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SW is excited to announce that effective 4 July 2022, Greg Will, Principal and leader of advisory and accounting services for Armstrong Dawson, a respected Sydney based firm, will be joining our growing national firm.

“We are very proud to attract such a talented and experienced partner in the Sydney market. Greg has worked in professional practice for over 20 years and is a trusted advisor to business and a well-regarded authority on private business issues, regularly commentating in national and local press on how to increase business value,” said Mr Duane Rogers, CEO of SW.

Greg and his team of ten will bolster the well-established base of service offerings in this market for SW.

“He has successfully proven he is able to build and grow practices, particularly in the private client service space. He will be a great addition to our Business Private Client Advisory division, ably leading our growth aspirations in Sydney,” he said. 

“I am thrilled to join a firm with a clear growth agenda, underpinned by strong values and a culture that offers outstanding client service. My team, both in Australia and abroad are excited for a successful future with a full-service national firm with a strong international footprint. Joining SW will support our client’s broader needs in audit, corporate finance and specialist tax services,” said Mr Greg Will.

“We believe that the firm’s ability to attract quality talent and high calibre candidates speaks to our values, our culture and our focus on people and growth,” said Mr Rogers.

Led by Greg, the Armstrong Dawson 100% owned subsidiary International Accounting Solutions (INTAS) will also add to SWs capability in this specialised area. INTAS specialises in establishing and managing Australian operations for overseas organisations, providing business advisory and virtual CFO services to a broad range of clients, including not-for-profits, start-ups, and established SME’s.

Following the recent announcement of the Walker Wayland WA team also joining SW, this addition further enhances the Sydney capability in areas where the market will require support in these changing economic times.

The Fair Work Commission has increased the national minimum wage by 5.2% or roughly $1 an hour to $21.38 an hour.

The Hospitality and Tourism sector, along with other hard hit industries like Aviation, has been given a temporary reprieve with the wage increase to apply from 1 October 2022.

The wage increase however has been split, meaning millions of workers on a higher Award rate will only see an increase of 4.6 per cent.

This increase comes on top of an increase to the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate as well as abolishing the minimum monthly wage threshold for SG contributions to apply.

Employers need to be ready

Employers should review employee remuneration and ensure wages do not fall below the minimum wage and consider the total hours worked and overtime hours to mitigate any risks to modern slavery laws. It is important that employers update their payroll software accordingly.

Employers who are subject to Awards that provide for annual leave loading of 17.5% to employees will also need to adjust the minimum wage rate where the loading is based on the minimum wage rather than the employee’s base salary.

For the latest superannuation impacts that all businesses need to know before 1 July 2022, download our webinar Superannuation changes 2022/23 or view our recent article Don’t get caught out by upcoming superannuation changes.

How SW can assist

SW through our joint venture with OnTap Hospitality can assist you with all of your bookkeeping and management reporting needs.

Do not hesitate to contact our Hospitality and Tourism sector specialists Tim Stillwell, Andy Lau and Jeremy Wicht or our payroll expert Sharon Burke.

We are excited to announce that, as part of our strategic growth strategy, the well-established and locally respected Walker Wayland Perth team are joining our expanding national firm effective 1 July 2022.

Current Walker Wayland Perth Managing Director, John Dorazio and fellow Directors Richard Gregson and Iggy Moro, and their teams are integral to the expansion of SW’s Perth presence, launched last May.

“We are excited to expand our national footprint and grow our presence in Western Australia. It is a key market in which many of our clients are established and they require on-the-ground support. As such, we are thrilled to have this talented team join our firm,” said Mr Duane Rogers, CEO of SW.

“The team brings strong local market standing, a clear focus on a client-first approach and a team hungry for growth. We believe our cultures and values are well aligned, which further sets the stage for our national growth strategy,” said Rogers.

John Dorazio has led the Walker Wayland WA team for six years, and will continue to act in a leadership position based in Perth following the move.

“We are proud to become part of such a dynamic national firm. SW has a reputation for delivering excellent client service and has been very supportive of its people through the global pandemic. With our aligned cultures and combined talent this will provide expanded services for our clients and great career opportunities for our people,” he said.

