RSM Australia

Tax services

Often tax strategies that look good by themselves can be less sensible, even problematic in the context of your whole business. At RSM Australia we offer tax services that are proactive, so you don't miss a beat.​

Take a balanced and integrated approach with our taxation services.

We focus on your total business picture, not just your next return. Our tax solutions and services team help you define the right overall tax position, designed to save you money in complex tax environments, while at the same time meeting your larger business goals. Since we take a broad overview of a client's business, we can see opportunities that other tax consultants might miss.Tax services that are proactive, so you don't miss a beat

At RSM Australia, we believe tax planning is a year-round concern.

Yes, we're sticklers about deadlines and compliance, but our larger goal is tax solutions. Tax issues don't begin and end with tax returns, so we keep a constant eye on your company's overall obligations. We alert you to any changes that may affect you and help you to respond in a timely way. Our proactive approach to taxes sets us apart.

In addition to providing ongoing advice, we offer a number of specific tax services:

Income tax consulting

Tax advice isn’t a one size fits all solution which is why we take an integrated approach. Through our income tax planning and consulting, we’ll look at tax consolidation involving formation or acquisition of groups and any debt or equity issues your business may have.

Human resource tax solutions

A service that is used widely across many businesses, at RSM Australia we understand that a company is only as good as the people behind it. Through providing human resource tax solutions, you can ensure your business is attracting and incentivising the right employees.

Tax compliance

Ensure you are compliant with corporate laws by enlisting the taxation services of RSM Australia. Our 360-degree approach to tax compliance means you’ll never miss an important deadline as well as reducing the risk of your organisation being hit with unexpected penalties or additional tax.

International tax

If your business is trading or dealing internationally, you will need to rely on a firm that can help you understand how your business, its cash and any cross border transactions will be affected. Take the stress away and let RSM Australia handle your international tax planning needs.

See how the expert team at RSM Australia can help your business and find out more about our taxation services by contacting the team today.

 

Federal Budget implications for the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive

Federal Budget implications for the R&D Tax Incentive

The Australian Federal Budget was handed down on 6 October 2020, and outlined various economic stimulus measures with the intent to support Australia’s economic recovery through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Webinar: JobKeeper 2.0 - What you need to know | 14 October 2020

There has been significant changes to the JobKeeper payments in the last few months.

New Queensland Stamp Duty Exemption for Eligible Small Business Restructures

On 9 October 2020, the Queensland Office of State Revenue (OSR) released Public Ruling DA000.16.1 (the Ruling), which introduces an exemption from duty for certain transactions relating to small business restructures.
Space: The final frontier for GST?

Space: The final frontier for GST?

The Technology and Innovation team at RSM share practical GST insights from within the developing Australian Space Industry. Goods and services tax (GST) in Space - is the supply of new and developing technology taxable?

Federal Budget 2020-21: Opposition response

The Federal Government’s platform, as emphasised throughout Treasurer Frydenberg’s Budget Address on Tuesday 6 October 2020, was clearly about developing a business lead recovery plan to ‘kick start’ the economy and bring Australia out of its first recession in 30 years. 

What the 2020-21 Western Australian state budget means for you and your business

Keeping Western Australians safe and creating jobs was the stated major focus of the WA State Budget that has forecast a modest surplus. 
ATO

Connecting with the ATO via the Business Portal

One of the greatest initiatives rolled out by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) would be the creation of the Tax Agent Portal.

Webinar: Federal Budget Update | 7 October 2020

In a year of unexpected challenges and changes, the delay in the release of the Federal Budget to October is yet another first.
banking products

GST treatment for banking products released

For a number of years, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been revisiting long-held formal and informal positions it has taken with respect to the GST treatment of a range of banking products and financial services. 
Hybrid Mismatch Amendments

Hybrid Mismatch Amendments

Important technical amendments clarifying the operation of Australia’s hybrid mismatch rules received Royal Assent on 3 September 2020. Background
Rental Properties

Rental properties: An ATO hotspot

Rental properties are a great investment to help build off farm assets, which can be used later in life as part of a great succession plan. In the meantime, you can enjoy earning a bit of off farm income and perhaps claiming a few deductions along the way, but it’s important to know what you can claim and how much you can claim.

JobKeeper V2.0 - complexity redefined

The long-awaited legislative instrument setting out the key amendments to the JobKeeper scheme to take effect from 28 September 2020, dubbed JobKeeper V2.0, has been registered by Treasury.

Victorian government business survival and adaptation package

Following the release of its Roadmap to ‘COVID Normal’ on 6 September 2020, the Victorian Government recently announced $3 bn of financial support for Victorian Businesses. 
LinkedIn advertising

LinkedIn advertising changes for contractors

Recent decisions reached by the Full Federal Court in FCT v Fortunatow [2020] FCAFC 139 have put a spotlight on the ‘unrelated clients test’ for contractors providing personal services.

Case Study: Urban.io

Urban.io provides a turnkey Industrial IoT solution for remote data acquisition from your buildings into your business systems.
Fringe Benefits Tax

Fringe Benefits Tax in a COVID-19 world

The ATO have recently updated the guidance published on their website on the treatment of the provision of certain Fringe Benefits to employees, in light of the current pandemic. Two of the key items covered are:

ATO reverses JobKeeper position on calculation of turnover

Further to our article on 31 August 2020, the ATO have now reversed their position on the inclusion of JobKeeper income in the calculation of aggregated turnover. It has been confirmed that JobKeeper payments will not be included in calculating aggregated turnover.
New JobKeeper 2.0 legislation has been passed by Parliament

JobKeeper 2.0 legislation passed

Legislation has been passed by Parliament extending the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme until 28 March 2021. The current JobKeeper rules will cease to have effect from 28 September 2020.
What deductions can you claim when working from home?

Claiming deductions for working from home - with a twist

Many of us have been working from home recently and are continuing to adopt hybrid versions of working between the office and the home.

JobKeeper Income – Wolf in sheep’s clothing?

ATO reverses opinion on JobKeeper and calculation of turnover. Click here for the update.
interest-free loans

Interest-free loans - New draft ATO guidance released

The ATO has published much-awaited guidance in relation to outbound interest-free loans - which it has released for comment in Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2017/4 DC2.
employee underpayments

The case of employee underpayments

Several large companies, including Westpac, Woolworths, Bunnings, and the Commonwealth Bank, have made front-page headlines for employee underpayments.
Arm's length debt test

Arm’s length debt test – New ATO position finalised

The ATO has simultaneously published two documents which now represent the ATO’s views on the application of the arm’s length debt test (“ALDT”) in determining borrowing capacity.
Rental property FAQ's and common issues tackled

Rental property FAQ's and common issues tackled

During these uncertain times of COVID-19, some clients have used the time to assess their finances and plans for the future.
COVID-19 Lessons for Primary Producers

COVID-19 Lessons for Primary Producers

The COVID-19 Pandemic has presented great challenges across the globe and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future as governments tread a fine line between the very real public health concerns and trying to jumpstart faltering economies.

Urgent action required by employers | JobKeeper Update

The government has introduced further changes to the JobKeeper Payment, designed to include as many employees as possible.
asset write-off

Second opportunity - asset write-off extension

The recent extension of the $150,000 instant asset write-off threshold to 31 December 2020 has given business entities with a turnover of under $500m a second opportunity to access significant tax savings when purchasing equipment.
The transformational joint venture Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project will bring together Sheffield Resources and Yansteel

RSM Australia brings together Sheffield Resources and Yansteel in joint venture

RSM Australia brings together Sheffield Resources and Yansteel in a transformational joint venture for the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project.

Changes to JobKeeper – what do employers need to do now?

With all the changes the Australian government announced around the JobKeeper extension (JobKeeper 2.0 and 2.1), there has been some confusion around the Government changing the employee eligibility date from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020. 

