CALL US: (07) 3367 0999 | EMAIL US:

Protect yourself from early super release scams

Posted on August 7, 2018 by admin


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 […]


Keep Reading...


Avoid these top tax misconceptions

Posted on by admin


As tax time continues, the ATO has announced the top misconceptions many individuals make when completing their claims for tax deductions. Four popular tax misunderstandings include: 1. Individuals can give credit card statements as proof of claim Debunked: When making a claim, individuals must be able to show they spent the money, what the money was spent on, the supplier and the date the purchase was made unless record-keeping exceptions apply. 2. Individuals can automatically claim $150 for clothing and laundry, under $300 for work-related expenses or 5000 kilometres for car-related expenses Debunked: While taxpayers are not required to provide receipts relating to the above in certain circumstances, these are not ‘standard deductions’ everyone can just claim. An individual can only claim if they have spent the money, and the expense relates to earning their income. They must also be able to explain how they calculated the amount. 3. Individuals can claim home-to-work travel Debunked: Individuals can only claim home-to-work travel in limited situations, i.e., in some circumstances where they must transport bulky equipment. 4. Individuals can claim work clothes when required to wear a particular colour Debunked: Individuals can only claim a deduction for work clothes if they are […]


Keep Reading...


Hiring temporary residents: employer super obligations

Posted on August 3, 2018 by admin


Employers are being reminded by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) not to forget that along with permanent residents; temporary residents are also entitled to super guarantee (SG). In most cases, an employer will be required to pay SG on top of their employee’s wages (temporary residents included) if they pay them $450.00 or more before tax in a calendar month. Providing the temporary resident has met all the requirements, they can submit their claim for the super that their employer has paid as a ‘department Australian superannuation payment’ (DASP) once they have left Australia. The ATO is encouraging employers to notify their temporary resident workers of the DASP application as it will be easier for these individuals to get the required supporting documents certified in Australia and then lodge once they have left the country.


Keep Reading...


Cents per kilometre rate rises for work-related car expenses

Posted on by admin


The Tax Office has confirmed the rate for work-related car expenses will rise to 68 cents per kilometre for the income year beginning 1 July 2018. The new rate will affect those eligible individuals who elect the cents per kilometre method when calculating the income tax deductions for their work-related car expenses for the 2018-19 income year. This rate also applies to the following income years until the Commissioner of Taxation deems it should be varied (these rates are reviewed each year). Taxpayers working out their car expenses for the 2015-16 year, 2016-17 year and the 2017-18 year should remember that the previous rate of 66 cents per kilometre still applies to their calculations. When selecting the cents per kilometre method, eligible individuals: – are not required to supply the ATO with written evidence of how many kilometres they have travelled; – may need to show how they worked out their business kilometres calculations; – cannot claim more than 5,000 business kilometres per car; – and cannot make a separate claim for depreciation of the car’s value. It is also important to note that the amount will take into account all the vehicle running expenses.


Keep Reading...


Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty

Posted on July 27, 2018 by admin


The Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty was introduced on 24 May 2018 by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services in a bid to tackle non-payment of employee super. The Amnesty provides a one-off opportunity for employers to self-correct any past super guarantee (SG) non-compliance without incurring a penalty. However, there is a lot of ambiguity around which employees are entitled to compulsory super payments. Small business employers need to pay special attention to these particular areas: Ordinary time earnings An understanding of ordinary time earnings (OTE) is essential as it is used to calculate tan eligible employees minimum SG contributions. OTE is generally what your employees earn for their ordinary hours of work. It includes things like commissions, shift loadings and allowances, but not overtime payments. The SG is 9.5 per cent of an eligible employees ordinary time earnings (OTE). If you make super contributions under an award, check that they are enough to satisfy both the award and the SG. Issues can occur where an agreement prevails over an award, no ordinary hours of work are stipulated, where an employee gets reimbursed, there is no award or agreements and where overtime is paid the same as ordinary hours. Contractors So […]


Keep Reading...


Income tax gap results

Posted on by admin


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 […]


Keep Reading...


Reviewing your super

Posted on July 19, 2018 by admin


The ATO is encouraging taxpayers to review their super this tax time. Finding lost super or consolidating any unwanted multiple accounts can make a massive difference to your nest egg. There is over $18 billion in lost and unclaimed super. Those who have changed their name, address, job or lived overseas are at high risk of having lost super. During the last five years, more than $10.7 billion of super has been consolidated from over 2.1 million accounts through ATO online services. The ATO is also reminding taxpayers that the new super deduction is available. Most people under 75 years of age can claim a tax deduction for personal after-tax super contributions. Personal super contributions deductions provide a level of flexibility for young people that change jobs frequently, self-employed contractors, small business employees, freelancers and people whose employers do not offer salary sacrifice arrangements. To claim a deduction for any personal super contributions made in 2017/18, you must lodge a notice of intent to claim a deduction with your fund and receive a confirmation letter from them before lodging your tax return.


Keep Reading...


Avoid scams this tax time

Posted on by admin


The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding individuals to remain vigilant against any scams that may pop up this year around tax time. With over 37,000 scam attempts reported to the ATO this time, last year, individuals need to be wary of scam artists looking to trick taxpayers into either paying for fake debts or giving away their personal details. Common scams include: – The ‘fake tax debt’ phone scam – ‘Fake refund’ – ‘Refund for a fee’ – Email and SMS contact – i.e., asking to click a link, download a file or open an attachment. Avoid being caught out in a tax-related scam by following these simple measures: Protect your personal details Scammers can use an individual’s personal information (i.e., tax file number, full name, date of birth or passwords) to impersonate them. Protect your personal details by storing them in a safe and secure location. Use correct payment methods To avoid paying a scam artist for a false debt to a non-ATO related account, make sure you are aware of the proper avenues for paying legitimate debts to the Tax Office. Avoid oversharing on social media Scammers may also try to use any personal information you have […]


Keep Reading...


SMSFs: beware of illegal early super release

Posted on July 13, 2018 by admin


The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees to beware of allowing members to access their super early. A self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee must meet a condition of release before any funds can legally be released. The ATO can issue severe penalties if you or a SMSF member access your super before you are legally entitled to do so. Some consequences of getting caught up in an illegal super scheme include the disqualification of trustees, imposition of administrative penalties, the fund being made non-complying and prosecution. The Tax Office encourages those members who have been involved in an illegal super scheme to contact them immediately. The ATO will review your voluntary disclosure and take your circumstances into account when determining any penalties.


Keep Reading...


Penalty relief for taxpayers

Posted on by admin


From 1 July 2018, the Tax Office is advising Australians that if they find an error in their tax return or activity statement they will not incur a penalty but will advise of the error and how to get it right next time. Penalty relief will only apply to eligible taxpayers or entities (i.e., turnover of less than $10 million) every three years. These may include: – Small businesses – Co-operatives – Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) – Not-for-profit organisations Eligible individuals will only be given penalty relief on their tax return or activity statement if they make an inadvertent error because they either: – took a position on income tax that is not reasonably arguable, or – failed to take reasonable care The ATO will not provide penalty relief when individuals have (in the past three years): Received penalty relief – Avoided tax payment or committed fraud – Accrued taxation debts with no intention of being able to pay (i.e., phoenix activity) – Previously penalised for reckless or intentional disregard of the law – Participated in the management or control of another entity which has evaded tax. Individuals can not apply for penalty relief. The ATO is reminding individuals that […]


Keep Reading...


Business
advice

taxation
planning

compliance
services

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.