What laws are changing in 2017

Housing investors will no longer be able to claim a tax refund on some of the costs of maintaining rental properties, and some students will find it easier to qualify for income benefits from New Year's Day when a swag of new laws come into force.

But the biggest change to the country is likely to come in the form of school funding when the Turnbull government's Education Amendment rolls into action.

The "Gonski 2.0" legislation is likely to kick off a new sector-by-sector debate over school resourcing that will be overseen by the new National School Resourcing Board.

As of Monday, the separation between school sectors will start to be removed and funding now calculated on a consistent basis based on need, regardless of the location or type of school receiving it.

Schools will transition to the new percentages by 2027 with annual adjustments over the 10 years. However, new schools that open from today will operate straight away under the new funding arrangements.

In bad news for housing investors, January 1 will herald the end of new home owners being able to claim the cost of inspecting and maintaining rental properties as tax deductable.

The change was one of a suite of new laws designed to reduce the pressure of housing affordability in the 2017-18 budget.

Flights, car hire and accommodation could once be deducted by rental property owners when they inspected their properties or travelled to visit real estate agents.

In good news for students entering university, those looking for income support through Centrelink's Youth Allowance will have to work four months less.

New social services legislation will cut the amount of time students who have left secondary school need to be employed before they are seen as "'independent."

The reduction from 18 to 14 months will begin on Monday, allowing youth allowance and funds for relocation scholarships to be accessed earlier.

Students will still have to satisfy the usual requirements including earning at least 75 per cent of the maximum rate of pay as specified by the Fair Work Commission.

The changes encourage those who have taken gap years to start their tertiary studies as soon as possible as they are now able to receive allowance the following year.

And after a string of scandals, financial advisers will also be banned from providing life insurance advice.

The move comes three years after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission released a report raising concerns that benefits given to financial services licensees and representatives, including upfront commissions, were influencing retail life insurance advice.

In February a parliamentary inquiry into the $44 billion life insurance industry heard the sector had been dogged with controversy for years, including engaging in unethical practices to avoid paying claims.

This story The new laws that will come into effect from January 1 first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.