Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

ATO information-sharing: super assets in family law proceedings

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Superannuation is often the most significant asset in a separated couple’s property pool, particularly for low-income households with few assets. Parties to family law proceedings are already legally required to disclose all of their assets to the court, including superannuation, but in practice parties may forget, or deliberately withhold, information about their super assets.
The Government has announced an electronic information-sharing mechanism to be established between the ATO and the Family Law Courts to allow superannuation assets held by relevant parties during family law proceedings to be identified swiftly and more accurately from 2020. This measure was included as part of a broader financial support package for women announced on in November.

Government to establish $2 billion fund for small business lending

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

The Government has announced that it will establish a $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund and an Australian Business Growth Fund to provide longer-term equity funding for small businesses.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said some small businesses currently find it difficult to obtain finance on competitive terms unless it is secured against real estate. To overcome this, the proposed Australian Business Securitisation Fund will invest up to $2 billion in the securitisation market, providing additional funding to smaller banks and non-bank lenders to on-lend to small businesses on more competitive terms.

Government announces super refinements

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

The Government has announced it will amend the super tax laws to address some minor but important issues, as part of the ongoing super reforms. The changes include:
• deferring the start date for the comprehensive income product for retirement (CIPR) framework;
• adjusting the definition of “life expectancy period” to account for leap years in calculations, and amending the pension transfer balance cap rules to provide credits and debits when these products are paid off in instalments;
• adjusting the transfer balance cap valuation rules for defined benefit pensions to deal with certain pensions that are permanently reduced after an initial higher payment;
• correcting a valuation error under the transfer balance cap rules for market-linked pensions where a pension is commuted and rolled over, or involved in a successor fund transfer;
• making changes to ensure that death benefit rollovers involving insurance proceeds remain tax-free for dependants.

Small business corporate tax rates Bill is now law

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

The company tax rate for base rate entities will now reduce from 27.5% to 26% in 2020–2021, and then to 25% for 2021–2022 and later income years. This means eligible corporate taxpayers will pay 25% in 2021–2022, rather than from 2026–2027.
The new law also increases the small business income tax offset rate to 13% of the basic income tax liability that relates to small business income for 2020–2021. The offset rate will then increase to 16% for 2021–2022 and later income years.
The maximum available amount of the small business tax offset does not change – it will stay capped at $1,000 per person, per year.

Protecting Super Bill: Senate Committee report

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has released its report on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018, and has recommended that the Bill be passed.
The Bill, which is still before the Senate, contains the following measures to prevent the erosion of super balances:
• super fees capped at 3% per year for balances less than $6,000;
• exit fees banned for all super accounts, regardless of the balance;
• an insurance opt-in rule for:
- account balances less than $6,000;
- new members under age 25;
- accounts that have not received a contribution for 13 months; and
• inactive low-balance accounts (ie balance less than $6,000) will be transferred to the ATO.

Illegal phoenix activity costs billions; new Phoenix Hotline

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

The ATO has released a new report on the economic impacts of potential illegal phoenix activity. It estimates that the annual direct impact of illegal phoenix activity on businesses, employees and the government was between $2.85 billion and $5.13 billion for the 2015–2016 financial year.
The government has also established a new Phoenix Hotline to combat phoenixing activity and to protect compliant Australian workers and businesses. Employees, creditors, competing businesses and the general public can confidentially provide information about possible phoenix behaviour via the hotline on 1800 807 875 or the ATO website. Disclosures will be protected.

Government launches new service to simplify business registrations

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

The government has officially launched a new stand-alone Business Registration Service, providing a simpler and clearer way to register a business. The service is available at www.business.gov.au.
The service can be used for things such as applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) or goods and services tax (GST) registration. It is for people starting a new business as a sole trader, company, partnership, trust or superannuation fund. Existing businesses with an ABN can also use the service to apply for tax registrations such as GST.
The Business Registration Service has reduced the average time taken to obtain a business and associated licences to under 15 minutes.

Advisory Board to help clamp down on the black economy

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

The Government is establishing a new Advisory Board to support its reform agenda to disrupt the black economy.
The term “black economy” refers to people and businesses who operate outside the tax and regulatory systems, or who are known to the authorities but do not correctly report their tax obligations.
The Advisory Board will include members of the private and public sector who will provide strategic advice and contribute to a report every five years about new threats emerging in the black economy.
The Government’s related actions to date have included a $10,000 limit on cash transactions, a comprehensive strategy to combat illicit tobacco, reforms to the ABN system, restricting government procurement to businesses that have acceptable tax records, and $315 million in additional funding to the ATO to increase its enforcement activity against black economy behaviour.

Personal tax cuts now law

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

The legislation to enact the Government’s seven-year personal income tax reform plan, as announced in the 2018 Federal Budget, passed Parliament on 21 June 2018.
Under the plan, a new non-refundable Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) will be available from 2018–2019 to 2021–2022, providing tax relief of up to $530 to low-income individuals for each of those years. The new offset will be in addition to the existing low income tax offset (LITO). The top threshold of the 32.5% tax bracket will increase from $87,000 to $90,000 from 1 July 2018.
In 2022–2023, the top threshold of the 19% bracket will increase from $37,000 to $41,000 and the LITO will also increase.
The top threshold of the 32.5% bracket will then increase from $90,000 to $120,000 from 1 July 2022.
The legislation passed without amendments, although some had been raised in the Senate that would have prevented increasing the top threshold of the 32.5% bracket from $120,000 to $200,000 from 1 July 2024, removing the 37% tax bracket completely. This third step of the seven-year plan will now go ahead under the new tax law. And finally, taxpayers will pay the top marginal tax rate of 45% for taxable income exceeding $200,000.

Issues for property owners

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

There have been recent changes to:
• the tax treatment associated with residential rental properties (eg travel deduction and depreciation changes);
• CGT and GST withholding tax obligations for purchasers of property;
• superannuation measures impacting home ownership (eg the first home super saver scheme and the superannuation downsizer incentive); and
• stamp duty and land tax, which varies from state to state.
The government has also proposed to abolish the main residence CGT exemption for taxpayers who are no longer Australian tax residents at the time they sign a contract to sell their home, regardless of how long the home has actually been used as a main residence.


  Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.