JobKeeper 2.0 eligibility and payments

JobKeeper extension The Government announced that JobKeeper will be extended but with changes in turnover tests and payment rates: First stage (from 28 September 2020) Turnover decline will initially be based on actual decline for June and September 2020 quarters to qualify for two reduced tier rates; Next stage (from 4 January 2021) actual turnover decline for June, September and December 2020 quarters to qualify for further reduced rates. HERE is link to the new fact sheet…  Read more

Tax Time Toolkits

This tax time will be unlike any other, and it promises to be one of the most challenging yet. The 2019–20 financial year has seen our country, our people, our wildlife and our land affected by unprecedented events. From drought and water shortages, to severe bushfires and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic – every Australian has been affected in some way. To make things as easy as possible, the ATO…  Read more

ATO Flags Work-Related Hotspots

The ATO has now announced a number of deduction hotspots that it will pay close attention to this year, in light of COVID-19. The Tax Office has begun bracing for a substantially different tax time this year, noting that it will likely see a flow-on effect from COVID-19 restrictions on work-related expenses claims. ATO Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat, has urged taxpayers to reduce claims for work-related expenses in the last…  Read more

Paid a Tradie or Other Contractor to Help You?

If you’ve paid a tradie or other contractor for building and construction services in the last year, you might need to lodge a Taxable Payments Annual Report (TPAR) by 28 August, if: you earn 50% or more of your business income or 50% or more of your business activity is from building and construction – including carpentry, engineering, painting, plumbing and architecture; you pay contractors for building and construction services. Over…  Read more

Instant Asset Write-Off Extended

Good news! This week the government announced that the Instant Asset Write-off has been extended for six months, taking the initiative to 31 December 2020. Australian businesses with less than $500 million annual turnover will be able to take advantage of the write-off and invest in assets to support their business. This government initiative is designed to help the economy reopen and boost economic growth. The instant asset write-off applies…  Read more

2019/20 Individual Tax Return Checklist

We have provided an Individual Tax Return Checklist, to ensure that you have all the pertinent documents and receipts required to complete your Individual Tax Return. Please download it here.  Read more

ATO reminder about salary packaged super

The ATO has provided employers with a recent reminder that from 1 January 2020, salary sacrificed super contributions can’t be used to reduce super guarantee obligations, regardless of the amount your employee elects to salary sacrifice.   This means the salary sacrificed amount does not count towards your super guarantee (SG) obligations. A further change is that the super guarantee will be 9.5% of the employee’s ordinary time earnings (OTE)…  Read more

Shortcut to claiming working from home deductions

As the situation around COVID-19 continues, the ATO understands many employees have been working from home. To make it easier when claiming a deduction for additional running costs you incur as a result of working from home, special arrangements have been announced. A simplified method has been introduced that allows you to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all your running expenses, rather than having to calculate…  Read more

Economic Response to Coronavirus

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Government announced a $17.6 billion targeted stimulus package to support the Australian economy through the challenges of the coronavirus. The package is designed to keep small businesses afloat and employees in work, and will focus on supporting the most affected sectors. The government has stated that the measures are temporary, targeted and scalable. The main areas of support relevant to small businesses are: Cash…  Read more

Valuing car parking fringe benefits

Where businesses provide car parking fringe benefits to their employees, the taxable value of these benefits must be calculated correctly to ensure they are meeting their fringe benefits tax (‘FBT’) obligations, regardless of the method used. The ATO has advised they may directly contact businesses who have engaged an arm’s length valuer, as required under the ‘market value method’. According to the ATO, in some instances, valuers have prepared reports using a daily rate that doesn’t reflect the…  Read more

Court confirms ATO position on foreign income tax offsets

The ATO has welcomed the decision of the High Court to basically uphold the decision of the Full Federal Court in a case which the ATO won, in relation to foreign income tax offsets (‘FITO’). An Australian tax resident had sold some US investments and paid US tax on the gains. The taxpayer was then basically taxed on half of those gains in his assessable Australian income (i.e., the gains were eligible for the CGT discount in…  Read more

Expansion of the TPRS

The Taxable Payments Reporting System (‘TPRS’) has been expanded to the cleaning and courier services industries from 1 July 2018. Businesses that have an ABN and make any payments to contractors for cleaning or courier services provided on behalf of the business must lodge a Taxable Payments Annual Report (‘TPAR’) each income year. The first TPAR for payments made to contractors from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 will be due by 28 August 2019. Where cleaning or courier services are only part of…  Read more

Proposed expansion of STP to smaller employers

Single Touch Payroll (‘STP’) commenced on 1 July 2018 for approximately 73,000 employers who have 20 or more employees. There is currently legislation before Parliament to expand STP to all employers from 1 July 2019 and it is estimated that there will be more than 700,000 employers who will enter STP as a result. Even though the proposed expansion is not yet law, the ATO recommends that smaller employers consider voluntarily opting-in to STP early. The ATO…  Read more

Fast-tracking tax cuts for small and medium businesses

The Government has fast-tracked the already legislated tax cuts to small and medium businesses by bringing them forward five years. Companies with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million will have a tax rate of 25% in the 2022 income year (instead of the 2027 income year based on the previously legislated timeline). Similarly, the increase in the tax discount to 16% for unincorporated entities will apply from the 2022 income year, rather than the 2027…  Read more

More help for drought-affected farmers

As part of the next phase of its drought assistance policy (which includes various other measures), the Government announced that farmers will be able to immediately deduct the cost of fodder storage assets. Previously, these types of assets (such as silos and hay sheds used to store grain and other animal feed storage) were required to be depreciated over three years. This measure is designed to make it easier for farmers to invest in more infrastructure to stockpile fodder…  Read more

Increased scrutiny of home office claims

Last year, 6.7 million taxpayers claimed a record $7.9 billion in deductions for ‘other work-related expenses’, which includes home office expenses. Reportedly, due to a high number of mistakes, errors and questionable claims for home office expenses, the ATO has recently advised that it will be increasing attention, scrutiny and education on these claims this tax time. In particular, the ATO has flagged their concerns relating to taxpayers who are claiming: • expenses they never paid for; • expenses…  Read more

What to do if you get audited

No business owner looks forward to a letter from the Australian tax office (ATO) requesting a closer look at the books. If you’ve received an audit letter – an official request by the tax authority to review your accounts and confirm your taxes have been paid to date – don’t panic. Prepare. These four steps will help you get through the process with minimal stress and the best possible outcome.…  Read more

New Small Business Restructure Rollover

The Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Restructure Rollover) Act 2016 was officially sanctioned and came into effect on 1 July 2016. The new Small Business Restructure Rollover forms part of the Growing Jobs and Small Business package. As a small business owner, you will be able to change the legal structure of your business, and you should not be liable for income tax when your transfer your assets from one…  Read more

Update on the ATO Data Matching Program for Lifestyle assets and Property transactions

The ATO is increasing data matching activities to identify discrepancies amongst individual taxpayers such as undeclared income and incorrect claims. These activities include online selling (eBay) transactions as well as information regarding visa holders in Australia. In addition, Lifestyle assets and historic property transactions will be reviewed. Lifestyle Assets The ATO published their Lifestyle assets 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 financial years data matching program protocol, whereby they gave notice of their…  Read more

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