JobKeeper 2.1 - Treasury announces further changes to JobKeeper payment

In response to the significant impact of coronavirus restrictions on business owners in Victoria, and likely impacts to follow in NSW, Treasury has announced further changes to the JobKeeper V2.0 proposals originally announced in July.
Accounting for government assistance during COVID-19

COVID-19 Financial Reporting: Accounting for government assistance

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a serious impact on the economic environment, governments continue to provide different forms of assistance to affected entities.

GST and tax governance back on the agenda for boards and management

Release of ATO’s new “GST Governance, Data Testing and Transaction Testing Guide” Summary
Taxation Determination

Taxation Determination TD 2020/D1 release creates issues

In a move that is sure to cause headaches for companies claiming the R&D Tax incentive, the ATO published draft Taxation Determination TD 2020/D1 Income tax: notional deductio
changes in tax rates

Accounting for changes in tax rates

Corporate Tax rates for smaller Australian companies are set to fall over the next few years. How should the changes in tax rates be reflected in financial statements?
RSM’s multidisciplinary Family Law Support team are experts in untangling the financial web in family law matters.

Case Study: Untangling the financial web

Understanding financial statements and their underlying supporting documents can feel like interpreting a foreign language, but they contain a wealth of important information for property settlements.

Webinar: Australian R&D Tax Incentive | China Practice Group | 28 July 2020

The China Practice Group hosted the Australian R&D Tax Incentive webinar exclusively for members of the China Chamber of Commerce in Australia (CCCA Sydney branch).
JobTrainer

JobTrainer- help for apprentices and trainees

On the 16th of July, the government announced an investment of $2 bn in a bid to help people get into work post the
With new changes to the JobKeeper program, what does it mean for business owners?

New announcement and changes to JobKeeper 2.0 - What it means for business owners

The government has today released more detail surrounding much anticipated changes to the JobKeeper program.
Queensland may offer you ex gratia relief from a land tax liability.

Queensland foreign owner land tax surcharge: Ex gratia relief guidelines

In last year’s State Budget, the Queensland Government unexpectedly announced an immediate 2% surcharge on the Queensland land tax liabilities of foreign companies and trustees of foreign trusts (collectively, “foreign owners”).
What does the future of JobKeeper hold for Australian businesses?

A better approach to JobKeeper?

With speculation rife over the future of the JobKeeper scheme, we explore what has worked with the scheme, what hasn’t and possible changes to the scheme that may be considered when the Treasurer releases his economic update and the results of the Treasury review into the scheme.
 Corporate Tax

OECD's Annual Corporate Tax Statistics Publication

The OECD has released the 2nd edition of its annual Corporate Tax Statistics publication.

Australia adopts OECD 2017 Transfer Pricing Guidelines

Australia’s transfer pricing legislation has now imported the most recent updates to the OECD's Transfer Pricing Guidelines as published on 10 July 2017.
Will your JobKeeper records sustain an ATO review?

JobKeeper - Will your records sustain an ATO review?

The ATO have recently updated their ‘Keeping JobKeeper Fair’ guidance and have provided examples of the type of activity they are targeting when reviewing eligibility.
GST and State Taxes

Reforming GST and State Taxes

If ever there was a topic that tax advisers would agree on, it is that GST and state taxes, such as stamp duty and payroll tax, are in desperate need of reform. In commemorating the 20th anniversary of the implementation of GST, it’s an appropriate to time to reflect on the current state of play for indirect ta
ATO’s assurance initiatives - Top 1,000 Tax Performance Program

ATO’s assurance initiatives - Top 1,000 Tax Performance Program

Established in July 2016, the ATO's Top 1,000 Tax Performance Program is in its fourth year of establishing greater assurance that large public and multinational taxpayer groups are paying their ‘fair share of tax’.
Accounting for changes to AASB 16 Leases

Accounting for changes to AASB 16 Leases

Accounting for COVID-19 related rent concessions and other modifications to lease contracts, from the lessee’s perspective.
Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty

Still Time to Act - Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty

Time is running out to make any voluntary employer superannuation contributions to the ATO, under the Government’s Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty. The deadline for the submission is 7 September 2020, with no further extension possible, under the legislation.
The ATO has released long awaited guidance on Division 7A minimum yearly loan repayments and COVID-19.

Division 7A minimum yearly loan repayments and COVID-19

The ATO has released long-awaited guidance on Division 7A minimum yearly loan repayments and COVID-19. However, given the late release of the guidance and the onerous requirements to be satisfied in the application form it is arguably too little, too late.
June 30

June 30 - The date the gate shuts!

In business and tax world, June 30 is a critical day of the year. In the lead up to this date, there is much planning, strategising, executing, restructuring, implementing and spending. All of this activity is for a good reason, as after June 30 many opportunities are closed for another year.

R&D year end planning during an unprecedented time

In what has been an unprecedented year so far around the world, business and life in Australia have never been more different.
Under the Director Penalty Regime, the Commissioner of Taxation is empowered to make Directors of a company personally liable for specific tax related liabilities of companies they represent.

The ATO Director Penalty Regime

The ‘corporate veil’ separates the rights, obligations and liabilities of a company’s Shareholders / Directors from those of the company itself.
Tax Returns

Employee Home Office Expenses

Due to the spread of COVID-19 and Government lockdown measures, most employees across Australia are relishing in the flexibility of being able to work from home.
The R&D Tax Incentive and Your Business

The R&D Tax Incentive and Your Business

The Research and Development Tax Incentive is a Federal Government initiative to encourage companies to invest in innovation that benefits Australia.
JobKeeper

Jobkeeper deadline - extended again?

A “systems issue” at the ATO’s end on the last day of enrolment caused frustration for entities that tried to log in but were locked out and could not access the portal. 
Scott Morrison has recently announced the introduction of the new HomeBuilder program.

Are you eligible for the new HomeBuilder program?

In an effort to support jobs in the residential construction sector, Scott Morrison has recently announced the introduction of the new HomeBuilder program.
The Federal Government has announced an extension of the instant asset write off to 31 December 2020.

Instant asset write off extended

In an effort to promote further investment by Australian business, the Federal Government has announced an extension of the instant asset write off to 31 December 2020. Legislation is expected to be introduced shortly.
Do you have the evidence ready for a JobKeeper claim review by the Australian Taxation Office?

Do you have the evidence ready for a JobKeeper claim review by the ATO?

The first of June is traditionally the start of winter but, for the tax-minded amongst us, 1 June 2020 also marks the official start of the next phase of the JobKeeper scheme.
As is with the common cliché, the reality is that taxes are still a prevailing issue for everyone despite challenges they may be facing.

Tax planning considerations in a COVID-19 world

In times of crisis, it is normal to overlook certain aspects of life as health and safety become a focus. As is with the common cliché, the reality is that taxes are still a prevailing issue for everyone despite the challenges they may be facing.
JobKeeper

JobKeeper and record keeping – what you need to know about projected GST turnover

JobKeeper payments are now trickling in to give a much-needed boost to the cashflow of eligible businesses which is a cue to remind businesses of the compliance and that it is critical to ensure records are reasonable enough to substantiate any future queries.

JobKeeper and Compulsory Superannuation Guarantee

The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payment and Benefits) Rules 2020 (JobKeeper rules) were registered by the Treasurer on 9 April 2020.

Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive – Explained for 2020/21

The Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) was introduced in 2018 to allow junior mining exploration companies (JMEC) that are undertaking greenfield exploration in Australia, to convert tax losses into exploration credits for investors.
The definition of Significant Global Entity (SGE) has been expanded.

The broadening of Significant Global Entity definition

Broadening of Significant Global Entity definition and the potential impact for Australian entities with Private Equity ownership.
The hidden payroll tax and WorkCover costs of JobKeeper payments that employers need to be aware of.

