Taxation

Property and Taxes - interest deduction is not always obvious

Interest paid is usually the largest tax deduction against rental property income, and in a lot of cases creates an overall loss, which may lead to an overall reduction in income tax payable. Taking out a loan to buy an investment property and claiming the interest charged as a tax deduction seems to be a simple proposition, however, as with anything in relation to tax, there are some complications. It is crucial to be aware of a few rules, especially when the expectation of tax deduction creating tax savings is one of the main deciding factors in purchasing an investment property.  

Fringe Benefits Tax changes - what to look out for

When it comes to Fringe Benefit Tax, not a lot has changed in recent years. However, from 1 April 2021, a few additional concessions and exemptions have been afforded to taxpayers.

New SME Recovery Loan Scheme

On 11 March 2021, the Government announced a new SME Recovery Loan Scheme which will assist eligible businesses to access finance to maintain and grow their businesses when JobKeeper concludes at the end of March 2021.The Scheme builds on the framework established in the two phases of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, and is specifically targeted at SMEs currently receiving JobKeeper (i.e. the scheme is only open to certain recipients of the JobKeeper payment between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021).

Motor vehicles and logbook requirements

In most cases, having a valid car logbook is beneficial for both: claiming a personal tax return deduction for work related travel cost using your own car and calculating the taxable value of a car fringe benefit, when the car is provided by an employer. Record keeping requirements in this area are strict, therefore, we believe it is a good opportunity for us to detail or remind you of your record keeping requirements under this method.

Tips for the FBT year end - car fringe benefits

With the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year ending on 31 March 2021, here are a few issues in relation to car fringe benefits to look out for during the 2020-21 FBT year.

Investing safely in Cryptocurrencies

Over the last six months we’ve seen an increasing popularity in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This is due to varying factors such as the maturing of regulatory environments, companies moving their treasuries into Bitcoin and investment groups such as BlackRock looking towards the sector for investment. It is also often cited that the rise in popularity of these deflationary digital currencies is at least in part due to the unprecedented amount of quantitative easing occuring around the world. 

Allocation of professional firm profits - the compliance approach

Following several years of deliberation, the ATO has finally released draft Practical Compliance Guideline - PCG 2021/D2 that sets out the ATO's proposed compliance approach to the allocation of profits by professional firms. The guideline explains how the ATO intends to apply compliance resources when considering the allocation of professional firm profits or income in the assessable income of the individual professional practitioner (‘IPP’). It also assists the IPP to self-assess against the risk assessment factors set out.

Property and Taxes - inheritance nuances

They say trust is hard earned but easily lost. The same can be said for a person’s wealth. Death and taxes (the only two certainties in life) are topics not often discussed within family groups around the dinner table. However, I strongly advocate that family members have discussions regarding wills and wishes while they can, to avoid unintended tax implications eroding the asset pool upon succession due to a lack of communication or well considered advice.

Payment Times Reporting - what you need to know

The new Payment Times Reporting Scheme (PTRS) applies from 1 January 2021 and requires certain entities (including but not limited to) companies to publicly report on their payment terms and practices for their small business suppliers. This is achieved primarily through the imposition of a bi-annual reporting requirement whereby effected entities must provide details of their payment terms for small business. This information is then published on a public register which can then be accessed by any interested party.

Director Identification Number requirements explained

2020 saw the Government enact the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 (Cth). The legislation sets out the legal framework for the new director identification number (DIN) regime. Learn more about DIN as Noé Vicca outlines the requirements and action required.

What is a Discretionary Trust?

Many of Moore Australia’s clients have discretionary trusts. For some clients, understandably discretionary trusts can be hard to get their head around given they are largely driven by historical trust law and from a tax perspective, some complicated tax law.  

Property and Taxes - unpleasant surprises

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) state that "the most common capital gains tax (CGT) event happens when you sell or give away a CGT asset such as real estate, including your family home, holiday home, investment property, hobby farm or vacant block of land". Nearly all investors are aware of CGT in relation to investment properties, but the situation is different in relation to other properties, especially family homes.

Manufacturing Modernisation Fund Round Two

The program guidelines and key funding details have been released for Round Two of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, which aims to help Australian manufacturers scale-up, compete internationally and create jobs.

