Public advice and guidance community

Welcome

This Public advice and guidance community is one of the ways we are engaging with the community to understand the issues that are important to you and to help us better target our advice and guidance solutions.

We want ATO public advice and guidance to be effective in providing certainty for the community and to be targeted to appropriate issues. Early consultation is a key element of our strategy to achieve this.

The Public Advice and Guidance Centre monitors this discussion board but cannot comment on or endorse every post. We offer a range of products to help you understand how the law applies to you. This includes public advice and guidance and private advice and guidance, see Advice and Guidance.

Have your say

Click here to access the 'investment manager regime' or 'home office expenses' forum or you can provide us feedback on what other topics you would like discussed further.

Welcome

This Public advice and guidance community is one of the ways we are engaging with the community to understand the issues that are important to you and to help us better target our advice and guidance solutions.

We want ATO public advice and guidance to be effective in providing certainty for the community and to be targeted to appropriate issues. Early consultation is a key element of our strategy to achieve this.

The Public Advice and Guidance Centre monitors this discussion board but cannot comment on or endorse every post. We offer a range of products to help you understand how the law applies to you. This includes public advice and guidance and private advice and guidance, see Advice and Guidance.

Have your say

Click here to access the 'investment manager regime' or 'home office expenses' forum or you can provide us feedback on what other topics you would like discussed further.

  • Open for Consultation – Employee Share Schemes and Employee Remuneration Trust Arrangements

    4 months ago
    Updated: Friday 9 June 2017

    As a response to feedback from the community, we recently published Draft Ruling TR 2017/D5 Income tax: employee remuneration trusts to replace Draft Ruling TR 2014/D1 Income tax: employee remuneration trust arrangements. The ATO views in TR 2017/D5 have not changed in any significant way from those expressed in TR 2014/D1 except that TR 2017/D5 does not deal with employee share schemes (ESS).

    The ATO view about dividend equivalent payments made by a trustee under an ESS is now represented in Draft Tax Determination TD 2017/D2 Income tax: when will a... Continue reading
    Updated: Friday 9 June 2017

    As a response to feedback from the community, we recently published Draft Ruling TR 2017/D5 Income tax: employee remuneration trusts to replace Draft Ruling TR 2014/D1 Income tax: employee remuneration trust arrangements. The ATO views in TR 2017/D5 have not changed in any significant way from those expressed in TR 2014/D1 except that TR 2017/D5 does not deal with employee share schemes (ESS).

    The ATO view about dividend equivalent payments made by a trustee under an ESS is now represented in Draft Tax Determination TD 2017/D2 Income tax: when will a dividend equivalent payment, made by a trustee under an employee share scheme that delivers ESS interests taxed by Subdivision 83A-B or 83A-C of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, be assessable as remuneration under section 6-5?

    We have also released an associated Draft Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2017/D9 Dividend equivalent payments made by a trustee under an employee share scheme. This will provide certainty for employees that a dividend equivalent payment will not be assessable to them as remuneration where the conditions outlined in PCG 2017/D9 are met.

    We invite you to provide comments on Draft Ruling TR 2017/D5 by 21 July 2017, and comments on the views expressed in Draft Tax Determination TD 2017/D2 and Draft Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2017/D9 by 7 July 2017.
  • Thank you for your ideas

    6 months ago
    Updated: Wednesday 16 August 2017

    Thank you to our community members for continuing to think about ideas for public advice and guidance.

