ATO & Other News

Visa information for DASP online

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection now provides the ATO with your client’s visa information. This means you no longer need to enter it in the departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) online application system.

11 Dec 2017

Tips for switching to the PLS

If you are about to transition to the practitioner lodgment service (PLS) or are already using it, there are some key things you need to know. Here are the top five tips from the ATO.

11 Dec 2017

Disallow the deduction of travel expenses for residential rental property

From 1 July 2017, travel expenses relating to inspecting, maintaining, or collecting rent for a residential rental property can’t be claimed as deductions by investors. The changes are now law.

5 Dec 2017

Limit plant and equipment depreciation deductions to outlays actually incurred by investors

Income tax deductions for the decline in value of previously used plant and equipment in rental premises used for residential accommodation are no longer allowed. The changes are now law.

5 Dec 2017

Single Touch Payroll-reporting starts 1 July 2018

Single Touch Payroll reporting will start on 1 July 2018. Find out where the ATO are at.

5 Dec 2017

Payment plans made easier

You can now make a verbal request to set up direct debit payment plans for your clients. Find out more.

4 Dec 2017

Annual closure and systems availability

ATO offices will be closed from midday Friday 22 December 2017 reopening on Tuesday 2 January 2018. During this time there may be periods when ATO systems will be unavailable. Find out more.

4 Dec 2017

Current ATO action on overdue SMSF annual returns

The ATO are taking a tougher stance on Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) that have overdue annual returns.

28 Nov 2017

How pre-payments of tax liabilities can help

Pre-payments can help your clients stay on top of their tax. Remind them that they must use the correct payment reference number.

28 Nov 2017

Removal of the anti-detriment provision from 1 July 2017

The anti-detriment provision has now been removed with effect from 1 July 2017.

27 Nov 2017

Are you ready for the PLS?

From 1 February 2018 you will need to lodge 2017 company tax returns using the practitioner lodgment service (PLS). Most returns are already available in the PLS, so if you haven’t switched yet find out what you need to do.

27 Nov 2017

Changes to how you claim the cost of managing tax affairs

The ATO will implement a change to the cost of managing tax affairs deduction label (D10) on the 2018 tax return for individuals.

22 Nov 2017

ATO finalises its position in relation to SMSF event-based reporting

After detailed consultation with the self-managed super fund (SMSF) sector, the ATO announced today that its implementation of SMSF event-based reporting from 1 July 2018 will be limited to those SMSFs with members with total superannuation account balances of $1 million or more.

9 Nov 2017

Black Economy Taskforce: extension of the taxable payments reporting system to contractors in the courier and cleaning industries

Time is running out to give feedback on the proposal to extend the Taxable payments reporting system to the courier and cleaning industries. Read the exposure draft and explanatory material and provide your comments by 10 November 2017.

31 Oct 2017

Missed out on lodgment due date concessions?

If you think some of your clients may have missed out on your lodgment concession, wait until after 21 November to submit a deferral request.

30 Oct 2017

Annual closure – plan ahead

Each year ATO offices close for the festive season. To ensure we can process your clients’ returns and activity statements before they close, you will need to lodge early.

30 Oct 2017

New approach for truck drivers to claim their meal expenses

The ATO has worked closely with the trucking industry to reinstate the ‘meal-by-meal’ approach for truck drivers who claim travel expenses for meals. Find out more about how this affects your truck driver clients.

27 Oct 2017

Stay smart online to avoid cybercrime

9-13 October is Stay Smart Online week. Use this week to check you and your practice are staying safe online.

9 Oct 2017

Add new income tax clients before 31 October

Make sure your new clients receive your tax agent lodgment program’s concessional due dates. Add them to your client list before 31 October 2017.

9 Oct 2017

Protecting honest business

The ATO protects honest businesses and identify those gaining an unfair advantage by not paying their fair share of tax. One of their focus areas is businesses that deal largely in cash transactions as this provides dishonest businesses with a much greater opportunity to act unfairly.

