Archive for the ‘Tax’ 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.

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.

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.

Residential rental property travel expense deduction changes

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Recent changes to Australian tax law mean that individuals, self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and “private” trusts and partnerships can longer claim tax deductions for non-business travel costs related to their residential rental properties. Such costs also cannot form part of the cost base or reduced cost base of a CGT asset.
The ATO has issued guidance to make it clear that tax deductions are only permitted for taxpayers who incur this kind of travel expense as a necessary part of carrying on a business such as property investing, or providing retirement living, aged care, student accommodation or property management services.
TIP: The ATO will consider a range of factors, such as number of properties leased, time and expertise needed for their maintenance, and taxpayer record-keeping, when deciding if someone carries on a business that requires travel expenditure related to their residential properties.

CGT main residence exemption to disappear for non-residents

Friday, May 11th, 2018

A person’s Australian tax residency status may be about to assume a whole new meaning. Currently, both residents and non-residents qualify for a full or partial exemption from capital gains tax (CGT) when they sell a property that is their home (main residence). But if a Bill that is currently before Parliament is passed, that will change, and any individual who is a non-resident for tax purposes at the time they sign a contract to sell their home – for example, if they have moved overseas before signing the sale contract – will no longer qualify for the full or partial main residence exemption, regardless of how long the home was actually their main residence when they were an Australian tax resident.
TIP: If you’re considering selling your home and moving or travelling overseas, talk to us to find out how this could affect your Australian tax residency and CGT costs.

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.

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).

Windfarm grant was an assessable recoupment

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The Full Federal Court has dismissed a taxpayer’s appeal and held that a Commonwealth grant of almost $2.5 million for the establishment of a windfarm was an assessable recoupment (Denmark Community Windfarm Ltd v FCT [2018] FCAFC 11).
In May 2011, the taxpayer was given a renewable energy grant for 50% of the project costs it incurred in constructing two wind turbines. The grant was paid in instalments on the completion of identified project milestones.
The ATO made a private ruling that the grant would be assessable income. The taxpayer argued against the ruling, but the Full Federal Court dismissed the taxpayer’s appeal.

ATO now issuing excess transfer balance determinations

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The ATO has advised that is now sending out excess transfer balance (ETB) determinations to individuals who have exceeded their superannuation transfer balance cap and not taken steps to remove the excess amount.
TIP: The transfer balance cap, currently set at $1.6 million, is a limit on the total amount of super that can be transferred into retirement phase. You can make multiple transfers as long as the total amount transferred remains below the cap.
Self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) members that had exceeded their transfer balance cap by $100,000 or less on 1 July 2017 had until 31 December 2017 to remove the excess capital from retirement phase. If they didn’t do so, they will now have to remove the excess capital and ETB earnings, and also pay ETB tax.

Moving to combat the black economy

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The Black Economy Taskforce was established in 2017 “to develop an innovative, forward-looking whole-of-government policy response to combat the black economy in Australia, recognising that these issues cannot be tackled by traditional tax enforcement measures alone”. In May 2017 the taskforce made a its initial recommendations, which it based on foreign jurisdiction experiences, consultation with stakeholders and anecdotal evidence it had received.
TIP: The black economy includes people who don’t correctly report and meet their tax obligations, and people who operate entirely outside the tax and regulatory system.
The Government accepted a number of the taskforce’s recommendations, and has now introduced a Bill into Parliament, proposing to combat the black economy by:
• prohibiting the production, distribution and possession of sales suppression tools, which are typically used to remove or alter transaction information recorded by point-of-sale (POS) systems;
• prohibiting the use of electronic sales suppression tools to incorrectly keep tax records; and
• requiring entities that have an ABN and that provide courier or cleaning services to report to the ATO (from 1 July 2018) information about transactions that involve engaging other entities to undertake those services for them.


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