In a bid to improve the experience of taxpayers when dealing with the ATO in relation to deceased estates, the Inspector General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) has recently completed a report which identified opportunities to improve tax administration and cut unnecessary tax compliance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some of the toughest challenges to businesses and the economy in recent memory. No surprises then that the superannuation industry has also been heavily impacted both in terms of early withdrawal of super and in investment opportunities. In the context of an uncertain future, ASIC has released information about what it expects from super funds including SMSFs, in order to provide a semblance of certainty to trustees.
If you’re a retail or hospitality worker, 2020 has perhaps not been the best year. However, as with everything, there is a silver lining, with tax time just around the corner, you may be able to get a larger refund than usual. This is due to either being on reduced incomes or having the ability to claim a wider range of deductions, such as deductions for protective equipment (eg gloves, face masks, sanitiser or anti-bacterial spray), or for some, a combination of both.
If you’re a small business with an annual turnover of less than $10m and have 19 or less employees, you can take advantage of the free small business super clearing house (SBSCH) to take the complexity out of making super guarantee (SG) contributions for your employees. Using this facility, your business can pay SG contributions as a single electronic payment. Payments can be made via BPAY, EFT/direct credit, or credit card (through EasyPay). Note however, if you’re using a credit card account to make super payments, your financial institution may charge a fee.
We’ve always been told that consolidating our super is one of the easiest ways to grow our retirement funds. By reducing the amount of insurance, account-keeping, and investment fees paid in separate accounts, more money is available for super investments. However, recent findings by ASIC seem to suggest that if not done correctly, consolidating super may actually be detrimental to your retirement savings.
The ATO has recently released a guideline which provides a transitional compliance approach for complying super funds including SMSFs concerning the application of provisions in relation to certain non-arm’s length expenditure (or where expenditure is not incurred) in gaining or producing ordinary or statutory income
The ATO has released its practical administrative approach to businesses claiming the JobKeeper payment. Generally, it notes that it would only apply compliance resources to what would amount to a “scheme” in terms of the entity and its external operating environment. For example, if an entity’s business has not been significantly affected by external environmental factors beyond its control and/or the payments are in excess of those that would maintain pre-existing employment relationships.
The long-awaited final ruling in relation to FBT car parking fringe benefits has been delayed until at least mid-2020. With this date being so close to the original proposed implementation date in the draft ruling (Draft TR 2019/D5), the ATO has decided that any changes in the view will only apply from 1 April 2021. This will give employers sufficient time to implement what could be significant changes.
SMSFs entering into arrangements which involve the purchase and development of real property for subsequent disposal or leasing should beware, the ATO is keeping a close eye on these types of agreements, irrespective of whether they are with related or unrelated parties.
As a part of the government’s coronavirus economic response package, a provision was inserted into the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary relief (safe harbour) for directors of financially distressed business from potential personal liability for insolvent trading. This was designed to counter the pressure on boards and directors to make quick decisions to enter into an insolvency process to mitigate the risks of insolvent trading during this economic downturn.
In this latest round of Coronavirus stimulus, the government has bought out the big guns in an effort to help people keep their jobs amidst the economic downturn. The “JobKeeper Payment” is a part of a $130bn wage subsidy scheme that is designed to provide a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per employee.