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Tax Updates

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December 2019 Practice Update - ATO November 2019 bushfire assistance

Following the devastating bushfires across large parts of NSW and Queensland in November, the ATO has offered ongoing support.

In particular, a specific helpline (1800 806 218) has been established that can be used by those impacted to seek assistance.


November 2019 Practice Update - Super guarantee opt-out for high income earners now law

From 1 January 2020, eligible individuals with multiple employers can apply to opt out of receiving super guarantee ('SG') from some of their employers, to help them avoid unintentionally going over the concessional contributions cap.

If appropriate for them, they should submit the relevant ATO form to apply for an SG employer shortfall exemption certificate, which releases one or more of their employers from their SG obligations for up to four quarters in one financial year.


October 2019 Practice Update - ATO impersonation scam update

Editor: Unbelievably, scammers are still successfully bilking Australians out of tens of thousands of dollars, as a recent ATO scam report shows.

According to the July 2019 ATO impersonation scam report:

  • 6,179 online scam reports were received in the first month of their new online reporting form going live;
  • 6,645 phone scam reports were officially recorded, and 465 phishing scam emails were reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au;
  • 520 taxpayers provided scammers with their personal identifying information including date of birth, tax file number, driver's licence number and notice of assessment details; and
  • $197,057 was reported as being paid to scammers, mostly by iTunes and Google Play.

September 2019 Practice Update - ATO watching for foreign income this Tax Time

The ATO is urging taxpayers who receive any foreign income from investments, family members or working overseas to make sure they report it this tax time.

New international data sharing agreements allow the ATO to track money across borders and identify individuals not meeting their obligations.


August 2019 Practice Update - ATO "puts the brakes" on dodgy car claims

The ATO is making work-related car expenses a key focus again during Tax Time 2019.

Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said over 3.6 million people made a work-related car expense claim in 2017/18, totalling more than $7.2 billion.

“We are still concerned that some taxpayers aren’t getting the message that over-claiming will be detected and if it is deliberate, penalties will apply,” she said.


July 2019 Practice Update - ‘Cash in hand’ payments to workers no longer tax deductible

The ATO has reminded employers that any ‘cash in hand’ payments made to workers from 1 July 2019 will not be tax deductible.

‘Cash in hand’ refers to cash payments to employees that do not comply with pay as you go ('PAYG') withholding obligations.