Jobs initiative launched by NSW
The NSW Government will encourage domestic and international business into NSW through payroll tax relief as part of a new $250 million Jobs Plus program, which aims to support companies who want to relocate their head offices to NSW, or expand their jobs footprint in NSW. Support will include payroll tax relief, up to a four-year period, for every new job created where a business has created at least 30 new net jobs.
BAS agents authorised to offer expanded super guarantee charge services
Following extensive consultation with key stakeholders, the Tax Practitioners Board has registered a new BAS services legislative instrument, Tax Agent Services (Specified BAS Services No. 2) Instrument 2020. The new legislative instrument allows BAS agents to provide an expanded range of services in relation to the superannuation guarantee charge, including supporting clients in their interactions with the Commissioner of Taxation.
COVID-19 and economic recovery: Webcast
Tune on for the ATO’s next tax professionals webcast next week on 12 November at 2pm AEDT. The ATO panel will discuss the necessary moves that will need to be made as the nation edges towards economic recovery, but as many Australians are still feeling the impact of the pandemic.
Your client STP uptake report to come soon
The ATO says it will soon be providing tax agents with a list indicating which of your clients are reporting through single touch payroll (STO) and which have yet to make the transition. It says among other positives, reporting through STP may help some clients streamline receiving COVID-19 stimulus package support, and that practitioners should consider helping non-STP reporting clients get on board.
JOBKEEPER EXTENSION Q&As
- Can a part-time or long-term casual “1 March 2020” or “1 July 2020” employee, working for two employers and an eligible employee of one of the employers (the “first employer”) become an eligible employee of the other employer (the “second employer”) where the first employer does not qualify for JobKeeper in the extension period? Read more
- Can an individual who was previously an eligible business participant of one entity (the old entity) become an eligible employee of another entity (the new entity)? Read more
Problems experienced with JobKeeper declarations
Members are reporting an urgent problem when lodging JobKeeper declarations this month, with an apparent system-wide inability to select the “tier” for an employee, and communication errors between STP and the portal. Reports include that the STP is being lodged by the employer or STP provider but this information is not translating correctly, if at all, to the ATO. Not being able to select a tier means declarations cannot be prepared at all. The problems have the very real potential to delay JobKeeper reimbursements to clients. The ATO’s instructions when questioned by members about this issue has been to wait 72 hours as they may still be processing the STP file. However with the 14 November deadline fast approaching, this is of little comfort to members. If you are experiencing this or similar problems, please enter a comment in the fields provided at the bottom of this page.
Significant SMSF reporting change buried in Treasury’s “portfolio” amendments
Treasury released Miscellaneous amendments to Treasury portfolio laws 2020 late in October, however a change to SMSF reporting has been discovered that may have implications for trustees. The explanatory statement (see page 8) states that the change to the rules will require that accounts and statements of an SMSF must be prepared at least 45 days before the day by which section 35D of that act requires a return to be lodged for the entity. This is the same day by which an approved SMSF auditor must be appointed.
First Home Super Saver deadline looms for pre-Christmas payment
The ATO is warning prospective First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme applicants that they may be able to receive their FHSS release amount before Christmas if they apply online by 18 November 2020. It says FHSS requests submitted after 18 November 2020 may not be finalised before Christmas. Any requests received between mid-December 2020 and 4 January 2021 will be delayed due to the Christmas/New Year holiday period.
JOBKEEPER EXTENSION Q&As
- For the purposes of meeting the 80 hours test as an eligible business participant, what does the term “actively engaged in the business carried on by the entity” mean? Read more
- What are the pertinent deadlines as we move into the JobKeeper extension period? Read more
Changed conditions and status of businesses may need update with ATO
Change is inevitable in the current COVID-19 environment, and the ATO says it is aware that many organisations will have needed to adapt to the circumstances to maintain their viability. If your client’s organisation has changed recently, their tax situation may also have to be adjusted, and you may need to notify the ATO about the change.
