Here are some issues and recent changes to be aware of when collating your 2017 tax information:
- Travel deduction for residential rental property - 2016/17 will be the last year an individual can claim a deduction for travel to their residential rental property. This rule is still subject to being passed as legislation. All regular rules still apply until 30 June 2017 in regards to substantiation.
- Plant and equipment deductions on rental properties to be changed after 30 June 2017 - Deductions for plant and equipment depreciation on residential property will only be allowed on actual purchases from 1 July 2017. That is, plant and equipment purchased with the property (ie remaining fixtures) will not be allowed a deduction, generally appearing on a Quantity Surveyor's report. For property held before 9 May 2017 (budget night), it is advised that a Quantity Surveyor's report is prepared for the year ending 30 June 2017. Note: there are no changes to the current Division 43 capital works provisions.
- There are industry specific rulings now for many occupations – examples of these occupations are Teachers, Nurses, Mining Site employees, Mechanics, Engineers, Electricians, Shop Assistants, Truck Drivers and business professionals, just to name a few. These rulings address every conceivable expense for employees in a specific industry and label each as either deductible or non-deductible. See more...
- ATO data matching technology - the ATO continues to expand and improve its information gathering and matching techniques. It is rare these days for the ATO not to know an individual's payment summaries, assessable Centrelink benefits, interest income, share dividends and managed funds distributions before the relevant tax return is actually lodged. With Australia having a $36.5 Billion federal deficit, the pressure is on the ATO to collect as much of the debt owing to it as quickly as possible.
Here is our 2017 checklist for Individuals to assist you in preparing your 2017 tax return
Have a plan before the 2018 year kicks off – if you are not the best at keeping track of receipts and pieces of paper in an orderly fashion, perhaps an app might prove useful?
The ATO's official app is free and is aimed at individuals/sole traders and small business owners - it allows access a range of tools, calculators and information in a single online location.
Useful tools include:
- myDeductions - keep your tax deductions, motor vehicle trips and income records all in one place – no more faded receipts or lost information – simply upload photos of invoices and receipts click here for how-to-videos
- ABN lookup – search for business's ABN and view other public info about a business such as their GST registration
- Tax withheld calculator - work out how much tax to withhold from a worker's pay
- Fuel tax credit calculator - work out how much you can claim
- Key dates - set important tax and super reminders and alerts
- Inbuilt GPS tracker - keep on top of your car usage
- At tax time you can email your info directly to Walsh Accounting in a single file
- Track the progress of your lodged individual income tax return
Start off the 2018 Financial Year off with the best possible start by taking steps to prepare the new financial year – no matter if you are a new business, a growing or mature business.
The Australian Tax Office has offered the following tips for small businesses to prepare for the new financial year:
- Stay informed – there are a number of new measures available for small businesses, such as the lower turnover threshold for a number of concessions and the lower tax rate for small businesses – keep in touch with our BLOG and quarterly newsletters for any changes or relevant updates
- Keep on top of your records allowing you to more easily manage your cashflow, decision making and compliance – cloud accounting and/or electronic bank feeds is a great tool to keep up to date and make real time business decisions
- Find ways to make it easier - use the products and tools available on the Walsh Accounting website and ATO website, such as the myDeductions tool, to save time where possible
- Look after your staff - ensure deadlines have been met in relation to employer obligations, such as lodgement of PAYG withholding summaries, and check whether workers are employees or contractors
- Know where to get help – make your tax agent your first point of call. You can also call the ATO, they always favour you contacting them before due dates, rather than them having to chase you after the fact. Remember we can also talk to them on your behalf.
Businesses with a tax debt greater than $10,000 will have the debt reported to credit reporting bureaus from 1 July by the ATO. This may affect a business's credit rating and their ability to obtain future finance in an attempt to increase the transparency of tax debts throughout business circles.
Should the measure get through the parliamentary process, it will also provide opportunities for businesses to vet their customers' tax credit history. Credit check providers can help a business rely on the ability for larger customers to pay debts on goods and services provided. Find out more…
In our free market 'The Customer is King' with the customers right to choose being indisputable. You may choose to service your own car rather than go to a qualified mechanic? You may choose to google your symptoms rather than consult a GP? You could lodge your own return via myTax? - but before you make that choice, it is important to arm yourself with knowledge and consider the many advantages of using the services of qualified professionals before choosing DIY methods.
The advantages of using a tax agent like Walsh Accounting are:
- the cost is fully tax deductible
- we offer a personalised tax preparation service
- we carefully consider each entitlement, deduction/offset to offer you the most accurate return
- our main focus is to advocate for you and get your tax right, where you pay no more than legally required to pay - the ATOs primary aim, on the other hand, is to collect tax
- you benefit from our knowledge and professional expertise – we do tax returns all year round and keep up to date with the latest changes and requirements
- lodging with us offers extended deadlines beyond 31 October
- we can liaise with the ATO on your behalf
- having an interview with a qualified Accountant provides the perfect time to reflect on your financial goals and proactively identify tax planning opportunities for the upcoming financial year.
Please be aware of phone calls from scammers falsely claiming to be from the ATO and telling you that owe the ATO money and that if they do not pay immediately there is a warrant out for their arrest. A variation on this scam is a call from a person saying they are from the ATO and you have a tax refund and that you need to make a money transfer to pay for the 'taxes' to release this refund. The variations of this scam are many and they spin a range of different stories all in the hope that you will provide them with your personal information, bank account details or demanding immediate payment.
Please be aware of any phone calls, suspicious emails or SMS messages.
The ATO will never:
- threaten you with immediate arrest
- ask you to pay money to receive a refund or payment from the ATO
- ask you to pay a debt via iTunes vouchers, or pre-paid credit card or store gift cards
- ask you to provide personal information, such as your tax file number (TFN) or credit card number, via email or SMS
- ask you to pay money into a personal bank account
- direct you to download files from the internet, or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
If you receive a suspicious phone call, email, SMS or letter claiming to be from the ATO hang up and do not respond. If in doubt please contact Walsh Accounting, call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify or report the scam via Scamwatch
In addition, our web practice offers you interactive services.
You can keep up to date with important accounting and business dates and deadlines. More...
The Tax Facts section where you can learn more about tax requirements within Australia. More...
Try out our new online calculators. More...
Perhaps you run out of time during normal business hours to call us for an appointment...why not schedule an appointment using our special online form? You can access this form any time of the day or night and with the easy to follow instructions, you'll find it a quick and simple way to request an appointment time. Click here to book an appointment.
As we respond to feedback from you and our other clients, we will continue to add further information and interactive services to our website.
Make sure you like our Walsh Accounting Facebook page to hear from us on a more regular basis - where we will share a mix of both fun and informative posts.
Lionel and Tony will be regularly blogging about issues, important and otherwise. Check out Tony's recent blog on the importance of tax planning.
Please subscribe to our Blog so you can get them emailed direct to your inbox.
Should you not wish to receive our regular newsletters please unsubscribe below. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time. We look forward to hearing from you.