ATO’s continued focus on illegal early release of super

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As a new calendar year commences, the ATO’s priorities in the self managed super fund (SMSF) sector remain consistent. As in previous years, the greatest area of concern for the ATO continues to be taxpayers illegally accessing their super before meeting a condition of release. While it notes that the vast majority of SMSFs follow […]

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Employees versus contractors: new rules

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Following two prominent High Court decisions which dealt with the distinction between employees and independent contractors, the ATO has sought to provide guidance to businesses in the form of a taxation ruling. The most significant departure from its previous position is that the ATO now considers that various indicators of employment identified in case law, […]

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ATO areas of focus on businesses for the coming year

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As we move into 2024, the ATO has highlighted three areas of focus for businesses: taking steps to address cyber security and increased protection of personal data, addressing the growth in the collectable debt book – particularly for small businesses – and improving overall tax performance. With increased cyber-crimes, scams and hacks occurring in Australia […]

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Proposed changes to Stage 3 tax cuts announced

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With the government finally caving into pressure to change the stage 3 income tax cuts despite its previous promises to keep the already legislated measures, new proposed tax rates have been flagged to come into place from 1 July 2024, largely – in comparison to the legislated measures – benefiting those earning less than $45,000. […]

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JobKeeper assessment: Treasury report released

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Treasury has released the Independent Evaluation of the JobKeeper Payment Final Report. The report considers both the impact and processes of JobKeeper. The evaluation assesses the effectiveness of JobKeeper in achieving its objectives, and records lessons learned from the design and implementation of JobKeeper, with a view to informing future policy responses. JobKeeper was a […]

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ATO pauses “debts on hold” awareness campaign

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In response to community feedback and perhaps to negative commentary in the media, the ATO has announced it is pausing its “awareness campaign around tax debts on hold”. It notes that the purpose of the letters it sent was to ensure that taxpayers had full visibility of their existing tax debts. Nonetheless, it will undertake […]

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ATO shifting to firmer debt collection activity

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The ATO has flagged a return to firmer debt collection actions after seeing a trend of profitable businesses that have the capacity to pay their tax debts but are actively choosing not to do so. It warns business taxpayers not to treat tax liabilities like a free loan, and reiterates that businesses are only temporary […]

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Sharing economy reporting regime for platform operators

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Individuals participating in the sharing economy should be aware that transactions for supplying taxi travel/ride sourcing and short-term accommodation are now required to be reported under the sharing economy reporting regime (SERR). Generally, all operators of electronic distribution platforms (EDPs) must report transactions made through their platform. While the reporting requirements ostensibly apply to the […]

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Upcoming changes for pension and income support recipients

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As a part of the government’s strategy to get more people back into work to solve skills shortages being experienced by many industries, a permanent enhancement to the pensioner work bonus has been announced, along with a doubling of the employment income nil rate period to reduce barriers for income support recipients to take up […]

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SMSF compliance activity escalation

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The ATO has ramped up compliance activity in the self managed super fund (SMSF) space in response to an increasing number of funds that have been identified as not complying with superannuation obligations. For the 2023 year, the ATO says it has issued double the amount of tax and penalties when compared with the 2022 […]

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Small business litigation funding: improvements recommended

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A recent Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) report has recommended improvements to the small business litigation funding program, aimed at delivering better access to justice and fairness for small businesses. The original intention of the funding program was to mitigate the disadvantage that small business taxpayers face against the ATO, which is a […]

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