FIRM BLOG

  • Tax time changes- The ATO will start processing 2018-19 tax returns on 5 July 2019 and are expected to start paying refunds from 16 July 2019, with the majority of electronically-lodged current year tax returns completed within 12 business days of receipt. There a few changes to tax returns that individuals should take note of going into this... View Article
  • How the ‘Protect Your Super’ changes will affect you- A number of changes to superannuation will come into effect from 1 July 2019. The ‘Protect Your Superannuation’ Bill passed through Parliament in February and forms part of the Government’s package of reforms that were announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget. The new legislation is designed to protect Australians’ superannuation savings by ensuring that their... View Article
  • What and when you need to report in your SMSF- The event-based reporting (EBR) framework for self-managed super funds (SMSFs) commenced on 1 July 2018. This system allows the ATO to administer the transfer balance cap. Reporting under the EBR framework commences when your first member begins a retirement phase income stream. The transfer balance account report (TBAR) is then used to report certain events... View Article
  • Changes to the ABN application process- The ATO has made recent changes to the application process for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The changes have been made as a measure to protect the process’ integrity and identify those who are attempting to misuse it. An ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and the... View Article
  • Reducing errors when claiming business expenses- The ATO has identified particular areas relating to business expenses that are commonly entered incorrectly in tax returns. Owners should take the time to carefully review tax returns to ensure all information is correct. Individuals who use a motor vehicle entirely for their business can claim a deduction for the whole amount. However, if they... View Article
  • In’s and out’s of the super downsizer scheme- Under the super downsizer scheme, eligible individuals that are 65 years and older may be able to make a contribution into their superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their family home. This scheme came into effect on 1 July 2018 as one of several measures announced in the May 2017 Federal... View Article
  • What disqualifies you from an SMSF- SMSF’s are regulated by the ATO and have specific eligibility criteria that members and trustees must follow. While anyone 18 years old or over can be a trustee or director of an SMSF, they mustn’t be under a legal disability, such as mental incapacity, or a disqualified person. The ATO can render an SMSF trustee... View Article
  • Tax incentives for start-up investors- Tax incentives may be available to investors that are considering putting their money into qualifying start-up businesses. Eligible businesses are defined by the ATO as early-stage innovation companies (ESICs). The two key tax incentives for eligible early-stage investors, also known as ‘angel investors’, who purchase new shares in an ESIC are: Non-refundable carry forward tax... View Article
  • ATO impersonation scam report- The ATO has released an Impersonation Scam Report for the month of February 2019. Highlighted are the various ways in which scammers have attempted to contact people, posing as the ATO. The most common method of contact was by phone calls or messages, accounting for 97% of reported scams over the month. Reports of 9,342... View Article
  • ATO warns of TBAR lodgement errors- With upcoming annual lodgement dates for Transfer Balance Account Reporting (TBAR), the ATO is alerting funds of common lodgement mistakes that could lead to delays and additional processing time. The Transfer Balance Cap (TBC) is a $1.6 million cap on the total amount of superannuation benefits that a member can transfer into a tax-free retirement... View Article
  • ATO monitors personal living expenses- In an ongoing effort to address the misuse and abuse of the tax and regulatory systems, the ATO has implemented a new tool to monitor what constitutes reasonable personal living expenses. Information is requested by the tax office to identify unreported cash income when looking at household expenditure. An individual will be required to provide... View Article
  • Super changes to protect employees’ entitlements- Several revisions from the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No.4) Bill 2018 took effect from 1 April 2019. These measures are designed to help reduce the super guarantee (SG) gap, protect employees’ super entitlements and strengthen the ATO’s ability to recover unpaid super. Changes to disclosure laws will now allow the ATO to disclose information... View Article
  • Increase to fuel tax credit rates- The ATO has increased fuel tax credit rates from 4 February 2019. As fuel tax credit rates are updated regularly, it is important to check the rates each time you lodge a business activity statement (BAS). Fuel tax credits provide businesses with a credit for the price of fuel used in machinery, plants, equipment, heavy... View Article
  • Is your SMSF meeting its PAYG obligations?- The ATO has called on self-managed funds to check whether they are meeting new pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding obligations for capped defined benefit income streams paid to their members. SMSFs have PAYG obligations to withhold tax from income streams that have been paid to their members in circumstances where: The member is 60 years or older.... View Article
