Servicing Greater Sydney, Parramatta

Spry Roughley Articles

Federal COVID-19 support developments

Additional financial support for child care providers

On 23 August the Prime Minister and the Minister for Education and Youth issued a joint media release announcing new support measures for child care providers impacted by extended COVID-19 lockdowns.

Child care services in Commonwealth-declared hotspots will be eligible for new fortnightly payments of 25% of their pre-lockdown revenue, while outside school hours care (OSHC) services will be eligible for fortnightly payments of 40% of pre-lockdown revenue.  Read more…

State and territory COVID-19 support developments

Australian Capital Territory: support extended and expanded 

The Federal Treasurer and the ACT Chief Minister have issued a joint media release announcing expanded and additional support for businesses affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. The support takes the form of two tranches.  Read more…

Closing a business? Don’t forget the GST registration

If the current prolonged lockdowns and economic conditions have prompted your clients to sell or close their business, it's important they are aware of the need to cancel the related GST registration within a certain period, unless the business is in a specific industry or performs a specific role.  Read more…

New stapled super changes coming for employers

Employers get ready – there'll soon be an extra step involved when it comes to hiring new employees. From 1 November 2021, employers will need to determine if a new employee has a "stapled" fund and request such details from the ATO in the event that the new employee has not chosen a super fund. A stapled super fund is essentially an existing super account that is linked – or "stapled" – to an individual and follows them throughout their job changes. The change aims to reduce unnecessary account fees for super members by avoiding having a new super account opened every time an employee starts a new job.  Read more…

MySuper performance test results and new super comparison tool

This year marks the beginning of annual performance tests on MySuper products, run by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The requirement was introduced as part of the Federal government's Your Future, Your Super reforms, and aims to hold super funds to account for underperformance and enhance industry transparency. The first annual test of 76 (out of 80) MySuper products from various super funds or registrable superannuation entities (RSEs) found that 13 products failed to meet the benchmark. These products will need to notify their members of the failed test and make the improvements needed to ensure they pass next year's test.  Read more…

Single Touch Payroll update

Phase 2 coming soon

The ATO is expanding the information that businesses send through Single Touch Payroll (STP). From 1 January 2022, most employers will be required to send additional information such as the commencement date of employment and cessation date of employment for employees, their reasons for leaving employment and work type (eg full-time, part-time). The basic information about salary and wages and super liability information in Phase 1 of the STP rollout will also be further drilled down in Phase 2, moving away from just reporting the gross amounts.  Read more…

Tax time 2021: rental property pitfalls

This tax time, the ATO is again closely monitoring claims in relation to rental properties. As with previous years, it's on the lookout for rental property owners who do not declare all their income and capital gains from selling property. Other areas of concern include claims for interest charges on personal loans, and deductions for capital works.  Read more…

New sharing economy reporting regime proposed

The government is seeking to legislate compulsory reporting of information for sharing economy platforms in order to more easily monitor the compliance of participants, while at the same time reducing the need for ATO resources. This would encompass any platforms that allow sellers and buyers to transact in a variety of sectors, although the reporting requirement would not apply if the transaction only relates to supply of goods where ownership of the goods is permanently changed, title of real property is transferred, or the supply is a financial supply.  Read more…

Reminder: super changes for the 2021 financial year

The government's long-slated "flexibility in superannuation" legislation is finally law. This means from 1 July 2021, individuals aged 65 and 66 can now access the bring-forward arrangement in relation to non-concessional super contributions. The excess contributions charge will also be removed for anyone who exceeds their concessional contributions cap, and individuals who received a COVID-19 super early release amount can now re-contribute up to the amount they released without it counting towards their non-concessional cap.  Read more…

ATO tax time support: COVID-19 and natural disasters

The ATO has a range of year-end tax time options to support taxpayers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters.