    Idea: Action/Response:
    Have mentioned this to ATO before but nothing doing so will try again. All good accountants reconcile their client's GST, PAYG W, wages etc at year end. To do this you basically enter in the GST Paid, Collected, PAYG W, wages etc for each BAS into an annual worksheet and cross check with the accounts. You basically cannot download this data from the portal, you have to look up each BAS and key it in. The result is time wasting when, it seems to me, getting it as a download in a CSV etc, would eliminate re-keying. We live in a world of automation and technology, ATO seems to be always pushing it, so why not some proactive thinking around the Tax Agent Portal? Thanks for your idea Robert.
    The ATO is committed to improving online services for tax agents and work is currently underway on this. We are also working with software developers to provide additional functionality through practice management software.
    Your suggestions are being considered by the relevant teams working on these initiatives.
    Can you please add categories to the webinars, ie Tax Professional, BAS Agent. I get 5 or 10 minutes into a webinar and it is not relevant to me. I am a BAS agent and don't need to watch info about Tax Returns or Super Fund Reporting. It would be nice if it was clear which ones I should be watching We have considered this idea and think that categorising webinars by target audience as well as by topic would be useful and improve the user experience. We are looking into this and will provide an update here once we have considered this further.
    The concept of a Significant Global Entity (SGE) is relatively new in the tax law, and a number of new tax rules now rely on this definition (ie, increased penalties, Country-by-Country reporting, Diverted Profits Tax). Some limited guidance on the SGE definition is included in LCG 2015/3 relating to Country-by-Country reporting, however as this concept now applies to a number of other provisions, it would be beneficial if the ATO could expand and collate this guidance into a single product that can be applied across relevant provisions. Some issues that could be considered for guidance include: - identifying the relevant global parent entity and global group (including linkages with accounting principles and commercially accepted principles where accounting principles do not apply) - currency conversion - identifying the relevant global financial statements - entities joining or leaving an SGE "group" part way through a year - additional guidance on the meaning of 'annual global income'. Recently, we received a suggestion to produce public advice and guidance on the significant global entity (SGE) definition.
    We are currently preparing public advice and guidance in relation to Country by Country reporting and General Purpose Financial Statements that address the SGE definition. We intend to publish to this guidance in the near future. While we are not giving consideration to the development of any additional guidance on the SGE definition at this time, our guidance will be applicable to other measures that utilise this definition (such as the MAAL and DPT measures).
    It would be very helpful for the ATO to present a webinar on WET tax. There are no courses available and little knowledge out there in the field. We like the idea of holding a webinar on the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET). The Government recently foreshadowed legislative changes to the WET rebate: see Media Release 2016/108. With this in mind, we plan to host one following the passage of new law, when a Webinar will be of most benefit to the wine industry. Thanks for your suggestion. In the meantime, you can find guidance on WET at Wine Equalisation Tax and general enquiries can be directed to wettechadvice@ato.gov.au.
    Guidance on Div7A and deceased estates (ATO ID 2002/71 and ATO ID 2012/77) Both ATO IDs appear to be contradictory on the same matter. Clarity is needed regarding situations where a loan is made during an income year but the shareholder dies in the following income year before the company's lodgement due date and no actions were undertaken in relation to the loan. Other scenarios such as amalgamated loans, prior to or after probate, should also be included. No clarity right now which ID is the latest. ATO ID 2002/741 last reviewed on 10 June 2014. ATO ID 2012/77 published on 17 September 2012. We’ve received feedback on ATOID 2002/741 and ATOID 2012/77. While we are of the view that both are correct, and not contradictory, we acknowledge the need to take a closer look at how we can provide clearer guidance on the issues. We’ll provide an update here once we have considered this further.

    Click here to view the ideas that have already been submitted by our community members.

    Keep those ideas coming.
    Updated: Wednesday 16 August 2017

    Thank you to our community members for continuing to think about ideas for public advice and guidance.

