What happened in tax?

Written by TaxCounsel Pty Ltd

The following points highlight important federal tax developments that occurred during April 2018.

Each month, a selection of these developments are considered in more detail in the Taxing Issues column of Taxation in Australia, the Institute's member journal.

Amending legislation: small business CGT concessions etc
On 28 March 2018, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer introduced an amending Bill into parliament that contains amendments that will give effect to CGT and several other previously announced amendments.

Amending legislation: super guarantee
Also on 28 March 2018, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services introduced an amending Bill into parliament to implement several recommendations contained in the Superannuation Guarantee Cross-Agency Working Group’s report to strengthen compliance with taxation and superannuation guarantee obligations.

Multilateral Convention legislation
The Treasury Laws Amendment (OECD Multilateral Instrument) Bill 2018, which was introduced into parliament on 28 March 2018, contains amendments to the International Tax Agreements Act 1953 (Cth) to give force of law in Australia to the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (Multilateral Convention). 

Taxation of stapled structures
The Treasurer has announced that the rules on stapled structures are to be tightened to close down an unintended concession that was only available to foreign investors.

Hybrid loopholes The Treasurer has released revised exposure draft legislation to address hybrid mismatch arrangements.

FBT: benchmark interest rate 
The benchmark interest rate for the FBT year commencing on 1 April 2018 is 5.20% per annum (TD 2018/2).

FBT: non-remote housing
The Commissioner has released a determination that sets out the indexation factors which are to be applied for the FBT year commencing 1 April 2018 when valuing non-remote housing under s 26 of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (Cth) (FBTAA) (TD 2018/1). These factors are based on movements in the rent sub-group of the CPI. 

FBT: exemption threshold The FBT exemption threshold for the FBT year commencing 1 April 2018 is $8,552 (TD 2018/5).

FBT: cents per kilometre rates

The cents per kilometre rates for calculating the taxable value of a fringe benefit arising from the private use of a motor vehicle other than a car for the FBT year commencing on 1 April 2018 are set out in TD 2018/4. 

FBT: food and drink expenses
The Commissioner has released a determination that sets out the amounts that he considers reasonable (under s 31G FBTAA) for food and drink expenses incurred by employees receiving a living-away-from-home allowance fringe benefit for the FBT year commencing on 1 April 2018 (TD 2018/3). 

Long-term construction contracts
The Commissioner has issued a final ruling which explains the methods acceptable to him for returning income derived, and recognising expenses incurred in, long-term construction projects (TR 2018/3).

Production of documents
The Full Federal Court has unanimously held that the statutory power conferred on the Commissioner to require a person by written notice to produce documents is not affected by the so-called Harman obligation (DCT v Rennie Produce (Aust) Pty Ltd (in liq) [2018] FCAFC 38). 

Written by practitioners for practitioners, Taxation in Australia is continually ranked as Australia's leading tax journal.

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