5 Oct 2017

Lodging trusts, fund and SMSF annual returns

From 11 November 2017 you can only lodge 2017 self-managed superannuation fund annual returns, trust tax returns and fund income tax returns through the practitioner lodgment service (PLS).

3 Oct 2017

Transfer balance account report now available

The new Transfer balance account report (TBAR) and TBAR instructions are now available on

27 Sep 2017

SMSF changes you must tell the ATO about

Reminder to trustees to update the ATO with any changes to the details of SMSFs.

26 Sep 2017

Your lodgment program performance summaries

The ATO will send tax agents their Lodgment program performance summaries in the next couple of weeks. This year, they will adjust their support strategies to provide further assistance following system issues.

25 Sep 2017

Changes to high PAYG instalment rates

If your client’s pay as you go (PAYG) instalment rate exceeds their highest applicable tax rate, the ATO will automatically adjust it.

25 Sep 2017

SMSFs and reserves

The ATO has updated the FAQs to include a question and answer involving the use of reserves.

19 Sep 2017

Letting you know about Single Touch Payroll

The ATO is writing to you and your employer clients about Single Touch Payroll obligations in 2018. Your clients may contact you about Single Touch Payroll.

19 Sep 2017

GST on imported services for Australian businesses

GST now applies to foreign businesses supplying services and digital products to Australian consumers. However, GST does not apply to GST registered Australian businesses making these purchases for business use. Find out more.

19 Sep 2017

Changes to treatment of reportable fringe benefits

Changes to treatment of reportable fringe benefits may affect your clients who receive family assistance or youth income support payments. Learn more.

18 Sep 2017

Do your clients earn personal services income?

If your clients earn personal services income (PSI) it will affect their tax obligations. Help them understand if their income is PSI.

12 Sep 2017

Claiming compensation

Find out about compensation related to defective administration.

12 Sep 2017

Lump sum payments for healthcare practitioners

Help your clients understand how to treat lump sum payments they receive from healthcare centre operators.

11 Sep 2017

Understanding the sharing economy and tax

The ATO has updated information for your clients who are earning income through the sharing economy. Find out more.

5 Sep 2017

Changes to the taxation of the departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) for working holiday makers

Information on the departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) made to working holiday makers and the new tax rate from 1 July 2017.

30 Aug 2017

Low income earners may need to lodge

If your client’s taxable income is under the tax-free threshold they may still need to lodge an income tax return.

29 Aug 2017

Super Clearing House changes

The Small Business Super Clearing House will move to the portals from early 2018. The ATO will write to you and your clients about the transition.

28 Aug 2017

Check residency for working holiday makers

Help your clients understand residency for tax purposes and complete their residency status correctly when lodging their tax returns. Find out more.

28 Aug 2017

Car claims in the crosshairs

Media release warning taxpayers that the ATO are paying close attention to claims for work-related car expenses this tax time.

25 Aug 2017

Tax Avoidance Taskforce – Trusts

In the 2013–14 Budget, the government announced it would provide funding over four years for a multi-agency taskforce to take compliance action against taxpayers involved in tax avoidance or evasion using trusts.

25 Aug 2017

Small business income tax offset – eligible distributions

Find out how to correctly claim the offset for your client when they receive business income derived by another partnership or trust.

23 Aug 2017

HELP and TSL obligations for non-residents

If your overseas clients have a Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) debt, help them understand their obligations.

23 Aug 2017

Trusts – tax consequences of trust splitting

The ATO are currently developing an advice or guidance product to clarify their view on the tax consequences of trust splitting arrangements.

18 Aug 2017

New GST law changes impacting overseas businesses

There are two changes to the application of the Australian goods and services tax (GST) that will impact overseas businesses selling to Australia.

16 Aug 2017

Setting the record straight on Single Touch Payroll

The ATO is aware of recent media commentary regarding the implementation of aspects of Single Touch Payroll. This commentary relates specifically to proposed changes to the process when an employee starts a job.

16 Aug 2017

Partnership tax returns to be lodged using the PLS

From 1 October there will be changes to how you lodge partnership tax returns. The practitioner lodgment service (PLS) will be the only electronic channel to lodge.

