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New fleet “safe harbour” approach for car fringe benefits

Safe Harbour

 

The ATO has announced that, after consultation and collaboration with business taxpayers and industry representatives, it has developed what it calls a “safe harbour” mechanism for calculating car fringe benefits under the operating cost method.

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Travel to a workplace: What’s in, what’s out

Travel To Work

 

A recurrent topic of conversation and enquiry when it comes to possible tax deductions is when taxpayers travel to a work location, and the eligibility or otherwise of certain claims in regard to that travel. 

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Struggling Business Turnarounds

Struggling Busines Turnarrounds

 

Many small business owners rush to apply short-term fixes rather than diagnosing the real problem.

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SMSF practitioners told to urgently address TRIS issues

Practitioners Urgent

 

SMSF practitioners are being told to review their clients’ TRIS strategies and start discussing any work test issues now, as there will only be a short time frame left, once the legislation is passed, to implement changes.

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$20,000 write off is only available for small business, right? Well…

20000 Write Off

 

Everyone assumes that the $20,000 instant asset write-off is exclusive to eligible small businesses.

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Do you need an Employment Agreement?

Written Agreement

 

All employment relationships are subject to an agreement, whether they are written, verbal or a combination.

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What does the new withholding tax mean for your clients?

Withholding Tax Foreign Investment

 

It's important to be across the new “non-final withholding tax regime” came into effect on 1 July 2016, potentially impacting anyone buying or selling property.

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Is there a problem with using your company’s assets for yourself?

Using Company Assets

 

Assets that belong to your business but that are being used for your own benefit or enjoyment can potentially trigger a tax issue known as “Division 7A”. 

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Domestic (non-marital) Relationships

Non Marital Relationships

 

As a generalisation and without wanting to venture into legal areas, a domestic partnership is ….

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SMEs at risk of ‘falling foul’ of ATO

Smes Ato Scrutiny

 

Confusion this financial year regarding imminent compliance dates, including for SuperStream, is putting SME owners at risk of falling foul of the ATO, accounting software provider MYOB has warned.

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Scams, fraudsters and viruses

Scams Frauds Viruses

 

Almost every Australian will be aware of the problems trying to complete the online Census on the 9th August 2016.

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Got your car log book ready?

Car Travel Log

 

Failing to maintain a valid car log book can cost taxpayers dearly in an ATO audit. 

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Charities need to lodge Annual Statements

Charities Annual Statements

 

A warning from the ACNC about not doing the paper work.

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ATO ramps up surveillance on unusual assets

Ato And Unusual Assets

One national accountancy network has reminded professionals the ATO is obtaining more than 100,000 insurance policies in an effort to identify non-compliance with reporting obligations, saying there is “very little chance” offenders won’t be caught.

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ATO exposes dodgy deductions, with examples

Dodgy Deductions

 

With over eight million Australians claiming work-related expenses each year, …..

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Scammers New Ploy – “You Will Be Arrested”

Evil Scammers

 

Don’t be alarmed and don’t respond – just hang up!

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Making sense of NALI

Anti Avoidance

 

NALI – Non-arm's length income

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Locking Up Bank Accounts

Lock Up Bank Accounts

 

It seems that banks are being drawn in into financial disputes with couples.  And they are responding somewhat predictability.

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Is the hype around the new super changes warranted or simply codswallop?

New Super Rules

 

There has been a lot of media coverage regarding the superannuation law changes proposed in the recent federal Budget. 

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Change to salary sacrifice

Salary Sacrifice Meals

 

Changes to salary sacrificed “meal entertainment” benefits

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Ransomware – BEWARE!

Ransomware

 

In our role as a domain hosting company we see much of the dark side of the Internet including hacking, viruses and server attacks.  Of these, Ransomware is one of the worst and most insidious.

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No Change to Super Fund Borrowing Rules (yet)

Super Sbrl

 

The federal government has announced it does not agree with the Financial System Inquiry’s (FS) recommendation ….

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Property to remain at top of ATO’s hit list

Tax Bill 2

 

One national accounting network has tipped that SMSF property investment will be a big-ticket item on the compliance agenda in 2016.

