Australian Taxation Office

New or updated materials on ATO website, including:

  • The ATO has outlined its approach to ensuring wealthy Australians and their private groups pay the right amount of tax, which includes face-to-face interviews with 175 groups with turnover of $1 billion or more and $500 million in assets. Additionally, the ATO will be sending letters to 30,000 privately owned groups and individuals considered to be low risk to inform them their returns of previous years have been closed. The ATO also highlighted behaviours which may attract its attention, including low transparency of tax affairs and lifestyle not supported by after-tax income.

Negative gearing and fair tax rules

In an interview yesterday, the Prime Minister ruled out any changes to negative gearing. He also indicated that he "[does not] absolutely rule out closing loopholes and ending anomalies and trying to make sure that existing tax rules are fairly and squarely applied ...We'll continue tax reform in the upcoming Budget with a small business tax cut, a carefully targeted small business tax cut that will be good for investment, good for jobs, good for economic growth".

Not-for-Profits

In a news update from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), it was noted that Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated in a speech last week that:

  • the Government remains committed to abolishing the ACNC, but that it is not a priority at this time
  • for Private Ancillary Funds, there will be increased portability to distribute assets to other ancillary funds on winding up
  • there will be streamlined valuation arrangements for tax deductible donations of shares to charities, and
  • the proposed amendments to the “in Australia” provisions of the tax law will not be proceeding at this stage and the Government will be taking a “watching brief” on this.