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.

Bitcoin: Its place in your wallet or SMSF portfolio

While bitcoin may be the most well-known cryptocurrency, there are nearly 1,500 in existence. In its simplest form, a cryptocurrency is a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system”, which means that the currency is not in a physical form like cash but sits in an electronic register. What makes bitcoin work, where previous attempts at electronic cash […]

Dealing with tax and renting via Airbnb

Airbnb is one of many examples of the “sharing economy” — connecting buyers (users) and sellers (providers) through a facilitator that usually operates an app or a website. Airbnb acts as this facilitator by allowing individuals, referred to as “hosts”, to rent out a room of their house or their whole house for a short-time […]

Duties and taxes when you buy online from overseas

Items that you buy over the internet from an overseas source are generally required to abide by the same rules and screening processes that apply to any other “import”. Also, the usual duties or taxes should apply. Customs duties are regulated by the Department of Home Affairs (a recently formed body from December 2017, which […]

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 […]