This year’s federal Budget saw the major parties go head-to-head to ease the cost of living for low and middle-income earners. However, long-term tax policy is a major point of difference, with the Coalition’s plan to flatten tax rates and provide “incentives for working Australians” branded a “ticking debt bomb” by the opposition. Here, we…

The ATO’s business benchmark data is a useful tool for smart business owners. Learn how you can access these benchmarks to judge your business’ performance against industry standards, identify your ATO audit risk and other tax compliance issues, and prompt new thinking about ways to improve your profit margins. This data is available for over…

Millions of Australians are now using the “sharing” economy to earn some extra money on the side. Thanks to smartphones and user-friendly apps, people can easily access sharing services like ride sharing, accommodation sharing and pet minding. The government is concerned that some Australians who receive income from sharing platforms may not be paying the…

The ATO has recently warned taxpayers to be alert to malicious scammers who are using increasingly sophisticated methods and technology to impersonate the ATO. A new tactic on the rise involves “spoofing”, whereby scammers mimic a legitimate ATO phone number visible on caller ID to call or send SMS messages to taxpayers, or mimic a…

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…

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…

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…

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…

In an effort to assist women experiencing family and domestic violence, the government has proposed to extend the ability to access early release superannuation based on feedback from the wider community. Currently, the early release of superannuation can only be provided in limited circumstances such as terminal illness and severe financial hardship. It is hoped…

Labor may implement tax policies of negative gearing restrictions, reduction of the CGT discount, and ending excess dividend imputation if it wins government next year. If you hold any investments you may be subject to Labor’s negative gearing restrictions which would likely be limited to newly-constructed housing. The restrictions would apply on a global basis….

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