• BAS Agent Association Group Minutes
    8 May 2014

    Meeting details

    Venue

    Videoconference at sites in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, National Office, Parramatta and Sydney
    Audiolink to other sites

    Date

    8 May 2014

    Start

    9.40am

    Finish

    1.00pm

    Chair

    Colin Walker

    Secretariat

    Tricia Walsh

    Contact Phone

    07 314 95768

    Attendee List

    Colin Walker
    Assistant Commissioner

    ATO

    Matthew Addison
    Executive Director

    Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

    Debra Anderson
    Principal, Legally BAS

    BAS Agent

    Tony Austin
    Membership Association Representative

    First Class Financial Group

    Maria Benardis
    Professional Association Representative

    Association of Taxation and Management Accountants and Association of Certified Bookkeepers

    John Birse
    CEO and National Divisional Franchisor

    Jim’s Bookkeeping (Melbourne)

    Kelly Day
    Accounts by Day

    BAS Agent

    Rowena Hand
    Principal - Books and BAS

    BAS Agent

    Martine Joly
    Professional Association Representative

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

    Stuart Norman
    Chief Executive Officer

    Association of Accounting Technicians

    Russell Smith
    Caruss Consultants

    BAS Agent and Tax Practitioners Board member

    Peter Thorp
    Professional Association Representative

    Australian Bookkeepers Association Ltd


    Guest presenters

    Nicola Black
    Senior Director, ELS2SBR Program Manager

    Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy

    David Baker
    Director, Issues and Channel Management

    Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy

    Jennifer Moltisanti
    Assistant Commissioner, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Compliance

    Indirect Tax

    Matthew Hay
    Assistant Commissioner, Service Delivery Support

    Serious Non-compliance

    Katie Welsh
    Assistant Deputy Commissioner,
    PGH BGRS Business Govt Risk Strategy

    Private Groups and High Wealth Individuals

    Toni Smart
    Project Manager, Stopping Paper Activity Statements for Electronic Lodgers

    Client Account Services

    Jonathon Thorpe
    Assistant Commissioner, Coordination Delivery

    Service Delivery

    Tina Chawner
    Director, Practitioner Communications

    Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy

    Apologies

    Stephanie Caredes
    Tax Counsel
    Professional Association Representative

    Tax Institute

    Joyce Correnza
    Director

    ATO

    Kerri Giles
    BAS Agent

    Biz Solutions

    Robert Hutt
    Professional Association Representative

    Institute of Public Accountants

    Secretariat

    Tricia Walsh

    Tax Practitioner and Lodgment Strategy

     

    Disclaimer - BASAAG agendas, minutes and related papers are not binding on the ATO or any of the other bodies referred to in these papers. The responses contained in this agenda are the preliminary responses of the ATO based on the agenda items supplied. These papers reflect the position prior to discussion in the meeting and readers should note that the position on any issue may subsequently change.

     

    Agenda item 1 – Welcome and introductions

    Assistant Commissioner Colin Walker opened the meeting at 09.40am.

    Apologies

    • Stephanie Caredes, Tax Institute
    • Joyce Correnza, ATO
    • Kerri Giles, BAS Agent
    • Robert Hutt, Institute of Public Accountants

    Guests

    • Nicola Black, Senior Director, ELS2SBR Program Manager, TPALS (Adelaide)
    • David Baker, Director, Issues and Channel Management, TPALS (Adelaide)
    • Jennifer Moltisanti, Assistant Commissioner, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Compliance, Indirect Tax (Docklands)
    • Matthew Hay, Assistant Commissioner, Service Delivery Support, Serious Non-compliance (Parramatta)
    • Katie Welsh, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Business Government Risk Strategy, Private Groups and High Wealth Individuals (National)
    • Toni Smart, Project Manager, Stopping Paper Activity Statements for Electronic Lodgers, Client Account Services (Albury – Audiolink)
    • Jonathon Thorpe, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Coordination Delivery, Service Delivery (Newcastle – Audiolink)
    • Tina Chawner, Director, Practitioner Communications, TPALS (National)

