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Client Alert for November 2017

Compensation for ATO systems outages

After the ATO's unplanned systems outages, it provided lodgment deferrals, and remitted interest and penalties where the outages affected practitioners and their clients' lodgments.

The ATO has also advised that it assesses claims for compensation in two ways: Read more…

Client Alert for October 2017

Bill to increase Medicare levy

The Medicare Levy Amendment (National Disability Insurance Scheme Funding) Bill 2017 has been introduced to implement the Government's 2017–2018 Budget announcement to increase the Medicare levy by 0.5% to 2.5% from 1 July 2019 in order to help finance the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Nine other Bills have been introduced to increase the following rates that are linked to the top personal tax rate. Read more…

Client Alert for September 2017

Work-related expense claims under scrutiny

Will you claim work-related expenses on your tax return this year? The ATO now uses real-time data to compare people's tax returns with others in similar occupations and income brackets. This year it's focused on identifying higher-than-expected claims for expenses related to work vehicles, travel, internet and mobile phones, and self-education, and may even check people's work deduction claims with their employers. Read more…

Client Alert for August 2017

Tax cut for small business: ATO will amend returns

For the 2016–2017 income year, the company tax rate for small businesses decreases to 27.5%. Companies with turnover of less than $10 million are eligible for this rate. The maximum franking credit that can be allocated to a frankable distribution has also been reduced to 27.5% for these companies. Read more…

Client Alert for July 2017

Higher education HELP changes announced

The Government has announced a package of reforms to higher education – the Higher Education Reform Package – to take effect generally from 1 January 2018. Under the package the maximum student contribution will increase from 1 January 2018, but there will be no up-front fees and no deregulation of fees. Read more…

Client Alert for June 2017

Tax assistance for people affected by Cyclone Debbie

The ATO has said it will fast-track refunds for people affected by extreme weather and flooding associated with Tropical Cyclone Debbie and ex-Cyclone Debbie in Queensland and New South Wales, and will allow extra time for those taxpayers and their agents to lodge income tax returns and activity statements. Read more…

Client Alert for April 2017

Ride-sharing drivers must register for GST

In a recent decision, the Federal Court has held that the UberX service supplied by Uber's drivers constitutes the supply of "taxi travel" for the purposes of GST. The ATO has now advised that people who work as drivers providing ride-sharing (or ride-sourcing) services must: Read more…

Client Alert for March 2017

Re-characterisation of income from trading businesses

The ATO has released Taxpayer Alert TA 2017/1 to say it is reviewing arrangements that try to fragment integrated trading businesses to re-characterise trading income as more favourably taxed passive income. Read more…

Client Alert for February 2017

ATO priority on settling cases – but not at any cost

The ATO has advised that it places a high priority on resolving tax disputes early, including through reaching settlements where appropriate, but that it will not settle disputes at any cost. It says "the sensible use of settlements" is part of its commitment to earlier and more effective dispute resolution. Read more…

Client Alert for December 2016 - January 2017

Contrived trust arrangements in ATO sights

The ATO has cautioned taxpayers against arrangements that seek to minimise tax by creating artificial differences between the taxable net income and distributable income of closely held trusts. Read more…