Individuals with a total superannuation balance (TSB) below $500,000 are now able to “carry forward” their unused concessional contributions (CC) cap space to future years in order to catch up on contributions later when they have the capacity to do so. Usually, an individual’s CCs are capped at $25,000 per financial year, and exceeding the…

The government plans to give companies greater access to prior year tax losses in a bid to stimulate business innovation. A new alternative to the “same business test” – the “similar business test” – will make it easier for companies that have experienced a significant change in ownership or control to carry forward their losses….

In an effort to reduce pressure on housing affordability, the government wants to encourage older Australians to sell their home in order to improve housing stock. To achieve this, the government has introduced a new opportunity for older Australians to contribute some of the proceeds from the sale of their home into superannuation. Under the…

In recent years there has been much debate about the effectiveness and fairness of Australia’s current rules for taxing discretionary trusts. These trusts are very popular and are widely used for holding investments, conducting businesses and succession planning. However, a recent ATO-commissioned study that highlights several problems with trust taxation rules, together with changes proposed…

Individuals with income and super contributions above $250,000 are subject to an additional 15% Div 293 tax on their “low tax contributions” (ie concessional contributions). Concessional contributions include all employer contributions, such as the 9.5% super guarantee and salary sacrifice contributions, and personal contributions for which a deduction has been claimed. As a result of…

If you are an employee and you sometimes work from home, you may be able to claim deductions for some of the expenses you incur, provided you are not reimbursed by your employer. Here, we consider two common types of expenses that employees may claim and how you must substantiate your deductions. Running expenses such…

The government is getting tough on employers who fail to make compulsory superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions. A host of measures are being implemented, ranging from improved reporting systems through to proposed employer penalties of up to 12 months’ imprisonment. Importantly for small businesses, the government wants to extend Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting to all employers from…

Renting out your holiday home for part of the year can help to finance the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining the property. As well as providing an income stream, this will also allow you to deduct some of the expenses such as interest payments on a loan you have taken out to buy the…

Many SMSFs have used a “limited recourse borrowing arrangement” (LRBA) as part of a gearing strategy to build members’ retirement savings, allowing the funds to borrow to buy high-value growth assets, typically real estate. However, proposed new laws that seek to count a portion of an SMSF’s loan balance towards some members’ own “total superannuation…

The government is simplifying the Division 7A rules that govern deemed dividends, proposing a new 10-year loan model for compliant loans to start 1 July 2019. Significantly, companies with existing loans would be forced to transition to the new model, which also includes a considerably higher benchmark interest rate. Division 7A is a long-standing tax…

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