As members of Tax & Super Australia will know, one of the most utilised services that members can access is our Helpline service. Through this service, members get direct access to our specialist tax technical and SMSF experts for guidance on how best to address complex issues.
What our technical staff has found is that inquiries about certain topics can tend to be repeated, showing that there are key topics that are important to our members.
Some can be very broad issues, but others are more focused. The Top 5 most recent popular Helpline issues are:
- The new $1.6 million transfer balance cap (and how this will work)
- Small business CGT concessions (and the eligibility criteria)
- Trusts (with a focus on streaming franked dividends, and capital gains)
- Work-related travel expenses (and when the substantiation exemption can be used), and
- CGT main residence exemption (and if this applies if the taxpayer has not always lived there).
The $1.6 million cap has been a hot topic ever since the measure was proposed. In fact, an online poll of the super issues that matter most to membership found that the $1.6 million cap was the stand-out issue that mattered most to members and their clients.
The members’ journal The Contributor has been addressing the $1.6 million cap issue, but also the Tax & Super newsroom has been contributing some related coverage.
- Super’s new $1.6m transfer balance cap — what counts towards it?
- Transfer balance cap modifications for certain income streams
- The ATO’s law companion guidelines on super changes
- The transitional CGT relief measure and your SMSF
Small business CGT concessions is also a constantly engaging topic for the taxpaying and tax professional community. The monthly journal The Taxpayer deals with this issue on a regular basis, and some additional related articles include:
- Business tax relief package: What’s in it for SMEs?
- Small business gets a step-up (and more of them, with raised threshold)
- Active vs passive assets and the small business CGT concession
There is also a Tax Wrap podcast dedicated to the small business CGT concessions.
Trusts, and the streaming of income and other related matters, is a topic similarly re-visited by Helpline callers time and again. This fact confirms that trusts are a continuing area of tax law that can be a headache for practitioners and their clients. As well as The Taxpayer coverage, we have had the following articles in our newsroom:
- Streaming trust capital gains and franked distributions: An overview
- The process (and pros and cons) of ‘electing’ to be a family trust
- Contrived trust income arrangements “not on”, says ATO
- Trusts demystified
- Property investment options: SMSFs versus discretionary trusts
Work-related travel expenses is an issue that does not just re-surface at Tax Time each year — practitioners have been reaching out to our Helpline service to settle matters related to travel claims on quite a regular basis. Other coverage includes:
- Travel allowance substantiation exceptions: Use them (correctly) or lose them
- Work-related expenses: ATO guidance videos and occupational guidelines for your clients
- Allowances for travel (and some common mistakes)
- Here’s how politician travel allowances compare to yours
- Substantiation exception for travel allowance claims: What needs to change
- Potholes exposed in the road to tax deductions
- Claiming for work travel: Itinerant “flexibility” not so flexible
The CGT main residence exemption is also a frequently re-visited area of tax law, with both tax practitioners and their clients hungry for detailed and updated information. Some related coverage in this area of tax includes:
- Land owned before CGT, but can a recent house built on it be CGT-free?
- Why the negative gearing issue is not going away anytime soon
- Federal Budget: Housing changes