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AUSKEY no more - better get myGovID

The way you access government online services is changing. At the end of March 2020 myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will replace AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections (your ABN connected to your myGov). Together, these new services provide a secure, simple and flexible way to access government online services.

myGovID is the Australian Government's digital identity provider to prove who you are online - just like the 100 point ID check ... on your smart device.

RAM is the authorisation service that allows you to act on behalf of an entity with participating government online services. 

Entities that don't have an individual listed as an associate on the ABN in the Australian Business Register (ABR), for example corporate trustees, subsidiary companies executors or Australian charities and not-for-profits, will need to ensure the primary person links the entity.

The primary person will be the Associate/Director for the corporate trustee or subsidiary company (for the non-individual associate) or the Responsible Person for a Not-for-profit. As the primary person they will need to do the following:

  1. Set up their myGovID.

  2. Call 1300 287 539 and select option 3 to link the ABN in RAM. The ATO will check that the person is eligible to link the business and manually process the request.

  3. The person will require access to their email to complete the linking process. Once the ABN is linked, they can start setting up and managing authorisations for others.

The whole process starts with an app, downloaded from the AppStore or Googe Play.

 

 

SG Loophole closed

Passed last year, but in effect from 1 January 2020, it is now explicitly clear that employee salary sacrifices to superannuation cannot reduce an employer's SGC charge - and, that SG is paid on the pre-salary sacrifice base.

The software companies such as XERO will have made the necessary adjustments but employers should check to satisfy themselves that SG is being dealt with properly and in accordance with the new measures.  

Visit the ATO website for more detail.

 

Directors are already currently personally liable for unpaid superannuation and withholding tax and on 5 February 2020, the Senate passed a Bill which means directors can now be personally liable for unpaid company Goods and Services Tax (GST) as well. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing) Bill 2019 (The Bill) is now awaiting assent.

Once Royal Assent is given, from the first day of the first quarter following Assent, directors will become personally liable for unpaid GST, Luxury Car Tax and Wine Equalisation Tax liabilities in certain circumstances.  

Directors and management teams should review systems and procedures to ensure the debts are known and paid on time (including lodgement of any relevant forms) - to reduce and limit their risk.

Now would be a good time to correct any inadvertent error or known outstanding debts because if these are not corrected promptly, directors will become personally liable.

It's worth noting that the ATO can retain refunds where a taxpayer has failed to lodge a return or provide other information that may impact the amount of a refund.

Other important takeaways:

  • The Bill prevents directors from improperly backdating resignations or ceasing to be a director when this would leave a company with no directors;
  • The Bill provides further powers to Liquidators and ASIC to prevent the unlawful transfer of assets during illegal phoenix operations.

If any of this raises any concerns for you, make sure you seek professional advice early - so call Lee Duncan, Will Townson, Dan Perrier or Paul Ryan to talk it through.  Asset protection strategies might be worth considering also. Contact the office on 07 3391 7566.

 

 

ATO – Audits on the top 100 SMSF auditors

The ATO has released the results of their review of 51 of the top 100 SMSF auditors who audit 33% of the total population of SMSFs, representing around $186 billion in assets.

The ATO's focus on the top 100 SMSF auditors is to understand and gain assurance about the methods, processes and controls in place that allow the SMSF auditor to sign off on a large number of audits annually.

The result of the reviews were:

  • 10 auditors were found to be fully compliant
  • 36 required further education
  • 3 auditors voluntarily deregistered once the audit was commenced
  • 2 auditors were referred to ASIC because they had failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to verify the fund's compliance with the relevant super laws.

The ATO are concerned:

  • that some auditors failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence or failed to evaluate the evidence in order to demonstrate how the auditor arrived at their opinion on the financial and compliance audit
  • with the number of unsigned financial statements found
  • the lack of other documents that should be on the audit file, such as a signed trustee representation letter, engagement letter and in some cases, a management letter

The ATO are planning on completing audits on the remaining 49 auditors by the end of the 2020 financial year.

ATO – SMSF quarterly statistical report September 2019

The ATO has released its quarterly SMSF statistical report for the quarter ended September 2019.

Highlights include:

  • There are 598,582 SMSFs
  • There are 1,124,699 members of SMSFs
  • The total estimated assets of SMSFs are just over $746 billion
  • The top asset types held by SMSFs (by value) are:
    • listed shares (31% of total estimated SMSF assets)
    • cash and term deposits (21%).

Content sourced from ICAANZ. posted 7/2/2020

 

Accounting bodies have recently reported a spike in banks asking accountants to sign off on a client's loan application by way of a Capacity to Repay Certificate – that is, asking accountants to sign off, by declaration, on the future viability of a business, and in effect sign off on their client's capacity to repay a loan or even what percentage they will use a motor vehicle for business purposes in the future.

This is a practice that was first seen 10 years ago and banned by APRA and ASIC but now seems to be appearing again.

