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Tax incentives for start-up investors

Posted on May 20, 2019 by admin


Tax incentives may be available to investors that are considering putting their money into qualifying start-up businesses. Eligible businesses are defined by the ATO as early-stage innovation companies (ESICs). The two key tax incentives for eligible early-stage investors, also known as ‘angel investors’, who purchase new shares in an ESIC are: Non-refundable carry forward tax offset that is equal to 20% of the amount paid for their qualifying investments. This offset is capped at a maximum amount of $200,000 for the investor and their affiliates combined in each income year. Modified capital gains tax (CGT) treatment, where capital gains on qualifying shares that have been continuously held for at least one year may be disregarded. Capital losses on shares that have been held for less than ten years must be disregarded. Note that the maximum tax offset of $200,000 does not limit the shares that qualify for the modified CGT treatment. The early-stage investor tax incentives are available to both Australian resident and non-resident investors. To qualify for the tax incentives, investors must have purchased the shares in a company that meets the requirements of an ESIC immediately after the shares are issued. They must be issued on or after […]


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ATO impersonation scam report

Posted on May 10, 2019 by admin


The ATO has released an Impersonation Scam Report for the month of February 2019. Highlighted are the various ways in which scammers have attempted to contact people, posing as the ATO. The most common method of contact was by phone calls or messages, accounting for 97% of reported scams over the month. Reports of 9,342 phone scams were officially recorded, decreasing significantly from 13,800 reports in January 2019. Emails accounted for 2% of scamming methods. The remaining 1% reported was scam by text message. According to the ATO, the amount collected by scammers was approximately $256,635, over $240,000 less than January 2019. Payments to these scams by bank transfers significantly increased in February, accounting for 47% overall. Although trends are down in the last month, the ATO is working to create better public awareness of these scams. The ATO has launched a new scam warning video across their various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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ATO monitors personal living expenses

Posted on May 6, 2019 by admin


In an ongoing effort to address the misuse and abuse of the tax and regulatory systems, the ATO has implemented a new tool to monitor what constitutes reasonable personal living expenses. Information is requested by the tax office to identify unreported cash income when looking at household expenditure. An individual will be required to provide this information to work out if they need to make adjustments to their business and record-keeping practices as well as help the ATO identify if they should be selected for an audit. In the event of an audit or when making an assessment in the course of examining an individual’s tax affairs, the ATO will employ a set of guidelines presented in the form of questionnaire worksheets. These worksheets will require taxpayers to provide certain details about the living expenses of their household. Discrepancies in tax returns that have been discovered by individuals completing a personal living expenses worksheet can be adjusted through voluntary disclosure. Taxpayers that voluntarily inform the ATO of mistakes before an audit may be eligible for reduced penalties.


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Increase to fuel tax credit rates

Posted on April 29, 2019 by admin


The ATO has increased fuel tax credit rates from 4 February 2019. As fuel tax credit rates are updated regularly, it is important to check the rates each time you lodge a business activity statement (BAS). Fuel tax credits provide businesses with a credit for the price of fuel used in machinery, plants, equipment, heavy vehicles, or light vehicles travelling on private roads. The amount of credit will depend on when the fuel is acquired, what fuel is used and the activity it is used for. The changes in fuel tax rates are indexed twice a year, in February and August in line with the consumer price index (CPI). The current rates apply from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. If you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use a simplified method to make claims to the ATO. For further information on claiming fuel tax credits and specific rates, you should consult your registered tax agent.


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Made a mistake on your BAS? Here’s what you need to know

Posted on April 12, 2019 by admin


Lodging a business activity statement (BAS) is something all business owners will be familiar with, however, mistakes can still be made. You must ensure that you have reported carefully and correctly to avoid incurring a penalty. In the event an error has been made in the reporting of your activity statements, here is what you will need to know to rectify the misreporting. If you have made a mistake or left something out on a previous activity statement, in most cases you are able to correct the errors on your next statement or lodge a revised statement. An error or mistake relates to an amount that was incorrect at the time of lodgement and can be fixed by revising the original BAS or making the relevant changes on your next BAS. Examples of a mistake include: Clerical or transposition errors. Reporting a taxable sale/purchase as GST free, or reporting a GST free sale/purchase as taxable. An adjustment relates to a report that was correct at the time of lodgement but a situation has since occurred that changes the amount of reported GST. Examples of when to make an adjustment are: If the price of a purchase changes. If the goods […]


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Getting your GST at settlement right

Posted on April 1, 2019 by admin


The ATO has seen a number of common errors made on forms submitted by property purchasers since changes were made to the way GST is collected at settlement in July 2018. Property settlement forms:In the case of a withholding obligation, those purchasing new residential premises or potential residential land are required to submit both of the two online notification forms: 1. GST property settlement withholding notification.This form covers various areas including contact details, property details, purchaser details, supplier details and an overall summary. The form can be submitted any time after you have entered into the contract and before the date of the withholding obligation is due. 2. GST property settlement date confirmation.This form requires you to confirm that the settlement has occurred. It can be submitted at the due date of the withholding obligation. In most instances, this will be at settlement or the next business day. It is necessary to understand your obligations as a property purchaser. Filling out these forms incorrectly can cause processing and payment delays and failing to submit on time may also result in penalties being imposed by the ATO.