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Turnbull stands firm amid SG freeze speculation

Freeze Sg

 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has attempted to dispel talks that the government is looking to freeze the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate …..

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Tax breaks, education and access to advice key to successful transition to retirement

Ttr 2

 

As pressure grows for the Federal Government to scrap the superannuation tax concessions, ….

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Dying Without a Will

No Will 2

 

Many will be surprised (possibly unpleasantly) by the formula prescribed in various states legislation, if a person dies without a valid will.

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Travel Allowance Deductions – Harder Line taken by ATO – Truck Drivers Beware

The ATO is prepared to take a hard line on travel expense claims in relation to travel allowances paid to employee truck drivers.  Even though there is an exception to substantiation provisions for these sorts of expenses, the ATO looks like it may still expect truck drivers to be able to back up how many nights they were away, what …

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Data Matching Program – Share Transactions

        The ATO has announced a new “Share transactions data matching program” that will acquire details of transaction from share registries from 20 September 1985 to 30 June 2016 from the following:- Link Market Services Limited Computershare Limited Australian Securities Exchange Limited Boardroom Pty Ltd Advanced Share Registry Services Pty Ltd Security Transfer Registrars Pty Ltd The …

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Data matching program – Motor Vehicles

Data matching program – Motor Vehicles The ATO has announced a new “Motor vehicle data matching program” to collect details of individuals or businesses that have purchased or acquired a vehicle costing $10,000 or more from the following:- Australian Capital Territory – Australian Capital Territory Road Transport Authority New South Wales – Roads and Maritime Services New South Wales Queensland …

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Lost Super climbs to $14 billion

Lost Super Climbs to $14 Billion New statistics released by the ATO reveal that more than $14 billion in lost super is waiting to be claimed. Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd says that a particular concern are the billions of dollars sitting in the super accounts where funds have lost contact with the owner. “There’s over $6 billion of super sitting …

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Work-related Expenses – ATO Focus

The ATO continues to pay close attention to work-related expenses and is using extensive data analysis to identify areas requiring attention across all work-related expense claims regardless of occupation. However, it is indicated that specific attention will be paid to:- Overnight Travel There is no deduction for an amount received as a reasonable travel allowance (if it is not required …

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ATO Data Matching – Expands!

Data Matching to be expanded on individual returns The ATO has advised that last year, it cross-referenced information reported in tax returns against more than 600 million transactions provided to it by third parties identifying omitted income and gains, incorrectly-claimed offsets or entitlements and exemption from surcharges to name a few.  It contacted around 400,000 taxpayers who had apparent discrepancies …

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ATO warns over-claiming easy to detect

The ATO warns that over-claiming is easier to detect than ever.  In relation to 2014/15 individual income tax returns to be lodged this year, the ATO says it will be focusing on:- unusually high work-related expense claims across all industries and occupations expenses claimed that have already been reimbursed by employers; and claims for private expenses such as travel from …

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Phone Scam Alert – ATO Imposters

There have been a number of incidents of phone scams. Fraudsters are calling random public members, posing as ATO personnel advising that they owe money.  Anyone owing money to the ATO would have been advised in writing and would have had more than one piece of communication.  So don’t be fooled.  One way of dealing with calls of this nature is to ask for …

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Contractors in cash economy hit with tax bills

Hundreds of thousands of building industry contractors who may have dodged their GST or income-tax obligations have been hit with $2.3 billion in tax bills.  But their could be billions more outstanding, as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) continues data matching information reported to it to identify operators in the cash economy. A reporting system was introduced in 2012-13 that …

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Online Selling Data Matching

The ATO will request and collect, from eBay Australia & New Zealand Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of eBay International AG, which owns and operates www.ebay.com.au), online selling data relating to between 15,000 and 25,000 individuals that sold goods and services of a total value of $10,000 or more for the period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. This …

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Employers and SMSFs – SuperSteam Ready?

