ATO data matching blitz targets small business merchant credit card sales

In an unprecedented first for small business tax compliance, the Tax Office has revealed it will chase up incorrectly disclosed income and match it to credit card and debit card records throughout the 2014-15 financial year.

As part of the blitz, the Tax Office will ask major Australian financial institutions for the online purchase details of around 90,000 business-owning taxpayers.

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Selling your business and the GST “going concern” exemption

The concept of the “going concern” exemption for GST purposes can still cause confusion when businesses are sold, despite the fact this exemption has been in place for many years.

A “going concern” refers to an enterprise’s ability to continue trading, with the sale of that business generally eligible to be GST-free if the enterprise is deemed as such.

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Why you need to disclose a business industry code for your tax return

The Tax Office has re-released its business industry code (BIC) tool to help small businesses speed up their tax return lodgement.

The BIC is a five-digit number required for tax returns and schedules. Using the correct code helps businesses avoid delays by ensuring their return is lodged in the correct category. It is derived from the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) codes.

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Valuing stock for private use

Have you taken stock for private use? That’s ok! Here’s the values to use for 2014-15.

The Tax Office issues guidance every year for business owners on the value it will accept as estimates of the value of goods taken from trading stock for private use by taxpayers in certain industries.

The following table should be used to work out these values for the 2014-15 income year.

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What is a Tax Office public ruling and how can it help?

The Tax Office can issue public rulings that provide guidance on the interpretation of various tax laws.

Public rulings generally deal with priority issues that have been found to require clarification, so if you have a concern about a particular area of tax law, you may find that many of your concerns are shared by others and may have already been addressed.

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Single Touch Payroll put on back burner: Relief for many small businesses

Since the announcement of Single Touch Payroll (STP) late in 2014, the government says it has been working closely with both software developers and businesses to help it understand the affects the initiative will have in the real world.

Feedback to date has informed government that the proposed start date of July 2016 will simply not be achievable, especially for small and medium sized businesses. There were also concerns regarding resulting cash flow issues.

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