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[av_heading heading=’The News Brief_20200923′ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=’6vw’ av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’20’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#000000′ icon_color=” margin=’0′ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0′ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kfej6dyi’ admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’][/av_heading]

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[av_heading heading=’New JobKeeper 2.0 rule removes ‘smorgasbord’ of attribution options’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kfej7doh’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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The Tax Commissioner’s determination issued on Wednesday has now set out that supplies must be allocated to a period on a GST reporting basis, even if the entity is not registered for GST.

Businesses not registered for GST can use either a cash or accruals basis but must use the same accounting basis for both test periods.

All other entities with different circumstances, such as those who changed their accounting basis during the year, will face specific rules, but they will generally be made to use their accounting basis from the first tax period of the relevant comparison period.

Speaking to Accountants Daily, the Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco said the flexibility of determining when a supply is made that was afforded in the first version of JobKeeper has now be removed.

“Without any shadow of doubt, the way you attribute the GST is what you’re going to be locked into for JobKeeper 2.0,” Mr Greco said.

“Your attribution for BAS is the way you calculate decline in turnover, so you’re moving from version one where you had a lot of flexibility around how you calculate that decline in turnover where you could move away from your attribution method, but under version two, you don’t have that smorgasbord of options, and that’s the message that some people will find they are on the wrong side of the ledger.”

Mr Greco believes that depending on the attribution method for GST, some businesses could find themselves failing to meet the requisite decline in turnover despite suffering an adverse drop in income for the test quarter.

“The method they choose for their attribution for GST, which is on their BAS, may not represent what they are experiencing,” he said.

The move from projected GST turnover to actual GST turnover is likely to capture the sale of capital assets — a scenario that could see some businesses failing to meet the turnover decline for the JobKeeper extension.
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[av_heading heading=’Sydney and Melbourne house prices feel brunt of coronavirus downturn’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kfej9cfy’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Australia’s biggest property markets felt the brunt of the downturn from the coronavirus pandemic with Sydney and Melbourne property prices falling more than 2 per cent over the June quarter.

The only capital city to avoid a price fall was Canberra, where property values increased 0.8 per cent over the same period, quarterly data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released on Tuesday shows.

Nationally residential prices saw a 1.8 per cent drop in the June quarter, but still increased 6.2 per cent in the year to June. All capital cities experienced annual increases except for Perth and Darwin, ABS head of prices statistics Andrew Tomadini said.

In Melbourne house prices dropped 2.8 per cent compared to a 1 per cent decline in apartment values.

The bureau reported the total value of the nation’s housing stock dropped by $98.2 billion to $7.1 trillion during the quarter. It is now back to where it was in the September quarter of 2019.

The mean price of a residence in NSW slipped by almost $20,000 to $871,800 while in Victoria the mean price dropped by $17,500 to $736,800.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank board’s September meeting showed members discussed the events playing out in the national property market.

They noted that while prices had fallen in Sydney and Melbourne, the cumulative fall in the national market had been less severe than the market’s correction in 2018.

The rental market, however, was facing tougher headwinds.

“Rental supply had been boosted by short-term and holiday rentals being brought onto the long-term rental market, while demand had been depressed by the reduced flow of new migrants and a decline in the rate of household formation,” the minutes showed.

“Rental vacancy rates had risen recently, and members noted that downward pressure on rents was unlikely to dissipate in the near term in either Sydney or Melbourne.”

The Melbourne CBD is now at a record high vacancy rate with one in 10 homes empty, up from 8.8 per cent in July.

Sydney’s vacancy rate remains the highest at 3.5 per cent, down 0.1 per cent from July. Sydney CBD has 12.9 per cent of homes vacant compared to a high of 16.2 per cent in May.

Latest monthly data from property research company CoreLogic recorded a fourth consecutive month of national house value falls in August, down 0.4 per cent, with Melbourne values dropping the most at 1.2 per cent. Sydney property prices declined 0.5 per cent over the same period.
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[av_heading heading=’NAB extends COVID-19 interest-only loan measure’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kfejbr6y’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced that its measure to support customers with interest-only (IO) loans impacted by the coronavirus pandemic has been extended for IO loans expiring before 31 March 2021.

Earlier this year, NAB told Mortgage Business that while IO switches were not available for principal and interest borrowers without a full serviceability assessment, it has been implementing a “fast-track” process for IO term extensions for eligible customers impacted by COVID-19 since April.

NAB had said that no credit assessments were required for 12-month extensions to IO terms due to expire by 30 September.

The bank has now announced that this support has been extended for IO loans expiring before March 2021.

NAB said it will work with brokers’ clients through the fast-track process provided the eligibility criteria are met, which include:

“Please note that this option is not a replacement for hardship support or relief,” the bank said.

“If your customer has been severely impacted financially, or is showing signs of hardship, the current process applies.”

NAB has rolled out changes for brokers to complete simple fixed and variable rate loan split requests without the need for verification or assessment.

“You no longer need to complete a variation in ApplyOnline to make a loan split request,” the bank said.

“You’re now only required to fill out the following forms on behalf of the customer.”

The forms required, which are on the NAB broker portal in the “forms and calculators” tab, include:

The bank has stipulated that personal consent form and companies consent form cannot be used for loan splits.

To be eligible for a simple loan split, the existing customer account must be a variable rate principal and interest home loan.

There can be no changes to the lending amount, repayment type, LVR, loan term, product type and applicants and/or guarantors to be eligible for this facility.
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[av_heading heading=’Tax losses’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kfejeb8t’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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2019-20 was a difficult year for many businesses and you may have made a tax loss.

