If someone says, “I’m from the ATO and I’m here to help you” – be wary!  While the ATO abounds with friendly and helpful staff, unfortunately over 28,000 tax-related scams have been reported since 1 July this year alone.  We are assured, the ATO does not employ Nigerian princes or people who address you ‘Dearest Mr Ian’ or wish you ‘love and spiritual fulfilment’ or say ‘the police are on their way’.  If someone calls you, simply refer them to your even friendlier and more helpful tax agent – and we will tell them where to transfer the royal inheritance.


Where a discretionary trust owns or part owns a property in NSW, the trust deed must now be amended to specifically exclude non-citizens of Australia (“foreign persons”) as potential beneficiaries now and in the future. Without this amendment, the trust will be taken to be a “foreign person”, and accordingly charged a 2% additional surcharge on land tax. The amendment must be lodged with Revenue NSW by 31 December, so time is short!

You may have received notice of this requirement a while ago, amended your deed, uploaded it to NSW Revenue and thought you could pat yourself on the back for being super organised. HOWEVER, some of our clients have recently received letters from NSW Revenue asking them to prove that the deed meets the requirements AGAIN (ie, upload the amendment again) before 31 December. So if you receive correspondence from NSW Revenue and think “I’ve already taken care of that”, don’t ignore it! Always best to check again, and please ask us for help.

While this law currently only relates to any Australian trusts that own property in NSW, it’s surely only a matter of time before other states follow suit, so it’s worth thinking about amending your deed in advance.

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A friendly reminder that the second part of JobKeeper 2.0 starts on 4 January, so now is the time to start preparing!

If you are already enrolled in JobKeeper, you don’t need to re-enrol, but you DO need to notify eligible employees of the upcoming changes and ensure that they are still in the correct tier (see our handy JobKeeper2Checklist), and then ensure that from 4 January they are paid at least:

  • $1,000 per fortnight for tier 1 employees
  • $650 per fortnight for tier 2 employees.

If your business is not yet registered for JobKeeper but will now be eligible, don’t hold back! You can still be eligible for extension 2 even if you were not eligible for JobKeeper extension 1, and it’s always worth asking.

You will need to show that your actual GST turnover has declined in the December 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019). Your BAS statements must be up to date, as un-lodged statements may hold up your application. Remember you don’t use your projected GST turnover, but your current GST turnover, using the accounting basis you used for GST reporting purposes (ie cash or non-cash). Ask us for help if you’re not sure!

Once the second extension period starts on 4 January 2021, you’ll then need to complete the monthly business declarations in January, February and March.

As usual, please don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Halletts accountant for help!

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