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03 Jun 2021 Advocacy Tracker

Key issues on the radar 

Our Tax Policy and Advocacy team is always working for our members. Our new Advocacy Tracker sets out the key issues that we are advocating for on your behalf, including additional resources via the hyperlinks. Should members have any queries or wish to discuss matters with the Tax Policy and Advocacy team, please contact us at Tax Policy. 

Issue 

Tax Policy and Advocacy activity 

Stakeholder 

ONGOING ITEMS 

 

 

JobKeeper and cash flow boost 

Apted appeal — updated ATO guidance 

The Full Federal Court handed down its decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Apted [2021] FCAFC 45 on 24 March 2021. This is the final decision in this matter. 

On 29 April 2021, the ATO issued a Decision Impact Statement on the Apted decision. The ATO also updated PS LA 2020/1 Commissioner’s discretion to allow further time for an entity to hold an ABN or provide notice to the Commissioner of assessable income or supplies

Within these documents, the Commissioner acknowledges that the discretion relating to allow further time to hold an ABN or provide notice to the Commissioner of assessable income or supplies to evidence business activity before 12 March 2020 is broader than has been applied by the ATO. 

We know that this will affect some of your clients, and we will provide further detail around next steps soon. There is no need for members to contact us at this stage. 

  

Matters escalated to ATO following IGTO report 

The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman’s A Report on aspects of the Australian Taxation Office’s administration of JobKeeper and Boosting Cash Flow Payments for new businesses on 21 December 2020 identified an alternative eligibility pathway for certain businesses (in very limited circumstances) for JobKeeper (business participants) and the cash flow boost. 

The Tax Institute continues to escalate cases on behalf of members for review by the ATO. 

The recent Tribunal decision in Slatter Building Group Pty Ltd and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2021] AATA 456 confirms our understanding of the law. 

On 21 April 2021, the ATO issued a decision impact statement on the Slatter Building Group case. 

ATO 

Digital activity statements 

Following a number of members raising the issue of the removal of paper activity statements with us, The Tax Institute escalated the matter to the ATO late last year. 

This has resulted in a series of regular meetings to discuss the impact of the ATO’s decision to remove paper quarterly PAYG and GST instalment notices and the design of an interim solution which involves the reinstatement of paper activity statements from the March 2021 quarter. 

We continue to work with the ATO in the design of a permanent solution. We have also been working with the ATO to identity where some taxpayers did not receive a paper activity statement for the March 2021 quarter to ensure the interim solution is operating effectively. 

ATO 

PCG 2021/D2 — professional firm profits 

Following the release of PCG 2021/D2 on the allocation of professional firm profits and the ATO’s compliance approach, The Tax Institute is working through the specifics of how we will engage with our members on this important issue. 

The Tax Institute has published a member-only fact sheet on the PCG and has worked with the other professional bodies to lodge a Joint Submission with the ATO. 

The Tax Institute has also lodged a TTI Submission with the ATO.  

If you have any further feedback on this issue, please contact us at Tax Policy

ATO 

FBT return lodgment list 

A member contacted us regarding their FBT return lodgment list. 

According to Online Services for Agents (OSfA), the agent has 4 FBT returns due for the 2020–21 FBT year, as well as 2 FBT returns outstanding for the 2019–20 FBT year. 

The member was unable to determine how to request a listing of these unlodged FBT returns on OSfA. After the agent sought, but was not able to access, a listing of their unlodged FBT returns from the ATO, the member sought the assistance of The Tax Institute. We escalated the matter to the ATO. 

According to a list of the member’s current FBT clients subsequently sent by the ATO via Practice Mail (the Practice inbox in OFSA), only one client is listed. 

The ATO is investigating this issue and will provide updates in due course. 

ATO 

Review of Tax Practitioners Board 

The Tax Institute has lodged a confidential submission with the TPB on the Final Report of the Review of the TPB, and is currently preparing a submission to Treasury which will be publicly available. We are working through each of the 28 recommendations and determining our position on each aspect of this important review. 

Comments by The Tax Institute’s President, Peter Godber, were reported in TaxVine on 26 February 2021. 

Treasury/TPB 

Transfer balance cap indexation 

There are concerns about the practical effect of the indexation of the transfer balance cap from $1.6 million to $1.7 million on 1 July 2021. The concerns relate to the practical issues associated with the proportionate indexation of the personal transfer balance cap for those who have commenced an income stream with a value of less than $1.6 million. 

The Tax Institute has escalated this issue to the ATO and the Treasury. 

ATO/Treasury 

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