With 30 June 2015 deadline fast approaching for medium to large employers to be SuperStream compliant, the ATO is urging these employers to act now to ensure they are SuperStream ready. Editor:  For ‘small employers’ with 19 or fewer employees, SuperStream starts from 1 July 2015 and they have until 30 June 2016 to be ready (though they can start …

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No to Vaccinate – No Government Benefits

The government has announced that it will end the one religious exemption on children’s vaccinations for access to the taxpayer-funded Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement from 1 January 2016. Editor:  Apparently the only religious organisation with an approved vaccination exemption, the Church of Christ, Scientist, is not advising …

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ATO focus on rental property expenses

The ATO is increasing its focus on rental property deductions and has advised tax agents to ensure their clients get their claims right. They have identified some common errors made by rental property owners, including:- claiming rental deductions for properties not genuinely available for rent incorrectly claiming deductions for properties only available for rent part of the year such as …

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Time Limits for Family Assistance Payments

The ATO has reminded practitioners with clients who want to claim family assistance payments for the 2014 financial year that they must lodge a claim with the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) by 30 June 2015 to be eligible.  The deadline applies to clients who intend to lodge a claim for: Family Tax Benefit Child Care Benefit Single Income Family …

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Rich and Poor – Gap Growing in Australia

Rich and poor; the gap is growing in Australia between those with the most and those with the least.  A report just released by The Australia Institute has drawn the conclusion, from ABS data, that the wealth in the hands of a mere seven Australian citizens is more than the combined wealth of the poorest 20% of the population — …

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Scams – Australian Taxpayers are Victims

Scams – Australian Taxpayers are victims A new report has revealed that over 90,000 Australians were victims of scams last year with $89 million reported lost. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) ‘Targeting Scams Report 2013’, released in June this year, found that relationship scams moved to the number one position in terms of financial losses, with over $25 million …

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Are your contractors really employees?

Are your contractors really employees? The ATO continues to enjoy a high success rate challenging the treatment of contractors under the superannuation guarantee (SG) legislation.  Despite recent comments made by the Government that the ATO should ‘relax’ its approach to contractors, the ATO has no reason to simply walk away from such a potentially lucrative revenue stream – why would …

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Employers paying Superannuation Guarantee (SG)

Employers paying Superannuation Guarantee (SG) Employers can expect a renewed focus from the ATO on superannuation guarantee (SG) payments made to employees.  With the increase in the SG rate from 9.25% to 9.5% on 1 July 2014, employers will need to make sure that payments are made on time and that the calculations are accurate.  Just be aware that the …

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SMSFs and protecting assets

SMSFs and protecting $558 billion in assets Access to, and the use of, the $558 billion in assets currently held in Australian Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) is a touchy subject.   From 1 July 2014, the ATO has new powers to deal with delinquent trustees including directly levying financial penalties. Trustees should read the bolstered ATO powers more broadly as …

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Overseas assets and income? Why the ATO wants you

Overseas assets and income?  Why the ATO wants you The ATO is heavily targeting individuals that have assets and income from overseas.   A month ago, the ATO announced an amnesty, called Project DO IT, that allows people to declare unreported assets and income they have received from overseas.  These voluntary disclosures have already raised over $13 million in back taxes.  …

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The push for change; impact for business

The push for change; impact for business The Senate composition changed on 1 July and with it, the Government’s opportunity to push for change through its reform agenda.  The reintroduced repeal Bills for the Carbon Tax and Mining Tax have already passed the House of Representatives with high expectations of being passed by the new Senate when it sits on …

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Clear out the old: End of Financial Year housekeeping

Clear out the old: End of Financial Year housekeeping For business, July is the month you need to make sure you have properly closed off the last year and can start the New Year the right way.  Here is the essential checklist to prevent last year overflowing into this year:   •   Reconcile your GST control account. •   Does the …

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Fringe Benefits Tax rate increase

Fringe Benefits Tax rate increase The Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) rate will increase by 2% from 47% to 49% from 1 April 2015 until 31 March 2017.  The increase is to prevent individuals attempting to use the FBT system to avoid the 2% Temporary Budget Repair Levy.    The cash value of benefits received by employees of public benevolent institutions …

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Higher education loans: Repayment income and rates

Higher education loans:  Repayment income and rates. If you’re studying to achieve professional development and are looking for higher education loans, the ATO has issued the following updates to the repayment incomes and repayment rates for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).  The repayment thresholds and rates for 2014 are listed below. HELP repayment thresholds and rates 2014/15 HELP repayment …

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