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Keeping you up to date

Giving back to the community

We're always up for a challenge - and on Friday we have 3 teams participating in Sunshine Coastrek 2018. Coastrek is a fundraising event for the Fred Hollows Foundation and involves teams of 4 walking either 30km or 60km along our gorgeous coast line. We have 2 teams doing the 30km trek and 1 (very stoic!) team doing the 60km trek! As this is a fundraising event for a good cause, we welcome any donations. So if you'd like to show your support for our team members participating in this walk you can do so by clicking on one of these links:

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Update on last month's labour hire article!

In last month's newsletter, we reported on a new regime which affected employers who 'shared' employees across entities or businesses. Initially, we were concerned that many of our clients may be caught in this new legislation as the definitions of labour hire services and workers within the Act are very broad. We're pleased to advise that the Queensland Parliament has since published some regulations which clarify the scope and who might be captured by the legislation. Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers have put together a great article which explains it in further detail. Click here to read. If you have any questions or would like to clarify whether you might be caught by this, please contact our office.

QBCC Audits on the rise!

Recent data from a local Auditor would suggest that there has been a rise in audit activity by the QBCC. Are you at risk of getting an audit? And would you be able to provide all of the relevant information to the QBCC in the event you were selected for an audit?

With the changes to the QBCC's Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR) Policy in 2014,  it would appear that some license holders have seen their annual renewal as a box-ticking exercise and may not have given the necessary consideration to their MFR compliance. While there is no longer an obligation to report as often, MFR still must be calculated quarterly to ensure you fall within your parameters.

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Single Touch Payroll comes into effect from 1 July 2018 - are you ready?

If you are an employer with 20 or more employees, from 1 July 2018 you will need to report your employee's payroll information to the ATO through Single Touch Payroll (STP). STP means that information such as wages, deductions, PAYG and superannuation will be immediately transmitted through to the ATO each time your run a payroll process. Not sure what you need to do to get ready?

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My workmate claims it - surely I can too?

There has been a lot of media interest recently around tax deductions that you can claim in relation to work related expenses. We often hear people say that their previous accountant or workmate had claimed for something so why won't we. And the reason is simple - we are here to (wherever possible) protect our clients from ATO scrutiny or fines. So by playing within the lines, we do that. In the new world of data matching, these types of incorrect claims will become more visible to the ATO - in fact, the ATO have already come out with their hitlist for the year!

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Do you 'share' employees across entities or businesses?

From 16 April, 2018 the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 will come into effect. This is a mandatory licensing scheme which has been designed to protect labour hire workers in Queensland from exploitation. Why are we telling you about this? Think that you’re NOT in the labour hire business? You may be surprised!!

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GST Changes to New Residential Premises

The Building and Construction industry seems to have changes coming at it from everywhere at the moment!

You may have heard that the government last year announced its intention to make changes that would require purchasers of new residential premises and home sites  to remit the GST directly to the ATO.  In the past GST was included in the price and paid at settlement to the vendor.

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Are you a Courier or a Cleaner? Did you know that you will now be captured by the Taxable Payment Reporting System?

For the last couple of years, those in the building and construction industry have had to lodge a Taxable Payments Annual Report which provided information on payments made to contractors. From 1 July 2018, this program will be extended to now include couriers and cleaning services. This is all part of the Black Economy Taskforce which aims to target people who engage in tax evasion or deliberately underreport their income. If you think you might be captured by this new legislation and would like assistance in preparing this report, please contact your accountant. And be warned, the ATO is issuing hefty fines for those who don’t lodge their report on time. Click here for further information.

FBT Time

It’s that time of year again when businesses that provide benefits to employees need to consider the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) implications.

If we are aware that FBT may be relevant to your business, you will shortly receive an annual questionnaire to help you consider your situation and whether you need to take any steps now to minimise the FBT.

However, if your business provides any non-cash benefits (think cars, loans, phone etc) to employees, and you don’t receive a letter from us within the next couple of days then please contact our office immediately.  

For those businesses that own cars, it is important to ensure you record your odometer reading on 31 March 2018.  There are instructions in our letter to you to assist with this.

If you are unsure whether FBT applies to you or you need assistance with your FBT please give us a call.

Are you a US Citizen or Green Card holder?

The media has given a great deal of attention to the US Government’s proposed tax changes in recent weeks, including the one-off ‘deemed repatriation tax’. This tax was aimed at big businesses such as Apple and Google – but did you know that it may also capture US citizens who own more than 10% of a foreign company?

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Changes to Heavy Vehicle National Law Bill

Are you a transport operator? If so, are you across the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018? Do you realise that the due diligence obligation now extends to executive officers? Click here to read an article written by Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers which provides further information.

Changes to the ATO Super Clearing House

Do you currently use the ATO Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) to pay your employee’s superannuation? If so, are you aware of the changes that have been made to this service?

As of February 26, you can only access this service via your ATO Business Portal.

What if I don’t have an ATO Business Portal?

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ATO to disclose tax debts to credit agencies

Do you have a tax debt of more than $10,000 with the ATO? Has it been overdue for more than 90 days? Are you ignoring it or putting it in the too hard basket? Well, if draft legislation is approved, it may affect your credit rating.

The Government has released draft legislation advising that it will authorise the ATO to disclose business tax debts to credit agencies in an attempt to increase taxpayers ‘engagement’ with the ATO in order to make payment arrangements. This will mean that unpaid tax debts will affect your credit worthiness, making it more difficult to obtain finance.

If you are having cashflow difficulties, please speak to us before it gets out of control. We can assist you with creating cashflows and budgets, and liaising with the ATO on your behalf to set up payment arrangements.

Are you complying with the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme?

Have you heard about the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme? Do you know what it is and how it may affect you?

The NDB scheme came into effect on February 22 and is an amendment to the Privacy Act. Essentially, if data has been breached that is likely to result in serious harm, there are certain reporting obligations that an organisation is now required to adhere to, which include notifying:  

  1. the individual whose personal information has been breached
  2. the Australian Information Commission of the breach

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General Advice

The information provided by Bentleys (Sunshine Coast) Pty Ltd does not constitute financial product advice and is for general information only. It is written without taking into account any individuals personal objectives, situation or needs, and is not intended as professional advice. Any person acting upon such information without receiving specific advice, does so entirely at their own risk. Please contact your Accountant to discuss your personal situation before relying on this information.