In this Sky Update, we bring you all the latest tax news along with some other items that may pique your interest.

Newsletter - Sky Update - March 2018

Single Touch Payroll - time to get organised

Employers with 20 + employees must adopt Single Touch Payroll (STP) from 1 July 2018.  

To determine if your business is in from 1 July 2018 it is necessary to conduct a head count on 1 April 2018 to determine if you are above or below the 20 + employees threshold.

The head count is a simple count with all employees counted no matter whether they are part-time or casual.  As such, many smaller business in the retail and hospitality industries will find that they are required to adopt STP from 1 July 2018.

Whilst many payroll software providers including Xero, KeyPay, Sage WageEasy, MYOB, etc are advising that they will be ready for STP, it is recommended to make enquiries to ensure that your software will have the necessary capabilities.

With the start date looming, employers need to take action now to ensure that they are organised ready for 1 July 2018.  If you need assistance, get in touch.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year end

The end of the FBT year (31 March) is now just days away.

Employers providing non-cash benefits to employees (eg provision of a car for private use, payment of private expenses, etc) should take action now to understand how FBT will apply to those benefits to ensure that they meet their FBT obligations.

For example, making sure that record keeping obligations are met to accurately calculate the FBT liability and lodge the FBT return by the due date (21 May).

If you need assistance to understand how FBT applies to your business, or help to lodge your FBT return, please contact us.

New audit process for gaming venues

The VCGLR has introduced a new audit process applying to clubs and pubs operating gaming machines, designed to improve how it validates reported gaming data.

The VCGLR is advising all clubs and pubs to expect to be audited at some point during the year.

More information can be found here

ATO releases new small business benchmarks

The ATO uses industry benchmarking to help identify where they need to conduct audits.  Ie. a business falling outside industry norms is more likely to be audited.

Whilst these benchmarks are valuable to small businesses to help manage their audit risk, they are also a valuable tool to help businesses assess and improve their performance.

Check out the latest small business benchmarks and ask us how you can use these to help improve your business.

Research & Development Tax Incentive

The R&D Tax Incentive provides valuable financial assistance to companies undertaking eligible R&D activities.

The 30 April due date for registering eligible R&D activities in respect to the 2017 financial year is fast approaching.

If you are yet to register, there is no time to lose.  Get in touch if you need our help.

GST withholding on property transactions

On 9 May 2017 the Government announced that it will require purchasers of newly constructed residential properties and/or new subdivisions to pay the GST direct to the ATO at settlement.

The measure is aimed to combat non-payment of GST by property developers.  

The legislation to introduce this change, which is to start from 1 July 2018, are currently before Parliament.

Contracts signed pre 1 July 2018 that settle by no later than 1 July 2020 will not be subject to the new rules.

These changes will have significant implications for the cashflow of honest property developers.  

Affected developers are urged to revisit their planning and forecasts to ensure that the cashflow implications of these changes are properly managed.

Purchasers, real estate agents and conveyancers are also urged to take steps to understand their obligations.

We will keep you posted on the progress of the legislation.  If you need assistance to understand how you will be affected, please get in contact.

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