News and Views

New withholding tax regime for property

“The Australian Tax Office is concerned that non-resident taxpayers are not meeting their tax obligations when they sell Australian property. The solution is this new withholding tax regime,” Costanzo, Moore Stephens’ director of tax and business advisory in WA explains.

When a non-resident sells property with a market value of $2 million or more, the purchaser is now required to withhold 10 per cent of the purchase price, and remit this amount to the ATO.
 

Budget Super Changes passed into Law

After months of uncertainty, the Senate has passed the Federal Government's superannuation reform package. The initial proposal from the May 2016 Federal Budget has seen significant amendments. Much of the change has a commencement date of 1 July 2017 and generally speaking, the superannuation environment will be more restrictive after July 2017. This provides superannuation fund members with a seven-month window to take advantage of the existing provisions and best position their superannuation assets to provide maximum benefits into the future. The opportunity is significant and the time to act is now.

Simplifying income recognition for not-for-profit-entities

On the 28th September 2016 the AASB issued new income recognition requirements for not-for-profit (NFP) entities:

  • AASB 10XX Income of Not-for-profit Entities; and
  • AASB 2016-X Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – Australian Implementation Guidance for Not-for-Profit Entities.

AASB 2016-X will provide NFPs with guidance on how best to apply AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers.  These draft standards are now available for comment as a ‘fatal flaw’ draft until 21 October 2016.

Profit and Cash Flow: What's the Difference?

We often hear from business owners who report a healthy profit at year end, but scramble to pay their bills on time throughout the year. This scenario is especially common for start-ups and companies that work on long-term projects. These types of businesses tend to have a long cash conversion cycle that causes a significant disconnect between cash in the bank and the profit reported on income statements and tax returns. Here’s why.

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. 

Avoiding SMSF Disputes

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) can be vulnerable to disputes, especially when family members are involved.
 
If left unresolved, disputes surrounding SMSFs can result in a hefty bill. SMSF disputes may be caused by various relationship breakdowns, for example, those funds with parents and siblings as members and trustees, or in cases where there is simply a clear difference of opinion.

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. 

Paperless Record Keeping- Best Practice

The ATO reminds us on its website that by law, business operators have to keep records, which “explain all transactions, be in writing, be in English or in a form that can be easily converted, and be kept for five years”. Some records, especially in relation to capital gain tax events, may need to be kept for longer. Clients sometimes tell us about their frustration in relation to this record keeping burden. They tell us about running out of space for the piles of paper. However, the ATO tells us that “be in writing” also means “in electronic format” and that “the principles are the same”.
 

 
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