July 2019 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Common Car Expense Claim Questions Answered
  • First Home Super Saver Changes
  • SMSFs Spared from New STP Obligations
  • FairWork Surprise Audits Occurring in Regional Australia
  • Announcements

Common car expense claim questions answered

Retrospective changes to the First Home Super Saver Scheme have been hailed as a “vast improvement” on the process, following industry concerns over the previous administrative procedure.
The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS) enables individuals over 18 who have …
 
 
 

SMSFs to be spared from new STP reporting obligations

An industry law firm has assured SMSF professionals that the new Single Touch Payroll obligations will not apply to SMSFs, despite the way certain superannuation benefits have been treated for reporting in the past. From 1 July 2019, all employers, including small employers with 19 or less employees, will need to report payroll information to the ATO in real time under the Single …
 
 
More than 700 workers have been found to be underpaid, with their employers failing to comply with record-keeping requirements, after Fair Work launched surprise audits across regional cities.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $331,386 in wages for 725 underpaid …
 
 

Announcements:

This month we wish both Jo and Paula a very Happy Birthday. We also congratulate Brian for bringing up another work anniversary (29 years)!
Joanne Dreckow Paula Toll
Brian Watts  
 
 

 

Single Touch Payroll Reporting – Are you ready?

The ATO’s new compulsory Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting requirements is due to commence from the 1st of July 2019 for employers with less than 20 employees. For many employers, they are yet to confirm how they will comply so we have put together this short article regarding STP compliant software. Firstly, employers need to decide if they wish to process the reporting requirements themselves, use a third party payroll provider or use their accountant or a registered BAS agent (e.g. bookkeeper). For those that wish to outsource the reporting we advise that you contact your preferred choice as soon as possible.

The DIY options

If you plan on processing the reporting requirements yourself you need STP compliant software, so let’s step through some of the options.
 
1.       Check that your existing software is STP compliant
Employers using cloud software should be fine as the major accounting software providers in the cloud have provided this functionality already. This includes: Xero, QuickBooks Online, MYOB Essentials & MYOB AccountRight Live Plus. The latest version of CashFlow Manager is also compliant via a third party provider, this is also the case with the latest version of Reckon Accounts or Reckon Hosted. Those using older desktop software will need to find another solution which would include changing accounting software or using a specific STP reporting app.
 
2.       Changing Accounting software
If you are comfortable with your existing desktop software you will likely find that your vendor has a STP compliant option available. Just be aware that there is a large difference in the pricing of the solutions mentioned above especially as the number of employees’ increases. In our opinion QuickBooks Online provides the best value but we are also happy to recommend xero.
 
3.       STP reporting only solution
There are several software providers that have launched payroll specific software for $10 p/m or less that can be used just for STP reporting (where you have 1-4 employees). This may allow you to continue using your old desktop software (or spreadsheets) for the bookkeeping and one of these subscriptions for the compulsory STP reporting. We recommend sticking to one of the known brands:
  • Reckon STP mobile app is free (only available on a mobile device)
  • Xero & MYOB both offer a $10 p/m version
  • We would also suggest you consider KeyPay ($4 per employee p/m)
  • If you have more than 4 employees we recommend one of the QuickBooks Online options
Watts Price Accountants & Knights Accounting can assist with:
  • Software recommendations
  • New software subscriptions
  • Migrating your existing software
  • Software training
  • Processing your ATO STP payroll and/or SuperStream requirements
If you have any further queries please let me know.  

Commonly Asked Question

Q: If I list on Airbnb or Stayz will I attract the attention of the ATO?

A: Quite possibly. The ATO has said that it will be using it’s data matching capabilities to monitor the share economy including data from sites such as Airbnb and Stayz.
 
This is because the ATO estimates that there is nearly $9 billion in tax revenue it is missing out on. One such area of focus is from tax deductions claimed during periods of non tenancy. Tax legislation currently allows deductions for holding costs, such as interest and rates, incurred by property owners during periods of vacancy where the owners are genuinely seeking tenants. If the property is being used for personal purposes, or is otherwise not genuinely available for rent, an appropriation of proportion of those holding costs are not considered deductible.  

All the best from the Watts Price Team!