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First Criminal Conviction for JobKeeper Fraud

A person claiming to be a sole trader was convicted of three counts of making a false and misleading statement to the Commissioner of Taxation, in order to receive $6,000 in JobKeeper payments to which he was not entitled, as he was not operating a genuine business and he had already agreed to be nominated by his full-time employer for the allowance.

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ATO Loses Case on JobKeeper and Backdated ABNs

On 24 March 2021, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision in a case concerned with the requirement that an entity claiming JobKeeper must have had an ABN on 12 March 2020, or a later time allowed by the ATO.

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JobKeeper Comes to an End

The ATO has advised that the final JobKeeper payment will be processed in April 2021.

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Avoiding Disqualification From SG Amnesty

The superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) amnesty ended on 7 September 2020. Employers who disclosed unpaid SG amounts and qualified for the amnesty are reminded that they must either pay in full any outstanding amounts they owe, or set up a payment plan and meet each ongoing instalment amount so as to avoid being disqualified and losing the benefits of the amnesty.

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Paper PAYG and GST Quarterly Instalment Notices

The ATO has previously advised that it will no longer issue paper activity statements after electronic lodgment. Instead, electronic activity statements will be available for access online, three to four days after the activity statement is generated.

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Changes to STP Reporting Concessions From 1 July 2021

Small employers (19 or fewer employees) are currently exempt from reporting ‘closely held’ payees through Single Touch Payroll ('STP'). Also, a quarterly STP reporting option applies to micro employers (four or fewer employees). These concessions will end on 30 June 2021.

The STP reporting changes that apply for these employers from 1 July 2021 are outlined below.

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Cash Payment Limit Bill Shelved

It appears that the Government has decided not to proceed with its proposal to limit cash payments in Australia to $10,000.

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ATO Data-Matching Programs

The ATO has announced it will engage in the following data-matching programs:

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SMSF Related Party Rental Income Deferrals Due to COVID‑19

The ATO has made a determination to ensure that trustees of SMSFs do not inadvertently breach the "in-house asset rules" where the fund allows a related party to defer the payment of rent under a lease agreement (on arm’s length terms) because of the financial impact of COVID‑19.

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AAT Decision on JobKeeper and Backdated ABNs

On 21 December 2020, the AAT handed down its decision in a case relating to a taxpayer's eligibility for JobKeeper payments, in circumstances where the Registrar of the Australian Business Register decided to reactivate a previously cancelled ABN after 12 March 2020, with a backdated effective date on or before 12 March 2020.

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Shortcut Rate for Claiming Home Office Expenses Extended

The ATO has extended (again) the ability to utilise the "shortcut rate" for claiming home office running expenses to 30 June 2021 (it previously only applied until 31 December 2020).

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New Measures Applying From 1 January 2021

The Government has provided an update of a number of new measures which came into effect from 1 January 2021, including (among others):

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JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme: Claims open from 1 February 2021

The JobMaker Hiring Credit is being administered by the ATO and provides a wage subsidy payment directly to employers as an incentive to employ additional job seekers aged 16 to 35 years.

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Magic Message Beans

During the Christmas period, we received Magic Message Beans from our clients ShareStory. These magic beans have messages engraved onto the seed and when the bean plant grows, the message appears on the bean!

Last week we decided to put our green thumbs to use. The beans were slowly but surely growing and over the weekend have exploded.

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JobKeeper Extension 2

The second extension period covers the JobKeeper fortnights between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021.

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Getting the Margin Scheme Right

If a property owner wants to use the margin scheme when selling property, they must be eligible before the property is offered for sale.

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