Tax & Super Australia has been the voice of our members since 1919. We prepare submissions to the ATO, Treasury, and government departments on behalf of our members covering a range of issues including tax policy, administration and technical matters.
Below you will find a list of submissions with the most recent document at the top. For joint submissions, scroll down.
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Accountants, tax practitioners, professional advisers and bookkeepers (i.e. tax practitioners) are critical to maintaining and supporting business and individuals (i.e. taxpayers) through the COVID-19 crisis. There are significant risks to the economy, the business operating environment, and the tax and superannuation systems if they are unable to operate.
|Request for further lodgement deferrals in response to COVID-19 Crisis
Our members are telling us throughout the duration of the crisis, and in particular over the last three to four weeks, that they have been inundated with pressing requirements to assist their clients access the variety of Stimulus Package measures, including the Cash Flow Boost and JobKeeper Schemes.
We therefore request a deferral of the lodgement date for all 2018-19 income tax returns for individuals, companies, partnerships and trusts from 5 June 2020 to 30 June 2020.
|Review of the Tax Practitioners Board, operation of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, and Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.
Significant challenges are faced by tax agents on a daily basis due to the complexity of the taxation laws, problematic administration of the taxation system, increasing administrative costs and price competition. The changes that will result from the Review must not result in yet more burdens being placed on tax agents. Increasing legislative and administrative pressures on tax agents will degrade the operation of the taxation system and discourage participants joining the industry.
|Reinstatement of Accountants Exemption – Letter to Hon Jane Hume 17 July 2019 -1
Taxpayers Australia Limited, trading as Tax & Super Australia (TSA) is a not-for-profit organisation that has assisted accountants, taxation and superannuation professionals for over a century. TSA was established in 1919 to help promote a simpler and fairer tax system for all Australians. With a subscriber base of approximately 13,000 including 4,000 members, the organisation has evolved to meet the challenges of Australia’s modern tax regime and remain at the forefront of supporting accounting professionals.
|Review of TSA’s submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services industry
Tax & Super Australia has concerns that our proposals for rectification of problems identified by our members involving issues in the Financial Services industry and the ASIC regulatory framework impacting on our members, which have caused economic distortions and costs to our members and their clients, have been overlooked. We seek that the Treasurer undertake the processes to ensure that shortcomings in the current regulatory arrangements are rectified, even though the Royal Commission did not specifically address these.
|Pre-budget submission 2019-20
Our proposals for individual taxation include a tax offset for older workers to encourage mature age participation in the workforce. We also recommend a $2,000 standard work-related expense deduction with no substantiation required, as well as an increase in the reasonable limit threshold. Also we recommend a concessionally taxed regime for passive investments. On behalf of small businesses, we have asked for the proposed $25,000 instant asset write-off to be made permanent, and the re-introduction of the loss carry-back tax offset for SMEs.
There are many more recommendations in the Tax & Super Australia pre-budget submission, which can be read in the attached document. Our submission has been driven by the priorities and concerns of our members, while being premised on an overarching objective of achieving a suitable balance of fairness, efficiency and simplicity in the administration of the taxation system.
|Submission regarding improving black economy enforcement and offences
Our submission has been driven by the priorities and concerns of our members, while being premised on an overarching objective of achieving a suitable balance of fairness, efficiency and simplicity in the administration of the taxation system.
Whilst we have reviewed the 26 questions put forward in the consultation paper and noted responses where applicable, we have also provided further information based on specific feedback from our members, which we consider is valuable input from a base actively involved in the tax profession.
|Div 7a Submission
Submission regarding targeted amendments to Div 7A integrity rules including addressing concerns with the proposed significant interest rate increase for loans which are currently compliant and the potential adverse effects on cash flow for those concerned, particularly for currently compliant secured 25 year loans required to comply with a reduced 10 year term. The retaining of the distributable surplus rules and excluding UPEs arising prior to 16 December 2009 from Div 7A, retaining the “grandfathering” provisions for pre 1997 loans and supporting safe harbour provisions for Shareholder asset use.
|Submission regarding review of tax residency rules for individuals
Our submission to the Board of Taxation has been driven by the priorities and concerns of our members, while being premised on an overarching objective of achieving a suitable balance of fairness, efficiency and simplicity in the administration of the taxation system. We acknowledge that the Board’s consultation guide contains 33 discussion questions – however, rather than address each single question, we have broadly commented on select issues based on our understanding of our stakeholder concerns.
|Submission to Treasury Discussion Paper on Three-yearly audit cycle for some self-managed superannuation funds
TSA is highly concerned about the impact of this proposal on the integrity of the superannuation system in Australia. During a period of volatility where the financial services sector is facing the Royal Commission for inappropriate behaviour pertaining to self- managed superannuation funds, now is not the time to be moving away from annual, independent audits.
