Thinking about setting up an SMSF?

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SMSFs can be a great option for building retirement savings, but they may not be suitable for everyone. Before you jump in, make sure you understand the differences between SMSFs and other types of funds to help you make an informed decision. Here are a few issues to consider. Management While public offer funds are […]

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Claiming work trips for business owners

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As a business owner, do you sometimes take work trips? When a trip is clearly for business purposes only, the rules for deducting your expenses are fairly straightforward. But what happens when you’ve planned a holiday or to catch up with family or friends while you’re travelling? Airfares Assume you travel to London for a […]

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ATO sets its sights on undisclosed foreign income

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Do you have any amounts of offshore income you haven’t declared to the ATO – perhaps interest from a foreign bank account? Even if it seems like a small amount, you must declare it. International data-sharing arrangements are making your overseas financial affairs increasingly transparent, so don’t get caught out. The ATO is keen to […]

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Small business income tax gap: ATO update

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New figures released by the ATO estimate that almost 90% of income tax from small businesses is paid voluntarily or with little intervention from the ATO. “This shows that the vast majority of small businesses in the tax system are trying to do the right thing”, Deputy Commissioner Deborah Jenkins said. “Considering how much small […]

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Compassionate release of super only available in limited cases

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The ATO has recently seen a significant increase in queries about compassionate release of super (CRS). In most cases, the people concerned were ineligible because they were looking to use their super to pay for general expenses. CRS is an option only for very specific unpaid expenses such as medical treatment and transport costs, palliative […]

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Personal services income rules: unrelated clients test

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The Federal Court has set aside an Administrative Appeal Tribunal decision that income a business analyst derived through a company was subject to the personal services income (PSI) rules. According to the Court, simply because an individual or personal services entity is able to provide services through an intermediary, such as a recruitment or similar […]

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ATO superannuation focus areas

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Lost super As at July 2019, the ATO held 5.39 million super accounts worth $3.98 billion. It will aim to reunite $473 million with 485,000 fund members using the new Protecting Your Super measures. Tip: You can find out about your lost or unclaimed super through ATO Online via myGov. Pension cap indexation The pension transfer […]

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Disclosing business tax debt information: ATO consultation

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In its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook in 2016–2017, the government announced it would change the law to let the ATO report business tax debt information to credit reporting bureaus (CRBs) where a business consistently avoids engaging with the ATO to manage a tax debt. Tip: The ATO can’t currently pass on this sort of […]

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ATO contacting small employers about Single Touch Payroll

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From 1 July 2018, employers with more than 20 employees have been required to provide real-time reports to the ATO of salary and wage payments, super guarantee contributions, ordinary time earnings of employees and PAYG withholding amounts. From 1 July 2019, this Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting system has extended to all employers. The ATO […]

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Tax time updates

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ATO has refunded $10 billion so far The ATO says that $10 billion has been refunded to Australian taxpayers so far this tax time, an increase of over $2 billion from the same time last year, with most returns processed in under two weeks. The ATO aims to process returns as soon as possible, and […]

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Warning to watch out for myGov and ATO tax scams

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The government’s Stay Smart Online website warns there has been a surge in scammers impersonating myGov and the ATO to trick people into giving them money or personal details. These scams can take the form of emails, text messages and fake myGov login pages. In June 2019, the ATO received 6,444 reports of tax-time scams […]

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Reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance amounts for 2019-20

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Taxation Determination TD 2019/11, issued on 3 July 2019, sets out the amounts the Commissioner treats as reasonable for the 2019-20 income year in relation to employee claims for overtime meal expenses; domestic travel expenses; and overseas travel expenses. For employee truck drivers who receive a travel allowance and are required to sleep (take their […]

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Super downsizer contributions reach $1 billion: Minister

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The Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, has announced that older Australians downsizing from their family homes have contributed $1 billion to their superannuation funds. The downsizer measure, which commenced on 1 July 2018, allows older Australians choosing to sell their home and downsize or move from homes that no longer meet their needs, to contribute the […]

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