A Newsletter for clients of Chisholm Partners June 2010

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1 A Newsletter for clients of Chisholm Partners Current 2010 tax thresholds PERSONAL INCOME TAX Tax rate excess (%) $6,000 Nil 15 $35,000 $4, $80,000 $17, $180,000 $55, New tax thresholds from 1 July 2010 Tax on Column 1 Tax on Column 1 Tax rate on excess(%) $6,000 Nil 15 $37,000 $4, $80,000 $17, $180,000 $54, MEDICARE LEVY LOW INCOME THRESHOLDS The Medicare levy low income thresholds will be as follows: Individuals $18,488 (previously $17,794) Families $31,196 (previously $30,025) SENIOR AUSTRALIANS TAX OFFSET ( SATO ) The amount of income a Senior Australian eligible for the Senior Australians tax offset can earn before they incur an income tax liability will increase to the following amounts Singles $29,867 Couples (each) $25,680 In This Issue... Personal Taxation Page 1 Benchmarking & The Cash Economy Page /10 PAYG Withholding Obligations Page 3 Small Business Superannuation Clearing House Page Client Tax Return Checklist Page Companies, Partnerships, Trust etc Page 6 The additional amount of threshold for each dependant child or student will also be increased to $2,865 (previously $2,757). MEDICARE LEVY SURCHARGE THRESHOLDS From 1 July 2009 to 30, the Medicare Levy Surcharge thresholds were increased for singles (from $70,000 to $73,000) and for those who are members of a family (from $140,000 to $146,000). These thresholds apply for taxpayers who do not have adequate private health cover. LOW INCOME TAX OFFSET ( LITO ) For the year ended 30 the LITO was increased to $1,350. For taxpayers earning less than $30,000 the offset is available in full, then reduces until it cuts out at $63,750. C H A R T E R E D A C C O U N T A N T S 7 Chisholm Street, Wangaratta, Vic, Phone: (03) Fax: (03) Website: The Bottom Line - Chisholm Partners Page 1

2 BENCHMARKING AND THE CASH ECONOMY In the Compliance Program, the Commissioner has clearly indicated that the cash economy will rank very high on the ATO s list of audit priorities for the 2010 income year. For example, the ATO has indicated that it will be significantly increasing its focus on those industries where the non-reporting of cash transactions is potentially significant. One of the most significant developments in the ATO s approach to tackling the cash economy is the development of small business benchmarks for different industries/trades. More specifically, the ATO in collaboration with a number of trade associations, tradespeople and tax practitioners, have developed a range of benchmarks or industry norms that will enable trades and other businesses operating in cash industries to assess their own risk. The ATO have released 92 benchmarks to date. For example, there are now benchmarks for the following industries: Construction (e.g. bricklaying, concreting, electrical, painting, plastering, plumbing, etc); Retail trade (e.g. clothing, computer, florists, fresh meat, grocery, furniture, liquor, etc); Accommodation and food services (e.g. bakeries, restaurants, cafes, ice-cream retailing, etc); Transport, postal and warehousing (e.g. couriers, taxis, freight transport, towing, etc); Rental, hiring and real estate services (e.g. real estate agents, video shops, etc); Administrative and support services (e.g. building services, pest control, etc); and Administrative and support services (e.g. hairdressers, beauty salons, dry-cleaning, etc). The small business benchmarks can be accessed, by industry, from the ATO website at: According to the ATO, benchmarks are designed as a self assessment tool for taxpayers, enabling them to compare their performance to the rest of the industry, and will be used by the ATO as follows: (a) (b) Benchmarks are used by ATO auditors to develop a better understanding of how an industry operates. In relation to audit case selection, the input benchmarks are one criterion of many that are used to assist in case selection. The benchmarks are generally not intended to be used by the ATO to trigger an audit, nor for default assessment purposes. However, benchmarks may be used during an audit. The following example has been adapted form a live case to illustrate the ATO s use of the benchmarks during the audit process. EXAMPLE - How benchmarking applies in practice Sam is a concreter and was selected for audit by the ATO because of the very low levels of income he has been reporting over a number of years. The concreting benchmarks were used by the ATO to assess Sam s business relative to the industry. During the audit, Sam said his business was based on smaller suburban work, for which he received very little cash. He said he always issued tax invoices to his customers. Sam had declared a taxable income of $18,000 for the income year in review. He recorded only four concrete purchases during one of the quarters. However, third party data acquired from Sam s supplier showed 18 purchases for that quarter, some of which he paid for in cash. Further examination showed many of Sam s jobs were for cash and were not recorded in his records and that his customers did not receive tax invoices. Based on the information gathered from all sources, the auditors formed the view that there was significant unreported cash income and expenses. As Sam s records were inadequate, they estimated Sam s income by applying his normal sale price per square metre to his actual purchases of concrete. The audit revealed Sam had omitted $142,000 from his return and this resulted in tax liabilities of about $67,000 and additional penalties of nearly $50,000. TAX WARNING Business operating outside industry benchmarks The ATO acknowledges that there may be a valid reasons for a business performing outside the relevant benchmarks (e.g., the taxpayer may be inefficient and/or undercharging). In these cases. ATO auditors will have regard to the taxpayer s particular circumstances. However, the ATO has indicated that consistent, long-term performance outside a benchmark may be a sign of non-compliance and, therefore, will lead to further action. National Tax & Accountants Association Ltd: May - The Bottom Line - Chisholm Partners Page 2