  • Expanded super for older Australians- The 2019-20 Federal Budget has placed a strong focus on the growth of the economy whilst also having the intention to look after older Australians. Older Australians will benefit from the work test exemption age being extended from age 64 to 66. The work test requires an individual to work at least 40 hours in... View Article
  • Made a mistake on your BAS? Here’s what you need to know- Lodging a business activity statement (BAS) is something all business owners will be familiar with, however, mistakes can still be made. You must ensure that you have reported carefully and correctly to avoid incurring a penalty. In the event an error has been made in the reporting of your activity statements, here is what you... View Article
  • ATO to monitor high-risk LRBAs and TBARs within SMSFs- The ATO is focusing on risky Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs) and failures in Transfer Balance Account Reporting (TBAR) in SMSFs this year. They have announced plans to contact trustees with high concentration risks in their funds and to crack down on misreporting. Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements:LRBAs allow a superannuation fund to borrow under strict... View Article
  • Changes to personal income tax- The Personal Income Tax Plan has gone through recent changes regarding rates, thresholds and offset entitlements. These changes were announced in the 2018-2019 Federal Budget and were implemented at the start of the 2019 financial year. For the upcoming tax season, individuals should review these changes in case they are affected. The 32.5% tax bracket... View Article
  • Income stream within an SMSF- One of the best ways to ensure regular, flexible and tax-effective income as a pensioner is through an income stream from your SMSF. As a member, you can receive an income stream in a reoccurring series of benefit payments from your super fund. Income streams from an SMSF are usually account-based, which means that the... View Article
  • PAYG withholding: New penalties for non-compliance- New penalties for business’s pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding and reporting obligations are to be introduced as a result of legislation commencing 1 July 2019. The law will now prevent businesses from claiming deductions for payments to employees and certain contractors if they fail to comply. Payments that are impacted include salary, wages, commissions, bonuses or allowances... View Article
  • Superannuation guide for retirement planning- As the time comes for you to consider leaving the workforce, it is necessary to plan how to make the most of your superannuation in order to strengthen the chances of a financially secure retirement. Careful planning can significantly boost your super and make a big difference to your future lifestyle. Identify your dependants and... View Article
  • Determining whether GST is for business or private use- The goods and services tax (GST) is applied to most goods and services sold in Australia, taxed at a rate of 10%. If you run a business, you are likely to have GST obligations such as claiming credit for any GST included in the price of goods and services that have been purchased for your... View Article
  • SMSF areas being monitored by the ATO- Self-managed super funds are closely monitored by the ATO to ensure regulations are being met across all areas. As SMSF are run by members, it is their responsibility to comply with all related super and tax laws. The independent nature of an SMSF creates an environment that people are confused by or can attempt to... View Article
  • ATOs small business benchmarks- The ATO small business benchmark guides are designed to help small businesses compare performance with similar companies in the same industry. These guides have been updated to include data from the 2016-2017 financial year. Within this system, there are two benchmarks businesses can use. Performance benchmarks apply to all industries and businesses. This area consists... View Article
  • Do you know where your super is?- If you’re not close to retiring, you may not be thinking about your super or where it is. Even if you are a way off from retiring, you should be keeping track of where your super has gone. $17.5 billion of super was lost in 2017-18, $420 million down from the previous year. If you... View Article
  • STP extension for small businesses- The ATO has released a statement in relation to transitioning to Single Touch Payroll (STP) for small employers. Parliament has passed legislation to extend STP to include employers with fewer than 20 employees from 1 July 2019. STP is payday reporting by employers to the ATO as it happens. The initiative is designed to help... View Article
  • “Building a Better Tax system” What does this mean for you?- The Australian government has launched the Better Tax campaign in order to help inform the public of tax reforms coming into effect. Designed to “better Australia”, here is a look at what this plan means for you. Individual Tax: New low to middle-income tax offset: Offering immediate relief of up to $530 after an individual... View Article
  • Superannuation tips for each stage of your working life- A 2018 study revealed that almost 40% of Australians think they won’t have enough money to retire on – and that number is on the rise. Managing your superannuation fund can be confusing but it was found that 50% of us do not consult a financial planner. As we face different financial challenges at different... View Article
  • Travel allowance and expenses- On the occasion that you are required to travel overnight for work, you may be eligible to receive a travel allowance from your employer for accommodation, food, drink or incidental expenses. The reasonable amount of travel expenses is updated yearly and is based on job type and salary. From this allowance, tax deductions are to... View Article
