October round-up from the ATO

BY Australian Retailers Association
27 October 2020

The October updates from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) covering everything from key resources to help manage your business during COVID-19, to informative webinar events.

JobKeeper upcoming key dates and actions

A reminder that by the 31 October 2020, you need to pay your eligible employees for JobKeeper fortnights 14 and 15. New employers enrolling for JobKeeper will need to enrol and submit their decline in turnover to us by 31 October 2020. Existing employers can complete and submit this when they do their monthly business declaration between 1—14 November 2020. For more information and updates please visit www.ato.gov.au/jobkeeper

Small Business

Are you running a home-based business? In November, the ATO is offering webinars to help you improve your skills to be successful in your small business venture.

Running a home-based business 

If you have been running a small business from home, you may have expenses that you can claim a deduction for at Tax Time. Knowing what to claim can be tricky so we are introducing this one-hour webinar to help you find out what expenses you can claim for tax deductions and how to calculate the amounts you can claim.

Digital options for your small business 

Find out the benefits you can get from digital systems and what systems are available for each area of your business operations in this 1-hour webinar.

Some of the webinars are also offered in ChineseArabic and Vietnamese.

To see the complete list of webinars and register visit www.ato.gov.au/sbwebinars

Personal services income (PSI)

PSI is income mainly produced from your personal skills or efforts as an individual. You can receive PSI in almost any industry, trade or profession. If more than 50% of the income you receive for an individual contract or job was for your labour, skills or expertise, use the ATO’s PSI tool to work out if PSI rules apply to that income. If they do, it will affect how you report your PSI to the ATO and limit the deductions you can claim. Find out more at ato.gov.au/PSI

Motor Vehicle Expenses

If you use a motor vehicle as part of the everyday running of your business, you may be able to claim expenses such as fuel, lease payments and insurance registration. The type of motor vehicle you drive can affect how you calculate your claim, and your business structure affects your entitlements and obligations. Find out more at ato.gov.au/motorvehicleexpenses

Employer Communications

Income tax cuts

Employers will need to make adjustments to their payroll processes and systems in order for the tax cuts to be reflected in employee’s take-home pay. You must make sure you're withholding the correct amount from salary or wages paid to employees for pay runs from no later than 16 November onwards.

Any withholding that occurred prior to updating payroll software or processes will be taken into account when employees lodge their 2020-21 income tax return. The ATO is working closely with providers of payroll software to help implement the tax rate changes. Providers will keep payroll software users updated.

For further information visit ato.gov.au/TaxTables

Fuel your knowledge on car fringe benefits

Did you know that if your employees use a business car for private use, you may be providing a car fringe benefit? The ATO has recently released virtual introductory sessions to help you work out whether you are providing a car fringe benefit.

Register for an Employer: Introduction to car fringe benefits session

COVID-19 and FBT

Your fringe benefits tax (FBT) obligations may have changed as a result of COVID-19. FBT may apply if you provide benefits in addition to salary and wages. However, exemptions and concessions are available, that can reduce (or eliminate) the amount of FBT you pay. Visit the ATO's website to learn more.

Missed or underpaid super payments?

If you miss the 28 October super guarantee due date, you need to lodge a superannuation guarantee charge statement by 28 November to avoid penalties. Visit www.ato.gov.au/SGC for more information on how to lodge and pay.

Offering choice to your workers

A recent change to the law means that you may need to offer employees more choice in relation to the super fund that you pay their compulsory superannuation (super) contributions too.

All workplace determinations and enterprise agreements made on or after 1 January 2021 must give employees the right to choose their super fund.

Visit ato.gov.au/OfferingChoice to learn more.

Lodge now for a final boost

The final instalment of the cash flow boost will be credited when businesses lodge their September monthly or quarterly activity statement.

If you’re not sure what to expect, you can use the cash flow boost estimator on the ATO website. Simply select your reporting frequency and enter the amounts you have reported at labels W1 andW2 for March to June 2020.

Visit ato.gov.au/cashflowboost for more information.

Scams

Check out some of the ATO's recent social media posts that help spot scam activity and what to do when you see it via Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter

Help during difficult times

If you’re struggling to manage your tax obligations or pay your tax, the ATO can work with you to find a solution tailored to your situation and help you get back on track. If you’re having trouble, it’s important to contact the ATO early so they can help you. It’s never too late to speak with them.

The ATO suggests it’s important to keep lodging on time if you can, even if you can’t pay by the due date. This shows you’re aware of your obligations and it may give you access to some of the government stimulus measures available. The advice is, the earlier you reach out to the ATO or your tax practitioner if you’re struggling, the easier it will be to get back on track.

More information at: ato.gov.au/helpwithpaying or ato.gov.au/smallbizmentalhealth

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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