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  • Intermediaries

    • [201818] Draft property and construction web guidance
    • [201815] GST at settlement
    • [201806] Professional firms – Allocation of profit guidelines and Everett Assignment web material [UPDATED]
    • [201802] Irritants in the ATO debt experience [UPDATED]
    • [201759] Work related expenses [UPDATED]
    • [201655] Improving digital services for tax practitioners [UPDATED]

    [201806] Professional firms – Allocation of profit guidelines and Everett Assignment web material

    Registered: February 2018

    Expected completion: August 2018

    Status

    The working group is planning to convene again in early July 2018 with a view to finalising the external contribution to the ATO’s guidance product.

    In June 2018 the ATO provided further certainty regarding the year ending 30 June 2018, stating that those taxpayers who have entered into arrangements prior to 14 December 2017 which comply with the guidelines and do not exhibit any of the high risk factors outlined below can continue to rely on the suspended guidelines for the year ending 30 June 2018.

    Some of the concerns identified to date include the following arrangements:

    • lack of any meaningful commercial purpose regarding arrangements such as:              
      • disposal of an equity interest through multiple assignments
      • the creation of new discretionary entitlements such as Dividend Access Shares
      • utilising amortisation leading to differences between tax and accounting income
       
    • disregard for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) consequences and inappropriate use of CGT concessions
    • assignments where profit sharing is not directly proportionate to the equity interest held
    • the creation of artificial debt deductions
    • undertaking an assignment to dispose of an equity interest to a self-managed superannuation fund
    • assignments where the arrangement is not on all fours with the principles of Everett and Galland.

    Purpose

    To review existing ATO guidance products with a view to issuing revised and updated guidance by 30 August 2018.

    Description

    The 'Assessing the Risk: Allocation of profits within professional firms guidelines' and Everett Assignment web material published in 2015 stated that they would be reviewed in 2017. In reviewing the guidelines the ATO has become aware they are being misinterpreted in relation to arrangements that go beyond the scope of the guidelines.

    The ATO is consulting with interested stakeholders on replacement guidance.

    Who we are consulting

    • professional bodies, including representatives of tax and accounting professional associations
    • tax practitioners
    • ATO Open Forums.

    Contacts

    Simon Webster, Director, Professional Firms
    Simon.Webster2@ato.gov.au telephone (03) 9275 5328

    Chris Hill, Director
    Christopher.Hill@ato.gov.au telephone (03) 9275 4277

    [201802] Irritants in the ATO debt experience

    Registered: January 2018

    Expected completion: December 2018

    Status

    The Professional Services Reference Group together, representatives from tax professional associations, and senior ATO officers met via telepresence on 9 July 2018.

    Participants were provided with an update on the progress of implementing solutions to the Debt irritants and focus areas being addressed by the project sub-groups.

    Visibility project:

    • work has progressed developing the debt process infographic with final feedback to be incorporated; the document finalised and then published.
    • a summary of debt communication activities that have occurred as a result of the February 2018 Debt Experience workshop was provided.

    Correspondence project:

    • an overview of the selection process behind the SMS reminder initiative was provided. Plans to communicate this approach are being discussed by the project team.
    • current debt correspondence is being reviewed to ensure it is clear, concise, simple, consistent and trustworthy.

    Consistency project:

    • Payment Plan animation is being created
    • draft factsheet on hardship provisions has been created to assist ATO staff when speaking and dealing with taxpayers or their agents.
    • preparations have commenced for 18 panel discussions for ATO staff at various sites in September 2018.

    Key messages are also available from the Professional Services Reference Group web page.

    Purpose

    To work through the ATO debt experience with tax professionals and key ATO stakeholders to understand and develop a shared solution for systemic irritants.

    Description

    Working together we will analyse the debt experience and processes for tax professionals and identify pain points as well as what is working well. For each of the pain points we will brainstorm the ‘problem’ in order to understand the underlying issues and work together to develop mutually beneficial solutions.

    Who we are consulting

    Members of the Professional Services Reference Group.

    Contact

    Sylvia Gallagher, Director - Intermediaries Experience, Intermediaries and Lodgment
    sylvia.gallagher@ato.gov.au telephone (02) 6216 6404

    [201655] Improving Digital Services for tax practitioners

    Registered: September 2016

    Expected completion: November 2018

    Status

    Beta testing of the new Online Services for agents continues with a diverse group of participants consisting of tax and BAS agents.

    The timeframe for beta testing has been extended to enable all functionality in the new Online services for agents to be user tested. This is to ensure we capture all user feedback and action it where appropriate before making the service available to the broader agent community.

    We will continue to gradually increase the number of beta participants throughout the process to ensure we have a representative sample of tax and BAS agent participants.

    Purpose

    To co-design, plan and test products developed in the Improving Digital Services project through a range of integrated and innovative activities before communicating and releasing to the wider tax professional community.

    Description

    The Improving Digital Services project will transition services from the ATO Tax and BAS Agent Portals to a contemporary platform – ATO Online. Agents will have significantly improved services, including redesigned functionality and some enhancements directly from the ATO.

    Digital service providers will be able to include similar functionality in their software products if they choose, along with some additional functionality not available from the ATO.

    The ATO will co-design and consult on features as they are developed, including private and public beta testing

    Who we are consulting

    We are consulting with:

    Contact

    Sonia Corsini, Project Manager, Improved Digital Services, Intermediaries and Lodgement,
    sonia.corsini@ato.gov.au telephone: (08) 8208 1026

    Allan Gaskill, Change Manager, Improved Digital Services, Intermediaries and Lodgement
    allan.gaskill@ato.gov.au telephone (03) 8343 7760

      Last modified: 13 Aug 2018QC 54486