“Having been part of a federated model, we believe the future of the Perth market will be well supported by joining a truly national firm committed to building scale in key industry sectors and market segments,” said Mr Dorazio.

Walker Wayland WA is known for its expertise in supporting start-up businesses and those wanting to grow or sell. It has a leading-edge reputation in providing financial services and chartered accounting support in several key industries, including franchising, health, and real estate.

“We believe we can add great value to SW clients in Western Australia, while joining SW will provide us with additional resources to support the increasing needs of our clients looking to expand or do business across the country or globally,” said Mr Dorazio.

SW has consistently ranked as a Finalist in the Beaton Client Choice Awards since 2018 as Best Accounting & Consulting Firm (revenue category $50m – $200m), Most Innovative firm and Best CX Firm, and is ranked in the AFR Top 100 Accounting Firms at #22 in 2021 with a turnover of $60m.

Said Mr Rogers: “We have unique service capabilities and we are strategically positioned to deliver these domestically and internationally. WA is a key market for some of Australia’s most important industries, so we believe this expansion will support the foundation required for our long-term growth and provide a stronger national presence for our clients and our people.”

With office locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, this move will see SW grow to 38 partners and 300 people, with support for its core industry segments in energy and resources, education, financial services, property and infrastructure, agribusiness and tourism and hospitality.      

The Victorian Government’s latest Build-to-Rent announcements and the Windfall Gains Tax are on the agenda at the next Hall & Wilcox panel discussion.

SW’s James Ye (叶嘉) and Robert Parker will be joining experts Mark Dawson (Urbis), Sean Ryan (Greystar) and Meg Lee and Eugene Chen (Hall & Wilcox) at the next Hall & Wilcox property sector event in Melbourne.

Global players in the market are already turning their eyes towards Victoria and investing heavily.

The panel will discuss:

Event details

Date

Time

Venue

Thursday 28 April 2022

5.30pm for 6.00pm start – 7.30pm

Hall & Wilcox

Level 11

Rialto South Tower

525 Collins Street, Melbourne

Last night, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the 2022/23 Federal Budget, setting the Government up for their pre-election.

With a May election fast approaching, there was a lot of anticipation that this Federal Budget would provide much needed support for households in managing the cost of living. While borders have opened, many business in several key sectors are still feeling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and were also looking for some key measures to help get them back on their feet.

On the 29 March 2022, the Treasurer announced the Goverment’s plan for long-term economic growth in Australia, through job creation and focusing on investment in essential services and defence. The SW team has navigated the papers to find key measures for industry and sectors.

Take a look at our Fast Facts below or watch the full recording of the Budget Breakfast.

Did you miss out on our Federal Budget webinar?

Check out Catherine Birch, ANZ Senior Economist and our panel of experts as they shared their insights and key takeaways from the Budget.

Mandarin Overview – Federal Budget 2022/23

Watch our Mandarin team summarise the key announcements from this year’s Budget. SW’s team of Asian business experts deliver their insight into the challenges and practical opportunities.

Featuring our experienced and knowledgeable team: David Chu, Bessie Zhang, Vincent Shi, Toby Graham, Michael Chen and Michael Qin.

What does the Federal Budget mean for you?

Our Fast Facts provide an overview of the budget insights and potential opportunities from our team of experts. Tailored to your industry or business type, SW also reviews if the Federal Budget support measured up to expectations.

Take a look at what the Federal Budget means for you in 2022:

On 23 February 2022 the Commissioner released three draft administrative pronouncements and one Taxpayer Alert which could significantly impact on trust distributions and how they are taxed.  

The contents of these pronouncements are both voluminous and complex and are still being digested, but essentially relate to the Commissioner’s views on the operation of two integrity measures – section 100A and Division 7A. 

Section 100A

What is it?

Section 100A is an anti-avoidance provision that has the potential of imposing a penal tax outcome where one person (beneficiary) is made presently entitled to trust income, but another person effectively receives the benefit of the income.  The provision was originally introduced (way back in 1979) to attack aggressive tax avoidance arrangements, but it is worded so broadly that it can technically apply to much more commonplace circumstances.

