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Spry Roughley Articles

Super sector must address trust deficit

In a speech to the Financial Services Council Summit on 26 July 2018, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Chair James Shipton said the superannuation sector must restore the "trust deficit" and be more mindful of the responsibilities that come with being the custodians of other people's money. Mr Shipton said the super industry has been exploiting opportunities to make money from members, citing examples of conduct that could lead to poor member outcomes, including poor advice, treatment of customers and defensiveness when it comes to transparency about fund operations.  Read more…

Call to boost instant asset write-off to $100,000

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has called for the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses to be embedded in legislation and extended up to $100,000 every three years. Appearing on 7 August 2018 before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics inquiry into business investment impediments, Ms Carnell said increasing the instant asset write-off to $100,000 every three years would enable small businesses with higher costs for key equipment to participate. The Ombudsman also made a submission highlighting other opportunities that the government and the wider business community could employ to support business investment. These recommendations stem from the Ombudsman's paper, Barriers to investment: a study into factors impacting small to medium enterprise investment, November 2017.

Source: https://www.asbfeo.gov.au/news/news-articles/ombudsman-discuss-impediments-business-investment-house-reps-hearing

Tax return required for excess super non-concessional contributions

The ATO has reminded taxpayers that they need to lodge a tax return for a financial year in which they exceed their non-concessional contributions cap, and may have to pay extra tax.

The ATO will send excess non-concessional superannuation contribution determinations to taxpayers if they have exceeded their non-concessional contribution cap, but have not lodged that year's income tax return within 28 days of their lodgment due date. If tax agents do not want their clients to receive a determination before their tax return is submitted, the ATO says the agent will need to request a lodgment deferral before the due date.  Read more…

APRA’s response to Productivity Commission draft report

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its submission in response to the Productivity Commission's draft report on superannuation efficiency and competitiveness. APRA agreed with a number of the findings and the direction of many, but not all, of the recommendations in the draft report.  Read more…

Protecting Super Bill: Senate Committee report

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has released its report into the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018 and recommended that the Bill be passed.  Read more…

First Home Super Saver scheme: ATO guidance

Law Companion Ruling LCR 2018/5, issued by the ATO on 15 August 2018, provides guidance on the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme. This scheme, which commenced on 1 July 2018, is designed to help eligible individuals boost their savings for a first home by allowing them to withdraw voluntary superannuation contributions and an amount of associated earnings for the purposes of purchasing their first home. An individual can access the scheme by applying to the ATO for an FHSS determination and a release authority, if they:  Read more…

ATO targeting car sharing platforms

The ATO has announced it will be turning its attention to anyone earning income through car sharing platforms. The growing popularity of third-party services such as Car Next Door, Carhood and DriveMyCar Rentals has prompted the ATO's interest, said ATO Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson. She said there is evidence that some taxpayers who are undertaking sharing activities might not understand the taxation implications. Ms Anderson said people involved in car sharing "must declare the income and you cannot avoid tax by calling it a hobby".   Read more…

Delay in extending reportable payments to courier and cleaning services

The legislative logjam in Federal Parliament is affecting the implementation of a wide range of tax measures, and the ATO is having to implement practical work-arounds for the measures.  Read more…

GST: supplies of real property connected with Australia

GST Ruling GSTR 2018/1, issued on 22 August 2018, sets out the ATO's view on when supplies of real property are connected with the indirect tax zone (ie Australia) under s 9-25(4) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act).  Read more…

Government launches new service to simplify business registrations

The government on 29 June 2018 officially launched the new stand-alone Business Registration Service, providing a simpler and clearer way to register a business. The service can be used for things such as applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) or goods and services tax (GST) registration. It is designed for people starting a new business as a sole trader, company, partnership, trust or superannuation fund. Existing businesses with an ABN can also use the service to apply for tax registrations such as GST.  Read more…

Illegal early access to super: ATO warning about scammers

The ATO has issued a warning to be aware of scammers who promise to organise access to people's retirement savings for a fee. Deputy Commissioner James O'Halloran said, "attempting to access your super early in this way is illegal, and people need to be aware of the financial dangers of falling prey to these promoters. These people could cost you a big part of your hard-earned retirement savings."  Read more…

From 1 July 2018, the ATO is running a 12-month pilot to extend its independent review service to certain small business taxpayers. An independent review is where an independent technical officer from outside the ATO's audit area reviews the merits of the ATO's audit position before the assessment or amended assessment is issued.  Read more…

Transacting with cryptocurrency: updated ATO info

The ATO has updated the information on its website dealing with tax and cryptocurrency. The ATO says a capital gains tax (CGT) event occurs when a person disposes of their cryptocurrency. A disposal can occur when someone: 

  • sells or gifts cryptocurrency; 
  • trades or exchanges cryptocurrency (including the disposal of one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency) – if the cryptocurrency received cannot be valued, the capital proceeds from the disposal are worked out by using the market value of the cryptocurrency disposed of at the time of the transaction;  Read more…

Tax gap for individuals is $8.8 billion, says ATO

The ATO has published the income tax gap for individuals not in business in 2014–2015. The gap is an estimate of the difference between the tax the ATO collects and the amount that would have been collected if every one of these taxpayers was fully compliant with the law. While no country will ever have a zero tax gap, revenue authorities continually strive to keep the gap to a minimum.  Read more…

ATO warns about scammers at tax time

The ATO has warned taxpayers to be on "high alert" for tax-related scams.  Read more…

On 9 July 2018, the Board of Taxation publicly released its initial report on its review of Australia's individual income tax residency rules. The report, Review of the Income Tax Residency Rules for Individuals , follows the completion of the Board's review in August 2017. The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O'Dwyer, said the Board found that the current individual tax residency rules require modernisation and simplification. The Board also identified opportunities for tax arbitrage, for example where individuals become "residents of nowhere" when they leave Australia and do not become tax residents of another jurisdiction. Ms O'Dwyer said that before the government takes any position on these matters, she has asked the Board to consult further on key recommendations, including how Australia could draw on residency tests in other countries.  Read more…

Retirement income covenant needs more flexibility: KPMG

KPMG has released a submission in response to the Treasury position paper on the proposed retirement income covenant announced as part of the 2018–2019 Budget. The proposed covenant will require trustees of superannuation funds (including self managed superannuation funds) to formulate a retirement income strategy for fund members. This requirement is aimed at supporting the government's development of a comprehensive income products for retirement (CIPR) framework.  Read more…

Illegal phoenix activity costs billions; new Phoenix Hotline

The ATO has released a new report on the economic impacts of potential illegal phoenix activity. It estimates that the annual direct impact of illegal phoenix activity on businesses, employees and the government was between $2.85 billion and $5.13 billion for the 2015–2016 financial year.  Read more…

Super funds deliver healthy returns for 2017–2018

The median "growth" superannuation fund delivered a healthy investment return of 9.2% for 2017–2018, with the top spot going to Hostplus with a return of 12.5%, according to superannuation ratings and research firm Chant West. Growth super funds are those with a 61–80% allocation to growth assets.  Read more…

On 20 July 2018, the Treasurer released draft legislation to ensure offshore sellers of hotel accommodation in Australia calculate their goods and services tax (GST) turnover in the same way as local sellers from 1 July 2019.  Read more…

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– Martin Roughley, Managing Director

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– Shaun Madders, Director

Going beyond the compliance and routine is what we do. By maintaining open and frank communication we are able to provide valuable insights and assist in driving the changes required to help our clients achieve their goals.

– Fergus Roughley, Director