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10 Sep 2019 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update – September 2019

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update addresses changes to legislation and case law developments affecting employers – including payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, income tax, superannuation and pay-as-you-go withholding – as well as the ATO’s interpretation of those laws and regulations from the last 6 months (April to September 2019).

28 Jun 2019 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Superannuation Guarantee: “ordinary hours of work” are defined by industrial instruments and employment contracts

The recent appeal decision in Bluescope Steel v Australian Workers Union [2019] FCAFC 84 has held that “ordinary hours of work” for SG are those that are described as such by the industrial instrument or employment contract and paid at an ordinary rate of pay.

25 Jun 2019 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Update: Payroll tax on service contracts – regular onsite work

The Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court has held that companies that provide services to their clients and subcontract the work are caught by the “employment agency agreement” payroll tax rules if the actual workers are “integrated” in the client’s business.

03 Apr 2019 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update – April 2019

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update addresses changes to legislation and case law developments affecting employers – including Federal Budget announcements, payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, income tax, superannuation and pay-as-you-go withholding – as well as the ATO’s interpretation of those laws and regulations from the last 3 months (January to March 2019).

14 Mar 2019 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Superannuation Guarantee owed on annual leave loading

The ATO has announced that employers need to pay SG on annual leave loading unless the industrial instrument expressly says that the payment is for the loss of opportunity to work overtime (or other non-ordinary hours) during the period of leave, or there is other written evidence of a mutual understanding by the parties to that same effect.

20 Dec 2018 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update – December 2018

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update addresses changes to legislation and case law developments affecting employers – including payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, income tax, superannuation and pay-as-you-go withholding – as well as the ATO’s interpretation of those laws and regulations from the last 5 months (August to December 2018).

21 Aug 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Financial Services | Employment & Superannuation

Trust the PDS

The Full Federal Court decision in Aussiegolfa Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCAFC 122 highlights the importance of statements in offer documents to the interpretation of underlying legal documents - here a trust deed - and the borderline as to when distinct trusts will be created through the use of separate classes of units.

27 Jul 2018 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update – July 2018

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update addresses changes to legislation and case law developments affecting employers – including payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, income tax, superannuation and pay-as-you-go withholding – as well as the ATO’s interpretation of those laws and regulations from the last 4 months (April to July 2018).

25 Jul 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Employment & Superannuation

Payroll tax on service contracts – integrated workers

Recent NSW cases have shown that the concept of an “employment agency agreement” under which payments are subject to payroll tax is different to its ordinarily understood meaning.

12 Jul 2018 | Riposte | Private Wealth | Employment & Superannuation

Board of Taxation reviews residency test for individuals

The Board of Taxation has released a self-initiated report considering the existing individual income tax residency rules. In providing its recommendations, the Board of Taxation concludes that the existing residency rules are no longer appropriate and must be modernised.

03 Apr 2018 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update - April 2018

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update addresses changes to legislation and case law developments affecting employers – including payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, income tax, superannuation and pay-as-you-go withholding – as well as the ATO’s interpretation of those laws and regulations from the last 3 months (January to March 2018).

15 Mar 2018 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation | Private Wealth

Labor to deny SMSF franking credit refunds

Labor announced that, if elected, they would deny franking credit refunds for superannuation funds and individuals. Although targeted primarily at Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, some APRA-regulated funds that cater principally for pensioners and some non-working and low-income individuals will also be adversely affected.

14 Dec 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update - December 2017

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update addresses changes to legislation, case law developments and ATO rulings affecting employers – including payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, income tax, superannuation and pay-as-you-go withholding – from the last 4 months (August to December 2017).

02 Nov 2017 | Riposte | Real Estate | Employment & Superannuation

Payroll tax on service contracts – integral vs incidental functions

The recent decision in JP Property Services Pty Limited v Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] NSWSC 1391 said contracts for service to perform integral functions in a client’s business invoke the employment agency payroll tax rules, but not contracts for incidental functions.

26 Sep 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

MySuper outcomes - don't forget the tax (relief)!

A new reporting proposal for super funds currently before Parliament could see trustees recommending closure of under-performing MySuper products; but has anyone thought about the tax cost?

13 Sep 2017 | Riposte | Real Estate | Employment & Superannuation | International

Housing Affordability Bills Introduced

As part of the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the Government announced several measures to assist with housing affordability. Bills to implement some of these measures were introduced on 7 September 2017.

