5 minute tax updates: 27-31 January

Protective SMSs for SMSFs (take 2)
ATO determinations on GST and waiver of requirements
J5’s global tackling of tax evasion includes Australia
Details of the Practitioner lodgment service (PLS)
A scammer reminder for your clients
Information on taxing termination payments
Some employee benefits can be exempt from FBT in an emergency
Small business client support
Fuel tax credits, up-to-date rates
New disclosure requirements in accounting standards from 30 June 2020
What is “reasonable care”? The TPB explains
Double taxation or not? Burton v Commissioner of Taxation
Input tax credit claim deemed not legitimate
Single Touch Payroll exemption extended
March deadline looms for myGovID

Protective SMSs for SMSFs (take 2)
In a late-last-year 5 minute tax update, mention was made of a new ATO service where SMSF trustees would be sent an SMS or email when changes are made to their fund. The initiative is intended to help protect against fraud and misconduct, and the changes could be updates on financial details or member information and so on. The intended start date of 30 November did not eventuate due to a technical issue, but the system has now been fixed. Such notifications will now be sent from 3 February. Trustees and/or their advisers should ensure contact details are up-to-date, including of course mobile numbers and email addresses.

ATO determinations on GST and waiver of requirements
A new legislative instrument, the Goods and Services Tax: Waiver of Adjustment Note Requirement (Corporate Card Statements) Determination 2020, allows corporate card holders to claim a decreasing adjustment without a holding adjustment note in certain circumstances. And another, the Goods and Services Tax: Waiver of Tax Invoice Requirement (Visa Purchasing Card) Determination 2020, gives more flexibility to card providers by allowing specific entities other than Visa International to gather required GST data from electronic files.

J5’s global tackling of tax evasion includes Australia
A globally coordinated day of action to put a stop to the suspected facilitation of offshore tax evasion through a South American financial institution has been undertaken. The initiative involved evidence, intelligence and information collection activities such as search warrants, interviews and subpoenas. Significant information was obtained as a result and investigations are ongoing.

Details of the Practitioner lodgment service (PLS)
The practitioner lodgment service (PLS) is the electronic lodgment channel for tax and BAS agents that allows you to lodge client forms, reports and access services electronically. It was developed in partnership with digital service providers using Standard Business Reporting (SBR)-enabled practice or accounting software.

A scammer reminder for your clients
You may need to remind clients to be wary of emails, phone calls and text message claiming to be from the ATO. Such communications purporting to be from the ATO may not be genuine. They should be advised to check with yourself first, or call the ATO on 1800 008 540, or direct them to this ATO scam alert page.  And remember, if you or your clients know or suspect a business is taking part in phoenix, tax evasion or black economy activities, or feel something is going on that isn’t quite right, make a tip-off to the ATO’s Tax Integrity Centre. Your tip-offs can provide it with the vital intelligence it needs to audit or prosecute those illegally operating in the black economy.

Information on taxing termination payments
Employees can be paid several types of lump sums that are taxed and reported differently to normal income. A “lump sum” payment is a one-time payment, usually provided instead of making recurring payments over a period of time. An employment termination payment (ETP) is one of these lump sums, but there are different taxes for the different payments that make up an ETP, for which the ATO has issued updated information.

Some employee benefits can be exempt from FBT in an emergency
Certain benefits your clients provide to their employees or their associates in an emergency situation are exempt from fringe benefits tax (FBT). The exemption applies to benefits provided to those who are affected, or potentially affected, by a natural disaster, an accident, a serious illness and other situations.

Small business client support
A recently launched free web portal is now available to offer support for small businesses. My Business Health, hosted by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, offers practical information and resources to help with those day-to-day issues that keep small business owners awake at night.

Fuel tax credits, up-to-date rates
Fuel tax credit rates vary depending on when you acquired the fuel, what fuel you use and the activity you use it in. This page provides links to rates for non-business, and historical rates going back to July 2015. And this page provides links to rates for business, again with historical rates.

New disclosure requirements in accounting standards from 30 June 2020
The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) has asked the ATO to share the new disclosure requirements for NFPs preparing special purpose financial statements. Staff from the AASB have prepared a high level summary to assist with understanding the new disclosure requirements.

What is “reasonable care”? The TPB explains
An information sheet has been released by the TPB to assist registered tax agents and BAS agents to understand their obligations under subsection 30-10(9) of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) Code of Professional Conduct. The paper covers what the obligation is under the Code at item 9, consequences for failing to comply with that item, and practical examples.

Double taxation or not? Burton v Commissioner of Taxation
The taxpayer has applied for special leave to appeal to the High Court against the Full Federal Court decision.  In this case the taxpayer was not entitled to a full foreign income tax offset due to half of a capital gain being included in assessable income. The decision would mean that Australian taxpayers, to whom the 50% CGT discount applies, are only entitled to a foreign income tax offset in respect of half of the US tax paid in respect of a gain.

Input tax credit claim deemed not legitimate
A refiner of precious metal (ACN 154 520 199) claimed to be entitled to GST input tax credits because it paid a GST-inclusive price for scrap gold from third-party suppliers. At issue was whether the taxpayer was entitled to treat its supply of precious metal to dealers as GST-free supplies under Div 38. It has applied to the Federal Court against a decision by the AAT on $122 million of input credits.

Single Touch Payroll exemption extended
After consideration, a decision has been made to extend the STP class exemption for withholding payer number (WPN) holders to cover the 2020-21 financial year. NFPs that don’t require an Australian business number (ABN) but have employees, or are required to withhold an amount from a payment to a supplier, will need to have a WPN.

March deadline looms for myGovID
The retirement of AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections is fast approaching. The ATO says it’s time to make the move to myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) before the end of March.

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