Christmas will be here before we know it, and it is likely that employers will already be thinking about their yuletide preparations. You may also be thinking about how to manage FBT and Christmas.
Are you a company director? Better brush up on your responsibilities!
Company directors need to keep in mind that the Corporations Act holds directors personally liable for many of the legal and financial obligations expected from a company.
Businesses in Australia are required to deal with the goods and services tax (GST) in various ways — from charging customers 10% and paying the Tax Office the tax collected, to claiming GST on purchases.
Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments is a system for making regular payments towards your expected annual income tax liability. It only applies to you if you earn business and/or investment income over a certain amount.
It’s safe to say Australia has a penchant for small business.
Around 90% of Australian businesses are small to medium-sized entities (SMEs). Taxes on small business are lower than they’ve been in the last decade. It’s one of our healthiest and fastest growing sectors.
With the Uber-GST stoush mostly settled, the Tax Office has offered an olive branch to another high-profile disruptive economy -crowdfunding – in the form of provisional tax guidance that promises things will change if they need to.
Historically the Tax Office’s stance on crowdfunding has been narrow but definitive. Late last year, the regulator said crowdfunding activities would likely incur GST liabilities if they involved exchanging goods for donations. It’s common that ‘promoters’ (the individuals asking for donations) offer ‘funders’ prizes for their contributions and the Tax Office saw that occurrence as a taxable consideration. That applied only to goods, though.
When the Single Touch Payroll initiative was first floated at the end of 2014, it was touted as a tool that would eliminate several red-tape producing processes and do away with the need for many reporting demands presently dumped on small business owners.
It is called “single touch” because the interactive online tool is intended to fulfil all business reporting obligations (payment summaries, superannuation contributions, pay-as-you-go withholding and so on) “at the touch of a single button” the government announcement said.
The Tax Office warns that it is working closely with AusIndustry to identify taxpayers involved in aggressive R&D Tax Incentive arrangements.
The ATO says some claims made for the R&D incentive have been negligent on the compliance requirements generally expected when making a claim, with some other instances even bordering on tax avoidance and fraud.
You are allowed to disagree with the Tax Office, if they have disagreed with your self-assessment of your tax position.
If you believe your tax assessment is incorrect, the first step is straight forward and pretty informal. You contact us and we start making enquiries; you may need to provide us with extra information to help. If we believe the assessment is wrong we can lodge an amendment with the Tax Office (see our post Making an amendment to your tax return).
Once we have lodged your 2014-15 tax return and forwarded your notice of assessment to you saying that everything is as discussed, you may realise that something has been left out of your tax return or accidentally included an extra deduction. You might be left wondering “how do I amend my tax return?”.
The Australian tax system is based on “self assessment”, which means the Tax Office generally takes your word, under our guidance, and bases its assessment on the information provided. But if it subsequently becomes apparent that something is wrong, there is an option to make it right.