31 Aug 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

PCG 2017/D16 – long anticipated propagation ruling

The ATO last week foreshadowed its long anticipated go-ahead for large super funds using parcel selection to optimise CGT and franking credit outcomes, within limits.

01 Aug 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update - July 2017

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update addresses changes to legislation and case law developments affecting employers – including payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, income tax, superannuation and pay-as-you-go withholding – as well as the ATO’s interpretation of those laws and regulations from the last 4 months (April to July 2017).

25 Jul 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Super-size your first home savings

Are you or is one of your children saving to buy a first home? The Government yesterday released a draft of its first home super saver scheme.

19 Jul 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

SG ‘Non-compliance’ – salary sacrifice for extra super

As part of the increased focus on superannuation guarantee (SG) non-compliance, the Government announced that it will legislate so that an employer cannot reduce their mandated SG contributions by an employee’s salary sacrificed voluntary contributions into superannuation.

13 Jun 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employee share schemes – ATO guidance

The ATO has provided guidance on the use of trusts in conjunction with employee remuneration and employee share schemes.

07 Jun 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

ATO’s employer obligations compliance activities under review

The ATO's compliance activities concerning employer obligations are under comprehensive review in a report originally commissioned to address concerns about the uncertainty surrounding the employee/contractor distinction.

05 May 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Superbad SG non-compliance

The Senate Economics References Committee has released a report following industry concerns of considerable underpayment of mandated Superannuation Guarantee contributions.

28 Apr 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Super caps – let the complications begin!

New legislation seeks to limit the use of limited recourse borrowings to circumvent the pending new super caps. Retirement saving in Australia keeps getting more complicated.

21 Mar 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Longevity super at long last

Much heralded and long-awaited tax rules for lifetime annuity products have been released keeping the Government framework for these new products on track for its promised 1 July 2017 start.

20 Mar 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes update

Australian tax obligations affecting employers are always changing. This update looks at changes to the laws and regulations from September 2016 to March 2017.

20 Feb 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employment taxes - a guide

Employers are subject to a collection of taxes which may differ between jurisdictions. Our guide provides an overview of the employment taxes, charges and levies applicable throughout Australia.

(137 kb)

03 Feb 2017 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employee share scheme essentials 2017

The taxation of employee share schemes can be complex. We set out some of the problems that can arise and provide tips on how to avoid them.

(138 kb)

15 Nov 2016 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

The Blank Case in the High Court - Pt II

The recent High Court judgment in Blank is an important example of a deceptively simple question: when does the income tax apply to rights and entitlements, and when does it apply just to receipts instead?

08 Nov 2016 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

ESS: the indeterminate rights riddle

The concept of "indeterminate rights" complicates the important determination of when an employee share scheme right is granted. In TD 2016/17, the ATO weighs in with its view on what constitutes an indeterminate right.

31 Oct 2016 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Proportional fun with super cap

If even a handful of a super fund’s members have pension account balances over $1.6m things could get complicated when the cap is introduced on 1 July next year.

27 Sep 2016 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Lower ceiling, narrower gateways

The Government has announced substantive changes to its superannuation proposals. Surprisingly, some people with relatively modest means will be among those most affected.

02 Jun 2016 | External Publications | Employment & Superannuation | Private Equity

New Employee share scheme rules: SME startups

Cameron Blackwood wrote and presented "New Employee share scheme rules: SME startups" at The Tax Institute NSW 9th Annual Tax Forum on 2 June 2016.

(857 kb)

18 Aug 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Super reserve allocation pain

Super funds need reserves for a variety of reasons, but using them can cause excess contributions tax for members – ATO ID 2015/21.

05 Aug 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Application of the indeterminate rights rule

The Federal Court has clarified how the indeterminate rights rule in Division 83A operates in respect of the grant of shares and options subject to shareholder approval.

28 Jul 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Div 293 tax reality for DB super

Division 293 assessments for 2013/14 are about to issue to members of defined benefit plans with personal earnings over the $300,000 threshold. Now there’s a complicated story!

15 Jul 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

MySuper rolls – extensions with losses haircut

Relief for mandated transfers to MySuper nears completion with caveated further rollovers announced by the Assistant Treasurer for internal fund transfers.

07 Jul 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Payroll tax refunds for DB super

Qantas Airways: The NSW Supreme Court has ruled that payroll tax does not apply to employer contributions funding defined benefits accruing to service before extension of the tax to super.