Income statements can be accessed in ATO online services through myGov accounts from 14 July. The ATO also reminds those who may have lost, damaged or destroyed tax records due to natural disasters that some records can be accessed through their myGov account or their registered tax agent. For lost receipts, the ATO can accept "reasonable claims without evidence, so long as it's not reasonably possible to access the original documents". A justification may be required on how a claim is calculated.  Read more…

Hardship priority processing of tax returns

It's tax time again and if your business is experiencing financial difficulties due to the latest lockdowns, the ATO may be able to help by processing your tax return faster and expediting the release of any refund to you. To be eligible for priority processing, you'll need to apply to the ATO and provide supporting documents (within four weeks of your submission) outlining your circumstances. "Financial difficulty" may include many situations such as disconnection of an essential service, pending legal action or repossession of a business vehicle.  Read more…

Workplace giving versus salary sacrifice donations

Have your clients made donations either through workplace giving or salary sacrifice arrangements with their employers? If so, and they want to claim a deduction in their tax returns, it's important for them to know that the tax treatment differs depending on which method they used to make the donation.  Read more…

Employers beware: increase in super guarantee

From 1 July 2021, the rate of super guarantee increased from 9.5% to 10%. Businesses using manual payroll processes should be careful that this change doesn't lead to unintended underpayment of super, which may attract penalties. The rate employers should use to calculate super contributions depends on the date that they are paying their employees – it doesn't matter if the work was performed in a different quarter. The new rate of 10% is the minimum percentage now required by law, but employers may pay super at a higher rate under an award or agreement.  Read more…

COVID-19 lockdown support: NSW, Vic and SA

If your business or employment income has been affected by recent COVID-19 related lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, financial help is available from both the state and Federal governments. Depending on the length of the lockdown, businesses may be eligible to receive a co-funded small and medium business support payment, as well as various cash grants. Read more…

Temporary COVID Disaster Payment now available

The Federal Government has announced a temporary COVID Disaster Payment to assist workers who reside or work in a Commonwealth declared hotspot, who are unable to attend work and earn an income as a result of state-imposed health restrictions that last for longer than one week.  Read more…

Private health insurance rebates frozen

The Federal Government has once again quietly sought to freeze the private health insurance income thresholds for the private health insurance incentive, this time for another two years, with indexation of the thresholds to start up again from 1 July 2023. Most people with private health insurance takes the private health insurance incentive in the form of reduced premiums, although it can also be taken as a tax offset.  Read more…

According to ATO estimates, over 600,000 Australian taxpayers have invested in crypto-assets in recent years. The ATO has recently issued a reminder that although many people may believe that gains made through cryptocurrency trading are tax-free, or only taxable when the holdings are cashed back into "real" Australian dollars, in fact this is not the case – capital gains tax (CGT) does apply where gains or losses are in the form of crypto-assets.  Read more…

ATO compliance: economic stimulus measures

Businesses that have accessed government economic stimulus measures need to take extra care this tax time. The ATO has announced that it will increase its scrutiny, conducting compliance activity on various economic stimulus measures introduced to help businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19. These stimulus measures include loss carry-back, temporary full expensing and accelerated depreciation. While the ATO said it will continue to support businesses, most of whom are doing the right thing, it is looking at behaviour or development of schemes designed to deliberately exploit various stimulus measures. All taxpayers that have used the schemes are encouraged to review their claims to ensure they are eligible, and that the amounts claimed are correct.  Read more…

Personal use assets and collectables in SMSFs

Contrary to some popular beliefs, a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) can invest in collectables such as artworks, jewellery and wine, as well as personal use assets such as boats, classic cars and other vehicles. However, investment in these assets must occur in keeping very strict and specific rules in order to qualify, and thus care should be taken to avoid breaches of super rules in relation to owning collectables and personal use assets in SMSFs.  Read more…

Beware: phishing and investment scams on the rise

Emails impersonating myGov

The ATO and Services Australia have issued a warning about a new email phishing scam doing the rounds. The emails claim to be from "myGov" and include screenshots of the myGovID app. myGovID can be used to prove who you are when accessing Australian government online services.  Read more…

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