    One action item remains open:

    Reference

    BASAAG 0412/01

    Agenda Topic

    Lodgment Program

    Action item

    BAS Agents to be more involved in consultation leading to the further implementation of the 85% lodgment program framework

    Responsibility

    Assistant Commissioner Paul Kruspe

    Update

    Preparation for consultation with Tax and BAS Agents is under way. The proposal is with Deputy Commissioner TPALS for approval.

     

    Agenda item 2 – BAS Agent Portal and Lodgment reports

    The purpose of this Agenda item was to provide members with an updated report on the portal.

    Nicola Black, Senior Director ELS2SBR Program Manager and David Baker, Director, Issues and Channel Management provided members with an update and addressed members’ concerns surrounding:

    • the inability to print client list detailing all submitted lodgements
    • dual agents.

    The ATO is looking towards more contemporary services and is committed to consulting with practitioners and other intermediary stakeholders on the services we offer to the community.

    Where possible the ATO would like to link those services through natural systems and software such as Standard Business Reporting software.

    The ATO’s proposed next steps:

    • collate and analyse the current functions provided in the portals and the volumes of use
    • compare and map these functions with what will be provided in the Standard Business Reporting framework
    • prioritise key functions and then identify a service package.

    Client links

    There has been an ongoing irritant raised by both tax and BAS agents around the inability to have multiple agents linked to a client role. This can inadvertently lead to clients being removed from an agent’s client list. Our systems do currently allow for both the tax agent and BAS agent to have access to the integrated client account at the same time. We have implemented a rule within the portals and business processes where a practitioner has the authority to act for the income tax role they will automatically be granted authority for any other role types that exist for that client (including the integrated client account) and therefore they do not require a separate tax agent link to view and update the integrated client account.

    Additionally changes have been made to the text on the ‘Add Authorisation’ screen in the portal to make it clearer to practitioners, in particular tax practitioners that when selecting ‘Income Tax’ this actually provides authority for all role types. These changes supported by education around the ‘Add Client’ function including existing steps that can be taken prior to adding any clients to determine if there is an existing tax practitioner linked to the client. This message has also been included in the Tax Time communications.

    Future design is looking to accommodate multiple links and introduce an additional range of links. Co-design with the tax practitioner community will occur on these changes.

    Lodgment reports

    BAS agents can currently request the ‘Outstanding activity statement’ report which provides a list of all their clients’ outstanding activity statements (current + previous three years) at the time the report is requested. The report is based on calendar years and the status displayed is current at the time the report is requested for download.

    Portal availability

    The ATO is looking at its use of SMS messaging and other communication channels to ensure the most appropriate channel is used for particular communications.

    Feedback we have received indicates that standard business hours are changing. With the changing patterns in the way we work, colleagues and clients are demanding a more contemporary service. Holiday periods when we would have shut down forward facing systems for maintenance are now being used by agents to catch up. This puts pressure on the system to ensure availability of the platforms to ensure timeliness of lodgment. Part of the project is to support a platform base to enable us to get to a situation where we have a modern IT infrastructure that can support the range of services we would like to provide 24/7/365.

    The meeting was advised of the scheduled outages for maintenance of the portal for June 2014 leading up to TaxTime. This scheduled downtime is not sustainable to Tax and BAS Agents. The ATO is to revisit the proposed dates with a stated preference of the group being that if it was possible to have “Saturdays” clear as much as was possible, this would go a long way to mitigating access irritants for agents. Further information will be advised in the Tax Practitioner Newsletter and other channels in the week commencing 21 May 2014.

    The ATO acknowledges that the portal resides on an ageing platform. Consistent with the Commissioner’s desire to provide a more contemporary service to the community, the ATO is looking to transition to a 24x7 service offering in the longer term.

