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  • 7 December 2018

    Key messages from the agenda

    The BAS Agent Association Group (BASAAG) meeting was held via telepresence on Friday 7 December 2018.

    The information provided below is to assist professional associations to communicate key messages to members. Detailed minutes of the meeting will be issued to members in the near future.

    Single Touch Payroll

    The majority of payroll software providers are offering Single Touch Payroll. If you are currently using accounting, payroll or business management software, talk to your provider to find out how they will offer Single Touch Payroll, and what you need to do to update your current software.

    If employers do not currently use payroll software there will be a number of other ways to report through Single Touch Payroll. Low-cost Single Touch Payroll options will be available by July 2019. The ATO has asked software developers to build low-cost Single Touch Payroll solutions at or below $10 per month including mobile phone apps and portals.

    Micro employers (those with 1-4 employees) will have a number of alternate options such as initially allowing a registered tax or BAS agent to report quarterly, rather than each time payroll is run. Registered agents will be able to apply for this quarterly reporting option from April 2019 through the Business Portal or Tax Agent Portal. Employers will have access to deferrals and exemptions where they need additional time to start reporting.

    For more information visit www.ato.gov.au/singletouchpayroll.

    Tax Practitioners Board

    The Tax Practitioners Board is currently undertaking a review of the continuing professional education (CPE) records of individual tax practitioners in 2018-19. The reviews assess tax practitioners compliance with the Tax Practitioners Board policy to ensure the knowledge and skills relevant to the service they are registered to provide is maintained. The initial focus will be on those who are not subjected to other regulatory oversight, such as another Government regulator or Tax Practitioners Board recognised professional association. You should maintain a record and evidence of the CPE activitiesExternal Link that you have completed, including the details of the activities and the hours completed. The Tax Practitioners Board has developed a CPE logExternal Link (PDF 78.03KB) that you may like to use to assist with your record keeping requirements.

    A Registered tax practitioner symbol has been developed by the Tax Practitioners Board for use by registered tax practitioners. Tax practitioners who meet the eligibility criteriaExternal Link can use the symbol in advertising their services. The symbol is designed to provide registered tax practitioners with public recognition that they are registered, have met the eligibility requirements and are obliged to meet appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.

    For more information refer to the Registered tax practitioner symbol guidelinesExternal Link and to how to download the symbolExternal Link.

    On Tuesday 11 December 2018 the Tax Practitioners Board announcedExternal Link a new compliance strategy, calling on registered tax practitioners to settle their outstanding tax obligations including those who may have failed to lodge income tax returns and activity statements and those who may have outstanding debts with the ATO of their obligations.

    Tax practitioners with outstanding income tax returns or activity statements and ATO debt need to address these obligations urgently as they may be in breach of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.External Link

    The TPB will initially work closely with practitioners to give them an opportunity to remedy any outstanding tax obligations. After six weeks, firmer action will be taken to enforce the laws, including investigations, prosecutions and proactive collection action where appropriate.

    Taxable payments annual report (TPAR)The expansion of the Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) to include Road Freight, Information Technology (IT) and Security and Investigative services was announced in the May 2018 Budget.

    On 3 October 2018, legislation to extend the taxable payments reporting system to cleaners and couriers received Royal Assent. This legislation is retrospective beginning 1 July 2018, and covers the provision of these services by businesses using contractors; even if businesses do not identify themselves as industry participants.

    If your clients provide cleaning or courier services, even if it's only part of the services provided, they now need to lodge a taxable payments annual report each year to tell us about their payments to contractors and subcontractors that provide cleaning or courier services on their behalf. It is important that businesses are keeping records of their contractor payments now.

    Your clients will need to lodge a taxable payments annual report by 28 August 2019 for payments made to contractors between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.

    As part of the 2018 Federal Budget announcement expanding the reporting system to Information Technology (IT), road freight and security industries, an online taxable payments annual report form was also announced. The form will provide further functionality expanding the service offering, for example the ability for tax and BAS agents to see client taxable payments annual report lodgment history. This form will be made available to individuals in business via MyTax initially, then progressively being made available in the Business Portal, Online Services for agents, and third party software.

    To find out more and to access resources to help your clients understand the new reporting requirement, visit ato.gov.au/TPAR.

    Tips and links

    Resources and channels available for advice on Cryptocurrency can be found at tax treatment of cryptocurrencies. Discuss tax issues and find answers to Cryptocurrency questions on the ATO community Cryptocurrency online forum.

    Check for the latest tax-related scam alerts. Be wary of emails, phone calls and text message claiming to be from the ATO.

    More information

    Tax practitioners can obtain more information on these topics from the professional association representatives. Tax practitioners should contact their representative to contribute items for future discussions.

      Last modified: 13 Jul 2020QC 26760