Protecting myGovIDs
Providing tax professionals with access to online services is critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. To keep the system safe the ATO rely on professionals to protect their myGovID and their personal information.

Recently the ATO have been working with a small number of agents where they or their clients, or both, have been the victims of identity crime. In these instances, there has been a significant and disruptive impact on the agent and their clients.

This week the ATO’s Tax professionals newsletter will include an article that reinforces the need to protect your myGovID and personal information, and provides practical steps tax professionals can take. For example, users can turn on the app notifications and can now view a summary of each time their myGovID has been set up on a device, the date their myGovID was set up on each device and the last time it was used to log in to a government online service.

You can read more about protecting your myGovID here.

ATO data-matching program: residential investment property loans
The ATO has advised that it will acquire residential investment property loan data from authorised financial institutions under a data-matching program for 2021-22 through to 2025-26. The data items include: client identification details (names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, etc); account details (account numbers, BSB’s, balances, commencement and end dates, etc); transaction details (transaction date, transaction amount etc);  property details (addresses, etc). The ATO estimates that records relating to approximately 1.7 million individuals will be obtained each financial year.

Exposure draft legislation: Public country-by-country reporting
The Government has released exposure draft legislation to give effect to its proposal announced in the October 2022-23 Budget to introduce a transparency measure for multinational entities to release publicly certain tax information on a country-by-country basis, together with a statement on their approach to taxation. The measure is intended to enhance the tax information entities disclose to the public (for income years commencing from 1 July 2023). The government is now seeking stakeholders’ views on the proposed measure with comment due by 28 April 2023. (Note that a previous consultation on other multinational enterprise tax integrity and transparency proposals was held in August and September 2022 and the government is consulting separately on the other elements of its multinational tax measure.)

APRA: more info on SDT reporting standards
APRA has published 11 additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) reporting standards. APRA released the additional FAQs to provide further guidance to registrable superannuation entity licensees on the amendments to reporting standards finalised in APRA’s 3 March 2023 response to consultation on minor amendments.


Draft Regs: Superannuation financial reporting and audit
The Government has released exposure draft regulations (The Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for Consultation) Regulations 2023: Financial reporting and auditing of registrable superannuation entities) and explanatory statement for public consultation. The exposure draft regulations support amendments in the Treasury Laws Amendment (2022 Measures No. 4) Bill 2022, which extend and adapt the financial reporting and auditing requirements of Chapter 2M of the Corporations Act 2001 to apply to registrable superannuation entities (RSEs). The purpose of these amendments is to impose financial reporting and auditing obligations on RSEs that are consistent with the requirements that apply to public companies and registered schemes. The exposure draft regulations prescribe requirements for the preparation, lodgement, disclosure and publication of information and documents by RSEs to improve the compliance and transparency of the superannuation sector. Submissions on the draft regulations are due by 5 May 2023.

ATO: Time to lodge BAS
The ATO has advised that the next quarterly BAS is due 28 April – and that it can be lodged online via online services for individuals and sole traders (accessed through myGov), online services for business or Standard Business Reporting-enabled software. Further, a r BAS can be lodged through a registered tax or BAS agent. The ATO also reminded taxpayers that they can also pay electronically which is more secure as payment can’t get stolen or lost in the mail, and that the safest and easiest payment methods are BPAY and credit card through the ATO’s online services. The ATO emphasised that if you’re unable to lodge or pay on time, then “engage with us early to discuss your options”.

“ATO PAYGW prefill” is coming to activity statements
The ATO has advised that from this July, it will prefill the PAYG withholding amounts in your activity statements in ATO online. Specifically, it said that ATO PAYG withholding prefill will be available for small and medium employers: from the July activity statement for monthly PAYG withholders; and from the September activity statement for quarterly PAYG withholders. The ATO also said that “digital service providers will choose which products they make prefill available in and when”.


ASIC: Super trustees fail their members in communications
ASIC has conducted a review of “performance communications” by trustees of superannuation funds and found that they have again failed the annual performance test for MySuper products. While the review found that improvements have been made, it also found that some trustees need to be more member-centric in their approach. ASIC said that this is an area of industry weakness and a common conclusion when ASIC reviews member communications. ASIC reviewed member communications by the four superannuation trustees that failed the test for a second consecutive year in 2022 (and under the law, these trustees cannot accept any new members into their MySuper products).

First home super saver scheme: Addendum and updated practice note released
An Addendum has been issued to Law Companion Ruling LCR 2018/5 First home super saver scheme. The addendum reflects various amendments made by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Superannuation Outcomes For Australians and Helping Australian Businesses Invest) Act 2022. It also provides further detail about the ATO’s view in relation to freehold interests – in particular that an individual may acquire equitable proprietary rights in real property even before settlement or completion of a contract (which may affect eligibility for the scheme).

At the same time, the ATO has released an update to Guidance Note GN 2018/1 First home super saver schemeIt has been updated to reflect the increase in the limit of eligible contributions that may be released across all years under the first home super saver scheme by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Superannuation Outcomes for Australians and Helping Australian Businesses Invest) Act 2022, which applies for first home super saver determinations requested from 1 July 2022. It also provides further detail about the ATO’s view that holding a freehold interest includes both legal proprietary interests and equitable proprietary interests (see above).

ATO: Companies with an overdue tax debt
The ATO has advised that it is continuing to write letters to the directors of companies that have an overdue debt with the ATO. The letters advise that if a company hasn’t paid the amount owing or contacted the ATO to make other arrangements, the ATO may issue a director penalty notice (DPN) which make directors personally liable if a company has failed to meet their PAYG withholding, GST and SG charge obligations. The ATO also emphasised that if you receive a letter or your company has a debt with us, you need to arrange to pay the overdue amount or enter into a payment plan – and that if you’re facing financial hardship or need more time to pay any overdue debts, contact the ATO to discuss the situation. The ATO emphasised that registered tax agents can help with this matter.


ATO: Content creating – and assessable income
The ATO has released information advising that  making money from online content results in assessable income. The ATO says that the income from the activity could be in the form of: cash; money for advertising or appearance fees; or goods like a new gaming console, clothes, or make-up – whether the source is from Australia, or overseas. The ATO also says that such “content creators” will also need to consider whether they are in business – and if they are they will need to know what income to report, the deductions they can claim, and what registrations may be needed.

ASIC continues to act against SMSF auditors
ASIC has advised that it has acted against a further 11 SMSF auditors for breaches of their obligations. This included breaches of auditing and assurance standards, independence requirements, registration conditions, or because ASIC was satisfied the individual was not a fit and proper person to remain registered. ASIC also reported that over the period 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, it disqualified 7 SMSF auditors, imposed additional conditions on 3 SMSF auditors and cancelled one SMSF auditor. It said that 10 of these SMSF auditors were referred to ASIC by the ATO.

APRA: Update on implementation of new operational risk standard
APRA has released an updated timeline for the implementation of the new cross-industry Prudential Standard CPS 230 Operational Risk Management (CPS 230). It is designed to strengthen the management of operational risk in the banking, insurance and superannuation industries. Further, in response to feedback received during the consultation period, APRA intends to: move the effective date for the new standard to 1 July 2025; and provide transitional arrangements for pre-existing contractual arrangements with service providers, with the requirements in the standard applying from the earlier of the next contract renewal date or 1 July 2026. APRA also plans to release a final version of CPS 230, together with draft supporting guidance, in mid-2023.

Auditor General’s report: Identifying the Tax Gap for Individuals Not in Business
The Auditor-General’s Report No.20 (2022-23‘Identifying and Reducing the Tax Gap for Individuals Not in Business’ has been tabled by the Parliament. The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the ATO’s arrangements for identifying and reducing the income tax gap for individuals not in business. The audit made the following findings: the ATO is largely effective at identifying and reducing the tax gap for individuals not in business; the ATO is largely effective at identifying and reducing the tax gap for individuals not in business; the ATO is largely effective at identifying and measuring the tax gap for individuals not in business; the ATO implements risk-based compliance strategies to reduce the individuals not in business tax gap; and the ATO assesses the effectiveness of its compliance strategies to reduce the tax gap in an effective manner.

Weekly Updates