2020-21 Victorian State Budget

On 24 November 2020, the Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas handed down the 2020-21 Victoria State Budget. The aim of the Budget is clear: to protect and create jobs, look after families, build strong and connected communities and build towards a strong economic recovery.

2021 Queensland State Budget at a glance

Queensland Treasurer, Cameron Dick, delivered the state's 2020-21 budget yesterday, on the same day the borders opened to New South Wales and Victorian travellers.  Similar to budgets released by other states, the focus is on creating jobs, while also focussing on “rebounding from COVID-19 impacts” and celebrating the success of Queensland in response to the pandemic.  

Homebuilder program extended

On 29 November 2020, the Federal Government announced that the HomeBuilder program will be extended to 31 March 2021. The HomeBuilder program provides eligible owner-occupiers a grant to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.

The JobMaker Scheme

The Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020 received Royal Assent on 13 November 2020. Final Rules governing JobMaker will be released after public consultation, therefore the information provided in this document is based on the draft rules.  

2020-21 New South Wales State Budget

The New South Wales Government delivered their 2020-21 budget this week with a focus on creating jobs and securing the future amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Territory Budget 2020-2021

Chief Minister and Treasurer Michael Gunner delivered the NT Budget yesterday, stating that his 2020 budget covers 3 objectives – controlling the virus, protecting jobs and kick-starting the economy. In his speech, the Treasurer said “While the Australian economy is forecast to shrink by a further one-and-a-half per cent in this financial year, as the worst effects of the crisis are felt, in the Territory we are expected to hold about steady, contracting by just 0.1 per cent.”

South Australian State Budget 2020-2021

Treasurer Rob Lucas delivered his third State budget for the Marshall Liberal Government yesterday, with the main focus on economic recovery by creating jobs and inspiring confidence in business and households. 

Loss carry back rules for companies

The loss carry back rules for companies which were announced in the 2020-21 Federal Budget are now law. The Treasury Laws Amendment (A Tax Plan for the COVID-19 Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (the Bill) received Royal Assent on 14 October 2020.

Temporary Full Expensing Provisions

The temporary full expensing (TFE) of depreciating assets measure announced in the 2020-21 Federal Budget is now law. The Treasury Laws Amendment (A Tax Plan for the COVID-19 Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (the Bill) received Royal Assent on 14 October 2020. The TFE provisions allow eligible businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $5 billion to claim a tax deduction for the full cost of an eligible depreciating asset purchased between 6 October 2020 and 30 June 2022 (the relevant period).

Manufacturing Modernisation Fund

The Federal Government recently announced $52.8 million in funding for Round Two of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.

Agribusiness and the Research & Development Tax Incentive

The ATO’s Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive encourages companies to engage in R&D and provides tax offsets.  Companies can see real tax savings and increase cash flow when undertaking eligible R&D activities. 

Updated PAYG Withholding Tax Tables

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have updated the PAYG withholding tax tables to reflect the income tax cuts announced in the Budget last week.

2020-21 Western Australia State Budget: At a glance

The Western Australian State Budget for 2020-21 has been released. Find out what this year's budget means for you.

2020-21 Federal Budget Report

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down the 2020-21 Federal Budget on 6 October 2020, a deficit of $213.7b for the year, taking net debt to $703b or 36% of GDP. The Government laid out their recovery plan focused on creating jobs, rebuilding the economy, and securing Australia’s future. The key taxation, superannuation and social security measures are summarised within the following report.

2020-21 Federal Budget snapshot

Need to know the key takeaways from tonight's Budget? We've put together a snapshot of all the major budget announcements.

Should the Stamp Duty rules be reformed?

Stamp duty (or transfer duty) is a financial burden that may deter individuals and families from entering the property market and acts as a barrier to investment opportunities. It raises the issue of whether stamp duty is still appropriate in the modern economic landscape and calls for replacing stamp duty with a broad-based land tax are getting louder. This issue was considered by NSW Treasury in a recent report NSW Review of Federal Financial Relations -Supporting the road to recovery (the NSW Report).