    Post meeting update:

    Scheduled dates and times the BAS Agent portal will be unavailable during June are:

    • Saturday 31st May 6pm till Sunday 6am
    • Saturday 7th June 6pm till Sunday 10am
    • Friday 13th June 10:30pm till Sunday 7am
    • Saturday 21st June 6pm till Monday 7am

     

    Agenda item 3 – Stopping paper activity statements

    Project Manager Toni Smart provided members with an update to her presentation at the June 2013 meeting of the BAS Agents Advisory Group.

    The ATO is looking for opportunities to encourage clients to move to more efficient and cost effective electronic channels. One such opportunity is the reduction of paper activity statements that are issued to clients who lodge electronically via the Electronic Lodgment Service (ELS), Standard Business Reporting (SBR), BAS Agent and Tax Agent Portals. Currently these systems continue to issue paper activity statements even when the previous lodgment was electronic.

    In the 2012-13 financial year the ATO issued approximately 4.1 million paper activity statements that were subsequently lodged via electronic channels, many by tax practitioners.

    • From 1 July this year we plan to stop issuing paper activity statements to clients or their representatives if the previous statement has been lodged via an electronic channel.
    • There will be a few exceptions where we will continue to send paper:
      • to clients who do not have an active ABN
      • and for the following form types
        • Q (Annual GST report)
        • R (Quarterly PAYG instalment notice)
        • S (Quarterly GST instalment notice)
        • T (Quarterly GST and PAYG instalment notice)
         
       

    To support the change we have embarked on an extensive communication strategy for tax practitioners, including an overview document Changes to managing electronic activity statements.

    There will be an impact for clients who choose to use a tax practitioner for a one-off lodgment, as a single electronic lodgment will result in a change to how the next activity statement is issued.

    Electronic revisions will also result in a change away from paper activity statements.

    Where we identify clients who have an established pattern of lodging monthly paper activity statements and quarterly electronic activity statements via a practitioner we will exclude the client from the change initially. Clients will need to have their activity statement lodgments up to date to be excluded from the change.

    Post meeting update

    Activity statement lodgment and payment dates are not changing. Electronic lodgment concessions will still apply for registered agents. Activity statements lodged via the Business Portal will also receive concessions to the lodgment due date.

    The ATO does not intend to alter any approach to lodgment compliance strategies or activities where paper activity statements are no longer sent to the client or practitioner.

    Business clients have an obligation to understand their lodgment and payment due dates.

     

    Agenda item 4 – Tax Practitioners Board report

    BASAAG member and Tax Practitioners Board (Board) representative, Russell Smith provided members with an update on Board activities since the last meeting and provided background on the Tax (Financial) Advisers Exposure Draft policy documents.

    1. Board activity

    Tax Practitioner Board outreach

    • The Board held its recent outreach activities in Canberra on 4 March 2014. Ian Taylor, Chair of the Board, along with Russell Smith, TPB board member, led sessions with local and regional tax practitioners.
    • Attendance at the presentations was strong with over 370 people registering for the sessions. 186 tax agents, 156 BAS agents and 35 financial advisers registered to attend the presentations.
    • The sessions focus was to provide tax practitioners with information about their registration requirements and obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).
    • The feedback received from participants was very positive.
    • The Board are planning further outreach activities, with a visit to QLD scheduled for June 2014. Sessions will be held for registered tax practitioners, financial advisers, academics and professional association in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

    Tax Practitioner Service Charter

    • The Board launched its new Tax Practitioner Service CharterExternal Link (Charter) at the Canberra Outreach sessions. The Charter was developed to explain tax practitioner’s rights and responsibilities, as a client of the Board, as well as the Board’s obligations to tax practitioners. The Board is committed to following the Charter in all of our dealings with tax practitioners.

