• Recent developments

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

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    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:

    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 a new initiative to alert individuals and their advisors about aggressive tax planning retirement planning schemes.

    These schemes exist solely to help individuals avoid paying tax on their assets by channelling money inappropriately through a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).

    Promoters target individuals approaching, and actively planning for retirement, trustees of SMSF’s, self-funded retirees and financial planners/advisors 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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    Caps introduced for some FBT meal entertainment benefits

    Changes are being introduced to the concessional treatment of meal entertainment and entertainment facility leasing benefits (meal entertainment benefits) to improve integrity in the tax system.

    Caps are being introduced from 1 April 2016 for FBT salary sacrificed meal entertainment benefits and entertainment facility leasing expenses.

    From 1 April 2016, all salary packaged meal entertainment benefits:

    • are subject to a separate single grossed-up cap of $5,000
    • which exceed the $5,000 grossed-up cap will be counted towards an employee’s existing FBT exemption or rebate cap
    • will be reportable and must be included on an employee’s payment summary where the reporting threshold is exceeded
    • cannot have their taxable value calculated using the elective valuation rules.

    If you currently salary package meal, or other entertainment benefits, for example you use a meal entertainment card, you should consider how these changes may affect your current or planned arrangements before the 1 April 2016 start date.

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    Form for instructing your valuation consultant

    Valuations are an important part of the tax and super system and help to resolve potential disputes. In consultation with our partners in the tax and super system, we've developed a standard instruction form to support you when requesting services from a valuation consultant.

    We encourage you to use this form to obtain quality information that aligns with the tax law approaches and requirements.

    Next step:

    Cease automatic issue of private group structure questionnaires form

    We used to issue Private group structure questionnaires forms (PGSQs) to wealthy individuals prior to undertaking a risk review.

    As part of our reinvention program to provide an improved client experience and reduce client costs, we no longer automatically issue PGSQs to wealthy individuals. Instead, our officers will exercise their professional judgment to gain an understanding of the group structure and business operations of our clients through earlier engagement and discussion with you or your advisors.

    While there may still be the need for you to complete a questionnaire, it is our preference to actively engage with you in the first instance.

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    Confirming high wealth individuals

    High wealth individuals are now receiving letters in our new, streamlined approach to confirm information about you. Now you can quickly and simply confirm or correct the information in the letter instead of having to provide the information in a questionnaire.

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    Professional firms

    We have published guidelines that outline our risk assessment methodology for certain types of remuneration arrangements used by members of professional firms. The guidelines are commercial and pragmatic – they are intended to support the self-assessment system for appropriate allocation of profits within professional firms.

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    Egregious use of trusts

    Trusts are legitimately used for asset protection, succession planning and tax planning. However, our compliance activities tell us that trusts are also used for tax avoidance or evasion arrangements. We have established a trusts task force to investigate aggressive tax avoidance and evasion using trusts.

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    Claiming fuel tax credits

    Fuel tax credit rates increased for fuel acquired from 10 November 2014 and again for fuel acquired from 2 February 2015, as a result of the reintroduction of fuel indexation. Rates are indexed twice a year in line with the consumer price index.

    Make sure you check the rates before you complete each business activity statement (BAS) as you may have more than one rate in a BAS period.

    Use the fuel tax credit calculator to get your claims right every time. The calculator is also available on the ATO app, which you can download or update from GoogleplayTM, the Windows phone store or the Apple app store.

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    Last modified: 31 Mar 2017QC 49158