15 Aug 2017

First year of income averaging

A new message will appear on the notice of assessment for primary producers when it is their first year of income for averaging calculations. Find out what has changed.

15 Aug 2017

Visa checks for DASP applications

To allow super funds to issue accurate Departing Australia superannuation payments (DASP), the ATO are checking your clients’ visa details. This will help your clients receive their correct entitlement.

14 Aug 2017

2017 tax returns with 31 October due date

The Tax Agent Portal may be showing 2017 tax returns are due for your clients by 31 October. This is because of outstanding prior year returns. Find out what you need to do.

9 Aug 2017

FTL penalty remissions update

The ATO have started to remit failure to lodge (FTL) on time penalties announced by the Commissioner on 12 July 2017.  They will automatically remit FTL penalties for all eligible obligations. You do not have to apply for the remission.

9 Aug 2017

Amending a trust deed

If you need to alter a trust deed on behalf of your trustee clients, there are some checks you need to make first.

7 Aug 2017

ABN cancellation for deregistered companies

The timing of ABN cancellation after a company is deregistered has changed.

7 Aug 2017

Lodging using Simpler BAS

July monthly activity statements will be the first time you lodge using Simpler BAS reporting. Find out how to lodge and how to determine if Simpler BAS bookkeeping will also benefit your clients.

2 Aug 2017

myDeductions – a record keeping tool

If you have sole trader or employee clients looking for a quick and easy way to manage their records, let them know how the myDeductions tool can help.

31 Jul 2017

GST on low value imported goods delayed until 1 July 2018

Proposed changes to GST on imported goods up to $1,000 from 1 July 2018.

19 Jul 2017

Changes to capital gains withholding rules for foreign and Australian residents

Changes to the threshold and withholding rate for Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding (FRCGW).

18 Jul 2017

FTL penalties to be remitted

In acknowledgment of the affects that ATO systems incidents have had on you and your practice, they will not impose failure to lodge (FTL) on time penalties for certain obligations and periods. Find out what periods and how it will be applied.

12 Jul 2017

Claiming work-related expenses?

Find out which claims the ATO are focusing on, remind your clients about the basic rules they need to satisfy and help them get their deductions right.

10 Jul 2017

Changes to PAYG instalment conditions

PAYG instalment entry and exit conditions have changed. The ATO may remove some of your clients from the PAYG instalments system.

10 Jul 2017

Applying the $20,000 instant asset write-off?

The $20,000 threshold for the instant asset write-off extends to 30 June 2018. Find out how to avoid under-claiming.

10 Jul 2017

New SMSF auditor’s report form

New SMSF independent auditor’s report is now available on the ATO website.

7 Jul 2017

Requesting a deferral made easier

Lodgment deferrals are now easier to request. The payment due date for agent assessed deferral requests is now also extended, except for individual and trust returns.

14 Jun 2017

What attracts ATO attention

To help you get things right, you should consider the behaviours, characteristics and tax issues that attract ATO attention.

13 Jun 2017

Voice authentication

Use voice authentication to quickly and securely verify your identity when you access ATO online services through the ATO app or by contact the ATO by phone.

13 Jun 2017

Removal of election to treat super income streams as lump sums

From 1 July 2017, the government will remove the ability to treat super income stream benefits as super lump sums for tax purposes.

9 Jun 2017

Homing in on holiday homes

In the lead up to the June long weekend the ATO is reminding taxpayers that they are paying close attention to rental properties located in popular holiday destinations around Australia.

7 Jun 2017

Change to personal super contributions deductions

From 1 July 2017, the 10% work test for claiming a deduction for personal super contributions will be removed.

5 Jun 2017

Access your SMSF online services through myGov

SMSF trustees can now use their myGov login details to access the Business Portal and other government services.

30 May 2017

System availability and start of 2017 return processing

The ATO will start full processing of 2017 tax returns on 7 July 2017. They expect to start paying refunds from 17 July 2017.