The ATO to keep collecting visa data
The ATO collects information from the Department of Home Affairs on active and newly granted visas. Visa data for 1 March 2020 to 28 March 2021 will be used to assist in confirming eligibility for the government’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) economic response, JobKeeper measure. The data is also matched against other records to ensure visa holders, visa sponsors and migration agents are meeting their tax and superannuation obligations. The ATO has released its protocol which outlines its intention to continue collecting data on visas granted in the period 2020-21 to 2022-23 financial years.
Foreign resident reportable accounts reporting
Australian financial accounts held by foreign tax residents as at 31 December 2018 collected under the common reporting standard (CRS). CRS obligations are imposed on Australian financial institutions through the operation of Subdivision 396-C of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA 1953).
JOBKEEPER EXTENSION Q&As
- Once the 80 hours calculation has been completed for all employees and therefore the payment rate for each employee has been determined, what are the next steps? Read more
- Are entities required to advise their eligible business participants or religious practitioners of their payment rate? Read more
Survey finds SA businesses back GST increase if state-based costs wound back
The seventh annual BDO State Business Survey closes tomorrow (so get in quick if you want to have a say), but early results from the first such survey since the COVID-19 era reveal a surprising change of mind from South Australian business participants. Adelaide Independent Newsreports that almost two-thirds of businesses who have responded have backed a GST hike as a way of boosting job creation without causing additional pain on the state’s already stretched bottom line. The 64% result is significantly up on the past three years when only about half supported a GST increase if it meant relief from state taxes.
PAYG instalments calculated in error
The ATO has recently become aware that the reduction in the company tax rate was not applied correctly from 1 July 2020 for businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million. This resulted in pay as you go instalments (PAYG) being calculated at a higher rate. This is being corrected, and the ATO will notify you or your clients if this applies to them.
Taxation outlook in a post-COVID world
Second Commissioner, Client Engagement, at the ATO, Jeremy Hirschhorn, last week gave a speech in which he cast an eye on the evolving post-COVID world and how taxation will fit with the new COVID normal.
JOBKEEPER EXTENSION Q&As
- What periods (reference periods) are used in determining whether the 80 hours has been satisfied? Read more
- What “hours” go to make up the 80 hours for an employee? Read more
Record dispute resolution actions between Victorian businesses and landlords
The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) says it has responded to a staggering 13,206 inquiries in 2019-20, many of which were from small business owners and landlords needing advice about rent relief as a result of COVID-19. After rent relief and retail leases, the big issues causing disputes were small businesses not being paid, disagreements over rights and obligations in a signed contract, and goods or services that weren’t delivered or were thought to be of poor quality.
PI insurance a priority push from TPB
The Tax Practitioners Board will be contacting tax practitioners from now onwards to check if professional indemnity (PI) insurance details are up to date with TPB records. It reminds practitioners that while annual declarations were suspended due to COVID-19, PI insurance is still a must-have for continued registration. The TPB says failure to update PI insurance details within 14 days of being notified of this requirement by the TPB will result in tax practitioners not meeting their ongoing registration requirements.
An Australian guide to the next US administration (either red or blue)
The United States Study Centre at Sydney University has produced a report for all Australians who are keenly following the US election. This publication is designed in two sections: Blue Book: What to expect in a Biden administration — and Red Book: What to expect in a second term of the Trump administration. Each section is designed to give a robust guide to the major policies of each candidate. There are some things that will stay the same under either administration.
JOBKEEPER EXTENSION Q&As
- If an entity did not qualify for any of JobKeeper fortnights 1 to 13 (March – September) or JobKeeper fortnights 14 to 20 (October – December), can the entity still qualify for JobKeeper fortnights 21 to 26 (January – March)? Read more
- If an entity fails to qualify for the JobKeeper extension period is the entity required to advise the Commissioner that the entity no longer wishes to participate in the JobKeeper scheme? Read more