Implications of COVID-19 on Transfer Pricing Policies

The continued economic impact of COVD-19 in Australia, Asia Pacific and the wider world has naturally forced or accelerated the process of businesses to review their existing operations and commercial arrangements. Companies have taken stock on the impact of COVID-19 on their financials, business models and supply chains.  

Should a review of GST be on the table?

Last week we asked about the future of GST in Australia and as we expected, more than 65% of the respondents felt that change is required. As we come out of COVID-19, revenue collection will be high on the Government’s agenda, primarily to fund the cost of stimulus funding. On numerous occasions, our leaders have stated that they are against increasing taxes and want to encourage consumer spending in Australia. There are media reports of personal tax rate cuts being brought forward to reinvigorate the economy. ​Our GST system is complex and needs improvement. There have been some minor adjustments, such as making certain foreign suppliers of goods and services in Australia being liable for GST, but there is scope to make some targeted changes to improve the efficiency of the GST system. Read more about our thoughts and the options available.

Is it time to 'fix' corporate tax rates once and for all?

Last week we asked what the future of the corporate tax system of Australia should look like. More than 64% of respondents felt that Australia should have a single corporate tax rate set at 25%.  The upcoming Federal budget is going to be important for business. Hopefully the Government will carefully consider some issues which in our view require immediate reform. Read more about our thoughts on the complex dual corporate tax system is complex, and why we should be moving towards a single lower corporate tax rate.

COVID-19 and Fringe Benefits Tax

As a result of COVID-19 and changed working conditions, employers may be providing benefits to employees that are not usually provided in a ‘normal’ year. Fringe benefits tax (FBT) may be applicable if you provide benefits in addition to salary and wages. There are exemptions and concessions available that can reduce (or eliminate) the amount of FBT you pay that are outlined in this article.

Issues company directors should be aware of during COVID-19 and beyond

The last few months have had far reaching implications for many businesses across Australia. Whilst some businesses are starting to show signs of recovery, there are a few ‘ticking’ timebombs you need to be aware of as a company director. Directors may be personally liable for certain actions by the company including situations of insolvent trading and failure to meet employee (PAYG and superannuation guarantee), or GST obligations (in certain scenarios). The Government has provided some relief for directors in relation to insolvent trading due to the impact of COVID-19, but it is important to look out for issues not necessarily covered by the relief.

Live streaming and the tax consequences

Live streaming is an increasingly popular activity and these days there are big bucks involved. But what are the tax consequences?   A person who is broadcasting their online activity in real time is ‘live streaming’. This form of entertainment has developed into a massive industry for video gamers and other creatives, with recent COVID-19 ‘stay at home’ restrictions leading to a surge in viewership and the number of people streaming online.  

JobKeeper 1.0: Changes you need to be aware of

The Federal Government recently announced the expansion for the eligibility of the current JobKeeper Scheme.   As part of the changes announced, the Federal Government introduced changes for employees eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme from 3 August 2020. On Friday 14 August, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 7) 2020 (the Rules) were registered which commence from 15 August 2020. 

Revenue vs Capital: two sides of the coin

The ongoing debate of capital vs revenue was recently raised in a Full Federal Court case - Greig v FCT [2020] FCAFC 25. The case highlights the continuing difficulty in the capital vs revenue distinction. This area of law falls within a grey zone where the outcome turns on the facts of each situation.

Taxable payments annual reporting obligations

Businesses who make payments to contractors in relation to certain services may be required to prepare and lodge the Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) which is due for lodgment by 28 August 2020.  

Tax planning into the 2021 financial year

The end of the 2020 financial year is here and for many of us, it may be a year best forgotten.  How do you make sure you and your business start 2021 in the best possible way?  Planning!

Protecting capital losses – common issues with related party loans

The last few months have been tumultuous for Australia and within the tax world, we have seen a raft of new legislation being introduced to save the Australian economy. However, in trying to stay agile and keeping up to date with the changes, we may lose sight of the usual hidden issues contained within our complex tax system. One of these is the personal use assets provision and its impact on the capital gains tax (CGT) treatment of loans advanced by individuals (or any other entity) to prop up struggling businesses.

Extension of the Instant Asset Write Off and how it applies to motor vehicles

The Government has announced that it will extend the instant asset write off (IAWO) to 31 December 2020 for asset purchases below $150,000. Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million are currently eligible for the write off and it is intended that this announcement will be legislated soon.

