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Posts Tagged CGT


Reviewing the tax treatment of granny flats

06th Feb, 2019

The Federal Government has asked the Board of Taxation to undertake a review of the tax treatment of “granny flat” arrangements, recommending potential changes that take into account the interactions between tax laws and the social security rules. This request for review is in response to the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission’s report Elder abuse: a national legal response.

Currently, homeowners may have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) where there is a formal agreement, for example, for an older parent to live with their child, either in the same dwelling or a separate granny flat. This may deter families from establishing a formal and legally enforceable agreement, leaving no protection of the rights of the older person if there is a breakdown in the informal agreement.

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Cyptocurrency and tax: updated guidelines

12th Oct, 2018

The ATO says that for taxpayers carrying on businesses that involve transacting with cryptocurrency, the trading stock rules apply, rather than the capital gains tax (CGT) rules.

The ATO’s guidelines on the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies have recently been updated, following feedback from community consultation earlier this year. The ATO received about 800 pieces of individual feedback and submissions, and has now provided additional guidance on the practical issues of exchanging one cryptocurrency for another, and the related recordkeeping requirements.

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Property owners

20th Jun, 2018

The government has also proposed to abolish the main residence CGT exemption for taxpayers who are no longer Australian tax residents at the time they sign a contract to sell their home, regardless of how long the home has actually been used as a main residence.

There have been recent changes to:

  • the tax treatment associated with residential rental properties (eg travel deduction and depreciation changes);
  • CGT and GST withholding tax obligations for purchasers of property;
  • superannuation measures impacting home ownership (eg the first home super saver scheme and the superannuation downsizer incentive); and
  • stamp duty and land tax, which varies from state to state.

The government has also proposed to abolish the main residence CGT exemption for taxpayers who are no longer Australian tax residents at the time they sign a contract to sell their home, regardless of how long the home has actually been used as a main residence.

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CGT main residence exemption to disappear for non-residents

10th May, 2018

A person’s Australian tax residency status may be about to assume a whole new meaning. Currently, both residents and non-residents qualify for a full or partial exemption from capital gains tax (CGT) when they sell a property that is their home (main residence). But if a Bill that is currently before Parliament is passed, that will change, and any individual who is a non-resident for tax purposes at the time they sign a contract to sell their home – for example, if they have moved overseas before signing the sale contract – will no longer qualify for the full or partial main residence exemption, regardless of how long the home was actually their main residence when they were an Australian tax resident.

TIP: If you’re considering selling your home and moving or travelling overseas, talk to us to find out how this could affect your Australian tax residency and CGT costs.

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Residential rental property travel expense deduction changes

10th May, 2018

Recent changes to Australian tax law mean that individuals, self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and “private” trusts and partnerships can longer claim tax deductions for non-business travel costs related to their residential rental properties. Such costs also cannot form part of the cost base or reduced cost base of a CGT asset.

The ATO has issued guidance to make it clear that tax deductions are only permitted for taxpayers who incur this kind of travel expense as a necessary part of carrying on a business such as property investing, or providing retirement living, aged care, student accommodation or property management services.

TIP: The ATO will consider a range of factors, such as number of properties leased, time and expertise needed for their maintenance, and taxpayer record-keeping, when deciding if someone carries on a business that requires travel expenditure related to their residential properties.

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Court finds pay-as-you-go amounts “withheld” from salary payments

18th Apr, 2018

The Federal Court has ruled that pay-as-you-go (PAYG) amounts were “withheld” from a taxpayer’s salary payments so that she was entitled to a tax credit, despite the amounts never being remitted or notified to the ATO by her employers.

This case illustrates the importance of records and documentation in tax matters. The Court examined evidence such as the taxpayer’s offer of employment, payslips, bank statements and payment summaries, which suggested that the salary payments she received were “net pay” amounts (and not “gross”).

The Court noted that where an employer has not remitted PAYG withholding amounts to the ATO, this will raise questions about whether amounts were really withheld. However, adequate documentation can – as in this case – be used to prove that PAYG has in fact property to withhold an amount from the purchase price (for remission to the ATO) if the vendor is a foreign resident. This regime is designed to assist the ATO in collecting CGT payable by foreign residents.

If the vendor is an Australian resident, they must provide an ATO-issued clearance certificate to the purchaser on or before the day of settlement to ensure no withholding occurs. The ATO has released some guidance for trusts and superannuation funds about specific information they must provide when applying to the ATO for a clearance certificate. Contact our office for further assistance.

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