ATO penalties will resume

Taxpayers falling behind on tax debts and lodgement obligations can soon expect contact from the ATO as it confirms the resumption of its compliance activities in the wake of JobKeeper ending.

With the JobKeeper program officially over, the Tax Office has now confirmed that it will resume pursuing and enforcing debt recovery action.

The change in approach comes after the ATO began sending letters to taxpayers in February to warn them of potential sterner action if they failed to make good on their obligations and had refused to get in touch with the Tax Office.

Source – https://www.accountantsdaily.com.au/tax-compliance/15526-penalties-will-resume-ato-flips-the-switch-on-debt-recovery

Changes to Company Tax Rates

Changes to Company Tax Rates

There are changes to company tax rates. While the full company tax rate is 30%, your company may be eligible for a lower company rate.

If you are a ‘base rate entity’, your company tax rate is:

  • 27.5% from the 2017–18 to 2019–20 income years
  • 26% for the 2020–21 income year
  • 25% from the 2021–22 income year onwards.

For your company to be a ‘base rate entity’, it needs to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • aggregated turnover of less than $25 million for the 2017–18 income year or $50 million from the 2018–19 income year onwards, and
  • if your company earns passive income, it cannot exceed 80% of the company’s assessable income, which can include:
    • corporate distributions and franking credits on these distributions
    • royalties and rent
    • interest income
    • gains on qualifying securities
    • a net capital gain.     

Source – https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/General/The-lower-company-tax-rate-is-changing-soon/

Are You Using Your Company Money And Assets?

Are You Using Your Company Money And Assets?

Your company is a separate legal entity from you as a director or shareholder. The money your business earns and its assets belong to the company.

This means it’s important to keep appropriate records and correctly report transactions if you use company money or assets. This includes if you:

  • take money out of your company for yourself or your family
  • receive money from it (for example, as a director, shareholder or an associate)
  • use your company’s assets for private purposes.

For example, you may do it through:

  • salary, wages or director’s fees
  • repayments of a loan you have previously made to the company
  • a fringe benefit, such an employee using a company car
  • dividends
  • a loan from the company.

Not correctly reporting and keeping appropriate records for transactions can result in an unfranked deemed dividend being included in your assessable income.

If you realise that you’re not correctly reporting these transactions or keeping appropriate records, talk to a registered tax professional and make sure that you correctly report the use of company money or assets in your next tax return.

If you have made a mistake or left something out of your previous tax returns, you can lodge an amendment.

Source – https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/General/Do-you-use-company-money-or-assets-/

If you need any help with anything related to accounting and taxation, give our team at SPS Business Consultants a call on ☎️ (03) 9904 9261.

#smallbusiness#businessaccounting#CPA#accountant#accounting #COVID#Grants#businessgrants#ATO#Taxation#StimulusPackage

New Travel Stimulus Package For Travel Industry

New Travel Stimulus Package For Travel Industry

The government will roll out a $1.2 billion stimulus package across the travel and tourism industries, along with an extension to its SME Loan Guarantee Scheme once JobKeeper expires at the end of the month.

The support package will subsidise 50 per cent of 800,000 domestic flights to select tourism destinations across Australia. The discounts will be based on average air fares, subject to final discussions with airlines, and will commence from 1 April.

The 50 per cent subsidies on about 800,000 plane tickets will be focused on destinations that usually rely heavily on foreign tourists, including Alice Springs and Kangaroo Island, and will be available from Apr 1 until the end of July.

The country’s two major airlines, Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia, slashed flights and put planes into hibernation while thousands of people across the industry became reliant on a federal government wage subsidy programme, which expires this month.

The support package includes A$200 million for Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia from April to October to help maintaining mothballed aircraft, bringing planes out of storage and wages for international flying staff.

Source – https://www.accountantsdaily.com.au/business/15437-morrison-government-unveils-post-jobkeeper-stimulus-package

ATO JobKeeper Payment Extension 2 Starting on 4th January 2021

ATO JobKeeper Payment Extension 2 Starting on 4th January 2021

The second JobKeeper Payment extension starts from Monday 4 January 2021.

It covers the JobKeeper fortnights between Monday 4 January 2021 and Sunday 28 March 2021.

It means:

  • if you are eligible for JobKeeper extension 2 you will need to complete a new decline in turnover test
  • the payment rates for your eligible employees will change
  • if you are new to JobKeeper you can enrol in the program to participate in the remaining fortnights.

To support you over December and January the ATO have extended some reporting dates.

For JobKeeper fortnight 20 (Monday 21 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021):

  • You will have until the end of Monday 4 January 2021 to pay your employees (meet the wage condition).
  • Business monthly declarations for JobKeeper fortnights 18, 19 and 20 are now due 28 January 2021.

For JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 (starting Monday 4 January 2021 and Monday 18 January 2021):

  • You will have until Sunday 31 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for your eligible employees.

This is to make sure that you have paid your eligible employees before claiming JobKeeper payments in your February monthly business declarations.

Source – https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/Employers/JobKeeper-Payment-extension-2-starts-soon/

Attention Melbourne: Watch out for tax scams!

Attention Melbourne: Watch out for tax scams!

Large numbers of scammers have been trying to trick people with fake tax debt scams recently. These scammers will tell you that you have a tax debt and if you don’t pay it straight away, you’ll be arrested. If you receive a phone call or message like this, don’t respond.

The ATO will never:

  • threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation
  • request payment of a debt via iTunes, Google Play gift cards or other vouchers
  • insist you stay on the phone until you pay
  • prevent you from discussing your tax affairs with your agent or adviser.

