News

March quarter GIC and SIC rates

The ATO has published the 2016 March quarter rates for the General Interest Charge (GIC) and the Shortfall Interest Charge (SIC):

GIC annual rate 9.22%
GIC daily rate 0.02519126%
SIC annual rate 5.22%
SIC daily rate 0.01426229%

Tax help for people affected by recent bushfires

The ATO has advised that, for people affected by the recent Victorian and Western Australian bushfires, refunds will be fast-tracked and they will have additional time to lodge income tax returns and activity statements.

No need to apply

The Tax Commissioner said taxpayers do not need to apply for a deferral or a faster refund.

“If your business or residential address is in one of the identified affected postcodes it will happen automatically. You can visit our website to see the new lodgment dates and check if your region is included.  Further postcodes may be added as needed, so check our website for more information,” Commissioner of Taxation, Mr Jordan, said.

ATO supporting small business to implement SuperStream

Superstream-810x541

As the SuperStream rollout for small businesses continues, the ATO claims that it is helping employers in select industries who need support implementing SuperStream.

Editor: Employers with 20 or more employees were expected to be using SuperStream no later than 31 October 2015. Employers with 19 or fewer employees need to be using SuperStream no later than 30 June 2016.

The ATO has also stated: “With only two quarters left until SuperStream becomes mandatory, now is a good time for employers to adopt SuperStream and familiarise themselves with it before the deadline.

“For some businesses, December and January are quieter periods, so now is a great opportunity to check that your SuperStream option is ready, whether that be your payroll software, your super fund’s online payment system, or a clearing house, such as the ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. You can also ask your accountant or bookkeeper for help.”

Now is also the ideal time for employers to make sure they have all the information they need to use SuperStream correctly: “Importantly, you should collect the necessary employee identification data – being your employees’ TFNs and their funds’ unique super identifiers (USIs) – and enter it into your system ahead of the next quarterly due date on 28 January. That way, you have time to check that things are running smoothly before the deadline.

“Your employees can find their fund’s USI on their super statement or by calling their fund. You can also find these details using the Super Fund Lookup website – our online SuperStream checklist has the link.”

The ATO step-by-step checklist to help employers prepare can be found at www.ato.gov.au/SuperStreamChecklist.

Reminder of small business tax cuts

The ATO has reminded taxpayers that, from 1 July 2015, a new two-tier company tax system took effect and applies to all companies.

This system sees the whole of a company’s taxable income subject to the following rates:

  • 28.5% if the company’s aggregated turnover is below a $2 million threshold (i.e., a small business entity or ‘SBE’); or
  • 30% if the company’s aggregated turnover is equal to or above a $2 million threshold.

Importantly, companies don’t need to do anything now – if identified as a small business, the new rate will be automatically applied to their PAYG instalments rate or on their next activity statement.
Editor: Note that a capped 5% tax discount, designed to broadly mirror the small business company tax cut, was also introduced for unincorporated small businesses from the 2016 income year.  It will be delivered to individual taxpayers in receipt of small business entity income via the ‘small business income tax offset’.

ATO’s Visa data matching program

Passport

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will provide the ATO with the following details of visa holders, their sponsors and migration agents for the 2013/14 to 2016/17 financial years:

  • Address and contact history for visa applicants and sponsors;
  • All visa grants, and visa grant status by point in time;
  • All migration agents, and their address and contact history;
  • Sponsor details (subclass 457 visa);
  • Education providers (educational institution where the student visa holder intends to undertake their study);
  • Visa subclass code and descriptor; and
  • All international travel movements undertaken by visa holders (arrivals and departures).

It is estimated that records relating to approximately 1,000,000 individuals will be provided.