Trading names will cease to exist from 1 November 2018

Do you have a trading name attached to your ABN, or your company/trust’s ABN?

From November 2018, trading names will be removed from ABN Lookup. ABN Lookup is a tool run by Australian Business Register (ABR) to collect or update trading names. They were collecting trading names up till 28 May 2012 when Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) started a new service to manage the registration of business names. To keep your trading name, you will need to register it as a business name with ASIC. This applies to cases where you trade under a name that is different from your, or your entity’s name.

What should I do now?

You can register for a business name through the ASIC website online here.

To check if your business name details are up to date or not, you can conduct a search from the Business Names Index, or log onto your ASIC Connect account. The link here provides instructions on how to conduct the search.

Proper record keeping for tax deductions

If you have ever lodged a tax return, you would know the pain in keeping records to substantiate your tax deductions. While it may be possible that some receipts are lost, perhaps it is a fuel receipt that is lost in the glovebox (or beneath the car seat!), or simply faded over time, it is important that you keep all the receipts as evidence that you have made the purchase as the receipt will include detailed line items of what was purchased.

There is a recent case where the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) knocked back a taxpayer’s claim for deductions. One of the reasons was that the claims were based on his bank statement transactions rather than on actual receipts/invoices.

PSJF and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2018] AATA 678 (20 March 2018)

In PSJF and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2018] AATA 678 (20 March 2018), the taxpayer was employed as a photographer. He claimed some travel expenses as tax deductions in his tax return. The AAT found that some of his deductions are disallowed.

During the Discussion, there were a few issues that were raised. However we would like to bring to your attention on the matters about the tax deductibility of expenses:

  • For an expense to constitute an allowable deduction in the production of salary or wages income, a two-pronged test must be satisfied: first, that expense must come within the definition of a deduction pursuant to s 81 of the ITAA97. Secondly, such claimed deduction must be substantiated with written or receipt-based evidence. There is no other way for any claimed expense to be allowed as a deduction against assessable income.
  • Put another way, element (1) above must, to quote the requirements of s 81 of the ITAA97, “be incurred in gaining or producing [the Applicant’s] assessable income” and cannot be an “outgoing of a domestic or private nature”. Element (2) above requires that the claimed expense must be substantiated by written evidence – most usually in the form of a tax invoice and accompanying receipt – from “a supplier”. That paperwork must identify the supplier and “the nature of the goods or services” provided by the supplier in order to meet the requirements of s 900-115 of the ITAA97.

To put it simply, for an expense to be tax deductible, it needs to satisfy the following:

  • have a link between the expense and the income that was earned, and
  • have sufficient evidence to prove the purchase – and the evidence they require is a tax invoice and receipt.

This means that merely having a bank statement showing the transactions is not a valid form of evidence to claim them as your tax deduction.

There are various ways to keep record of your work or business-related receipts. If you would like to hear about our options in keeping proper records of your receipt without having a shoebox, feel free to have a quick chat to us and we can work with you to find you a best solution.

If you are interested, or are unable to sleep at night, check out the full document here.

FBT Updates & Reminder – Exempt Vehicle

The following article applies to those who use motor vehicles in the course of running their businesses.

FBT Motor Vehicle Exemption – Updated Guidelines

For many years, many entities have enjoyed a FBT exemption where:

  • the vehicle is a panel van, utility (ute) or other commercial vehicle (that is, one not designed principally to carry passengers)
  • the employee’s private use of such a vehicle is limited to
    • travel between home and work
    • travel that is incidental to travel in the course of duties of employment
    • non-work related use that is minor, infrequent and irregular (eg: occasional use of the vehicle to remove domestic rubbish).

These have been a grey area and have caused confusion to business owners when attempting to work out whether their vehicles are exempt or not.

The ATO has recently released new guidelines to reduce confusion and provide more certainty for employers when applying the FBT exemptions. The guidance notes relate to the clarification on the definition of an employee’s (and/or their associate’s) private use where it is ‘minor, infrequent and irregular’ for FBT purposes.

If you believe you fall under this category and would like more clarity, contact us for more information and we can talk you through this over the phone, or via email.

2018 FBT Return Lodgement

The FBT year has ended 31 March 2018. For those who require a return lodgement, your FBT Return is due by 21 May 2018. Please contact us for instructions on the lodgement of the return.

Motor Vehicle Odometer Readings

For those who provide motor vehicle benefits to employees and/or associates, it is important that you keep records of your vehicle’s odometer reading as at 31 March 2018.

Upcoming lodgements & payments – April & May 2018

Find out what payments and lodgements are due in April and May 2018 for you and your business!

Individuals

If you are required to pay PAYG Instalments quarterly, you should either have received a paper form, or have access to the form online via your MyGov account. Your due date for payment of Instalment is 28 April 2018.

Businesses

Quarterly Business Activity Statements (BAS)

You should have received a paper form by now, or have access to the form online via the Portal.

The due date for lodging and paying BAS is 28 April 2018, unless you are lodging through an agent like ourselves, then you enjoy an extension for lodgment and payment by 26 May 2018.

Monthly Activity Statement for April

If you are required to report GST or PAYG Withholding on a monthly basis, your April Activity Statement will be due by the 21st May 2018.

Quarterly Super Guarantee Contributions

For businesses that have employees, please ensure that you make your super guarantee contributions before 28 April 2018. Previously you would lodge the contributions via the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH). From 26 February 2018 onwards the Clearing House is accessed via the ATO’s online services (Business Portal). If you need a hand with setting up a Business Portal, or would like us to handle this whole lodgement process on your behalf, please contact us.

Businesses that have access to Xero’s Auto Super need to ensure their payment is authorised a few business days before the due day, for the payment to be debited in time.

2018 FBT Return Lodgement

The FBT year has ended 31 March 2018. For those who require a return lodgement, your FBT Return is due by 21 May 2018. Please contact us for instructions on the lodgement of the return.

Need more information?  Contact Us

ATO & Director Penalty Notices

With the recent collapse of some high profile businesses, it is a good time to review the personal obligations that can fall on a company director to pay certain tax debts of the business.

Director Penalty Notices:

When a company fails to pay the superannuation contributions for its employees or the PAYG withheld from its employees’ wages, the ATO can recover those debts from the company directors personally.   They do this by issuing a Director Penalty Notice (DPN).  A DPN outlines the unpaid amounts and if there are any options to have the penalty remitted.

 

Directors receiving a DPN have only 21 days to pay the debt or to apply for remission by putting the business into the hands of an Administrator or by commencing to wind up the company.

 

If the PAYG withholding tax or super contributions have not been reported to the ATO within 3 months of the original due date, then there is no option for remission and the Director must either pay the debt or the ATO will initiate legal proceeding to recover the debt.

Directors take note:

When a business is experiencing financial trouble, it is often seen as a better option to ignore lodging BAS returns as the amount of ATO debt will just become larger.   However, by doing this, a Director can put their own personal assets at greater risk if they become no longer eligible for remission by acting to put the business into Administration.

 

If you feel that this may apply to you or to your business, it is best to seek help before the ATO act.  We can assist you with your lodgements to keep you up to date and help you manage your cashflow.

 

Contact Us

 

More information can be found on the ATO website