Employers to beware of hidden payroll tax and WorkCover costs of JobKeeper payments

By and large, the JobKeeper Payment scheme is a much-welcome lifeline for employees and employers alike, especially now that the payments have started to flow. However, from an employer’s point of view, they need to be aware that they may be forced to bear some of the costs of administering the scheme.
JobKeeper

JobKeeper changes for ACNC registered charities

On 1 May 2020, Treasury released amendments to the JobKeeper rules, which have effect from the start of the JobKeeper scheme.
Transfer Pricing

Transfer pricing issues during COVID-19

The adverse impact of COVID-19 on a large number of businesses requires no introductory comment, as their focus turns to survival and cash preservation.
R&D tax claims in the resources and mining sector

Change, risk and opportunity: R&D tax claims in the mining and resources sector

With so much change impacting business, we present a summary for the mining and resource sector highlighting issues that could impact (some positive) their current and future R&D tax claims.
family law

COVID-19 and the impact on EOFY tax and family law

This week Tracey Dunn, our Associate Director of Tax Services, ran a webinar titled Family Law: Tax and the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Latest jobkeeper changes - sovereign entities redefined

On 30 March 2020, the Australian Government announced the JobKeeper payment wage subsidy for entities that have been significantly affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

WA State Government relief for commercial tenants and landlords

Financial Relief – WA Commercial Tenants and Landlords

WA State Government relief for the building and construction industry

Support Package – Building and Construction Industry A $154.5m relief package to support tenants, landlords and the construction industry has been announced, of which the WA Government has set aside $24.5m for the construction workforce.

WA State Government relief for residential tenants and landlords

Financial Relief – WA Residential Tenants and Landlords

A lift in benefit: Recent measures for depreciating assets used for R&D purposes

Over the past 12 months, including due to the COVID-19 economic downturn, a number of measures have been introduced by the Federal Government to provide greater access to tax deductions relating to depreciating assets.

JobKeeper – Service entities, schemes and more complex rules

The legislative instrument setting out the modified rules for service entities, among other things, was registered by Treasury late in the evening on Friday 1 May 2020.
The Substantial Increase in Turnover Test has differing views on how the test may be applied.

Demystifying the substantial increase in turnover test

The legislative instrument and associated guidelines around the alternative decline in turnover tests that can be applied by an entity in order to qualify for the JobKeeper scheme have recently been released.
Potential JobKeeper Payment Implications of COVID-19 transfer pricing issues

COVID-19 and transfer pricing issues: Potential JobKeeper Payment Implications

COVID-19 has had a very adverse impact on the cash flows of many Australian businesses, who will be looking closely at the JobKeeper Payment regime and whether their turnover has declined by the requisite percentage. 
Transfer pricing issues of COVID-19

COVID-19 and transfer pricing issues: Financing

COVID-19 has had a pervasive effect on business and one of the most salient is its impact on a company’s cash flow and funding arrangements.
Overview of State and Territory Government Announcements

Overview of State and Territory Government Announcements

Overview of State and Territory Government Announcements. See below a summary of State tax measures.

Calculating GST turnover for the JobKeeper Payment scheme

Calculating GST turnover for the JobKeeper Payment scheme – cash, accruals, or something else?  One of the critical aspects for an employer to consider and satisfy as part of the JobKeeper Payment Scheme is whether it has satisfied the decline in turnover test. 
Land tax relief for landlords and tenants has just been released

Land tax relief for landlords and tenants

Land tax relief for landlords and tenants following the release of the Mandatory Code of Conduct The National Cabinet recently signed off on the Mandatory Code of Conduct (“the Code”) for commercial landlords and tenants, which included a set of “good faith leasing principles”. 

Case Study: Six8 Pty Ltd

Six8 is one of the new and unique players in the sharing economy space with the vision to make live music accessible for everyone.

Webinar: Fringe Benefits Tax Update | 28 April 2020

While current circumstances continue to yield uncertainty, one thing we can be sure about is the impending fringe benefits tax deadline. 

Important changes to the JobKeeper Program

The Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg has announced the government will make further changes to the JobKeeper payment rules.  We summarise the changes below and will provide further updates when they come to hand.  

JobKeeper Payment - new ways to prove decline in turnover

The Commissioner of Taxation (the Commissioner) has now issued the much-anticipated legislative instrument setting out the alternative decline in turnover tests that can be applied by an entity as part of satisfying the eligibility criteria for the JobKeeper payment scheme.  
JobKeeper payment enrolment applications have now opened.

The JobKeeper payment for your SME business

Enrolment applications for the JobKeeper payment have now opened and for many business owners, the program will provide a much needed lifeline.

Assisting commercial tenants with the impact of COVID-19

With the recent release of the Mandatory Code of Conduct (the Code) governing commercial leasing arrangements, landlords and their tenants are required to engage in good faith negotiations in respect of rental reductions in the form of waivers and deferrals to help mitigate the financial stress and hardship s

Assisting commercial landlords with the impact of COVID-19

With the recent release of the Mandatory Code of Conduct (the Code) governing commercial leasing arrangements, landlords and their tenants are required to engage in good-faith negotiations in respect of rental reductions in the form of rent waivers and deferrals to help mitigate the financial stress and hardsh

Increasing instant asset write-off to items under $150,000

RSM is pleased to provide this information sheet with details of the increased instant asset write-off available to small and medium-sized businesses.
Emergency Cash Grants for VIC small businesses

Emergency Cash Grants for VIC small businesses

On 21 March 2020, the Victorian (VIC) State Government announced a one-off $10,000 emergency cash grant for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Emergency Cash Grants for NSW small businesses

Emergency Cash Grants for NSW small businesses

On 3 April 2020, the New South Wales (NSW) State Government announced a one-off $10,000 emergency cash grant for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

New announcements to the 'JobKeeper Payments'

In recent days, the Federal Government has made updates to the JobKeeper payment Fact Sheet, providing clarity surrounding eligibility for certain individuals and consolidated groups, and extending the eligibility criteria for eligible charities.

Cash flow options for Optometry Practices

These are unprecedented times for optometry practices across Australia. One thing is certain: the far-reaching economic impact of COVID-19 is having a significant impact on optometry practice cash flow. What options are available to optometrists to help their businesses survive in these difficult times?
Greig’s deduction allowed; but will this be the final judgment?

Greig’s deduction allowed; but will this be the final judgment?

Early in March 2020, the Full Federal Court handed down a decision in Greig v Commissioner of Taxation [2020] FCAFC25 (Greig’s Case), which was a reversal of the Fede
Has coronavirus impacted the R&D Tax Incentive – what claimants need to know

Has coronavirus impacted the R&D Tax Incentive – what claimants need to know

The short answer is, not much. While COVID-19 wreaks havoc on humankind and the economy alike, the R&D incentive may just be the silver lining in a coronavirus shaped cloud.
VIC State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

VIC State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

*This page was last updated on 30 March. For more information, click here.

Family Law Property Settlements – potential impact of COVID-19

Valuations for Family Law property settlements. Valuations are prepared as at a specific date based on circumstances and financial information known at that point, so it’s possible that valuations prepared a month ago or more may no longer be relevant - particularly for sectors which have been impacted more severely than others b

Show me the money - integrity measures advise a cautious approach to stimulus packages

The Omnibus Bill 2020, covering both Government Coronavirus Economic Response Packages, has received royal assent and is now law. While this will become an accountant’s bible at a time where people are seeking instant cash flow, it is advised that advisers proceed with caution.
SA State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

SA State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

*This page was last updated on 27 March. For more information, click here.

