• Does your business buy or sell cryptocurrency? — Updated web guidance available for the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies.

We have updated our web guidance to help you to comply with your tax obligations.

We have recently updated ato.gov.au to include additional information on the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies. The updated web content includes new guidance on:

  • loss or theft of cryptocurrency
  • chain splits.

We have also made updates to the structure of the content for improved clarity and easier navigation.

For more advice on buying and selling cryptocurrency:

  • talk to you your tax agent

• Remember to lodge your 2018 RTP schedule — Reminder to lodge the 2018 reportable tax position schedule.

The reportable tax position (RTP) schedule is a schedule to the company income tax return that requires large businesses to disclose their most contestable and material tax positions. This year, the RTP has been extended to include companies in public or international economic groups with a turnover greater than $250 million.

If you are required to lodge the RTP schedule, you would have received a letter or an email last year advising you of this.

Additionally, soon we will send letters to June and late balancing taxpayers, reminding them to lodge the RTP schedule with their 2018 company tax return. We will send reminders to early 2019 balancers early next year. Please ensure that your postal address for income tax related mail is current.

What’s new in 2018

We have made a number of changes to the RTP schedule, which are covered in Guide to reportable tax positions 2018. If you are required to lodge an RTP schedule for an income year that ends on or after 30 June 2018, these changes may affect you.

Key changes include:

  • additional guidance in relation to transfer pricing positions covered by RTP Category A
  • clarification on positions covered by RTP Categories B and C
  • update of RTP Category C including:
    • the addition of six new questions
    • removal of one question in relation to Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law
  • revised wording of question 13 on Research and Development.

Improvements to the lodgment process

Following feedback, we have made improvements to the lodgment process where you can now lodge your schedule through the Business Portal and receive a receipt confirming lodgment. The Guide to reportable tax positions 2018 is now available on our website. Use the guide to help you complete and lodge your RTP schedule.

• SISG key messages 22 May 2018 — Information about the key topics discussed at the Superannuation Industry Stewardship Group meeting on 22 May 2018.

The Superannuation Industry Stewardship Group (SISG) met on 22 May 2018 in the ATO’s Sydney office.

Welcome

David Knox (Senior Partner, Mercer) opened the meeting with an acknowledgment of country and welcomed members.

Budget

Robert Jeremenko (Division Head, Treasury) led a discussion about the recently announced measures from the 2018–19 Federal Budget that impact the superannuation industry.

Members shared their comments about a range of measures and the impacts that they would have across the superannuation industry:

  • fees
  • CIPRs and post retirement
  • SMSFs
  • work test exemption
  • SG opt out

Outcome: Issues raised by members will be considered as part of the law, policy and administrative design of the new measures.

Next steps: Treasury will be conducting consultation around the Budget measures and welcome feedback to achieve outcomes and to understand the ability for industry to meet the timeframes.

Life insurance

David Knox (Senior Partner, Mercer) led a discussion with members providing updates on progress of various activities around insurance in superannuation. The discussion included:

  • Parliamentary Joint Committee report
  • Insurance in superannuation Code of Practice
  • Budget announcements relating to insurance and the legislation released for consultation.

Outcome: Members were able to provide information on the progress of activities across the industry in this area and the impacts of the changes being proposed.

Next steps: Submissions for the budget measure legislation closes on 29 May. Members are encouraged to provide submissions covering any issues identified.

The government response to the Parliamentary Joint Committee report is due on 27 June.

Superannuation industry overview

The group reviewed the activities occurring across the superannuation industry into the future by way of reference to the superannuation strategic map with members finding value in this document. This standing item outlines the key government agency programs of work, regulatory and agency reforms across the next 18 months.

Topics open for discussion included:

  • member outcomes changes
  • Single Touch Payroll
  • SMSF rollovers
  • implementation of prudential requirements PIR
  • portfolio holdings
  • RG97.

Outcome: Members were more informed on the progress and detail of specific measures of interest.

Next steps: Strategic map to continue to be updated and time set aside at future meetings to discuss.

Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH)

James O’Halloran (Deputy Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office) updated the group on the transfer of the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to the ATO. Members discussed the impacts of the system issues that were experienced as part of the transition and the communication process to keep stakeholders informed.

Outcome: Members provided feedback on ATO’s handling of the issues.

Next steps: The ATO will continue to work closely with industry as required.

Superannuation guarantee (SG) compliance

James O’Halloran (Deputy Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office) updated the group on the activities the ATO is undertaking to improve SG compliance and the increased visibility the ATO will have on the system. The discussion included:

  • SG Taskforce
  • SG gap
  • Single Touch Payroll and fund reporting
  • Legislation currently before parliament.

Outcome: Members were more aware of the future direction of the ATO in terms of SG compliance and how the activities will impact across industry.

Next steps: The ATO will continue to work closely with industry as required.

Emerging technologies

Ty Winmill (Director, ATO) and Claire Miller (Director, ATO) presented a discussion about the new digital identity program being developed by ATO, Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), Department of Human Services (DHS) and Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Consultation is underway to create a whole of government solution for digital identity. The first round focuses on individuals, enabling them to verify their identity online.

Outcome: Members gained an understanding of the tools being developed and explored ways that the digital identity solution can be applied to the superannuation industry.

Next steps: Members to be kept informed of the progress of the trusted digital identity framework.

Other business

James O’Halloran (Deputy Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office) updated members about the implementation of the housing measures from 2017 budget and the transfer of the early release of super on compassionate grounds administration to the ATO.

An out of session video conference will be held on 13 June to meet with the Productivity Commission and discuss the stage three draft report.

The next formal meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 21 August 2018 in Melbourne.

• Superannuation Industry Engagement Forum recording and talkbook available — The recording and talkbook are available for the Superannuation Industry Engagement Forum held on Wednesday 27 June 2018.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in conjunction with the superannuation industry hosted the Superannuation Industry Engagement Forum on Wednesday 27 June 2018.

Over 100 industry professionals came together in-person at the Darling Harbour International Convention Centre in Sydney, with a further 350 tuning in throughout the day to watch the live stream broadcast.

The forum featured a range of speakers from the ATO as well as video messages delivered by:

  • Eva Scheerlinck, CEO of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)
  • Martin Fahy, CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA)
  • keynote speaker James O’Halloran, ATO Deputy Commissioner of Superannuation.

The forum provided information on the current strategies, progress, and way forward on a range of initiatives impacting the superannuation industry.

Discussion topics included:

  • 2016 and 2017 superannuation budget measures
  • implementation and fund onboarding of event-based reporting
  • improving SBR2 platform
  • the super guarantee (SG) system
  • Single Touch Payroll (STP), including employee commencement.

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