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Workforce education news - Issue 5/2011
Workforce education news - Issue 5/2011
Welcome to the fifth edition of Workforce education news for 2011.
Workforce education news is a free email newsletter we issue regularly to employers and professional associations. It contains updates about tax and superannuation entitlements and obligations that may affect you, your employees and members of your association.
Feel free to pass the newsletter on to your employees and members as it contains information that may interest them.
To update or cancel your subscription, or to provide feedback email us at email@example.com
If you have lodged your 2011 payment summary annual report already, thank you. We will be making the payment summary information available to your employees or their tax agents via our pre-filling service.
If you have not already lodged your 2011 payment summary annual report, we encourage you to lodge as soon as possible.
Pre-filling of tax returns is a service we provide so your employees or their tax agents can access information to help them prepare and lodge individual tax returns.
The earlier you lodge your 2011 payment summary annual report, the sooner we can make the information available to your employees.
By lodging early and online, it is less likely that:
- we will need to contact you to verify your payment summary data
- you will need to replace lost payment summaries for employees who lodge their tax returns using e-tax, or via a tax agent as they can access the information from our pre-filling service.
If you lodge online we can make the payment summary information available even faster.
From 1 July 2011, if you have an employee who works temporarily in the Czech Republic, you may be covered by a bilateral social security agreement. This agreement removes the issue of double superannuation coverage, provided you obtain a Certificate of coverage from us.
Double superannuation coverage occurs when an employee works temporarily in another country and that country, as well as Australia, requires superannuation guarantee (or equivalent) contributions to be made for the same work undertaken by the employee.
Under the new agreement, you will not have to make compulsory superannuation (or equivalent) contributions in the Czech Republic, provided you continue making compulsory superannuation contributions under Australia's superannuation guarantee law.
Australia also has social security agreements with many other countries.
The government is offering a free superannuation clearing house service to small businesses with less than 20 employees.
This service is optional and is designed to reduce red tape and compliance costs for small businesses, when meeting their superannuation guarantee obligations.
The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is administered by Medicare Australia and lets employers pay their superannuation contributions to a single location in one simple electronic transaction.
To find out more or to register online for the service, visit the Medicare Australia website at www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/super or phone Medicare Australia on 1300 660 048.
Withholding tax tables are now available on our website. To view pay as you go (PAYG) withholding tax tables go to www.ato.gov.au/taxtables
If you need paper copies they will be available from:
- most newsagents
- from our shopfronts
- by phoning our self-help publication hotline on 1300 720 092.
If you are thinking of starting a new business or you are already a small business operator, come along to one or more of our free seminars to help you understand your tax, record keeping and superannuation obligations.
Seminars are being run throughout Australia. Key seminars will be run in July and August on the following topics:
- tax basics for small business
- record keeping.
This year why not lodge your tax return online using e-tax? E-tax is free, convenient, and secure with built-in checks and calculators to help you get it right. It also helps fill out parts of your tax return using our pre-filling service.
The pre-filling service downloads information sent to us by your employer, bank, health fund and other government agencies and puts it straight into your tax return. Some pre-filling information is available from 1 July, with most information expected to be available from mid-August.
Sign up to our free alerts service in e-tax from 1 July to be notified by SMS or email when your information is ready to download straight into your tax return.
To lodge your return online using e-tax you will need:
- details from a notice of assessment issued in the last five years, or
- information from one of the following for the current or previous year:
- payment summary (provided to you by your employer)
- Centrelink statement (if you received Centrelink payments during the year)
- bank or dividend statement.
When you are finished, e-tax will provide you with an estimate of your tax refund or liability.
The government is introducing a temporary flood and cyclone reconstruction levy (flood levy) this year to help communities recover from recent natural disasters. The flood levy only applies to taxable income earned from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012.
Unless you are exempt, if you have a taxable income of more than $50,000 in the 2011-12 income year you will have to pay the flood levy. You do not have to do anything if you are an employee as the flood levy will automatically be deducted from your salary by your employer.
If you have a taxable income of $50,000 or less you will not have to pay the levy. Anyone who was eligible for an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment or has been affected by a natural disaster that happened during the 2010-11 financial year may also be exempt from paying the levy.
You will also need to confirm your exemption when lodging your 2012 income tax return.
For more information about the form, additional exemptions and how they work, or to obtain a copy of the form go to www.ato.gov.au/floodlevy or phone 13 28 61.
In consultation with employees and tax professionals, the ATO has developed four work-related expenses guides to help employees correctly claim work-related expenses in their 2010-11 tax return for the following occupations:
- real estate employees (agents, sales people and property managers)
- flight attendants
- earthmoving plant operators
- carpenters and joiners (including apprentices and trainees).
The guides are called:
Tax Help program - free tax help for low income earners
Tax Help is a network of community volunteers who provide a free and confidential service to help people complete their tax returns during tax time. The program uses ATO trained and accredited volunteers who operate out of community based centres.
Tax Help is suitable for people with fairly straightforward tax affairs on low incomes including but not restricted to:
- people from non-English speaking backgrounds
- people with a disability
- Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islander people.
The program is available in all capital cities and many regional areas across Australia from July to October, with volunteers operating from convenient locations in the community.
For more information and to determine your eligibility for the program visit Tax Help program.
A new employee share scheme calculator is now available. The tool will assist employees and employers to meet their tax obligations.
The online calculator will provide employees and their tax agents with a resource to determine:
- the discount they receive from participation in employee share schemes
- an estimate of the market value of their unlisted rights
- the accuracy of employee share scheme statements received from employers.
The calculator will also assist employers to prepare their employee statements and annual report by calculating the discount amounts on employee share scheme interests they provide to their employees.
To find previous issues of Workforce education news, visit our website at Workforce education news (WEN)
Last Modified: Friday, 15 July 2011