CLIENT ALERT: Tax News | Views | Clues – October 2021 Edition

We are pleased to supply you with the latest edition of Client Alert, which contains information on a number of important taxation developments up to and including 17 September 2021

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COVID-19 disaster payments to be tax-free: Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared that COVID-19 disaster payments will now be tax-free, a policy change that will have ramifications for accountants and their clients, say tax experts.

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NSW expands JobSaver as lockdown is extended

The state will expand the JobSaver turnover threshold and increase maximum payments as Greater Sydney braces for another four weeks of lockdown.

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‘A direct attack on the profession’: Labor called to ditch $3k deduction cap on tax agent fees

‘A direct attack on the profession’: Labor called to ditch $3k deduction cap on tax agent fees

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‘Expect to be reviewed’: ATO sends warning to cash-flow boost rorters

The Tax Office says businesses that made significant changes to their wages in order to obtain a higher amount of the cash flow boost can expect their claims to be revisited and scrutinised in the wake of a recent tribunal decision.

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TPB sends warning to unregistered preparers as tax time 2021 begins

The Tax Practitioners Board has used a recent Federal Court case involving a myGov-lodging former tax agent as a warning to unregistered preparers this tax time. Former tax agent Nathan…

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ATO’s $34bn debt book outpaces economic growth: Inspector-General of Taxation

The ATO’s debt book jumped by 77.6 per cent to $34.1 billion in just four years, with a small number of taxpayers responsible for a large portion of the debt, a new report by the tax watchdog has revealed.

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170,000 taxpayers rush to lodge on 1 July

Over 170,000 taxpayers have made a dash to lodge their tax returns on 1 July as the ATO warns of common mistakes that could see refunds adjusted.

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‘Nowhere to hide’: New gig economy reporting regime set to debut

Share economy participants will no longer be able to evade their tax obligations as the government looks to legislate a new compulsory reporting regime.

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CLIENT ALERT – Tax News | Views | Clues – July 2021

We are pleased to supply you with the latest edition of Client Alert, which contains information on a number of important taxation developments up to and including 18 June 2021.

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ATO extends STP finalisation due date

Employers have been given additional time to complete their Single Touch Payroll finalisation declaration this year as the ATO recognises the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

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ATO doubles down on wealthy and private groups

Just 10 per cent of Australia’s largest 500 privately owned groups are guaranteed to be paying the correct amount of tax, says the ATO, as questions hang over the ATO’s engagement approach.

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Accountants cautioned on ‘one size fits all’ approach to trust distribution

Two weeks out from the end of the financial year, accountants should be cautious in their approach to trust distribution minutes, says one tax expert.

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Bumper tax refund year sparks early lodgement warning

Taxpayers could be in line for a windfall tax refund this year, but rushing to file their tax returns from 1 July would be akin to playing with fire, warn accountants.

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ATO apologises for Online services downtime

The ATO is currently investigating ongoing issues with Online services for agents after some practitioners were locked out following a scheduled quarterly update over the weekend.

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Crypto crackdown underway as ATO locks in data-matching program

Over 600,000 Australians who have invested in cryptocurrency will now be unable to hide from their tax obligations as the ATO extends its data-matching program to 2023.

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‘Jig is up on the gig economy’: ATO eyes side hustles this tax time

The ATO is cracking down on the cash and gig economies, and taxpayers must ensure that they are declaring all of their odd jobs and freelance work on their tax return, says one industry body.

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Minimum wage set to rise by 2.5%

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 2.5 per cent increase to the minimum wage, set to take effect in a phased approach through to 1 November.

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CLIENT ALERT Tax News | Views | Clues – June 2021

Are you ready for Tax Time 2021? Don’t jump the gun and lodge too early Tax time 2021 is almost here, but it’s likely to be anything but routine. Many people on…

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Work-related expenses fall by $1bn following ATO scrutiny

The ATO’s crackdown on work-related expenses appears to have paid off, with Australians claiming nearly $1 billion less in 2018–19. The new figures come from the ATO’s latest taxation statistics,…

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Federal and state support packages criticised for leaving sole traders behind

The $250 million Victorian business support package and federal COVID disaster payment announced last week have each attracted mounting criticism over eligibility criteria that exclude a large cohort of small…

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Australians lose record $851m to scammers in 2020

Over $851 million was lost to scams last year — the biggest losses ever recorded in a single year — as scammers capitalised on the pandemic to defraud Australians. Investment scams accounted…

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PM announces COVID disaster payment

The temporary payment will be made on a week-by-week basis to those suffering lost income in Commonwealth-declared hotspots. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced a new temporary COVID disaster…

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Treasury forecasts wage cuts following superannuation increase

Future increases to the superannuation guarantee are forecast to come at the expense of wages growth, says the Treasury secretary. Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy told Senate estimates on Tuesday morning…

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Want to claim a tax deduction on super payments?

