As this year’s tax time comes to a close, the ATO has warned that it will scrutinise every individual tax return lodged to seek out incorrect claims. In particular, it will be on the lookout for under reported income as indicated by third party data, and deductions that appear high compared to people with a similar job and income level.
As the ongoing effects of the drought sweeps across the nation, the financial effects are no doubt weighing heavily on the minds of farmers and other primary producers. While the government cannot make it rain, it is doing its bit to ease the financial strain by giving those affected by drought more time to pay their taxes, waiving penalties and interest charges, adjusting PAYG instalments, and promoting tax incentives.
Have you considered the powerful tax and superannuation planning opportunities that the small business CGT concessions can offer your business? They allow you to reduce – or sometimes, completely eliminate – the capital gain from the sale of a business asset, whether it’s held directly by your business entity or in another related structure.
Do you have any amounts of offshore income you haven’t declared to the ATO – perhaps interest from a foreign bank account? International data-sharing arrangements are making your overseas financial affairs increasingly transparent, so don’t get caught out.
If your business has outstanding tax debts, watch out for a proposed new tool in the ATO’s debt recovery arsenal. New laws before Parliament will allow the ATO to report some debts to credit reporting bureaus, who will then be permitted to use this tax debt information in preparing credit worthiness reports.
Until recently, a company that had experienced a significant change in ownership or control could only carry forward its earlier tax losses to a later income year if the company carried on the “same” business after the change. However, a new alternative test that applies retrospectively from 1 July 2015 means that now companies only need to carry on a “similar” business.
You may have heard about the “instant asset write-off”, but do you understand exactly how it can benefit your business? Read our case study for insight into how the write-off works, and what you need to do by 30 June 2020 to take advantage of this limited-time incentive.
Are you an employee who sometimes works from home? You may be able to claim deductions for some of the expenses you incur, provided you are not reimbursed by your employer. Running expenses, such as heating and lighting costs are only deductible if you exclusively use these services while working at home.