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ATO cracking down on developers avoiding GST

Posted on February 5, 2018 by admin

This year, the Australian Taxation Office has placed a greater focus on property developers and are particularly watching company directors with a history of GST obligations avoidance.

As of May 2017, the Government announced new requirements on those purchasing newly constructed residential properties or new subdivisions to remit the GST directly to the ATO as part of the settlement process. The ATO has placed a strong emphasis on making sure this occurs legitimately, ensuring property developers do not get away with failing to meet their GST obligations.

These proposed requirements were addressed in consultation in November 2017 and are to be implemented as of 1 July 2018. The impending changes will mean that developers no longer have a three-month period to remit GST; hence they no longer have time to be dishonest and avoid GST evasion through phoenixing.

For contracts already entered into, there will be a two-year transitional period, allowing developers involved in these contracts a grace period to adjust to the extensive reforms. Contracts entered into prior to 1 July 2018 will not be affected by these reforms, provided they are settled prior to 1 July 2020.

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Government increases cash flow support for businesses

Posted on March 27, 2020 by admin

The Australian Government has increased support for businesses to manage cash flow challenges under the ongoing COVID-19 circumstances.

The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure announced on 12 March 2020 will be increased to provide up to $100,000 for eligible small and medium-sized businesses. To be eligible employers must have been established prior to 12 March 2020 and have an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million and employ workers.

The measure will provide employers with a payment equal to 100% of the tax withheld from wages and salaries. This is a rise from the original 50%, with maximum payments being increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and minimum payments being increased from $2,000 to $10,000.

Employers will receive payments from 28 April 2020 from the ATO as automatic credit in the activity statement system upon lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.

Eligible businesses will be provided with an additional payment during July – October 2020. The payment will be equal to the total amount received under the Boosting Cash Flow for Businesses scheme. For monthly and quarterly activity statement lodgers, these payments will be provided as automatic credit in the activity statement system for each lodgement up until October 2020.

The Government has also introduced the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support the flow of credit for small and medium enterprises (SME) by providing a guarantee of 50% to participating SME lenders for new unsecured loans that will be used for working capital. To be eligible, SMEs will have a turnover of up to $50 million and the loans must comply with the following terms:

The SME Guarantee Scheme will still require businesses to repay these loans and approval is subject to regular lending requirements. The Scheme will commence by early April 2020 and be available until 30 September 2020.

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