  • Didn’t pay your employees’ super on time?- How to reduce the hassle of missing your employee’s super payment. The Super Guarantee Charge (SGC):The SGC may apply to employers who do not pay the minimum super guarantee (SG) to their employee’s designated superannuation fund by the required date. The non-tax-deductible charge includes the SG shortfall amounts with interest and a $20 administration fee... View Article
  • Instant asset write-off for small businesses to be extended and increased- As of 29 January 2019, the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme will be extended to 30 June 2020 for assets purchased under $25,000. The Instant Asset Write-Off affects small businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million a year. It allows business owners to immediately deduct assets costing up to $25,000 which can then be... View Article
  • How to get out of a SMSF- Sometimes a self-managed super fund (SMSF) isn’t for you. While that is ok, getting out of an SMSF can be a tricky and complicated process. Every individual involved in an SMSF is responsible for their part. No decision can be made on their behalf or outsourced to another member or industry professional. Once deciding to... View Article
  • SuperStream to be extended to SMSF rollovers- First introduced in 2015, SuperStream is a government standard for processing superannuation payments electronically in a streamlined manner. Currently, SuperStream can only process rollovers between two APRA funds electronically but a change coming into effect on 30 November 2019 will now see this process extend to self-managed super funds (SMSF). This means rollovers between an... View Article
  • Superannuation for Women- It’s no secret that the median super balance for Australian women at the time of retirement is significantly lower than that of their male counterparts. The Australian Commission & Investments Commission (ASIC) have reported that men retire with about twice the amount as women. The discrepancy is reportedly even higher between Mums and Dads. Between... View Article
  • Single Touch Payroll to include all businesses in 2019- On 1 July 2018, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) rolled out Single Touch Payroll (STP). This changed the way employers with 20 or more employees report their employees’ tax and super information. Generally through payroll or accounting software that offer STP reporting (or through a third-party service provider), employers are expected to report information on... View Article
  • A guide to consolidating your super- Merging your super is vital to maximising your retirement savings. Changing jobs over the years will put you at risk of losing some of your super if your previous employers have set up accounts you have forgotten about. Fees will erode the balances on these inactive accounts and result in you losing your hard earned... View Article
  • Claiming deductions for business travel expenses- You can claim tax deductions for expenses related to business travel provided you follow the ATO’s rules. Eligibility requirementsYou must fulfil certain eligibility requirements for your tax deduction claims to be valid. You can only claim a tax deduction if you: Travel once your business has already started Keep records and documentation to provide evidence... View Article
  • Authority for super complaints introduced- The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to make complaints about their superannuation financial firms. The Coalition government has responded to criticisms of previous dispute resolution bodies by creating a new financial disputes framework. AFCA has been described as a “one-stop shop” that will improve outcomes... View Article
  • Avoid these small business tax errors- Unwanted attention and penalties from the ATO can jeopardise your small business. Protect your business by avoiding these common small business tax errors. Not using an accountantTax laws frequently change, and compliance requirements can be time-consuming and demanding. A registered tax agent will streamline your financial processes, provide advice on maximising your finances and keep... View Article
  • Employer SuperStream checklist- Employers must make superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees. SuperStream is the ATO’s electronic and standardised solution that streamlines the super payment process. Using SuperStream for employers means: You can use one online channel to pay multiple funds Less room for error during data entry, due to fewer steps Transactions reach funds faster ObligationsYou... View Article
  • Getting to know the ATO Business Portal- The ATO has introduced the Business Portal to allow small business owners to manage their tax affairs online at their convenience. Connect your ABN to your myGov account or a compatible AUSkey so you can access the business portal. The portal is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The portal can be... View Article
  • ATO warns of illegal early super release- The ATO has issued a warning to the public regarding illegal early release of super schemes, which are subject to severe penalties. There are strict rules around when you can access your super so your current decisions do not jeopardise your quality of life in retirement. The ATO has reminded the public you may only... View Article
  • ATO update: Tax deduction rules on travel to rental properties- The ATO has enforced strict guidelines on tax deductions for rental property owner’s travel expenses. As a rental property owner you are not able to claim deductions for travel expenses relating to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent. If you have already claimed a tax deduction for the cost of travel to and from your property... View Article