South Australian Land Tax changes are coming. Are you prepared?

Changes to the Land Tax Act 1936 (South Australia) come into effect on 30 June 2020. Amendments to the Act have been focused around changes to aggregation and additional tax on land held in trusts.

New South Wales land tax relief measures

The NSW government has introduced measures to help soften the blow for landowners who pay land tax in NSW. The relief is to support residential and commercial tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government’s Third Stimulus Package designed to save Australian jobs impacted as a result of COVID-19

On 30 March 2020, the Government announced a $130 billion wage subsidy to combat the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian economy. The Government has provided further support to Australian businesses and encouraged businesses to keep their workers employed by providing a “JobKeeper” payment to eligible employers for eligible employees.

Northern Territory Stimulus #2: $50 Million Small Business Survival Fund Explained

The Territory Government’s $50 million Small Business Survival Fund is specifically targeted at supporting industries such as retail, hospitality, tourism, and entertainment businesses, including beauty parlours and gyms, who are bearing the brunt of this national crisis. 

South Australian Stimulus #2 - $650 million in support funds.

The South Australian Government has announced they are adding $650 million to the first support package of $350 million announced a fortnight ago.

COVID-19 Economic Response Package receives Royal Assent

The Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Bill 2020 received Royal Assent on 24 March 2020 and is now law. The package included various changes which were announced in the two stimulus packages released recently by the Government.

Government’s 2nd Stimulus Package Announced

The government announced a second stimulus package worth $66 billion in an attempt to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian economy.

Northern Territory Stimulus #1 - Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package

The Northern Territory (NT) Government is delivering a $65 million Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package to help stimulate the economy and keep Territorians in jobs.This package is the second phase of the response to the significant economic impact of COVID-19, and is complementary to initiatives offered by the Australian Government to all jurisdictions.

Superannuation Amnesty – six months to get your employer obligations in order

The Bill introducing the superannuation guarantee (SG) amnesty received Royal Assent on 6 March 2020 and employers have until 6 September 2020 to correct any historic non-compliance with their SG obligations.

Government’s First Stimulus Package Announced

Earlier today the government announced a $17.6 billion stimulus package in an attempt to deal with the impact of coronavirus on the Australian economy. Please note the below measures are subject to the relevant legislation passing through parliament. At this stage, parliament is not scheduled to resume untll 23 March.

South Australia Stimulus #1 - The Economic and Business Growth Fund

South Australian premier, Steven Marshall, has announced a $350m package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Changes to Capital Gains Tax – Is your home still your castle?

The Australian dream has long been to own your very own castle. This has long been part of the Australian psyche and is reflected in the tax exemption for the “family home” in tax law.Capital Gains Tax (CGT), broadly does not apply to a property you call “home”.

Property deduction changes - All you need to know

In the 2019 Budget changes to property deductions were announced. In typical budget fashion, the announcement was light on detail and couched around the phrase “integrity improvement”. The changes are focussed on holding costs for vacant land.

What does Australia need to do to stay ahead?

As we look towards the future, it is broadly agreed that Australia cannot continue to rely on luck and location alone. The most recent economic survey by Credit Suisse placed Australian’s as the second wealthiest people on the planet, closely behind Denmark.

Understanding travel expenses for your Not-for-Profit organisation

Many NFP boards have set out to attract not only industry professionals but also legal, tax and media specialists to assist them in achieving their aims while minimising risk. While volunteer board members may not expect to be rewarded for their services, the absence of any remuneration can leave them unduly out of pocket.

I’ve worked really hard and things are taken care of…or are they?

You’ve worked really hard for a long time, made big sacrifices…family time, early mornings, late nights, taken risks and it has paid off. Time for you to enjoy the fruit of your labour that has been made possible by your sacrifices.   Unexpectedly something comes out of the woodwork and you find yourself in a legal battle. You didn’t expect this and suddenly everything you’ve worked so hard for could be gone. Have you done everything you can to protect your assets?

Upcoming Federal Election – Potential big changes ahead

Tax will be one of the big ticket items of this year’s Federal Election. With this in mind, many clients are questioning the potential impact of tax changes on their personal and business affairs.  

