STP and superannuation guarantee
In a presentation at the Australian Institute of
Superannuation Trustees Chairs Forum, the ATO's
Deputy Commissioner confirmed that as a result
of STP, the ATO now has an "unprecedented level
of visibility" of super information.
In particular, the ATO's examination of Super Guarantee ('SG') contributions of some 75 million payment transactions for the first three quarters of 2019 (for approximately 400,000 employers) has shown that 90 - 92% of contribution transactions by volume and 85 - 90% of transactions by dollar value were paid on time.
The ATO is now starting to actively use this data to warn employers who appear not to be paying the required SG on time (or at all).
As a result, it has notified 2,500 employers that they have paid their SG contributions late during 2019. Due-date reminders were also sent to a further 4,000 employers.
Ref: ATO Presentation, ATO insights and actions across superannuation, 14 October 2019
No CGT main residence exemption for non-residents
The Government recently tabled legislation, making
its second attempt to deny access to the CGT
main residence exemption for individuals who are
foreign residents (i.e., non-resident taxpayers for
Australian tax purposes).
The restrictions to this CGT exemption will apply to taxpayers who are a non-resident at the time of the relevant CGT event (i.e., generally as at the contract date).
If enacted, the proposed changes will potentially impact foreign residents in the two ways outlined below.
1. Transitional rules for properties held before 7:30pm (AEST) on 9 May 2017
Firstly, for properties held prior to the 2017 Federal Budget (i.e., before 7:30pm AEST on 9 May 2017), the CGT main residence exemption will only be able to be claimed, for a non-resident, for disposals that occur up until 30 June 2020.
For disposals of properties occurring on or after 1 July 2020, foreign residents will have no access to the CGT main residence exemption, unless specified ‘life events’ occur within a continuous period of six years of the taxpayer becoming a foreign resident. These 'life events' include:
- The terminal illness of the taxpayer, their spouse or a child under the age of 18 years.
- The death of a spouse or child under the age of 18.
- A transfer of the relevant asset as a result of a divorce, separation or similar maintenance agreement.
2. Properties acquired at or after 7:30pm (AEST)
9 May 2017
Secondly, for properties acquired at or after the 2017 Budget night, the CGT main residence exemption will no longer be available for nonresident taxpayers, unless the same specified ‘life events’ (as outlined above) occur within a continuous period of six years of the taxpayer becoming a foreign resident.
Ref: ATO Website, 29 October 2019
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, such as to:
- obtain extra time to pay tax debt or lodge tax forms;
- obtain assistance in finding lost TFNs;
- obtain re-issued income tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment;
- obtain assistance in re-constructing tax records that are lost or damaged;
- have any refunds owed fast tracked;
- negotiate payment plans tailored to individual circumstances (including interest-free periods); and
- negotiate the remission of penalties or interest charged during the time a taxpayer has been affected.
Editor: Should you find yourself impacted by a natural disaster, even an alternative disaster to the November 2019 bushfires, please contact our office so we can provide you with any additional assistance you may need at this difficult time.
Ref: ATO website, 21 November 2019
SMSs for SMSFs!
In the interests of protecting SMSF members and
their retirement savings from fraud and misconduct,
the ATO has announced it will send out an email
and/or a text message via an SMS when changes
(including updates to the SMSF financial details or
member information) are made.
Accordingly, the ATO has urged all SMSF members to ensure they update their contact details either:
- online at abr.gov.au (with an AUSkey or an ABN linked to their myGov account);
- through their registered tax agent;
- by phoning 13 10 20 (for authorised contacts of the relevant SMSF); or
- by lodging the paper form (NAT 3036). The ATO has urged SMSF members who are concerned about notified changes to first speak with the other trustees of the SMSF or the authorised agent of their SMSF, before contacting the ATO.
Editor: As the ATO moves over to the digital world at a rapidly increasing pace, it has also reminded SMSF members that any ATO sanctioned emails and text messages would never ask for the recipient to reply by text or email, or to provide otherwise personal information.
Importantly, where an SMSF member is concerned about the authenticity of an email or text purportedly from the ATO, the ATO’s current SMS and email activities can be viewed on its website by searching for QC 40936.
Ref: ATO website, 21 November 2019
Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.