ATO: Get ready for FBT time!
The ATO has issued a reminder that as the 2023 FBT year ends on 31 March 2023 that it’s a good time to start thinking about FBT obligations and that you’ll need to work out if you have an FBT liability for fringe benefits you’ve provided to your employees or their associates between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023. The ATO also stated, among other things, that if you have a FBT liability, or paid FBT instalments on your activity statements, you need to lodge an FBT return and pay the amount due by 22 May(albeit, a tax-agent may have a different dates).

Consultation paper: increased regulation of crypto market
The Government has released a consultation paper as part of its announcement to undertake increased regulation of crypto assets in order to protect consumers and positions the Australian economy to take advantage of new digital products and services – especially in the light of recent “unsustainable business” models that have left consumers exposed. Accordingly, it has announced a multi‑stage approach that has three main elements: strengthening enforcement; bolstering consumer protection; and establishing a framework for reform.

Resubscribe to the ATO Small Business Newsroom
The small business newsroom is the ATO’s flagship communication service for small business. The newsroom delivers easy to read articles on the latest news, shares handy tips, reminders on important reporting or lodgement deadlines and new and / or improved services. From April 2023 the current newsroom will be moving to a new contemporary email platform which will give the ATO additional flexibility to provide more timely and tailored delivery of news content for readers. The change means that small businesses will need to re-subscribe if they would like to continue receiving the newsroom emails. Resubscription is easy and only takes a few minutes to complete. During this re-subscription process, the ATO are seeking information from the small business community on what matters most to them. The ATO will communicate the need to re-subscribe to newsroom subscribers over the next few months.



Employee super guarantee contributions due
The ATO has reminded employers that employee super guarantee (SG) contributions for the quarter ending 31 December were due by 28 January. It also emphasised that if they didn’t pay the correct amount of SG on time, they will need to pay the SG charge (SGC) and also (a) lodge an SGC statement to the ATO by 28 February to disclose all missed or late super contributions even if they can’t pay by the due date, and (b) pay the SGC to ATO, or contact the ATO to set up a payment arrangement. Finally, the ATO warned that employers don’t lodge their SGC statement by the due date, they can face an additional penalty of up to 200% of the SGC.

ATO: Businesses impacted by floods
The ATO has advised that small businesses or individuals in an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment declared local government area, don’t need to request a deferral for certain obligations. In addition, they won’t be penalised if they lodge by the later date but remember to pay by the original due date. If they can’t pay by the due date, they can contact the ATO to discuss payment options and request a remission of the general interest charge.

Exploration cap increased for junior explorer tax credits
The Income Tax Assessment Amendment (Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive) Regulations 2023 instrument has been made. It prescribes the amount of tax credits that were allocated to junior explorers in income year 2021-22, but are unused and can be made available for allocation in the income year 2023-24. A further $2,150,000 has been allocated to the annual exploration cap for the 2023-24 income year.



Quality of Advice Review:Final Report released
The Government has announced that it has released its Quality of Advice Review – Final Report. The government will now consult widely on the Review’s recommendations. In releasing the Review, the government said that it wants to see an industry with strong professional standards that’s accessible for more Australians.

Draft instrument: Withholding for personal services income
Draft instrument Taxation Administration (Withholding Variation for Personal Services Income) Legislative Instrument 2023 has been released by the ATO. It varies to nil the amount that a personal services entity is required to pay to the ATO in a range of circumstances, including where: (a) the personal services entity receives an alienated personal services payment that relates to one or more individuals’ personal services income; and (b) the personal services entity pays salary or wages to the individual or individuals within 14 days after the end of the PAYG payment period in which it receives the alienated personal services payment. The instrument will apply from 1 April 2023. Comments are due by 21 February 2023.

ATO: Deductions for holiday homes
The ATO has released information about claiming deductions on holiday homes where they are also used for the purpose of producing rental income. The ATO notes that a small number of holiday-home owners on average claim deductions that are six times higher than income earned from the property. In particular, the ATO wants practitioners to ensure that their clients are apportioning eligible deductions according to when the property is producing income.



Taxpayer Alert: arrangements where profits pass through an interposed company
The ATO has released Taxpayer Alert TA 2023/1 (Interposition of a holding company to access company profits tax-free). It examines arrangements where, broadly, an individual accesses the profits of a private company in tax-free form by arranging for the profits to be passed to the individual through an interposed holding company in a tax free form, together with the use of CGT roll-over. The Alert applies to arrangements which indicate that the dominant purpose of the arrangements is tax avoidance by enabling the individual to obtain a tax advantage or benefit.

ATO’s “Tax practitioner assistance” service
The ATO has released information about its Tax practitioner assistance (TPA) service – which is available when practitioners have been unable to resolve matters through other channels. The ATO states that the TPA can help all registered tax and BAS agents resolve client specific or practice management issues that they have not been able to resolve through our existing channels, but that it is not designed to be the first contact you make with us on the matter. The information released by the ATO includes: eligibility; what you can use TPA for; and, how to request assistance.

ATO: Super processing schedule
The ATO has released details of its superannuation remittance and recovery processing schedule for SuperStream for February 2023 and March 2023.



Independent review of Modernising Business Register announced
The Government has announced an independent review of the Modernising Business Register program. The Review will be aimed at delivering a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the program and provide recommendations for changes, improvements and strategies to best position it to achieve its intended objectives. The terms of reference of the review are designed to ensure investment in this core national economic infrastructure is delivered within a reasonable timeframe and budget.

ATO: Open consultation on rulings and guidelines etc
The ATO has advised that it is seeking consultation on the following rulings, guidelines and instruments: Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2022/D3 Income tax: pay as you go withholding – who is an employee? (Comments due 17 February 2023); Draft Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2022/D5 Classifying workers as employees or independent contractors – ATO compliance approach (Comments due 17 February 2023);  Decision Impact Statement FCT v Shell Energy Holdings Australia Limited (Comments due 3 March 2023); Draft Legislative Instrument Taxation Administration (Withholding Variation for Personal Services Income) Legislative Instrument 2023 (Comments due 21 February 2023); and, Draft Explanatory Statement Taxation Administration (Withholding Variation for Personal Services Income) Legislative Instrument 2023 (comments due 21 February 2023).

Regs disallowed re disclosure of certain info by super funds
On Thursday [9 February 2022], the Coalition, Greens, Lidia Thorpe, Jacqui Lambie Network and David Pocock combined in the Senate crossbench have disallowed Labor’s regulations which remove the need for superannuation funds to disclosed itemised information on donations, marketing and sponsorship. The regulations made by Labor would have meant superannuation funds would have no longer been required to itemise information on donations, marketing and sponsorship expenditure before annual general meetings. The disallowance motion passed the Senate 42 votes to 21, with only Labor opposed.

Weekly Updates