There are usually two ways to get a pay increase: ask for a raise, or find a higher paying job.
But there’s a third option that may also be worth considering: salary sacrificing.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how salary sacrificing works, and provide tips for choosing a reputable Canberra salary sacrifice company.
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 hard-earned cash. Salary sacrifice is:
- Approved by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
- Tightly controlled by the ATO, including what items can be salary sacrificed by industry
- Not an entitlement – you will only receive financial benefits if your employer agrees to provide it to you
- 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 (i.e. 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 is a specialist skill, but most people can salary sacrifice work-related expenses (i.e. 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 (up to $15,900 a year for public benevolent institutions and $9,010 for hospital and ambulance services) on general living expenses. These might include rent or mortgage payments, credit card and personal loan payments, household utility costs, car expenses and health insurance premiums.
What makes an excellent salary sacrifice service?
At the end of the day, salary sacrificing can really increase your take home pay – but you’ll need expert guidance to get it right.
When choosing a salary sacrifice service, we recommend considering the following.
- Experience and qualifications. Tax laws are always changing, so look at companies that have been providing salary sacrifice services for a long time and – perhaps most importantly – have qualified staff.
- Integrity. Your chosen provider should have 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.
- Immediate payments. Look for a salary sacrifice company that will perform your reimbursement in the current pay period. For novated leasing companies, ensure they pay all reimbursements the day you provide the receipt, and pay car service centres on the same day that your car is serviced – not six weeks later.
- Local. When it comes to salary sacrificing, local can be better. Canberra is too small a place to burn bridges so local companies work hard to protect their reputations. National companies can sell their services elsewhere.
The top salary sacrifice services in Canberra according to you
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 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.
PayMe is a Deakin-based, family-owned company that has provided salary sacrifice services since 2006. If you’re looking to salary package items like laptops, mobile phones, airport lounge memberships or extra super contributions – while supporting a local, award-winning business – PayMe could be the company for you.
PayMe is committed to full transparency of fees, while its team members answer all calls within three rings and do not use voice mail. PayMe is unique in that it has a genuine desire to help people.
As Camisha Thoms reviewed on Google, “After getting connected with this company, all my worries have gone about paying the bills and creditors. Thanks to this company for putting all together in one manageable payment.”
Alliance Leasing is the ACT’s only local novated leasing company, making it a safe bet for Canberrans looking to salary package a car lease. It promises no set up, exit or procurement fees; a simple and easy to understand process; market leading lenders and fleet pricing; and outstanding customer service.
As a trusted Canberra business, Alliance Leasing is also on the ACT Government Panel for novated leasing.
Best of all, Alliance Leasing is competitively priced. Its everyday novated leasing quote will beat any quote in Australia so long as the other quote is given without knowledge that it will be compared to Alliance.
As Jake Bunday reviewed on Google, “The leasing manager I dealt with, Guy Ewin, was an absolute legend. Always gave a call regarding what the next step in the process was, super friendly and easy to talk to, and just got everything done quickly and efficiently. Would recommend to anyone that was going down the car leasing route as I’ve heard horror stories from fellow co-workers that tried it through other leasing companies.”
When it comes to outsourcing salary packaging, more than 200 organisations across the country trust Smartsalary. Its team specialises in large corporate clients, governments, health care groups, and other major organisations. In total, Smartsalary helps over 160,000 individuals save money, reduce their taxable income, and enjoy an increased cash flow.
Customer Edith shared her experience with Smartsalary on Google Reviews: “Nothing is ever too much trouble; they always provide clear thorough information and exactly what I need even when I’m not sure what questions to ask! Great customer service on the phone— always.”
Advantage Salary Packaging is one of Australia’s leading salary packaging companies. As part of the Smartgroup network of companies (an ASX-listed corporation) you can be confident of receiving exceptional customer service at a cost-effective price.
To get started with Advantage Salary Packaging, you can apply online or make a personal appointment with an Advantage consultant.
Selectus has over 20 years of experience in salary packaging, and has helped over 35,000 customers purchase vehicles with a salary sacrifice car package. Its team administers over 22,000 employee salary packages and manages almost 14,000 novated leases.
Selectus works with people in industries including private education, public education, government and the private sector.
Whilst you’re looking at salary sacrificing, why not check out our article on the best payroll services in Canberra. Or, if you’re looking for a change in career, check out our article on the best recruitment agencies our region has to offer.
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.