Superannuation Guarantee increase to 10.5% 

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate will rise from 10% to 10.5% on 1 July 2022 and will continue to increase by 0.5% each year until it reaches 12% on 1 July 2025. 

If you have employees, what this will mean depends on your employment agreements. If the employment agreement states the employee is paid on a ‘total remuneration’ basis (base plus SG and any other allowances), then their take home pay might be reduced by 0.5%. That is, a greater percentage of their total remuneration will be directed to their superannuation fund. For employees paid a rate plus superannuation, then their take home pay will remain the same and the 0.5% increase will be added to their SG payments. 

$450 super guarantee threshold removed 

From 1 July 2022, the $450 threshold test will be removed, and all employees aged 18 or over will need to be paid superannuation guarantee regardless of how much they earn. It is important to ensure that your payroll system accommodates this change, so you do not inadvertently underpay superannuation.  

For employees under the age of 18, super guarantee is only paid if the employee works more than 30 hours per week. 

Profits of professional services firms  

The ATO has been concerned for some time about how many professional services firms are structured – and how the profits from these practices are being taxed. Professional practices such as: 

  • Lawyers 
  • Accountants 
  • Architects 
  • Medical practices 
  • Engineers, etc 

who operate through trusts, companies, and partnerships of discretionary trusts. 

New ATO guidance that comes into effect from 1 July 2022, takes a strong stance on structures designed to divert income in a way that results in principal practitioners receiving relatively small amounts of income personally for their work and reducing their taxable income. Where these structures appear to be in place to divert income to create a tax benefit for the professional, Part IVA may apply. Part IVA is an integrity rule which allows the Tax Commissioner to remove any tax benefit received by a taxpayer where they entered into an arrangement in a contrived manner in order to obtain a tax benefit. Significant penalties can also apply when Part IVA is triggered. 

A new method of assessing the level of risk associated with profits generated by a professional services firm and how they flow through to individual practitioners and their related parties, will come into effect from 1 July 2022. Professional firms will need to assess their structures to understand their risk rating, and if necessary, either make changes to reduce their risks level or ensure appropriate documentation is in place to justify their position. 

Lowering tax instalments for small business – PAYG 

PAYG instalments are regular prepayments made during the year of the tax on business and investment income. The actual amount owing is then reconciled at the end of the income year when the tax return is lodged.  

Normally, GST and PAYG instalment amounts are adjusted using a GDP adjustment or uplift. For the 2022-23 income year, the Government has set this uplift factor at 2% – rather than 10%. The 2% uplift rate will apply to small to medium enterprises eligible to use the relevant instalment methods for instalments for the 2022-23 income year: 

  • Up to $10 million annual aggregated turnover for GST instalments, and  
  • $50 million annual aggregated turnover for PAYG instalments  

The effect of the change is that small businesses using this PAYG instalment method will have more cash during the year to utilise. However, the actual amount of tax owing on the tax return will not change, just the amount you need to contribute during the year. 

Trust distributions to companies 

The ATO recently released a draft tax determination dealing specifically with unpaid distributions owed by trusts to corporate beneficiaries. If the amount owed by the trust is deemed to be a loan, then it can potentially fall within the scope of the integrity provisions in Division 7A.  

If certain steps are not taken, such as placing the unpaid amount under a complying loan agreement, these amounts can be treated as deemed unfranked dividends for tax purposes – and taxable at the taxpayer’s marginal tax rate. The ATO guidance deals specifically with, and potentially changes, when an unpaid entitlement to trust income will start being treated as a loan depending on the wording of the resolution to pay a distribution.  

The new guidance applies to trust entitlements arising on or after 1 July 2022. 

Asset Purchases 
Just a reminder that the full asset write off rules apply for plant & equipment purchased to 30th June. 
 

To qualify, you need to have the items delivered, installed, and ready for use by 30 June 2022. Be aware that not all items qualify,