Tax Alert: Payroll Tax Changes South Australia.

Effective: 1 January 2019 (Assented to on 25 October 2018). From 1 January 2019, businesses with annual taxable wages of up to $1.5 million will not be liable for payroll tax, and those with taxable wages between $1.5 million and $1.7 million will benefit from a reduced payroll tax rate.  

Tax Alert: Expansion of the taxable payments reporting system

The ATO have expanded their taxable reporting system to include courier and cleaning industries (previously applied to property & construction industry only). This initiative forms part of the black economy taskforce  and we expect to see further industries impacted in the future.

Moore Stephens maximises client collaboration with Stream portal

Moore Stephens Victoria today launched Stream; its cloud-based client portal that maximises collaboration by providing shared access to real-time business data integrated seamlessly with bookkeeping, accounting and business advisory support services.

A better workplace

The Budget sees the Government place emphasis on generating ongoing employment opportunities for all Australians.

Claiming depreciation on investment property

Rental property investors have access to a range of tax strategies. One such strategy, which is often underutilised, is claiming depreciation as a tax deduction. Property expenses, such as depreciation and capital works expenditure, can be deducted over a number years, adding to a significant return for property investors come tax time.  

Shock for landlords as land tax skyrockets

Over the past month soaring property values have seen landlords hit by steep increases in landlord taxes. A number of landlords, property owners and lessors have been shocked when confronted with sharp increases in land tax bills this month. The State Revenue Office (SRO) argues that 2016 was a revaluation year, which means your site value will most likely increase in 2017.  

Transitional Provisions for SMSFs

The Government will apply transitional arrangements to SMSFs affected by the retrospective aspects of the Federal Budget’s proposal to limit non-concessional contributions. In the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the introduction of a lifetime cap of $500,000 on non-concessional superannuation contributions, including contributions since 2007, was announced. 

ATO Targeting SMSF Tax Avoidance

The Australian Tax Office has its sight set on an emerging tax avoidance tactic being taken up by a number of self-managed superannuation funds.  The ATO has warned individuals (at or approaching retirement age) not to use a strategy known as diverting personal services income (PSI) through their SMSF to minimise or avoid their income tax obligations. 

Splitting super with your spouse

Since change is an inevitable part of Australia’s superannuation system, taxpayers should always be aware of and on the lookout for super strategies that they can take advantage of.

To have and withhold – obligations for buying foreign resident owned assets

From 1 July 2016, acquisitions of certain taxable Australian property from foreign residents will be subject to a 10 per cent withholding tax (WHT).  The objective of the new rules is to assist the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in collecting the capital gains tax liabilities of foreign residents who have Australian property holdings or interests.

End of Year Tax Planning Checklist 2016

End of Year Tax Planning Checklist 2016 This paper summarises various items that may need consideration, prior to 30th June 2016, for effective tax planning.   

New CGT rules when selling or buying a business

Recent changes were made to the CGT treatment on the sale and purchase of businesses involving ‘look-through earnout’ rights. On 25 February 2016, a new law was enacted to deal with the tax treatment of earnouts for vendors and purchasers.

Victorian State Budget Announcement

The Victorian State Government  delivered its 2016-17 Budget on Wednesday with proposed big spending on good hospitals, reliable roads and public transport and securing jobs in growing industries throughout the state.

The hero working for you

At Moore Stephens New South Wales, we value our staff’s ability to exemplify our firm’s values: accessibility, reliability, honesty and dedication.

$40,000 saved in Payroll Tax

Moore Stephens New South Wales was able to promptly prepare and lodge a payroll tax rebate registration application that resulted in a significant cash windfall for their client.

Working together - the reinvention of the ATO

Late last year, Moore Stephens Victoria  supported the AustralianTaxation Office (ATO) and then subsequently hosted a Key Agent meeting by our Directors with several senior ATO executives to enhance collaboration with our firm and ultimately to deliver a better client experience.

What’s next for the $20k write off

The small business $20,000 depreciating asset write-off was announced as part of the 2016 Federal Budget and was passed by the Senate in June 2015. Now that many small business owners are turning their minds to their 2015 Income Tax Returns what does this mean for you?