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Super is Now Following New Employees

The ATO is reminding employers that, as of 1 November 2021, there is an extra step they may need to take to comply with the choice of super fund rules.

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AUSTRAC Transaction Report Information Data-Matching Program

The ATO will acquire transaction report information data from AUSTRAC for the period of 17 June 2021 through to 30 June 2027.

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Government Payments Data-Matching Program

The ATO will acquire government payments data from government entities who administer government programs for 2017/18 to 2022/23 financial years.

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Varying PAYG Instalments Due to COVID-19

Taxpayers can vary their pay as you go ('PAYG') instalments throughout the year if they think they will pay too much, compared with their estimated tax for the year.

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Preparing for the New Director ID Regime

As part of its Digital Business Plan, the Government announced the full implementation of the 'Modernising Business Registers' program.

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Documenting Gifts or Loans from Related Overseas Entities

The ATO is currently reviewing certain arrangements where Australian taxpayers seek to disguise undeclared foreign income as a gift or loan.

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Reminder for First-Time Share Investors to Declare Income

With the growth of micro-investment platforms helping new investors enter the market, the ATO has issued a reminder for first-time share and Exchange Traded Funds (‘ETF’) investors.

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Labor Commits to Income Tax Cuts and Certainty on Negative Gearing

The ALP has formally announced that, if elected to Government, they will deliver "the same legislated tax relief . . . as the Morrison Government".

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Reminder of SG Obligations for September 2021 Quarter

Under the Superannuation Guarantee (‘SG’) scheme, employers are required to make quarterly contributions on behalf of their employees.

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Additional ATO Support During COVID-19

The ATO is providing additional support to taxpayers having difficulty meeting their tax and superannuation guarantee charge obligations for employees because of COVID-19.

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ATO Support for Employers with Expansion of STP

As part of the expansion of Single Touch Payroll (known as STP Phase 2), from 1 January 2022, employers will need to report additional payroll information in their STP reports including:

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Paid Parental Leave Changes Support Parents in Lockdown

The Paid Parental Leave (‘PPL’) scheme has been amended to enable expectant parents whose work has been affected by COVID-19 lockdowns to access Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay under the scheme.

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Extra Super Step When Hiring New Employees

Employers may soon need to do something extra when a new employee starts to work for them.

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Travel allowances and 'LAFHAs'

The ATO has released a Ruling explaining:

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ATO Warns Property Investors about Common Tax Traps

In 2019/20, over 1.8 million Australians owned rental properties and claimed $38 billion in deductions, so the ATO is reminding property investors to beware of common tax traps that can delay refunds or lead to an audit costing taxpayers time and money.

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Time running out to register for the JobMaker Hiring Credit

The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme's third claim period is now open, so if a taxpayer has taken on additional eligible employees since 7 October 2020, they may be able to claim JobMaker Hiring Credit payments for their business.

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Div.293 Concessional Contribution Assessments have been Issued

The ATO has recently issued approximately 30,000 Division 293 assessments for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.

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Extending Administrative Relief for Companies to Use Technology

The Government has passed legislation renewing the temporary relief that allows companies to use technology to meet regulatory requirements under the Corporations Act 2001.

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Expansion of Support for SMEs to Access Funding

The Government is providing additional support to small and medium sized businesses ('SMEs') by expanding eligibility for the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.

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The ‘Gigs Up’ With a New Sharing Economy Reporting Regime

Treasury has released draft legislation introducing the long-awaited third party reporting regime (proposed to apply from 1 July 2022).

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New FBT Retraining and Reskilling Exemption Available

Recent legislative amendments mean that employers who provide training or education to redundant (or soon to be redundant employees) may now be exempt from fringe benefits tax (‘FBT’).

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Maximum Contributions Base For Super Guarantee

The maximum super contributions base is used to determine the limit on any individual employee's earnings base for superannuation guarantee purposes on a quarterly basis.

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Division 7A Benchmark Interest Rate For 2022 Remains Unchanged

The Division 7A benchmark interest rate for the 2022 income year remains unchanged from the 2021 rate of 4.52%.

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Reminder of Superannuation Caps Indexation for 2022

From 1 July 2021, the superannuation contributions caps have been indexed for the 2022 income year.

