SMSF event-based reporting: What needs to be reported, what doesn’t

Since event-based reporting started for SMSFs from 1 July 2018, the ATO says that for the larger part, SMSF trustees have mostly adjusted to the new requirements.


Now that an entire income year under the transfer balance account report (TBAR) regime has been completed, some teething problems have emerged. A big one for the ATO has been the high number of commutation authorities that have been unnecessarily issued. The ATO says more than 50% of these were revoked due to it consequently receiving amended

October 9th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Amendments to FBT definition of “taxi” imminent

Treasury has just released some miscellaneous amendments that include a redefinition of the word “taxi” in regard to certain tax arrangements. An exposure draft addresses the ongoing problem for taxpayers around the definition of taxi for FBT purposes (see the second link on this Treasury webpage, “Miscellaneous Amendments Bill Explanatory Memorandum”, and scroll to page 19).


The bill, under Part 2 “Amendments commencing first day of the next quarter” has been drafted with the stated

October 9th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

An FBT reporting exclusion for personal security concerns

The ATO has plans in place that it can put into operation to relieve certain employers from reporting all the fringe benefits they provide to staff. The measure however is only triggered where it can be shown that employees’ personal safety is at risk or under threat.


Note that the term “security concerns” in relation to the personal security of an employee also takes in associates of that employee (for example, a relative). Such concerns may arise from

October 9th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

Fictions (and facts) about work expense deductions

There can be varied sources for some of the myths about tax deductions —pub-talk, BBQ-banter, hairdresser-homilies, what-your-taxi-driver-just-heard and many others. We sort out fact from fiction.


This year’s tax time saw media reports about various outlandish tax claims — for example the ATO being faced with claims for dental expenses, gambling losses, Lego sets, sunscreen (and an umbrella) for cigarette breaks, and even the cost of a wedding reception (all rejected, by the way).


How certain myths are started

October 9th, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

ATO takes aim at ‘you-scratch-my-back’ auditing arrangements

It has long been an accepted standard that the auditor of an SMSF needs to be independent of that fund, and be a third party entity to the SMSF. This requirement is written into the legislation.

There have of course been breaches of this requirement, and instances where auditors and/or fund trustees have suffered administrative penalties or even disqualification for non-compliance in this area.

The more blatant breaches of the requirement to use a third party auditor involve someone

October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Make Money|

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|