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Rental property owners: Top 10 tips to avoid common tax mistakes

The ATO is reminding rental property owners that each year it sees some fairly common mistakes being made with tax claims, and the outcomes that result, in regard to investment properties. It has therefore released a list of the top 10 stumbles, and how best to avoid them.


  1. Apportioning expenses and income for co-owned properties

    If you own a rental property with someone else, you must declare rental income and claim expenses according to your legal ownership

September 18th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Tax and the kids’ savings

If a child is under the age of 18, and they earn income on their savings account, remember that the ATO considers that the person who “owns” the interest depends on who uses the funds of that account (no matter what type of account it is or the name of the account holder).

You need to consider:

  • who provides the money, such as the initial and ongoing deposits into the account, and
  • who decides how the money is
September 18th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

On the road: ATO black economy crackdown starts

The ATO is expected to visit around 10,000 small businesses in the 2019-20 financial year in a wide-ranging crackdown on black economy activities.


Already ATO officers are on the road and over June-July headed to the Northern Territory as part of a nationwide crackdown on the black economy. Queensland and Victoria are also pencilled in to be visited by ATO officers. Assistant Commissioner Peter Holt said that the ATO is particularly concerned about businesses that are not registered for pay-as- you-go (PAYG)

August 16th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

More TPARs (Taxable Payments Annual Reports) Due Soon

Operators in some Australian industries as well as select government entities are required by the ATO to lodge a taxable payments annual report (TPAR). These reports let the ATO know about payments that are made to contractors for providing services. Contractors can include subcontractors, consultants and independent contractors, and they can be operating as sole traders (individuals), companies, partnerships or trusts.


The TPAR system was initially introduced to address longstanding compliance issues the ATO

August 16th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

GST obligations to be included under the director penalty regime

The strengthening of the director penalty regime has seen director penalty notices (DPNs) extended to superannuation guarantee obligations from 1 March 2019.


Now it looks like DPNs for GST are set to take affect from 1 October 2019 on the back of recent legislation, Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing) Bill 2019, which lapsed at the dissolution of Parliament in the lead up to the last federal election, but has just been revived.


Schedule 3 to the bill allows the

August 16th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Keeping busy – Is it just a hobby, or are you in business?

It is important to understand the differences between a hobby and a business for tax, insurance and legal purposes among other things. For one thing, there will be certain tax and other obligations that start once you are in business.

However it’s a myth that there is a dollar threshold to be in a business (some people can have very expensive hobbies). What matters is whether, as a whole, your activity is “commercial”, with an aim to make

August 9th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Tax when you’re headed overseas

Most people’s “to-do” list when they are planning a trip overseas will likely include items such as travel insurance, phone chargers or taking photos of their passport — but probably the last thing on anyone’s minds will be their likely tax situation before, during or after that trip-of-a-lifetime.

However a few simple considerations, taken in the context of your personal circumstances, may end up making quite a difference to your final fiscal outcome.

Generally you will remain an Australian

August 9th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Event-based reporting mistakes lead to more SMSF audits

In the year since event-based reporting (EBR) started for SMSFs (from 1 July 2018) the ATO says an unprecedented number of transfer balance cap reports have required re-reporting.

The transfer balance account report (TBAR) is used to report certain events and is separate from the SMSF annual return. The TBAR enables the ATO to record and track an individual’s balance for both their transfer balance cap and total superannuation balance.

The ATO says the regulations in place do not

July 19th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Carrying forward concessional super contributions

The income year of 2019-20 has just ticked over, which is also the first year in which an individual is able to make additional catch-up contributions to super through the application of unused concessional (before tax) contributions.

These are “unused” if the fund member made less than the legislated cap on such contributions, which was reduced to $25,000 per year from 1 July 2017.

The rules that allow for a catch-up started to take affect one year later. From

July 19th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Penalty interest can be deductible, under specific conditions

A new ruling has been released by the ATO on the deductibility or otherwise of “penalty interest”. The term penalty interest refers to an amount payable by a borrower under a loan agreement when the lender agrees to an early repayment of a loan. The amount payable is commonly calculated by reference to the number of months of interest payments that would have been received but for the early payment.

The ATO ruling stresses that the deductibility or

July 17th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|