July 2017 Newsletter

ATO Spammers are rife!

With the new financial year under way, we’ve had reports that the phone scammers are back in full swing.  See our March 2016 article for advice on what to do if you receive a call you’re concerned about.

The most recent example was a client of ours who was rung by someone purporting to be from the ATO (on a number listed as being from Canberra!) saying this is a call from the ATO about a lien just placed on their property. Quite obviously wrong and when the client questioned the caller on it they hung up. Would suspect they were just about to ask for money to be sent somewhere to get the lien taken off!

It is important to be vigilant so, if you receive a call from someone purporting to be from the ATO, please check with us to verify before you do anything.

Work related expense deductions under ATO scrutiny

In a speech to the National Press Club recently, the Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan signalled that individuals and small businesses claiming excessive tax deductions will be under increased scrutiny.

Mr Jordan said that more than $22 billion was claimed by individuals for work related expenses in the 2015 financial year, and that collectively the revenue impact of amounts over-claimed was likely to be more than the $2.5 billion in unpaid corporate tax by big businesses.

Examples of incorrect claims mentioned in the speech were those with simplified record keeping options, specifically:

  • $150 for clothing and laundry expenses, which can only be a legitimate tax deduction if the individual is required to wear a uniform or protective clothing.
  • The cents per kilometre method for claiming car expenses, which is only available as a deduction if an individual needs to use their car for work, and still requires some evidence (eg diary entries) to support the claim.

On their website, the ATO have a list of 11 deductions you (probably) can’t claim. The ATO say that they use “real-time data to compare taxpayers with others in similar occupations and income brackets, to identify higher-than-expected claims related to expenses including vehicle, travel, internet and mobile phone, and self-education” to identify audit targets.

Mr Jordan has also signalled that rental property deductions also face closer examination.

The ATO do make similar announcements of their compliance priorities each year. You shouldn’t be afraid of claiming legitimate deductions.  The rules can be complicated, and if you’re in doubt about a particular deduction, we would encourage you to contact your client manager.

Crowd sourced equity funding

Australia’s new equity crowd sourced funding laws became law on 28 March, 2017 and are expected to take effect by September, 2017.

Crowd sourced equity funding was seen to be a way to open up early stage capital markets for a business to raise capital and a way of investing in early stage Australia start-ups.

However, it is not as simple as that!

Click here to read our full article.

Superannuation from 1 July – The new frontier

These new rules have changed the way in which superannuation and in particular SMSFs will be managed, especially with the introduction of the TBC rules.

To read our full article, please click here.

What can you do if an ex-employee steals confidential information?

We all hope that this will never happen to us, but if it does what are your rights as an employer? Please click here to read the full article and if you think that this has happened to you, please contact your client manager to discuss.