29 May 2017

Tax Time 2017 – Overview of key changes

Key changes and new measures to be aware of when completing your clients’ returns include the working holiday maker tax rate, expanded access to small business concessions, early stage investor tax incentives, significant global entities and transitional CGT relief for superannuation funds.

29 May 2017

ATO provides certainty on tax treatment for those affected by recent payroll company issues

Today the ATO has issued initial guidance to assist taxpayers who may have been affected by the alleged actions payroll services currently under the joint AFP and ATO investigation, Operation Elbrus.

29 May 2017

ATO extends due date for 2015-16 SMSF returns

Lodgment and payment for 2016 self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) annual returns with a concessional due date of 15 May 2017, has been deferred  to 30 June 2017. You do not need to apply for the deferral. ATO systems will be updated with the deferral for these obligations.

11 May 2017

Transfer Balance Cap Introduction – March 2017 Webinar

This webinar will touch on the main features of the new transfer balance cap rules to give you an overview of how the reform is going to impact you if you have a retirement phase super income stream or capped defined benefit income stream.

3 May 2017

ATO approach to dealing with super guarantee non-compliance

The ATO recognises the importance of the Superannuation Guarantee and works to ensure employees are paid their entitlements.

3 May 2017

Super surcharge assessment run delayed

The superannuation contributions surcharge assessment run scheduled for May will be delayed until August.

19 Apr 2017

Where is your client’s activity statement refund?

There may be instances where your clients are querying the delay of their business activity statement (BAS) refund. Read more on why your client’s BAS refund may be delayed.

18 Apr 2017

Two tax agents sentenced for fraud

Two tax agents have recently been convicted of serious tax offences following two separate investigations

12 Apr 2017

Increase the small business entity turnover threshold

Read about the administrative treatment advice for the proposed legislation to increase the small business entity turnover threshold.

10 Apr 2017

Reducing the corporate tax rate

Find out about the administrative treatment advice for PAYG instalments and income tax returns for the proposed legislation to progressively reduce the corporate tax rate.

5 Apr 2017

GST on low value imported goods

The Government announced that GST will be extended to low value imported goods by consumers in Australia from 1 July 2017.

20 Feb 2017

Early warning for taxpayers making R&D claims

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) have released two new taxpayer alerts as a warning to those not being careful enough in their claims or seeking to deliberately exploit the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive program.

9 Feb 2017

Commissioner’s statement – ATO systems

Commissioner Chris Jordan’s statement about media claims around Tax Time 2017 in relation to recent system outages.

8 Feb 2017

Diverting personal services income to an SMSF

Extended Voluntary Disclosure Offer for the personal services income arrangements involving SMSFs.

31 Jan 2017

Limited recourse borrowing arrangements and non-arm’s length income

The ATO has recently published PCG 2016/5 and TD 2016/16 which provide guidance to self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees and their advisers on when the non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions apply to an SMSF’s limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBA).

4 Jan 2017

Do your clients import or export goods and services?

If your client is an import or export business read these ATO tips to see how you can avoid making errors on their business activity statements.

22 Dec 2016

Super changes for self-managed super funds

The changes to the superannuation system, announced by the Australian Government in the 2016-17 Budget, have now received royal assent. Find out how these changes may affect trustees of self-managed super funds.

7 Dec 2016

Super changes for APRA-regulated funds

The changes to the superannuation system, announced by the Australian Government in the 2016-17 Budget, have now received royal assent. Find out how these changes affect you and your members.

7 Dec 2016

Super changes receive royal assent

The new super measures have received royal assent. Read an overview of the changes now. The ATO will provide more information and keep you informed about how the new measures may affect you and your clients as they integrate the changes into the super system.

30 Nov 2016

ATO issues warning on contrived trust arrangements

The ATO has released a Taxpayer Alert today cautioning against arrangements that minimise tax by creating artificial differences between the taxable net income and distributable income of closely held trusts.

17 Nov 2016

Commissioner clarifies tax arrangements for working holiday makers

With a number of media reports circulating in relation to the tax treatment for working holiday makers and the tax that they pay, the ATO wants to make clear the tax arrangements in place.

