News

Calculating Super Guarantee: The new rule

From 1 July 2020, new rules will come into effect to ensure that an employee’s salary sacrifice contributions cannot be used to reduce the amount of superannuation guarantee (SG) paid by the employer.

Can the ATO take money out of your account? Your right to know

You might have seen the recent spate of media freedom advertisements as part of the Your Right to Know campaign. The prime-time advertising states that the Australian Tax Office (ATO) can take money from your account without you knowing. The question is, do you really know what powers the ATO have?

CGT and the family home: expats and foreigners targeted again

The Government has resurrected its plan to remove access to the main residence exemption for non-residents – a move that will impact on expats and foreign residents.

Vacant land deduction changes hit ‘Mum & Dad’ property developments

Legislation that passed through Parliament last month prevents taxpayers from claiming a deduction for expenses incurred for holding vacant land. The amendments are not only retrospective but go beyond purely vacant land.

Rental property expenses - what you can and can’t claim

It’s not uncommon for landlords to be confused about what they can and can’t claim for their rental properties. What often seems to make perfect sense in the real world does not always make sense for the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

The $11.1bn small business tax shortfall

Last month, the ATO released statistics showing small business is responsible for 12.5% ($11.1 billion) of the total estimated ‘tax gap’. These new figures give visibility to tax compliance issues within the small business sector and indicate where we can expect ATO resources to be focussed now and in the future.

ATO take ‘gloves off’ on overseas income

Five years ago, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) offered a penalty amnesty on undisclosed foreign income. Five years on, the ATO has again flagged that underreporting of foreign income is an issue but this time the gloves are off.

Are all your SMSF eggs in one basket?

The investment strategies of Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) are under scrutiny with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) contacting 17,700 trustees about a lack of asset diversity.

Super, insurance & exit fees: the 1 July changes

From 1 July 2019, new laws prevent superannuation funds from eroding member balances with unwanted or unnecessary insurance and exit fees. Plus, inactive accounts with low balances will be moved to the ATO to try and unite the unclaimed super with its owner.

Single touch payroll exemption for directors and family members

The ATO has provided a concession from single touch payroll for payments by small employers to closely held payees.

0,000 Tax Cheat Tip-offs

Tip-offs to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have reached an all-time high with close to 60,000 tip-offs received between June and May 2019 – almost double the number of the previous year. The ATO thinks the number of tip-offs will reach around 70,000 for the full financial year.

Laundry expenses hung out to dry

The ATO is airing the ‘dirty laundry’ on work-related clothing and laundry expenses warning that it is closely reviewing claims.

Tax time: Are you in the ATO's sights?

A consistent theme this tax time is overclaiming and under reporting. With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) getting more and more sophisticated in its data matching approaches, taxpayers can expect greater scrutiny where their claims are more than what is expected. We take a look at the key issues.

How to Prepare for a Tax Office Visit

The Tax Office is actively targeting geographic areas for special visits as part of a nationwide crackdown on the black economy. The ATO plan on visiting over 10,000 businesses in the new financial year, hunting out those hiding sales, paying cash in hand, or underpaying workers.

What you can expect after the 2019 Election

Headlines only explain so much. In this special update, we examine where the 2019-20 Federal Budget left us, and the pivotal policies from the ALP on tax, superannuation and business.

Budget 2019-20: The pre-election announcements that are now law

The Federal Budget announced a series of measures, some of which were legislated before the election was called.

Single Touch Payroll extended to all employers

From 1 July 2019, single touch payroll – the direct reporting of salary and wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation contribution information to the ATO – will apply to all employers. What employers need to report will also be extended to include certain salary sacrificed amounts.

Legislation in limbo

A budget, an election, and the legislation that hasn’t made it through. The February 2019 Parliamentary sitting days were the last opportunity before the Federal Budget for the Government to introduce or push through new legislation.

What you need to know about Estate Planning?

