5 minute tax updates: 14-18 September

JobKeeper 2.0 rules have been released
Three legislative instruments released on JobKeeper extension
All your JobKeeper extension questions will be answered
Updated guidance on JobKeeper from ATO
Quo vardis GST?
Land duty valuations: New guidance from Victorian SRO
FASEA confirms dates and venues for 2021 exams
Acquisition of economic entitlements in Victoria
Sun will not have set on permitted worker permits, so re-issuing not necessary
JobKeeper compliance update supplied by ATO
SMSF lodgment requirements
Extension of COVID email support on commutation authorities
TPB holding two free webinars 30 September

JobKeeper 2.0 rules have been released
Legislation to extend JobKeeper has passed both houses and received royal assent, and just registered this week is the legislative instrument Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 8) 2020. The instrument sets out the decline in turnover test for the extension of JobKeeper to 28 March 2021, and the new two-tiered payment rates. Our expert tax team are well underway in compiling all the information and guidance that tax and accounting professionals need to know, and will be sharing that in our JobKeeper Extension webinar next week.

Three legislative instruments released on JobKeeper extension
The three instruments released in the wake of the above legislation were as follows.

The implication of these added legislative instruments will be spelt out in detail in the upcoming webinar mentioned above. Attendees will receive extensive notes plus access to a recording of the webinar (free to members).

All your JobKeeper extension questions will be answered
Helpline queries to Tax & Super Australia regarding the JobKeeper extension will be answered after the webinar that we will conduct on the JobKeeper extension (details and bookings here).  Tax & Super Australia will be holding an hour-long webinar on this topic on Friday 25 September at 12:30 AEST that will address the changes. The webinar is free of charge for members and $49.95 for non-members. Our Tax Counsel, John Jeffreys, will cover all of the important information and there will be extensive notes available for every attendee to keep plus a recording of the webinar. Note that some of the information concerning the JobKeeper extension is at the time of writing yet to be released by the ATO, and that is why we are delaying the webinar until Friday 25 September so that every available piece of information is covered.

Updated guidance on JobKeeper from ATO
The ATO has now published new information based on the JobKeeper payment extension law being passed. The new guidance includes: Payment rates, 80-hour threshold for employees, Decline in turnover tests, and Actual decline in turnover test.

Quo vardis GST?
The Parliamentry Budget Office has released a research paper entitled Structural Trends in GST. It examines the trends in GST relative to the size of the economy over the last 20 years, including the impact of demographic change, and possible trajectories for future GST collections. The relationship between GST collections compared to GDP growth (showing a falling GST take) is also examined.

Land duty valuations: New guidance from Victorian SRO
The Victorian SRO has provided clarification on circumstances where information may be required in addition to a letter of appraisal as evidence of value for duty purposes. The guidance says because real estate agents are typically not qualified valuers, their letters of appraisal are not considered formal valuations, and the Commissioner may accept such letters of appraisal as evidence of value for duty purposes, but may require additional information or a formal valuation.

FASEA confirms dates and venues for 2021 exams
The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority has confirmed that it will run six Financial Adviser exam sittings in 2021 in 31 locations across metropolitan and regional Australia, subject to COVID-19 restrictions in force at the time and according to locational constraints.

Acquisition of economic entitlements in Victoria
The Victorian State Revenue Office has issued guidance on how the acquisition of certain shares or units can result in the acquisition of an economic entitlement in relation to land. These provisions impose duty on arrangements where a person obtains benefits that are normally reserved for the owner of land without acquiring an ownership interest in the land.

Sun will not have set on permitted worker permits, so re-issuing not necessary
Some employer clients may be concerned that staff who were issued with permitted worker permits may have expired as at 13 September, which was the date previously fixed when these permits were first required. But the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that the dates on existing permits can be edited and added to by employers as required. However here is the link if a new form is required.

JobKeeper compliance update supplied by ATO
Following media reports this week about several taxpayer-sourced reports of JobKeeper non-compliance to the ATO, the regulator published an update of larger businesses and JobKeeper compliance status so far. Apart from not keeping adequate records, the ATO found some issues at work included businesses:

  • that are part of SGE groups and are incorrectly calculating their aggregated turnover (applying a 30% decline in turnover instead of the 50% decline in turnover)
  • applying for JobKeeper payments prior to their nomination period
  • projecting GST turnover at the economic group level rather than entity level
  • incorrectly calculating GST turnover, with common errors including excluding irregular GST turnover amounts or using general sales rather than GST turnover.

SMSF lodgment requirements
For SMSFs that did not lodge on time last year and for new SMSFs that are not lodging through a tax agent, the SMSF annual return (SAR) is due 31 October. The ATO is keen to ensure that SMSF trustees make sure that their fund has been audited prior to lodging a SAR.

Extension of COVID email support on commutation authorities
SMSF trustees and their agents that have had a commutation authority issued for a fund were given a temporary email access point for enquiries to help understand why the ATO had sent the fund a commutation authority, what you need to do in response, and to help identify and rectify any reporting issues which may have led to the authority being issued in the first instance. This COVID-related support has now been extended until 30 November 2020.

TPB holding two free webinars 30 September
The TPB is inviting practitioners to join it on Wednesday 30 September for two free webinars. At 1:00pm, find out what your responsibilities are and what you need to consider if you are using a cloud service provider to store and manage client records. If you’re a newly registered tax practitioner, there is a webinar at 3:00pm to understand your ongoing registration obligations. Register here.

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