Taxation

What does Australia need to do to stay ahead?

As we look towards the future, it is broadly agreed that Australia cannot continue to rely on luck and location alone. The most recent economic survey by Credit Suisse placed Australian’s as the second wealthiest people on the planet, closely behind Denmark.

To maintain this standard of living, the Australian government is acutely aware that we need to do something different going forward. The rhetoric from industry and government has for some time stated, “we can’t just keep digging it up and selling it, if we want to maintain our standard of living.”

I’ve worked really hard and things are taken care of…or are they?

You’ve worked really hard for a long time, made big sacrifices…family time, early mornings, late nights, taken risks and it has paid off. Time for you to enjoy the fruit of your labour that has been made possible by your sacrifices.
 
Unexpectedly something comes out of the woodwork and you find yourself in a legal battle. You didn’t expect this and suddenly everything you’ve worked so hard for could be gone. Have you done everything you can to protect your assets?

Taxing times

It’s something we all believe won’t ever happen to us. We tell ourselves tax audits happens only to the risk takers. We mistakenly find solace in the seeming randomness of those who do happen to capture the attention of the Australian Tax Office’s auditors, but the reality is that it’s rarely that haphazard. 
 

2018 End of Year Tax Planning Checklist

The Moore Stephens Tax Team have prepared this guide to help you navigate the various items that may require consideration, prior to 30 June 2018, for effective tax planning. This information will assist you in identifying items that you may like to discuss with us.

ASIC industry funding – indicative levies

The ASIC industry funding model commenced on 1 July 2017. This model will see a new system of levies introduced across the range of different entities which come under ASIC’s control. The first invoices are expected to be issued in January 2019 and will recover costs for regulatory services for the 2017-2018 financial year.
 

2018-19 Federal Budget Report: Health

Investing in Australia’s Health

Record investment in health-related measures were announced to guarantee essential services for a “longer, healthier and safer life”.

The measures also extend to finances and job skills so that “Australians can “live life to the full” and plan ahead.

2018-19 Federal Budget Report: Infrastructure (including Resources and Energy)

Building a better Australia

The 2018 Budget commits the Coalition to a $75 billion infrastructure investment over 10-years. Projects include: reducing congestion, creating more jobs and improving safety.
Digital infrastructure will also be given a boost with improvements to the accuracy of GPS and satellite imagery, with flow-on effects to the competitiveness of sectors such as agriculture, mining and marine industries.
 
The 2018-19 Budget includes a continuation of the $37.6 million (allocated in 2017-18) over five years to support the improvement of energy affordability, reliability and sustainability.

Single Touch Payroll is coming - are you ready?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is coming into effect from 1 July 2018 for all ‘substantial employers’. It will change the way employers send employee's tax and superannuation information to the ATO with payments such as salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information sent to their Accountants directly from their payroll solution at the same time they pay their employees.

Getting our heads around new GST regime

New GST laws targeting property developers come into effect on 1 July. Is your company prepared? Taxation specialist Ross Sicuro, director of Moore Stephens, shares his insights.

Announced in the 2017 federal budget, the new GST laws promise to crack down on ‘phoenix activity’ – where companies strip the assets and cash from a business before liquidating and restarting it under a different name.

The business rises from the ashes, but leaves creditors, including the ATO, high and dry.

2017 Tax Planning Checklist: Introduction

This paper sets out various items to consider prior to 30 June 2017, for effective tax planning.

  • Taxing of Trade Income

  • Record Keeping

  • Individual Income Tax Rates

  • Temporary Budget Repair Levy

  • Medicare Levy Surcharge and Private Health Care Rebate

2017 Tax Planning Checklist: Deductions

Key Items

  • ​Prepayments - Small Business Entity Taxpayer

  • Prepayments - Not Defined as Small Business

  • Prepayments "Excluded Expenditure"

  • Deductions Under the General Prepayment Rules

  • Bringing Forward Deductions

  • Interest on Investment Loans

  • Bad Debts (if taxation return prepared on an accruals basis)

  • Staff - Bonuses

  • Staff - Holidays

  • Superannuation

  • Superannuation Minimum Contribution

  • Superannuation Co-Contribution – for 2016/17

  • Interest on Loan Funds

  • Repairs and Maintenance

  • Directors’ Fees

  • Travel Deductions

  • Expense Substantiation

  • Depreciation

  • Negative Gearing

  • Building Allowance

  • Borrowing Costs

  • Entertainment

  • Research and Development

  • Property Owner's Deductions

  • Donations and Gifts

  • Audit Fees

  • Salary Packages

  • Working from Home Expenses

  • Expenses for Shareholding Investments

  • Taxation Advice

  • Motor Vehicle Expenses

2017 Tax Planning Checklist: Personal Planning

Key Items

  • ​Zone Offset

  • Sickness and Accident Insurance Payments

  • Home-Office Expenses

  • Utilising Tax Free Threshold

  • Tax Offsets Net Medical Expenses

  • Work Related Expenses

  • Dividends, Interest, Managed Funds Distributions

  • End of Year Tax Schemes

  • Salary Packaging

  • Superannuation Contributions

  • Splitting of Superannuation Contributions

  • Australian Taxation Office Monitoring

  • Motor Vehicle Expenses

2017-2018 Federal Budget Expert Analysis - Health

Key points

  • Medicare Levy to increase by 0.5% from 1 July 2019

  • Medicare Levy low-income thresholds increased

  • Medicare Guarantee Fund to be established to ensure Medicare is fully funded

  • The freeze on the indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) has been lifted

