The ATO has effectively ruled, from 1 July 2017, that SMSFs can no longer create most types of reserves or have “unexplained increases” in pre-1 July 2017 reserves.
In a recent speech, James O’Halloran, Duty Commissioner Superannuation at the ATO, set out the ATO’s current areas of focus for the self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) sector. This includes that the ATO:
As previously reported in November 2017 (see here), the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017 introduced to the Parliament in October of that year dropped, without notice or explanation, reference to the proposed change to the CGT main residence exemption as that exemption applies to foreign residents.
On 7 February 2018 the Commonwealth Government introduced into Parliament legislation which if enacted will, subject to a transitional rule (discussed further below), require from 1 July 2018 that purchasers of taxable supplies of new residential premises or new subdivisions of potential residential land pay either 1/11, or 7% if the margin scheme applies, of the purchase price to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at settlement (the Legislation).
On 8 February 2018, the Government released for public consultation exposure draft legislation to implement the announcement in the 2017 Budget regarding integrity improvements to the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions.
The Federal Government has released draft versions of legislation and regulations to strengthen consumer protection laws. The changes would give effect to proposals contained in the 2017 Australian Consumer Law (ACL) Review Final Report agreed to by Commonwealth, State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers last year. The public has until the end of February to submit views on the draft changes.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a media release putting the financial advice sector on notice about ensuring that binding death benefit nominations (BDBNs) are signed and witnessed correctly.
The ATO has announced the extension of the lodgment date for self managed superannuation (SMSF) annual returns for the 2016/17 year to 30 June 2018. Because 30 June 2018 falls on a Saturday, the ATO has confirmed the lodgment can occur on Monday 2 July 2018 without penalties.
The Victorian Court of Appeal recently successfully allowed an appeal from the Supreme Court concerning the GST treatment of a property sale. The decision, in fact both decisions, illustrate the importance of ensuring that the contract of sale correctly sets out whether the price includes or excludes GST and the required due diligence including legal advice needed before signing such contracts.
The Commissioner issued Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2017/D10 “Income Tax: Trust Vesting – amending the vesting date and consequences of a trust vesting” on 13 December 2017.
The views in TR 2017/D10 are not materially different from those expressed at recent public forums, although TR 2017/D10 states those views in an administratively binding form and provides further detail (including several examples).
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) finalised Tax Determinations TD 2017/23 and TD 2017/24 on 13 December 2017. Released in draft in November 2016, the Determinations consider certain aspects of the interaction of the capital gains provisions and the trust assessing provisions in Division 6 as those provisions apply to foreign trusts. In particular, where a foreign trust makes a capital gain on assets that are not taxable Australian property (TAP) and distributes that gain to Australian beneficiaries.
In Commissioner of Taxation v Miley, the Federal Court overturned decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) concerning the share valuation method for the purposes of the maximum net asset value (MNAV) test in s 152-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
In the 2016-2017 Economic and Fiscal Outlook (http://www.budget.gov.au/2016-17/content/myefo/download/09-Appendix-A-Revenue.pdf), the Government announced that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) would be allowed to report to credit reporting agencies the tax debt information of entities that don’t effectively engage with the ATO to manage those tax debts.