|Submission to Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking Superannuation and Financial Services Industry
This submission considers: The unnecessary changes to the accounting profession are draconian and not based on sound analysis or facts; these regulations will result in substantially reduced competition in the provision of noncontroversial and generic advice on SMSFs and increased costs and fewer services; and there exist alternative means of regulation that will produce a better outcome at reduced costs without compromising the integrity of the service provided.
|Draft Income Tax Ruling TR 2017/D10: Income tax: Trust vesting – amending the vesting date and consequences of a trust vesting
The Draft Ruling expresses the view (at paragraph 11 and 12) that, prior to a trust’s vesting, a Court may be prepared to extend the vesting date but that once the vesting date has passed this would no longer be possible. However, that view appears to be at odds with the comments at paragraph 13 – that is, that the Commissioner understand that it would be unlikely that a Court would extend the vesting date once the vesting date has passed. The Professional Bodies would ask that the Commissioner review these paragraphs and clarify his views in this respect.
|2018-19 pre-budget submission (December 2017)
Our proposals for individual taxation include a tax offset for older workers to encourage mature age participation in the workforce. We also recommend a $2,000 standard work-related expense deduction with no substantiation required, as well as a concessional tax rate for passive investments. On behalf of small businesses, we have asked for the $20,000 instant asset write-off to be retained in addition to an amnesty for pre-1997 Division 7A loans. In regards to superannuation, we have asked for specific improvements to the new laws as well as online tools to help taxpayers understand and comply with the new super rules. There are many more recommendations in the Tax & Super Australia pre-budget submission, which can be read in the attached document.
|Submission to the Treasury: legislation relating to Budget measures tackling the Black Economy
This submission was in response to the draft legislation released by the Treasury. We re-iterate our overarching position as well as commenting on the legislation.
|Submission to the Treasury on Black Economy
This submission was in response to the consultation paper released by the Black Economy Taskforce. We re-iterate our overarching position as well as discussing our support for federal government initiatives.
|Review into the future of the tax profession (July 2017)
Our proposals surrounding the opportunities, risks and challenges presented by new developments, strategies to assist the tax profession, opportunities available to both the Australian Taxation Office and the Tax Practitioners Board as well as other concerns we have in relation to the future of the tax profession.
|Review into the Australian Taxation Office’s fraud management control (July 2017)
Our proposals regarding systems and operations at the ATO and community confidence in the ATO in light of recent events.
|Submission to House of Reps Standing Committee on Tax & Revenue (Feb 2017)
Our proposals regarding taxpayer engagement, the role of the tax practitioner, the reliance and stability of the ATO’s online services, connectivity for rural taxpayers and practitioners, and the cash economy.
|TSA’s 2017-18 pre-budget submission (January 2017)
Our proposals for individual taxation include a tax offset for older workers to encourage mature age participation in the workforce. We also recommend a $2,000 standard work-related expense deduction – no substantiation required. On behalf of small businesses, we have asked for the $20,000 instant asset write-off to be retained and a $10 million eligibility threshold for the small business CGT concessions. Superannuation changes are big news right now, and we have asked for specific improvements to the new laws as well as online tools to help taxpayers understand and comply with the new super rules. There are many more recommendations in the Tax & Super Australia pre-budget submission, which can be read in the attached document.
|Substantiation exception for reasonable travel allowance expenses (Nov 2016)
This submission was in response to the ATO’s discussion paper (QC50217) on the ways it could improve its guidance and administrative practices in relation to the substantiation exception for reasonable travel allowance expenses.
|Superannuation reform package (Sept 2016)
This submission was in response to the exposure draft legislation released by the Treasury. The exposure drafts were in relation to the following measures: the objective of superannuation, tax deductions for personal superannuation contributions, improve superannuation balances of low income spouses, introduce a Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset (LISTO) and harmonising contribution rules for those aged 65-74.
|Review into the ATO’s employer obligations compliance activities (Dec 2015)
This submission was in response to the IGT’s review into ATO employer obligation compliance activities. We thank our members for their participation and responses.