3 Please remember you need to: 2009/10 PAYG WITHHOLDING OBLIGATIONS provide payment summaries to each of your employees and other payees by 14 July 2010 Send the ATO your payment summary annual report by 14 August Please remember to retain copies of documents sent to the ATO. Payment summaries can be completed by paper form or from your payroll software system. If you run MYOB payroll and need help completing your PAYG Summaries electronically please contact the office and we will be able to assist you. REPORTABLE EMPLOYER SUPER CONTRIBUTIONS For the 2009/10 income year and all future years, if you make super contributions under a salary sacrifice arrangement or extra super contributions to a super fund for an employee, you may need to report those contributions on your employee s payment summary. These contributions are called reportable employer super contributions. Reportable employer super contributions are not included in your employees assessable income. However you must report them on their PAYG Summary. What are reportable employer super contributions? Reportable employer super contributions are those contributions you make for an employee where all of the following apply: your employee influenced the rate or amount of super you contribute for them The contributions are additional to the compulsory contributions you must make under the super guarantee law. What about salary sacrifice arrangements? Under an effective salary sacrifice arrangement, your employee agrees that you make extra super contributions for them in return for a reduced amount of salary. These extra contributions are reportable employer super contributions. What are not reportable employer super contributions? Contributions you make that are not reportable employer super contributions are any compulsory contributions that you must make for your employee. For example, under super guarantee law, an employer contributes 9% of their employee s Ordinary Time Earnings to their super fund. The employer does not report these payments on the payment summary as they are not reportable super contributions. Contributions from your employee s after-tax income are not reportable super contributions. This is the case if you deduct the amounts from your employee s take home pay and forward the amount to their super fund on their behalf. You do not report these amounts on the payment summaries. CORRECTING ERRORS ON PAYMENT SUMMARIES You can make a correction to a payment summary you have already issued if you have: Forgotten to include the reportable employer super contributions Included an incorrect amount of reportable employer super contributions Made an error in the Gross Income, Tax withheld, allowances You must complete a new payment summary and mark the amending a payment summary box with an X. Fill out the PAYG Summary and fill out including all information Hand a copy to your employee and send amended PAYG Summary to the ATO along with an updated Summary Statement. Keep a copy for your records. The Bottom Line - Chisholm Partners Page 3

4 SMALL BUSINESS SUPERANNUATION CLEARING HOUSE Why has the Australian Government established the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House? The Australian Government is offering a free online clearing house service to small businesses with less than 20 employees. The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (the Clearing House) is designed to reduce red tape and compliance costs for small businesses when meeting their superannuation guarantee obligations. As part of these obligations, businesses may need to make superannuation contributions into numerous different superannuation funds. This process can be time consuming and result in increased administrative costs. What will the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House do? The Clearing House is administered by Medicare Australia and lets you pay your superannuation contributions to a single location. You can register your employees superannuation fund details and superannuation contributions with the Clearing House for processing. The Clearing House will then distribute the superannuation contributions to relevant funds as registered. What are the key features of the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House? It s free You only have to make one electronic payment to the Clearing House. You will be able to transfer superannuation contributions for all your employees in a single transaction to a single location It reduces administrative burden by minimising the time and paperwork involved in paying contributions into numerous funds. Once you are set-up, it will only take a few minutes to use the Clearing House. Each time you make a contribution, your employees preferences will be pre-populated for you. You will only need to enter the contribution amounts. A payment option is also available for you to nominate a regular amount for an employee. Reporting capabilities let you get a record of your contribution history whenever you need it. When will the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House be available? The Clearing House is now available for registrations. Full Clearing House services, including payments will be available from 1 July Employers can register online at How do I register to us the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House? Registration is completed in two stages. 1. Go to and register your business details. A user ID and password will be sent to the address you register. 2. You will need to enter the details for each of your employees. Will details of previous employees remain visible in the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House? Your previous employees will continue to remain visible in the Clearing House through a separate employee listing. This will give you the flexibility to reactivate employees if required. How do I make a payment to the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House? From 1 July 2010 when you need to make a payment: key in the from and to dates that your payment will cover and the system will populate all employees for that period. Key in the dollars to be paid per employee You then make the single payment to the Clearing House which will be distributed to the relevant superannuation funds once a match is made with your deposit and the contribution list. For more information Online Call The Bottom Line - Chisholm Partners Page 4

