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[av_heading heading=’The News Brief_20210210′ 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-kkxcjnrw’ admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’][/av_heading]

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[av_heading heading=’COVID-19 Measures’ 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-kkxckbih’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Victorian business support

Just before Christmas, the Federal Government declared that various COVID-19 related business grants provided by the Victorian Government are not taxable (technically, they are non-assessable non-exempt income). These are:

Varying your PAYG instalments

To assist taxpayers experiencing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19, the ATO is providing added flexibility to manage your instalments to suit your circumstances. If you are a PAYG instalment payer, you can vary your PAYG instalments on your activity statement.

You can vary your instalments if you think using the current amount or rate will result in you paying too much by instalments when compared to your estimated tax for the year.

The ATO has said that it will not apply penalties or charge interest to varied instalments that relate to the 2020–21 income year (including if you have a substituted accounting period) when you have made your best attempt to estimate your end of year tax liability.

You should review your tax position regularly. You can vary your instalments multiple times throughout the year. Your varied amount or rate will apply for all your remaining instalments for the income year or until you make another variation.

If you realise you’ve made a mistake working out your PAYG instalment, you can correct it by lodging a revised activity statement or varying a subsequent instalment.

Tip! Talk to your tax adviser if you think you may need to vary your PAYG instalments or if you have made a mistake working out your instalments.
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[av_heading heading=’House prices continue to rebound’ 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-kkxclfok’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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House prices across the country continue to rebound, with the latest data showing that values are trending higher across all the capital cities in Australia.

When COVID-19 first hit in Australia in March 2020, media pundits and even the big banks predicted price falls of more than 30%.

However, since the 100th case of COVID-19 in Australia, not only have prices not fallen dramatically, but in six of the eight capital cities, they have actually increased sharply.

Source: CoreLogic

In March of 2020, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Hobart all saw some slight price falls when the coronavirus first hit. But by the end of the year, housing values in Perth, Brisbane and Hobart were higher than in March 2020, and they appear to be trending higher.

Home values in Darwin, the ACT and Adelaide have been increasing steadily since March, with the trend in Darwin particularly strong, having risen by 8.3% since the pandemic began.

Outside of the capital city areas, there are plenty of regions that have also seen strong price growth. For example, the NSW Central Coast has been a popular market throughout 2020, seeing values on the increase by 6.5% through to December.

For many of the capital cities, it is clear that the bottom of the property market was reached around July or August of 2020, with only Melbourne lagging behind.

Melbourne was the hardest-hit capital city property market in Australia, thanks to widespread lockdowns that occurred throughout two different periods. Based on the CoreLogic data, we can see that the bottom of the Melbourne property market was reached around October, and since that time, prices have been trending higher.

The overall property market was propped up through a combination of record-low interest rates, as the RBA slashed the cash rate to 0.1%. State and federal governments both introduced a range of incentives, and stamp duties, aimed at supporting the market and boosting jobs, were released. There was also a clear push from expats looking to return to Australia, which came away relatively unscathed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gains in prices increased throughout 2020, culminating in dwelling values, rising by 1.0% across the nation in December. According to CoreLogic, over the course of 2020, house prices increased by 3.02%, with the combined capital cities up by 2.0%.

The strongest capital city property markets in Australia in 2020 were Darwin, Canberra and Hobart, which increased by 9.0%, 7.5% and 6.1% respectively.

The regional areas of Australia were some of the strongest performers, surpassing many of the major capital cities and finishing the year 6.9% higher.

CoreLogic also notes that as we move into 2021, more markets are likely to go into recovery mode. This is expected to persist as long as economic conditions continue to recover, and mortgage rates remain at record lows.
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[av_heading heading=’Conditional vs Unconditional Approval’ 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-kkxcnx88′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Arguably, the most important element of the property journey is obtaining finance. One of the most confusing parts of the process for first home buyers is the difference between the various types of approvals.

Most commonly, when you are looking to obtain finance to purchase a home, there will be two separate approvals that you’re likely to encounter, and it is vital that you understand the differences between them.

Conditional Approval

If you choose to purchase a home using a ‘subject to finance’, without some form of indication from a lender that you will be able to access that finance, you could find yourself in a tricky situation.