    2. Registrations

    Applications on hand to be processed at 31 March 2014

    Type of application

    Amount

    TA new registration applications

    477

    BAS new registration applications

    351

    TA renewal applications

    1037

    BAS renewal applications

    802

    Total

    2667

    Current turnaround times – March 2014

    Type of application

    Current turnaround times (days) from the date application is complete and accurate

    Registering as a tax agent

    26

    Registering as a BAS new agent

    27

    Renewing a tax agent registration

    19

    Renewing a BAS agent registration

    6

    3. Compliance activity

    Complaints and compliance activity focusing on BAS agents

    • There are currently two proceedings underway in the Federal Court involving BAS agents:
      • The Board has started proceedings in the Federal Court, Brisbane, against a BAS agent and her company for alleged breaches of the civil penalty provisions. It is alleged (among other things) that the agent and the company provided tax agent services and charged fees for these services while not being registered as a tax agent.
      • Another matter is currently in the Federal Court, Melbourne. A BAS agent was providing tax agent services and charging a fee. The Court found that they contravened s50-5(1) of the Tax Agents Services Act (TASA) on 86 occasions and ordered an injunction for a period of three years. A hearing on pecuniary penalty has been listed for 5 May 2014.
       
    • The Board is also currently undertaking preliminary enquiries in relation to two BAS agents that may be providing tax agent services but are not registered to provide these services. This type of activity is a breach of the civil penalty provisions of the TASA.
    • So far this financial year:
      • 29 BAS agents have been issued with a sanction after Board enquiries regarding their outstanding personal tax obligations.
      • 32 BAS agents have been sanctioned after failing to maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance as required by the TASA.
       

    Source of complaint or referral

    Total YTD at Mar 2014 for all agents

    Total YTD at Mar 2014 for BAS agents only

    External sources

    1081

    51

    Public

    835

    36

    Registered agent

    127

    11

    ATO

    105

    2

    Professional Associations

    3

    1

    Media

    3

    0

    ASIC

    8

    1

    Internal sources

    1103

    401

    TPB Registrations

    43

    13

    TPB Board/Legal

    5

    1

    TPB Regulatory Assurance

    1049

    386

    Other

    6

    1

    Total

    2184

    452

    Updated figures for the tables below for BAS agents

    Sanctions

    Total YTD

    YTD BAS agents only

    Terminations Part 4

    24

    9

    Terminations Part 3

    8

    3

    Renewals/Reg App Rejected

    13

    2

    Application to Federal Court

    6

    2

    Suspended

    51

    29

    Order Issued

    52

    31

    Written Caution

    68

    26

    Total

    222

    102

    4. Board information

    Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

    • From December 2013
      • Transitional arrangements for CPE apply for tax and BAS agents registered as
        31 December 2013.
       
    • Transitional arrangements
      • For registration renewal applications received before 30 June 2016 agents will be required to have read and understood the information in our CPE policy. This arrangement can only be used once.
       

    For all registration renewal applications received from 1 July 2016 agents will be required to have met the full CPE requirements set out in our CPE policy. Evidence of the CPE activities that have been completed may be required, for example a CPE log.

    Declaring BAS services

    The Board, by legislative instrument will be able to declare certain services as BAS services. We are currently developing the legislative instrument and hoping to have it tabled in Parliament shortly.

    As previously announced by the Board, the legislative instrument will declare superannuation guarantee, superannuation guarantee charge and reportable payment services as BAS services.

    Confidentiality of client information

    The Board released an exposure draft information sheet regarding the confidentiality of client informationExternal Link. The draft information sheet provides guidance for registered Tax and BAS agents on the application of Code Item 6 of the Code of Professional Conduct (Code), contained in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

    Code Item 6 states that ‘unless you have a legal duty to do so, you must not disclose any information relating to a client’s affairs to a third party without your client’s permission’. The draft information sheet provides practical examples and other information to assist tax practitioners to comply with this Code Item.