The Moreton Resources Case - R&D tax incentive in Australia

The Moreton Resources Case – Finally certainty amongst the uncertainty for the R&D tax incentive in Australia, but only if you know how to find it.  
Impact of COVID-19 on Small and Medium Size Businesses (SMEs)

Impact of COVID-19 on Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMEs)

Enhanced instant asset write-off Immediate deduction for eligible assets1 costing less than $150,000 (excluding GST credits) first used or installed ready for use between 12 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
COVID-19 – Decisive and proactive action

COVID-19 – Proactive steps to protect your business

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a once in a 100-year event with a sudden and significant impact, prompting a financial crisis in markets and businesses across the world. The global nature of the crisis means that supply chains are disrupted, while revenue in many industries has collapsed. 
ACT State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

ACT State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

*This page was last updated on 23 March. For more information, click here.
TAS State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

TAS State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

*This page was last updated on 18 March. For more information, click here.
QLD State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

QLD State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

*This page was last updated on 18 March. For more information, click here.
New South Wales State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package - what you need to know

NSW State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package - what you need to know

*This page was last updated on 18 March. For more information, click here.
WA State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

WA State Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package – What you need to know

*This page was last updated on 17 March. For more information, click here.
Employee Share Trust

Employee Share Trust - ATO Provides Guidance on Definition

You’re the CFO of an ASX listed company that has established an Employee Share Trust (EST). The EST has been setup in order to hold shares or rights to shares for the company’s employees who participate in an Employee Share Scheme (ESS).
State governments recognising need for tax relief during natural disasters

State governments unveil tax relief during natural disasters

The oft-quoted maxim is that the art of tax is to pluck the goose so as to maximise the amount of feathers but minimise the amount of hissing.  
Fringe benefits Tax

Fringe Benefits Tax - Tips and Traps for the 2020 FBT year

With most employers now using Single Touch Payroll (STP), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has access to real-time information about employers and their employees.  

Active Asset? Small Business CGT Concessions characterised by ‘use’

On 20 December 2019, the Federal Court handed down its decision in the case of Commissioner of Taxation v Eichmann [2019] FCA 2155. The case considered the meaning of an ‘active asset’ for the purposes of the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions.

Meet our two new Principals and Associate Director

In January 2020, our senior leadership team grew by 11. This included eight new directors, two principals and an associate director. We spoke to our new principals and associate director to get to know them and learn about their hobbies outside of the accounting world - also check out their fun facts!

Directors beware – lifting the company veil for GST and other indirect taxes

Generally, the unpaid debts of a company are not recoverable against the company’s directors.
Indirect Tax

RSM Australia appoints Sam Mohammad as national head of indirect tax practice

RSM Australia (RSM), one of the largest mid-tier accounting firms in Australia, has announced the appointment of Sam Mohammad as national head of its indirect tax practice.
Superannuation Guarantee (SG) Amnesty Passes Parliament

Superannuation Guarantee (SG) Amnesty Passes Parliament

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019 has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and now awaits Royal Assent. 

Some relief for bushfire affected taxpayers holding vacant land

In late 2019 we wrote about the impact of Treasury Laws Amendment 2019 Tax Integrity and Other Measures No 1 Bill 2019 on farmers holding vacant land.

A super second chance for tax deductions

When it comes to tax matters we plan and often rush madly to put things in place by the end of the financial year. If we don’t it’s usually a missed opportunity that has passed never to return, leaving us to bemoan “If I could turn back time”.

Beware of purchasing Victorian residential land in a trust

The Victorian Duties Act 2000 imposes a stamp duty surcharge of 8% on the acquisition of Victorian residential property by a foreign purchaser. This surcharge brings the top stamp duty rate to 13.5%.

TA 2020/1 - Intangibles: Is your remuneration correct?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released its first Taxpayer Alert of the decade in TA 2020/1, which identifies two principal concerns regarding intangibles:

R&D tax update | what you need to know in 2020

30 April 2020 Deadline Approaching A general reminder for year-ended 30 June 2019 companies planning on accessing the R&D Tax Incentive program that you must lodge your R&D Application Form with AusIndustry within ten (10) months of the relevant financial year-end.

Changes may see Aussie expats taxed on disposal of their Australian home

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Bill 2019 (the Bill) was re-introduced to the House of Representative on 23 October 2019 despite widespread criticism of the retrospective nature of the legislation and unresolved issues surrounding the impact on certain Australian residents. 

Western Australian payroll tax thresholds to increase

On 28 November 2019, the Payroll Tax Assessment Amendment (Thresholds) Bill 2019 (“the Bill”) was introduced to the Legislative Assembly.

Employee parking could cost you FBT

The November release of Draft Ruling TR2019/D5 (the draft ruling) may prove to be a cause of concern for employers.

Deductibility of labour costs related to the construction or creation of assets

Draft Tax Ruling TR 2019/D6 explains the Commissioner’s views as to when labour costs relating to the construction or creation of an asset is deductible for tax purposes under section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Tax Act). 

Private groups on notice – the Tax Avoidance Taskforce is coming

Born out of various anti-avoidance reforms announced in the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) established a Tax Avoidance Taskforce to pursue tax avoidance activities of multinationals and high wealth individuals. 

Changes to the Thin Capitalisation Legislation

In a response to concerns raised around asset revaluations for the purpose of calculating an entity’s thin capitalisation ratio, the Government announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget that they would be proposing legislation to tighten the Thin Capitalisation rules.

Working holiday maker or Australian Tax Discrimination?

On 30 October 2019, the Federal Court handed down judgment in Addy v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 1768.

Grain Marketing - A Tax Guide for Common Grain Contracts

Harvest in the West Australian wheatbelt is well and truly here, we think you (the hard-working farmers) all deserve a cold beer.

Screws tightened on the taxation of Testamentary Trusts

Testamentary Trusts (trusts created under the effect of a will) have provided both control and tax advantages for many years.

'Exempt' Motor Vehicles Caught Under Fringe Benefits Tax

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) arises when an employer provides a benefit to an employee (including Directors) in place of salary or wages and may include the provision of a benefit to an employee’s associate.  

Farmers set to lose tax deductions for vacant land

Farmers are set to lose tax deductions for vacant land – despite calls to Government to change the proposed legislation. The Government provided assurances “…farmers will be fully protected from any unintended consequences of the bill”. 

Reportable Tax Position (RTP) Schedule for Private Companies Delayed

After a brief consultation period on the expansion of the Reportable Tax Position (RTP) Schedule to include private companies, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has deferred the commencement of these measures until the 2021 financial year.
Australia individual tax residency rulesp

The Harding Case | Australia individual tax residency rules

Australia’s individual tax residency rules have been a subject of debate for many years, with numerous calls for change.

Superannuation Legislation for High Income Earners

The Government has passed superannuation legislation for high income earners (with income exceeding $263,157 per annum) which allows employees with more than one job to choose not to have the 9.5% superannuation guarantee paid by all their employers.

Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty - A case of deja vu

On Wednesday 18 September 2019, the Assistant Treasurer, Mr. Michael Sukkar, introduced an unexpected but welcome Bill to the House of Representatives. 

Simplified Transfer Pricing Record Keeping (STPRK) options for loan

On 11 September 2019, the ATO released an update to Practical Compliance Guideline (“PCG”) 2017/2, in respect of Simplified Transfer Pricing Record Keeping (“STPRK”) options for lower-risk transactions.

Negative Gearing of Vacant Land - is this the beginning of the end?

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Tax Integrity and Other Measures No. 1) Bill 2019 was introduced to Parliament on 24 July 2019. One significant measure of the Bill is the introduction of proposed legislation to limit deductions for losses or outgoings incurred in relation to holding vacant land.

Accounting for the R&D Tax Incentive

The R&D Tax Incentive has been in place since 2011.  However, uncertainty remains over the appropriate accounting treatment for it in financial statements.  Ralph Martin, RSM’s National Technical Director, considers the matter:

Tax time for individuals

With tax time fast approaching, no doubt there are many individual taxpayers eagerly counting down the days until they can lodge their 2019 Income Tax Return and hopefully receive a much-anticipated tax refund.

