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  • Recent developments

    Read about the latest initiatives we have developed to assist businesses and taxpayers.

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    Consultation – tax incentives for investment in early stage innovation companies

    We’re inviting you to provide feedbackExternal Link on our draft guidelines: A step-by-step guide to the principles-based innovation test. Consultation is open until 22 January 2018.

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    Engage with us for advice

    As part of our commitment to provide you with relevant and timely advice, we offer private groups and their advisors with a dedicated callback request service. By engaging with us early for advice you can help us gain a clearer understanding of your circumstances and address any tax issues as quickly as possible. We have also improved our early engagement processes to reduce timeframes and minimise compliance costs for your business.

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    Tax agent webinar – engaging with private groups

    The webinar, ATO's engagement with private groups: what this means for your practice and your clients, held on 29 August 2017 is now available on our website.

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    Early stage innovation company (ESIC) form now available

    As part of the reporting requirements under the tax incentives for early stage investors, early stage innovation companies (ESICs) are required to report on any qualifying investments made in their company in the 2016–17 financial year, using the ESIC form.

    The ESIC form is now available via the Tax Agent Portal and the Business Portal. It needs to be submitted by ESICs or their tax agents by 31 July 2017.

    To complete this report you will need:

    • details of each investor, including ABN (if applicable)
    • number of newly issued shares purchased by the investor
    • amount paid for the new shares
    • date the shares were issued
    • percentage of shares in the company held by the investor immediately after the shares were issued.

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    Super, BAS and tax changes

    There are changes to super and BAS reporting and tax concessions that you should know about:

    • Super – do you have an SMSF or are you planning to retire? From 1 July 2017 there are changes to superannuation – check them out at
    • Less reporting? – from 1 July 2017 small businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million GST will have less GST information to report on their BAS – see how your business reporting is made simpler and easier by going to
    • Tax concessions for business – from 1 July 2016, if your turnover is less than $10 million you have access to a range of small business tax concessions – such as the 27.5% company tax rate. Find out what you can now claim at what's new for small business.

    New LinkedIn Showcase Page for private companies

    As part of our commitment to providing taxpayers with relevant and up-to-date information we have launched Focus on Private Companies, our new LinkedIn Showcase Page.

    Focus on Private Companies features industry and business specific information for private companies. It is a go-to destination for all the latest news and initiatives for complex tax topics.

    We welcome you to follow us and encourage you to engage with us by commenting and liking our posts.

    Find out about:

    Tax Avoidance Taskforce - Trusts

    Trusts are legitimately used for asset protection, succession planning and tax planning. However, our compliance activities tell us that trusts are sometimes also used for tax avoidance or evasion arrangements.

    Starting in 2013–14, our Trusts Taskforce was created to deal with taxpayers who use trusts as vehicles for tax evasion and avoidance with a specific focus on the most egregious trust behaviours. Significant outcomes for the Trusts Taskforce are:

    • 56 audits
    • 848 case reviews
    • $948.03 million in total tax liabilities identified
    • $279.98 million total cash raised
    • Three taxpayer alerts issued
    • Two convictions for serious tax fraud and a further five matters referred to law enforcement.

    From 1 July 2017 the Trusts Taskforce work will continue under the operational umbrella of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce and will be known as Tax Avoidance Taskforce - Trusts.

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    Serious Financial Crime Taskforce

    The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (Taskforce) is a multi-agency taskforce targeting serious financial crime in Australia including:

    • serious fraud
    • money laundering
    • defrauding the Commonwealth.

    Current priorities include crimes related to:

    • international tax evasion
    • fraudulent phoenix activity
    • trusts and superannuation.

    Help ensure the integrity of the Australian economy and financial markets by reporting suspicion of a financial crime or unusual activity.

    Report tax evasion and crime to us by completing an online tax evasion reporting form, or by phoning 1800 060 062.

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    Be Super Scheme Smart

    Super Scheme Smart is an initiative to alert individuals and their advisers about aggressive tax planning arrangements that channel money inappropriately through an SMSF to obtain concessional tax treatment.

    Promoters target:

    • individuals approaching and actively planning for retirement
    • trustees of SMSFs
    • self-funded retirees
    • financial planners/advisers that specialise in providing self-managed superannuation advice.

    We don’t want you to fall victim to these schemes. We want to help you protect your retirement nest egg by providing guidance on what to look out for and where to go for help.

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    Last modified: 08 Dec 2017QC 49158