  • Paying super to contractors- The ATO classifies contractors paid for their labour as employees for superannuation guarantee purposes. This is the case even if the contractor quotes an Australian Business Number (ABN). Eligibility requirementsSuper contributions must be made for these individuals if you pay them: Under a verbal or written contract that is wholly or principally for their labour-... View Article
  • ATO updates Taxpayer’s Charter- The ATO has updated the Taxpayer’s Charter which prioritises a relationship with the public built on mutual trust, courtesy and respect in all interactions. Your rights regarding review of ATO decisions are clearly outlined by the Charter if you feel you have been mistreated. The Charter has also committed the ATO to use easy to... View Article
  • SMSF trustee investment strategy checklist- SMSF trustees have the freedom to invest as they choose to grow their retirement savings, which is why it is vital that they check in on their investment strategy regularly. Maximising your retirement nest egg depends on how well your investment strategy functions at different phases in your working life. This is why your investment... View Article
  • ATO provisions for mental health- Small business owners suffering from mental health issues can seek the ATO’s help in meeting their taxation and super commitments. If you are going through tough times take advantage of ATO services that will help keep your finances in check. Get in contact with the ATOGet in touch with the ATO as soon as you... View Article
  • Trustee reporting obligations checklist- Trustees must comply with reporting obligations to avoid penalties from the ATO. The following trustee reporting checklist to make sure you are stress-free at tax-time. Trustees must: Value the funds’ assets at their market value at 30 June Pay any minimum annual income stream payments required under super laws Get an actuarial certificate if required... View Article
  • Record keeping for small businesses- Businesses that fail to keep accurate records may struggle to remain compliant at tax time and incur financial penalties from the ATO. Follow the ATO’s record keeping guidelines to stay organised. Basic organisation tips: Keep records electronically (if possible) Keep evidence of all transactions Take photos of paper receipts to avoid faded records Keep all... View Article
  • A checklist for setting up your SMSF- Setting up an SMSF can be complex, which is why a checklist is useful to streamline your process. Before you set up your SMSF, first determine if having an SMSF is a commercially viable option. Once a decision is reached and you are about to start your SMSF, here are the basic steps to get... View Article
  • Tax implications of a business restructure- Tax exemptions may apply to small businesses going through a restructure provided they meet certain criteria. Typically when a business is sold, you would have to pay income tax due to transferring assets. However, when a business is restructuring, the ownership of assets remains unchanged, and there is instead a rollover. This allows you to... View Article
  • ATO update: Check for $17.5 billion in lost super- The ATO’s new data revealed that although the total amount of lost and unclaimed super reduced by $420 million in 2017-2018, there is still $17.5 billion left to be found. The ATO has prioritised reuniting people with their lost super spread across over 6.2 million accounts. In the past financial year, the ATO was successful... View Article
  • When can the ATO issue a default assessment for overdue lodgements- A default assessment is an assessment of taxable income for overdue tax returns or the net amount or assessable amount-for late activity statements. Although the ATO’s preferred approach is to work with taxpayers to help them meet their lodgement obligations, a default assessment will be issued if this collaborative approach fails. PenaltyThe administrative penalty of... View Article
  • Event-based reporting framework for SMSFs- The event-based reporting (EBR) framework for self-managed super funds (SMSFs) commenced on 1 July 2018. The initiative allows for the administration of the Transfer balance cap (TBC). Under the EBR framework, you need to report to the ATO, when the first member of your SMSF begins a retirement phase income stream. The SMSF annual return... View Article
  • ATO reminder: fuel tax credit rates have increased- Fuel tax credit rates have increased on 1 August. The ATO reminds you to use the new rates to calculate claims on your next business activity statement (BAS). How to simplify fuel tax credit claimsIf you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use the ATO’s simplified methods to keep... View Article
  • Managing risk in your SMSF- SMSFs provide the trustee autonomy and an increased opportunity to maximise your retirement savings. However, an investment strategy must be accompanied by a risk management plan should some of your investments come up short. Consider the following risk management strategies: DiversificationDiversification reduces risk by investing in many different assets including property, annuities and equities. By... View Article
  • ATO announces $20,000 instant asset write-off- The ATO has extended the $20,000 threshold to 30 June 2019. If you buy an asset and it costs less than $20,000, you may write off the business portion in your tax return. To be eligible to use the simplified depreciation rules and claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of each asset costing... View Article