Instant asset write-off – what can you claim?

The instant asset write-off is not available for all business assets and determining which assets are eligible may pose a challenge for many small and medium-sized business owners (SME) and their advisers.

What’s on the tax agenda post-election?

The recent Federal Election saw the Coalition led by Scott Morrison returned to government.  While this means that Labor’s controversial tax policies have been put on ice, it’s time to revisit the government’s tax agenda and what this means for you. 

What to consider when tax planning for EOFY

With the end of the financial year looming, it’s time to think about your tax planning options before 30 June hits. We’ve curated a list of top things to focus on when organising your tax affairs for year-end, applicable to businesses, primary producers, trusts and individuals.

State Budget Analysis 2019-20

Here's a closer look at the key changes to come out of the 2019 State Budgets for ACT, VIC, NSW, SA and QLD.  From stamp duty reform to payroll tax changes, our experts determine how these announcements will impact you and your business.

2019-20 Victorian State budget tax analysis

Picking up the pieces after an uncertain 18 months After a somewhat surprising Liberal victory at the Federal Election, the state government has released its 2019-20 Victorian State Budget in the shadows of slumping stamp duty revenue and a forecasted reduction in federal financing. 

Will Labor overcomplicate our already complicated tax environment?

Overwhelmed by the tax rhetoric delivered by the Australian Labor Party (ALP)? You are in the right place. The following commentary breaks down the ALP’s tax implementations and how they impact individuals.  

Australia's hybrid mismatch regime

In response to recommendations by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (‘OECD’) in Action 2 of it's Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (‘BEPS’) initiative in 2015, Australia has now enacted a new hybrid mismatch regime that generally applies to income years commencing on or after 1 January 2019.

2019 Federal Election - Comparison of policies

Ahead of the federal election on 18 May, we compare the policies impacting small business owners, as announced by the two major parties.

When similar is sufficient - new hope for deducting company tax losses

The ability for a company to recoup its prior year tax losses has always been a contentious topic. If a company wishes to recoup its tax losses, it’s required to pass the continuity of ownership test (COT), and failing COT, the same business test (SBT).

Federal opposition shadow budget comparison – Let the campaigning begin!

With the ‘ink’ barely dry on this week’s Federal Budget and an election looming, it is evident that tax policy and economic management is set to be a major factor as the ‘battle lines’ are drawn. 

2019-20 Federal Budget – an economic view

The Government’s 2019-20 budget sees a much-heralded return to budget surplus that has given the Treasurer the financial headroom to craft a budget that both appeals to voters as well as providing fiscal stimulus to an economy that could benefit from a bit of a boost to consumer spending.

Federal Budget 2019-20 Report

The 2019-20 Federal Budget was brought forward from May to 2 April with the unabashed motive of improving the Coalition’s election prospects in May 2019. Roy Morgan’s February 2019 poll puts the ALP at 52.5% and the Coalition at 47.5% of the two party preferred vote.

Proposed Labor negative gearing policies set to compromise the great Australian dream

If the great Australian dream is the purchase of your very own home, then the ability to negatively gear investment properties is an Australian institution. What will become of the Australian way if the Labor party is brave enough to challenge this iconic status quo?

Uncertainty prevails for taxpayers as election looms

As the Australian public await a date announcement for the upcoming Federal Election, uncertainty prevails for many taxpayers as they anticipate the outcome of many unenacted and proposed changes to tax legislation.

Fringe Benefits Tax – Tips and Traps for the 2019 FBT year

With the introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) now has access to real-time information about employers and their employees.   If you have employees, the more likely it is you are providing some form of fringe benefit and the higher the risk the ATO will expect to see you lodge a Fringe Benefits Tax (F

Budget "sweeteners" diminished by downside economic risks

The budget will be an opportunity to provide a suite of sweeteners to voters ahead of the expected May election.

Low wages growth revisited in Federal Budget

The upcoming Federal budget will once again provide the opportunity for the Federal Government to focus on the future needs of the Australian economy.  

Labor's proposed changes to franking credits

With a Federal election looming, now is the time to consider the impact of a Labor government and its proposed tax policies on Australian taxpayers. For corporate entities, a key tax change will be Labor’s proposed roll back of refundable imputation credits which was introduced by the Howard government. 

Instant asset write-off to ‘skip the line’ of legislation in the Senate

Doubt has been raised as to whether the recently announced increase to the Small Business Instant Asset Write-off threshold from $20,000 to $25,000 and effective 29 January 2019 to 30 June 2020 will be passed before the Federal election.  

GST nuances – from the world’s oldest profession to it’s newest

Almost 20 years on from the introduction of GST in Australia by then-Prime Minister John Howard and who’d have thought that robust deliberation on its application continues.

The devil in the detail – have you ‘used’ that mining, quarrying or prospecting right?

While Australia’s tax system rightly supports resource exploration by allowing deductions for depreciating assets first used in exploration, concerns that the deduction was being misused prompted an integrity approach to support genuine exploration.

Proposed R&D tax changes don't stand up to Senate scrutiny

The Senate’s Economics Legislation Committee report was tabled on Monday 11 February and in its collective wisdom, the committee has put on hold proposed changes to the research and development (R&D) tax incentive.

Q&A with a tax concierge: Steve Healey

 It was 1995 when Daniel Goleman suggested to the world that emotional intelligence matters twice as much in the workplace over IQ or technical expertise.

ATO broadens Reportable Tax Position lodgement requirements

In the quiet of the first week of February, as Australia is getting back to work after the holiday period, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced sweeping changes to its Reportable Tax Position (RTP) Schedule criteria. 

Changes to Capital Gains Tax exemption for foreign residents

Controversial legislation enabling the removal of the capital gains tax (CGT) main residence exemption for foreign residents was originally scheduled for debate in the Senate on 16 October 2018. 

Single Touch Payroll Reporting – Clarity for small employers?

After considerable delays in the Senate, small employers now have some clarity surrounding the implementation date for Single Touch Payroll reporting (“STP”).  The Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 1) Bill 2017 was passed by the Senate on Wednesday 5 December 2018 with a proposed amendment.

How businesses can avoid being caught off-guard by payroll tax

Following high-profile cases of businesses failing to adequately pay their workers, some of those same businesses are being investigated for failing to pay their state payroll tax.

Bridging the governance gap

Having worked with companies to implement tax governance frameworks for over 15 years, I’m seeing the first signs that tax governance is truly going mainstream.

Why franchisees have to be proactive when it comes to payroll

Franchisees usually get a lot of help from franchisors when it comes to marketing, branding, and daily operations. One area where some franchisees seem to be left out in the cold is in managing payroll.

New black economy measures target withholding obligations and tax deductions

An extra layer of complexity is added for small businesses as new measures to tighten grip on the black economy targets withholding obligations and tax deduction.

Labor party updates policy - implications for negative gearing and CGT

Implications for negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions

Division 7A or Doomsday

Treasury Releases Consultation Paper

Satyam Computer Services v ATO: international tax war intensifies

Satyam Computer Services has returned to the Australian Courts to again contest Australia’s taxing rights over fees paid by Australian customers for IT/technical services performed by Satyam employees based in India.

Corporate tax rates – what lies beneath, a set of steak knives perhaps?

A joint media release by PM Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announces more changes to corporate tax rates.

Australia takes the next step to taxing the digital economy

The Australian Treasury released a discussion paper in early October 2018 to inform a consultation about whether, and if so, how Australia could introduce an ‘interim measure’ to tax sectors of the digital economy. 

Understanding the instant asset write-off for farmers and small business

Australian business owners rejoice – legislation extending the well regarded instant asset write-off program has been passed. 

