Elevated News for the EA Community

elevated news for the ea community

Congrats to the winners of our 2023 AFL footy tipping comp!

Throughout the season it was looking very likely that Craig AND David would take home 1st and 2nd place but traction was gained by Disey & Pradeep to shift Craig out of the top 3. Hope to see you all again for some friendly tipping during the 2024 season.

Congratulations to Collingwood – Premiers 2023. We were lucky to bump into Craig McRae with the Premiership Cup outside our office

Super Guarantee Charge

Whilst you are probably familiar with the term ‘super guarantee’ (SG) that refers to the 11% superannuation payable for eligible employees, you may not have heard of the super guarantee charge.

The super guarantee charge (SGC) is essentially a late payment fee. The ATO is very strict on payments being received for super on time and are cracking down on late paying employers.

To avoid the super guarantee charge (SGC), payments must be received by the employee's fund on or before the quarterly super due dates.

The quarterly payment dates are below (but payments can be made more frequently to ensure obligations can be met):

Quarter Period SG contribution due date SG statement and charge due date
1 1 July – 30 September 28 October 28 November
2 1 October – 31 December 28 January 28 February
3 1 January – 31 March 28 April 28 May
4 1 April – 30 June 28 July 28 August

If you don't pay an employee's super guarantee (SG) amount in full, on time and to the right fund, the ATO may contact you to you advise that you must pay the super guarantee charge (SGC) by submitting SGC statements. The SGC consists of the shortfall amounts owing, interest and administration fees and is not tax deductible.

The SGC includes the following penalties:

  1. the original super guarantee (SG) amount shortfall, made up of
    • SG calculated on salary and wages (including any overtime)
    • any choice liability, based on the shortfall and capped at $500
  2. nominal interest of 10% per annum (accrues from the start of the relevant quarter)
  3. an administration fee of $20 per employee, per quarter.

Working from home - reminder

As of 1 July 2022, the fixed rate method for calculating your deduction for working from home expenses was revised and is now $0.67 per work hour and applies to the following:

  • Electricity and gas
  • Internet expenses
  • Mobile/home phone expenses
  • Stationery and computer consumables

Record keeping requirements

Taxpayers need to keep a record of all the hours worked from home for the entire income year – the ATO won’t accept estimates, or a 4-week representative diary or similar document under this method from 1 March 2023.

Records of hours worked from home can be in any form provided they are kept as they occur, for example, timesheets, rosters, logs of time spent accessing employer or business systems, or a diary for the full year.

Records must be kept for each expense taxpayers have incurred which is covered by the fixed rate per hour (for example, if taxpayers use their phone and electricity when working from home, they must keep one bill for each of these expenses).

The fixed rate method has been revised to:

  • increase the rate per work hour that you can claim when you work from home
  • change the expenses the rate covers
  • change the record keeping requirements
  • remove the requirement to have a home office set aside for work

You can now separately deduct the decline in value of depreciating home office assets (such as an immediate deduction for home office furniture purchased for less than $300).

If you don't use the revised fixed rate method, you need to use the actual cost method. You can no longer use the shortcut method. More details: ATO website

Lower tax return refunds in 2023

Many taxpayers who have already lodged their income tax return for the 2023 tax year have commented that they received much lower than anticipated refunds, or a higher tax bill, compared to previous years. The most likely reason for this is the discontinuation of the low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) that ended on 30 June 2022.

The ATO is also offsetting other debts that you may have incurred in the past that had been dormant over the last few years due to covid.

Reminder about scams:

As always please be vigilant and, as best practice, never click on any links in emails or text messages that purport to have your tax refund or request your details.

An example of a current scam text is to the right:

lower tax return refunds

Overdue Tax Debts owed to the ATO

During the recent pandemic the ATO had a gentler approach to tax debts owed however that period has now ended and any tax payers that have a substantial tax debt owing will be receiving stern notices to address the money owing.

The ATO has the power to garnish bank accounts and have also warned that they will disclose debts to credit reporting agencies. This mostly applies to businesses with tax debts over $100k that are overdue by more than 90 days, however it is always best to address any tax owing as early as possible to avoid penalties & interest that may be applied.

Please reach out if you need any assistance with tax debt – we can discuss your options and help get you back on track.

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