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Income tax gap results

The ATO has released its latest findings on the tax gap for Australian individuals. The estimated gap in 2014-15 is approximately $8.7 billion or 6.4 per cent.

The income gap is an estimate of the difference between the tax the ATO collects and the amount that would have been collected if each taxpayer was fully complaint.

Over 93 per cent of income tax received from individuals not in business is paid voluntarily or with little intervention from the ATO. There are around 9.6 million individuals who are not in business and lodge tax returns. These taxpayers earn their income from salary and wages and investments.

The tax gap is primarily driven by incorrectly claimed work-related expenses. The ATO says the most common mistakes include:
– Claiming deductions where there is no connection to income
– Claims for private expenses
– No records to show that an expense was incurred.

Other areas of concern include high rates of incorrect claims for rental property expenses and non-reporting of cash wages.

The ATO is warning taxpayers to take care with that they claim, because all of those little amounts add up.

The Tax Office uses data and technology to identify outliers, as well as tailoring advice and guidance products, auto-correct mistakes, streamline reporting and substantiation processes, access third party data to verify claims and provide pre-fill information in tax returns.

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News

Protect yourself from early super release scams

August 7, 2018

When it comes to protecting your nest egg, avoid getting caught out by a promoter of an illegal early release super scheme.

Early release super scheme scams will involve a promoter contacting you and offering to help you access your super early. They usually target individuals under significant financial pressure or those who are not knowledgeable about super laws and the repercussions and penalties involved in illegally accessing your super.

You can only access your super when you meet a condition of release.

Generally, when you:
– Are 65 years old (even if you have not yet retired).
– Reach your preservation age and retire.
– Reach your preservation age and begin a transition to retirement income stream while still working.

There are special circumstances where you may be able to access your super early.

These special circumstances include:
– Severe financial hardship
– Temporary or permanent incapacity
– Compassionate grounds
– Temporary residents leaving Australia
– Super death benefits (inheriting super)
– Super less than $200
– Terminal medical condition

To avoid falling for an illegal early super release scam, be wary if the promoter:
– charges high fees and commissions;
– requests identity documents;
– claims you can access your super and put the funds towards whatever you wish;
– and tries to persuade you to transfer or rollover your super from your existing fund to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) in order to access your super before you are legally entitled.