  • Choosing the right super risk profile- Choosing the right super risk profile at the right time can drastically increase your retirement savings. The following considerations will help you invest wisely when it comes to building your retirement nest egg. Types of investment optionsYour super fund should offer a range of investment options to consider. Here is what to know about each... View Article
  • Claiming tax when working from home- The ATO is seeking to increase their attention on home office expenses due to the high level of questionable claims made by taxpayers. There has been an increase in the number of Australians claiming deductions for costs incurred from working from home. The ATO reports that in the last tax year 6.7 million taxpayers claimed... View Article
  • 3 easy ways to maximise your super- Superannuation is more critical than it has ever been. If having an ageing population has taught us anything, it is how managing money now can have substantial ramifications for your retirement plan. Merge your superEvery super account you have comes with a set of fees. It is worth your while chasing down inactive accounts and... View Article
  • ATO developing software to stop tax avoidance- The ATO is in the midst of developing advanced data programs to find individuals who are leaving a source of income out of their tax return. Analytical tools have been developed to utilise the amount of data the ATO receives to identify instances where income has gone unreported. This is to address the annual $1.4... View Article
  • Paying super to different visas- Normally employers have to pay a worker super. However, this becomes confusing with the different visas that employees might be on. Some rules are listed below. Paying super to temporary residentsTemporary residents working in Australia are eligible for super guarantee. When temporary residents leave Australia, they can claim the super paid as a departing Australia... View Article
  • Authorisations for Single Touch Payroll- On the 1 July 2018, the Australian Government introduced Single Touch Payroll (STP) for employers with 20 or more employees. The new scheme requires employers to report payment activities each time employees were paid. Authorisations for an agent to act on behalf of an employer to streamline the process of STP are provided below. STP... View Article
  • Changes to FBT for Utes- The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has released draft guidelines changing its previous stance on Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) for utes. Amendments originated from reports that dodgy tax returns were responsible for a loss of $8.7 billion in income tax due to wrongful claims. Failure to comply with new requirements listed below may result in a... View Article
  • Employer super obligations reminder- The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding employers to check they are meeting their obligations when it comes to paying super to their workers. To help you make sure you are meeting your requirements, consider this checklist: Are you paying the correct amount? You are required to pay a minimum of 9.5 per cent of... View Article
  • Income tax return: what to report- The time to report and lodge your annual tax return for your business is fast approaching. Remember, what you must report will depend upon the type of business entity you have. Sole traders As a sole trader, you are required to lodge a tax return even if your income is below the tax-free threshold. This... View Article
  • Winding up a SMSF- The Tax Office is reminding individuals winding up a self-managed super fund (SMSF) that before lodging your final SMSF annual return, you must first have an audit completed by an approved SMSF auditor. When lodging your SMSF annual return, answer Question 9 in Section A: ‘Was the fund wound up during the income year?’. You... View Article
  • What is exempt current pension income?- Any ordinary and statutory income a self-managed super fund (SMSF) earns from assets held to support retirement phase income streams is exempt from income tax – this income is commonly referred to as Exempt current pension income (ECPI). This form of income does not include assessable contributions or non-arm’s length income. Individuals can choose to... View Article
  • TPRS extension to contractors- From 1 July 2018, businesses that supply cleaning or courier services must report payments made to contractors (if payments are for cleaning or courier services) via the Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) each year. However, the ATO does not require taxpayers to lodge their TPAR during the period up until the proposed law change is... View Article
  • Avoid being short changed with your super- With recent regulatory changes to super contributions, it is easier than ever to ensure your employer is paying you the super you are entitled to. There are specific steps you can take to ensure you are being paid correctly. Consider the following: Understand your entitlements Employers have to put 9.5 per cent of an employee’s... View Article
  • Tax deduction for landcare operations- You may be able to claim a tax deduction for capital expenditure on a landcare operation in Australia in the year it is incurred. Providing you are a primary producer, a rural land irrigation water provider who incurred the expenditure on or after 1 July 2004, or a business using rural land for taxable uses... View Article
  • Super contribution caps: the basics- Making contributions to your superannuation fund is a great way to grow your nest egg, however, there are caps on the amount you can contribute every financial year to be taxed at lower rates. Once you go over these caps, you may be required to pay additional tax. The cap and extra tax amount will... View Article