    Idea: Action/Response:
    Have mentioned this to ATO before but nothing doing so will try again. All good accountants reconcile their client's GST, PAYG W, wages etc at year end. To do this you basically enter in the GST Paid, Collected, PAYG W, wages etc for each BAS into an annual worksheet and cross check with the accounts. You basically cannot download this data from the portal, you have to look up each BAS and key it in. The result is time wasting when, it seems to me, getting it as a download in a CSV etc, would eliminate re-keying. We live in a world of automation and technology, ATO seems to be always pushing it, so why not some proactive thinking around the Tax Agent Portal? Thanks for your idea Robert.
    The ATO is committed to improving online services for tax agents and work is currently underway on this. We are also working with software developers to provide additional functionality through practice management software.
    Your suggestions are being considered by the relevant teams working on these initiatives.
    Can you please add categories to the webinars, ie Tax Professional, BAS Agent. I get 5 or 10 minutes into a webinar and it is not relevant to me. I am a BAS agent and don't need to watch info about Tax Returns or Super Fund Reporting. It would be nice if it was clear which ones I should be watching We have considered this idea and think that categorising webinars by target audience as well as by topic would be useful and improve the user experience. We are looking into this and will provide an update here once we have considered this further.
    The concept of a Significant Global Entity (SGE) is relatively new in the tax law, and a number of new tax rules now rely on this definition (ie, increased penalties, Country-by-Country reporting, Diverted Profits Tax). Some limited guidance on the SGE definition is included in LCG 2015/3 relating to Country-by-Country reporting, however as this concept now applies to a number of other provisions, it would be beneficial if the ATO could expand and collate this guidance into a single product that can be applied across relevant provisions. Some issues that could be considered for guidance include: - identifying the relevant global parent entity and global group (including linkages with accounting principles and commercially accepted principles where accounting principles do not apply) - currency conversion - identifying the relevant global financial statements - entities joining or leaving an SGE "group" part way through a year - additional guidance on the meaning of 'annual global income'. Recently, we received a suggestion to produce public advice and guidance on the significant global entity (SGE) definition.
    We are currently preparing public advice and guidance in relation to Country by Country reporting and General Purpose Financial Statements that address the SGE definition. We intend to publish to this guidance in the near future. While we are not giving consideration to the development of any additional guidance on the SGE definition at this time, our guidance will be applicable to other measures that utilise this definition (such as the MAAL and DPT measures).
    It would be very helpful for the ATO to present a webinar on WET tax. There are no courses available and little knowledge out there in the field. We like the idea of holding a webinar on the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET). The Government recently foreshadowed legislative changes to the WET rebate: see Media Release 2016/108. With this in mind, we plan to host one following the passage of new law, when a Webinar will be of most benefit to the wine industry. Thanks for your suggestion. In the meantime, you can find guidance on WET at Wine Equalisation Tax and general enquiries can be directed to wettechadvice@ato.gov.au.
    Guidance on Div7A and deceased estates (ATO ID 2002/71 and ATO ID 2012/77) Both ATO IDs appear to be contradictory on the same matter. Clarity is needed regarding situations where a loan is made during an income year but the shareholder dies in the following income year before the company's lodgement due date and no actions were undertaken in relation to the loan. Other scenarios such as amalgamated loans, prior to or after probate, should also be included. No clarity right now which ID is the latest. ATO ID 2002/741 last reviewed on 10 June 2014. ATO ID 2012/77 published on 17 September 2012. We’ve received feedback on ATOID 2002/741 and ATOID 2012/77. While we are of the view that both are correct, and not contradictory, we acknowledge the need to take a closer look at how we can provide clearer guidance on the issues. We’ll provide an update here once we have considered this further.

    Click here to view the ideas that have already been submitted by our community members.

    Keep those ideas coming.
  • Draft Taxation Ruling on corporate limited partnership closes for public comment 30 June 2017

    about 2 months ago
    The ATO has published draft Taxation Ruling (TR) TR 2017/D4 – Income tax: When does a corporate limited partnership ‘credit’ an amount to be a partner in that partnership?

    The draft Ruling, currently open for public comment, sets out the Commissioner’s preliminary but considered view on when a corporate limited partnership (CLP) ‘credits’ an amount to one of its partners within the meaning of section 94M of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

    Consultation

    The ATO is encouraging tax professionals, legal professionals and taxpayers to get in contact with the authoring team to provide feedback on the substantive content of the draft TR, and the new approach it adopts. The draft TR is available on the ATO Legal Database and is open for comment until Friday 30 June 2017.
    The ATO has published draft Taxation Ruling (TR) TR 2017/D4 – Income tax: When does a corporate limited partnership ‘credit’ an amount to be a partner in that partnership?

    The draft Ruling, currently open for public comment, sets out the Commissioner’s preliminary but considered view on when a corporate limited partnership (CLP) ‘credits’ an amount to one of its partners within the meaning of section 94M of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

    Consultation

    The ATO is encouraging tax professionals, legal professionals and taxpayers to get in contact with the authoring team to provide feedback on the substantive content of the draft TR, and the new approach it adopts. The draft TR is available on the ATO Legal Database and is open for comment until Friday 30 June 2017.
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  • New draft Law Companion Guidelines for GST on cross-border supplies

    about 2 months ago
    Updated: Tuesday 27 June 2017

    We have published two draft Law Companion Guidelines on GST and cross-border supplies. We invite your comments on our draft views during the consultation period, which ends on 10 July. You can provide your comments via our feedback form.

    Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2017/D4: GST on supplies made through electronic distribution platforms is about when an EDP operator is responsible for GST on supplies of:
    • digital products and digital services, from 1 July 2017, and
    • low value imported goods, from 1 July 2018.

    Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2017/D5: When... Continue reading
    Updated: Tuesday 27 June 2017

    We have published two draft Law Companion Guidelines on GST and cross-border supplies. We invite your comments on our draft views during the consultation period, which ends on 10 July. You can provide your comments via our feedback form.

    Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2017/D4: GST on supplies made through electronic distribution platforms is about when an EDP operator is responsible for GST on supplies of:
    • digital products and digital services, from 1 July 2017, and
    • low value imported goods, from 1 July 2018.

    Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2017/D5: When is a redeliverer responsible for GST on a supply of low value imported goods? explains how the proposed amendments for GST on low value imported goods will apply to redeliverers.

    The new draft guidance products complement the draft Law Companion Guideline we published earlier this year, Draft Law Companion LCG 2017/D2: GST on low value imported goods.

    See our Let’s Talk page for more information on how we propose to administer the new law for GST on low value imported goods.

    We will also be placing further information on our website about the measure, at www.ato.gov.au/AusGST.

    Other relevant guidance

    We have recently published the final public ruling GSTR 2017/1: making cross-border supplies to Australian consumers, which was previously issued as draft public ruling GSTR 2016/D1. This is relevant to suppliers and electronic distribution platforms in relation to imported services and digital products.
  • Improving our private advice

    4 months ago

    Through the Review of Private Advice we set out to learn all we could about our private advice services – and then went about making changes to improve them.

    Deputy Commissioner Tim Dyce said the ATO has made a number of changes to our advice and guidance services that are designed to be responsive to community needs.

    “The Review of Private Advice has resulted in a series of small changes that have meant big benefits to taxpayers.” Mr Dyce said.

    Our new approach is to engage with you early and provide you with ... Continue reading

    Through the Review of Private Advice we set out to learn all we could about our private advice services – and then went about making changes to improve them.

    Deputy Commissioner Tim Dyce said the ATO has made a number of changes to our advice and guidance services that are designed to be responsive to community needs.

    “The Review of Private Advice has resulted in a series of small changes that have meant big benefits to taxpayers.” Mr Dyce said.

    Our new approach is to engage with you early and provide you with timely advice in a format you can use. We want to make it easy to get things right and harder to get them wrong.

    We’ve implemented a number of changes to improve our advice and guidance services. So far, we’ve extended our early engagement for advice service that was already on offer to big businesses to all sized businesses and individuals. We’ve also introduced a streamlined private ruling application form to help you propose your own rulings in a format that would help our technical experts get straight down to interpreting the detail of the matter.

    We are committed to improving our private advice processes and provide certainty through tailored, timely advice. We will continue to look at our processes, tweaking and improving where we can, developing tools and services to help you to comply.

    To find out more about what we’ve achieved and what’s next, visit Reshaping private advice.

  • The Tax Institute Round Table, March 2017

    4 months ago
    Published: Monday 15 May 2017

    The Tax Institute Round Table was held at The Tax Institute’s National Convention in March 2017. It is one of the ways the ATO is engaging with the tax profession to understand matters that are important to tax professionals and identify the questions within these topics that need closer attention.

    Working together with Tax Institute members, the ATO sought feedback from all institute members via Tax Vine prior to the National Convention on potential topics. The Tax Institute Round Table provides a unique opportunity for Tax Institute members to help influence... Continue reading
    Published: Monday 15 May 2017

    The Tax Institute Round Table was held at The Tax Institute’s National Convention in March 2017. It is one of the ways the ATO is engaging with the tax profession to understand matters that are important to tax professionals and identify the questions within these topics that need closer attention.

    Working together with Tax Institute members, the ATO sought feedback from all institute members via Tax Vine prior to the National Convention on potential topics. The Tax Institute Round Table provides a unique opportunity for Tax Institute members to help influence what issues the ATO will address via public advice and guidance. This is the second year the Tax Institute Round Table has been included on the agenda for the National Convention.

