Three year audit cycle for SMSFs with 3 years of clear audit reports and timely lodgement of returns – Treasury Discussion Paper (for 2018 Federal Budget announcement)

In its May 2018 Federal Budget, the Government announced that SMSFs could move to a 3 year audit cycle, if they were compliant and timely. The measure was to take effect from 1 July 2019. On Friday 6 July 2018, the Government released a Consultation Paper regarding this measure, seeking feedback by 31 August 2018. The Consultation…

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. – the US Supreme Court case that decided American States can impose taxes on sales without the vendor having a physical presence (viz: internet sales)

From Wikipedia The South Dakota case This is the decision which overturned Quill Corp. v. North Dakota (1992), which, in turn, had held that the ‘Dormant Commerce Clause’ barred American States, from compelling retailers, to collect ‘sales’ or ‘use’ taxes, in connection with mail order or Internet sales, made to their residents, unless those retailers had…

US Supreme Court puts Amazon, Google in tax sights around the world, including Australia – South Dakota can tax Wayfair’s internet sales

Australian Financial Review – 9 July 2018 Article by Neil Chenoweth   As Australia considers new measures to tax foreign online sales, the US Supreme Court has handed down a groundbreaking judgement that signals a radical change in taxing rights over technology companies. The decision, in South Dakota vs Wayfair Inc (handed down on 21 June 2018),…

Independent review of ATO audit position to be available to the ‘small end of town’ too – ATO announces small business pilot for income tax disputes in South Australia and Victoria

On 29 June 2018, the ATO announced that it will be running a 12-month pilot (from 1 July 2018) to extend its independent review service to certain small business taxpayers. An independent review is where an independent technical officer from outside the ATO’s audit area reviews the merits of the ATO’s audit position before the assessment…

Australia joins new ‘J5’ Enforcement Group to fight global tax and other crime – with Canada, the US, UK and Netherlands

On 4 July 2018, Ministers O’Dwyer and Taylor jointly announced that representatives from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) were in Montreal the previous week, to sign up to the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement alliance (known as the J5). As well as Australia, membership of the J5 includes…

CR 2018/30 & CR 2018/31 – restructure of IFM Infrastructure Funds; Westfield sale of Unibail-Rodamco stapled securities

On Wednesday 4 July 2018, the ATO issued the following two Class Rulings: CR 2018/30 – IFM Infrastructure Funds: restructure. This ruling considers the CGT consequences of the issue of units under a restructure arrangement. Date of effect: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019; and CR 2018/31 – Sale of Westfield Group stapled securities to Unibail-Rodamco SE: CGT…

TD 2018/12 – Scope of MAAL: when related party ‘activities’ are “directly in connection with” the foreign entity ‘supply’ (viz: ‘permanent establishment’ avoidance)

On Wednesday 4.7.2018, the ATO issued Taxation Determination TD 2018/12 on the meaning of “directly in connection with” in s 177DA(1)(a)(ii) of the ITAA 1936, which is part of the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL) for significant global entities, in s177DA. This Determination finalises TD 2018/D1 and contains the same views as the draft. The phrase ruled on,…

OECD launches public database of macro-economic tax data – showing tax as a % of GDP broken down by tax type and correlated to per capital income etc.

The OECD has launched a new database providing detailed and comparable tax revenue information for 80 countries around the world – and which will expand to cover more than 90 countries by the end of 2018. The Global Revenue Statistics Database provides what it says is the largest public source of comparable tax revenue data…

TR 2018/D1 – draft ruling on the meaning of the phrase “in Australia” requirements for the Div 30 ‘Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR); Div 50 ‘tax exemption’ provisions for charities etc. and Div 207 Franking Credit refunds

On Wed 4.7.2018, the ATO issued Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2018/D1 setting out the Commissioner’s view on the meaning of the “in Australia” condition for Div 30 DGR status and Div 50 income tax exemption of charities and non-profits. He seeks comments by This is a fraught area, as the ‘in Australia’ requirement was obviously meant…