  • Rental property and tax- The Tax Office is reminding individuals who either own or are looking to purchase a rental property that there are essential record-keeping and taxation obligations that they must meet. Examples of records to keep (for the period the individual owns the property for and up to five years after it is sold), include: – Rental... View Article
  • Protect yourself from early super release scams- When it comes to protecting your nest egg, avoid getting caught out by a promoter of an illegal early release super scheme. Early release super scheme scams will involve a promoter contacting you and offering to help you access your super early. They usually target individuals under significant financial pressure or those who are not... View Article
  • Avoid these top tax misconceptions- As tax time continues, the ATO has announced the top misconceptions many individuals make when completing their claims for tax deductions. Four popular tax misunderstandings include: 1. Individuals can give credit card statements as proof of claim Debunked: When making a claim, individuals must be able to show they spent the money, what the money... View Article
  • Hiring temporary residents: employer super obligations- Employers are being reminded by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) not to forget that along with permanent residents; temporary residents are also entitled to super guarantee (SG). In most cases, an employer will be required to pay SG on top of their employee’s wages (temporary residents included) if they pay them $450.00 or more before... View Article
  • Cents per kilometre rate rises for work-related car expenses- The Tax Office has confirmed the rate for work-related car expenses will rise to 68 cents per kilometre for the income year beginning 1 July 2018. The new rate will affect those eligible individuals who elect the cents per kilometre method when calculating the income tax deductions for their work-related car expenses for the 2018-19... View Article
  • Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty- The Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty was introduced on 24 May 2018 by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services in a bid to tackle non-payment of employee super. The Amnesty provides a one-off opportunity for employers to self-correct any past super guarantee (SG) non-compliance without incurring a penalty. However, there is a lot of ambiguity around... View Article
  • Income tax gap results- The ATO has released its latest findings on the tax gap for Australian individuals. The estimated gap in 2014-15 is approximately $8.7 billion or 6.4 per cent. The income gap is an estimate of the difference between the tax the ATO collects and the amount that would have been collected if each taxpayer was fully... View Article
  • Reviewing your super- The ATO is encouraging taxpayers to review their super this tax time. Finding lost super or consolidating any unwanted multiple accounts can make a massive difference to your nest egg. There is over $18 billion in lost and unclaimed super. Those who have changed their name, address, job or lived overseas are at high risk... View Article
  • Avoid scams this tax time- The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding individuals to remain vigilant against any scams that may pop up this year around tax time. With over 37,000 scam attempts reported to the ATO this time, last year, individuals need to be wary of scam artists looking to trick taxpayers into either paying for fake debts or... View Article
  • SMSFs: beware of illegal early super release- The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees to beware of allowing members to access their super early. A self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee must meet a condition of release before any funds can legally be released. The ATO can issue severe penalties if you or a SMSF member access your... View Article
  • Penalty relief for taxpayers- From 1 July 2018, the Tax Office is advising Australians that if they find an error in their tax return or activity statement they will not incur a penalty but will advise of the error and how to get it right next time. Penalty relief will only apply to eligible taxpayers or entities (i.e., turnover... View Article
  • ASIC’s view on SMSFs as ‘one-stop property shops’- The Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) has released a new report highlighting its view on the setup of SMSFs for property investments using ‘one-stop shop’ models. ‘One-stop shop models’ tend to promote the purchase of residential property through SMSF borrowing. They are usually arranged by groups of real estate agents, developers, mortgage brokers, financial advisers... View Article
  • Avoid these five common Tax Time mistakes- Tax Time is now upon us, with the ATO Assistant Commissioner announcing the top five mistakes commonly made when Australians complete their annual tax returns. Common mistakes some taxpayers are making include: – Leaving out a portion of their earnings, i.e., forgetting to include a job – income from a temp job, or income earned... View Article
  • ATO advice for SMSF members with a market-linked pension- The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has recently been made aware of circumstances where a member of a SMSF commences a new market-linked pension and unintentionally exceeds their transfer balance cap. An individual may have exceeded their transfer balance cap if they were receiving a life expectancy or market-linked pension just before 1 July 2017 (which... View Article
  • Personal Income Tax Plan passed- The Personal Income Tax Plan announced as part of this year’s Federal Budget has been passed by Parliament. The plan introduces: – a new low and middle-income tax offset to reduce the tax payable by low and middle-income earners in the 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 income years – a new low-income tax offset from... View Article
  • SMSFs: reporting change- Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are required to provide an accumulation phase value (APV) on their transfer balance account report for 30 June 2017 in certain circumstances. SMSFs should note, APV is often different to the account balance of the SMSF member’s accumulation phase assets. This is due to the exit and administration fees and realisation... View Article
  • Claiming clothing this tax time?- The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is cracking down on claims for work-related clothing and laundry expenses this tax time. Last year total claims for work-related clothing and laundry expenses totalled nearly $1.8 billion. The ATO has acknowledged that many of these claims are legitimate. However, it is unlikely that half of all taxpayers would have... View Article
  • Changes to SMSF 2017-18 annual return- There is a number of changes to the 2017-18 Self-managed super fund annual return (SAR) thanks to the super changes which came into effect on 1 July 2017. Transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) accountThe ATO has included a new label for the number of TRIS accounts an SMSF member has in accumulation phase. A... View Article
  • Importing goods worth $1,000 or less?- Overseas businesses that meet the GST registration threshold (A$75,000) will be required to charge GST on goods purchased from the 1 July 2018. Specifically, GST will be charged on goods that are: less than A$1,000 (low-value); not GST-free (i.e., alcohol or tobacco products); and imported into Australia. Individuals who purchase low-value goods (which they import)... View Article
  • Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty- In a bid to tackle non-payment of employee superannuation, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services announced the beginning of a 12-month Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty (the Amnesty) on 24 May 2018. The Amnesty provides employers with a one-off chance to self-correct past super guarantee (SG) non-compliance without incurring a penalty and is available until 23... View Article
  • Preparing for tax time- With the end of the financial year fast approaching, preparing ahead will help to take off the pressure of running your business and organising your tax affairs this tax season. Business owners can benefit from gathering and sorting their records now, including cash, EFTPOS, bank statements, credit or debit card transactions that relate to sales... View Article
  • First Home Super Saver Scheme- The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) is a scheme that enables Australians to save for their first home inside their superannuation fund. The plan allows for faster saving with the before tax (concessional) treatment within super. The 2017-18 Budget allowed individuals to make voluntary concessional and non-concessional payments into their super to save for their... View Article
  • Targeted amendments to Division 7A- The Government is widening the scope of Division 7A to include unpaid present entitlements from 1 July 2019. This will apply where a related private company is entitled to a share of trust income as a beneficiary but has not been paid that amount (unpaid present entitlement). Division 7A is an integrity rule that requires... View Article
  • Claiming personal super contributions deductions- More taxpayers can now claim a personal super contributions deductions this tax time due to the removal of the 10 per cent maximum earnings condition that came into effect from 1 July 2017. Eligible individuals include those who earn their income from: Salary and wages A personal business (self-employment) Investments such as interest, dividends, rent... View Article
  • GST at settlement- As of 1 July 2018, purchasers of new residential premises or potential land are required to withhold an amount from the contract price and pay the amount to the ATO before settlement. A supplier (vendor, seller) of residential premises or potential residential land must notify the purchaser in writing whether they will need to withhold... View Article
  • How the new super measures will apply to SMSFs- The Government has introduced new measures to allow SMSF members to access their super for their first home or make contributions to their super from the sale of downsizing their home. SMSFs should be aware of the following: Downsizing From 1 July 2018, SMSF members who are 65 or over and exchange a contract of... View Article
  • Focus on work-related car expenses- The Tax Office has flagged work-related car expenses as a concern this tax time. The ATO is targeting those who make mistakes or deliberately lodge false claims. Examples include: – Claiming things they are not entitled to, i.e., private trips such as work to home travel. – Making claims for trips that did not occur.... View Article
  • Budget 2018: living stronger- The Government is focused on encouraging older Australians to better grow and secure their personal retirement funds. Retirees exempt from work test An exemption from the work test will be established to allow retired Australians aged between 65-74 who have total super balances below $300,000 in their first year that they do not meet the... View Article