July – what happened in tax?

The following points highlight important federal tax developments that occurred during July 2019.

Each month, these developments are considered in detail in the 'Tax News' column of Taxation in Australia, the Institute's member journal.

Taxable payments reporting system

The Commissioner has made a legislative instrument that exempts entities that meet specific criteria from having to prepare and lodge reports with the Commissioner relating to payments to third-party contractors for courier, cleaning, information technology, security, investigation, surveillance or road freight services (TPRS 2019/1).

Commissioner’s general administration powers 

The Commissioner has issued a revised practice statement that outlines (for the purposes of ATO staff) issues that arise in relation to his powers of general administration (GPA), including the circumstances in which the Commissioner’s GPA may be properly exercised (PS LA 2009/4).

Employees guide for work expenses

The Commissioner has released a guide called “Employees guide for work expenses” which is designed to help employees when deciding whether their expenses are deductible, and what records are needed to be kept to substantiate them.  

The Commissioner has extended the operation of PCG 2017/13 to deal with the situation where, in accordance with PS LA 2010/4, investment option 1 has been validly adopted on, or before, 30 June 2013 to place funds representing an unpaid present entitlement under a sub-trust arrangement on a seven-year interest-only loan with the main trust and the principal of the loan is not paid when the loan matures in the 2020 income year.

Dwellings acquired from deceased estate: CGT exemption 

A final practical compliance guideline has been released which considers the exercise by the Commissioner of his discretion to extend the twoyear period after death to settle the disposal of a dwelling and retain the CGT main residence exemption (PCG 2019/5).

Convictions for tax offences quashed 

The New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal has quashed the convictions of two individuals for conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth and conspiracy to deal with the proceeds of crime (Castagna v R; Agius v R [2019] NSWCCA 114).

Margin scheme 

The AAT has held that a taxpayer had discharged the onus of proving that certain land was acquired by it in 2005 on the basis that the margin scheme was applied, despite no direct written evidence (The trustee for the Seabreeze Estate Unit Trust and FCT [2019] AATA 1395). See item 7.

CGT main residence exemption 

The Federal Court (Davies J) has held that a taxpayer had failed to establish that a capital gain made by a discretionary trust (and distributed to the taxpayer) from the disposal of a dwelling was exempt from CGT under the main residence exemption (Mingos v FCT [2019] FCA 834).

This column is produced for Taxation in Australia by TaxCounsel Pty Ltd

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

Published 11 times per year and available exclusively to members in an all-new digital format, this comprehensive publication features articles with a strong, practical approach to the latest tax issues and professional development.

Members, these developments are covered in detail in your August journal. You can access the journal online here.

Not a member? Find out more about the benefits membership of The Tax Institute can deliver for your role.

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