Fake ATO Emails and Telephone Contact Scams
As your appointed tax agent, all official ATO contact about your tax affairs should be with our office.
There have been recent cases of fake ATO emails containing malware with the potential to infect your computer systems and lock access to your own data. Please do not open emails allegedly from the ATO (or links or attachments in such emails). Contact us for assistance.
Any telephone callers purporting to be ATO officials or ATO debt collection agents should also be referred to us. Under no circumstances should you give any personal or financial information over the phone. Nor should you transfer any funds as a result of such contact.
Crowd Sourced Equity Funding Bill
It's great news for Australian small/medium enterprises that the Australian Parliament is expected to pass the legislation relative to Crowd Funding Equity Raising in mid-March 2017.
The legislation will enable unlisted public companies, with annual turnover and assets of less than $25 million, to be able to raise up to $5 million from the "crowd" each 12 months. The legislation enables a private company to be able to be convert to an unlisted public company for the purposes of this legislation.
Retail investors will be able to invest up to $10,000 per 12 month period.
The introduction of the Crowd Sourced Funding Legislation complements the Early-Stage Innovation Company Legislation that has been operational since 1 July 2016. These two legislation packages will substantially change the landscape for aspiring companies that wish to raise capital from the market for good projects.
Company Fined $120,000 Following the Death of an Employee
A plastics' manufacturing company has been fined following the death of an employee. The fatality occurred when the deceased and a co-worker were using two forklifts to transport a 3.1 tonne tank when it fell and crushed one of the workers.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has indicated that "the method for moving the tank did not meet the Australian standards. The standards indicate that the simultaneous use of two trucks for handling a heavy or cumbersome load is a hazardous operation requiring special safety precautions. Moving a load in this manner should only be undertaken in exceptional circumstances under the supervision of a competent person", the spokesman for Workplace Health and Safety said.
The investigator for Workplace Health and Safety indicated that the "company had failed in a number of steps including staff training". The Magistrate indicated that the company had "fallen well short of meeting its safety obligations".
This unfortunate event highlights the necessity for company directors to be diligent in ensuring that team members have been adequately trained in all aspects of safe work practices and that the Workplace Health and Safety regulations are being abided by.
Main Residence Exemption - CGT
The main residence exemption and how and when capital gains tax does or does not apply is a common question but often depends on a range of relevant factors. One of the best but rarely used options available is where you have a current main residence you live in and own and you then purchase another house to move into and keep the old house as an investment property. You then have the option of choosing either one or the other house as your main residence, but not until you actually sell one of these properties, or you rent the first house out for more than 6 years. This allows you to plan the exemption in order to get the largest profit on either house tax exempt using this concession.
An example of this is simply Mr & Mrs A buy a property in May 2012 for $350,000 and live in it until June 2016 when they buy a new property into which they move. They obtain a valuation of their previous property for $500,000 at the date they move out and the new house at purchase price was $600,000. In June 2020 they wish to sell the investment property which is now valued at $650,000. They may elect to treat the first house to keep the main residence concession because it was originally their main residence and it was rented out for less than 6 years (2016 to 2020). If they do this it will allow them to not pay any capital gains tax on the first main residence.
The consequences of this is however that the new property will be subject to capital gains tax from the date it was purchased up until the date the first house was sold. However as it is now their new main residence, the concession applies going forward and an apportionment of the future capital gain will be applied based on the number of days they owned the property and the number of days it was their main residence.
The Privacy Act has been passed by the Australian Parliament. This legislation applies to every business and not for profit organisation with annual turnover of $3M or more.
This legislation requires all regulated businesses to report any "eligible" data breach to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and also to notify individuals who may have been affected as soon as practical. A regulated organisation must conduct an assessment into the breach circumstances within 30 days to determine whether it has actually occurred and whether notification is required.
Research and Development Registration
If your company undertook research and development expenditure in 2015/16 and the company has not yet lodged its income tax return for the year ended 30th June 2016, the company needs to register for the research and development rebate with AusIndustry by 30th April 2017.