General Tax News and Information

This is where we keep all of the general tax information for individual taxpayers, along with details of important updates and changes.

Stay alert for scams and fraud

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is committed to educating taxpayers on how to protect themselves against tax scams and identity theft. It says that up to the end of last financial year, $2.7 million was handed over to fraudsters, with about 2,500 individuals providing some sort of personal information to scammers, including tax file numbers. […]

Taxation of foreign income derived by Australian residents

Under Australia’s taxation regime, resident taxpayers are subject to income tax on both income derived in Australia and on foreign sourced income. As a general rule, where foreign income is derived by an Australian resident, the gross amount (including any foreign tax paid on the income) must be included as assessable income. A foreign income […]

ATO can increase (or reduce) its penalties

The ATO says its base tax penalty amount may be increased or reduced. The base penalty amount may be increased where the taxpayer hinders the ATO, but it also may be reduced in the following circumstances. Voluntary disclosure The voluntary disclosure to the Commissioner of a tax shortfall will result in a reduction of the […]

Do you need to lodge your tax return early?

If you are planning to permanently move out of the country before the end of this financial year, you may be able to have your tax return lodged early. Generally, the ATO only accepts early lodgement of individual tax returns in certain circumstances. If you are a resident of Australia for tax purposes, returns lodged […]

Penalty unit increase: 30 more reasons to make sure your tax outcome is right

A piece of legislation that recently made its way through Parliament means that come July 1, misdemeanors committed by errant taxpayers will become a lot more costly. Penalty units, which are currently pegged at $180 per unit, are set to increase by a little less than 17% (16.6666%) on July 1, 2017. The legislation, the […]

Who is assessable on interest income?

It is a fairly well-established and welcome act for an aunt or uncle or of course a parent to start a savings account for a new addition to the next generation. It is not so common however, among the warm and generous emotions that accompany such a gift to factor in the taxation obligations that […]

Are personal carer travel costs claimable? It depends

A recent court decision, and subsequent appeal, has ramifications for taxpayers with disabilities, and who are in need of a personal carer. The decision centres around what is or is not acceptable as a tax deduction in relation to the costs that arise with regard to that carer under certain conditions. The circumstances of the […]

Tax and the sharing economy

The concept of a “sharing economy” has been around for long enough now to have had a very real impact on how we transact.  Think Uber, think Airbnb. By now, most people will have realised that the “sharing” part of the concept does not refer to an absence of any monetary exchange, but rather to […]

Can salary sacrifice work for you?

Salary sacrifice can be a great way to get a part of your remuneration in a form other than cash – and not personally pay tax on it. Salary sacrifice (or salary packaging) is where you agree to take part of your wage as a benefit of some kind, equal in value to the salary […]

Deceased estates: A brief guide to tying up the loose ends

After a person dies, and the usual arrangements are completed, there will come a time when other matters, such as tax and superannuation issues, must be looked after. The person who takes on the responsibility for administering a deceased estate is commonly referred to as the executor, but could also be known as an administrator […]