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Reducing the risk of refund fraud

Posted on May 30, 2014 by admin


Refund fraud occurs where tax returns, activity statements and other documents are deliberately falsified in order to claim a tax refund a taxpayer is not entitled to. Fraudulent claims can be lodged by individuals on their own account or third parties on behalf of others. Often, this can involve identity crime, where taxpayer identities are used by third parties to make fraudulent claims for personal gain. Some examples of refund fraud are deliberately over-claiming deductions, offsets, or expenses by providing false or misleading information, understating income and/or providing fictitious payment summary details, providing false information in a business activity statement and making claims through fraudulent registrations or using false or stolen identities. The ATO have a range of controls and systems in place to detect potential refund fraud, these include: -analytical  models that use behaviour and statistical algorithms to analyse information on income tax returns, business activity statements and other tax forms lodged -sharing data and intelligence with their partner agencies -obtaining information about suspected fraud from the community and other government agencies


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Temporary Budget Repair Levy

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The Government has introduced a three-year Temporary Budget Repair Levy on individuals who have a taxable income in excess of $180,000. The levy is payable at a rate of 2 per cent of each dollar of a taxpayer’s annual taxable income over $180,000. No levy is payable where the taxpayer has a taxable income of $180,000 or less. The levy will apply from 1 July 2014 and apply to the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years. It is expected to raise around $3 billion. The introduction of this levy means that individuals with taxable incomes exceeding $180,000, and who are liable for the Medicare levy surcharge, will be subject to the top marginal rate of 50.5 per cent of income. Non residents are also expected to bear the burden of the Temporary Budget Repair Levy.


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Tips to speed up tax refunds

Posted on May 23, 2014 by admin


Many problems can occur when processing activity statements and tax returns which can lead to a delay in issuing refunds. However often these problems are often caused by small issues and can be easily avoided. Here is a list of tips to help minimise some of the issues that can prevent a speedy tax refund: -Keep personal details, such as postal address, bank details and authorised contacts, updated -Lodge all outstanding activity statements, the ATO are unable to process the refund until they know the extent of the credit -Keep the statement clean. This involves not writing notes outside the space provided, do not use symbols and do not double up by lodging both online and in person


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SuperStream changes for SMSF

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Self managed super fund (SMSF) trustees should be aware of the changes to the way they receive super contributions. From 3 November 2014, employers will begin using the new Data and Payment Standard, also known as SuperStream, to make superannuation contributions to their employees.  This means that SMSF trustees will be required to receive contributions electronically from their employers. Employers will have a year to make this change so SMSF trustees should check with their employers about their start date. To assist their employers, SMSF trustees will need to obtain an electronic service address for the delivery of contribution messages.  SMSF will also need to provide their employer with their ABN, bank account details and electronic service address to their employer. The changes will result in a more timely and reliable flow of contributions and make it easier for employers. Funds do not need to upgrade their reporting software to comply with the changes.


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Focus on wealthy Australians

Posted on May 15, 2014 by admin


The ATO has received additional Government funding to continue their focus on improving the voluntary compliance of wealthy Australians until 30 June 2017. The ATO began focusing on wealthy Australians in 2009-10 with the ultimate goal of influencing all wealthy Australians to pay their fair share of tax. The ATO hoped to do this by changing attitudes and behaviours associated with tax manipulation, avoidance and schemes. Wealthy Australians are defined as Australian residents who control net assets of between $5 million and $30 million. The ATO’s strategy to influence wealthy Australians includes: -gaining a greater and more detailed understanding of wealthy Australian’s -treating systematic tax risk -heightening ATO visibility in the community through education The ATO has undertaken direct enforcement action, including comprehensive reviews and audits, as well as engaging with individuals through letter and phone campaigns. The ATO has also recognised that many people who fall into the category of ‘wealthy Australian’ are asset rich but cash poor. This has led the ATO to work on managing disputed, collectable and insolvent debt. As a result of their compliance activities, the ATO have exceeded liability targets.


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SuperStream changes for SMSF

Posted on by admin


Self managed super fund (SMSF) trustees should be aware of the changes to the way they receive super contributions. From 1 July 2014, employers begin using the new Data and Payment Standard, also known as SuperStream, to make superannuation contributions to their employees.  This means that SMSF trustees will be required to receive contributions electronically from their employers. Employers will have a year to make this change so SMSF trustees should check with their employers about their start date. To assist their employers, SMSF trustees will need to obtain an electronic service address for the delivery of contribution messages.  SMSF will also need to provide their employer with their ABN, bank account details and electronic service address to their employer by 31 May 2014. The changes will result in a more timely and reliable flow of contributions and make it easier for employers. Funds do not need to upgrade their reporting software to comply with the changes.


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2014 lodgement changes

Posted on May 9, 2014 by admin


From 1 April 2014 taxpayers will be required to provide their financial institution account (FIA) details when lodging fringe benefit tax returns. From 1 July 2014 taxpayers will be doing the same for tax return lodgements, even if the details have been provided before. These requirements were first put in place for individual tax return lodgements and took effect on 1 July 2013. Providing FIA details will allow the ATO to issue any resulting refund by electronic funds transfer to the FIA that is nominated. Electronic funds transfer is the fastest and most secure way for taxpayers to receive their refund. It is convenient for both the ATO and the taxpayer and it ensures the refund is paid directly into a nominated bank, credit union or building society account. Alternatively, taxpayers can speak with their tax agent about using their trust account, if they operate one. It is important that taxpayers ensure their FIA details are correct when lodging as this will help to prevent delays in receiving their refund, and also ensures that their money does not go into the wrong account.


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Penalty for unpaid super

Posted on May 8, 2014 by admin


Employers who are not meeting their super obligations may lose the tax deduction they would normally receive for super contributions. They will also have to pay a superannuation guarantee charge to the ATO. From 1 July 2013 employers must be paying 9.25 percent of each eligible employee’s ordinary time earnings each quarter in super. From 1 July 2014 this will increase to 9.5 per cent. The next quarterly cut-off for super contributions is the 28 April, which applies to the period of 1 January to 31 March. If employers have not met their super obligations they will need to lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement with the ATO and also pay a superannuation guarantee charge. Also, their business may lose the tax deduction that they would normally receive for superannuation contributions. This is because like most late payments the super guarantee charge is not tax deductible. Employers will have to pay the super guarantee charge if: -they do not pay enough super contributions to their employee. This is known as a super guarantee shortfall. -they do not pay super contributions by the quarterly cut-off date for payment. The next payment cut-off date -they do not pay super to their employee’s […]


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SMSF annual return for pension phase trustees

November 15, 2017

Self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees who are in pension phase must lodge their SMSF annual returns if they remain active, or choose to wind up the fund.

The ATO is warning SMSF trustees about their regulatory obligations and is paying close attention to those SMSFs that are not meeting their lodgment obligations.

Trustees must lodge a Self-managed superannuation fund annual return 2017 if it was a self-managed super fund on 30 June 2017, or a self-managed super fund that was wound up during 2016-17.

Super funds that are not SMSFs at the end of 2016-17 must use the fund income tax return 2017 and, where required, a separate super member contributions statement.

Even if your fund does not have a tax liability, your SMSF must lodge an SMSF annual return.