    This year’s Tax Institute Round Table included Senior ATO representatives, Second Commissioner Andrew Mills and Chief Tax Counsel Kirsten Fish, joined by Professor Gordon Cooper from Cooper & Co, and Peter Godber from Grant Thornton communicating directly with tax professionals in a question and answer format across a range of topics.

    An array of current technical issues was covered including:
    1. Family Partnerships
    2. Superannuation including meeting the $1.6m transfer balance cap and retirement planning arrangements
    3. Corporate Residency
    4. Private Group Demergers
    5. Small Business Restructure Roll-over
    6. Unpaid present entitlements under sub-trust arrangements

    A summary of this discussion that provides practical guidance on the above mentioned issues is now available on the ATO Legal Database.
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  • Refreshing our public rulings

    5 months ago
    Project Refresh is an initiative to review, update and withdraw outdated public rulings to provide you with contemporary and accessible advice. We are working with industry experts to help provide relevant, legally binding, and current public advice and guidance on the issues that matter most to the public.

    The review will not change our view expressed in the public rulings, but ensures they are up to date and reflect current business practices.

    The refresh initially focuses on rulings we haven’t updated in more than five years and will range from simply updating old legislative references, to... Continue reading
    Project Refresh is an initiative to review, update and withdraw outdated public rulings to provide you with contemporary and accessible advice. We are working with industry experts to help provide relevant, legally binding, and current public advice and guidance on the issues that matter most to the public.

    The review will not change our view expressed in the public rulings, but ensures they are up to date and reflect current business practices.

    The refresh initially focuses on rulings we haven’t updated in more than five years and will range from simply updating old legislative references, to more complex ruling rewrites that consolidate a number of related public rulings.

    Withdrawing rulings that are no longer relevant means taxpayers and professionals can easily find the information they are after. Prior to withdrawing a ruling, we consult with industry to determine whether replacement public advice and guidance is needed, and the public are provided an opportunity to provide comment on the proposed withdrawal.

    So far we have identified approximately 2,000 rulings to be reviewed, including many that require remedial treatment, and some that should be withdrawn completely because they are no longer relevant.

    Following a consultation process to determine their relevancy and appropriate treatment, as at 31 March 2017, 331 rulings have been refreshed, including:

    • 311 rulings that were withdrawn without replacement as they were no longer relevant
    • 10 updated or refreshed by the publication of a new ruling
    • 10 noted as not requiring updates.

    You can find a list of rulings identified for review on the Project Refresh page on ato.gov.au.

    You can also comment on the planned treatment of any listed ruling by contacting the ATO by email.
  • GST on low value imported goods

    7 months ago
    On 16 February 2017, the Government introduced legislation Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017 (the Bill) into Parliament that will amend the law to extend Goods and Services Tax (GST) to low value goods imported by consumers in Australia from 1 July 2017.

    We have published a draft Law Companion Guideline which sets out our draft view of how the proposed amendments will apply to determine when a supply of low value goods is connected with Australia. We also intend to issue further guidance about how to determine which entity is responsible for GST on a taxable supply of low value imported goods. This is expected to address issues such as when an electronic distribution platform (EDP) operator or redeliverer will be responsible for GST, and the rules where more than one EDP operator or redeliverer is involved in a supply. If there are particular scenarios on which you would like guidance, we invite your comments during the consultation period.

    We are also consulting on other aspects of our administration of the proposed amendments. Check out what we are doing at our Low Value Goods Let’s Talk page.
    On 16 February 2017, the Government introduced legislation Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017 (the Bill) into Parliament that will amend the law to extend Goods and Services Tax (GST) to low value goods imported by consumers in Australia from 1 July 2017.

    We have published a draft Law Companion Guideline which sets out our draft view of how the proposed amendments will apply to determine when a supply of low value goods is connected with Australia. We also intend to issue further guidance about how to determine which entity is responsible for GST on a taxable supply of low value imported goods. This is expected to address issues such as when an electronic distribution platform (EDP) operator or redeliverer will be responsible for GST, and the rules where more than one EDP operator or redeliverer is involved in a supply. If there are particular scenarios on which you would like guidance, we invite your comments during the consultation period.

    We are also consulting on other aspects of our administration of the proposed amendments. Check out what we are doing at our Low Value Goods Let’s Talk page.