Here are some useful tips.

Tip 1 👉 Know the status of your tax and super affairs! You’re less likely to fall victim to a scam if you’re aware of any refunds, debts and lodgments due. Chat with your tax agent or log into our online services to check your details.

Tip 2 👉 Stay safe online by logging into our online services through our website or ATO app – never via links in emails. For added security, update your myGov sign-in option so you receive SMS codes.

Tip 3 👉 Help protect your family and friends, especially older relatives! 👵 Warn them about tax scams and tactics so they don’t get tricked into paying money or sharing their personal info.

If you’re ever unsure if a contact is really from the ATO, hang up and call us on ☎️ (03) 9904 9261.

Source – https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/General/Watch-out-for-tax-scams/

You can verify or report a scam here – https://www.ato.gov.au/general/online-services/identity-security/verify-or-report-a-scam/

Have you missed or underpaid superannuation amounts?

Have you missed or underpaid superannuation amounts?

Business downturn due to COVID-19 may be affecting your business and you may have missed, or not paid in full, regular payments.

This includes your employees’ super guarantee (SG) for the quarter ended 30 September 2020.

By law, the ATO can’t extend the due date to pay super.

To meet your obligations, lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement to the ATO by 28 November 2020, even if you can’t pay in full. Doing this will mean you avoid penalties and the ATO can work with you to set up a payment plan that suits your circumstances.

The super guarantee charge is different from the regular contributions you pay and comprises:

  • SG shortfall amounts
  • interest on those amounts (currently 10%)
  • an administration fee of $20 per employee, per quarter.

Significant penalties can apply if you don’t lodge a statement by the due date.

Source – https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/Employers/Missed-or-underpaid-super-amounts/

If you need any help with your business Payroll, Accounting, Taxation or any other business advice, give our team at SPS Business Consultants a call on ☎️ (03) 9904 9261.

Are You Claiming Motor Vehicles Expenses For Your Business?

Are You Claiming Motor Vehicles Expenses For Your Business?

You can claim motor vehicle expenses that are part of the everyday running of your business, such as travelling between different business premises and visiting clients.

Common expenses include:

  • Fuel
  • Repairs
  • Lease payments (interest)
  • Insurance registration
  • Rego fees
  • Depreciation.

If you operate your business as a sole trader or partnership and use a car as part of the everyday running of your business, you can work out your claim using the:

  • cents per kilometre method, or
  • logbook method

The rates for the cents per kilometre method are:

  • 68 cents from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020
  • 72 cents from 1 July 2020.

It applies for a maximum of 5,000 business kilometres per car.

For the logbook method, you need to keep a logbook for at least 12 continuous weeks and work out the percentage of business use for each car expense.

You can only claim the actual costs of expenses based on receipts if you:

  • operate your business as a sole trader or partnership and use an ‘other vehicle’, such as motorcycles or vans designed to carry loads of at least one tonne
  • operate your business as a company or trust.

Always keep records showing how you calculated your claim.

Remember, if you use your vehicle for both business and private use, you can only claim the business portion of the expenses.

If you need any help with any tax advice or any other accounting advice, give our team at SPS Business Consultants a call on ☎️ (03) 9904 9261.

Source – https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/General/Claiming-motor-vehicle-expenses-/

Australia Federal Budget Highlights

Australia Federal Budget Highlights

The Treasurer delivered the Federal Budget on 6 October 2020.

The announcements include almost $50 billion in tax relief for businesses and individuals with a hope to return the economy to financial health as Australia experiences its first recession in almost 30 years.

What are the major tax implications of the recent budget?

FOR BUSINESSES

  • Temporary loss carry-back to support cash flow
  • Temporary full expensing to support investment and jobs
  • Research and Development Tax Incentive — supporting Australia’s economic recovery
  • JobMaker – new incentives for hiring employees
  • Increase the small business entity turnover threshold
  • Fringe Benefits Tax — exemption to support retraining and reskilling

FOR INDIVIDUALS

  • Changes to tax brackets
  • Low and Middle-Income Tax Offset
  • Exempting granny flat arrangements from capital gains tax

If you need any help with any tax advice or any other accounting advice, give our team at SPS Business Consultants a call on ☎️ (03) 9904 9261.

Sources – https://budget.gov.au/index.htm, https://www.minterellison.com/articles/federal-budget-highlights-2020-21

Running your business from home?

Running your business from home?

If your home is your main place of business, you may be able to claim the business portion of some expenses.

You may be able to calculate your home-based business running expenses using:

  • a fixed rate of 52 cents an hour for each hour you operate your business from home
    • This covers heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the depreciation of furniture and furnishings.
    • You will need to separately calculate phone and internet expenses, consumables and certain depreciation expenses.
  • the temporary working from home shortcut method of 80 cents an hour
    • This can be used by individuals running home-based businesses from 1 March 2020 until 30 September 2020.
    • This covers all the expenses normally included under the 52 cents rate and all additional deductible running expenses.
  • any other reasonable method.

You may also be able to claim occupancy expenses, like rent, in certain circumstances. Exclude your private living costs and keep records to show how you calculated your expenses.

You can’t claim the same expenses two different ways. The temporary working from home shortcut method is all-inclusive.

For example, you can’t claim the full cost of purchasing a photocopier using instant asset write-off and also claim with the home shortcut method.

If you need any assistance with business restructuring or any other accounting and taxation work, give our team at SPS Business Consultants a call on ☎️ (03) 9904 9261.

Source – https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/General/Running-your-business-from-home-/