Payment of employee bonuses

Recognising the hard work of employees is important to ensure morale remains high in the workplace and that quality workers are retained in your business. One of the easiest ways to reward employee excellence is through the payment of employee bonuses. 

ATO denies deduction: The case for critical comparisons when establishing precedent

When landmark ATO cases come to mind there is no doubt that the decision handed down by the High Court in FCT v Myer Emporium Ltd (1987) 18 ATR 693 (Myer) would make the top ten.

What foreign owners of residential property need to know about lodging their annual return

In late 2017, the Australian Federal Government introduced an annual vacancy fee to be levied on  foreign owners of residential property, where the property is not occupied or generally available on the rental market for at least 6 months in a 12 month period. 

How the PM’s defeat impacts corporate tax rates

Following the proposal for reduced tax rates for corporate entities in 2016, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan No 2) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was ultimately defeated in the Senate on 23 August 2018 by a vote of 36 to 30. 

Foreign incorporated companies and changes to the tax ruling - What you need to know.

Most will remember the 2016 High Court ruling in the case of Bywater Investments Limited.

Reduced corporate tax rates - what rate of tax will my company pay?

While the legislation is transitioning, some have been left confused about the application of reduced corporate tax rates and the details of eligibility criteria during this state of limbo. To provide some clarity, we take a closer look.

Fringe Benefits Tax – ATO finalise their position on private use of vehicles.

New guidelines for private use exemptions of eligible motor vehicles for Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) - ATO says yes to making a quick stop to grab a coffee (as long as it doesn’t add more than 2kms to your trip to work and is infrequent) but no to heading to cricket practice after work. 

R&D Tax Incentive Reform - Call for submissions

R&D tax reforms, as announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, are steps closer to implementation with the Treasurer and Minister for Jobs and Innovation releasing draft legislation proposed to enact the changes. 

New GST withholding rules - what property purchasers and developers need to know

The Federal Government has passed legislation that will require purchasers of new residential properties to remit the GST directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as part of settlement. The measures were first announced in last year’s Federal Budget. The legislation specifies: 

Budget falters on R&D tax (and how this impacts startups)

It’s the third budget handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison and for those of us in the innovation space, a whole lot to digest. After poring over the detail, I’ve created a summary of notable items for your reading pleasure (disclaimer: it’s not all pleasant).

Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive - Get in quick!

The Exploration Development Incentive (EDI) was replaced by the Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) for the 2018 to 2021 years. JMEI applications for the 2019 year must be electronically submitted between 1 June and 30 June 2018.

R&D tax due diligence important for SMSF investors

With the leading businesses in the world now being technology and intellectual property-based rather than physical asset-based businesses, investors are looking more proactively for early-stage companies that have similar characteristics.

Fringe Benefits Tax  – ATO Focus Areas

With Fringe Benefits Tax (“FBT”) returns due for lodgement in May, the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) has highlighted common FBT errors that may attract further scrutiny.

Are you missing out on tax incentives?

If you’re the owner of a company that, unbeknown to you, conducts research and development (R&D) which could qualify for tax incentives – to the tune of 45 cents for every dollar spent – now’s the time to explore how much tax money you might be leaving on the table.

ATO extends lodgement date for Country-by-Country Reporting

The Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) announced this week an extension of the due date for lodgement of the Country-by-Country report, master file and local file (collectively “CbCR”), from 31 December 2017 to 15 February 2018 for taxpayers with an income year ended on 31 December 2016.

New GST Legislation released - Developers and Home Builders beware

On 6 November 2017, Treasury published an Exposure Draft of legislation that will require purchasers of new residential premises and lots in new residential subdivisions to pay an amount equal 1/11th of the

Will passive income affect your entitlement to be taxed at 27.5%?

The Parliament recently introduced legislation that seeks to tax corporate entities at the full 30% tax rate where more than 80% of the company’s income for the year is base rate passive income.   A recap of the current law

Long-term construction contract ruling | Draft ruling issued

In 1987, Aretha Franklin finally got the respect she deserved by being the first woman inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Also that same year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released Income Tax Ruling IT 2450 to determine how to return income and recognise expenses on long-term construction contracts.

Is the ATO watching you and you don’t even know it?

The ATO is always keen to ensure that the tax system is fair and that all Australian taxpayers are paying the right amount of tax on their income.

Western Australian State Budget Announcement

A budget for Western Australians to be owned by Western Australians. This was the line the State Treasurer used as he released his first State Budget in office.  

Corporate Tax Rate reductions and the impact on shareholders

In the 2016–17 Budget, the Government announced its intention to reduce the corporate tax rate from 30% to 25% by the 2026-27 income year.  These changes were outlined in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill and after minor amendments by the Senate, received Royal Assent on 19 May 2017.

Government Crackdown on Rental Property Deductions

The Government announced in the 2017 Federal Budget that it would be making changes to the legislation regarding Rental Property Deductions under the guise of “reducing pressure on housing affordability”.

Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding Tax

The Federal Government recently announced changes to the Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding (“FRCGW”) rate and threshold.  The changes will apply to all contracts entered into from 1 July 2017 and include:

OECD releases revised Transfer Pricing Guidelines

On 10 July 2017, the OECD released its revised OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations  in order to formally incorporate the most significant body of work ever undertaken by the OECD and its member (and indeed some non-member) countries regarding harmful international tax practices – the Base

What are the GST implications of Retentions and Bank Guarantees?

While there have been no recent changes in this area, it is worth re-visiting as we have had a couple of queries on regarding Retentions and Bank Guarantees.

Should your SME start making R&D tax claims? | R&D Tax Incentive

In light of the disproportionate number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lodging annual R&D Tax Incentive claims, there’s never been a better time for non-participating SMEs to consider their options, urges Dr Richard Wraith R&D Tax Principal with RSM Australia.

New 12.5 percent withholding tax on property transactions

To ensure Australia captures as much tax as possible from property transactions a new withholding tax has been introduced and will apply to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2017. Under the new provisions where a foreign resident disposes of:

Signing the Multilateral Instrument

What happens if you threw a party and the guest of honour did not turn up? The international aspects of the G20/OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project will become a reality at a treaty signing ceremony to be held in Paris, on 7 June 2017. 

Chevron Australia’s transfer pricing fight to go (at least) another round

Chevron Australia has lodged the necessary paperwork with the Australian High Court registry, to apply for special leave to appeal against the Full Federal Court’s decision, in the long running and ground breaking transfer pricing litigation.

ATO releases draft transfer pricing guidance on international related party financing arrangements

On 16 May 2017, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued in draft form a Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG 2017/D4) outlining its proposed compliance approach to the transfer pricing implications arising from cross border ‘related party financing arrangements’ (RPFAs). 

Australian GST: low value threshold (LVT) changes a step closer

With a low value threshold (LVT) set at AUD$1,000, Australia has been very much at the ‘generous’ end of the global spectrum of GST-free imported goods, to the benefit of Australian consumers and the chagrin of Australian retailers.

The arguments and the Court's decision

Australia wins gold in the international transfer pricing games The Commissioner’s arguments The Commissioner made determinations under both Division 13 and Subdivision 815-A, totalling approximately A$340m, based on his view that:

Detailed discussion of the facts

Australia wins gold in the international transfer pricing games The facts

Australia wins gold in the international transfer pricing games

Australia has shot to international prominence in the transfer pricing world following the Full Federal Court’s recent decision, dismissing the taxpayer’s appeal against the first instance decision in favour of the Australian Tax Office (ATO): Chevron Australia Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCAFC 62

Individuals

The 2% budget deficit levy on incomes over $180,000 will not be extended beyond its initial three years.  The levy will cease at the end of the 2016-17 year. The Medicare Levy will increase by 0.5% to 2.5% from 1 July 2019.

