Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

ATO assessments issued for excess super pension balances

Friday, May 11th, 2018

The ATO has started issuing excess transfer balance (ETB) tax assessments to self managed super fund (SMSF) members, or their agents, who had previously received an ETB determination and rectified the excess. These ETB tax assessments are sent to SMSF members (or their professionals), and not to the fund. It’s then up to the member to decide how to cover the ETB liability for exceeding their $1.6 million pension transfer balance cap.
The ATO warns that SMSF members may receive an ETB assessment even if they didn’t receive an ETB determination. If they rectified the excess before they were assessed for a determination, they are still liable for the ETB tax. However, SMSF members who were covered by the transitional rules for excesses not exceeding $100,000 and rectified in full by 31 December 2017, will not receive an ETB tax assessment.

Banking Royal Commission wraps up evidence on financial advice

Friday, May 11th, 2018

The Banking Royal Commission has wrapped up its two weeks of hearings focused on financial advice.
The hearings have included gruelling evidence of misconduct in financial services entities’ provision of financial advice, occurring in the context of fees being charged for no service, platform fees, inappropriate advice, improper conduct and the disciplinary regime.
The Royal Commission has adjourned until 21 May 2018, when it will begin its third round of hearings with a focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The Commission’s final report is due by 1 February 2019.

Financial Complaints Authority takes shape

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer has announced the authorisation of the new financial dispute resolution scheme, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which will start accepting complaints from 1 November 2018. AFCA is intended to be a “one-stop shop”, having the expertise to deal with all financial disputes, including superannuation and small business lending disputes, with higher monetary limits and compensation caps.
All Australian financial services (AFS) licensees, Australian credit licensees, superannuation trustees and other financial firms legally required to join AFCA will need to do so by 21 September 2018.

Government to increase civil penalties for white-collar crime

Friday, May 11th, 2018

In response to recent Senate Economics References Committee and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Enforcement Review Taskforce reports, the Federal Government has agreed to increase the civil penalties for corporate and financial misconduct (white-collar crime), for both individuals and bodies corporate. ASIC infringement notices will also be expanded to cover a broader range of financial services and managed investments infringements.
The new maximum civil penalties will be set at:
• for individuals, the greater of 5,000 penalty units (currently $1.05 million) or three times the value of the benefits obtained or losses avoided; and
• for corporations, the greater of 50,000 penalty units (currently $10.5 million) or three times the value of the benefits obtained or losses avoided, or 10% of annual turnover in the 12 months before the misconduct, up to a total of one million penalty units ($210 million).

Data matching finds taxpayers with unnamed Swiss bank accounts

Friday, May 11th, 2018

More than 100 Australians have been identified as “high risk” and will be subject to ATO investigation because they have links to Swiss banking relationship managers who are alleged to have actively promoted and facilitated tax evasion schemes.
The ATO constantly receives intelligence from a range of local and international sources which it cross-matches against existing intelligence holdings through its “smarter data” technology.
Australians who may have undeclared offshore income are encouraged to contact the ATO with that information – if penalties or interest apply, the amounts will generally be reduced (by up to 80%) if you make this kind of voluntary disclosure.
TIP: It’s important for Australia tax residents to declare all of their worldwide income to the ATO. Australia has many international tax agreements that work to avoid double taxation for people who are resident in Australia but make income from offshore sources.

ATO closely examines work-related car expenses

Friday, May 11th, 2018

The ATO is concerned about taxpayers making mistakes or deliberately lodging false claims for work-related car expenses, and has announced it will be closely examining claims for these expenses in 2018 tax returns. Last year, around 3.75 million people made a work-related car expense claim, totalling about $8.8 billion.
The best way for to avoid mistakes is to make sure you follow “the three golden rules”, only making a car claim if:
• you paid for the expense yourself and you weren’t reimbursed;
• it’s directly related to earning your income – in other words, your employer required you to make the trips as part of your job; and
• you have a record to support your claim.
TIP: We can help you avoid mistakes and understand what you’re entitled to claim this tax time. Contact us about your tax return today.

Superannuation rates and thresholds for 2018–2019

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

We summarise some of the key superannuation rates and thresholds for the upcoming financial year:
Concessional contributions cap: $25,000
Non-concessional contributions cap: $100,000*
CGT cap amount: $1,480,000
Super guarantee percentage: 9.5%
Maximum contribution base (per quarter): $54,030

* 300,000 for a “bring forward” arrangement

Government co-contributions
Lower income threshold: $37,697
Higher income threshold : $52,697

Superannuation payments
Lump sum low rate cap: $205,000
Untaxed plan cap: $1,480,000

ETP cap amount: $205,000
Genuine redundancy and early retirement payments – tax-free amounts:
• base amount: $10,399
• service amount: $5,200

Pension cap
General transfer balance cap: $1,600,000
Defined benefit income cap: $100,000
“Total superannuation balance” threshold: $1,600,000

Single Touch Payroll reporting: ATO urges employers to get ready

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

The ATO is urging employers with 20 or more employees to start preparing now for the Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting regime, which will be mandatory from 1 July 2018.
This reporting change for employers means they will report payments such as salaries, wages, allowances, PAYG withholding and superannuation contributions information to the ATO directly from their payroll solution at the same time they pay their employees. STP reporting starts on 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees, and is slated to apply from 1 July 2019 for those with 19 or fewer employees.
TIP: Businesses should do a headcount of employees as at 1 April 2018 to check if they have 20 or more. There are rules about which employees to include in the headcount. Contact our office for assistance.

Super guarantee: ATO compliance approach to non-payment

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

The ATO has released a fact sheet explaining its compliance approach to employers who fail to meet their superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations.
Broadly, employers are required to make SG contributions of 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings (provided they have paid the employee at least $450 in a calendar month). Payments are due quarterly. Employers are also liable to make contributions for certain contractors.
The ATO confirms that its compliance approach towards a particular employer will depend on that employer’s compliance history and other circumstances. The ATO will take firm action against any employer who repeatedly fails to pay the correct amount of SG or who does not cooperate with the ATO (eg by failing to provide information or attempting to mislead or obstruct the ATO).

Goods and services tax on low-value imported goods

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

From 1 July 2018, goods and services tax (GST) will apply to some offshore supplies of goods valued at $1,000 or less that are purchased by consumers and brought into Australia. The new rules are designed to create a more “level playing field” for local retailers.
The ATO has released a ruling covering GST registration issues for suppliers and other technical aspects of the new legislation. Notably, the existing rules about GST on imports valued above $1,000 are unchanged.

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