Daily update: 30 Aug – 3 Sept

Wednesday 1 September

NSW: JobSaver expanded for large tourism, hospitality etc
The NSW Government has announced an expanded 2021 COVID-19 JobSaver payment for tourism, hospitality or recreation businesses in NSW with an annual turnover over $250m and up to $1bn who have been impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions. Eligibility will be depend on the required decline in turnover due to a public health order. Payments will be equivalent to 40% of the weekly payroll cost incurred prior to the start of COVID-19 restrictions on 26 June 2021, with a maximum weekly payment per group of: $300,000 for eligible businesses with an aggregated annual turnover more than $250m and up to $500m; $500,000 for eligible businesses with an aggregated annual turnover more than $500m and up to $1bn.

NSW: $200m support package for not-for-profits 
The NSW Government has announced a $200m support package for the Not-for-Profit sector to help organisations faced with the financial impacts of the current COVID restrictions. In introducing the package, it said that some NFPs did not meet the 30% turnover threshold required for JobSaver so it has reduced that to 15% for social support and animal welfare sectors, to ensure they can continue delivering the same level of service to those most in need.

Independent review of insolvent trading “safe harbour” 
The Government has announced that there will be an independent review of insolvent trading “safe harbour”. It provides protection for company directors from personal liability for insolvent trading if the company is genuinely attempting to restructure and encourages directors to seek advice early on how to restructure and save financially distressed but viable companies. The review will assess whether the safe harbour remains fit for purpose in terms of supporting companies to restructure and survive.

ATO releases “Top 100 Justified Trust program”
The ATO has released details of its “Monitoring and maintenance approach – Top 100 Justified Trust program”. It provides that when a Top 100 taxpayer attains an overall high assurance rating under the program, the ATO will have confidence that they have complied with Australian income tax laws. Further, in recognition of the level of trust the ATO has in the reported tax outcomes of these taxpayers, the ATO said it will tailor its “engagement approach to focus on maintaining our high level of confidence”.

ATO wins appeal re casino’s “global GST amounts”
The ATO has won its appeal in the Full Federal Court from the decision at first instance in Crown Melbourne Limited & Anor v FCT [2020] FCA 1295. In that case, it was found that rebates and commissions payable in relation to various agreements with casino junket tour operators should be taken into account for the purposes of the special rules for gambling supplies in Div 126 of the GST Act 1999. However, the Full Court held that the rebates and commissions did not form part of “total amount wagered” for these purposes. (FCT v Burswood Nominees Limited as trustee for Burswood Property Trust [2021] FCAFC 151.)

IGTO and Taxation Ombudsman publishes Corporate Plan 2022-25
The Inspector-General of Taxation and the Taxation Ombudsman’s Corporate Plan 2022-25 has been released. Its key strategic priorities in those four years include: to communicate clearly, effectively, independently and with integrity; ensure that tax complaint investigation service is approachable, contactable and responsive to the changing needs of the community; and to engage with stakeholders in the tax administration system.

Tuesday 31 August

Cash flow boost for employers: artificial schemes – ATO warning
The ATO has warned that it is aware of schemes that may be used to artificially create or inflate an entitlement to the cash flow boost (CFB). These include arrangements to split a business which exceeds the $50m aggregate turnover threshold, in order to create eligibility for both parts of the business. The ATO also warned that businesses involved in these schemes may have their entitlement to the credit cancelled and be required to repay the amount received, along with interest or penalties. It also said that an advisor who helps a client to make arrangements to artificially create an entitlement for the CFB could become subject to a civil penalty under the Promoter Penalty Laws.

ATO: Claiming the carried back tax offset
The ATO has released information on how to claim the carried back tax offset. It states that you cannot claim the tax offset in your company tax return 2020 for a tax loss made in the 2019–20 income year, but that you can claim the tax offset in your company tax return 2021 or company tax return 2022. It also states that claiming the tax offset is optional and that if you want to claim the tax offset for an income year, you will need to make the loss carry back choice by the time you lodge your company tax return for that year (and specify the amount of tax loss you choose to carry back).

Draft legislation: Corporate Collective Investment Vehicles 
The Government has released for public consultation draft legislation that implements the tax and regulatory components of the corporate collective investment vehicle (CCIV) regime. One of the aims of the proposed legislation is to ensures the tax treatment of CCIVs aligns with the existing treatment of attribution managed investment trusts, providing investors with the benefits of flow-through taxation. See also the Treasurer’s media release.

ATO guidance on treatment of COVID payments – and deductions
The ATO has set out information on its website about whether COVID-19  government grants, payments or other forms of stimulus received by individuals or businesses may have tax implications. The information explains whether such amounts are taxable or non-assessable, non-exempt income (NANE); whether they need to be included in a tax return and where to include them; and any GST implications. The material also contains information on the extent to which (if any) expenses incurred to obtain such payments are deductible.

AAT finds taxpayer required to be registered for GST 
The AAT has confirmed the Commissioner’s decision on objection that a taxpayer whose main business activity was described as “management consulting service” was required to be registered for GST both in terms of it being found to be carrying on an enterprise and in terms of it exceeding the GST registration turnover threshold of $75,000 in the relevant income years. (Royal Lion Capital Pty Ltd and FCT [2021] AATA 3049, 25 August 2021.)

Monday 30 August

NSW: JobSaver expanded for large tourism, hospitality etc
The NSW Government has announced an expanded 2021 COVID-19 JobSaver payment for tourism, hospitality or recreation businesses in NSW with an annual turnover over $250m and up to $1bn who have been impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions. Eligibility will be depend on the required decline in turnover due to a public health order. Payments will be equivalent to 40% of the weekly payroll cost incurred prior to the start of COVID-19 restrictions on 26 June 2021, with a maximum weekly payment per group of: $300,000 for eligible businesses with an aggregated annual turnover more than $250m and up to $500m; $500,000 for eligible businesses with an aggregated annual turnover more than $500m and up to $1bn.

NSW: $200m support package for not-for-profits 
The NSW Government has announced a $200m support package for the Not-for-Profit sector to help organisations faced with the financial impacts of the current COVID restrictions. In introducing the package, it said that some NFPs did not meet the 30% turnover threshold required for JobSaver so it has reduced that to 15% for social support and animal welfare sectors, to ensure they can continue delivering the same level of service to those most in need.

Independent review of insolvent trading “safe harbour” 
The Government has announced that there will be an independent review of insolvent trading “safe harbour”. It provides protection for company directors from personal liability for insolvent trading if the company is genuinely attempting to restructure and encourages directors to seek advice early on how to restructure and save financially distressed but viable companies. The review will assess whether the safe harbour remains fit for purpose in terms of supporting companies to restructure and survive.

ATO releases “Top 100 Justified Trust program”
The ATO has released details of its “Monitoring and maintenance approach – Top 100 Justified Trust program”. It provides that when a Top 100 taxpayer attains an overall high assurance rating under the program, the ATO will have confidence that they have complied with Australian income tax laws. Further, in recognition of the level of trust the ATO has in the reported tax outcomes of these taxpayers, the ATO said it will tailor its “engagement approach to focus on maintaining our high level of confidence”.

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