Superannuation rates and thresholds for 2018-19 – indexed by latest AWOTE figures from the ABS

On 22 February 2018, The Australian Bureau of Statistics released their Nov 2017 Average Weekly Earnings figures (ABS Catalogue no: 6302.0), which include those for ‘ordinary time earnings’ (AWOTE). This allows the 2018/19 superannuation related thresholds to be calculated, under Subdiv 960-M of the ITAA 1997. CONTRIBUTIONS CAPS: The concessional contributions cap is $25,000 for 2018-19…

AWU v BlueScope Steel (AIS) Pty Ltd – Additional super guarantee contributions required – ‘additional hours’ and work on ‘public holidays’ within ‘ordinary time earnings’

The Federal Court has held that an employer (BlueScope) should have made contributions under the superannuation guarantee scheme in respect of the “additional hours” and “public holidays” components of employees’ salaries as they constituted ‘ordinary time earnings’. The agreements required employees to work additional hours and employees were in fact routinely called upon to work…

Peterson v Tax Practitioners Board – Tax agent’s registration terminated for incapacity to handle client needs (despite extra-professional burdens)

The AAT has confirmed a TPB decision to terminate a tax agent’s registration, because it considered he did not have the ability to do all that was required of him. The applicant has about 840 clients, of whom 95% require tax returns to be prepared. He does virtually all the work himself. He is also…

ASIC approved SMSF auditors – ATO identifies problem areas: (1) auditing your own accounts; (2) auditing relatives’ funds; (3) low cost audits; (4) CPD compliance

On 26 Feb 2018, the ATO updated their page ‘ ASIC approved auditors of SMSFs (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) which are by far, the greatest number of funds, and which hold a very substantial share of the overall pool of superannuation assets. Approved SMSF auditors do have a critical role in maintaining the health and…

Resource Capital Fund IV LP v CofT – US private equity funds, structured as Caymans limited partnerships, not taxed on profit from sale of shares in Australian Lithium mining and processing company

On 5 February 2018, the Federal Court set aside the Commissioner’s assessments, issued to two limited partnerships, for profits they made on their respective investments in the shares of an Australian mining company: Talison Lithium Limited (Lithium Co). In 2007, two limited liability partnerships: Resource Capital Fund IV LP (Resource IV) and Resource Capital Fund…

Draft legislation to give legal effect the ‘Multilateral Instrument’ in Australia – Amendment to International Agreements Act to include the MLI like any other bi-lateral agreement

On 8 February 2018, Treasury released draft legislation to give the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI) the force of law in Australia. Treasury have asked for submissions by 23 February 2018. On 7 June 2017, Australia signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent…

Cassaniti v CofT – employee entitled to credits for PAYG amounts “withheld” from her salary or wages, despite her employers not remitting the withheld amounts to the ATO

The Federal Court has ruled that PAYG amounts were “withheld” from a taxpayer’s salary or wages, so that she was entitled to a tax credit, despite the amounts never being remitted to the ATO by her employers. Justice Robertson, summarised the issues and facts this way: The applicant, Mrs Mariolina Cassaniti, seeks declarations that she…

Draft Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures # ??) Bill 2018 – Small Business CGT concession ‘integrity’ measures, on sale of shares or units: ‘see through’ active assets test; new taxpayer requirement; new ‘object entity’ requirement (to carry on business)

On 8 February 2018, Treasury put up, an exposure draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures # ??) Bill 2018, on its website. This Bill proposes amendments to to deal with ‘integrity’ concerns for the small business CGT concessions‘. The Draft is for consultation, and Treasury will take submissions, until 28 February 2018. [Treasury website: Consultation…

Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan Base Rate Entities) Bill 2017 – 80% passive income test (to retain 30% tax/franking rate) passes Lower House with one Government Amendment

The House of Representatives passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan Base Rate Entities) Bill 2017  on Thur 8.2.2018, with 1 Government amendment. The purpose of the Bill is to change the basis on which a company can retain the 30% tax rate. This is for companies that otherwise qualify for the lower 27.5% tax/franking…