Preparing for the FBT year-end

With the fringe benefits tax (FBT) year ending 31 March 2017, now is the time for business owners to get their FBT affairs sorted. When calculating FBT liability, employers must gross-up the taxable value of benefits provided to reflect the gross salary employees would need to earn at the highest marginal tax rate (including Medicare…

Easier GST reporting for food retailers

Many small food retailers buy and sell products that are both taxable and GST-free. Depending on the point-of-sale equipment used, identifying and recording these sales can be difficult for business owners. The ATO has introduced a series of simplified accounting methods (SAMs) to make it easier to account for GST and work out the amount…

Preparing for contribution cap changes

From 1 July 2017, many of the 2016 Federal Budget super reforms will take place, including the reduction of both the annual concessional and non-concessional contribution caps. Concessional contributions Concessional contributions include employer contributions and salary sacrifice amounts. Personal contributions claimed as a personal super contribution deduction also count as concessional contributions. The concessional (pre-tax)…

Are your website costs tax deductible?

The ATO has provided business owners with further guidance on the deductibility of website costs in a recent Taxation Ruling. The Tax Office considers a commercial website as a website which is used in the course of a business, irrespective of whether it is used directly to produce income. This does not include software provided…

Clarification on ride-sourcing

The Federal Court has recently agreed that ride-sourcing is taxi travel. For GST purposes, the word taxi means a car (vehicle) made available for public hire that is used to transport passengers for fares. State and territory laws regulating transportation of passengers contain specific definitions of the term taxi. A vehicle can be considered a…

ATO issues bad debt ruling

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a ruling that clarifies the circumstances in which a deduction for bad debts is allowable. To obtain a bad debt deduction under section 63 of the Act, a debt must exist before it can be written off as bad. A debt exists for the purposes of section 63…

FBT and business vehicles

Business owners who make a car (leased or owned) available for employees to use for private travel may be subject to fringe benefits tax (FBT). If a car is garaged at or near your employee’s home, even if only for security reasons, it is considered by the ATO to be available for their private use…