  • Retention of bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology services

  • Affordable access to medicines continued

2017-2018 Federal Budget Expert Analysis - Property

Key points

  •  Measures aimed at foreign resident property owners
  • Restricting ownership by foreign ownership in new developments

  • GST integrity measure on property transactions

  • Limiting plant and equipment depreciation claim for property investors

  • Integrity measures regarding the Small business Capital Gains Tax (CGT) concessions will be introduced

2017-2018 Federal Budget Expert Analysis - Superannuation

Key points

  • Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements to be included in a member’s superannuation balance and transfer balance caps

  • First home owners will be allowed to salary sacrifice to superannuation for home deposits

  • Home sellers 65 years or over can make non-concessional contributions to superannuation

2017-2018 Federal Budget Expert Analysis - Infrastructure

Key points

  • $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing over the next 10 years

  • Western Sydney Airport to be built

  • Funding of Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project

  • $10 billion National Rail Programme

  • Establishment of a $472 million Regional Growth Fund to deliver job-creating infrastructure

2017-2018 Federal Budget Expert Analysis - Housing Affordability

Key points

  • First home buyers can salary sacrifice into their superannuation account

  • Up to $300,000 from the proceeds of the sale of the family home can be contributed to superannuation for persons aged 65 and over

  • Increasing the CGT discount to 60% for investments in affordable housing

  • Allowing managed investment trusts (MITs) to be used to develop and own affordable housing

  • Further initiatives to increase housing supply

Test - Business Taxation

Business taxation changes impact a wide variety of businesses in the 2017-18 budget but only changes to corporate tax rates look to impact the majority of businesses in the short term.

Claiming depreciation on investment property

Rental property investors have access to a range of tax strategies. One such strategy, which is often underutilised, is claiming depreciation as a tax deduction.

Property expenses, such as depreciation and capital works expenditure, can be deducted over a number years, adding to a significant return for property investors come tax time.
 

Shock for landlords as land tax skyrockets

Over the past month soaring property values have seen landlords hit by steep increases in landlord taxes.

A number of landlords, property owners and lessors have been shocked when confronted with sharp increases in land tax bills this month.

The State Revenue Office (SRO) argues that 2016 was a revaluation year, which means your site value will most likely increase in 2017.
 

Transitional Provisions for SMSFs

The Government will apply transitional arrangements to SMSFs affected by the retrospective aspects of the Federal Budget’s proposal to limit non-concessional contributions. In the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the introduction of a lifetime cap of $500,000 on non-concessional superannuation contributions, including contributions since 2007, was announced. 

ATO Targeting SMSF Tax Avoidance

The Australian Tax Office has its sight set on an emerging tax avoidance tactic being taken up by a number of self-managed superannuation funds. 

The ATO has warned individuals (at or approaching retirement age) not to use a strategy known as diverting personal services income (PSI) through their SMSF to minimise or avoid their income tax obligations. 

ATO Key Agent Program

Moore Stephens is proud to be partnering with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on the Key Agent Program that was implemented last year. This program has been co-designed with key stakeholders and influential partners as a way to work through and address the changing environment of taxation in Australia. This whole-of-ATO approach is designed to engage industry leaders and provide the opportunity to feedback on administrative issues and upcoming changes.

Victorian State Budget Announcement

The Victorian State Government  delivered its 2016-17 Budget on Wednesday with proposed big spending on good hospitals, reliable roads and public transport and securing jobs in growing industries throughout the state.

Ease of doing business in Australia

We are often asked the question “how easy is it to do business in Australia?”
 
The World Bank Group annually ranks all countries for the ease of doing business and Australia currently ranks in the top 15 amongst the 217 countries measured.

Working together - the reinvention of the ATO

Late last year, Moore Stephens Victoria  supported the AustralianTaxation Office (ATO) and then subsequently hosted a Key Agent meeting by our Directors with several senior ATO executives to enhance collaboration with our firm and ultimately to deliver a better client experience.

What’s next for the $20k write off

The small business $20,000 depreciating asset write-off was announced as part of the 2016 Federal Budget and was passed by the Senate in June 2015. Now that many small business owners are turning their minds to their 2015 Income Tax Returns what does this mean for you?