Seven easy cyber security checks all business owners should do

15 July 2019
Credit: Smart Company

Running virtually any business these days leads to cyber exposure. From how you take payments and storing customer data to managing files in the cloud, businesses have new and evolving cyber exposures they need to be aware of and manage.

Keeping across all of this can be daunting, but alongside ensuring you have good cyber insurance protection, below are a few key points to consider.

Risky behaviours with cryptocurrency and SMSFs on ATO’s radar

9 July 2019
Credit: SMSF Adviser

With the ATO requiring SMSFs to fill out additional data about their cryptocurrency investments in their tax return, this could be a sign that the regulator will be checking to see that trustees are undertaking proper record keeping and that there is clear separation of ownership, warns an auditor.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Hayes Knight director of SMSF services Ray Itaoui said that, as part of the 2019 tax return, SMSFs are required to record if they have any cyrptocurrency investments in their fund.

Reserve Bank resilient and ASC sails through, but Australia Post has work to do

5 July 2019
Credit: The Mandarin

The Reserve Bank and naval vessel manufacturer ASC have “effectively managed cyber security risks” but Australia Post has not, according to the latest report on public sector cyber resilience from federal auditor-general Grant Hehir.

“Australia Post has not effectively managed cyber security risks, and should continue to implement its cyber security improvement program and key controls across all its critical assets to enable cyber risks to be within its tolerance level,” says this week’s installment in the series, which is all about corporate entities.

Expert reveals pros and cons of paper versus online tax lodgement

25 June 2019
Credit: news.com.au

Many Aussies consider tax time to be a bit of a chore at best – but it doesn’t have to be so stressful.

According to Ben Johnston from leading Sydney accounting firm Willett Johnston Partners, taxpayers need to arm themselves with as much information as possible to avoid being stung by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and to increase their chances of scoring a tax refund.

ATO to use new tax return label for SMSF risk profiling

19 June 2019
Credit: SMSF Adviser

As previously reported by SMSF Adviser, the 2019 SMSF annual return contains a new label requiring tax agents or trustees to indicate whether Part A of the fund’s audit report was qualified.

While SMSFs were asked in previous years whether Part B of the audit report had been qualified, which is the section relating to the fund’s compliance, this is the first year funds will also need to answer if Part A was qualified.

Unreported ‘cash in hand’ payments to workers no longer tax deductible

18 June 2019
Credit: ATO

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) today reminded employers that any unreported ‘cash in hand’ payments made to workers from 1 July 2019 will not be tax deductible.

‘Cash in hand’ refers to cash payments to employees that do not comply with pay as you go (PAYG) withholding obligations. Payments made to contractors where the contractor does not provide an ABN and the business does not withhold any tax will also not be tax deductible from 1 July.

ATO sounds deductions warning ahead of tax time

17 June 2019
Credit: Accountants Daily

Last year, the ATO released its first ever Individuals not in the business gap tax report, revealing an $8.7 billion gap caused primarily by incorrect claims for deductions for work-related expenses and omitted income.

With that in mind, the Tax Office has sounded a warning that it will be taking a closer focus on such deductions this year, particularly clothing and motor vehicle expenses.

ATO movement sparks audit, reviews concern

17 June 2019
Credit: My Business

RMS senior manager Tracey Dunn (pictured) told My Business’s sister publication Accountants Daily that recent Tax Office activity and the introduction of new regulatory measures point towards a spike in enforcement activity over the next few months.

Earlier this year, the government announced a fresh $1 billion funding boost to the ATO to extend the operation of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce and to expand the Taskforce’s programs and market coverage.

Don’t risk your integrity at the expense of client relationships

11 June 2019
Credit: Accountants Daily

Responding to an official enquiry instigated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on behalf of your client can be time consuming. It is a frustrating time for your client and as their accountant, they look to you to help them respond to their situation. Having a proven tax audit insurance offering in place not only ensures that you are compensated for your time, it ensures that you will not need to pass on additional fees to your client – so you can put the needs of your client at first and foremost. 

Global collaboration needed to mitigate cyber threats

17 May 2019
Credit: Mortgage Business

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is ramping up its enforcement activities and will undertake 4,500 audits of taxpayers it considers are “high risk” because they overclaim or don’t declare income relating to rental properties.

ATO assistant commissioner Adam Kendrick said it would audit 2017-2018 financial year tax returns relating to rental investments that its data analytics systems had flagged as potentially problematic.

Employers hit with rolling SG audits as ATO toughens stance

28 March 2019
Credit: Accountants Daily

Employers are increasingly being subjected to a rolling series of audits by the ATO where they slip behind on their SG obligations as the Tax Office now taking a harder line on non-compliance, warns a technical expert.

Insyt chief executive Darren Wynen said the focus by the federal government on SG non-compliance has seen the ATO taking a much tougher approach towards non-compliant employers.

ATO ramps up its focus on rental properties and hosts on platforms such as Airbnb

21 March 2019
Credit: ABC News Australia

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is ramping up its enforcement activities and will undertake 4,500 audits of taxpayers it considers are “high risk” because they overclaim or don’t declare income relating to rental properties.

ATO assistant commissioner Adam Kendrick said it would audit 2017-2018 financial year tax returns relating to rental investments that its data analytics systems had flagged as potentially problematic.

Errors in 9 our of 10 rental claims prompt new compliance blitz

 

14 March 2019
Credit: Accountants Daily

ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan has signalled his agency’s intent to crackdown on rental property deductions after seeing dividends in their enforcement of work-related expenses.

Speaking at the Tax Institute’s National Convention in Hobart, ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan said the Tax Office’s audits of over 300 rental property claims found errors in almost nine out of 10 returns reviewed. According to Mr Jordan, 85 per cent of taxpayers with rental properties are represented by a tax agent.

ATO to knock on small business doors as benchmarks updated

5 March 2019
Credit: Sydney Morning Herald

The tax office has urged small businesses to use new small business benchmarks to track their performance against competitors, warning it will be knocking on the doors of 4000 companies between now and July to chase black economy activities.

The Australian Taxation Office’s updated benchmarks published on Tuesday draw information from 1.5 million small business tax returns to paint a picture of the typical margins and costs of sale for smaller operators.

An insurance solution that isn’t a gamble

27 September 2018
Credit: Accountants Daily

As the impact of government agency initiated action increases, the right insurance solution can safeguard accounting professionals against the increased risk of audits and stronger government scrutiny of their clients.

Government data matching across Australia has become very sophisticated. The amount of data readily accessible to the government is not only more than ever before, it is also more current and updated. With the introduction of One Touch Payroll and Super Stream, it would be fair to predict an explosion of government reviews of the Superannuation Guarantee Charge and compliance required with other accounting obligations for companies in the future.