Expansion of Home Guarantee Scheme
The Government has announced an expansion of criteria for the Home Guarantee Scheme. Eligibility criteria for all elements of the scheme – including the First Home Guarantee, the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee, and the Family Home Guarantee – will be expanded. From 1 July this year, friends, siblings, and other family members will be eligible for joint applications under the First Home Guarantee and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee. These guarantees had previously been restricted to people that were married or in a de‑facto relationship, in addition to single applicants. The guarantees will also be expanded to non‑first home buyers who haven’t owned a property in Australia in the last ten years.

R&D tax offset denied to oil company
The AAT has ruled that an oil company was not entitled to the R&D tax offset as the relevant activities were not eligible R&D activities as they came within the exclusion for exploring, prospecting, or drilling stated in s 355-25(2) of ITAA 1997. In addition, the AAT ruled that they did not come within the meaning of eligible “experimental activities”.  The AAT also noted the lack of relevant internal records. (Lakes Oil NL v Innovation and Science Australia [2023] AATA 811, 14 April 2023)

ATO: “Troubleshooting” for businesses and tax practitioners
The ATO has released information on the availability of ATO systems for businesses and tax practitioners. The information deals with: Online services for agents; Practitioner lodgment service (PLS) and Standard business reporting (SBR); Online services for business; Single Touch Payroll (STP); and other matters.