7 May 2021 Do you use the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH)? If you intend to claim a tax deduction for super payments you make for employees in the…

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JobKeeper’s expiry has cost 56,000 jobs to date: Treasury

New Single Touch payroll data reveals 56,000 workers formerly on JobKeeper have lost their jobs, up from 40,000 over the last two weeks. Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy told Senate estimates…

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Victoria announces $250m targeted business support package

While Victoria’s $250 million business support package will offer welcomed reprieve to some businesses facing extreme uncertainty after the state entered its fourth lockdown last week, others think the package…

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Greens move to force profitable firms into JobKeeper repayment

The Greens have tabled federal budget appropriations bill amendments that would see companies with an annual turnover of more than $50 million that received JobKeeper and booked a profit over…

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Victorian lockdown reignites calls for sustained support post-JobKeeper

The announcement of Victoria’s fourth lockdown has reignited calls for new, targeted support in the wake of JobKeeper’s end — and a more efficient, rigorous vaccine rollout — from across…

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Victoria targets property investors with tax measures worth $2.7bn

In a pre-budget announcement on Saturday, the Andrews government said it will move to hike land tax and stamp duty in Victoria. They would also introduce a new windfall gains tax, along with the resumption of the annual indexation of fee and penalty units.

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From a soft hug to a tight squeeze: ATO tightens its grip on private and wealthy groups

Businesses that fall into the Top 500, Next 5,000, and medium and emerging private groups programs should be on guard, prepare early and expect engagement with the Tax Office that…

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Facebook browsing leads to taxpayer’s work-related deduction downfall

Close scrutiny of a Tasmanian man’s internet browsing history has led to him being denied his work-related expense claims, as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal stresses the need for contemporaneous records ahead of tax time.

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ATO debt recovery action can now be paused by the AAT: Josh Frydenberg

Small businesses will now be able to pause ATO debt recovery action through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as part of a new measure contained in the federal budget.

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ATO signals crackdown on 4 ineligible work-from-home claims

As tax time looms, the ATO has pointed to four key ineligible work-from-home claims it will be watching closely as taxpayers look to make the most of flexible working arrangements

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ATO on is the hunt for 60,000 TPAR businesses

More than one in five businesses required to lodge a taxable payments annual report for the last financial year have yet to do so. The ATO estimates that around 280,000…

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‘Much more complex’: ATO introduces new partnership profit guidelines

The Tax Office has released long-awaited partnership profit guidelines, three years after it first commenced a review of how professional firms engage in income splitting. The ATO has released draft…

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ATO tipped to pounce once JobKeeper ends

With JobKeeper ending in four weeks, small businesses have been urged to “act early” on exploring their insolvency options before the ATO moves on recouping debts. “While the ATO has…

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Government urged to get the ball rolling with Division 7A

It’s been close to five years since proposed changes to Division 7A were first announced, but the profession remains no closer to having certainty of what is to come. A…

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Accountants foreshadow ATO compliance storm

Accountants are bracing for a full recommencement of ATO audit and debt activity as recent signs point towards a renewed approach to compliance-related work. Last year, the ATO made a…

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ATO secures first criminal conviction for JobKeeper fraud

A Victorian man has been handed Australia’s first criminal conviction for JobKeeper fraud after attempting to access $6,000 in wage subsidies. Fronting the Heidelberg Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Raed Saleh…

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ATO sounds alert over new ‘alarming’ TFN scam

The Tax Office has issued a warning over a new tax file number scam that has seen nearly $120,000 being lost to fraudsters. The new scam involves a robo-call impersonating…

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Overclaimed work-related expenses see agent disqualified

A recent tribunal case that saw a tax agent’s registration terminated over eight incompetently prepared income tax returns raises the bar for accountants, says one tax lawyer. arlier this month,…

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ATO reveals STP reporting options for closely held payees

Employers with closely held payees will now have three options to report payments through Single Touch Payroll, following guidance from the ATO. The ATO has confirmed that STP reporting for…

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‘Businesses are being treated as an afterthought’: CPA Australia calls for lockdown support

Snap lockdowns will continue to wreak financial havoc for businesses all across Australia unless a national safety net is developed, says CPA Australia. The professional accounting body’s chief executive, Andrew…

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Surgeon denied release of $1.2m tax debt

A medical practitioner with tax debts of close to $1.2 million has been denied a release of his liabilities after being found to spend over $200,000 each year on rent…

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ATO to claw back $155m in JobKeeper overpayments

The ATO has set its eyes on recovering a further $155 million in JobKeeper payments that were paid out to business that made deliberate or reckless mistakes in determining their…

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The Federal Court hands out highest-ever $22.68m penalty to tax exploitation promoter

A former tax agent and chartered accountant has been hit with $22.68 million in penalties after being found to have systematically abused the research and development tax incentive. The penalties…

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ATO walks back on digital instalment notices change

The Tax Office has agreed to temporarily revert to issuing paper instalment notices for PAYG following feedback from the profession. The move comes after the ATO had stopped issuing paper instalment…

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CLIENT ALERT Tax News | Views | Clues – February 2021

ATO warning: watch out for tax avoidance schemes Tax planning or tax avoidance – do you know the difference? Tax planning is a legitimate and legal way of arranging your…

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Extend and expand loss carry-back tax offset, says CA ANZ

A permanent tax loss carry-back scheme extended to unincorporated businesses should be high on the government’s budget priorities, says Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. CA ANZ has urged the…

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Government issues alert as tax-scam calls spike

At least 200 scam calls impersonating the Tax Office were made this week, as scammers continue to demand money by threatening arrest. The government’s Scamwatch put out the alert on…

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CA ANZ takes aim at proposed tax deduction

A new tax deduction to help individuals upskill or retrain is neither effective nor affordable, says Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. The professional body’s stance comes as the government…

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