Lodgment/Payment Deferral for Bushfire Victims
The ATO has announced that they have granted 2 months deferral for lodgment & payment of taxes to the taxpayers affected by the recent bushfires in NSW & Queensland. It has also been informed that the taxpayers need not contact the ATO to avail the benefit of deferral as automatic deferrals have been applied to the postcodes impacted by the bushfire.

SMSFs without unique Bank Account
The ATO has announced that in early 2020 they will contact the SMSF trustees who do not have a unique bank account for superannuation payments. SMSF trustees are required to maintain a unique SMSF bank account to manage the fund’s operations and accept contributions, rollovers & income from investments.

Luxury Car Tax Refunds to Primary Producers
The ATO has reminded that with effect from 1st January 2020, the Primary Producers can claim a refund for Luxury Car Taxes paid on one eligible vehicle up to a maximum of $10,000 for vehicles delivered to them on or after 1st July 2019. In case of the vehicles delivered on or before 30th June 2019, the refunds are restricted to 8/33 of the Luxury Car Tax subject to a maximum of $3,000.

Single Touch Payroll
Approximately 22% of the employers in the Accounting Services Industry in Australia have not reported their payroll information through the ‘Single Touch Payroll’ system even though the time limit fixed for this was up to 30th September 2019. These employers have neither approached the ATO for a deferral nor nominated a BAS/Tax Agent for this. The ATO has said it’s still not too and the employers can still contact the ATO or nominate a BAS/Tax Agent for getting this started.

Super Guarantee Amnesty Bill
The ‘Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019’ has been passed on the house of representatives without any amendments and is yet to be passed in the senate. This bill proposes amnesty to the employers which will run until 6 months after the day the assent is received. It will apply to SGC shortfalls up until the quarter starting on 1st January 2018. Under the amnesty scheme, the employers will be able to self-correct the SG shortfalls without incurring additional penalties that would normally apply. The SG charges can be deductible against the amount they have to pay (it is normally non – deductible otherwise).

R&D Tax Incentive Changes – Bill Introduced
The ‘Treasure Laws Amendment (R&D Tax Incentive) Bill 2019’ has been introduced to increase the R&D expenditure threshold limit from $100M to $150M and to make this threshold limit a permanent feature of this law. This also proposed the incentive rate at the claimant’s applicable Corporate Tax Rate + 13.50% with a cap of $4M per annum. This cap of $4M applies only to ‘Refundable R&D Tax Incentive’ and not for ‘Non – Refundable R&D Tax Incentive’.

Prepared by
Sumithra Varadarajan
Sai Kalyanaraman