MJS Floorcoverings Partners In Business Conference

On 15th June 2019 Harris Black Director, Renee Bettenay, attended the Howard Smith Wharves complex having been invited to present at the MJS Floorcoverings Partners in Business Conference. To an audience of family business owners from similar industries, Renee spoke about ways to improve your business and also provided a timely update to all regarding what should be addressed by businesses prior to 30 June.

Economist Craig James (CBA), brokers Michael Kelly and Steve Carlton (RFS Finance) and Simon Taufel (Former International Cricket Umpire) also presented. The conference was a wonderful opportunity for family businesses from the same industry to get together and discuss issues and opportunities in their businesses.

Congratulations to Brett Sturgess and MJS Floorcoverings on running such a successful event. If you would like to see more please take a look at the following youtube videos.

Renee Bettenay | Harris Black
MJS Partners In Business Conference 2019

Click here for more videos.

STP Exemptions And Deferrals – ATO Reminders

With reported unpreparedness for Single Touch Payroll (STP), mainly among small businesses, and with employers having less than 19 employees needing to report their employees’ tax and super information through STP from 1 July 2019, the ATO has reminded businesses about the STP exemptions and deferrals that are available.

There are exemptions for reporting through STP for a particular financial year, for certain payments, or for certain employees.

TIP: Where there are extenuating circumstances that impact an employer’s ability to regularly report on or before pay day (eg regular intermittent internet connectivity issues that result in the ATO receiving its report a couple of days after pay day), they can apply for a recurring deferral.

Super Death Benefit For De Facto Partner Upheld

The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal against a decision to pay a superannuation death benefit pension to a fire fighter’s de facto partner instead of a lump sum to his estate in Howard v Batistich [2019] FCA 525.

The trustee of the Crown Employees Superannuation Fund determined that the respondent, Ms Batistich, was a “de facto partner” of the deceased at the date of his death under the Superannuation Act 1916 (NSW) and the Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW). Accordingly, the trustee determined that Ms Batistich was entitled to a fortnightly pension. If there was no spouse (including a de facto), a lump sum death benefit of $350,000 would have been payable to the deceased estate.

The deceased’s parents, as the administrators of his estate, complained to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal that Ms Batistich did not meet the definition of de facto partner.
In dismissing the appeal, the Court said it was not satisfied that the SCT had misunderstood its task or failed to consider all the circumstances of the relationship.

Cryptocurrency: Record Keeping Requirements And Data Matching Program

The Commissioner has published a gazette notice setting out the record keeping requirements for cryptocurrency owners and traders. TheATO advises that it is undertaking a data matching program for 2014-15 to 2019-20 for such entities.

The data obtained from cryptocurrency designated service providers (DSPs) is being (and will continue to be) used to identify the buyers and sellers of crypto-assets and quantify the related transactions. Data will be matched against ATO records to identify individuals who may not be meeting their registration, reporting, lodgement and/or payment obligations.

The ATO will be working with other regulators, including the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to ensure that tax law requirements align with a whole of system approach.

Ombudsman Calls On ATO To Cease Small Business Recovery Action Where Tax Disputes Are Before AAT

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) has issued a report into the ATO’s enforcement of debt recovery. In a press release, the ASBFEO called for the ATO to immediately cease debt recovery action where tax disputes were before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

The report contains three key conclusions and seven recommendations. The ASBFEO also reminds small business taxpayers in dispute with the ATO of its Small Business Concierge Service, which started on 1 March 2019. This service provides legal assistance for AAT appeals for a limited cost.

The ATO issued a press release outlining its response to the report stating its longstanding policy on debt recovery for cases in dispute at the AAT is to only pursue disputed debt in “exceptional circumstances” and that there are only ”very rare cases” (eg in 2017-18, it took garnishee action against small business in just four cases).

The ATO further stated that it will consider the report’s recommendations while it awaits the Australian National Audit Office’s review of how the ATO manages tax debts for small business.

Payment Summaries And STP This Tax Time – Taxpayers May Need A MyGov Account

Whilst it is being reported that many businesses are not ready for Single Touch Payroll (STP), (one report suggests that 70% of small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) are not ready), the employees of businesses that are operating STP face some changes.

As a result of the introduction of STP, taxpayers may need a myGov account in order to get the payment summary details they need to complete their 2019 tax returns.

Employers need to let employees know if they won’t be giving them a payment summary this year.

TIP: This major change for 2019 will see many taxpayers needing to set up a myGov account and link it to the ATO. This is not necessarily a straightforward process. If taxpayers have a myGov account already linked to other services such as Centrelink or Medicare, adding the ATO can be problematic. For example, the name on each account must match exactly – the ATO is likely to have a taxpayer’s full name whereas a Centrelink account may only have first and last name. This may prevent the ATO from being added to a taxpayer’s myGov account. The situation can be rectified but may require a trip to a Centrelink office.

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