Election: Super – first homebuyers and downsizer proposals
The Morrison Government has announced that if it is re-elected it will introduce the “Super Home Buyer Scheme” which will enable first home buyers to be able to access up to 40% of their superannuation (up to a maximum of $50,000) for the purchase of their first home. The scheme will apply to both new and existing homes – with the invested amount to be returned to their superannuation fund when the house is sold, including a share of any capital gain. These measures would apply from 1 July 2023. The Morrison Government also  announced that it would extend the existing “super downsizer” rules to persons over the age of 55. As a result, they will be able to make  a contribution to super from the sale of their home of up to $300,000 (per person) without triggering the super contribution cap rules. This measure would apply from 1 July 2022.

ATO: GST considerations for buy-now, pay-later providers
The ATO has release a practical guidance document on key GST considerations for buy-now, pay-later providers – focusing on how to determine entitlement to input tax credits on related costs. However, interestingly, the ATO states that the guidance does not provide protection from primary tax, penalties or interest for any taxpayer that purports to rely on any views expressed in it.

ASIC: AFS licensees must manage cybersecurity risks
Following the recent Federal Court decision which found that an AFS licensee breached its AFS licence obligations by failing to have systems to adequately manage its cybersecurity risks, ASIC has reminded AFS licensees that they should be aware of the potential consumer harms that arise from cybersecurity shortcomings. It also emphasised that they should adopt good cybersecurity risk management practices to reduce potential harm to consumers.


ATO focus for tax time 2022
The ATO has announced its 4 key focus areas for Tax Time 2022 – namely: record-keeping; work-related expenses; rental property income and deductions; and capital gains from crypto assets, property, and shares. The ATO says that these priority areas will ensure that there is an appropriate level of scrutiny on correct reporting of deductions and income, and that the “golden” rules for taxpayers are: they must have spent the money themselves and weren’t reimbursed; if the expense is for a mix of income producing and private use, they can only claim the portion that relates to producing income; and they must have appropriate record to prove their claims.

ATO reminder: “base rate entities” – 25% tax rate
The ATO has reminded corporate taxpayers that their tax rate for the 2021–22 income year onwards will be 25% if they are a “base rate entity” – and that for a company to be a “base rate entity”, it needs to meet the following criteria: the company’s aggregated turnover for the income year is less than the aggregated turnover threshold of $50m (from the 2018–19 income year onwards); and, if the company earns “passive” income, this cannot exceed 80% of the company’s assessable income for the year (with “passive income” including corporate distributions and their franking credits, royalties and rent, most income from interest, gains on qualifying securities and a net capital gain). Otherwise, the full company tax rate of 30% applies to all companies.

ATO’s attention to return to debt recovery
The ATO has advised that it remains committed to engaging with taxpayers about unpaid debts as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. It said that that during the early days of COVID-19, it deliberately shifted its focus away from debt collection action to help and assist businesses and the community but that now it is turning its attention again more fully to debt recovery processes. In particular, the ATO emphasised that where taxpayers don’t engage, it will take firmer actions and that these include garnishees, recovery of director penalties, disclosure of business tax debts, and legal actions including summons, creditors petition, wind-up and insolvency action.



ATO to resume offsetting of debts
The ATO has advised that from May 2022, clients of tax-agents may receive a letter to their postal address reminding them of their “aged debt” (ie one the ATO has placed on hold and has not undertaken any recent action to collect). Further, the ATO said that from June 2022, it will recommence offsetting clients’ tax refunds or credits to pay off their debts on hold – or it may use credits that clients receive from other government agencies to pay off their debt. The ATO also said that these offset transactions can be viewed on Online services for agents and that clients will also receive a Statement of Account (SOA) in respect of offset transactions.

ATO reminder: Super guarantee changes
The ATO has reminded employers that from 1 July 2022, employees can be eligible for super guarantee (SG), regardless of how much they earn. This is because the $450 per month eligibility threshold for when SG is paid is being removed. However, employers need only to pay super for workers under 18 when they work more than 30 hours in a week. The ATO also reminded employers that the SG rate will also increase from 10% to 10.5% on 1 July 2022. As a result, employers will need to use the new rate to calculate super on payments made to employees on or after 1 July, even if some or all of the pay period is for work done before 1 July.

Tas: Land tax rates Bill passed
The Land Tax Rating Amendment Bill 2022 (Tas) has been passed by Parliament. It amends the rates and thresholds used in assessing land tax, as follows: increasing the tax free threshold from $49,999 to $99,999; increasing the upper threshold from $399,999 to $499 999; and decreasing the rate applied to the $100,000 to $499,999 band from 0.55% to 0.45%. The measures will commence on 1 July 2022.

ATO reminder: Trustees of SMSF to notify changes
The ATO has reminded trustees of an SMSF that they must notify the ATO within 28 days if there are any changes to the following: trustees; directors of the corporate trustee; members; contact details (contact person, phone and email address); address (postal, registered or address for service of fund notices); and fund status. The ATO also advised that these details can be updated via: online at; online through Online services for business (via Secure Mail); through a registered agent; by phone 13 10 20 (for authorised contacts only); or, by lodging the paper form change of details for superannuation entities.

Fuel tax credit rate for non-business claimants – PCG 2016/3
The ATO has updated PCG 2016/3 (Fuel tax credits – fuel tax credit rate for non-business claimants). It addresses the consequences of how the practical compliance method for non-business fuel tax credit claimants interacts with the 2022-23 Budget measure that reduced excise duty rates by half from 30 March 2022 until 28 September 2022. The PCG states that ongoing purpose of the Guideline is to ease administration and compliance costs associated with changes in the fuel tax credit rate due to indexation (February and August each year). It is being updated so that the compliance method only applies where a rate change during a claim period is solely because of indexation.

Timeshare company: breach of financial services laws
ASIC has advised that Federal Court has made declarations that a timeshare company breached financial services laws by failing to ensure that financial advice given to consumers was in the consumers’ best interests and was not appropriate to their circumstances. The Court declared that the company failed to: act efficiently, honestly and fairly; provide relevant training to its authorised representatives; monitor and supervise its representatives appropriately; and put in place documented policies and procedures to support the advice process.

ATO reminder: Engage early if you can’t pay
The ATO has once again reminded taxpayers and their agents that if a tax bill can’t be paid on time it is important to engage with the ATO early so it can help you deal with the debt while it’s still manageable. In this regard, it said that it is committed to listening to your situation and helping you get back on track. The ATO also said that this may be particularly relevant to small business operators and sole traders who sometimes may have cash flow issues.

ATO: Results from survey of large super fund industry
The ATO has released the results of its survey of the large super fund industry  undertaken in March 2022. Among other things, the ATO said that the survey results showed that most of those surveyed were satisfied with the value they received from attending super-related consultation groups and that the ATO’s participation in industry conferences is valued.

Customs: Valuation of imported goods – exchange rates
The Comptroller-General of Customs has released relevant rates of exchange for specified dates for the purposes of ascertaining the value of imported goods pursuant to Div 2 of Pt VIII of the Customs Act 1901. The information covers exchange rates cover over 25 countries.

Weekly Update