Harper News

The ATO’s “GST-light” offer for new small businesses

The ATO says that it has “listened to the concerns of small businesses, tax professionals, industry associations and software providers”, and is working towards reducing GST compliance cos...

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Is the peer-to-peer lending investment option right for your SMSF?

One investment option that has surfaced relatively recently, and that SMSF trustees may consider as a part of their strategy to grow their fund, is investing through peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-pe...

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Recent changes to the assets test for pensioners

From January 1, 2017, the assets test free area and taper rate for pensions increased. The assets test works by reducing a person’s age pension payment for every dollar of assets owned over a ce...

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The process (and pros and cons) of ‘electing’ to be a family trust

Trusts are an important and very useful concept for managing one’s financial affairs, as well as estate planning. A trust is established whenever there is a separation of the legal ownership (...

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Deceased estates: A brief guide to tying up the loose ends

After a person dies, and the usual arrangements are completed, there will come a time when other matters, such as tax and superannuation issues, must be looked after. The person who takes on the respo...

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Active vs passive assets and the small business CGT concession

The small business capital gains tax concessions are extremely valuable, and for small business owners who need to dispose of assets that have risen in value during the time they have owned them, acce...

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How to get an Australian business number (ABN)

It’s not mandatory for a business to have an Australian business number (ABN), but there are a few good reasons why you should. Foremost among them will be that without one, your business will p...

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ATO lets the cat out of the bag on what attracts its attention

There are certain behaviours, characteristics and tax issues that the ATO admits will attract its attention. But as it is more interested to see taxpayers get things right rather than the bother, and ...

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Substantiation for mobile, home phone and internet costs

The ATO has issued guidance on making claims for mobile phone use as well as home phone and internet expenses.  It says that if a taxpayer uses any of these for work purposes, they may be able to...

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New fleet “safe harbour” approach for car fringe benefits

The ATO has announced that, after consultation and collaboration with business taxpayers and industry representatives, it has developed what it calls a “safe harbour” mechanism for calcula...

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Car salary packages and the deductibility of after-tax running costs

Including a car in a salary package is a popular remuneration arrangement, and doing so as part of a salary sacrifice package will often give rise the a “novated lease”.  Costs in ope...

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Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) explained

Whether you’ve been on a working visa and have been slogging away bagging bananas in Tully for six months, or decided to quit your city job and move to Peru, your employer has been putting money...

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Christmas party: Examples from the ATO

Example 1 A small manufacturing company decides to have a party on its business premises on a working day before Christmas. The company provides food, beer and wine. The implications for the employe...

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Shopping for a “luxury car”? Beware of the luxury car tax

You can judge whether a car is luxury or not, according to the government, if it costs more than $64,132 for 2016-17.    It's not an over-the-top s price tag if you're considering true luxu...

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SMSFs need to prepare for the new transfer balance cap

Legislation introducing changes to the superannuation regime were recently passed by Parliament. Among them will be a requirement for fund members to establish a transfer balance account for each re...

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Home office deductions: What substantiation will the ATO accept?

Home office expense claims are subject to the same general substantiation requirements as other deductions – that is, it is a requirement that records should be kept for at least five years. Bu...

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Extending the festive cheer (in a tax efficient way)

The festive season is here again, and as with other years it is always brimming with the spirit of giving. The list of practical ways in which Australians spread goodwill is as endless as a Christmas ...

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An overview of the ATO’s auditing process

With information sharing occurring more than ever these days, not only between the Tax Office and other government departments but also banks, financial institutions, online auction sites such as eBay...

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When you have to deal with a natural disaster

Now that we are heading into bushfire season, it is perhaps timely to be reminded that as well as the more obvious immediate devastation inflicted on people’s property, destructive events such a...

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ATO’s SMSF compliance focus for 2016-17

The ATO has announced the approach it intends to take over 2016-17 with regard to SMSF compliance. It says trustees will see some key shifts in the ATO’s emphasis, both in terms of the activitie...

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