03 Jul 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employee share changes now law

The Bill amending the taxation of employee shares and options has now received royal assent and takes effect from 1 July 2015. Concurrent with the new law, the ATO has released standard document templates and a legislative instrument governing safe harbour valuations has come into effect.

02 Jul 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Safe landing for segregated assets

After navigating some fairly black storm clouds TD 2015/D6 appears set to ensure life companies will not be taxed on routine VPST asset rollovers.

23 Jun 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Recycled super?

Labor’s proposed $75,000 earnings cap on super concessions caught public attention but just how new, and how restrictive, would it be?

17 Jun 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Committee stamps share plan changes

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has rubber stamped the proposed employee share and option plan changes leaving a number of shortcomings in the legislation as it progresses through the Senate.

15 Jun 2015 | Riposte | Energy & Resources | Employment & Superannuation

Non-remote fly-in fly-out win

The Full Federal Court overturned the lower court decision in John Holland Group holding that FBT was not owed on certain non-remote fly-in fly-out flights provided by the employer. However, the same outcome will not arise for all “non-remote” fly-in fly-out arrangements.

04 Jun 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Super simplification?

A bill tabled in Parliament on 28 May 2015 takes some more tentative steps to simplify employer superannuation obligations. It relaxes some choice of fund obligations but other simplifications are either scheduled for next year, explicitly rejected or just not taken up.

28 May 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Superannuation on alert

In spite of the ‘no changes to super’ policy announced with the Federal budget, the Prime Minister last week made room to close ‘loopholes’ and improve the ‘integrity’ of the system. The question is, what is a ‘loophole’?

26 Mar 2015 | Riposte | Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions | Employment & Superannuation

Share plan changes tabled and diced

Amendments to the rules governing the taxation of employee share plans were tabled on 25 March make a proposed tax regime for start-up company options viable. That said, there is little extra for public company offers.

16 Jan 2015 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation

Employee Share Schemes: ED

Exposure Draft legislation for the Government's proposed changes to the taxation of employee shares and options plans has been released and it includes some changes not previously announced.

21 Oct 2014 | Tax Brief | Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions | Employment & Superannuation

Employee share & option plan changes

The Government confirmed in its 14 October 2014 Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda announcement that it will roll-back at least part of the 2009 changes to the taxation of employee share and option plans, with start-up companies to be the major beneficiaries.

Employee share and option changes (40 kb)

23 Oct 2009 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Taxation of Employee Share and Option Plans - Legislation Tabled

This Tax Brief highlights some key issues from a Bill tabled in Parliament in October 2009 to enact the new regime for the taxation of employee shares and options.

Taxation of Employee Share and Option Plans - Legislation Tabled (52 kb)

03 Jul 2009 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Taxation of Employee Share and Option Plans - Round Three

The Assistant Treasurer, Nick Sherry, released on 1 July 2009 a policy statement regarding the final framework for the taxation of employee share schemes. This Tax Brief discusses the announcement. Legislation was subsequently introduced to repeal Division 13A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and to introduce new Division 83A.

Taxation of Employee Share and Option Plans - Round Three (33 kb)

18 Jun 2010 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

ATO Employee Share Scheme Fact Sheets - New Division 83A - 'Real' Risk, 'Genuine' Restrictions, Market Value and Employer Reporting

The Australian Taxation Office has released a number of factsheets to help explain application of the new employee share scheme tax rules. This Tax Brief considers those releases.

ATO Employee Share Scheme Fact Sheets - New Division 83A - 'Real' Risk, 'Genuine' Restrictions, Market Value and Employer Reporting (204 kb)

18 Aug 2009 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Exposure Draft Employee Share Plan Legislation: Few Surprises, Not Much Joy

New tax legislation governing employee share plans has been released and will be tabled in Parliament during the current Spring sitting. This Tax Brief contemplates how the proposals will change the way employee equity is taxed.

Exposure Draft Employee Share Plan Legislation: Few Surprises, Not Much Joy (36 kb)

09 Apr 2013 | Tax Briefs | Financial Services | Employment & Superannuation

Changes to Superannuation

The Treasurer has put an end to the frenzied pre-Budget speculation by announcing the government’s plans for changing superannuation. This Tax Brief examines the seven measures announced by the Treasurer and the likely effects of the proposals.