Whilst we understand the critical role that the preparation and provision of quality financial information for small businesses plays in loan applications, it is the lender's responsibility to use that and other information to make an appropriate credit assessment. We will always work with our clients to provide whatever supporting information is requested and required as part of an application, however we are unable to sign Capacity to Repay Certificates for banks, as we do not hold an Australian Credit Licence.

As banks continue to be under scrutiny for various practices and procedures, and with the flow-on effect being felt by borrowers, we recommend you contact Andrew Forsyth from Perrier Ryan Financial Services when next considering a loan or re-financing application. He will work closely with you to ensure that you are well prepared for that process and armed with all that's required to stand you in good stead for your application's assessment by the bank or financial institution.

Andrew can be contacted in the office on 07 3391 7566, by email on andrewf@perrierryan.com.au, or mobile on 0439 827 700.

If you have any other questions in relation to this, please call Paul or Dan on 3391 7566.

Our longstanding client, Noel Whittaker, would be well known to many as he's been a finance industry fixture for many years including appearing on radio, television and in print (books and newspaper articles).

He has recently released two books – one a completely revised and updated version of his original and huge best seller Making Money made Simple! and the second, a newly released book Downsizing made Simple which has been written in partnership with Rachel Lane, an Australian aged care guru.

We have a limited supply of both these books available for our clients – compliments of the season. So, if you'd like something for your kids as they embark on their independent financial life, or you're considering options for your own next move, we think you'll find these books to be both valuable and an easy, helpful read.

Please contact us and we'll send the book/s out – or feel free to pick them up next time you're in the office visiting us.                                                                


A recent case between a taxpayer and the ATO has highlighted the importance of completing a logbook correctly if you want to claim deductions for car expenses using the logbook method. 

The logbook method is used by those who claim more than 5000 business kilometres - under that, the simpler method to use is the cents-per-km method.

So, if you want your logbook to be considered valid by the ATO make sure that:

  • you show the date the journey began and ended 
  • you show the odometer readings at the start and end of the journey
  • you accurately record the number of kilometres travelled.

Further, for the first year in which you're claiming car expenses, the logbook must be meticulously kept for a continuous 12-week period.

So, once again, the importance of accurate and careful record keeping is highlighted!

Reid v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] AATA 4624 (12 November 2019) 

 

myGovID will be used to access your myGov account - confusing? Maybe a bit.

From 1 April 2020, myGovID will replace AUSkey as the new secure login service with the ATO and other government agencies. It's a new digital identity provider that utilises the security features on a user's device (such as fingerprint or face detection), allowing the user secure access to government online services.

It is currently in public beta testing phase and available for download across the Apple App Store and Google Play.

myGovID is different - but related - to the myGov account. myGov is essentially a portal where users gain access to a range of government services online. Many people will have created a myGov account to interact with Medicare, for example. The recent introduction of STP reporting has resulted in a large number of people setting up myGov accounts.

We are finding that many clients have discovered that once a myGov account is set up, the ATO sends their correspondence to that portal as their default communication channel - and clients don't always realise this until much later. 

So, if you've set up a myGov account, you will likely receive SMS messages from the ATO regarding correspondence - but we suggest you always login to the site away from the SMS message (scammers love it when people click on links in messages - tips on how to spot a scam).

posted 12/11/2019

As mentioned in our August QUICK NEWS newsletter, new laws have now passed allowing the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to disclose business tax debt information to registered credit reporting bureaus (CRBs).

It's worth noting that the disclosure of tax debt information of a business can only be made if the business meets ALL of these four criteria:

  1. it has an ABN and is not an excluded entity; and
  2. it has tax debts, and these tax debts amount to more than $100,000 overdue by 90 days; and
  3. it is not effectively engaging with the ATO to manage its tax debt; and
  4. the Inspector-General of Taxation is not considering an ongoing complaint about the proposed reporting of the entity's tax debt information.

A business will be notified in writing by the ATO if they meet the reporting criteria and will be given 28 days to engage with the ATO to avoid having tax debt information reported.

If a business is engaging with the ATO to manage their tax debts, the tax debt information will not be reported to the CRBs.

Perrier Ryan can assist businesses engage and negotiate with the ATO in relation to overdue tax debt. Please call us on 07 3391 7566 and ask to speak with Lee or Will in the first instance.

7/11/2019

Economic Snapshot for October published

PRFA's latest Economic Snapshot - in October, despite a cautious start, markets became a little more optimistic through the month. Some interesting political moves emerged - not the least of which was the announcement of the UK 12 December 2019 'Brexit' poll. The slowdown in US manufacturing led to some concern. German factory orders were very weak - China's manufacturing PMI improved, but that needs to be read with some caution. Australian indicators are mixed. There were questions remaining as to whether the RBA would cut the cash rate again - but we know now that they didn't.

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Ph. 07 3391 7566
Fax. 07 3391 7726

E. contact@perrierryan.com.au

Level 1, 30 Lisburn Street
East Brisbane Qld 4169
PO Box 1420
Coorparoo DC Qld 4151

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