5 minute tax updates: 22-26 June

Financial adviser qualification standard time extension
Omnibus bill cements FBT and testamentary trust changes
Free cash flow webinar for your small business clients

COVID-19 relief: Changes to the ACR and SMSF IAR instructions
Changes to Transfer Balance Account calculation
Fuel tax credit rates, 1 July to 3 August 2020
Business registers streamlined, DINs made law
New accounting standard SMSF practitioners need to know

Top ATO call centre queries regarding COVID-19
Update on car parking fringe benefits
AAT rules backpacker not a resident after all

Financial adviser qualification standard time extension
After lengthy consultation and various submissions from both stakeholders and consumers, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has extended the time allowed for existing financial advisers to meet FASEA’s qualification and examination requirements. The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No 3) Bill 2019 provides that existing advisers must complete the FASEA exam by 1 January 2022 (one additional year). They must also meet FASEA’s qualification requirements by 1 January 2026 (an extension of two additional years). These changes will not apply to new advisers registered after 1 January 2019.

Omnibus bill cements FBT and testamentary trust changes
The above bill (Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No 3) Bill 2019) also contains measures to ensure the word “taxi”, with regard to FBT definitions, means “a motor vehicle used for taxi travel (other than a limousine)”. This ensures a meshing with GST rules to encapsulate ride sharing providers such as Uber. As well, the bill contains a measure to limit the concessional tax rates available to minors receiving income from testamentary trusts to income derived from assets that are transferred from the deceased estate or the proceeds of the disposal or investment of those assets.

Free cash flow webinar for your small business clients
AusIndustry is hosting free Zoom webinars suitable for your small business clients who may be facing cash flow issues as a result of COVID-19. The webinars will be held on Tuesday 23 June 2020 9.30am – 11.00am AEST and Thursday 2 July 2020 9.30am – 11.00am AEST.The webinars will cover managing and forecasting cash flow, understanding debtors and receivables, utilising debtor and creditor terms to maximise cash flow, and atrategies and controls to preserve cash reserves.

COVID-19 relief: Changes to the ACR and SMSF IAR instructions
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the ATO has drafted some additional instructions for reporting contraventions specific to the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years. Therefore some changes have been made to the Auditor Contravention Report (ACR) and SMSF Independent Auditor’s Report (IAR) instructions.

Changes to Transfer Balance Account calculation
Legislation Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No 3) Bill is passed by Parliament and is about to become law. In the notification CRT 031/2020, the ATO says the bill provides a new way of calculating the debit which arises in an individual’s transfer balance account when a member commutes a market linked pension which is a capped defined benefit income stream.

Fuel tax credit rates, 1 July to 3 August 2020
The ATO has issued the above rates here. It says the fuel tax credit calculator helps work out the amounts to report of a BAS, plus adjustments for previous BASs. The next indexation for fuel tax credit rates are indexed based on the upward movement of the consumer price index (CPI), which is to be released on 29 July 2020.

Business registers streamlined, DINs made law
A package of legislation, including the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) 2019, has been passed (which includes the new director identification number regime). The Commonwealth Registers Bill 2019, part of a program called Modernising Business Registers, creates a new Commonwealth business registry regime, where up until now there were more than 30 legal registers administered by ASIC and the ABR. These registers include entity name/identifier/information registers, registers of banned or disqualified persons, and professional registers, some of which include the business names register, managed investment scheme register, register of disqualified company directors and other officers, and register of financial services licensees. The new regime will create a streamlined single platform registry service that will be administered by a single federal body to be appointed by the Minister, which will also be known as the registrar.

New accounting standard SMSF practitioners need to know
A new amended accounting standard has been released by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) which may change how you prepare SMSF financial statements. AASB 2020-2 will mean that for annual periods beginning on or after 1 July 2021, certain types of for-profit private sector entities will no longer be able to prepare special purpose financial statements.

Top ATO call centre queries regarding COVID-19
The ATO has published the top questions it has been fielding regarding COVID-19 measures. They include questions on the superannuation clearinghouse, JobKeeper, the early release of super, and the cash flow boost.

Update on car parking fringe benefits
Under the ATO’s “advice under development” umbrella, an update has been posted regarding car parking fringe benefits. The final ruling to come out of its efforts will update TR 96/26 to reflect contemporary commercial car parking arrangements and legal developments.

AAT rules backpacker not a resident after all
In MacKinnon and the Commissioner of Taxation, at issue was whether a resident of Australia (who was a citizen of the UK, present in Australia from 17 February 2016 to 13 February 2017) was accordingly entitled to the tax-free threshold. It was not disputed that the Applicant was physically present in Australia for more than 183 days, however the contentious issues was that she had a “usual place of abode” outside of Australia.

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