Federal Budget 2017-18

The Rocky Horror Budget: “It’s just a jump to the left, and a step to the right.” Credit Dr Frank N Furter

Government announces changes to 457 visa

Temporary Employer Skilled Migration Programme – 457 visa to be replaced

Fringe Benefits Tax Spotlight

Customer Loyalty Programs Do you provide employees with a business credit card associated with a customer loyalty program? 

Increase of the Small Business Entity Turnover to $10m

The Government has announced that it will accept changes made by the Senate to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016. The Bill will likely be passed by the House of Representatives in the next parliamentary session.

Employee or Contractor - Busting the Myths

Determining whether your worker is an employee or a contractor is a complicated issue and one that in which business owners often make mistakes.

Small business tax cuts pass Parliament, but no relief for larger corporates

On Friday 31 March 2017, following an extended sitting of the Australian Senate, the Government achieved another political victory in the face of the brinksmanship which passes for the current Parliamentary process; a deal was struck with the Senate crossbench to pass a watered down version of the Government’s key economic policy initiative –the reduction of the c

Australia’s Diverted Profits Tax now a reality

The Bill introducing Australia’s version of the Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) completed its passage through the Parliamentary process on Monday, 27 March 2017, and now awaits Royal Assent before becoming law.

Software Based R&D Claims – Uncertainties From ‘Agile Development’

Recent examples of ‘agile development’ from the R&D Tax Incentive administrator have brought uncertainty to the start-up sector. Taxpayers must be more vigilant than ever in how Software R&D claims are prepared. What Is the R&D Tax Incentive?

Australia broadens the tax ‘resident’ test for foreign incorporated companies

ATO gets a powerful new weapon, as Australia broadens the tax ‘resident’ test for foreign incorporated companies. ATO issues draft ruling on central management and control (CM&C) of foreign incorporated companies.

Deductions for Mining & Petroleum Exploration Expenditure

The Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) have recently issued Taxation Ruling TR 2017/1 to provide guidance on the application of both section 8-1 and section 40-730 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (“ITAA1997”). 

ATO alert sparks concern for software development R&D Tax Incentives (TA2017/5)

The recent alert issued by the ATO (TA2017/5), has raised some fears and concerns among innovators in established technology firms  as well as the start-up community.  

Making sense of eligible Research and Development tax incentives

Does your company conducts Research & Development (R&D)? Did you know: you may qualify for tax incentives (45 cents per $1 spent!) View our tax concession examples.  

Payroll Tax and Medical Practices - a Potential Game Changer

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Winday International Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue has found that radiologists working at an imaging facility were employees of the facility provider for payroll tax purposes under the “employment agent” provisions.

Fuel tax vs road user charge - what has history taught us?

This a story in two parts. The first is the history of this plan, the second the (longer) history of the Fuel Tax scheme.

Fringe Benefits Tax – Simplified Approach to Log-Books

The ATO have taken steps to lessen the administrative burden for employers with a fleet of more than 20 cars with the release on 19 October 2016 of Practical Compliance Guideline 2016/10.  

Australian GST: Compliance savings for non-residents

Australia has been hastening slowly to reduce the GST compliance burden on non-residents, and after 6 years of ‘deliberation’, the measures finally came into effect on 1 October 2016.

Tax Insight: Tech Mahindra Ltd - An Equine Trilogy

When you are on a good thing, stick to it – never look a gift horse in the mouth and never change horses in mid-stream.

So you think you can restructure?

The government recently introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016 which will seek to increase the aggregated turnover threshold for access to most small business tax concessions to $10m (previously $2m).

The government’s enterprising tax plan

The Coalition Government has recently introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016 into Parliament which will increase the aggregated turnover threshold to small business tax concessions from $2m to $10m. 

1.5% Cuts to the R&D Tax Incentive in the Omnibus Bill

The Omnibus Bill passed by parliament has cut the rates available under the Refundable and Non-Refundable R&D Tax Offsets by 1.5% for the first $100m of eligible expenditure.
Local firm merges with our RSM Wagga Wagga office

RSM Wagga Wagga Merges with Local Firm

It’s a time of growth for the local Wagga Wagga office of RSM Australia, who is merging with JP Pallister & Associates as of 1 July 2016.

Tax planning 2016

As it is coming close to the end of the financial year, it is again time to review your tax position and consider your end of year tax planning options.

Budget 2016 - Corporate Tax Rates

Income Year Annual Aggregated Turnover Thresholds Rate 2016/17

Budget 2016 - Summary of tax rates and thresholds for individuals

Resident taxpayers The current 2015/16 tax rates (including the 2% temporary budget deficit levy, but excluding the 2% Medicare levy) are: 2015/16 Income Year

Budget 2016 for International Businesses

Key announcements The Government has announced it will strengthen the anti-avoidance measures for multinationals recently legislated and previously announced in the 2015/16 Federal Budget by introducing the following additional measures:

Budget 2016 for Corporations

Cuts to Company Tax Rate The company tax rate will be reduced to 25% over the next 10 years. The company tax rate will be progressively reduced to 25% between the 2016/17 and 2026/27 income years.

Tax Reform Discussion and a State Income Tax

This issue deserves some real consideration. Of course, the devil is in the detail (which we haven’t seen yet) but the concepts are worth looking at. The idea of a State Income Tax does not appear out of nowhere, and it is worth looking briefly at the history of this issue.

Industry insight - Milk powder manufacturing

A snapshot of the key statistics and current industry performance in the milk powder manufacturing sector.

Corporate interest deductions to be reduced?

Issue: News leaks that the Government will further reduce interest deductions for multinational groups. Action: Prepare for the worst, but perhaps with a reduced company tax rate to soften the blow?

Taking a bite out of new FBT meal benefit rules

Are you part of a not-for-profit (NFP) health organisation that offers benefits to its workers in exchange for lower wages? If so, you need to know that the Federal Government has introduced changes to fringe benefit rules from April 1.

Tax Reform – Improving the Building Blocks

Nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and calls for tax reform. When elected in 2013, the Coalition Government promised to deliver a White Paper on tax reform during its first term, which it would use as a tax policy platform to take to the 2016 election.

Where to with the Wine Tax?

Anyone working with the wine tax on a day-to-day basis would agree it is not a simple tax. The basics are straightforward, it is around the edges where it gets difficult. 

NSW payroll tax rebate scheme extended - 23 November deadline

The payroll tax rebate scheme has been extended to 30 June 2019. Payroll tax rebates can be up to $5,000 per employee in situations in which a business’s full time employee numbers have grown and in which new employees are retained for a two year period.

BEPS project final reports released: OECD calls ‘paradigm shift’

Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD, released the 2015 BEPS reports during a global webcast on Monday 5 October 2015.  Consisting of 13 Final Reports and an explanatory statement, the package of measures has been adopted by the OECD Ministerial Council, and must now be adopted by the G20 finance ministers (8 Octo

Company taxpayers: are you ready for the public disclosure of your tax data?

Since tax was first collected, a fundamental feature of tax law has been the unconditional secrecy surrounding taxpayer data. In Australia that position changed in June 2013 when Australia’s tax secrecy laws were amended, directing the ATO to publicly report certain large company tax data.

Multinational anti-avoidance law for real: Australian legislation introduced

In introducing the ‘Combating multinational tax avoidance’ bill to the Australian Parliament on 16 September 2015, the government has taken another unilateral step in its fight against international base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).  The new bill contains three changes, all of which have been the subject of earlier exposure draft legislation.

Employee or independent contractor?

Over the past couple of decades there has been a clear shift away from 'traditional employment' and towards people acting as independent contractors. This is particularly so in the building industry.

