5 minute tax updates: 16-20 November

National Tax Clinic consultation open
APRA releases paper for consultation on revised cross-industry remuneration standard
Being eligible for GST margin scheme
Professional firms – allocation of profit guidelines
Banking Royal Commission changes reform laws introduced
Appeal on work related clothing claim lost in AAT
Social services COVID-19 financial support measures now law
Cloud computing Q&As from TPB webinar published
ASIC consults on promoting access to affordable advice for consumers

National Tax Clinic consultation open
The ATO has released a consultation paper inviting feedback on the development of the National Tax Clinic open competitive grant guidelines. It is seeking input into the development of the grant opportunity guidelines that will underpin the ongoing operation of the program to ensure the National Tax Clinic program continues to meet the needs and expectations of the broader community. It is specifically focusing on receiving feedback on the assessment criteria used to assess applications under a competitive grant program. Comments close 8 January 2021.

APRA releases paper for consultation on revised cross-industry remuneration standard
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released for consultation a revised remuneration prudential standard designed to strengthen market practice, underpin sound remuneration practices and enhance accountability in the institutions it regulates. The new draft standard responds to industry feedback from the initial consultation, sets robust minimum standards for APRA-regulated entities and addresses the relevant Royal Commission recommendations.

Being eligible for GST margin scheme
The ATO is keen for practitioners’ clients to know that they can avoid the common errors suppliers make when selling property using the margin scheme by making sure suppliers must meet the eligibility criteria, calculate the margin correctly, and report the amount of the margin on the sale at G1Total sales – not the full amount of payment received.

Professional firms – allocation of profit guidelines
The “Assessing the Risk: Allocation of profits within professional firms guidelines” and Everett Assignment web material is published already but being reviewed. However in reviewing the guidelines the ATO has become aware they are being misinterpreted in relation to arrangements that go beyond the scope of the guidelines. The ATO is seeking feedback on the proposed draft practical compliance guideline prior to its publication, which is scheduled in December 2020.

Banking Royal Commission changes reform laws introduced
The Federal Government has introduced the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Bill 2020 into Parliament. The legislation will implement a further 21 recommendations of the Royal Commission report into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry.

Appeal on work related clothing claim lost in AAT
In an appeal case at the AAT (Lambourne and Commissioner of Taxation), the issue before the tribunal was whether the applicant was entitled to deductions for work related clothing and other work related expenses in the amounts of $1,449.38 and $1,688.70 respectively in the 2017 year. To determine this the AAT considered whether the expenses are deductible in accordance with section 8-1 of ITAA97 and if so whether they have been substantiated under Division 900. Additionally, there is an issue of whether the administrative penalty imposed on the applicant for failure to take reasonable care was correct and if so, whether the penalty should be remitted. The AAT affirmed the original decision.

Social services COVID-19 financial support measures now law
The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Coronavirus and Other Measures) Bill is now law. The legislation provides a series of financial support measures for people affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. These include economic support payments and temporary changes to the paid parental leave work test.

Cloud computing Q&As from TPB webinar published
As Tax & Super members know, follow-up questions-and-answers from our own webinars have proven to be a very valuable source of knowledge. Q&As provide further information to material presented, plus answers to the sorts of extended situations that crop up when taxation measures are put into practice. The TPB follow-up Q&As to its webinar on cloud computing is similarly applicable.

ASIC consults on promoting access to affordable advice for consumers
ASIC has issued a consultation paper Promoting access to affordable advice for consumers. It seeks input from industry participants and relevant stakeholders to help ASIC understand the issues and impediments relating to the supply of good quality affordable personal advice, and the practical steps that can be taken by ASIC and industry to improve consumer access to good quality affordable advice. Submissions are due by 18 January 2021.

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