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Top Tax Tips – 26 Apr 2017

GST on low value goods

Currently an Australian tax resident purchasing goods costing $1,000 or less (i.e. low-value goods) from overseas (e.g. through an online transaction), would not have to pay GST on such a transaction.  However, a Bill is before Parliament that proposes to charge GST on such a sale from 1 July 2017 – which will mean that purchases of such low-value goods from overseas will potentially cost 10% more than is currently the case.

The GST impost on low value goods is proposed to only apply to supplies made to Australian consumers (e.g. purchasers not registered for GST or GST registered purchasers that acquired such low value goods solely for private purposes) – importations by Australian businesses will not be subject to the proposed GST impost.

However uncertainty exists on the best means to collect and remit the GST on such transactions.  Under the proposed vendor registration model, the overseas seller or overseas operator of an electronic distribution platform system (e.g. Amazon or eBay), will have to register for GST – a potentially unworkable solution from an enforcement perspective.

SMSF annual returns due 15 May

Trustees of SMSFs must lodge their annual returns by 15 May 2017 if they are not eligible for the 5 June 2017 lodgement concession date (note this later date is only available for SMSFs that are non-taxable). Payment of tax debts are also due on the 15 May 2017.

Insolvency advances are subject to superannuation guarantee

A company in liquidation is liable to make superannuation guarantee contributions in respect of payments of owed wages for services rendered prior to the company going into liquidation.

If the company in liquidation is subject to the superannuation guarantee charge, the liquidator or external administrator is not personally liable to pay the superannuation guarantee charge from his/her own funds.

ATO’s continued focus on Phoenix activity

The ATO’s Phoenix Taskforce have been conducting raids on pre-insolvency advisors, investigating whether they are providing advice to struggling companies on how to “phoenix a company” – i.e. where directors of a debt-laden company transfer that company’s assets to a new company (with the same directors) and then liquidate the original company to avoid paying employee entitlements, creditors or outstanding tax liabilities (GST and income tax).

If you have been affected by such Phoenix activity, we can assist you in a number of ways which may include representations to ASIC and the ATO.

How can Nexia Edwards Marshall NT help you?

For any questions or to discuss any of the above in relation to your personal situation, please contact Sarah McEachern or your Nexia Edwards Marshall NT Advisor.

The material contained in this publication is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice or recommendation from Nexia Edwards Marshall. Regarding any situation or circumstance, specific professional advice should be sought on any particular matter by contacting your Nexia Edwards Marshall Advisor.

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