Daily Update: 16 – 20 Aug

20 Aug

Vic: New round of business support measures announced
new round of support from the Federal and Victorian governments will automatically flow to small and medium businesses most affected by the recent extension of public health restrictions in Melbourne until 2 September. The vast majority of the support ($807m) will flow to more than 110,000 businesses in industries ranging from hospitality to non-essential retail, accommodation, events businesses, hairdressing and beauty services.

Rollovers into another super fund
The ATO has advised that trustees of super funds must use the SuperStream Data and Payment Standards when a member requests a rollover of their member benefits to another super fund. This includes where there is a requirement to roll a member’s benefits (including partial rollover requests) between APRA-regulated super funds, retirement savings accounts or self-managed super funds. But there are exceptions to this requirement.

Tasmania: Land tax relief now “in play” 
The Tasmanian Government has reminded land tax payers that legislation to deliver a reduction in land tax of up to $613 per taxpayer from 1 July this year is now “in play” – and that changes will appear in property owners’ land tax bills later this year. These changes provide relief to property owners of nearly $60m over the next four years.

19 Aug

GST and the margin scheme – “ATO tool kit”
The ATO has provided information relating to using the “GST margin scheme” for the sale of property in connection with an enterprise (and which it describes as a “GST property decision tool” ). It is intended to be used to both check eligibility for the scheme and to help with calculating the GST liability.

Reminder: Govt guarantee for eligible loans made to SMEs
Under Phase Three of “SME Loan Guarantee Scheme”, the Government will guarantee 80% of the value of eligible business loans made to SMEs impacted by COVID-19 (up from 50%). The loans must be approved between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2021, and businesses can apply for 10 year loans of up to $5m. Details can also be obtained from the Australian Banking Association website.

Extension of SuperStream to include SMSF rollovers and auditor reporting 
The ATO has reminded SMSF trustees that recent changes to extend the operation of SuperStream to cover SMSFs means that SMSF trustees are required to comply with the information requirement rules in Div 6.5 of Part 6 of the SISR for any rollovers, including partial rollovers, to and from a SMSF requested from 31 March 2021. The rules will not apply to in-specie rollovers.

18 Aug

NSW COVID disaster payment support packages – clarification 
In yesterday’s Daily Update (17 August 2021) it was reported that a new Federal and NSW support package had been announced. The content in the report was contained in a previously announced (and now out of date) measure from 13 July 2021. A summary of the current measures can be found on the Australian Government Services website – and depend on, among other things, whether you receive a Centrelink or DVA payment or whether you do not receive a Centrelink or DVA payment.

Extended support for ACT businesses
The Federal and ACT Governments have announced that the ACT COVID‑19 Business Support Grants will be extended in line with the extension of the ACT lockdown to 2 September. The Business Support Grants will provide support of up to $10,000 for employing businesses and $4,000 for non‑employing businesses over the three-week lockdown period where those businesses’ turnover has declined by 30% or more as a result of the COVID‑19 health restrictions. Businesses must be registered in the ACT and able to demonstrate their primary operation in the ACT; have an annual turnover of more than $75,000; be registered for GST and have a total payroll of less than $10 million. They will also need to provide evidence of a 30% reduction in their turnover.

Measures No 6 Bill – Super: changes to actuarial certificate requirements 
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No.6) Bill 2021 was introduced to Parliament on 11 August 2021. It will remove a redundant requirement for superannuation trustees to obtain an actuarial certificate when calculating exempt current pension income (ECPI), where all members of the fund are fully in retirement phase for all of the income year. Currently, funds with disregarded small fund assets are required to use the proportionate method and obtain actuarial certificates, even when all of their members are fully in retirement phase for the entire income year. The new bill will reduce costs and remove unnecessary red tape for affected funds by removing this requirement and allowing these funds to use the segregated method to calculate their ECPI.