    Submissions on the draft information sheet closed on 16 April 2014.

    Financial advisers

    From 1 July 2014 the Board will be responsible for the regulation of financial advisers who provide tax advice in relation to financial services. There will be a phased approach with three registration options to assist the industry to comply with the new regulatory framework.

    • Notification option - 1 July 2014 until 31 December 2015
    • Transitional option - 1 January 2016 until 30 June 2017
    • Standard option - 1 January 2016 onwards

    Registered agent symbol

    The Board has developed a registered agent symbol as a quality assurance sign to help consumers recognise whether their agent is registered. The symbol also helps agents to identify themselves as being registered with the Board. The agent symbol is currently with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for final approval and the Board hopes to launch the symbol with the Assistant Treasurer towards the middle of the year.

     

    Agenda item 5 – Move to contemporary services and client experiences

    The purpose of this agenda item was to update the Group on the initial work around the reinvention of the ATO and the transformation to a contemporary and service-oriented organisation.

    1. Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Moltisanti provided an overview of the ATO’s journey in reinventing itself.
    2. Assistant Deputy Commissioner Katie Welsh gave an overview of our thinking with respect to our vision as we move toward 2020 and beyond.
    3. Assistant Commissioner Matthew Hay provided an overview of the client service environment.

    The ATO’s mission is to contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Australians by fostering willing participation in the tax and superannuation systems.

    Reinventing the ATO is about transforming the organisation to ensure it is contemporary and service-oriented. With a new ATO Executive Leadership group the momentum is there for change. The ATO is looking at partnering with key people in the community to deliver those services in the future and help reduce red tape for businesses.

    Commissioner Chris Jordan in an address to the ATAX 11th International Tax Administration Conference in April 2014 set out his vision for the ATO - Reinventing the ATO – building trust in Australia’s tax administration

    In the future:

    • A taxpayer’s experience with the tax and super systems will be streamlined and tailored based on our knowledge of their tax and super affairs.
    • We will reward transparency and willingness to participate in the tax and super systems with less effort required to comply and greater certainty about the status of tax and super affairs.
    • Taxpayers will experience more flexible and contemporary services.
    • We will make greater use of taxpayers’ natural systems.
    • We will work across government.
    • We will continue to use analytics more effectively.

    A key approach of this work is that the future experience will be co-designed with the community. The ATO will be talking to the community to understand client experiences from their perspective. What will make it easy to comply and difficult not to comply? For some elements of these experiences we may need to explore law change with Treasury.

    This Group will be involved in the co-design process. Changing the experience of BAS agents, tax agents and others is critical. Assistant Deputy Commissioner Katie Welsh is to attend the next BASAAG meeting to conduct a co-design workshop with members.

    The ATO released its first app for TaxTime 2013 giving easy access to services like tracking the progress of individual tax returns and links to YouTube videos about tax matters. In January this year small business information was added and superannuation will soon be available. Small Business Assist Phase 2 was launched last year, accessible on the ATO website and through the app. It provides easy access to information and tools with the option of an after-hours call back service if more help is needed. Phase 3 which incorporates web chat functionality is to be launched in August 2014. Over the next coming months the ATO app will become a lot more sophisticated especially when SBR comes on line.

    The ATO has now joined the Whole of Government site – myGov. myGovExternal Link is a fast and simple way to use government services online. One secure myGov account gives individuals access to a range of Australian Government services including Medicare, Child Support and Centrelink with one username and password. Other Government agencies will progressively add their services.

    To simplify and better tailor products for taxpayers who have a tax debt, the ATO is using new communication approaches to encourage payments. Simplifying the language and changing the tone, structure and layout of our letters is having a positive effect — both in terms of client experience and collections.

    Recognising time is money, for example, for complex matters, we are focusing on early discussions between the taxpayer and relevant tax officers responsible for making decisions. These early, face-to-face talks get to the core issues more quickly and short-circuit unproductive paper wars between the parties.

