Federal Budget Update 2012-13 – ATMA’s Budget Update

16 May 2012 15:08:18 PM

On 8 May 2012, the Treasurer Mr. Swan handed down the 2011-12 Federal Budget.
The Budget is designed to take funds from business and to channel them back to families with the primary aim of balancing the books. The Government will be tripling the tax free threshold to benefit low and middle income earners so that all taxpayers with incomes of up to $80,000 will get a further modest tax cut this year.

They will also provide an annual increase of up to $4,208 per child in Family Tax Benefit Part A for parents of schoolchildren aged 16 to 19 from the start of the year. In addition they will also deliver a new Schoolkids Bonus. This will replace the Education Tax Refund.

The Government did not make any changes to the currently legislated tax rates for residents that are to apply from 1 July 2012. The flood levy is also scheduled to cease on 30 June 2012.

Many of the Governments previously announced measures are also scheduled to go ahead such as the 1 July whereby small businesses can immediately write off every eligible asset they buy for less than $6,500, and up to $5,000 for cars or utes and the exemption for taxation advice in the context of financial advice.

The Government however will not proceed with the measure to lower the company tax rate, as it had promised. It will also not proceed with 50 per cent tax discount for interest income which was due to commence on 1 July 2013 and the with the standard deduction for work related expenses and the cost of managing tax affairs which was due to commence on 1 July 2013.

ATO approach to managing income tax returns held for integrity checks

16 May 2012 14:14:37 PM

On 3 May 2012, the ATO issued a broadcast to announce that the ATO conduct programs each year where selected returns are reviewed before issuing the assessment. Tax returns that are held for review and action before release include returns identified as containing 'high risk' refund claims.

The ATO are now using specialist technology to help identify and review tax returns that may contain missing or incorrect information. Claims outside normal occupation or industry ranges will result in a thorough review of all aspects of an individual's tax affairs before a refund is issued.

Last year, they checked around 29,000 returns and found more than 20,000 refunds were incorrect or fraudulent. This year, the ATO expects to review about 30,000 returns to remove any incorrect or fraudulent claims before refunds were issued.

The ATO has undertaken to contact tax agents with held returns by the end of May 2012, with more information about the returns we hold. The ATO may send a review letter, make phone contact, and/or finalise the case. Where multiple returns lodged by you have been held we may visit or phone to address the issues collectively. If adjustments are made, the notice of assessment will issue, detailing the adjustments and penalties imposed, where relevant. If you want an oral explanation of the decision, phone us on 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 3 2 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

You can view more information on held refunds at:

ATO reminder - Trustee resolutions must be made no later than 30 June

16 May 2012 14:13:31 PM

On 3 May 2012, the ATO issued a document on its web-site for trustees reminding them that from the 2011-12 income tax years all trustees who make beneficiaries entitled to trust income by way of a resolution must do so by the end of an income year (30 June). This resolution will determine who is to be assessed on the trust's taxable income.

If your trust deed requires your resolution to be made at a date before 30 June 2012, you should comply with the requirements of the deed. For example, if the trust deed requires your resolution to be made by 28 June 2012 then you should make your resolution by that date. If your trust deed requires an earlier resolution, all references we make to 30 June should be read as the earlier date required by your deed.

The form the resolution takes will depend on the terms of your trust deed. If your deed does not require a resolution to be in writing, an unwritten decision you make would create a valid entitlement at that time and be effective for tax purposes. However, a written record will provide better evidence of the resolution and avoid a later dispute (for example, with us or with relevant beneficiaries) as to whether any resolution was made by 30 June.

If you make a resolution after 30 June and if no beneficiary (including a default beneficiary) was presently entitled to trust income as at 30 June, you (the trustee) will be assessed on the trust's taxable income at the highest marginal tax rate plus the Medicare levy.

You can view more information at:

New flood victims exempt from flood levy

16 May 2012 14:12:08 PM

On 6 May 2012, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, Treasurer issued a media release announcing that the Gillard Government will fund around 75 per cent, or over $6 billion worth, of the Queensland disaster reconstruction bill.

People who suffered flood damage in 2012 will be made exempt from the levy. Based on those eligible for an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP), it's expected that over 45,000 recipients will potentially benefit from the exemption.

The temporary flood levy is in place for the 2011-12 financial years only.

You can view the media release at: