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Crowdfunding tax guidance raises questions over gratuities, specialty donations

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.

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Single Touch Payroll questions answered: Have your say

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.

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Avoid ineligible R&D Tax Incentive claims

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.

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More of the Federal Budget’s small business concessions now have certainty

Our post-budget wrap up looked at many of the announcements affecting small business with the “Growing Jobs and Small Business” package announced by the government on budget night. You can read more about the small business concessions at business.gov.au.

Now the legislation that many small business owners will be glad to see in place has made it through Parliament.

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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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