With the October deadline for lodgement of personal tax returns passing, the ATO has released the new annual lodgement figure obtained through the myTax software. This software enables taxpayers to lodge their own returns without needing the services of a registered tax agent.
The ATO has announced that with the 1 October deadline for those businesses under 20 employees to start reporting through single touch payroll, that it will now start getting in touch with tax and BAS agents whose clients have not begun reporting. This correspondence will be sent in mid-October with the ATO then to begin contacting employers directly from February to May 2020.
The ATO has recently made a change to its Super Fund Look Up page policies which could have a significant sting for SMSFs. From 1 October 2019 an SMSF will have its registration details removed from the Super Fund Look Up site if it has an annual tax return outstanding with the ATO for more than 2 weeks.
The annual Xerocon conference was recently held up in Brisbane and there were some big announcements made. Many of these related to software updates and new applications being developed but one that is very exciting for small businesses is a new initiative which has been entered into by Xero and the Australian Federal Government.
Each year the ATO identifies areas of concern which it will focus on in the upcoming year. For the 2019 tax year, the ATO highlighted personal tax returns and incorrect work related expense claims as an area which was to be scrutinised. According to recent data released, these warnings seem to have worked and have impacted the personal tax returns lodged. According to a recent survey, half of the taxpayers interviewed had left at least one claim they had previously made in their 2019 tax return.
The ATO has released surprising figures indicating that its research indicates that the biggest tax gap – that is the tax reported by this group compared to the tax that is expected – exists for small business.