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New ATO Data-Matching Programs

The ATO has advised that it will engage in two new data matching programs, as outlined below:

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SMSF Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements Interest Rates

The ATO has confirmed that the following interest rates charged under a limited recourse borrowing arrangement ('LRBA') to an SMSF would be consistent with the safe harbour terms the ATO will accept for the 2021/22 financial year.

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Introducing SMSF Rollover Alerts

Since February 2020, the ATO has been issuing alerts via email and SMS when certain changes are made to a self-managed super fund ('SMSF').

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Rent or Lease Payment Changes Due to COVID-19

The ATO has provided updates regarding the tax implications when a landlord gives, or a tenant receives, rent concessions (such as waivers or deferrals of rent) as a result of COVID-19. 

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Lost, Damaged or Destroyed Tax Records

The ATO knows that many taxpayers are facing lasting impacts left in the wake of natural disasters, so if they find their records have been lost or destroyed, whether in cyclones, floods or bushfires, the ATO can help. According to ATO Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh:

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Taxable Payments Annual Reports (‘TPARs’) Due 28 August

2021 TPARs are due to be lodged for businesses who have paid contractors to provide the following services:

  • building and construction;
  • cleaning;
  • courier, delivery or road freight;
  • information technology (‘IT’); or
  • security, surveillance or investigation.

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New ATO Data-Matching Programs Involving Property

The ATO has advised that it will engage in two new data matching programs dealing with property transactions, as outlined below:

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Super Guarantee Contribution Due Date for June 2021 Quarter

The due date for employers to make super guarantee contributions for their employees for the June 2021 quarter is 28 July 2021.

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Extension of Time to Make Repayments on Division 7A Loans

Under a complying Division 7A loan from a private company, the borrower must make minimum yearly repayments ('MYR') before the end of the lender’s income year to avoid the loan being treated as an assessable dividend.

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ATO Warns On ‘Copy/Pasting’ Claims

The ATO is alerting taxpayers that its sights are set on work-related expenses like car and travel claims that are predicted to decrease in this year’s tax returns.

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Car Parking Threshold for 2022 FBT Year

The car parking threshold for the FBT year commencing on 1 April 2021 is $9.25.

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Luxury Car Tax Thresholds

The ATO has updated the luxury car tax ('LCT') thresholds for the 2021/22 financial year.

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Cryptocurrency Under The Microscope This Tax Time

The ATO is concerned that many taxpayers believe their cryptocurrency gains are tax-free, or only taxable when the holdings are cashed back into Australian dollars.

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Temporary Reduction in Pension Minimum Drawdown Rates Extended

The Government has announced an extension of the temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown rates for a further year to 30 June 2022.

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Super Guarantee Rate Rising From 1 July 2021

The super guarantee rate will rise from 9.5% to 10% on 1 July 2021, so businesses with employees will need to ensure their payroll and accounting systems are updated to incorporate the increase to the super rate.

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Passenger Movement Data-Matching Program

The ATO will access data from the Department of Home Affairs on passenger movements during the 2016/17 to 2022/23 financial years, and match it with certain sections of ATO data holdings to identify taxpayers that can be provided with tailored information to help them meet their tax and superannuation obligations, or to ensure compliance with taxation and superannuation laws.

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ATO Asks Businesses To Check If They Are Still Using Their ABNs

The ATO has advised that, if a business hasn’t used its ABN for a while, the ATO may contact them about cancelling their ABN.

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Independent Review Service For Small Businesses Made Permanent

Following a successful multi-year pilot, the ATO’s small business independent review service will be offered permanently as a dispute resolution option for eligible small businesses.

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ATO "Keeping JobKeeper Payment Fair"

The ATO is using its compliance resources to maintain the integrity of the JobKeeper measure.

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Government Proposal To Modernise Business Communications

The Government has committed to modernising certain laws so that they are 'technology neutral', to enable easier communication between businesses, individuals and regulators.

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New Succession Planning Guide For Family Businesses

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, in conjunction with Family Business Australia, has released a new online guide to succession planning — the “Introductory Guide to Family Business Succession Planning” — which provides a step-by-step guide to passing the family business on to the next generation.