    One of the significant achievements in the past year has been the results from the newly established independent review function for income tax audits of large businesses. This function sits within our Law area and provides a fresh set of eyes to complex issues.

    Up to 1.4 million self-preparers who have used e-tax previously will receive a more streamlined experience this year when they receive a pre-filled return which draws on frequently or highly used elements of tax returns. MyTax is our new streamlined tax return designed specifically for people with straightforward tax affairs. Available on tablets, smart phones and computers, this new return is the fastest, most convenient way to lodge your tax return. MyTax only asks you for information relevant to you. It also does most of the hard work for you, filling in your return with information from your previous tax return and with information provided by your bank, employer, government agencies and others.

     

    Agenda item 6 – Increasing digital interactions

    Assistant Commissioner Jonathon Thorpe briefed members on global trends and community expectations and the ATO’s transition from paper to interacting online in keeping with the government’s National Digital Economy Strategy. 

    The work being undertaken to increase digital interactions aims to:

    • reduce costs for the community and government
    • educate and support the community’s transition to digital interactions
    • reduce the carbon footprint

    We have an aspirational target of reducing the ATO’s paper consumption from 1,000 tonnes to 150 tonnes by 2015. Activities will include:

    • creating and adopting internal processes to ensure online is considered the default position for correspondence
    • ensuring the community and agents are aware that paper self-help products can no longer be ordered from our warehouse and instead are available online at ato.gov.au

    Consultation has been held and is continuing with the BAS agent community to advise why and where we are making changes and how we are moving forward. Results demonstrate agents continue to be happy to self-serve.

    Following our tailored campaign for entities lodging their BAS online, we have identified:

    • 35% of businesses not required to lodge electronically still migrated to electronic lodgment
    • nearly 40% of businesses contacted required their details updated ie email, contact person and/or phone number.

    We will be looking for more opportunities to move BAS and tax agents to self-serve via the portals instead of calling us or sending in correspondence.

    • In queue / on hold messaging promoting digital services.
    • YouTube videos (how-to guides).
    • Social media messaging (for example, Facebook, Twitter).
    • Engagement with key external consultative forums.

    Our strategy continues to focus on providing support and education to transition the remaining 900,000 businesses to digital BAS lodgement. Online assistance and support is available for entities that need help registering for an AUSkey and guidance on portal functionality.

    Additional targeted activities include:

    • contacting 4,258 entities that are lodging their quarterly activity statements electronically but their monthly activity statements via paper and assisting them to transition
    • working with the South Australian (SA) Department of Education to transition 810 SA schools that are still lodging paper and move them to digital channels
    • using learnings from the SA campaigns to transition 705 Western Australian schools to digital lodgement.

    Agenda item 7 – Tax professionals newsletter

    Director Tax Practitioner Communications, Tina Chawner spoke to members on the ATO’s updated approach to communications.

    The ATO is moving away from broadcasting multiple messages on different channels to a refined single source of information on ato.gov.au.

    We are starting to see some trends coming through on the number of hits on articles and we are continuing to analyse these figures. Director Tina Chawner is to attend the next meeting to present findings on the collected data.

    The ATO is about to kick off two pieces of research – research on how practitioners use the website and research about the architecture of the website.

    Since November 2013 there has been a significant increase in people coming in to News and Updates. Last month there were 35,000 unique hits (excludes ATO staff). The majority are coming in because it is saved as a favourite or have subscribed to the ‘What’s new’ RSS feed. 4% of visitors are coming through the newsletter. We will continue analysis to identify any other future trends.

    Following discussion on the layout and content of the Tax professionals newsletter the ATO undertook to revisit the newsletter to see if any changes could be made to make the product more inviting and relevant to BAS agents.

    Planning is under way to revitalise and reference our web content. 1,000 old pages needed to come off. Further work will reform the structure and how the information is prioritised. The archive section in News and updates for tax practitioners is being reviewed and improved making it easier to access older material.