17 Aug

New combined NSW support package announced
Under a new combined support package from the Federal and NSW governments, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be further expanded. From week four of a lockdown because of a Commonwealth Government declared hotspot, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will increase to $600 if a person has lost 20 or more hours of work a week or $375 if a person has lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work a week. It has also agreed that from 18 July 2021 the COVID-19 Commonwealth Disaster Payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth declared hotspots in NSW that meet the criteria for the payment.

NSW: Support for commercial tenants and landlords. 
The NSW Government will re-introduce the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing to mandate rent relief for eligible tenants impacted by COVID-19. A new $40 million Hardship Fund will also be established to provide a monthly grant of up to $3,000 for small commercial or retail landlords who provide rental waivers of at least the value of the grant and any land tax relief they are eligible for.

Super: COVID-19 re-contribution amounts
The ATO has released CRT Alert 009/2021 which sets out the ATO’s administrative arrangements so that individuals can now re-contribute amounts they withdrew under the COVID-19 early release of super (ERS) program without it counting towards their non-concessional cap.

Change in business: employee or contractor – ATO reminder
The ATO has reminded taxpayers that if they have recently made changes to how they run their business, they may need to consider if their workers are an employee or contractor. The ATO states that this is important as it affects tax, super and other obligations, as well as workers’ entitlements. The ATO provides a list of key factors that are relevant to this matter.

ATO warning: Promoter penalty laws
The ATO has issued a warning that promoter penalty laws are in place to deter the promotion of tax avoidance schemes, and that advisers who are involved in the design, marketing and implementation of schemes that claim to provide taxation benefits should consider the promoter penalty laws.

16 Aug

ACT: COVID lockdown grants for business announcedThe Federal and ACT governments have announced a jointly funded package to give support to small and medium businesses in the ACT who have been impacted by the recent lockdown measures introduced by the ACT. The “ACT COVID-19 Business Support Grant” will deliver grants of $3,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses where those businesses’ turnover has declined by 30% as a result of the COVID-19 health restrictions. 

TAS: Border closure support package announced
The Federal and Tasmanian governments have announced a jointly funded $20 million Business Support Package for Tasmanian businesses struggling with the ongoing impacts of border closures. The package will commence this Tuesday 17 August and will be targeted at businesses operating in tourism, hospitality, arts and events, seafood and transport (hire car, coach tours) sectors, as well as those that have been impacted directly by reduced interstate visitation.

Qld: Further business support funding announced
The Federal and Queensland governments have announced a joint funding agreement that will increase Queensland COVID-19 Business Support Grants. The package will include additional support for businesses that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30% by way of: a $1,000 one-off grant to non-employing sole traders; tiered payments based on payroll size for all businesses across Queensland: a $5,000 one-off, top-up grant to small business with payroll of less than $1.3 million; a $10,000 one-off, top-up grant to medium sized business with payroll between $1.3 million and $10 million; and a $25,000 one-off, top-up grant to large sized tourism and hospitality businesses with payroll of greater than $10 million.

NSW payroll tax exclusion for contractors 
NSW Revenue has issued Ruling PTA 021v2 which replaces PTA-021 to address the decision in Nationwide Towing & Transport Pty Ltd & Ors v Commissioner of State Revenue [2018] VSC 262. In that case, the Supreme Court of Victoria found that, contrary to PTA-021, the Commissioner does not need to be satisfied that a contractor conducts a genuine independent business in order for the exclusion under s 32(2)(b)(iv) of the Payroll Tax Act 2007 to apply. This ruling therefore removes that requirement and clarifies the application of this exclusion.

Super: ATO’s SMSF verification service
The ATO has advised that APRA-regulated funds and SMSF who receive a request to rollover their member’s super balance to an SMSF must use the SMSF verification service to verify SMSF details before making the rollover.

Draft Bill: Financial and auditing requirements for superfunds 
The Government has released a draft Bill for consultation which deals with the financial reporting and auditing obligations of registrable superannuation entities (RSEs). Among other things, the draft Bill requires RSE licensees to: prepare and lodge financial reports for each financial year and half-year with the ASIC; publish the financial report, directors’ report and auditor’s report for a financial year on the RSE’s website; and provide details of how to access these reports with the notice of the annual members meeting.

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