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Keeping your SMSF compliant while overseas

Posted on September 27, 2017 by admin


Travelling overseas for an extended period of time is an exciting adventure. What isn’t so exciting is the prospect of breaking compliance laws in relation to your SMSF while enjoying your trip. There are specific conditions that must be met to deem the self-managed super fund ATO compliant. They are as follows: Fund recognised as an Australian fund The SMSF will be recognised as an Australian super fund provided that the setup of and initial contributions are likely to have been made and accepted by the trustee(s) in Australia or at least one of its assets is located in Australia. Management and control of the fund carried out in Australia The central management and control of the fund must ordinarily be in Australia. This means the SMSF’s strategic decisions are regularly made, and high-level duties and activities are performed in Australia. Some examples include formulating the investment strategy, reviewing the performance of the fund’s investments and determining how assets are to be used for member benefits. Generally, fund’s will meet this condition even if its central management and control is temporarily outside Australia for up to two years. If central management and control of the fund is permanently outside Australia […]


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Imported services and GST

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Under the new law introduced on 1 July 2017, Australian GST registered businesses that import services or digital products for business purposes do not have to pay GST. These businesses will need to supply their Australian business number (ABN) and a statement that they are registered for GST to the supplier at the time of purchase to ensure they are not charged GST. Overseas businesses registered under the simplified GST system for non-residents do not have an ABN and cannot issue a tax invoice. If a business believes that GST has been charged, they will need to contact the supplier and seek a refund if appropriate. However, if an Australian business is not registered for GST or their purchases are not for business use, they will need to pay GST and will not be able to claim it back.


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How does the super guarantee charge work?

Posted on September 20, 2017 by admin


Employers who do not pay the minimum amount of super guarantee for their employee(s) by the due date may have to pay the super guarantee charge (SGC). The charge is made up of super guarantee shortfall amounts including any choice liability calculated on your employee’s salary or wages, interest on those amounts (currently 10 per cent) and an administration fee ($20 per employee, per quarter). Employers must report and rectify the missing payment by lodging an SGC statement by the due date and paying the SGC to the ATO. Employers may be able to use a late payment to reduce the amount of SGC, however, they must still lodge an SGC statement and pay the balance of the SGC to the ATO. The ATO prioritises the collection of unpaid SGC debts. If an employee reports an employer for unpaid super, the ATO will investigate on their behalf. Employers must lodge their SGC statement and pay the charge by the due date. Quarter Period Due date 1 1 July – 30 September 28 November 2 1 October – 31 December 28 February 3 1 January – 31 March 28 May 4 1 April – 30 June 28 August If a due […]


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Ride sourcing – Claiming car expenses

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Those who participate in ride-sourcing (i.e., Uber, GoCatch) as a driver can access a number of tax deductions come tax time. You may be able to claim expenses such as: – Parking fees – Road tolls – Mobile phone costs – Fees or commissions charged the facilitator – Other expenses – to the extent that they relate to work-related travel. Under the logbook method (the business-use percentage of car expenses) include: – Petrol – Depreciation of your car – General vehicle running costs such as insurance, car rego and repairs – Maintenance. Expenses you cannot claim include: – Fines, such as parking and speeding fines – Fuel tax credits – The cost of getting and maintaining a standard driving licence – Costs of a capital nature, such as car purchase price – Personal or private expenses, such as the private use of a car used for ride-sourcing activities. If you use your car for both personal and work-related use, you will need to apportion your car expenses appropriately. If the owner of the car is a spouse or de-facto partner, you can still claim deductions for the car as it is considered a joint asset. You may be eligible for […]


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New measures to crack down on super non-compliance

Posted on September 14, 2017 by admin


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will receive additional funding for a Superannuation Guarantee Taskforce to crack down on non-compliance by employers. The Government has announced a package of reforms to close a legal loophole used by dishonest employers that short-change employees who make salary-sacrifice contributions to super. Funding for the Taskforce coincides with new data released by the ATO reporting a significant estimated Super Guarantee gap. This gap is the difference between the theoretical amount payable by employers to be fully compliant and actual contributions received by funds. The ATO estimates the net SG gap as 5.2 per cent or $2.85 billion of the total estimated $54.78 billion in SG payments that employers were required to pay in 2014-15. The gap exists because some employers are not meeting their super guarantee obligations either by not paying enough or not paying at all. Employers who deliberately are not paying their workers’ super entitlements are robbing their workers of their wages. The new package aims to take action on this so employers cannot hide from their legal obligation. Some of the measures included in the package involve: A requirement for superannuation funds to report contributions received more frequently (at least monthly) to […]


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Sharing economy and tax

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The ATO is reminding those who work in the sharing economy to be aware of their tax obligations. The sharing economy connects buyers (users) and sellers (providers) through a facilitator who usually operates an app or a website. Some popular examples include Airbnb, Stayz, Uber, Deliveroo, Airtasker and so on. Different rules apply, depending on what type of sharing economy activities are undertaken by an individual. Those who rent out part or all of their home are reminded to: – declare what they earn in their tax return; – apportion related expenses as appropriate before claiming deductions and – understand it may affect their capital gains tax if they sell their home in the future. Individuals who participate in ride-sourcing activities need an ABN, to register for GST from the day they start, to pay GST on the full amount of every fare and to keep records of income and expenses for both GST and income tax purposes. GST credits associated with your ride-sourcing enterprise are deductible. Those providing other goods and services through the sharing economy need to remember to declare what they earn and apportion related expenses.


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Strategies to bulk up your super before retirement

Posted on September 7, 2017 by admin


To retire comfortably, you should be doing everything you can while still in the workforce to make sure your superannuation is as fruitful as possible. Consider the following: Consolidate super into one accountSuper account fees can eat away at your super balance, especially if you have numerous accounts. If you find yourself in this position, take the time to organise your super contributions into the one account to reduce unnecessary and excessive fees. Outstanding super paymentsCheck you have been paid all the super you are entitled to, as well as interest, as this can uncover large amounts of unpaid super. Employers have a legal obligation to pay all employees who have earned more than $450 in the space of a month, and these payments are required to be paid at least quarterly. If you have not been paid what you are owed, you are also missing out on accumulated interest. It is now compulsory for employers to report the super contributions they make, but this was not always the case, meaning you may need to contact previous employers or the ATO to access unpaid super you are entitled to. Salary sacrificeThis is an efficient way to grow your superannuation while […]


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Single Touch Payroll for streamlined reporting

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From 1 July 2018, employers with 20 or more employees will report payments to the Australian Taxation Office at the same time as they pay their employees, using the Single Touch Payroll reporting system. This reporting system will keep track of payments such as: Salary and wages Super contributions Deductions, e.g. workplace giving Pay as you go (PAYG) Allowances The introduction of this new reporting measure does not incite changes to an employer’s payroll cycle; you can still make payments as you were, i.e., weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc. When you do make these payments, the super and tax details of employees will be passed on, creating a more streamlined approach to make reporting and compliance more manageable. For businesses with less than 20 employees, the single touch payroll reporting system will be in place by 1 July 2019.


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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.