fsa-accountants

Penalties for overdue TPAR

The Taxable payments annual report (‘TPAR’) must be lodged by 28 August each year. Taxpayers who operate in certain industries and that make payments to contractors may need to report these payments in a TPAR.

Affected industries where taxpayers may have an obligation to lodge a TPAR are:

  •  Cleaning services;
  •  Building and construction services;
  •  Road freight;
  •  Courier services;
  •  Information technology services;
  •  Security, investigation or surveillance services.

 

From 23 March 2022, the ATO will apply failure to lodge penalties to those who:

  •  did not lodge their 2021 or prior year TPAR;
  •  have already been sent three non-lodgment letters about their overdue TPAR;
  •  do not respond to an ATO follow-up phone call about their overdue TPAR.

In the coming weeks the ATO may be phoning tax agents (or taxpayers directly) about their overdue TPAR, to follow up the non-lodgment letters that have been sent.

Editor: Should you have any questions (or require any assistance) about any of the issues raised in this update, please feel free to contact our office.

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Re-contribution of COVID-19 early release super amounts

Individuals can now re-contribute amounts they withdrew under the COVID-19 early release of super program without the re-contribution counting towards their non-concessional contributions cap.

These contributions can be made between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2030.

Individuals can make COVID-19 re-contribution amounts to any fund of their choice where the funds’ rules allow.

COVID-19 re-contribution amounts are reported as personal contributions. If the fund member is found to be ineligible to make the re-contribution (for example, the fund member may be required to satisfy the work test and does not do so at the time of a re-contribution) it may result in that member exceeding their non-concessional contributions cap.

It should be noted that once an amount originally withdrawn under the COVID-19 early release of super program has been re-contributed into a superannuation fund, it will not be able to be released from that fund until the fund member satisfies a condition of release – such as obtaining the age of 65 or having met their preservation age and they have ‘retired’.

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JobMaker Year 2: adjusting baseline headcount

If you have been claiming the JobMaker Hiring Credit, please be aware that the ATO will now calculate an adjusted baseline headcount for the claim.

The ATO will amend the prefill in the claim form based on information provided in earlier claims.

The ATO does this each period by calculating the greatest headcount increase that occurred in a period that began 12 months or more before the current claim period.

The ATO then adds that increase to the baseline headcount.

This adjustment will happen because eligible businesses can only claim the JobMaker Hiring Credit for up to a year for each additional job they create.

The baseline headcount is an integrity measure designed to ensure that where an employer is claiming a JobMaker Hiring Credit for a new employee aged between 16-35, that they have also increased their overall number of employees.

This is designed to prevent employers terminating the services of current employees and then replacing them with employees aged 16-35.

Broadly speaking, to qualify for the JobMaker Hiring Credit an employer needs to have not only employed an eligible individual but to have also increased their overall employee headcount.

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Cents per kilometre deduction for car expenses – 2023 income year

The ATO has proposed for individual taxpayers that use the cents per kilometre method when calculating tax deductions for their work-related car expenses, that the rate per kilometre for the income year starting 1 July 2022 (the 2023 income year) will be 75 cents per kilometre.

This is an increase from the 72 cents rate applicable for both the 2021 and 2022 income years.

A reminder that the ability to claim a deduction under the cents per kilometre method is subject to a cap of 5,000 business kilometres annually.

Individual taxpayers will claim deductions for work-related car expenses (where eligible) under one of two alternative methods: the log-book method or the cents per kilometre method.

Many taxpayers find that they are not able to use the log-book method as they have not maintained a valid 12-week logbook in the last five years.

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Reminder of March 2022 Quarter Superannuation Guarantee (‘SG’)

Employers are reminded that their SG obligation for the 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022 quarter is due by 28 April 2022.

An advance warning is also provided to employers that the compulsory 10% SG rate is going to increase to 10.5% from the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.

So now might be a good time to ensure your payroll systems and SG calculators are updated by the start of the next income year.

