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Spry Roughley Articles

ATO to ramp up ABN investigations and cancellations

The ATO has advised that over the coming months it will be increasing its focus on the bulk Australian Business Number (ABN) cancellation program, to continue "to ensure the integrity of the Australian Business Register".  Read more…

Fringe benefits tax: rates, thresholds and ATO focus for 2019–2020

The ATO has flagged the following FBT issues that are on its radar this year:  Read more…

Guidance on when a company carries on a business

On 5 April 2019, the ATO released its long-awaited final ruling on when a company carries on a business for the purposes of:  Read more…

Super guarantee amnesty not yet law, but $100 million recovered

The ATO has recovered around $100 million in unpaid superannuation from employers since the 12-month super guarantee (SG) amnesty was proposed on 24 May 2018.  Read more…

Instant asset write-off with Budget changes now law

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Increasing and Extending the Instant Asset Write-Off) Bill 2019 – introduced as Treasury Laws Amendment (Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off for Small Business Entities) Bill 2019) – received Royal Assent on 6 April 2019 as Act No 51 of 2019. The Bill was passed by the Senate with 18 government amendments to implement the changes announced in the 2019–2020 Federal Budget. Those amendments were agreed to by the House of Representatives on 4 April 2019.  Read more…

Rental deductions: ATO audits to double

The ATO has warned that it will double the number of audits scrutinising rental deductions this year. It says some tax agents are still claiming travel to residential rental properties for their clients, but from 1 July 2017 taxpayers (aside from excluded entities) were no longer permitted to claim travel expenses related to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent for a residential rental property.  Read more…

Shortfall penalties reduced under new ATO initiative

The initial results of the ATO's penalty relief initiative look positive.  Read more…

How the ATO identifies wealthy individuals and their businesses

According to the ATO, wealthy individuals are resident individuals who, together with their business associates, control net wealth of $5 million or more. The ATO uses sophisticated data matching and analytic models, drawing on tax returns and referrals from other government agencies or the community, to identify wealthy individuals and link them to associated businesses.  Read more…

Things to get right this FBT season

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns will soon be due and with the FBT season now in full swing, it's vital for tax professionals and managers to have the latest information. FBT expert Stephen O'Flynn has outlined some things to get right with 2019 FBT returns.  Read more…

Tax concierge service available to small businesses

The Small Business Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has announced that taxpayers wanting an external review of an adverse tax decision by the ATO through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) can contact the office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) for assistance from 1 March 2019.  Read more…

ATO small business benchmarks updated 2019

The ATO has released its latest small business benchmarks, providing over 100 different industries with average cost of sales and average total expenses. Businesses can see clearly what the relevant benchmarks are for their industry. The benchmark data is drawn from over 1.5 million small businesses around Australia.  Read more…

Early recovery of small business tax debts: ATO to be scrutinised

Minister for Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash has asked the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell, to look into the ATO's practices in pursuing early recovery of tax debts from small businesses who are in dispute with the ATO.  Read more…

Compensation for defective ATO administration: review announced

The Government has announced that Mr Robert Cornall, a former Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department, will lead a review of the Scheme for the Compensation for Detriment Caused by Defective Administration (the CDDA Scheme).  Read more…

Single Touch Payroll: low-cost solutions now available

Single Touch Payroll (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 it will be required for all small employers (with fewer than 20 employees) from 1 July 2019.  Read more…

Super guarantee amnesty not yet law: ATO will apply existing law

The ATO reminds businesses to be aware that under the current law, if they have missed a superannuation payment or haven't paid employees' super on time, they are required to lodge a superannuation guarantee (SG) charge statement.  Read more…

ATO finds 90% error rate in sample of rental property claims

In a March 2019 address to the Tax Institute Convention, ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan spoke about the ATO's release of the Individuals not in business tax gap information for the first time in July 2018, in which it found that work-related expenses are the main driver of the tax gap. Incorrect rental claims and not reporting cash wages also contribute.  Read more…

Tribunal: property used for storage was an active business asset

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has decided that a property a small business owner used to store materials, tools and other equipment was an active asset for the purpose of the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions.  Read more…

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…

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