifice, you start with the same salary. However, before tax is removed, your employer reimburses you for certain expenses, such as a novated car lease or self-education costs. You don’t pay tax on the reimbursed amount, which reduces your taxable income.
Understanding what can be claimed can be challenging, but many people salary sacrifice work-related expenses such as a mobile phone, self-education expenses, airline lounge memberships if used for work travel, and novated car leases.
If you work for a public benevolent institution or a hospital and ambulance service, you may be able to sacrifice even more on general living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, credit card and personal loan payments, household utility costs, car expenses and health insurance premiums.
What makes a great salary sacrifice service?
Choosing the right salary sacrifice service can help you increase your take-home pay without the stress of trying to figure out on your own how it all works. Expert guidance can help you focus on what you want.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a salary sacrifice service.
- Experience and qualifications. Tax laws are always changing, so look at a salary sacrifice service that is qualified and experienced, to give you confidence you’re getting the most up-to-date, relevant advice.
- Integrity. You’ll want a salary sacrifice service that is committed to giving you informed advice and who will keep your best interests at heart.
- Fees. There’s not much use in salary sacrificing if the fees outstrip your benefits, so do your research into fees before committing.
- Timing of payments. Talk to salary sacrifice companies about timing of payments, so you benefit sooner rather than later. Will you be reimbursed in your current pay period, for example, or will you have to wait for a longer period?
- Local. When it comes to salary sacrificing, you might find that a local service is be better, so you can have face-to-face contact if this is important for you.
The best salary sacrifice services in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
When it comes to outsourcing salary packaging, more than 200 organisations use Smartsalary, including large corporates, governments, health care groups, and other major businesses. Smartsalary helps more 160,000 individuals save money, reduce their taxable income, and enjoy increased cash flow.
On Google Leanne Fogarty wrote, “This is my first salary sacrifice/novated lease experience and my consultant was amazing. She was so patient with me asking heaps of questions which she responded to so quickly.”
PayMe is a Deakin-based, family-owned company that has provided salary sacrifice services since 2006. The company helps clients with salary packaging of items like laptops, mobile phones, airport lounge memberships and extra super contributions.
PayMe is committed to full transparency of fees and excellent service. Team members answer all calls within three rings and don’t use voicemail.
As part of Australia’s largest contractor payroll company, PayMe in Canberra has direct access to the widest variety of salary packaging and novated leasing as well as other benefits delivered to clients by its wholly owned group of companies.
On Google Mitchell McInnes wrote, “I have used PayMe twice now, and both times they have been 100 per cent on the ball and willing to help. I can’t express how much thanks I have for the entire team for answering all my questions and enquiries, along with always being able to get back to me quickly with an answer.”
Advantage Salary Packaging is one of Australia’s leading salary packaging companies. It’s part of the Smartgroup network of companies (an ASX-listed corporation) and provides clients with great customer service at a cost-effective price. Clients can apply online or make a personal appointment with an Advantage consultant.
Aaron Johnson wrote on Google, “Prompt information and support provided to set up salary packaging; staff provided clear guidance on maximising package to suit my needs.”
Your experience with salary sacrificing in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the salary sacrifice companies listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.