Research and development tax incentive rates change

01-Aug-2016

The Federal Government has reduced the rates of the tax offset available under the research and development (R&D) tax incentive for the first $100 million of eligible expenditure by 1.5 percentage points. The higher (refundable) rate of the tax offset has been reduced from 45% to 43.5% and the lower (non-refundable) rate of the offset has been reduced from 40% to 38.5%. Here are some relevant points to note: Eligible entities with annual turnover of less than $20 million, and which are not controlled by an exempt entity or entities, may obtain a refundable tax offset equal to 43.5% o..

Read More

ATO small business benchmarks updated

01-Aug-2016

The ATO has announced the latest benchmarks for small businesses. Based on the data from 2014 income tax returns and business activity statements, the benchmarks cover over 1.3 million small businesses. ATO Assistant Commissioner Matthew Bambrick said one of the great things about the benchmarks was that they gave a lot of small-business owners peace of mind. “If a small business is inside the benchmark range for their industry and the ATO hasn’t received any extra information that may cause concern, they can be confident that they probably won’t hear from us”, Mr Bambrick said. ..

Read More

New tax governance guide for SMSFs

01-Aug-2016

The ATO has released a new tax governance guide that can be used by SMSFs. The ATO has worked with businesses to design a guide to help private groups with tax governance. The guide also provides practical guidance about the key elements of SMSF governance. When managing an SMSF, trustees need to apply a high level of governance to meet the requirements of both the income tax and superannuation laws. SMSF trustees can use this guide to develop an effective governance framework and to identify ways to improve existing governance practices within their SMSFs. Issues covered in the guide inclu..

Read More

SMSF early voluntary disclosure service for contraventions

01-Aug-2016

The ATO has introduced a new self managed super fund (SMSF) early engagement and voluntary disclosure service. Each year, an approved SMSF auditor must audit a fund. The auditor is required to report certain regulatory contraventions to the ATO using the auditor/actuary contravention report. The ATO encourages SMSF trustees to voluntarily disclose regulatory contraventions, which they can now do using the ATO’s SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service. This service provides a single entry point for SMSF trustees to engage early with the ATO in relation to unrectified contravent..

Read More

Property developer entitled to capital gain tax concession

01-Aug-2016

A taxpayer has been successful before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in arguing that a commercial property it acquired, developed and later sold for a profit of some $40 million had been acquired as a capital asset to generate rental income, and not for the purpose of resale at a profit. The AAT reached this decision despite indicating that the taxpayer was essentially involved in “property development” activities on a broad analysis of its activities. As a result, the AAT found that the profit of $40 million was assessable as a capital gain and entitled to the 50% capital gains..

Read More

Superannuation concessional contributions caps must be observed

01-Aug-2016

An individual taxpayer has been unsuccessful before AAT in seeking to have excess superannuation concessional contributions for the 2014 financial year ignored. In addition to having a full-time job, the individual also held a number of casual part-time jobs. To grow his retirement savings, he salary sacrificed super, but he did not check on his super balances. In June 2015, the individual was advised by the ATO that he had excess concessional contributions of around $11,000 for the 2014 financial year, an amount which was added back to his taxable income. He was therefore charged interest..

Read More

Help the kids buy homes, but watch for land tax

01-Aug-2016

A taxpayer has been unsuccessful before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in a land tax dispute in arguing that there was a “constructive trust” in relation to three residential properties. The taxpayer, a father, had purchased the properties for each of his three adult children to live in. There were agreements that the children would pay their parents rent and, upon the death of both parents, as specified in mutual wills, the property would be left to the respective child. The Queensland Commissioner of State Revenue assessed land tax on the aggregate value of the thre..

Read More