Australia’s Manufacturing Sector Just Contracted

Companies Go Green to Make More Money

Australian Shares Have Worst Year Since 2011

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Companies Go Green

According to a survey of 200 Australian business leaders, four out of five Australian businesses want to meet common industry standards for sustainability, and one quarter are altering their supply chains to be more environmentally responsible.  The results show two-thirds of business leaders believe environmental factors are the most important operational issues facing their business, which is why many of them are making changes to their operations and supply chains. In many instances, these changes also produce financial benefits too.


February 2019
21 February
Lodge and pay December 2018 monthly business activity statement for business clients with up to $10 million turnover who report GST monthly and lodge electronically.
Lodge and pay January 2019 monthly business activity statement.
28 February
Lodge tax return for non-taxable large/medium entities as per the latest year lodged (except individuals).

Payment (if required) for companies and super funds is also due on this date. Payment for trusts in this category is due as per their notice of assessment.
Lodge tax returns for new registrant (taxable and non-taxable) large/medium entities (except individuals).

Payment (if required) for companies and super funds is also due on this date. Payment for trusts in this category is due as per their notice of assessment.
Lodge tax return for non-taxable head company of a consolidated group, including a new registrant, that has a member who has been deemed a large/medium entity in the latest year lodged.

Lodge tax return for any member of a consolidated group who exits the consolidated group for any period during the year of income.
Lodge tax return for large/medium new registrant (non-taxable) head company of a consolidated group.
Lodge and pay Self-managed superannuation fund annual return (NAT 71226) for new registrant (taxable and non-taxable) SMSF, unless they have been advised of a 31 October 2018 due date at finalisation of a review of the SMSF at registration.
Lodge and pay quarter 2, 2018–19 activity statement for all lodgment methods.
Pay quarter 2, 2018–19 instalment notice (form R, S or T). Lodge the notice only if you vary the instalment amount.
Annual GST return – lodge (and pay if applicable) if the taxpayer does not have a tax return lodgment obligation.

If the taxpayer does have a tax return obligation, this return must be lodged by the due date of the tax return.
Lodge and pay quarter 2, 2018–19 Superannuation guarantee charge statement - quarterly if the employer did not pay enough contributions on time.
March 2019
21 March
Lodge and pay February 2019 monthly business activity statement.
31 March
Lodge tax return for companies and super funds with total income of more than $2 million in the latest year lodged (excluding large/medium taxpayers), unless the return was due earlier.

Payment for companies and super funds in this category is also due by this date.
Lodge tax return for the head company of a consolidated group (excluding large/medium), with a member who had a total income in excess of $2 million in their latest year lodged, unless the return was due earlier.

Payment for companies in this category is also due by this date.
Lodge tax return for individuals and trusts whose latest return resulted in a tax liability of $20,000 or more, excluding large/medium trusts.

Payment for individuals and trusts in this category is due as advised on their notice of assessment.

Foreign Owners: When To Lodge Your Vacancy Fee Return

If you’re a foreign owner of residential real estate in Australia, you must lodge an annual Vacancy fee return with the ATO if you either made a foreign investment application for residential property after May 9 2017, or purchased the property from a developer after May 9 2017.  If your land has a residential dwelling on it, you must lodge your Vacancy fee return within 30 days of the end of each vacancy year.  The vacancy year is usually the 12-month period from the anniversary date of settlement. It is unique to each dwelling held by you. It is not a calendar year or a financial year.

Australian Shares Have Worst Year Since 2011

Australian shares have had their worst year since 2011, amid fresh evidence of a tightening credit squeeze at home and growing concern about a weakening global economy.  The benchmark A.S.X.200 index finished lower on the last day of the year after a late dive on the share market, confirming 2018 as the worst 12 months for the bourse since 2011.  The A.S.X. has slipped 9.04% since September – the worst quarter since September 2011 – and 2018 was its worst year in seven, down 6.9% amid wider global volatility.

New Credit Card Rules

As of January 1 2019, new credit limits will be based on what you can afford to pay off over a three-year period. The new regulation, announced by ASIC on September 5 2018, aims to help reduce debt traps when you apply for a new credit card or credit limit increase.  As well as considering your income, the three-year period must factor in the card’s fees and the highest applicable interest rate, which is usually the cash advance rate. It also must consider the potential costs you’ll face from other cards or loans.

Contractor or Employee?

The difference between a contractor and an employee is not always clear cut. The courts and tax office take a number of factors into account when determining the actual status, such as hours worked, superannuation, method of payment and leave to name a few. Any written agreement stating the nature of the relationship is certainly relevant, but it’s not conclusive, and should not be relied solely upon. Both employers and contractors need to be fully aware of their situation as serious penalties are involved with sham contracting arrangements. Find out more here.

"Holiday home" included in tax concession test

A taxpayer company has been unsuccessful before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in a claim to secure the capital gains tax (CGT) concessions for small businesses.

In this case, the AAT affirmed the Commissioner's decision that the taxpayer did not satisfy the "maximum net asset value" test for the purposes of qualifying for the concessions. The AAT found that the individual who controlled the company could not exclude from the test his interest in a Queensland property, which he claimed was used for "personal use and enjoyment".

TIP: The small business CGT concessions are intended to offer small business taxpayers a range of unique tax concessions. However, despite being targeted towards taxpayers who typically have less complicated affairs, the rules are riddled with complexities that may not appear obvious at first glance.

Each concession has its own particular rules. However, there are two basic conditions for the relief - either the taxpayer is a small business entity (SBE) or is a partner of a partnership that is an SBE, or the taxpayer satisfies the maximum net asset value test. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

Small business benchmarks catch out florist

The AAT has recently dismissed an appeal by a florist against the Tax Commissioner's decision to issue income tax and GST assessments following an ATO audit of her florist business.

The taxpayer had reported that the cost of goods sold in her business represented 83% of her reported business income. The ATO had selected the taxpayer for audit because this figure was outside what it considered to be the industry benchmark range of between 44% and 54%.

In this case, the taxpayer was unable, due to a lack of evidence, to prove to the AAT that the assessments were excessive.

TIP: The Tax Commissioner has warned that businesses operating outside the relevant benchmarks could be subject to ATO review and/or audit, and where the businesses do not have adequate records to substantiate their performance, the ATO will make a default assessment using the appropriate small business benchmark.

Businesses may want to consider reviewing their record-keeping practices and assess whether they are at risk of an audit. Please contact our office for further information.

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