Sky Update – April 2017


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

Ride-sharing drivers must register for GST

In a recent decision, the Federal Court has held that the UberX service supplied by Uber’s drivers constitutes the supply of “taxi travel” for the purposes of GST. The ATO has now advised that people who work as drivers providing ride-sharing (or ride-sourcing) services must:

  • keep records;
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • register for GST;
  • pay GST on the full fare they receive from passengers;
  • lodge activity statements; and
  • include income from ride-sharing services in their tax returns.

If you work as a ride-sharing driver, you are also entitled to claim income tax deductions and GST credits on expenses apportioned to the services you have supplied.

Final call for 2016 R&D applications

The due date for submitting applications to AusIndustry in order to claim the Research & Development Tax Incentive for the 2016 financial year is midnight Monday 1 May 2017.

Anyone wanting to claim should act urgently.

Sky Accountants Nominated for Australian Accounting Award

The Australian Accounting Awards showcase excellence across the accounting industry through a broad range of categories that recognise the industry’s leaders.

Sky Accountants are very proud to be nominated in the “innovator of the year” category for the third consecutive year.

The awards will be announced on 26 May.

ATO targets restaurants and cafés, hair and beauty businesses in cash economy crackdown

The ATO will visit more than 400 businesses across Perth and Canberra in April as part of a campaign to help small businesses stay on top of their tax affairs. The primary focus is on businesses operating in the cash and hidden economies.

ATO officers will be visiting restaurants and cafés, hair and beauty and other small businesses in these cities to make sure their registration details are up to date. These businesses represent the greatest areas of risk and highest numbers of reports to the ATO from across the country, and the visits are part of the ATO’s ongoing program of compliance work.

No deduction for carried-forward company losses

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has ruled that a company was not entitled to deductions for carried-forward losses of over $25 million that it incurred in the 1990 to 1995 income years. The AAT found that the company did not satisfy the “continuity of ownership” and “same business” tests that applied in relation to the 1996 to 2003 income years, when it sought to recoup the losses.

This case highlights the need to retain records concerning tax losses, no matter how long ago they were incurred. It also highlights the importance of seeking advice before making changes to shareholdings in a company with carried forward tax losses.

Overseas income not exempt from Australian income tax

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has agreed with the ATO’s decision that income a taxpayer earned when working for the United States Army was not exempt from Australian income tax.

Whilst income earned offshore may be exempt from Australian tax, there are very strict requirements that must be satisfied. This case serves as a reminder that Australian tax residents will be taxed on their worldwide income and that advice should be sought regarding the eligibility to access exemptions.

Community Clubs Victoria (CCV) Awards

The CCV awards recognising excellence in the clubs industry were announced at a gala event on the 22nd of April.

A big congratulations to all of the winners including our good friends at Buckley’s Entertainment Centre in Geelong who picked up Regional Club of the Year and Best Family Club with Zoe Symons winning Assistant Manager of the Year.

A big congratulations also goes to our good friends at Maryborough Highland Society who won the Outstanding Community Service award.

Both great clubs that do an excellent job supporting their members and local communities. If you are in Geelong or Maryborough why not stop in?

GST on low-value imported goods

A Bill introduced into Parliament in February proposes to make Australian goods and services tax (GST) payable on supplies of items worth less than A$1,000 that consumers import into Australia with the assistance of the vendor.

For example, online purchases from overseas stores that are mailed to your home.

If the Bill is passed, the measures will come into force on 1 July 2017.

The bill has been referred by the Senate to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 9 May.

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