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[av_heading heading=’The News Brief_20200930′ 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-kfnlodc0′ admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’][/av_heading]

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[av_heading heading=’ATO’s ‘hands are tied’ on cash flow boost, JobKeeper anomaly: Tax Institute’ 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-kfnlpcqt’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Speaking to Accountants Daily, the Tax Institute’s senior advocate, Robyn Jacobson, said that barring a legislative change, the ATO would have no wiggle room to deviate from the cash flow boost’s restrictive tax notice requirement.

Under the current law, entities seeking access to the cash flow boost, and those entities who seek access to JobKeeper on the basis of business participation, are required to have notified the commissioner of assessable income derived in the 2018–19 year, or a taxable supply made between 1 July 2018 and 12 March 2020.

This leaves new businesses that have made taxable supplies on or after 1 January 2020 unable to qualify if they report on a quarterly basis, but eligible if they report on a monthly basis.

Likewise, entities that commenced on or after 1 July 2019 and report their GST annually are also unable to meet the requirements, even if they made a supply before 12 March 2020.

“There are many businesses that have been badly affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 who can demonstrate business activity prior to 12 March 2020, yet do not satisfy the requirements of the law. The ATO lacks discretion to allow the cash flow boost and JobKeeper in these cases,” Ms Jacobson said.

“Many do not understand that the ATO’s hands are tied and that objections and appeals will not be of any assistance.

“Practitioners have continually raised these concerns with the Tax Institute and the other professional bodies, and these concerns have been raised with the government and the ATO.”

Ms Jacobson also noted that while the commissioner has the discretion to allow an entity more time to notify the ATO of the derivation of the assessable income or the making of a taxable supply after 12 March 2020, the ATO does not have the power to change the income year or the tax period in which the assessable income was derived or the supply was made.
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[av_heading heading=’Restrictions on Melbourne property industry eased, private inspections permitted’ 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-kfnlqgfo’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Buyers and renters in Melbourne will once again be able to inspect homes one-on-one after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced tough coronavirus-related restrictions will be eased.

From Monday, Melburnians will be able to inspect properties one-on-one with an agent. A housemate, or partner and children are also allowed at inspections, under the relaxed rules.  Inspections must have a 15-minute time limit.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria confirmed that those looking for a new home will be able to travel farther than five kilometres from home to inspect a property across the city.

Strict stage 4 restrictions, in place since early August, meant one-on-one inspections were banned, which essentially shut down the Melbourne market and heavily affected sales in regional Victoria.

The announcement follows a tough time for Melbourne’s buyers and sellers, as well as renters and landlords who have had to negotiate a market where restrictions on public auctions and open for inspections have been in place since earlier this year. 

Melbourne’s auction clearance rate has slumped to 0 per cent for most of September, rising slightly on Saturday to 25 per cent from 32 auctions were scheduled and 28 results reported.

REIV president Leah Calnan said the announcement was “great news” for the industry which had been suffering through the tough restrictions.

“It has been increasingly difficult for everyone who is either working within the real estate industry or trying to buy, sell or rent a home,” Ms Calnan said.

Kay & Burton South Yarra chairman Gerald Delany was likewise relieved with the announcement and said the agency would be working with clients on a new plan for sales.

“It will really re-ignite the industry from tomorrow,” Mr Delany said.
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[av_heading heading=’CBA and ING make home loans cheaper for customers’ 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-kfnlrcqp’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Commonwealth Bank and ING have slashed home loan rates, fuelling a lending war where banks are desperate to attract new mortgage customers.

The country’s largest bank has shaved several of its loan products by up to 15 basis points, with its lowest advertised variable rate at 2.69 per cent.

ING, the country’s fifth largest bank in terms of household balances and mortgages, has also taken a knife to its suite of lending products, cutting its rates by 10 basis points.

The move comes a week after Westpac began advertising the lowest variable rate on offer out of the major four financial institutions, offering a two-year variable rate at 2.19 per cent that then reverts to 2.69 per cent.

RateCity research director Sally Tindall said Friday’s cuts would force the rest of the banking industry to begin slashing rates before the Reserve Bank likely cuts the official cash rate in either October or November.

“Home loan rates might be at record lows, but it’s unlikely to have hit the bottom yet,” she said.

“These cuts from CBA, Westpac and ING will force other lenders to cut their rates in an effort to outbid Australia’s biggest banks.”

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans is expecting the central bank to cut the cash rate to 0.1 per cent on the same day the Morrison Government is expected to hand down the Federal Budget.

The low-interest environment is causing a large volume of existing mortgage customers to take advantage of refinancing their loans while rates remain at historically low levels.

Major lenders are looking to capitalise on the flurry in switching activity, with banks also offering cashback offers to entice borrowers looking to refinance.

The lowest variable rate being advertised within the home loan market is 1.89 per cent from Reduce Home Loan.
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[av_heading heading=’Cash flow boost change’ 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-kfnlvrlv’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Legislation has been enacted to clarify that the cash flow boost is available to eligible small and medium businesses that are required to pay an amount to the ATO because they receive an alienated personal services payment. Broadly, this is a payment received by a personal services entity (eg a company or trust) that is ultimately treated as forming part of the income of an individual under the personal services income rules and has not been promptly paid to the individual as salary or wages.

Payment of an amount to the ATO in these circumstances gives rise to an entitlement to the cash flow boost in the same way as payment to the ATO of an amount withheld from an employee’s salary or wages.

In April, the cash flow boost allows eligible small and medium businesses to receive up to a maximum of $100,000 in total in cash flow boost amounts by lodging their activity statements up to the month or quarter of September 2020. 

Cash flow boosts are tax-free and not subject to GST. However, this can give rise to later tax consequences when the tax-free amounts are paid out of companies and unit trusts. This is complicated so talk to your tax adviser.

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[av_heading heading=’Early super raiders unclear on long-term impacts’ 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-kfnltgck’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Many people who dipped into their superannuation under the early release scheme did not understand the long-term ramifications of their decision, with a new study finding fund members were half as likely to withdraw when they sought out information.

The research from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research has drawn upon survey results of more than 3,000 Cbus members who withdrew some or all of their retirement savings in the first phase of the COVID-19 early release scheme between April and June.

Most respondents were seen to withdraw towards the upper limit of $10,000, with only 9 per cent of respondents taking less than the limit while preserving more than $1,000 in their account.

The majority (70 per cent) took $10,000, leaving less than $1,000 in their accounts.

Immediate financial need (59 per cent) and concerns for future expenditures (27 per cent) were the main reasons members gave for accessing savings.

Susan Thorp, professor of economics at the University of Sydney Business School, co-authored the study. She stated some members expressed uncertainty around the long-term consequences of their actions.

“Around one-third of respondents said they were unsure about the impact of their withdrawal on their retirement balances, or had not thought about that, or did not care,” Ms Thorp said.

A third (33.3 per cent) overestimated the impact of the withdrawal and 17.1 per cent guessed correctly.

Another co-author, Hazel Bateman, professor of economics at the UNSW School of Risk and Actuarial Studies, said the findings demonstrated that many withdrawers either “could not or did not evaluate the impact of their decision”.

“However, another finding is that those who spent longer thinking about their decision… held more realistic expectations of the impacts on retirement wealth and were half as likely to withdraw within one day or less than members who used no information sources,” she said.

Around 48.1 per cent of respondents had spent longer than a week considering the decision before they withdrew, compared with 20.7 per cent that took a week and 13.8 per cent that applied as soon as they heard they could.
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Sources: Accountants Daily, news.com.au, Domain, SMSF Advisor 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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