Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Tax on compensation received for inappropriate advice

Monday, November 12th, 2018

On the heels of the banking and financial services Royal Commission, the ATO has published information about how tax applies for people who receive compensation from a financial institution that provided inappropriate advice and/or did not provide advice it should have. This can include compensation for the loss of an investment, or a refund of fees or interest.
Capital gains tax comes into play, and the compensation amount may count as part of your assessable income if it’s a refund of adviser fees that you’ve already claimed as a tax deduction.
TIP: Contact us if you’ve received compensation from your bank or adviser and need to know more.

Residential rental property travel expenses: ATO guidance

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Since 1 July 2017, people, self managed super funds (SMSFs), “private” trusts and partnerships have not been permitted to claim non-business travel costs connected to residential rental properties as tax deductible. These costs also cannot form part of the cost base or reduced cost base of a capital gains tax (CGT) asset.
The ATO has released new guidance about this, including details about the legal meanings of “residential premises” and “carrying on a business”.
TIP: Not sure if you can deduct the costs of maintaining your investment rental property?
Talk to us today to work it out.

Bringing forward small business tax cuts by five years

Monday, November 12th, 2018

The Prime Minister has announced that the Government will bring forward its planned tax cuts for small business by five years. The Labor Party has also indicated it supports bringing forward the tax cuts.
This means businesses with a turnover below $50 million will pay a tax rate of 25% in 2021–2022, rather than from 2026–2027 as currently legislated.

Corporate tax rates and small business tax offset changes
The Bill to accelerate the reduced tax rates for base rate entities has passed through Parliament and will soon become law. Under the new law, the corporate tax rate will reduce from 27.5% to 26% in 2020–2021, before being cut to 25% for 2021–2022 and later income years.
The new law also increases the small business income tax offset rate to 13% for 2020–2021. The offset will then increase to 16% for 2021–2022 and later income years.
TIP: A “base rate entity” is a company that receives less than 80% of its taxable income from “passive” sources such as dividends, franking credits, interest, royalties and rent.

Black economy: electronic sales suppression tools now banned

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Activities involving electronic sales suppression tools (ESSTs) and that relate to people or businesses with Australian tax obligations are now legally banned under recent changes to the law.
ESSTs come in many forms, such as:
• an external device connected to a point of sale (POS) system;
• additional software installed into otherwise-compliant software; or
• a feature or modification, like a script or code, that’s part of a POS system or software.
These tools generally misrepresent or hide income by deleting or changing electronic transaction information, and falsifying sales or POS records.
TIP: The ATO recognises some businesses may have bought POS software without knowing it contains suppression functions. There is a grace period to self-report without penalty. If you think you may be affected, contact us to find out more.
People and businesses may face penalties of up to $1 million if they produce, supply, possess or use an ESST or knowingly assist others to do so.

ATO expects 200,000 to miss out on refunds by failing to lodge

Monday, November 12th, 2018

The ATO expects that 200,000 people could miss out on a tax refund this year because they haven’t lodged a tax return.
Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson has said that many salary and wage earners end up with a tax refund, but some are missing out because they fail to lodge on time.
Taxpayers had until 31 October to either lodge their own return, or ensure they are on an agent’s books, Ms Anderson said. Failing to lodge by the deadline can attract a penalty of $210 for every 28 days that the return is overdue, up to a maximum of $1,050.
TIP: Have you run out of time to sort out your tax return this year? We’re here to help – get in touch to talk about your options.

Transfer balance cap: ATO highlights admin issues

Monday, November 12th, 2018

On 30 August 2018, ATO Assistant Commissioner Superannuation Tara McLachlan gave a speech on “Administration issues under the transfer balance cap” at the Tax Institute Sixth National Superannuation Conference.
TIP: The superannuation transfer balance cap is a limit on the total amount of super that you can transfer into retirement phase. The current cap is $1.6 million.
Ms McLachlan highlighted several issues regarding common superannuation events that will need to be reported to the ATO (such as the start of new pensions that began to be in retirement phase on or after 1 July 2017), multiple transfer balance events, excess transfer balance determinations and more.

The ATO as SMSF regulator: observations

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

In the opening address to the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand National SMSF Conference in Melbourne on 18 September 2018, James O’Halloran, ATO Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation, shared some observations and advice from the ATO’s perspective as regulator for the SMSF sector. He spoke about matters including the crucial role of fund trustees, the ATO’s activities to address behaviour that seeks to take advantage of SMSFs, what sort of SMSF events attract close ATO scrutiny, and issues relating to the use of multiple SMSFs to manipulate tax outcomes.

Cyptocurrency and tax: updated guidelines

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

The ATO says that for taxpayers carrying on businesses that involve transacting with cryptocurrency, the trading stock rules apply, rather than the capital gains tax (CGT) rules.
The ATO’s guidelines on the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies have recently been updated, following feedback from community consultation earlier this year.
The ATO received about 800 pieces of individual feedback and submissions, and has now provided additional guidance on the practical issues of exchanging one cryptocurrency for another, and the related recordkeeping requirements.

SMSF issues update: ATO speech

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

ATO Assistant Commissioners, Superannuation, Tara McLachlan and Dana Fleming recently spoke at the SMSF Association Technical Days in various capital cities. The speech was mainly about practical considerations to be taken into account when setting up a new self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) and during the first year of its operation. Other issues raised included SMSF registrations, annual return lodgements, SuperStream SMSFs and exempt current pension income and actuarial certificates.

12-month extension of $20,000 instant asset write-off

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Accelerated Depreciation for Small Business Entities) Bill 2018 has now passed through Parliament without amendment.
The Bill makes changes to the tax law to extend by 12 months the period during which small businesses can access expanded accelerated depreciation rules for assets that cost less than $20,000. The threshold amount was due to revert to $1,000 on 1 July 2018, but will now remain at $20,000 until 30 June 2019.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the extension, but reminded small businesses and family enterprises that the instant asset write-off is a tax deduction, not a rebate – your small business needs to make a profit to be eligible to claim the benefit.


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