On Wednesday 26 September 2018, strawberries were in the spotlight for one good reason. The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation held a one-day sale of the very famous strawberry sundaes which are only available at the Ekka every year.
This one-off event will benefit the Queensland strawberry farmers following the nation-wide needle contamination crisis.
The Treasurer has released draft legislation to ensure offshore sellers of hotel accommodation in Australia calculate their GST turnover in the same way as local sellers from 1 July 2019.
Under the proposed changes, offshore suppliers of rights to use commercial accommodation (eg hotels) in the indirect tax zone (broadly, Australia) will be required to include these supplies in working out their GST turnover. If the supplier’s GST turnover equals or exceeds the registration turnover threshold, GST must be remitted for supplies that are taxable supplies.
The legislative logjam in Federal Parliament is affecting the implementation of a wide range of tax measures, and the ATO is having to implement some practical work-arounds.
In the 2017–18 Federal Budget the Government announced that from 1 July 2018, businesses that supply courier or cleaning services will need to report payments they make to contractors for courier or cleaning services. The payments must be reported to the ATO each year using the taxable payments annual report (TPAR). However, legislation to implement this is still before the Senate.
The ATO will not require TPARs to be lodged up until the law change is passed by Parliament. Taxpayers will be expected to keep sufficient business records to enable a TPAR to be prepared and lodged “as soon as is reasonably practicable after the law is enacted”.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has called for the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses to be embedded in legislation and extended up to $100,000 every three years. Ms Carnell said increasing the instant asset write-off to $100,000 every three years would enable small businesses with higher costs for key equipment to participate.
These recommendations stem from the Ombudsman’s November 2017 paper, Barriers to investment: a study into factors impacting small to medium enterprise investment.
The ATO says a capital gains tax (CGT) event occurs when a person disposes of their cryptocurrency (eg Bitcoin). A disposal can occur when someone:
- sells or gifts cryptocurrency;
- trades or exchanges cryptocurrency (including the disposal of one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency) – if the cryptocurrency received cannot be valued, the capital proceeds from the disposal are worked out by using the market value of the cryptocurrency disposed of at the time of the transaction;
- converts cryptocurrency to fiat currency like Australian dollars; or
- uses cryptocurrency to obtain goods or services.
If you need assistance with the tax treatment of cryptocurrency, or the ATO’s record-keeping requirements for taxpayers who are involved in acquiring or disposing of cryptocurrency, please contact your Harris Black team member.
The ATO has warned taxpayers to be on “high alert” for tax-related scams. ATO Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said the most common scam is still the “fake tax debt” phone scam, but the ATO is also seeing an increase in “fake refund” or “refund for a fee” scams, and email and SMS scams enticing people to click a hyperlink, download a file or open an attachment.
Scammers frequently claim to be from the ATO and taxpayers should be wary of any phone call, text message, email or letter about a tax refund or debt, especially if they were not expecting it.