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09 May 2019 Latest ATO news and updates

Online services for agents 

Online services for agents has integrated Help and prompts to help you transition from the tax and BAS agent portals. The ATO also has a range of support materials, including the key changes page that lists some of the benefits and changes in Online services for agents, and an explanation of terminology used in the system. 

Find out more here. 

Registered agent deferral form 

Complete the Registered agent bulk client request form (NAT 75015) if you are a registered tax or BAS agent providing a payroll service and you need to apply for a deferral for your clients. Find out more here. 

How the ATO uses data matching to check tax returns 

The ATO receives data from a range of sources, including banks, financial institutions and other government agencies. The data is validated and matched against the ATO’s own information to identify where people and businesses may not be reporting all their income. 

Find out more here. 

How the ATO deals with non-compliance 

The ATO’s main focus is encouraging SMSF trustees to comply with the super laws, but there are occasions when stronger responses are warranted. 

Find out more here. 

Tax crime prosecution case studies 

The ATO has provided case studies to demonstrate that people who deliberately cheat the tax system will be held to account. You can find the case studies here. 

Exemption certificates for foreign investors of residential real estate 

If your foreign clients are investing in Australian residential real estate, they may need foreign investment approval before they purchase a property. 

Remind these clients that they may apply for an exemption certificate. It allows them to bid or make offers on multiple properties within a specific state or territory up to a specified value, provided they only proceed with purchasing one property. This means that your client does not need to seek individual approval for each property they attempt to purchase. 

Find out more here. 

Do your clients have foreign income? 

If your clients receive income from overseas they must declare this income in their tax return. This includes capital gains on overseas assets, income from assets and investments overseas, employment and personal services income and foreign pensions. 

Find out more about the types of foreign income your clients need to declare by referring to this foreign income guide. 

Got a tax question? Try ATO Community 

Becoming a member of ATO Community will give you access to a peer-to-peer online forum that allows members to talk about tax and super in a moderated environment 24/7. 

Find out more here. 

Supporting not-for-profit organisations 

The ATO has gathered data to highlight some of their biggest wins in supporting not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in the last financial year. 

Read more here. 

DGR status for Indigenous language organisations 

The ATO has updated their deductible gift recipient (DGR) table to include entities that promote Indigenous languages. 

Extending DGR status to those organisations that promote Indigenous languages will assist in the languages' preservation by attracting public financial support. 

More information can be found here

Tax Time Shareable Content Group 

The Tax Time Shareable Content Group will co-design products to assist tax agents in supporting clients to understand the requirements when making income tax return claims, so they are correct. Find out more here.


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