Budget Update 2019 – what you need to know NOW

The Treasurer has delivered the Federal Budget 2019 last night (2 April 2019), he has provided some good news to individual taxpayers and small business owners.

It is worth noting that most of the announcements he made in relation to income tax are related to future income years, there are only two announcements that will take into effect immediately. In this article we go through the ones that are affecting the 2019 financial year only.

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Myths About Utes and FBT

There are a lot of myths around Utes and FBT, some of which may be spreading by “mates” at the bar, or during a smoko. Not all the myths are true, let’s look at some of them here:

Is my ute automatically exempt from FBT?

No. It is important to note that a vehicle that does not satisfy the definition of a ‘car’ such as a ute is not automatically exempt from FBT.

When is the private use of my car exempt from FBT?

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What to do when you have ATO tax debt

Have you found yourself in the following situation?

You have sold your investment property, or shares at a profit, and have spent the cash. You prepared your tax return and found out you have to pay capital gains tax.

You have started your own business in the last 12 months, cash flow is tight with slow paying clients. You have outstanding business activity statement debt.

You have lodged your tax return that resulted in an income tax debt.

Whatever your reason might be, you have ATO tax debt. The amount is falling due, or is overdue.

But you cannot come up with the funds to repay the debt in full.

What should you do?

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Shared economy – things you need to know

If you have a spare room, or some spare time, your friends may have suggested you to grab some cash by hosting your room on Airbnb or becoming an Uber driver.

You thought the idea of being able to generate extra cash without being tied up in an office 9-5, or having some flexibility on deciding when to work sounds cool, and (after a few drinks) your friends suggested that you do not need to report that as income, for whatever reasons.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it sure is.

The ATO are focusing their attention on the “sharing economy” – the popular ones are Airbnb, Stayz, Uber and Taxify. Below are a few things to consider before starting your shared economy business.

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Updates from Office of State Revenue & ATO – January 2019

A few important updates from Office of State Revenue affecting businesses that is registered for payroll tax, or those who pays motor vehicle allowance to employees.

December 2018 Payroll tax lodgement due date extended

For businesses that are registered for payroll tax, the due date for lodgement and payment of your December 2018 payroll tax return has been extended to midnight 14 January 2019. You may still receive reminders to lodge by 7 January 2019 – feel free to ignore them.

New cents per km rate for work-related car expenses

The ATO has increased the cents per km rate from 66 cents/km to 68 cents/km from 1 July 2018. This change applies to eligible individuals who claims work-related car expenses under the cents per km method.

Using the new rate, eligible individuals can claim a maximum of $3,400 as tax deduction against their income.

Note the work-related car expenses deduction is still subject to the following:

  • You may be asked to show how you worked out your business km
  • There is no separate claim for depreciation expenses on the car
  • This amount includes all your vehicle running expenses.

Reasonable rate for motor vehicle allowance for Payroll tax purposes

Although the ATO has increased the reasonable rate for work-related car expenses claim to 68 cents per km from 1 July 2018, for payroll tax purposes, you are only entitled to claim 66 cents in your payroll tax returns for the 2018-2019 financial year. The 68 cents per km claim comes into effect on 1 July 2019 (2019-2020 financial year).

The motor vehicle allowance for payroll tax purposes refers to an allowance paid to an employee who uses their own car for business-related travel is exempt from payroll tax up to a reasonable amount (currently 66 cents per km for 2018-19 financial year). To claim this exemption, business km travelled must be recorded.

Do you know Aston Accountants can help you with your payroll tax matters?

We can help you in the following ways:

  • Answer your burning question: Do I have to register for payroll tax?
  • Register for payroll tax
  • Preparation and lodgement of payroll tax
  • Annual reconciliation of payroll tax
  • Liaise with Office of State Revenue in relation to your payroll tax matters

Have a specific payroll tax question? Contact us for help!