Harper News

Business costs, and the deductibility of interest expenses

If a business racks up an interest bill from borrowing funds to pay for the expenses of running the business, or to acquire other income-producing assets or investments, this expense is generally allo...

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Are personal carer travel costs claimable? It depends

A recent court decision, and subsequent appeal, has ramifications for taxpayers with disabilities, and who are in need of a personal carer. The decision centres around what is or is not acceptable as ...

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Selling up your business? Don’t forget the “going concern” GST exemption

The concept of a “going concern” exemption for the purposes of the goods and services tax (GST) can still cause confusion when businesses are sold.  The sale of a business may be GS...

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The CGT implications of subdividing and building on the family property

Given the state of the property market in Australia these days, a not-uncommon situation can arise where a residential property owner seeks to demolish and subdivide the block containing the family ho...

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Updated data applied to small business benchmarks

The ATO has updated its small business benchmarks with information from key financial ratios drawn from information provided by businesses through activity statements and tax returns. The most recent ...

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Rental property owners can get regular ATO attention on “initial repairs”

The ATO frequently re-focuses its attention on claims that investment property owners make for repairs to rental residences that it deems to in fact be “improvements”. The scenario where ...

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The facts about bad debt deductions

A debt to a business that is unpaid and deemed to be a “bad” debt can be an allowable deduction as long as it was included as assessable income in the present or even a previous income yea...

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Simplified depreciation and the small business pool

The simplified depreciation rules are attractive for small businesses as they allow an immediate write-off for assets costing less than $20,000. In contrast, tax paying entities that do not qualify as...

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What is your “total superannuation balance” and why does it matter?

Recent superannuation reforms introduced a concept of “total superannuation balance”, which on the surface may give the simple impression that it is the sum of the balances of a person&rsq...

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Getting deductions for clothing and laundry expenses right

The ATO allows certain taxpayers to claim a deduction for the cost of buying and cleaning occupation-specific clothing, items of protective wear and for certain unique, and usually distinctive, unifor...

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Gumtree or Facebook group sourced assets, and the realities of making a claim

A recent case before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) brought into focus a growing phenomenon that you should keep in mind for work-related or business expense deduction claims, especially wh...

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The $1.6 million transfer balance cap – what does it mean for you?

The changes to superannuation announced in the 2016 Federal Budget have been passed by Parliament.  Amongst those changes was the introduction of a $1.6 million transfer balance cap which limits ...

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Contributions – what the changed concessional and non-concessional caps may mean for you

With many of the changes announced in the 2016 Federal Budget now passed by Parliament, there is an amount of certainty that you can have when approaching your SMSF planning and the contributions you ...

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FBT and cars – a perennial head-scratcher

The provision of cars by employers to employees remains an issue that continues to create confusion for some business taxpayers. A not-uncommon situation is where the employer fails to identify that a...

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SMSFs and the in-house asset rules explained

A not-uncommon conundrum for many SMSF trustees is what to do when the fund is found to have breached the in-house asset rules. There are also some common misconceptions about these regulations that k...

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Can salary sacrifice work for you?

Salary sacrifice can be a great way to get a part of your remuneration in a form other than cash – and not personally pay tax on it. Salary sacrifice (or salary packaging) is where you agree t...

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Share dividend income and franking credits

Mum and dad investors in receipt of dividends from their share portfolio often benefit from investing in blue chip shares because they usually have franking credits attached. As a general rule, an Au...

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Tax and the sharing economy

The concept of a “sharing economy” has been around for long enough now to have had a very real impact on how we transact.  Think Uber, think Airbnb. By now, most people will have rea...

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Funding litigation costs for tax cases

The ATO says it can help fund some reasonable litigation costs if the outcome of a particular case will affect a significant number of taxpayers by: Funding litigation costs for tax cases clari...

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Data matching by ATO targets card payments, online sales, ride sourcing

Every year, the ATO collects new data from financial institutions and matches this data with its own information, which is sourced from income tax returns, activity statements and other tax records. D...

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