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2022-2023 Budget Measures that are now law

Low and Middle Income Tax Offset

A measure that will no doubt be beneficial for individual taxpayers is the increase in the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (‘LMITO’) for the 2022 income year by $420.  The LMITO is a tax offset which reduces an individual taxpayer’s tax liability.

This means that the maximum amount of the LMITO for the 2022 income year will now be $1,500 (up from $1,080 for the 2021 income year).

However, the LMITO will not be extended to the 2023 income year.

Reduction in Fuel Excise

Fuel excise on petrol and diesel will be reduced by 50% (a reduction of 22.1 cents per litre) from 30 March 2022 to 28 September 2022.

This temporary reduction in the fuel excise is to soften the impact of increased petrol and diesel prices that have been triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Tax deductions for work-related COVID-19 tests

Last month’s edition of Practice Update discussed a proposal for COVID-19 tests, to be both:

  •    tax-deductible; and
  •    exempt from FBT;

broadly where they are purchased for work-related purposes.

This proposed legislative change is now law with effect from 1 July 2021.

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Small employers and STP – the ATO gets serious

The ATO has advised it is in the process of shifting from its previous engagement and communication focus on Single Touch Payroll (‘STP’).  In particular, it will begin a ‘failure to lodge penalty’ process for small business employers (i.e., those with 19 or fewer employers) who have yet to commence STP reporting.

STP reporting has been mandatory for most small employers from the 2020 income year, with a final ‘nudge letter’ being issued to approximately 700 small employers in late January 2022.

Notably, the ATO advised that any remaining non-compliant small employers (i.e., those not subject to any appropriate reporting extensions or exemptions) will have been issued pre-penalty warning letters from 18 February 2022.

Where an employer receives a pre-penalty warning letter, they will have a further 28 days to take action by either starting to lodge or contacting the ATO before a failure to lodge penalty will be imposed.

Editor: Should you have any questions (or require any assistance) about any of the issues raised in this update, please feel free to contact our office.

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New shield against debt recovery proposed for small business

Small businesses are to be afforded the ability to apply to the Small Business Taxation Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) for orders to stay (i.e., temporarily suspend) specific ATO debt recovery actions.  Broadly, amending legislation will allow the Tribunal to make such an order only if the proceeding is brought under the Small Business Taxation Division of the Tribunal.

This proposal (initially announced in the most recent Federal Budget) aims to provide small business entities (‘SBEs’) with a cheaper and easier way to pause the effects of an ATO decision to recover a tax debt whilst their tax dispute is being considered.

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12-month extension of the temporary loss carry-back measure

As announced in the 2020/2021 Federal Budget, legislation has now passed to allow eligible corporate entities (i.e., with, amongst other things, an aggregated turnover of less than $5 billion) a 12-month extension to claim a loss carry-back tax offset in the 2023 income year.

The temporary loss carry-back rules were initially implemented in 2020 to promote economic recovery by providing cash flow support to previously profitable companies that fell into a tax loss position due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law allows eligible companies to carry-back tax losses from 2020, 2021, 2022 and now the 2023 income year to previously-taxed profits in the 2019 or later income years.

A company that does not elect to carry back losses under this temporary (yet extended) measure is still eligible to carry losses forward as usual.

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Super changes and full expensing 12-month extension now law

A plethora of superannuation law tweaks has recently been made  (via recent legislative reforms) which include:

  • Removing the $450 monthly super guarantee threshold.
  • Reducing the eligibility age for making downsizer contributions from 65 to 60.
  • Changes to facilitate the removal of the work test for those aged between 67 and 75 regarding non-concessional and salary sacrificed contributions.  In addition, the bring-forward rule will now be available for people under the age of 75 (rather than 67, as is currently the case).
  • Increasing the maximum releasable amount under the First Home Super Saver scheme from $30,000 to $50,000.
  • Allowing super fund trustees to choose not to use the segregated assets method in certain circumstances.

Furthermore, the Government has also ‘made good’ on their promise to extend accelerated depreciation with legislation passing to allow  current Temporary Full Expensing measures to continue for another  12 months (i.e., to 30 June 2023).