Tax Office cracks down on sharing economy

Who is nextWith the help of superior and wide-reaching data matching capabilities, the ATO are cracking down on the $500 million sharing economy – platforms such as Uber and Airbnb. Whether the income earned from Airbnb, Uber, or the like, is just a bit of extra cash on the side, or is a primary source of income, it all must be declared on the person’s income tax return. Those who under-report their income may end up owing back taxes and be hit with fines, penalties and interest charges.

While you must declare all income received, you can also claim deductions for expenses relating to the generation of that income.

In addition to declaring all income in your personal tax return, it is also a requirement that all Uber drivers be registered for GST, and lodge a quarterly BAS. As always, please give us a call if you have any queries.

Small Business Tax Rate

The small business company tax rate has been reduced from 30% to 28.5% for income years commencing on, or after, 1 July 2015. The corporate tax rate remains at 30% for all other companies that are not small business entities.

Individual taxpayers with business income from an unincorporated business that has an aggregated annual turnover of less than $2 million are also be eligible for a small business tax discount. The discount is five percent of the income tax payable on the business income received from an unincorporated small business entity. The discount is capped at $1,000 per individual for each income year, and delivered as a tax offset.

SuperStream extension for SBE employers

SuperStream is the ATO’s electronic and standardised reporting of the superannuation payment process, which allows employers to use one online channel to make employer contributions to multiple superannuation funds.

The deadline for compliance with SuperStream requirements was 30 June 2016.  However, the ATO is allowing some ‘compliance flexibility’ to small businesses (19 or fewer employees) that are not yet ready to implement the SuperStream requirements.

Basically this means that while all businesses are technically required to comply with the new rules, the ATO will delay taking any compliance action against small businesses until 28 October 2016.