    Post meeting update

    Content in the Tax professionals newsletter has been tailored so that information of interest to BAS agents is consolidated and appears at the front of the content. We are continuing to explore further options.

     

    Agenda item 8 – Other business

    Discussion under this agenda item covered off additional information sought following the discussion at the pre-meeting teleconference on 7 April.

    • Depreciation Rate
      • The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013 was introduced into the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013.  Part of this Bill will reduce the small business instant asset write-off threshold from $6,500 to $1,000 from 1 January 2014.
      • The Bill was read a second time on 25 March 2014 but was voted down in the Senate.
      • The ATO now has a policy of allowing all items with a purchase price of $1,000 or less to be reported as non-capital, which should greatly ease the burden on small businesses that complete their own activity statement.
       
    • Superannuation Guarantee Charge
      • The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013, which was introduced into the House of Representatives on 13 November 2013 includes the measures to repeal the Low Income superannuation contribution and defer the Superannuation Guarantee rate rise for 2 years.
      • This Bill was read for a second time on 25 March 2014 but was voted down in the Senate.
      • The proposed rise will proceed to 9.5% from 1 July 2014 unless a reintroduced or amended Bill is passed by the Senate prior to that time.
       
    • Report on the Implementation of Taxable Payments Annual Reporting
      • Some statistics have been prepared, but it is too early to report.
       
    • Lodgment concessions
      • Lodgment concessions that were provided last year were provided on the basis that they would be for the first year only.  The concessions were granted on the basis that some businesses and their agents may not have set up the necessary systems and processes to collate the information and prepare the annual report in the first year. 
      • If you are experiencing difficulties meeting the due date please contact us to discuss your circumstances.
      • A member asked if the ATO is going to advise contractors in the building and construction industry that anyone who prepares their Activity Statements using a cash base will no longer receive any concession for their June BAS. Those taxpayers who reconcile on a cash base need to have all financial accounts completed by 30 June so they can lodge their Taxable Payments Annual Report by 21 July. These contractors do not get the benefit afforded to taxpayers who use an accrual based accounting system are able to keep processing accounts into August.
       

    Post meeting update

    Businesses are only required to report the payments they make to contractors in the financial year in which the payments are actually made (cash basis). Any unpaid invoices as at 30 June each year are to be reported in the year they are paid.

    Most accounting software packages have been updated to collect the relevant information and generate the annual report. If a business has not updated their software to be able to generate the annual report or does not use software, we have made available a worksheet that could be used to assist them in recording the information as they make payments to each contractor so they have the information available to complete the annual report at the end of the year..

    In May and June 2014 we are sending letters or emails to businesses in the building and construction industry that may be paying contractors to remind them to lodge their 2013–14 Taxable payments annual report by 21 July 2014.

    Businesses are advised to contact us as soon as possible if they are unable to lodge by the due date.

    Where a business uses a registered agent to complete the annual report and the agent cannot lodge by the due date, they can request additional time to lodge by completing a Request for additional time to lodge form and submitting this to us using the Tax Agent or BAS Agent Portal. The form needs to be submitted before the due date of 21 July 2014.

    More Information

    More Information about taxable payments reporting is available on our website at www.ato.gov.au/taxablepaymentsreporting

     

    Agenda item 9 – Meeting wrap up and close

    The purpose of this item is to:

    • consider key messages from this meeting
    • discuss the date and format of next meeting.

    Key Messages from the meeting have been published and may be found at Key messages BASAAG 8 May 2014

    The Chair advised the meeting that he wished to return the Group to quarterly meetings to ensure that members were able to contribute to business in an effective manner. Members expressed their preference for the next meeting to occur early September.

    Post meeting update

    The next meeting will take place on 4 September 2014 in the ATO Moonee Ponds site.

      Last modified: 06 Aug 2014QC 41688