The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more employees working from home than ever before. This, in turn, has resulted in such people being able to claim a range of deductions for various “running expenses” associated with working from home. These expenses include electricity, phone service, cleaning, decline in the value of equipment, furniture and furnishing repairs, and so on. To make things easier, the ATO even provided several “short-cut” options to claim “working from home” expenses (as opposed to claiming the relevant proportion of the actual costs).
Loans for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are available until 31 December 2021 under the Federal Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme. The scheme is designed to support the economic recovery, and to provide continued assistance, to firms that received JobKeeper and also to firms that are eligible flood-affected businesses.
The special circumstances that coronavirus has thrown our way looks like having some very practical outcomes on certain areas of fringe benefits tax. One of the most prevalent and well-established category of fringe benefits centres on the provision and use of vehicles.
The parking of a car, for instance, is a benefit that comes with very specific conditions regarding the taxable values that attract FBT.
A business may no longer be required to lodge single touch payroll (STP) reports for a number of reasons. These are if your business no longer has employees, has ceased trading, has changed structure, is not paying employees for the rest of the year, or has paused due to COVID-19. Depending on your business’s situation and circumstances, what you need to do may be different.
The last Federal Budget carried with it a number of tax changes that were designed to assist the Australian economy recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the changes announced was the temporary re-introduction of the loss carry back rules for corporate tax entities (it was previously briefly in force for 2012-13). The ability to carry a loss backwards simply means that a loss incurred in one year can be, effectively, claimed as a tax deduction in a prior year when tax was paid.
When you first went into business, either buying an established enterprise or starting from scratch, probably the last thing on your mind was the day you would close the door for the last time.
But in a way it’s inevitable, whether through the outcomes from COVID-19, retirement, health reasons or, in a more ideal scenario, pursuing another career. But it’s important for you to know what’s involved when you come to the time when you close your business, as this can go a long way to smoothing the transition.
Scammers never seem to rest, with even the lastest JobKeeper iteration coming in for some scam treatment. In a new update the ATO reports that it is receiving reports of email scams about JobKeeper and backing business investment claims. “The fake emails say we’re investigating your claims. They ask you to provide valuable personal information, including copies of your driver’s licence and Medicare card.”
The extension of the JobKeeper scheme is now based on current GST turnover, not projected turnover. The basic test compares year-on-year turnover. If there were events or circumstances outside the usual business settings that resulted in your relevant comparison period in 2019 (September or December 2019 quarter) not being appropriate, then an alternative test may apply.
Legislation has been put in place to extend the JobKeeper scheme beyond its original sunset date, although the rates of payment and certain other details have been altered. The scheme is now to run until March next year, with one version lasting until 3 January and another version in place from then until 28 March.
The ATO has highlighted the fact that due to COVID-19, a trustee may experience liquidity issues that may affect a trust’s ability to satisfy a beneficiary’s entitlement. This may happen where financial institutions impose restrictions that affect the way a trustee can deal with its assets.