On 3 October 2018, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Black Economy Taskforce Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 received Royal Assent as Act no. 121 of 2018. See the previous Tax Technical article about the Bill’s introduction to Parliament.
- Schedule 1 – sales suppression tools – of the Act prohibits the production, distribution and possession of sales suppression tools in relation to entities that have Australian tax obligations, including the use of electronic sales suppression tools, to incorrectly keep tax records. The amendments will be to insert new criminal offences in s8WAA – s8WAE of a new Subdivision BAA of Part III, Division 2 of the Tax Administration Act 1953 (TAA 1953) along with other key tax offences). The Act also, creates provisions that impose ‘administrative penalties’, by adding a s288-125 and s288-130 in the TAA 1953. Division 288 of this Act, is about ‘Miscellaneous administrative penalties’. DATE OF EFFECT: The amendments commence from the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent (viz: 4.10.18).
- Schedule 2 – courier or cleaning services – the Act amends the TAA 1953, to require entities providing courier or cleaning services, that have an Australian Business Number (ABN), to report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), information about transactions that involve engaging other entities to undertake those courier or cleaning services for them. The amendment exempts entities, where the total amount of payments, an entity receives, for courier or cleaning services, is less than 10% of the entity’s GST turnover (ie. occasional couriers or cleaners). These changes will be effected by adding new items 11 and 12 to the table in s396-55 of the TAA 1953. Division 396 is about ‘Third party reporting’ and s396-55 lists the various ‘tax related’ transactions, that have to be reported to the Commissioner. DATE OF EFFECT: would apply from 1 July 2018.
On 4 October 2018, the Commissioner uploaded a page on his website explaining this new obligation for cleaning services, which includes lodging an annual return for the financial year by 28 August of that year. So, the first obligation will be to lodge an annual report for the year: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, by 28 August 2019.
Study questions (answers available)
- Did this Bill take about 8 months, to pass into law, from the date it was first introduced into Parliament (hint, you’ll have to look at the ‘Bill Tracker’ link, to answer this)?
- Does the Act create offences and administrative penalties for supplying and using ‘sales suppression tools’ (eg. a computer program that just eliminates sales, to under report income that would otherwise be recorded electronically, from the point of sale)?
- Does Schedule 2, to the Act exclude cleaning and courier payments from the system of reporting tax related transactions to the Commissioner?
- Do both measures start on 1 July 2018?