Date posted: 7/08/2019 5 min read

Have your say: open Australian consultation items

Have your say on upcoming consultations and learn about what we’ve been doing to help improve the tax profession and further the public interest.

In brief

  • The CA ANZ Tax Team are currently working on a number of submissions
  • Members are encouraged to share their comments

We want your input

Agenda items are currently being sought for up-coming meetings of the ATO's:

  • Small Business Stewardship Group, and
  • Private Groups Stewardship Group.

Email us with your contributions

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Board of Taxation review into granny flat arrangements

On 29 November 2018, the government requested the Board of Taxation to undertake a review of the tax treatment of granny flat arrangements and recommend any potential changes. This review is in response to the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission’s Report: Elder Abuse - a National Legal Response which identified the development of formal and legally enforceable family agreements as a measure to prevent elder abuse.  The review will consider and make recommendations on the appropriate tax treatment of these arrangements, while considering the interactions between the current tax laws and treatment of ‘granny flat interests’ under the social security rules. The Board of Taxation has requested input from CAs for the review. If you have any comments for the review, please email the CA ANZ Tax Team by 16 August 2019.

ATO proposes expanding Reportable Tax Position schedule to large private companies

The ATO has issued a paper seeking feedback on the expansion of the requirement to lodge a Reportable Tax Position schedule to large private companies and corporate groups. Currently a requirement for public companies and multinationals, the paper envisages a model whereby large private companies would also be required to self-assess and lodge an RTP. Large private companies and corporate groups would begin completing the RTP Schedule for income years ending 30 June 2020 onwards, with first lodgments due in 2021. Comments are due by 5 August 2019. CAs are urged to email their comments to the CA Tax Team.

Draft legislative instrument – Disclosure of business tax debts

The government has introduced legislation into Parliament which gives the ATO the ability to disclose the tax debt information of businesses who do not pay their tax debts to credit reporting bureaus in certain circumstances. Consequently, the government has released an exposure draft legislative instrument and explanatory statement which sets out the class of business whose tax debt information can be disclosed. 

Submissions on the exposure draft legislative instrument are due by 21 August 2019. If you have any comments on the exposure draft, please email the CA ANZ Tax Team by 9 August 2019.

Economy-wide cash limit of $10,000 – Draft legislation

The government has released for consultation the exposure draft legislation and accompanying explanatory material to implement the economy-wide cash payment limit of $10,000 for payments made or accepted by businesses for goods and services from 1 January 2020 and for certain AUSTRAC reporting entities from 1 January 2021. This was announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget and transactions equal to, or in excess of this amount would need to be made using the electronic payment system or by cheque. Submissions are due by 12 August 2019.

Remake of sunsetting private ancillary fund guidelines

The existing Private Ancillary Fund Guidelines 2009 are scheduled to sunset on 1 October 2019. Treasury has released the draft Taxation Administration (Private Ancillary Fund) Guidelines 2019 for consultation so that it can replace the sunsetting guidelines. The guidelines ensure eligible funds may obtain or maintain deductible gift recipient status. Submissions are due by 21 August 2019.

Senate inquiry into Bill - Limiting deductions for holding vacant land

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has commenced its inquiry into Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Tax Integrity and Other Measures No. 1) Bill 2019 which contains amendments to the amendments to limit deductions for expenses incurred in holding vacant land.

Broadly, the Bill seeks to deny deductions for expenses incurred in relation to holding vacant land. One of the exceptions to the denial of deductions is expenses incurred to the extent that the land is used or held available for use in carrying on a business by the taxpayer, or taxpayer’s affiliate, spouse, child or a connected entity or affiliate of the taxpayer.

CA ANZ previously submitted during the consultation for the draft legislation that this exception should be expanded to include land that is used by a third party in carrying on its business where the third party has leased the land (on commercial terms) from the owner taxpayer. The Bill as it is currently drafted still excludes the use of the land by third parties in carrying on its business from the exception.

If this exception is to remain as is we are concerned about its impact on commercial arrangements for farmers affected by the drought situation who may have sold their land (used for primary production) to a third party to access funds and then lease back the land to continue their farming business. We are interested to hear feedback from members if they have encountered this type of commercial arrangement with their farming clients. 

Inspector General of Taxation Senate Inquiry

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has resolved to conduct an inquiry into the performance of the Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT). The terms of reference cover the accountability framework the IGT operates within; how the IGT conducts its investigations into the ATO; what safeguards exist to ensure the independence of the IGT; the complaints management policies and practices of the IGT; and the protections afforded to whistle-blowers who disclose information to the IGT.

Submissions are due by 31 August 2019.

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Members are encouraged to stay engaged in the consultation process and share suggestions and feedback.

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