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Spry Roughley Articles

Getting the benefit of your business tax losses

Made a tax loss? If you're a sole trader or individual partner, you may be able to apply the loss against other income like salary or investment income, or carry the loss forward to a future year. 

When you're starting a new business venture, it may take some time before the business becomes profitable. And there may be other situations where an established business operates at a loss in a particular year. So, what does this mean tax-wise? When your deductions in an income year are greater than your assessable income, you have a "tax loss". You generally can't receive a refund for a tax loss, but you can use it in other ways. Read more…

Downsizer super contributions: getting it right

"Downsizer" contributions let you contribute some of the proceeds from the sale of your home into superannuation – but there are several important eligibility requirements.

Are you thinking about selling the family home in order to raise funds for retirement? Under the "downsizer" contribution scheme, individuals aged 65 years and over who sell their home may contribute sale proceeds of up to $300,000 per member as a "downsizer" superannuation contribution (which means up to $600,000 for a couple). Read more…

Health insurance and your tax: uncovered

If you don't hold private hospital cover – or are thinking about dropping it – make sure you understand the financial consequences. You could be hit with an extra tax surcharge of up to 1.5% or cost yourself extra premiums in future.

Levies, surcharges and loadings – the terminology around health insurance and tax can be bewildering! But if you don't hold private hospital cover, you need to understand how this may affect your tax. Read more…

Small business CGT concessions: when do I qualify?

The small business CGT concessions are a great tool for business owners to transfer wealth into super. Here, we break down the two essential requirements you must first meet in order to access any of the concessions.

Have you considered the powerful tax and superannuation planning opportunities that the small business CGT concessions can offer your business? These concessions allow you to reduce – or in some cases, completely eliminate – the capital gain from the sale of a business asset, whether it's held directly by your business entity or in another related structure. Read more…

Unpaid super: important amnesty update for employers

Unpaid super is a big problem, and the compliance landscape is changing. If you're an employer, now is the time to take action and protect yourself against penalties.

The government is getting tough on unpaid compulsory super guarantee (SG) contributions, but fortunately for businesses it has recently announced a revised "grace period" to rectify past non-compliance. All businesses should review their super compliance to consider what action they may need to take. Read more…

Selling shares: how does tax apply?

Did you know that when you sell your shares, the size of your capital gains tax bill is affected by how long you've held the shares, and how you offset your capital gains and losses? Knowing the tax rules can help you plan ahead.  Read more…

ATO to scrutinise every return for tax time 2019

The ATO has announced that it will scrutinise every tax return lodged during Tax Time 2019 as part of its ongoing focus on "closing tax gaps".

Assistant Commissioner, Karen Foat, said taxpayers who have done the wrong thing may be subject to an audit, even if the over-claim of deductions is minor. Third party data indicating under reported income, and deductions that appear high compared to people with a similar job and income level, tend to raise concerns, Ms Foat said.  Read more…

Beware of insurance changes in superannuation

You may have heard a lot recently about super funds providing either opt-in or opt-out insurance and have wondered how will affect you and your retirement savings. Perhaps you've heard horror stories about super funds cancelling people's insurance. Don't fret, in most cases cancellation of insurance only happens in limited instances, and your fund will most likely notify you before any cancellation occurs. As for opt-in and opt-out insurance, the changes are coming, but not until 1 April 2020, so if you're affected you'll have plenty of time to prepare.  Read more…

Small business income tax gap: ATO update

New figures released by the ATO estimate that almost 90% of income tax from small businesses is paid voluntarily or with little intervention from the ATO.  Read more…

ATO sets its sights on undisclosed foreign income

Do you have any amounts of offshore income you haven't declared to the ATO – perhaps interest from a foreign bank account? Even if it seems like a small amount, it must be declared. International data-sharing arrangements are making taxpayers' overseas financial affairs increasingly transparent, so don't get caught out. Read more…

ATO announces “Better as Usual” program to improve your experience

ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan has announced the launch of "Better as Usual", a new ATO program aimed at improving the client experience with the tax system. In his opening remarks at the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) National Small Business Summit in Melbourne on 29 August 2019, Mr Jordan said that "Better as Usual" includes the following four parts, to be led by Jeremy Hirschhorn, Second Commissioner of Client Engagement:  Read more…

Salary sacrificing loopholes: are you receiving your full benefits?

Salary sacrifice strategies are a great way to boost retirement savings. But unwelcome loopholes in the law mean some workers may be getting less than they bargained for. Fortunately, the government is taking action to fix this, but in the meantime salary-sacrificing workers should be across this issue to keep an eye on their arrangement and ensure they're not being short-changed.  Read more…

Claiming work trips for business owners

When a trip is clearly for business purposes only, the rules for deducting expenses are fairly straightforward. Taxpayer's can claim airfares, taxis and car hire (and fuel). They can also deduct accommodation costs for overnight travel if the business requires them to be away from their permanent home overnight. Meals are also deductible when it is a requirement to be away overnight.  Read more…

Thinking about setting up an SMSF?

For many people, SMSFs are a great option for building retirement savings, but they may not be suitable for everyone. The following sets out some of the important differences between SMSFs and other types of funds. Read more…

Warning to watch out for myGov and ATO tax scams

The government's Stay Smart Online website (www.staysmartonline.gov.au/) warns taxpayers that there is a surge in scammers impersonating trusted bodies like myGov and the ATO to trick people into giving them money or personal details. These scams can take the form of emails, text messages and fake myGov login pages.  Read more…

ATO has refunded $10 billion so far

The ATO says that $10 billion has been refunded to Australian taxpayers so far this tax time, an increase of over $2 billion from the same time last year, with most returns being processed in under two weeks.  Read more…

ATO watching for undisclosed foreign income

The ATO has reminded taxpayers who receive any foreign income from investments, family members or working overseas to make sure they report it this tax time.  Read more…

Unusual claims disallowed

The ATO has published information about some of the most unusual claims it has disallowed. For example, around 700,000 taxpayers claimed almost $2 billion of "other" expenses including non-allowable items such as dental costs, child care and even Lego sets.  Read more…

ATO contacting small employers about Single Touch Payroll

From 1 July 2018, employers with more than 20 employees were required to provide real-time reports to the ATO of salary and wage payments, super guarantee contributions, ordinary time earnings of employees and PAYG withholding amounts.

From 1 July 2019, this Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting system has extended to all employers.  Read more…

Disclosing business tax debt information: ATO consultation

The ATO has released a consultation paper, The ATO's administrative approach to the disclosure of business tax debt information to credit reporting bureaus. Read more…
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