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|Objectives of superannuation submission
This submission was in response to a request from the Federal Government for feedback on the objective of the superannuation system. We thank our members for their participation and responses.
|IGT External scrutiny of the ATO submission
Taxpayers Australia has called for the appointment of a board of directors to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and increased powers for the Inspector-General of Taxation.
|IGT: debt collection
It appears to Taxpayers Australia that the high level of ATO debt is largely a problem of the ATO’s own making.
|IGT: Support for Tax Practitioners
As most of our members are part of smaller practices (and many are sole practitioners), there was a degree of frustration that the ATO fails to understand the pressures which they sometimes put on smaller practitioners.
|Treasury: TFN withholding
Taxpayers Australia agrees with the policy intent of the TFN withholding regime for closely-held trusts. However, under amendments, we have reservations in relation to the compliance burden and the practical difficulties which may be placed on trustees and their tax advisers as proposed.
|Treasury: Financial System Inquiry
The FSI provides a number of recommendations in relation to superannuation which we have
addressed in the accompanying submission.
|ATO: GSTR joint submission
The Professional Bodies welcome the opportunity to comment on Draft Goods and Services Tax Ruling Addendum GSTR 2001/8DA (Draft Addendum).
|ATO: Draft PSLA joint submission
The Joint Bodies reiterate the view that the Ruling contradicts the underlying policy intent of Division 7A and, in particular, Subdivision EA.
|ATO: SMSF disclosure
Superannuation Australia believes that the SMSF sector is currently appropriately regulated
and performing well for SMSF trustees. We are not convinced of the need to massively
increase the regulatory burden on the SMSF sector, particularly SMSF trustees.
|ATO: Bitcoin and FBT
Where Bitcoin is considered to be a form of currency, then PAYG withholding will apply and no FBT will apply.
|ATO: Bitcoin and GST
The following submission examines some issues of construction and interpretation in relation to GST concepts that impact the way ‘Bitcoin’ transactions are dealt with under the GST.
|ATO: Bitcoin as trading stock
We agree with the view expressed in the Ruling section of the draft TD (paragraph 1) that Bitcoin, when held for the purpose of sale or exchange in the ordinary course of a business, is trading stock for the purposes of subs70-10(1) – with possible qualifications.
|ATO: Bitcoin and CGT
In our submission on TD 2014/D11, we disagree with the Commissioner’s preliminary view that Bitcoin is not ‘foreign currency’ for the purposes of Division 775 and not ‘foreign currency’ as defined in s995-1.
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|Draft income tax ruling TR 2017/D2: Foreign Incorporated Companies: Central Management and control test of residency
Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2017/D2. The Draft Ruling sets out the Commissioner’s preliminary views on how to apply the “central management and control” test of corporate residency (the second statutory test) under section 6(1)(b) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (section 6(1)(b)).In the Professional Bodies’ view, the section 6(1)(b) test that applies to corporate residency is a two-limb test. The Draft Ruling only covers one aspect of the test in detail, the ‘central management and control’ (CMC) aspect, and only briefly covers the ‘carrying on a business’ (CoB) aspect. To properly consider the test in its entirety, the second limb regarding CoB should also be addressed.
|Draft Taxation Determination TD 2016/D4 & TD 2016/D5 (10 March 2017)
Income tax: does the residency assumption in subsection 95(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) apply for the purpose of section 855-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997), which disregards certain capital gains of a trust which is a foreign trust for CGT purposes?
Income tax: where an amount included in a beneficiary’s assessable income under section 99B(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) had its origins in a capital gain from non-taxable Australian property of a foreign trusts, can the beneficiary offset capital losses or a carry-forward net capital loss (‘capital loss offset) or access the CGT discount in relation to the amount?
|Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2017/D1 (3 March 2017)
Income tax: composite items and identifying the depreciating asset for the purposes of working out capital allowances.
|Draft Taxation Determination 2016/D6 & 2016/D7 (6 Feb 2017)
Where an Australian corporate tax entity is a partner in a partnership, can the partnership ‘hold’ a direct control interest (within the meaning of section 350 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936) in a foreign company for the purpose of Subdivision 768 A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (TD 2016/D6).
Draft Taxation Determination 2016/D7: where an Australian corporate tax entity is a beneficiary of a trust, can the trust be taken to ‘hold’ a direct control interest (within the meaning of section 350 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936) in a foreign company for the purpose of Subdivision 768 A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (TD 2016/D7).
|Draft Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2016/D16 (9 Dec 2016)
|Draft Taxation Determination TD 2016/D1 (9 Sept 2016)
Income tax: is a redemption payment received by a worker under the Return to Work Act 2014 (SA) assessable income of the worker?
|Taxation Ruling TR 2016/D1 (20 May 2016)
Income tax: deductibility of expenditure on a commercial website.
|Law Companion Guideline LCG 2016/D2 & LCG 2016/D3 (6 May 2016)
Law Companion Guidelines: Small Business Restructure Rollover: consequences of a roll-over and genuine restructure of an ongoing business.
|Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2016/D1 (22 April 2016)
Practical Compliance Guidelines: purpose, nature and role in ATO’s public advice and guidance.
|Law Companion Guideline LCG 2015/D (15 April 2016)
Law Companion Guidelines: purpose, nature and role in ATO’s public advice and guidance.