TR 2018/2 – Record-keeping requirements: electronic records of transactions, elections and the like (revising 2005 ruling)

On 14 Feb 2018, the ATO issued Taxation Ruling TR 2018/2 on the record-keeping obligations of business taxpayers (individuals and companies) where records are kept in electronic form. The ruling contains a series of principles about electronic record-keeping. These principles are that: electronic records are recognised as documents for tax law purposes (Section 2B of…

ATO’s Statement on Corporate Tax Compliance – it assures is under control because of strengthened legislation (BEPS initiatives) and enhanced compliance efforts and focus

On 14 February 2018, the ATO issued a statement (on its website) seeking to assure taxpayers that it was well placed, after various ‘BEPS’ initiatives, to ensure that companies, including particularly big companies, were paying ‘appropriate’ amounts of Australian income tax. The ATO also wants to advise that it is already getting on top of…

Walsh v CofT – DPO issued against taxpayer set aside after he petitioned for his own bankruptcy (leading to a discharge of the tax debt)

The AAT has set aside a departure prohibition order (DPO), against a taxpayer, who had become bankrupt, as the DPO was no longer serving its purpose. The Commissioner issued assessments to the taxpayer/applicant totalling about $1.7m (for the 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 years). They arose out of money transferred to Vanuatu and they alleged…

SMSF auditor in NSW – disqualified by ASIC for breach of auditor independence requirements

On 28.2.18, ASIC announced that had disqualified Robert Mark Taylor, of New South Wales, from being an approved self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditor for breaching fundamental independence requirements. ASIC found that Mr Taylor had breached the auditor independence requirements of APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in auditing his own fund, the fund…

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…