2 Nov 2016

GST cross-border transactions between businesses

As part of the Board of Taxation review, the measure aims to ensure that Australia does not draw non-residents into the GST system unnecessarily.

25 Oct 2016

GST applying to digital products and services imported by consumers

This measure will amend the goods and services tax (GST) law to give effect to the 2015–16 Budget decision to ensure digital products and services provided to Australian consumers receive equivalent GST treatment whether they are provided by Australian or foreign entities.

25 Oct 2016

Practical tips

Practical tips provide you with information and instructional advice about common errors and changes to processes.

10 Oct 2016

Completing the SMSF annual return when using a contribution reserve strategy

The ATO have updated the SMSF annual return instructions to provide additional guidance when you have used a contribution reserve strategy.

7 Oct 2016

Fringe benefits change and adjusted taxable income

The Government has changed the treatment of fringe benefits which impacts the way adjusted taxable income is calculated.

3 Oct 2016

Substantiation exception for reasonable travel allowance expenses – consultation paper

This document is to facilitate discussion. It does not provide advice, nor represent the ATO’s general administrative practice.

30 Sep 2016

ATO reminds small businesses that super needs to be paid in a new way

ATO reminds small businesses that super needs to be paid in a new way.

22 Sep 2016

Claiming the small business income tax offset

The ATO have identified some common errors when reporting net small business income to claim the small business income tax offset. Find out how you can avoid these errors and correctly claim the offset for your clients.

21 Sep 2016

Lowering the annual non-concessional contributions cap

On 15 September 2016, the government announced changes to the superannuation measures announced in the Budget. Find out more about the changes.

16 Sep 2016

SMSFs – Make sure your SMSF has an active electronic service address

Information for SMSFs to ensure they have an active electronic service address.

16 Sep 2016

Tips for trustees of death benefits

There are certain requirements the ATO need to consider on trust returns when your client’s deceased estate receives a death benefit. Find out what you need to do.

6 Sep 2016

Death of a client

There are three things you must include on an individual tax return when your client has passed away. This will speed up processing and stop the ATO from contacting you.

6 Sep 2016

Get invalid and invalid carer tax offset claims right

Help your clients understand eligibility, get their claims right and avoid processing delays.

30 Aug 2016

New data reveals postcodes with most lost super

With new data revealing $11.7 billion is sitting in lost super accounts, the ATO is encouraging all Australians to reconnect with their super using its online services.

18 Aug 2016

ATO exposes dodgy deductions

With over eight million Australians claiming work-related expenses each year, Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte is reminding people to make sure they get their deductions right this tax time.

16 Aug 2016

Reporting PAYG instalments on a company tax return

Avoid errors when completing PAYG instalments raised on the calculation statement for your client’s company tax return.

12 Aug 2016

Phoenix Taskforce cracking down on dodgy business behaviour

Six search warrants were executed yesterday by the ATO as part of a cross-agency investigation into alleged illegal ‘phoenix’ activity on the Gold Coast.

29 Jul 2016

Diverting personal services income to SMSFs

Voluntary Disclosure Offer for the personal services income arrangements involving SMSFs.

25 Jul 2016

Tips for getting the SMSF annual return right

Information on how to complete the SMSF annual return.

7 Jul 2016

Australian financial services licence

ATO alert to SMSF trustees and professionals that the exemption that allowed accountants to provide recommendations about SMSFs ended on 30 June 2016.

7 Jul 2016

Flexibility for small business to become SuperStream compliant

With only days to go until the 30 June SuperStream deadline, more than 450,000 small businesses have implemented the required changes. And for those who will not be ready in time, the ATO will offer a helping hand.

22 Jun 2016

ATO focuses on rental property owners

6 Jun 2016

ATO replaces e-tax with MyTax

6 Jun 2016

Accountants Desktop one minute budget summary on our Facebook page

4 May 2016

ATO warns against diverting personal services income to SMSFs

29 Apr 2016

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