News

New Simpler BAS on the way

The ATO has been working on ways to deliver a simpler business activity statement (BAS) to simplify account set-up, record keeping, BAS preparation and lodgment for agents and their clients, and make it less costly.

To achieve this, several GST labels will be removed from the BAS, with small businesses only required to report:

  • GST on sales (1A);
  • GST on purchases (1B); and
  • Total sales (G1).

They will begin user testing from 1 July 2016 and a simpler BAS should be the standard option for all small business from 1 July 2017.

ATO warns about iTunes scammers

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The ATO is reminding the public to be alert to scammers impersonating the ATO demanding iTunes gift cards as a form of tax debt payment.

Of the 8692 phone scam reports the ATO received in April 2016 in relation to the fake ATO tax debt scam, 58 reports mentioned the scammer demanding payment by iTunes (and apparently 26 people unfortunately payed $174,830 to fraudsters!)

Importantly, the scammers don’t need the actual physical card; they just need the gift card number, which they get victims to read over the phone.

The ATO states: “We will never request the payment of a tax debt via gift or pre-paid cards such as iTunes and Visa cards.  Nor will we ask for direct credit to be paid to a personal bank account”.

“And if the person calling you is rude and aggressive, threatening police or legal action if you don’t do something immediately – it’s not the ATO”.

ATO reminder about 30 June SuperStream deadline

With the 30 June 2016 deadline looming, the ATO strongly encourages small businesses to get on board with SuperStream as soon as possible.

SuperStream is the standardisation of how employers make super contributions on behalf of their employees, and involves employers sending all super payments and employee information electronically in a standard format. Using it is mandatory.

Editor: Unless the employer and the SMSF are related parties . . .

Options for becoming ‘SuperStream ready’ include using:

  • a payroll system that meets the SuperStream standard;
  • a super fund’s online system; or
  • a messaging portal or a super clearing house like the ATO’s Small Business Super Clearing House (SBSCH).

The SBSCH is a free, optional service for small business with 19 or fewer employees, as well as businesses with an annual aggregated turnover of $2 million or less.

Editor: If you’re worried you won’t be able to use SuperStream as you don’t operate electronically, there is a SuperStream option to suit every business, including using third parties to pay your super using SuperStream on your behalf.

If you have any questions, let us know and we’ll help you out.

2016/17 Federal Budget

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The government handed down the 2016/17 Federal Budget on Tuesday 3rd May.

It included (among many changes) proposed personal income and company tax cuts from 1 July 2016, the extension of GST to all imports (irrespective of value) from 1 July 2017, an increase in the small business entity (‘SBE’) turnover threshold from 1 July 2016, and (as you may have heard) many, many superannuation changes.

Of course, they are all dependent on the Turnbull Government winning the election on 2 July and the legislation then surviving Parliament after that.

Editor: We’ll keep you informed!

Other SME changes

There is very little else of relevance to SME’s, although the much talked about reforms for Division 7A appear to be still crawling along with the Government announcing that they will continue to consult on the already widely consulted upon Board of Taxation’s Post Implementation Review of Division 7A.

The recommendations of that review (which were provided to Government in late 2014 and released to the public in June 2015) included a standardised 10 year loan, a self-correction mechanism for honest mistakes and transitional arrangements for pre 1997 loans, UPE’s and existing Division 7A loans.  Any changes will apply from 1 July 2018, so the wait continues…

If you have any queries regarding the above please contact our office.