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Sky Update – January 2022

Tax deductions for personal superannuation contributions

In order to claim a deduction for personal superannuation contributions, a notice of intent to claim form must be submitted to your superannuation fund and you must receive acknowledgement of receipt of that notice from the fund.

This process must be completed by the earliest of:

  • The date the income tax return containing the deduction is lodged; and
  • The end of the financial year following the year in which the contributions were made.

For example, if you made contributions in the 2021 financial year, and lodge your tax return prior to 30 June 2022, you must have submitted the notice of intent and have received acknowledgment before you lodge your income tax return.

If you lodge your tax return after 30 June 2022, you must have submitted the notice of intent and have received acknowledgment by 30 June 2022.

A recent case in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has highlighted the importance of meeting these dates and has made clear that neither the ATO nor the courts have any discretion whatsoever to provide an extension of time.

If you are wanting to claim a deduction for personal superannuation contributions, please get in touch for assistance to ensure that the correct process is followed.

Coronavirus related absences from work

With the easing of restrictions late last year and the Omicron variant now running rampant, workplaces are grappling with the issues that arise when a team member catches Coronavirus or is a close contact of someone who has.

The Fair Work Ombudsman have recently updated their guidance to assist employers and employees in understanding how leave entitlements are required to be used.

This guidance covers situations such as:

  • Stand downs;
  • Quarantine and self-isolation;
  • Getting a COVID-19 test and awaiting results;
  • Employer directions for an employee not to attend work; and
  • Absences as a result of contracting Coronavirus or caring for a family/household member.

We encourage all employers to make sure that they are across these rules and to get in touch if they have any questions.

Additionally, with many employees taking holidays at this time of year, it is worth noting that where an employee is sick or injured whilst on leave, they may be able to use their personal/carer’s leave entitlement instead of using their annual leave.

Lastly, employers must remember that they have an obligation to maintain a safe working environment for their employees.  Safe Work Australia have a wealth of information on how to maintain COVID-19 safe workplaces.

Employers can also refer to the worker’s compensation authority in the state(s) in which they operate or to their worker’s compensation insurers for additional information.

Director ID regime

We have previously written about the new Director ID regime that requires all company directors to obtain a unique 15 digit identifier.

The application process has been open since November and appears to be working well.  As such, we continue to encourage company directors to apply for their Director ID sooner rather than later.

Whilst many directors have until 30 November 2022 to obtain their Director ID, circumstances may arise that will cause that due date to be brought forwards.  For example, being appointed as a director of another company.

In order to apply, directors need to have setup a MyGovID (not to be confused with a MyGov account).

Setting up a MyGovID involves downloading the official App onto a smart-phone and completing the identification procedures.  This can usually be done quite easily with your driver licence and Medicare card.

Once you have a MyGovID, you can then proceed to apply for a Director ID here.

When applying for a Director ID, you will need to have your Tax File Number handy as well as some additional information to verify your identity.

This additional information can be any two of the following items:

  • Bank account details;
  • ATO Notice of Assessment;
  • Superannuation account details;
  • A recent dividend statement;
  • Centrelink payment summary; and
  • PAYG payment summary.

Once the application is submitted, you will be issued your unique 15 digit Director ID straight away.

If we assist you to manage the ASIC compliance for your company, please advise us of your Director ID so that your ASIC corporate records can be updated.

And if you need assistance to apply for a Director ID, please get in touch.

Stapled Super Funds

Most employers are required to provide a choice of superannuation fund to new employees.

This choice is given by providing the new employee with a Standard Choice Form that they can complete to nominate the super fund of their choice.

Alternatively, an employee can select the default super fund nominated by the employer.

Historically, the rules were:

  • If a new employee nominates a (compliant) super fund of their choice, contributions are to be paid to that super fund; or
  • If a new employee nominates the employer’s default super fund, contributions are to be paid to that default super fund; or
  • If a new employee does not complete the Standard Choice Form, contributions are to be paid to the employer’s default fund.

We take this opportunity to remind employers that there is a new step in this process that applies where an employee either nominates the employer’s default fund or does not complete a Standard Choice Form.

Before any contributions are paid to the employer’s default fund, the employer must first check with the ATO if the new employee has a “stapled super fund”

If the new employee does have a stapled super fund, the employer must pay contributions to that fund and not the employer’s default super fund.

Employers will be required to use the ATO’s online services to check if a new employee has a stapled super fund.  Alternatively, a tax agent can make the enquiry on behalf of the employer.

For more details on the new process, please refer to the ATO website.   Alternatively, feel free to contact us.

Quote of the month

As we come into the new year, the complexities and challenges of “opening up” and “living with Coronavirus” have become palpably real.

Many of us are seeking to find solutions to difficult problems on a regular basis.  And often, the best way forwards is very unclear.

When faced with a difficult problem, we believe that the best course of action is often to “sleep on it”.  Provided of course that you have the luxury of deferring the decision until tomorrow.

As the Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck put it, “it is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

It turns out that to “sleep on it” is much more than just a well-worn saying.  There is established scientific evidence to show that Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep fosters formation of associative networks in the brain which promotes creative problem solving.

Next time you are faced with a difficult problem, remember that a good night’s sleep could hold the key to unlock the solution.

Sky Accountants Ballarat

Phone: 03 5332 8855

Office Address: 902 Howitt Street, Wendouree, VIC 3355, Australia

Postal Address: PO Box 2234, Bakery Hill, Victoria 3354

Sky Accountants Gisborne & Macedon Ranges

Phone: 03 5428 1400

Office Address: 45 Hamilton Street, Gisborne, VIC 3437, Australia

Postal Address: PO Box 270 Gisborne Victoria 3437