Changes to Superannuation (187 kb)

18 Jun 2013 | Tax Briefs | Financial Services | Employment & Superannuation

Your Superannuation Contributions – The Current State of Play

This Tax Brief outlines some of the issues associated with individuals making additional contributions to their complying super fund – notably, contributions tax and excess contributions tax.

Your Superannuation Contributions – The Current State of Play (188 kb)

21 Oct 2014 | Tax Briefs | Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions | Employment & Superannuation

Employee share and options changes

The Government confirmed in its 14 October 2014 Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda announcement that it will roll-back at least part of the 2009 changes to the taxation of employee share and option plans, with start-up companies to be the major beneficiaries.

Employee share and options changes (40 kb)

01 Nov 2010 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Loss Transfer Regime for Merging Superannuation Funds

This Tax Brief examines some of the traps and pitfalls of the new loss transfer regime for merging superannuation funds which became law on 24 March 2010.

Loss Transfer Regime for Merging Superannuation Funds (63 kb)

27 Aug 2009 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Proposed Loss Transfer Regime for Superannuation Funds

In December 2008, the Government announced a temporary tax measure to assist in the consolidation of superannuation funds, the goal being to allow the industry to merge into fewer, more efficient, larger and presumably more stable funds, by removing some of the tax impediments to consolidation. The announcement proposed an optional loss transfer system for any net capital losses that resulted from the CGT events that would be triggered by the merger of funds. This Tax Brief examines the refinements to that proposal culminating with the release by Treasury of Exposure Draft legislation.

Proposed Loss Transfer Regime for Superannuation Funds (34 kb)

29 May 2009 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Shares & Option Plans Still on Hold

Changes to the rules governing the treatment of new grants of shares and options to Australian employees have been stalled by proposed tax changes announced within the Budget. This Tax Brief contemplates the issues and opportunities this presents.

Shares & Option Plans Still on Hold (35 kb)

03 Mar 2005 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Pride Comes Before a Fall

This Tax Brief considers the decision of the Full Federal Court in Pridecraft Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2004] FCAFC 339, upholding the decision of Merkel J and confirming the Commissioner’s stance against what he viewed as a harmful tax scheme cloaked as an employee rewards system.

Pride Comes Before a Fall (602 kb)

02 Mar 2004 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

New Superannuation Measures

This tax brief provides a summary of the Government’s discussion paper on superannuation and retirement income proposals, “Australia’s Demographic Challenges”, released on 25 February 2004.

New Superannuation Measures (163 kb)

13 Jan 2004 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

The Search for the Holy Grail

This Tax Brief considers the case of Walstern v Commissioner for Taxation wherein the taxpayer had attempted to find the holy grail of unlimited deductions for contributions made to a superannuation fund without tax or FBT.

The Search for the Holy Grail (273 kb)

10 Nov 2003 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Casuals' Overtime Far From Ordinary

This Tax Brief considers the High Court decision in Australian Communication Exchange Ltd v DCT in relation to the meaning of ‘ordinary time earnings’ in the context of causal employees covered by a Queensland award for the purposes of the superannuation guarantee charge.

Casuals' Overtime Far From Ordinary (177 kb)

03 Oct 2003 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

FCT v MacArthur

This case emphasises the importance of careful consideration in setting up companies to act as contractors where the principal business of the company is to supply the services of the major shareholder. The Commissioner argued that if the taxpayer had not contracted in the name of his company, it would be reasonable to assume he would have contracted in his own name. The appeal was allowed.

FCT v MacArthur (230 kb)

09 Sep 2003 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Metaskills's Not So Mega-Skills of Alienation of Personal Services Income

This was the first court decision to consider the personal services income tax regime. It was however vitiated by the failure of the taxpayer to come within the operation of the specific provisions of the regime.

Metaskills's Not So Mega-Skills of Alienation of Personal Services Income (157 kb)

11 Jul 2003 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Superannuation Thresholds 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 - At a Glance

This Tax Brief sets out the Superannuation Guarantee rates for 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 Payable Quarterly from the Quarter beginning 1 July 2003.

Superannuation Thresholds 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 - At a Glance (91 kb)

07 Jul 2003 | Tax Briefs | Employment & Superannuation

Cooper v Commissioner of Taxation [2003] AATA 296

This Tax Brief considers an Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision that a lump sum paid in arrears of invalidity benefits under a Defence Force benefits scheme, was not an Eligible Termination Payment ("ETP"), and rather, was assessable income derived in the year the lump sum was paid.

Cooper v Commissioner of Taxation [2003] AATA 296 (161 kb)