Estate planning is an important part of life – especially if you have a variety of assets in your own name, companies, trusts and/or a superfund. It’s about making sure that the investments you have and make now are passed on to your family or beneficiaries in the most effective way.
Now and then, taxpayers may find themselves in a situation where they simply have no records to back up a tax claim. There can be many reasons for this, such as losing documents when moving home (either paper or electronic), or technology failures that end up with the same result (or at worst even destroy records).
Employers know that popping a champagne cork or two to celebrate the festive season lets staff know their efforts are appreciated, but the well-prepared business owner will also know that a little tax planning can help ensure that it’s not the business that ends up with the FBT hangover.
It can sometimes be the case that spouses can have different main residences at the same time. When this occurs, special CGT rules apply to in effect provide only one CGT main residence exemption over this period. However, important decisions and choices may need to be made to optimise the tax outcome in this case (or avoid an adverse outcome).
There can be varied sources for some of the myths about tax deductions —pub-talk, BBQ-banter, hairdresser-homilies, what-your-taxi-driver-just-heard and many others. We sort out fact from fiction.
This year’s tax time saw media reports about various outlandish tax claims — for example the ATO being faced with claims for dental expenses, gambling losses, Lego sets, sunscreen (and an umbrella) for cigarette breaks, and even the cost of a wedding reception (all rejected, by the way).
How certain myths are started about what can or can’t be claimed on tax is anyone’s guess, but it is these snippets of misinformation about allowable tax deductions that can lead unaware taxpayers to make incorrect claims — and get the taxman’s attention.
The ATO has plans in place that it can put into operation to relieve certain employers from reporting all the fringe benefits they provide to staff. The measure however is only triggered where it can be shown that employees’ personal safety is at risk or under threat.
The ATO seems to be always looking over the shoulder of property developers to make sure they are complying with their tax obligations.
The considerations facing the ATO are many and varied, but can include topics such as whether an agreement to develop and sell land is a “mere realisation” or a disposal either in the course of a business or as part of a profit making undertaking or plan.
A “mere realisation” is a sale on capital account to which the capital gains tax (CGT) rules will generally apply. Landholders will usually seek this treatment if they can access CGT concessions (for example, applying the appropriate CGT discount or the small business CGT concessions) or the property is a pre-CGT asset.
If a child is under the age of 18, and they earn income on their savings account, remember that the ATO considers that the person who “owns” the interest depends on who uses the funds of that account (no matter what type of account it is or the name of the account holder).
Inheriting a home or a legal interest in one could be the largest windfall gain that many Australians ever experience. From a tax law perspective, when someone dies a capital gain or loss does not apply when a property passes:
• to the deceased person’s beneficiary
• to the deceased person’s executor or other legal personal representative (LPR), or
• from the deceased’s LPR to a beneficiary.
The ATO is reminding rental property owners that each year it sees some fairly common mistakes being made with tax claims, and the outcomes that result, in regard to investment properties. It has therefore released a list of the top 10 stumbles, and how best to avoid them.
An essential starting point for consideration of trust income and how that income is to be distributed is to look at the trust deed. This very central document sets out the rules and expectations for the governance and operation of the trust and the powers that can be exercised by…
For small business owners who are disposing of assets that have risen in value during the time they have owned and used them in their business, accessing one or more of the available small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions can greatly reduce any consequent tax liability. Indeed, many small…
Most people’s “to-do” list when they are planning a trip overseas will likely include items such as travel insurance, phone chargers or taking photos of their passport — but probably the last thing on anyone’s minds will be their likely tax situation before, during or after that trip-of-a-lifetime. However a…
The small business income tax offset (also known as the unincorporated small business tax discount) can reduce the tax a sole trader business pays by up to $1,000 each year. The offset is worked out on the proportion of tax payable on business income. To be eligible, a taxpayer must be…