5 2010 Tax Return Client Checklist Action Required Now! 2010 INDIVIDUAL TAX RETURNS Income G r o s s S a l a r y, W a g e s, Allowances, Benefits, Earnings, Tips and Directors Fees I n c o me f r o m B u s i n e s s Activities PAYG Payment Summaries Details of any non-cash benefits received Lump sum and termination payments. All documentation should be provided including an ETP Payment Summary from the employer or fund Centrelink payments, including taxable and tax free pensions, unemployment and sickness benefits Details of any CGT asset sales (e.g. shares and real estate) Please include dates of, and c o s t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h, acquisition and disposal (You can save tax if you qualify for the variety CGT concessions) Annuities including allocated pensions Income from trusts and partnerships. Statements of distribution should be provided where appropriate Rental income Interest and dividends received and any tax deducted. Include details of franked dividends Foreign source (employment and pension) income and details of any foreign tax credits. Employee Share Scheme details Deductions Investment and property expenses (carefully detail interest claims) Subscriptions (not including sporting or social clubs) E m p l o y m e n t r e l a t e d expenditure: specifically workrelated motor vehicle (5000 kms before you need to keep a logbook doesn t include getting to and from work), self-education, protective clothing or official uniform expenses, sun protection if you work outdoors ( h a t s, sunscreen & sunglasses) Donations of $2 and over (as long as the charity is a registered deductible gift recipient. Purchases of raffle tickets, chocolates and fund raising dinners do not count. For self-employed persons details of any superannuation contributions made Tax Agent's fees and other accounting/tax audit fees, including kilometres travelled and accommodation costs, if you re remote from your accountant. Special deductions (Australian films, investment shelters and forestry-type schemes) Bank Fees (where the credit or deposit represents assessable income) Unrecouped prior year losses Income Protection Insurance is claimable (check with the Insurer s customer service centre to make sure it s not combined with life insurance, as it s not claimable). Child Support Paid Out Rebates Details of Private Health Insurance Details of Superannuation contributions where no tax deduction can be claimed Any changes in dependants (income of spouse should be provided as well as Date of Birth & TFN) Details of any income received in a lump sum which was accrued in earlier income years (e.g. assessable pensions) Net family medical expenses if they exceed $1,500 in total HECS Debt details Education Tax Refund receipts Important Note: Taxpayers with a dependent child (under 21) or qualifying dependent student, should check to see if they are eligible for Family Tax Assistance. Family Tax Assistance can no longer be claimed through the tax system, but is handled directly by the Family Assistance Office. For Same Day Service of Individual Tax Returns Phone to make an appointment to see Rebecca Bourke. Please ensure that you bring ALL your relevant records to your appointment. The Bottom Line - Chisholm Partners Page 5

6 2010 COMPANIES, PARTNERSHIPS, TRUSTS AND OTHER BUSINESSES Income Trading income. Other income (e.g. rent, interest, royalties) Stock on hand (and basis of valuation) - note any obsolete stock Work-in-Progress Primary Producer subsidies (if assessable) Details of CGT assets (e.g.stock and real estate) sold, including dates of, and costs associated with, acquisition and disposal Dividends, including details of franking credits Income from foreign sources, including details of foreign taxes paid Deductions Repairs and maintenance Salaries, including fringe benefits Fringe benefits tax paid Rates, land taxes and insurance premiums Advertising expenses Interest on borrowed monies Deductions relating to foreign source income Prepaid expenses (subject to transitional rules) Retirement payments and golden handshakes Bad debts actually written off during the year Donations of $2 and over depending on the recipient Commissions Legal expenses Lease documents for motor vehicles, premises and equipment Losses of previous years (or intra-group transfers) Superannuation contributions Subscriptions Car expenses (remember to include petrol, repairs, parking and maintain a log book where necessary) Tax Agent's fees and other accounting and tax audit fees Royalties paid Details of the purpose and destination of any interstate or overseas trip. Expenses must be fully documented where travel involves at least one night away from home. Travel diaries should be included where travel exceeds five nights Research and development expenditure Bank fees (where the credit or deposit represents assessable income) Liabilities New loans taken out during the year and their purpose, including any new lease or hire purchase agreements Statements from the lending authority detailing the opening and closing balances of existing loans during the financial year Provisions for long service leave and annual leave Creditors at June 30 Details of loan accounts to directors, shareholders, beneficiaries and partners Accrued expenses (e.g. audit fees, interest payments) Commercial debts forgiven Assets Details of depreciable assets acquired and/or disposed of during this income year, including: type of asset date of acquisition/ disposal consideration received/ paid. Lease commitments Debtors at June 30 Commercial debts forgiven Additional Information Required Franking account details/ movements Overseas transactions, exchange gains/losses P r i v a t e c o m p a n i e s - remunerations or loans to directors, shareholders and their relatives Changes to the capital of the company Whether famil y trust elections have been made in relation to trusts IMPORTANT: Copies of monthly/quarterly BASs and any documentation relating to the completion of these. Note: To ensure that you obtain the maximum deductions to which you are entitled and in consideration of the penalty provisions, FULL DETAILS of any claim should be provided and supporting documentation made available. For employee taxpayers and for travel and motor vehicle claims by self-employed taxpayers, documentation must be a receipt, invoice or similar document which contains certain details. For other taxpayers, documentation may comprise receipts, dockets, diary notations or reasonable and supportable estimates. The Bottom Line - Chisholm Partners Page 6

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