The only silly question is the question not asked!

If we have sent you your Notice of Assessment (NOA), you’re likely in a payable position with the ATO. You will find all the details you need on the NOA – the amount outstanding, the due date and the payment details. Be sure to observe the due date and pay on time to avoid penalties and interest. If you require assistance or feel you may experience difficulties meeting your tax obligations, please contact our office to discuss what options may be available to you.

In short – Yes. As of 1 July 2019, all employers are required to be registered with the ATO for Single Touch Payroll (STP) which will lead to the phasing out of PAYG payment summaries (commonly referred to as group certificates).

Employees whose employer has commenced reporting through STP will not receive PAYG Payment Summaries but can access summarised information through their MyGov account or their registered tax agent.

If you carry on all or part of your employment activities from home and have a separate space set aside as an office a percentage of the running expenses may be able to be claimed. You should keep a diary for a minimum of 4 weeks detailing the time the office was used for work purposes. You then
have two options:

  1. Claim the cents per hour rate method based on your diarised work/business related use; or
  2. Claim a percentage of your running costs (gas, electricity, etc.) based on the floor space of the home office and how the office is used for work related activity in general.

If you are entitled to a claim, you should consider whether a claim against the cost of Internet use is appropriate as well.

Even if your employer requires you to wear fashion clothing from the store it is still not deductible. It is not considered a uniform as it doesn’t in anyway identify you as an employee.

Though you can claim a deduction for a compulsory or non‑compulsory uniform that is unique and distinctive to the organisation you work for.
Clothing is considered:

  1. unique if it has been designed and made only for the employer
  2. distinctive if it has the employer’s logo permanently attached and the clothing is not available to the public.

A compulsory work uniform is a set of clothing that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with an enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you’re at work.

In short, yes. However, you must have written evidence, such as diary entries (to be kept for a representative period of at least 4 weeks) and receipts, if both of the following apply:

  1. Your laundry claim is greater than $150.
  2. Your total claim for all work-related expenses you are claiming in your tax return exceeds $300.

If you’re not required to provide written evidence, you could use a reasonable basis to work out your claim. If you wash, dry and iron your clothes yourself, the ATO consider that a reasonable basis is:

  1. $1 per load if the load is made up only of work-related clothing
  2. $0.50 cents per load if you include other laundry items in the load.

Even if your employer enforces these standards, personal grooming expenses are generally not deductible unless you are involved in the performing arts field (or similar). Suits and associated apparel are considered conventional clothing and tend to be non-deductible as well.

If your mobile phone work use is incidental and you only really make the odd call here and there and you are not claiming a deduction of more than $50 in total for your mobile phone use, you could make a claim per below, without having to analyse your bills:

  1. $0.75 for work calls made from your mobile
  2. $0.10 for text messages sent from your mobile.

If you have a phone plan with an itemised bill, you need to work out your percentage of work use over a 4-week representative period, then use this percentage over the full years’ worth of phone bills.

The ATO expect you to work out the percentage using a reasonable basis. This could be worked out several ways which could include the:

  1. number of work calls made as a percentage of total calls
  2. amount of time spent on work calls as a percentage of your total calls
  3. amount of data downloaded for work purposes as a percentage of your total downloads.

You can claim a deduction for overtime meals without written evidence, if all the following apply, you:

  1. get paid an overtime meal allowance under an industrial instrument (such as an award)
  2. buy food and drink whilst on overtime
  3. only claim up to the reasonable allowance amount.

However, you can still only claim the amount you have spent.

Regardless of the above, if the ATO audit you on your expenses you must be able to show that you incurred the cost in general – best practice is to keep receipts regardless of the exemption above.

If you claim more than the reasonable allowance, you must keep written evidence of all your expenses claimed on your meal, not just the excess above.

Accommodation, meals and incidental expenses such as toothpaste and small items are deductible when you travel for work purposes AND are required to be away from home overnight.

In this circumstance you need to keep receipts, or other written evidence for your travel related expenses. There are some exceptions for expenses on accommodation, meals and incidentals however best practice is to keep all receipts and evidence in case of ATO audit.

If you travel away from home for 6 or more nights in a row, you need to keep travel records – something like a travel diary will suffice. This is in addition to keeping receipts for your expenses.

As you are receiving something from the transaction (i.e. raffle tickets or pens), it is not a donation and therefore is non-deductible. Buying an item does not make the purchase tax deductible. You need to be sure that when claiming genuine donations, the charity is a deductible gift recipient (DGR).

No. If you purchase items on behalf of your employer insist on being reimbursed to reclaim the actual full amount spent. Not being reimbursed and claiming it in your tax return means that you will only get back a percentage relative to your effective tax rate. If your tax rate is 30% you will only get back $90 of the $300 spent.

You can claim a work-related deduction for your motor vehicle use under several scenarios such as:

  1. you use your car in the course of performing your everyday work duties
  2. you attend work-related conferences or meetings away from your normal workplace
  3. you travel directly between two separate places of employment and one of the places is not your home
  4. you travel from your normal workplace to an alternative workplace and back to your normal workplace
  5. you travel from your home to an alternative workplace and then to your normal workplace
  6. you perform itinerant work

If claiming no more than 5,000km in total then there is no requirement to keep a formal logbook, however you must be able to substantiate your claim. So, ensure you log your travel in your travel diary or work calendar to use as a reference for your claim.

You can’t claim a deduction for normal travel between your home and your workplace except in very limited circumstances where you potentially carry heavy bulky tools or equipment (such as an extension ladder, wheelbarrow etc) that:

  1. your employer requires you to use for work (these tools are a must to perform your duties) and;
  2. you cannot leave these items at work as there is no safe secure storage

This claim is generally hard to justify upon ATO audit as a majority of work places have a secure building, shed etc where these items can be stored therefore making the decision not to leave the heavy bulky tools at the workplace a personal and private decision as such the travel to transport these items becomes personal and private in nature and non-deductible.

You will be required to lodge a TPAR (Taxable Payments Annual Report) if you are a business making contractor payments and operate with specific industries (Building & Construction Services, Cleaning Services, Courier Services, Road Freight Services, IT Services, Security, Investigation or Surveillance Services & Government Services). The TPAR reports payments that are made to contractors for providing services. Contractors can include subcontractors, consultants and independent contractors. They can be operating as sole traders (individuals), companies, partnerships or trusts.

We believe everyone should have a MyGov account.

The Government is consistently looking for improved ways, (both from efficiency and cost standpoints), of delivering information to the population. As such there has been a significant push from various government departments (including the ATO) to streamline access and delivery of information via the MyGov platform. We expect a continued focus on this making it even more important to have a MyGov account.

Once set up and correctly linked, a MyGov account will give you access to important ATO documents including your annual payment summary, PAYG installment notices, activity statements, notices of assessment and much more.

From mid-March 2020, you will require a MyGovID to access the business portal. For information on how to set up your MyGovID, please click HERE.

We strongly recommend all business register for the ATO’s business portal.

You can use the Business Portal to communicate with the ATO, manage your activity statements, view account statements, view your Single Touch Payroll (STP) reports, manage your business registration details and to manage registrations for the variety of taxation-based regimes.

A critical benefit for a lot of business is access to online lodgment for quarter Business Activity Statements. Using the Business Portal to lodge ensures a 14-day extension to the standard lodgment date as well as a 14 day extension for payment.

Learn how we can help you.