Commonly, homebuyers will look to gain conditional approval for a loan, which is more commonly known as a pre-approval.

A pre-approval is a powerful tool for the homebuyer, as it gives them a very clear indication from a lender as to what they will be able to borrow, based on their personal and financial situation.

Once you have submitted your loan documents and all the required documentation, such as payslips, group certificates and/or bank statements, the credit team will assess your application and if you are successful, you will be issued with a conditional loan approval.

What this means is that a bank will pre-approve your home loan, up to a certain borrowing limit, subject to you finding a property that meets the agreed criteria, and provided that your situation doesn’t change in the coming months. 

Generally, a pre-approval is valid for three months, but it is merely an indication, and not a guarantee that you will get a loan.

A pre-approval is a powerful tool for you as a buyer, because it makes you appear serious in the eyes of vendors and sales agents, whilst also giving clarity as to just how much you are able to spend on a property.

Unconditional Approval

Once a homebuyer has found a property, they can go back to the lender that offered a pre-approval and seek a home loan.

When a lender is satisfied that you have met all of their criteria, including LVRs, valuations and your own personal financial situation, you will be fully approved and you will have unconditional approval.

It is possible that a lender won’t offer you a home loan after you have made an offer on a property, if that property is unique in some way, or if there are issues with it in the eyes of the lender.

The most important part of the loan application process is to work closely with a mortgage broker. They are in the best position to be able to help you navigate any issues that might arise, and they also communicate closely with the lender.

If you’re unsure about where your application is at any given time, your mortgage broker will be able to help guide you through the process.
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[av_heading heading=’What has the ATO been doing?’ 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-kkxcpiu1′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Trading stock taken for private use

It is common in a number of industries for trading stock to be used for private purposes. If you do this, you are treated as having sold it for its cost just before you use it and as having bought it back for the same amount. 

Because it is difficult in many cases to keep accurate records of transactions involving goods taken from stock for private use, the ATO publishes each year standard values (excluding GST) that can be used by proprietors of certain businesses. The latest amounts (for the 2020–21 tax year) were published in early January.

Type of Business Amount (excluding GST) for Adult/Child over 16 years Amount (excluding GST) for Child 4 to 16 years old
Bakery $1,350 $675
Butcher $900 $450
Restaurant/café (licensed) $4,640 $1,810
Restaurant/café (unlicensed) $3,620 $1,810
Caterer $3,830 $1,915
Delicatessen $3,620 $1,810
Fruiterer/

greengrocer

$930 $465
Takeaway food shop $3,670 $1,835
Mixed business (includes milk bar, general store and convenience store) $4,460 $2,230

(Table taken from Taxation Determination TD 2021/1)

Property sales

The ATO regularly receives data relating to the purchase and sale of properties from State and Territory revenue offices around Australia.

Where property transfers are made by businesses, they are potentially taxable, and the ATO matches this information against what has been reported on activity statements. If you sold property and did not include it in your activity statement, the ATO may contact you. You will be asked to review your records and revise the relevant activity statement, without penalty, by a specified date.

Tip! Talk to your tax adviser if you have sold property.
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[av_heading heading=’General transfer balance cap indexed 1 July 2021′ 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-kkxcqe38′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Indexation of the general transfer balance cap (TBC) will occur on 1 July 2021 as the All Groups consumer price index figure for the December 2020 quarter was 117.2. This was higher than the 116.9 figure required to trigger indexation.

Once indexation of the general transfer balance occurs, no single TBC will apply to all individuals. Instead, individuals will have a personal TBC somewhere between $1.6 and $1.7 million. If an individual already has a TBC, the only place they can view their personal TBC is in ATO online services through myGov.

The ATO will calculate each individual’s personal TBC based on the information reported to and processed by us. If you report pre 1 July 2021 events after 1 July 2021, ATO will go back and recalculate the member’s personal TBC and apply that new cap to their affairs.

To help ensure your members have a clear understanding of their TBC position, ATO encourages you to report all events which occurred in the 2020–21 income year or earlier as soon as possible.

Indexation of the general TBC will also lead to changes in a number of other caps and limits in the super system.
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Sources: The ATO 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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