Archive for the ‘GST’ Category

GST reporting: common errors and how to correct them

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Some businesses are making simple mistakes reporting their GST. The ATO reminds taxpayers that avoid the following common GST reporting errors:
• transposition and calculation errors – these mistakes often happen when manually entering amounts, so it’s important to double-check all figures and calculations before submitting your BAS;
• no tax invoice – you must keep tax invoices to be able to claim GST credits on business-related purchases;
• transaction classifications – it’s important to check what GST applies for each transaction; for example, transactions involving food may be GST applicable; and
• errors in accounting systems – a system with one coding error can classify several transactions incorrectly.

GST exemption for offshore sellers of hotel bookings to be removed: draft legislation released

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

The Treasurer has released draft legislation to ensure offshore sellers of hotel accommodation in Australia calculate their GST turnover in the same way as local sellers from 1 July 2019.
Under the proposed changes, offshore suppliers of rights to use commercial accommodation (eg hotels) in the indirect tax zone (broadly, Australia) will be required to include these supplies in working out their GST turnover. If the supplier’s GST turnover equals or exceeds the registration turnover threshold, GST must be remitted for supplies that are taxable supplies.

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.

GST property settlement online forms available

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

From 1 July 2018, purchasers of newly constructed residential properties or new subdivisions must pay the related GST directly to the ATO as part of the settlement.
The ATO says property transactions of new residential premises or potential residential land that involve GST to be paid directly to the ATO on or before settlement will require purchasers or their representatives to use the following online forms:
• Form one, GST property settlement withholding notification, is used to advise the ATO that a contract has been entered into for new residential premises or potential residential land that requires a withholding amount. This form can be submitted any time after a contract has been entered into and prior to the settlement date.
• Form two, GST property settlement date confirmation, is used to confirm the settlement date and can be submitted at the time of settlement and when the payment has been made to the ATO.
Depending on which state or territory the property is acquired in, the purchaser’s representative can include a conveyancer or a solicitor.

Tax compliance and developments

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Single Touch Payroll
From 1 July 2018, employers with 20 or more employees will have to run their payroll and pay their employees through accounting and payroll software that is Single Touch Payroll (STP) ready. This is a major reporting change, as employers will report payments such as salaries and wages and allowances, PAYG withholding and super information to the ATO directly from their payroll solution at the same time employees are paid.

GST on low value imported goods
From 1 July 2018, overseas vendors with GST turnover of AUD$75,000 or more in Australian sales will have to account for GST on sales of imported goods costing AUD$1,000 or less to consumers in Australia.

Payments to contractors in building and construction
Businesses in the building and construction industry must report to the ATO about their total annual payments to contractors by 28 August 2018. The government has proposed to extend this reporting regime to cleaners and couriers (from 1 July 2018) and to security providers, road transport and computer design services (from 1 July 2019).

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.

Issues for businesses

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Lower company tax rates and imputation
Company tax rates are falling in Australia. Companies carrying on a business with turnover of less than $25 million will pay a rate of 27.5% in 2018 – the rate of 30% only applies if turnover is $25 million or more, or the company is not carrying on a business.
By 2027, the tax rate will reach a low of 25% for companies carrying on a business with turnover up to $50 million.
TIP: The dividend franking rate for 2018 may be different from a company’s tax rate, depending on whether turnover in 2017 was less than the current year’s turnover benchmark ($25 million for 2018).

Deductions for small business entities

Small business entities (companies, trusts, partnerships or sole traders with total turnover of less than $10 million) will qualify for a raft of tax concessions in the 2018 income tax year:
• the $20,000 instant asset write-off – an immediate deduction when buying and installing depreciating assets that cost less than $20,000.
• the simplified depreciation rules – accelerated depreciation rates of 15% or 30% for depreciable assets that cost $20,000 or more;
• the small business restructure rollover;
• an immediate deduction for start-up costs;
• an immediate deduction for certain prepaid expenses;
• the simplified trading stock rules – removing the need to do an end-of-year stocktake if stock value has changed by less than $5,000;
• the simplified PAYG rules – the ATO will calculate PAYG instalments;
• cash basis accounting for GST – the ATO will calculate the GST instalment payable and annual apportionment for input tax credits for acquisitions that are partly creditable;
• the FBT car parking exemption (from 1 April 2017); and
• the ability for employees to salary-sacrifice two identical portable electronic devices (from 1 April 2016).
These concessions are very powerful for small businesses, and can lead to substantial tax savings.

Small business CGT concessions
If you’re selling a business that has an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million (a “CGT small business entity”) or the value of its net CGT assets is $6 million or less (it satisfies the $6 million “net asset value” test), you may be able to access the small business CGT concessions.
These concessions include:
• a 15-year exemption – no CGT is payable;
• a 50% active asset reduction – a 50% CGT discount in addition to the 50% general discount;
• the retirement exemption – up to $500,000 lifetime tax-free limit; and
• the active asset rollover – minimum two years’ deferral.

Businesses, get ready: GST on low value goods

Friday, May 11th, 2018

From 1 July 2018, GST will be imposed on the supply low value goods from outside of Australia to Australian consumers. Businesses need to be ready for this change.
TIP: Businesses must register for Australian GST once their annual turnover reaches $75,000, but registering is optional for businesses with lower turnover. The low value goods changes will apply from 1 July 2018 for all businesses registered for GST, whether their registration was required or they chose to register.

Under the low value goods regime, businesses that sell goods valued at A$1,000 or less to an Australian consumer (who is not registered for GST) will be liable to pay GST on those sales. GST will also apply where the business delivers or facilitates delivery of the goods into Australia.
TIP: If your business will be affected, now is the time to make sure your systems are ready to collect GST on low value sales, that your online terms and conditions are up to date, and that your website meets Australian consumer law requirements for displaying prices.

Business-to-business (B2B) sales, where a business sells low value goods to a recipient business that is registered for GST, are excluded from the regime.
TIP: The New Zealand Government has also recently proposed to levy GST on goods valued under the country’s current threshold of NZ$400.

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.

Bill to change residential property GST arrangements

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

A Bill has been introduced into Parliament that, when passed, will require purchasers of new residential premises and new subdivisions of potential residential land to pay the goods and services tax (GST) on the purchase directly to the ATO as part of the settlement process from 1 July 2018.
TIP: Under the current law, the supplier of the property (eg the developer) is responsible for paying the GST to the ATO when lodging a business activity statement (BAS). This can happen up to three months after settlement.
The new measure was announced in the 2017–2018 Federal Budget. It is intended to speed up the GST payment process, and to deal with the problem of some developers dissolving their business and setting up a new entity to avoid paying GST (a form of “phoenix” tax avoidance).


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