Life does not always go to plan. While we logically know that, most of us don’t plan for the worst – it’s all a bit morbid and time-consuming.

Tax warning on overseas income

Do you earn income overseas? A recent case highlights why you might pay more tax than you thought on foreign income.

Accelerated tax rate reduction for small business

Small business is still a vote winner with the Government and Opposition teaming up to accelerate tax cuts for the sector by 5 years impacting on an estimated 3.3 million businesses.

The new rules for gift cards – what you need to know

In Australia, around 34 million gift cards are sold each year with an estimated value of $2.5 billion. On average, an estimated $70 million is lost because of expiry dates.

Working from home: what deductions can you claim?

For a while now, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been concerned about tax deductions individuals have been claiming for a whole host of expenses. The latest on their ‘hit list’ are home office expenses. We guide you through what you can and can’t claim if you work from home.

What does the China/US trade war mean to Australia?

As the bilateral trade war between the US and China heats up, Australia is caught between its cultural and military ties to the US and its strong economic relationship with China.

Got a HELP debt? The impending changes to speed up your repayments

The Government has moved to put an end to ‘eternal students’ who constantly study and never earn an income and speed up the payment cycle for those with outstanding debt.

Tax ‘safe harbour’ for inherited property

When someone inherits a dwelling there are some special rules contained within the main residence exemption provisions that can provide a full exemption if certain conditions are met. If the conditions are not met, the beneficiary might face a nasty capital gains tax (CGT) bill for their good fortune.

190,000 taxpayers 'examined' in ATO online rental blitz

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced a new data-matching program targeting taxpayers earning income from the exploding popularity of short-term rentals available on platforms like AirBNB and Stayz.

Last minute changes to company tax and franking rate passed by Parliament

Legislation passed by Parliament late last month introduces a new test that will restrict some companies from accessing the lower company tax rate from the 2017-18 financial year.

Will Aussies pay more for a good cause

In the same month that desperate farmers made headlines preparing to destroy starving flocks and pleading with the public to pay a few cents more for their dairy products, Dick Smith’s nationalistic brand announced its closure. The question is, will Australians pay more for a cause?

Clothing deductions hung out to dry

The ATO says that clothing claims are up nearly 20% over the last five years with people either making mistakes or deliberately over-claiming. Common mistakes include people claiming ineligible clothing, claiming for something without having spent the money, and not being able to explain the basis for how the claim was calculated.

Company tax change in limbo

An issue that many business owners and investors will need to grapple with is uncertainty on the tax rate that applies to companies for the year ended 30 June 2018 and the maximum franking rate on dividends paid during the 2018 income year.

When can you take your super?

The cash sitting in your superannuation fund can be tempting, particularly if you are short of cash. But, the reality is there are very few ways you can take advantage of your superannuation once it has been contributed to the fund – even if you change your mind.

Your essential EOFY checklist

No one wants to pay more tax than they need to or face unnecessary risks. We’ve compiled a list of our top tips for you.

One-off Super Guarantee Amnesty

Employers that have fallen behind with their superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations will have 12 months to “self-correct” under a new amnesty announced late last month.

Tax stats reveal the state of the Australian Community

Every year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) compiles the tax data they collect. The recently released 2015-16 ‘tax stats’ encapsulate the data from 16 million income tax returns lodged for the 2016 income year for 13.5 million individuals, 940,000 companies, as well as superannuation funds, partnerships, and trusts.

Budget 2018-19 Breakdown - The 'Breadwinners' Budget

Reward for work is a dominant theme in this year’s Budget. The seven year personal income tax plan initially targets low to middle income earners before making significant changes to the tax brackets.

Single Touch Payroll - Are you ready?

Have you heard about Single Touch Payroll (STP)?

STP is a significant change affecting your business and you need to make sure you are ready.

New data breach laws come into effect

New data breach rules in effect from 22 February 2018 place an onus on business to protect and notify individuals whose personal information is involved in a data breach that is likely to result in ‘serious harm’.