Fake tax agent scam alert

Yet another ATO scam we are being warned about by the ATO. This time the ATO are reporting an impersonation scam where people are contacted by someone from the ATO demanding payment of a ‘debt’.

In these scams, the person pretending to be from the ATO says they have dialled the victim’s tax agent into a three-way teleconference; however, it isn’t the victim’s tax agent, but instead it is someone pretending to be from the agent’s practice. The person then instructed the victim to pay the ‘debt’ on that day, and via bitcoin.

The ATO reports that during July and August it received more than 7000 scam reports to its dedicated phone line, with close to $190,000 being paid to scammers, and more than 1600 people handing over their personal or financial information.

The ATO will issue payment demand notices for outstanding debts so be wary of any such phone calls. The ATO will never ask you to pay your debts via bitcoin or gift cards that’s for sure!

If you receive suspicious calls please let us know as soon as possible so we can report them to the ATO.

Click here to access previous scams the ATO has identified.

How to make your end-of-year financial statements preparation a breeze

Now that we are in August (time flies!) and well into the 2019 financial year, many of you are probably busy preparing your file to send to us for review. Year-end reviews can sometimes be a daunting experience as you never know what the result will be, or what more documents you need to bring in to us… So is there anything you can do to make both of our lives easier? Definitely!

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Maximize your tax deduction – Individuals

As 30 June is fast approaching, this is the best time to review your situation to see if you are able to maximize your income tax deduction to get back more tax refund (or reduce your tax liability) when lodging your 2018 tax return!

This article will focus on what individuals can do to legally maximize their tax deduction to minimize income tax liability. We will look into some work-related expenses, donations, tax agent fees, personal super contributions and income protection insurance in this article.

There will be a separate article for business owners so keep an eye on our website!

Note that we are only providing general advice on what items you may be able to claim as your tax deduction, the actual tax deductibility for certain items depend on your personal circumstances. If you would like assistance for your situation please contact us.

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Is it Goodbye to Rental Property Travel Expenses?

From 1 July 2017, an individual’s travel expenses relating to a residential investment property are not deductible, so you will not need to calculate kilometres and expenses when sending in your 2018 tax information.

Those who have commercial or industrial rental properties, or running a business of property investing will still be eligible to claim travel expenses as will companies that own residential property.

Increase your Superannuation before 30 June 2018

From 1 July 2017, all eligible Australians under the age of 75, including employees, are able to claim a personal tax deduction for extra superannuation contributions deposited to their superannuation fund before 30 June 2018 – providing you don’t exceed the superannuation cap of $25,000 and satisfy the work test if you are aged between  65 to 75.

So if your employer has contributed less than $25,000 into superannuation for you, or you are self-employed and have made no contributions so far this year, now is the time to consider topping up your superannuation fund.

Superannuation contributions that you claim as a personal tax deduction pay 15% tax which is collected and paid by your superannuation fund.   This can be lower than your personal rate of tax.

Your Superannuation fund will be able to give you details of how to make the extra contribution but remember it MUST be received by the super fund by 30 June 2018 so it’s a good idea to do it a few days early just to make sure it gets there on time. Also you will need to complete some paperwork and submit it to your Superannuation fund in order for them to be tax deductible.