Authoritative and technically accurate information and guidance on all areas of tax

Share trader or investor, and trading stock versus capital asset

Investment products may be held as trading stock by a taxpayer carrying on a business of share trading or options trading. However, whether a particular parcel should be treated as trading stock must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the tax issues facing share traders versus passive investors are summarised below.

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Increase reduction of tax penalties

Base penalty amounts can be reduced (or increased) The ATO says its base tax penalty amount may be increased (s284-220) or reduced (s284-225). The base penalty amount may be increased where the taxpayer hinders the ATO, but it also may be reduced in the following circumstances. Voluntary disclosure The voluntary disclosure to the Commissioner of

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Legal professional privilege and the “accountants’ concession”

The ATO’s powers of access are limited by the common law doctrine of legal professional privilege (LPP).  In general, LPP applies to protect communications made between a legal adviser and his/her client for the dominant purpose of giving or receiving legal advice, or for use in existing or anticipated litigation. It generally does not apply

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Tax reviews and audits

Tax reviews and audits are increasingly being targeted at particular industries and individuals as the ATO refines its data collection and data matching systems. With self-assessment, there are now techniques to check basic data and trends extracted from information shown on returns. Using industry comparisons or analysis of data on returns, computer programs indicate the

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ATO continues to educate taxpayers about scams

The ATO has committed to an ongoing strategic communication approach to educate taxpayers on how to protect themselves against tax scams and identity theft. It says it is also aiming to raise awareness on how people can reach out to it for support should they become victims of a scam. In early 2017 the ATO’s

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