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Review of the first BAS Agents’ Update Webinar via ATO

On 26th October 2012, I attended the first BAS Agents’ Update Webinar via the ATO. Several topics were covered. I will list the topics here and provide some of the specific information presented about each one.

THE GST TREATMENT OF SECURITY DEPOSITS & PART PAYMENTS

  • Security Deposits

GST is claimed in the period in which the security deposit is applied for payment of the supply or forfeited, not when it is first lodged. For more information about this refer to GSTR2006/2 which can be found via quick code 71900 (type this into the search box on the ATO website)

  • Part payments

GST is claimed on the part payment in the period it is paid. More specifically, those accounting on accruals basis will report all GST on the total sale amount, including the part payment in the period it is invoiced and those on cash basis will report GST included on the part payments made only.

GST & HIRE PURCHASE (HP)

For any HP agreements entered into after 01/07/12, all components of a HP are a taxable supply including any fees and charges.

GST & LEASE AGREEMENTS

Lease agreement payments are subject to GST i.e. you may claim input tax credits for each lease payment made over a number of periods. This applies whether you are accruals or cash based.

There are some exceptions and special rules:

For more information refer to “GST Credits for Business” (NAT3019 – quick code 13286) and “GST & Long Term Non-Renewal Contracts” (NAT12997- quick code 54432)

FUEL TAX CREDITS (FTC)

For changes regarding FTC from 01/07/12, see quick codes 00318033, 00302331 & 00174722

Also, www.ato.gov.au/fuelschemes (Has an eligibility tool and FTC calculator….and more)

 

PAYG ISSUES

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)

From 01/07/12 the GDP adjustment is 6%. The GDP is used to calculate your PAYG Income Tax Instalment amount (PAYG ITI). Your PAYG ITI is based on the GDP and your most recently lodged tax return so that the rate used accurately reflects the current local economic situation. Your PAYG ITI can change when you lodge another return or if you apply to vary the instalment rate. (shown at T7 on your BAS)

WITHHOLDING TAX TABLES (WTT)

WTT are available online, ATO shop-fronts, most newsagents or phone ATO on 1300 720 092

Other aspects covered were:

  • Tax free threshold is now up to $18,200.00 (from 01/07/12)
  • The flood levy no longer exists – do not use those WTT by mistake.
  • If you have more than one job and the total gross income for each job doesn’t exceed $18,200.00, then you can claim the tax free threshold from each employer – very nice! (See quick code 00322113 for more information)

LOW INCOME TAX OFFSET (LITO)

The LITO reduces the tax payable of low income earners. Those earning $66,667.00 or more are not eligible. So what are the changes?

  • LITO reduces from $1500.00 to $445.00.
  • $445 is reduced further by 1.5 cents for each dollar over $37,000 taxable income.
  • Combined effect of Tax Free Threshold of 18,200.00 plus reduced LITO means that if you earn up to $20,542.00 you won’t pay income tax.
  • Individuals earning less than $80,000 will receive a tax cut of around $300 each year.

 

EMPLOYEES OR CONTRACTORS

Yes this was mentioned (again!). I’m not going to go over the details – this topic, while extremely important, has/is been done to death in my opinion. Link provided was www.ato.gov.au/EmployeeContractorEssentials

One thing to note, if you use the Employee/Contractor decision tool (found via above link), print the result and file away – this can be used as your evidence or proof of how you came to the decision that your worker/s are employees or contractors – useful if you are ever audited.

 

LODGEMENT PROGRAM 2012-13 FOR BAS AGENTS

All BAS Agents get an extra 4 weeks to lodge clients’ BAS if done so electronically. This is awesome! Tell your clients or potential clients – it’s a real selling point!

This doesn’t apply to quarter 2 BAS because everyone gets an extension for lodgement on that BAS i.e. not due until February 28th (every year).

There is a new BAS Agent Services Guide out – it’s a new addition. See quick code 00245673 – available online or as a downloadable PDF.

 

TAX PRACTITIONERS BOARD (TPB)

The TPB recently updated its website – go to www.tpb.gov.au to take a look.

Some interesting statistics were given (you can see these on the TPB website):

  • There are currently 53,405 registered tax and BAS agents in Australia (as of 11/10/12) – quite a lot of competition!
  • 79% of BAS Agents are women but only 22% Tax Agents are women.
  • BAS Agents are generally younger than Tax Agents. Most BAS Agents tend to be aged above 40 years.

Other information give included:

  • The transitional option for BAS Agent registration ends on 28/02/13.
  • Currently registered BAS Agents will receive an invitation to re-register from TPB before their registration expires.
  • All BAS Agents must undertake at least 15 hours per year of continuing professional Education (CPE) (45 hours over 3 years). Note: this webinar counts towards your CPE = 1 hour. You must keep a log of CPE from 01/07/12 – see TPB website for an example of a log template.
  • CPE can come from seminars, courses & training, webinars, lectures, workshops, conferences, discussion groups, 25% of technical or professional reading etc. – see TPB website to find out how you should be recording your CPE.

If you need to contact the TPB, send an email to: [email protected]

 

This is just a summary of what was presented during the webinar. I highly recommend if you are a BAS Agent that you book into one of these webinars (hurry, they end on October 31st!) The technical information is invaluable and very important to be across as a professional BAS Agent. I believe there will be further webinars for BAS Agents in the near future which I think is a fantastic resource. Have you attended one of these webinars? What did you think?