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Spry Roughley Articles

Single Touch Payroll reporting for small businesses: get ready!

Parliament has now passed legislation – the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No 4) Bill 2018 

– to bring in Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting for all small employers (that is, employers with fewer than 20 employees) from 1 July 2019. STP is a payday reporting arrangement where employers need to send tax and superannuation information to the ATO from their payroll or accounting software each time they pay their employees. For large employers (with 20 or more employees), STP reporting started gradually from 1 July 2018, and until now it has been optional for small employers.  Read more…

Super guarantee compliance: time to take action

The government's latest initiatives targeting non-compliance with superannuation guarantee obligations give businesses plenty to think about. With Single Touch Payroll (STP) on the way for small businesses and a proposed 12-month "amnesty" for disclosing underpayment of contributions, all employers should take time to review their arrangements – both historical and prospective.  Read more…

Proposed increase for small business instant asset write-off

In a speech on 29 January 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government's intention to increase the instant asset write-off already available for small businesses from $20,000 to $25,000. Mr Morrison also said that the instant write-off, due to revert to $1,000 on 1 July 2019, would be extended by another 12 months to 30 June 2020.  Read more…

ATO warns about new scams in 2019

The ATO is warning taxpayers to be alert for scammers impersonating the ATO, as they may change tactics in 2019.  Read more…

ATO refers overdue lodgments to external collection agencies

The ATO has recently started referring taxpayers with overdue lodgment obligations to an external collection agency to obtain lodgments on the ATO's behalf. External collection agencies will focus on income tax and activity statement lodgments. Referral to an external collection agency doesn't affect a taxpayer's credit rating.  Read more…

Government consultation on sharing economy reporting

The Federal Government has released a consultation paper seeking views on the possible characteristics of a reporting regime to provide information on Australians who receive an income from sharing economy websites.  Read more…

Extra 44,000 taxpayers face Div 293 superannuation tax

An extra 44,000 taxpayers have been hit with the additional 15% Division 293 tax for the first time on their superannuation contributions for 2017–2018.  Read more…

Company losses “similar business test” Bill passes

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No 1) Bill 2017 has finally been passed. The tax law changes under this Bill, which was originally introduced on 30 March 2017, will supplement the "same business test" with a "similar business test" for the purposes of working out whether a company's tax losses and net capital losses from previous income years can be used as a tax deduction in a current income year.  Read more…

Tax clinic trial to reduce tax regulatory burden

To help reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, including the tax burden, Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert has announced that the Federal Government has allocated $1 million to set up 10 tax clinics under a trial program based on the Curtin University Tax Clinic.  Read more…

New “work test” exemption for recent retirees

The Federal Government has created a new opportunity for some recent retirees to make additional superannuation contributions. From 1 July 2019, a 12-month exemption from the "work test" for newly retired individuals aged between 65 and 74 years with a total superannuation balance below $300,000 means many older Australians will now have an extra year in which to boost their superannuation savings. If you wish to take advantage of this measure, you should plan carefully to manage the relevant timing issues, your contributions caps and interaction with other contributions measures that may be available to you.  Read more…

ATO issuing excess super contributions determinations

The ATO has begun issuing determinations for excess concessional contributions (ECC) of superannuation for the 2017–2018 financial year. The ATO said it will be issuing a higher volume of ECC determinations for 2017–2018 compared to previous years, following the reduction in the concessional contributions cap to $25,000 for all taxpayers.  Read more…

Reviewing the tax treatment of granny flats

Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert says the Federal Government has asked the Board of Taxation to undertake a review of the tax treatment of "granny flat" arrangements, and to recommend potential changes. This request for review is in response to the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission's report Elder abuse: a national legal response, which identified the development of formal and legally enforceable family agreements as a measure to prevent elder abuse.  Read more…

Resolving tax disputes: government to help small businesses

In late 2018, Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert announced that the Federal Government intends to make it easier, cheaper and quicker for small businesses to resolve tax disputes with the ATO. The government will establish a Small Business Concierge Service within the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman's office to provide support and advice about the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) process to small businesses before they make an application.  Read more…

Small business tax offset: avoiding errors when claiming

The ATO has issued tips for avoiding common errors when reporting net small business income and claiming the small business income tax offset for unincorporated small businesses.  Read more…

Home office running expenses and electronic device expenses

On 16 January 2019, the ATO released an updated version of Practice Statement PS LA 2001/6, its guidance on calculating and substantiating home office running expenses and electronic device expenses. PS LA 2001/6 has been significantly rewritten, as follows:  Read more…

Genuine redundancy payments: alignment with Age Pension age

The Federal Government has announced that it will amend the law to extend the concessional tax treatment for genuine redundancy payments and early retirement scheme payments to align with the Age Pension qualifying age.  Read more…

GST on property developments involving government

In late 2018, the ATO released Taxpayer Alert TA 2018/3 GST implications of certain development lease arrangements Read more…

Work-related tax deductions down for 2018

The ATO has reported a decline in the overall value of work-related deductions for tax time 2018. In his opening statement to Senate Estimates on 24 October 2018, ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan said taxpayers appear to have taken extra care when claiming work-related expenses in their 2017–2018 income tax returns. This follows recent ATO initiatives to close the income tax gap for individuals, which was estimated at $8.7 billion or 6.4% in 2014–2015. By far the most common driver of the tax gap was incorrectly claimed work-related expenses. A lot of individuals were over-claiming work-related by small amounts, which adds up to a lot, Mr Jordan said. In response, the ATO stepped up its awareness and education efforts to help people get it right for tax time 2018.  Read more…

ATO identifies 26,000 incorrect rental property travel expense claims

The ATO has identified 26,000 taxpayers who have claimed deductions during tax time 2018 for travel to their investment residential rental properties, despite recent changes to the tax laws that disallow such claims. From 1 July 2017, investors cannot claim travel expenses relating to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent for a residential rental property as deductions, subject to certain exceptions: s 26-31 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997).  Read more…

Small business corporate tax rates Bill is now law

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Lower Taxes for Small and Medium Businesses) Bill 2018 received assent on 25 October 2018 as Act 134 of 2018 and has become law.  Read more…
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