A tax loss is when the total deductions you can claim, excluding gifts, donations and personal super contributions, are greater than your total income for an income year.

If your business makes a tax loss, you may be able to:

If you’re a sole trader or in a partnership and want to offset a tax loss, first check if the business activity meets at least one of the “commerciality” tests under the non-commercial loss rules. (Those rules do not apply to losses made by primary producers and professional artists whose income from other sources is less than $40,000.)

If you do meet one of the “commerciality” tests, then you can offset the loss against other assessable income (such as salary or investment income) in the same income year.

If you don’t meet the “commerciality” tests, you can defer the loss or carry it forward to future years. For example, you can offset it when you next make a profit.

Non-commercial losses made by an individual with adjusted taxable income exceeding $250,000 are quarantined.

If your business has made more than one tax loss in a year, you will need to consider each tax loss separately.

The rules for record keeping still apply when it’s related to business losses. You need to keep records for five years for most transactions. However, if you fully deduct a tax loss in a single income year, you only need to keep records for four years from that income year.

Personal services income

If you operate your business through a company or a trust, income earned by the company or trust from the provision of your personal services (personal services income or PSI) will be attributed to you unless:

The company or trust will be conducting a PSB if at least one of a number of tests are satisfied. These are:

If 80% or more of your PSI (with certain exceptions) is income from one client (or the client and their associate(s)) and the results test is not met, the company or trust will need to obtain a PSB determination from the ATO. Otherwise, the company or trust will not be conducting a PSB.

The company or trust cannot deduct amounts that relate to gaining or producing your PSI, unless you could have deducted the amount as an individual or the company or trust received the PSI in the course of carrying on a PSB.

If the company or trust does not conduct a PSB, additional PAYG withholding obligations can arise.

Even if you don’t use a company or trust to derive your PSI, there are limitations on the deductions that you may claim against your PSI. For example, you may not be able to deduct certain home office expenses, eg occupancy expenses such as mortgage interest or rent.

Tip!  The PSI rules are complicated, especially if you provide your services through a company or trust. Talk to your tax adviser if you have any questions.

Home office

A lot more people are working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you operate your business from a home office, you can deduct the expenses of running that office. A home office is a room in your home that is used exclusively (or almost exclusively) for business activities.

Expenses you can claim a deduction for include:

If you are an employee working from home, you may be able to claim a portion of your running expenses and work-related phone and internet expenses.

To make it easier for people to claim deductions for working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATO will allow a rate of 80 cents per hour from 1 March 2020 until 30 September 2020 for all additional running expenses. This also applies to anyone working from home, even if not operating a business.

This is different from the 52 cents per hour claim that covers fewer types of expenses. Talk to your tax adviser about what method is most appropriate for your circumstances.

Small business tax offset

A sole trader, an individual who is a partner in a partnership or an individual who is a beneficiary of a trust may qualify for the small business tax offset if the sole trader, partnership or trust qualifies as a small business entity (total annual turnover less than $10m). The offset is not available to an individual acting as a trustee of a trust.

The offset for 2019-20 is equal to 8% of the income tax payable on the sole trader’s or other individual’s taxable income that qualifies as their net small business income (the offset rate is 13% for 2020-21). The offset is capped at $1,000.

Taxable payments annual report 

Businesses that pay contractors for certain services may need to lodge a taxable payments annual report (TPAR) with the ATO. This is the first year that businesses that pay contractors to provide road freight, information technology, security, investigation, or surveillance services may need to lodge a TPAR with the ATO. This is in addition to those businesses providing building and construction, cleaning, or courier services that are already required to report.

The TPAR for 2019-20 should have been lodged by 28 August 2020.
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[av_heading heading=’Early release amounts for SMSFs climb to $341m’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kfejhhrp’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Based on recent ATO data, as of 12 August 2020, there have been 3.97 million approved applications for early release of super, totalling over $33.27 billion since 19 April 2020.

The early release of super scheme was introduced to allow eligible individuals that have been financially impacted by COVID to access up to $10,000 from their super both in the 2019–20 and 2020–21 financial years.  

Within the population that have accessed the scheme, ATO director Kellie Grant said that around 35,000 approved applications have been processed for nearly 19,000 SMSFs for the early release of nearly $341 million.

Within the first tranche, the ATO said that around 22,000 approved applications were made by just over 17,000 SMSFs for the release of nearly $215 million in total.

Ms Grant said the ATO has a range of integrity checks in place for the applications it receives, which help the ATO to mitigate the risk of inappropriate behaviour by those that apply.

“We have commenced reviewing some of the applicants which we were concerned had not met eligibility criteria based on our data matching from Single Touch Payroll reporting and income tax returns and information reported by super funds and third-party data from agencies including Services Australia and Home Affairs,” she said.

Based on Single Touch Payroll, for example, the ATO, she said, is able to tell whether an individual is still employed and how much they are being paid.

“We’ve found that 90 per cent that applied for early release of super had been eligible. We’re in the process of taking a closer look at around 2,000 people who we think are at higher risk of being ineligible,” she said.

“Where we find that individuals have made a deliberate false or misleading statement on their application for early release, we’ll look to revoke the determination allowing the release and assess them on that amount accessed. They also might be up for penalties of around $12,000 or more for each false or misleading statement.”
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Sources: Accountants Daily, The Adviser, SMSF Advisor, The Sydney Morning Herald and CFH Partners
Disclaimer: This is general information only and is subject to change at any time. Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product. The Content provided herein has been prepared for informational purposes only. The Content does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek tax, legal or accounting advice before acting or relying on any Content.

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