Harper News

Entries for June 2012

Compliance announcements

The government will continue funding to the agencies involved in the Project Wickenby cross-agency taskforce until June 30, 2015. The Tax Office will receive additional funds to reduce outstanding tax debts and SG charges, and to support a 'more differentiated approach' to debt collection.

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Around a million families will receive a cash hand-out of $820 for every high-school child and $410 for every primary-school child as part of the new SchoolKids Bonus, paid directly to eligible recipients. The SchoolKids Bonus replaces the Education Tax Refund (ETR) and under this new scheme, payments will be made upfront with no paperwork required.

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 The government has committed $3.7 billion to a 10-year plan to revamp the aged care system by encouraging more people to keep their home and stay in it as they receive aged care. The aged care reform - known as Living Longer Living Better - is set to roll out on July 1, 2012.

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Families, individuals

Come July 1, 2012, the tax-free threshold will be more than tripled from $6,000 to $18,200 - freeing up to one million Australians from the need to lodge a tax return. Further tax cuts will be delivered in 2015-16 for all individuals with incomes up to $80,000, with most receiving up to $85 on top of this year's tax cut. The marginal tax rates are set out below.

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Superannuation reforms

Reforms to the superannuation guarantee have already been announced, and will take the rate of compulsory super contributions from 9% to 12% progressively to 2019, as well as the introduction of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution, where from July 1, 2012, workers with income up to $37,000 will receive a boost of up to $500 to their superannuation savings. 

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Business measures

The proposed measure to lower the company tax rate by 1% from 2013-14 and to implement an early start to the company tax rate cut from 2012-13 for small businesses will not proceed.

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Over $86.6 million will be spent over four years on various initiatives to bring mature workers into the workplace

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New contractor tax reporting requirements

A change to the reporting requirements for businesses in the building and construction sector is about to become a reality from July 1, 2012. The new ‘Taxable Payments Report’ will require operators to report on certain payments made to contractors. The Tax Office says data from the Taxable Payments Report will improve compliance and detect contractors who have either not lodged returns or not included all of their income.

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Builders and contractors: Beware the Personal Properties Security Register

Financial institutions are familiar with the idea of registering ‘security interests’ over loans or mortgages — which flags that the asset involved (such as property or a vehicle) has a payment obligation attached. But the Personal Properties Securities Register, that came into effect on January 30, 2012, extends the need to register interests to other industries, including the construction sector.

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Streaming classes of trust income

Various aspects of the tax law relating to trusts have been the subject of long-term uncertainty. Some clarification was provided in the 2010 year High Court decision in the Bamford case, however the Tax Office indicated that the judgement of the court raised further issues, which it outlined in a Decision Impact Statement.

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End-of-year tax tactics for your business

There are legitimate ways to go about minimising your business’s tax liability, and some simple tactics to achieve this. These may not suit every business, so check with your tax professional to ensure they are applicable. As plans of action invariably take a while to put in place, some of the strategies may be too late to initiate now, but can certainly be given consideration to make 2012-13 a better tax year

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SMSFs: Travel – and keep your fund compliant

Are you a travel aficionado? Nothing unlawful about that, except there may be negative consequences if you are a trustee in a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF).

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End-of-year superannuation strategy checklist

Get your superannuation into its best tax position, for this year-end and into 2012-13 and beyond. Consult your tax agent on which strategies suit you best.

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Harper News June 2012

Interested in reading a PDF version of June's News Articles?  Click to download and print offline Download Here

Dodgy tax scheme warning

The Tax Office is warning us to steer clear of tax avoidance schemes, especially in the lead up to 2012 tax return time. Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo says there’s a marked increase in the number of schemes being promoted at this time of year. ‘Modern tax schemes can be very sophisticated and may masquerade as complex investments or other arrangements that can appeal even to experienced investors.’

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Pre-paying private health insurance

The private health insurance rebate is to be means tested from July 1, 2012, which will see the 30% rebate drop to 20% for singles earning more than $84,000 and families on $168,000.

It will then fall to 10% for incomes of $97,000 and $194,000 respectively before dropping to zero at incomes above $130,000 and $260,000

[Read more...]

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