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Warning Regarding New Illegal Retirement Planning Scheme

The ATO has recently identified a new scheme where SMSF trustees were informed that they could set up a new SMSF to roll-over the fund balance from the old SMSF and then liquidate their old SMSF, in an attempt to avoid paying potential tax liabilities.

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FBT rates and thresholds for the 2021/22 FBT year

The ATO has updated its webpage containing the fringe benefits tax ('FBT') rates and thresholds for the 2017/18 to 2021/22 FBT years.

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ATO's Taxable Payments Reporting System Update

The ATO has confirmed that more than 60,000 businesses have not yet complied with lodgment requirements under the taxable payments reporting system ('TPRS') for 2019/20.

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First Criminal Conviction for JobKeeper Fraud

A person claiming to be a sole trader was convicted of three counts of making a false and misleading statement to the Commissioner of Taxation, in order to receive $6,000 in JobKeeper payments to which he was not entitled, as he was not operating a genuine business and he had already agreed to be nominated by his full-time employer for the allowance.

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ATO Loses Case on JobKeeper and Backdated ABNs

On 24 March 2021, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision in a case concerned with the requirement that an entity claiming JobKeeper must have had an ABN on 12 March 2020, or a later time allowed by the ATO.

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JobKeeper Comes to an End

The ATO has advised that the final JobKeeper payment will be processed in April 2021.

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Avoiding Disqualification From SG Amnesty

The superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) amnesty ended on 7 September 2020. Employers who disclosed unpaid SG amounts and qualified for the amnesty are reminded that they must either pay in full any outstanding amounts they owe, or set up a payment plan and meet each ongoing instalment amount so as to avoid being disqualified and losing the benefits of the amnesty.

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Paper PAYG and GST Quarterly Instalment Notices

The ATO has previously advised that it will no longer issue paper activity statements after electronic lodgment. Instead, electronic activity statements will be available for access online, three to four days after the activity statement is generated.

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Changes to STP Reporting Concessions From 1 July 2021

Small employers (19 or fewer employees) are currently exempt from reporting ‘closely held’ payees through Single Touch Payroll ('STP'). Also, a quarterly STP reporting option applies to micro employers (four or fewer employees). These concessions will end on 30 June 2021.

The STP reporting changes that apply for these employers from 1 July 2021 are outlined below.

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Cash Payment Limit Bill Shelved

It appears that the Government has decided not to proceed with its proposal to limit cash payments in Australia to $10,000.

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ATO Data-Matching Programs

The ATO has announced it will engage in the following data-matching programs:

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SMSF Related Party Rental Income Deferrals Due to COVID‑19

The ATO has made a determination to ensure that trustees of SMSFs do not inadvertently breach the "in-house asset rules" where the fund allows a related party to defer the payment of rent under a lease agreement (on arm’s length terms) because of the financial impact of COVID‑19.

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AAT Decision on JobKeeper and Backdated ABNs

On 21 December 2020, the AAT handed down its decision in a case relating to a taxpayer's eligibility for JobKeeper payments, in circumstances where the Registrar of the Australian Business Register decided to reactivate a previously cancelled ABN after 12 March 2020, with a backdated effective date on or before 12 March 2020.

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Shortcut Rate for Claiming Home Office Expenses Extended

The ATO has extended (again) the ability to utilise the "shortcut rate" for claiming home office running expenses to 30 June 2021 (it previously only applied until 31 December 2020).

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New Measures Applying From 1 January 2021

The Government has provided an update of a number of new measures which came into effect from 1 January 2021, including (among others):

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JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme: Claims open from 1 February 2021

The JobMaker Hiring Credit is being administered by the ATO and provides a wage subsidy payment directly to employers as an incentive to employ additional job seekers aged 16 to 35 years.

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Magic Message Beans

During the Christmas period, we received Magic Message Beans from our clients ShareStory. These magic beans have messages engraved onto the seed and when the bean plant grows, the message appears on the bean!

Last week we decided to put our green thumbs to use. The beans were slowly but surely growing and over the weekend have exploded.

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JobKeeper Extension 2

The second extension period covers the JobKeeper fortnights between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021.

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Getting the Margin Scheme Right

If a property owner wants to use the margin scheme when selling property, they must be eligible before the property is offered for sale.

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