National Innovation and Science Agenda

A detailed analysis of what you need to know about Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's highly anticipated $1.1 bn innovation strategy The Federal Government has released its much anticipated Innovation Agenda but what does this mean for business and individuals.  The framework of the government’s innovation policy focuses on four key pillars:

R&D expenditure - is it really incurred?

Last week, the full federal court in Commissioner of Taxation v Desalination Technology Pty Ltd [2015] FCAFC 96 overturned the decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the single judge of the federal court in denying the taxpayer a research and development (R&D) deduction for amounts incurred by an associate party on behalf of the taxpayer.

RSM’s response to Vision for a Science Nation: Australia's future

While the R&D Tax Incentive is one of the effective mechanisms for stimulating innovation in Australia, Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competitiveness can be improved by enhancing and developing new incentives to increase Australia’s investment in innovation, according to RSM.

Foreign ownership of agricultural land register

As you have seen in the media over the past six months, the level of foreign ownership in Australian real property, and in particular agricultural land has been a hot topic of debate.

Tax reform 2016: what’s it all about?

Some in the political media would have us believe Tax Reform 2016 is dead before it starts, and that because Australia currently faces a failure of political leadership – meaningful tax reform is difficult at the best of times, but at present, there simply is not the depth of character, or belief, in Canberra or the state capitals to push through the necessary chan

Managing change at board and executive level

RSM recently held a lunch featuring a panel including Paula Dwyer, Professor Judith Sloan and Fiona McGauchie with Catherine Walter as MC to discuss how to manage change at board and executive level. This is a synopsis of the event.

Australia increases the pressure on multi-national tax avoidance

On 6 August 2015 several further steps were taken in Australia in the move to generate additional tax from multinational corporations.

Tax and your investment property

When purchasing an investment property, the choice of ownership structure is important to ensure you minimise the effects of taxation. Available structures include self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), family or unit trusts and companies, as well as holding the property individually or in joint names.

The 'Netflix' tax: a wing and a prayer

A GST integrity measure announced in the recent federal budget seeks to ensure that there is a level playing field for the suppliers of digital products and services in Australia in relation to the GST.

Employee share scheme (ESS) changes

From 1 July 2015, ESS changes allow taxing points to be deferred and introduce a significant new concession for 'start-up' companies. Tax deferral The maximum period of tax deferral increases from 7 years to 15 years.

Australia introduces a 'Google tax' after all

Snapshot The proposed multinational anti-avoidance tax integrity measure (Australia’s version of the ‘Google tax’) will:

2015-16 budget for research and development

There was minimal content in the Budget that will have an impact on Australian innovation. The following are the relevant key Budget announcements: Crowd funding

2015-16 budget for SMEs

Immediate Deductibility for professional start-up expenses

2015-16 budget for GST

GST and digital service providers A GST integrity measure announced in tonight’s budget seeks to ensure that there is a level playing field for the suppliers of digital products and services in Australia in relation to the GST.

2015-16 budget for corporations

Targeted Anti-avoidance for Multinationals Part IVA and permanent establishments

2015-16 budget for superannuation

Contrary to the announcements made by the Labor Party in April, the government confirmed in the Federal Budget that no tax changes will be made to superannuation this year.

2015-16 budget for individuals

Personal tax rates There will be no change to personal tax rates however the Treasurer has confirmed that the Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 2% which was introduced from the 2015 year will not be extended beyond its initial 2 years.  The levy will cease at the end of the 2016-17 financial year.

New major integrity measures announced ahead of 2015-16 Federal Budget

You call that a diverted profits tax? This is a diverted profits tax… Australia’s Federal Treasurer Joe (‘Crocodile Dundee’) Hockey announced on Monday 11 May 2015 that the Federal Budget will contain two new major integrity measures.

Australia changes horses: drops the ‘Google tax’ option but chases the ‘Starbucks effect’

It is ‘silly season’ in Australia at present – that twilight period ahead of the release of the annual Federal Budget, scheduled this year for Tuesday, 12 May 2015. The media is, as usual, awash with speculation regarding what is ‘hot’ and what is ‘not’ in the world of tax.

New tax rules for earnout arrangements

On 23 April 2015, the government released exposure draft legislation to implement the long awaited changes to the treatment of ‘earnout arrangements’ connected with the sale of a CGT asset (typically shares/units in a company/trust, or the sale of business assets).

What is tax planning?

Often accountants can be heard talking about and encouraging taxation planning to our clients. It is an oft used catchcry in the business world that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’, this may well be an accurate statement, but how much taxation planning and strategy is acceptable before you raise the ire of the ATO? 

WA state tax exemption for charitable bodies or organisations

How will the changes affect your organisation?

International tax update - Australia

Australia is making plenty of noise on the international tax scene at the moment, which is notable given the current state of global tax turmoil. Of present note:

Tax reform 2015 – a background

The Abbott Federal Liberal-National Party Coalition Government was elected in September 2013 on a platform of 'economic repair' which included promises to conduct two related white paper processes leading into the next federal election: a white paper on tax reform, and a white paper on the reform of Australia’s Federation.

Exploration development incentive - should mineral explorers opt in or out?

The Exploration Development Incentive (EDI) was enacted with the passing of the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 7) Act 2014 in March 2015. Mineral explorers will need to determine whether the exploration expenditure they have incurred since 1 July 2014 will qualify for the EDI.

'Stopping multinational tax avoidance': ALP policy launch

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has outlined proposed measures to combat multinational tax avoidance in a 2 March 2015 policy launch.  The proposed measures expect to raise $1.9bn over three years, and comprise:

Fringe benefits tax – tax tips for year end

With 31 March just around the corner, many businesses are focusing on ways to reduce their fringe benefits tax (FBT) liability. We have therefore provided the following strategies that may help in reducing FBT.

Practical applications of BEPS Action 13: transfer pricing documentation and country-by-country (CbC) reporting

The organisation for cconomic co-operation and development launched the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project in September 2013 to develop an action plan to standardize and modernize global tax policy.  This is the second in a series of webcasts offering insight and analysis into how the BEPS initiative might be implemented and the effects of that impleme

Payroll tax update for WA

Payroll tax threshold The Western Australian payroll tax threshold went from $750,000 to $800,000 on 1 July 2014. Plans to raise it to $850,000 have been delayed to 1 July 2016 (at this stage!).

Countdown to tax reform - 2015 Intergenerational Report

Joe Hockey, Australia’s treasurer, released the 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) on Thursday 5 March 2015, and in so doing has taken a step closer to kicking off the stalled tax reform process.

OECD to hold public consultation on several transfer pricing related BEPS action points

On March 19 and 20 the OECD will hold its public consultation on action points 8, 9 and 10 of the base erosion and profit splitting (BEPS) project. Topics on the agenda include:

Base erosion & profit shifting (BEPS) - OECD webcast 12 February 2015

The OECD’s senior tax leadership delivered a rapid-fire 1 hour webinar from Paris on 12 February, 2015.  The presentation provided an update on BEPS development since late 2014, and outlined the (very heavy) 2015 work program as the BEPS project enters its second and final year.

Proposed changes to the taxation of employee share schemes

Following the release of its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda in October 2014, the Federal Government has now released exposure draft legislation proposing changes to the income tax treatment of employee share schemes (ESS). The changes are intended to apply from 1 July 2015.

Legislative developments and progress on transfer pricing documentation

The reformation process of Australia's transfer pricing regime that commenced in November 2011 has continued apace in 2014. 2015 is also likely to be a year of significant change.

Informed and holistic approach needed for GST debate

The recent debate around the broadening of the GST base to include either fresh food versus private health and private education feels a little like introducing bandaids when major and painful surgery is required.

G20 / OECD BEPS project - the end of the beginning ushers in the beginning of the end game

On 5 October 2015, the OECD has announced it will release the final package of measures for a co-ordinated international approach to the reform of the global tax system under the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.