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Sky Update – August 2016

In this Sky Update, we bring you all the latest tax news along with some other items that may pique your interest.

SMSF Voluntary Disclosure Service

The ATO has introduced a new self managed super fund (SMSF) early engagement and voluntary disclosure service.

Each year, an approved SMSF auditor must audit a fund and report any regulatory contraventions to the ATO. Whilst this system keeps SMSF trustees honest, the ATO know that early intervention is key to satisfactorily rectifying contraventions.

Accordingly, the ATO encourages SMSF trustees to voluntarily disclose regulatory contraventions, which they can now do using the ATO’s SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service.

This service provides a single entry point for SMSF trustees to engage early with the ATO in relation to unrectified contraventions.

New Tax Governance Guide

The ATO has released a new tax governance guide guide that can be used by privately owned groups and SMSFs.

The guide can be used to develop an effective governance framework and to identify ways to improve existing governance practices. Issues covered in the guide include:

  • corporate governance and tax governance;
  • starting your business;
  • business expansion;
  • funding and finance;
  • philanthropy;
  • succession planning;
  • exiting a business;
  • retirement planning (covering SMSFs and CGT small business concessions); and
  • estate planning.

Property Developer Entitled to Capital Gains Tax Concession

A taxpayer has been successful before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in arguing that a commercial property it acquired, developed and later sold for a profit of some $40 million had been acquired as a capital asset to generate rental income, and not for the purpose of resale at a profit.

The AAT reached this decision despite indicating that the taxpayer was essentially involved in “property development” activities on a broad analysis of its activities.

As a result, the AAT found that the profit of $40 million was assessable as a capital gain and entitled to the 50% capital gains tax (CGT) discount.

This case is a good example of the need to maintain good documentation should there be a dispute with the ATO.

Phoenix Taskforce Crack Down

The phoenix taskforce was established to tackle the illegal practice of deliberately liquidating companies to escape paying creditors, employee superannuation and taxes.

The taskforce has recently been very active, executing six search warrants on businesses operating on the Gold Coast.

The taskforce have also undertaken unannounced access visits at 13 business and residential locations across Victoria and Queensland. These visits being part of an ongoing investigation into the activities of a firm of pre-insolvency advisors and their involvement in facilitating illegal phoenix activity.

This crack down is a positive step to show that the Government is committed to stamping out illegal phoenix activities and to creating a level playing field for all businesses.

Accelerating Commercialisation Grants

AusIndustry have recently announced the Accelerating Commercialisation funding offers for August 2016. In this latest round of funding offers there is over $11 million available to 20 small & medium sized businesses to assist them to bring their innovative products to market.

Businesses interested in the program can find out more on the AusIndustry website.

Australian Cattle Prices Hit Record High

There have been recent media reports of cattle prices hitting a record high off the back of increased demand in America, China & other Asian markets.

This is great news for Australian cattle producers. However, the implications for consumers and the hospitality industry are not so great.

In fact, many hospitality operators have been closely watching the prices for some time now.

With many speculating that prices may continue to rise, hospitality operators must adapt their offering to protect profit margins.

In some cases, this will mean higher prices on the menu. In other cases, it will mean scraping certain dishes from the menu, smaller portions and use of cheaper cuts.

Sky Accountants wins IPA Victorian Practice of the Year

Sky Accountants are proud to announce that we have won the 2016 Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) Victorian Practice of the Year award.

Sky Accountants CEO Jamie Johns recently visited the IPA office to collect the award from IPA CEO Andrew Conway.

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