Lost or destroyed tax records

Taxpayers are responsible for safely storing a written backup copy of their tax record in case the original electronic form becomes inaccessible or unreadable. Where the tax records are accidently lost or destroyed from a burglary or fire, the ATO will allow a taxpayer to claim a deduction for certain expenses. The conditions are: – The…

ATO warning on aggressive tax planning

The ATO is warning taxpayers of aggressive tax planning strategies will attract a significant amount of scrutiny. A number of specific strategies have been flagged as aggressive in a video named ‘Tax Tricks That Will Get You In Trouble’. When it comes to tax avoidance schemes, it is not uncommon for individuals to be duped…

Plan to tax bank deposits

The federal government has announced that it is planning to place a tax on bank deposits in its next budget, which will be handed down in May. According to media reports, the tax will take the form of an insurance levy; the government offers consumers a savings guarantee of up to $250 000 to protect…

ATO Releases New Blueprint: Reinventing the ATO

Yesterday, the Australian Tax Office released a blueprint containing information on a new unit for wealthy taxpayers, as well as a new design to guide future proceedings with taxpayers. Entitled ‘Reinventing the ATO’, the blueprint outlines an exclusive unit to deal with wealthy individuals in Australia and at least one million privately owned businesses. The…

Tips for cutting your tax bill

1. Put more into your mortgage offset account: Mortgage offset accounts are usually considered to be a mechanism for protecting yourself from interest rate rises. However, another advantage is that if you direct more money here and less to your savings account, you will save on tax earned on interest. With interest rates at record…

ATO focusing on personal electronic devices

This financial year, the ATO has announced that it will be focussing on specific types of deductible claims. In previous years, the tax office has announced specific industries or professions that will be subject to particular scrutiny. The biggest announcement this year is that deductions for personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops…

Christmas giving (tax free!)

The holiday season is a great time to think about giving a little back to those less fortunate than you, and many Australians will make charitable donations. In Australia, charitable donations are tax deductible, which only adds to the incentive to be generous this year. A recent global survey of charitable giving across the world…