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Changes to personal income tax

Posted on March 25, 2019 by admin


The Personal Income Tax Plan has gone through recent changes regarding rates, thresholds and offset entitlements. These changes were announced in the 2018-2019 Federal Budget and were implemented at the start of the 2019 financial year. For the upcoming tax season, individuals should review these changes in case they are affected. The 32.5% tax bracket was increased from $87,000 to $90,000 for the years 2018 to 2022. The following two years will see a further increase to $120,000 and in 2024 it will increase again to $200,000. These changes will apply to residents, foreign-residents and working holiday makers. Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding rates and schedules will also be updated to include these changes. Australian residents whose income does not exceed $125,333 could now be entitled to an addition to the low and middle income tax offset. This can be available after an assessment of a person’s individual income tax return. This addition applies to the 2018 to 2022 financial years. The amount you receive will be based on the following income levels: If below $37,000 you are entitled to $200 Between $37,000 and $48,000 you are entitled to $200 plus 3% of the amount of the income that […]


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PAYG withholding: New penalties for non-compliance

Posted on March 18, 2019 by admin


New penalties for business’s pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding and reporting obligations are to be introduced as a result of legislation commencing 1 July 2019. The law will now prevent businesses from claiming deductions for payments to employees and certain contractors if they fail to comply. Payments that are impacted include salary, wages, commissions, bonuses or allowances to an employee, payment under a labour-hire arrangement, payment to a religious practitioner, or payments for a supply of service. This measure highlights a key reason why governance over all employment tax is important. Specifically, the new laws will prevent an employer from claiming a deduction for payments to employees if the employer fails to: Withhold an amount from the payment as required under PAYG withholding rules; or Report a withholding amount to the ATO as required. If you make a mistake by failing to withhold an amount or to report it, your business will not lose its deduction if you voluntarily disclose this to the ATO before an audit or other compliance activity in regards to your tax affairs. Taking early action to ensure your business is compliant to these updated PAYG withholding laws will make a difference to whether you remain eligible for […]


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Determining whether GST is for business or private use

Posted on March 8, 2019 by admin


The goods and services tax (GST) is applied to most goods and services sold in Australia, taxed at a rate of 10%. If you run a business, you are likely to have GST obligations such as claiming credit for any GST included in the price of goods and services that have been purchased for your business. However, many businesses have expenses that are used privately as well as for business purposes. This means that a business must divide the GST on these costs between private and business use. The ATO allows an annual adjustment for these expenses when it comes to determining exactly how much something is used for business or private purposes. Common types of purchases that can be made for both business and private use include: Home office costs/home power use Home telephone and internet costs Motor vehicle purchases and running costs Computers and other electronic devices At the end of the financial year when the business’ income tax return is being finalised, adjustments can be made to account for the reduction in the GST amount for private use that can be claimed back. The adjustment will either increase the amount of GST that businesses are liable to […]


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ATOs small business benchmarks

Posted on March 1, 2019 by admin


The ATO small business benchmark guides are designed to help small businesses compare performance with similar companies in the same industry. These guides have been updated to include data from the 2016-2017 financial year. Within this system, there are two benchmarks businesses can use. Performance benchmarks apply to all industries and businesses. This area consists of the financial ranges so you can make comparisons and improvements to your business performance. Ranges you can look into are income tax, which is information provided by businesses on their tax returns, and activity statements which are provided using financial year activity statements. Input benchmarks only apply to tradespeople working on projects and purchasing their own materials. Within this benchmark, you can receive an expected range of income based on labour and materials used in a project. This is designed to help estimate turnover and ensure records accurately reflect income. The small business benchmark system is also designed to aid the ATO in identifying businesses that may be avoiding tax obligations by not reporting elements of their income. The information reported by a business is compared to key elements of the benchmark for their industry, ensuring all activity is in line with the regular […]


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What disqualifies you from an SMSF

May 20, 2019

SMSF’s are regulated by the ATO and have specific eligibility criteria that members and trustees must follow. While anyone 18 years old or over can be a trustee or director of an SMSF, they mustn’t be under a legal disability, such as mental incapacity, or a disqualified person.

The ATO can render an SMSF trustee as a disqualified person if they see the need, particularly in relation to illegal early access breaches. There are other ways a person may become disqualified and some may not even realise they have been. Continuing to act as an SMSF trustee or director of the corporate trustee while disqualified is an offence, further penalties may apply.

A person is disqualified if they:

The ATO has a Disqualified trustees register to see if an individual has previously been disqualified. The register provides information and easy search options to help determine whether a potential trustee has been disqualified. It is updated quarterly and includes all individuals who have been disqualified since 2012 (when the information was first published electronically).