If it applies, the relevant trust income is generally subject to tax within the trust under section 99A at the top marginal rate of tax (currently 47%).

Historically, many taxpayers and their advisers have taken comfort from the rule in section 100A that ‘ordinary family or commercial dealings’ are excluded from the operation of section 100A.

What is changing?   

In recent years, it has become evident that the Commissioner has been looking to apply section 100A to circumstances well beyond its originally intended targets, and yesterday made public his detailed (preliminary) views on this troublesome provision in the form of:

Whilst administrative guidance on this difficult subject is welcomed from a clarity perspective, the preliminary views expressed will present challenges to many and could fundamentally change the tax planning considerations for trusts and beneficiaries.

What does this mean?  

Whilst the detail of these lengthy and complex draft pronouncements is still being digested, we note the following key points:

The Commissioner has indicated that section 100A could apply to the following circumstances, including:

The examples referred to above have far reaching implications for trusts and their beneficiaries (including corporate beneficiaries).  The approach that Commissioner proposes to adopt represents a significant departure from arrangements that many family groups will have adopted in the past.

The Taxpayer Alert TA 2022/1 specifically identifies circumstances which the Commissioner regards as high risk in relation to distributions to children of parents who control a discretionary trust.  The TA not only addresses 100A, but indicates the distributions may be legally ineffective or subject to Part IVA.

When will this new approach apply from?

The draft ruling indicates that the approach will apply retrospectively as well as prospectively, subject to some concessions set out in Draft Practice Compliance Guideline PCG 2022/D1.  This is significant, as section 100A (being originally intended for aggressive tax avoidance measures) is not subject to any statutory time limits – it can be applied retrospectively indefinitely, without the usual limitations upon the Commissioner.

Unfortunately, the draft PCG only provides limited concessions for arrangements entered into prior to the release of the pronouncements referred to above.  In very broad terms, certain pre-existing arrangements that are regarded as relatively benign will not be reviewed by the ATO. The limits to these concessions is one of the elements of the new suite of drafts that we believe is worthy of further dialogue and submissions in an effort to seek an outcome that is less harsh.

The PCG also provides something of a ‘heat map’ for taxpayers and advisers to rate the risks of arrangements under section 100A.

Division 7A – complying subtrusts no longer permitted

In addition to the section 100A developments, the Commissioner has also issued a draft determination in relation to Division 7A (TD 2022/D1: when will an unpaid present entitlement or amount held on sub-trust become the provision of financial accommodation). Whilst this TD is quite lengthy, the essence of it is that the Commissioner has announced a prospective (from 1 July 2022) change to his previous approach under which he allowed unpaid trust distributions owing to a company beneficiary to be put on interest-only terms for a 7 or 10 year period (depending on the interest rate).  The new approach will be more challenging for taxpayers in that such unpaid entitlements will need to be put on complying Division 7A loan terms, which broadly require both interest and principal repayments annually.   

Next steps

Section 100A in particular is a very technical and difficult provision and there is much to digest in the pronouncements referred to above.  SW will be considering the draft guidance in detail and propose to make submissions to the ATO prior to the finalisation of these pronouncements. 

Another factor to bear in mind (which is also referred to by the Commissioner in the draft ruling) is that the recent Guardian case concerning the operation of section 100A (refer to SW summary here: Guardian case – section 100A win for the taxpayer (sw-au.com), which was decided in favour of the taxpayer, is subject to appeal.  The draft views expressed appear to have been formed without any major regard to this decision, so the outcome of this appeal will be particularly relevant in this context. 

In addition to making submissions to the ATO in respect of these drafts, SW will be closely monitoring developments in this area and will keep its clients well informed as circumstances evolve.

Contributors

Ophelia Katrivessis

Ned Galloway

In December 2021, the Federal Court handed down its decision in Guardian AIT Pty Ltd ATF Australian Investment Trust v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 1619. The court found in favour of the taxpayer in relation to the application of section 100A.

There is little guidance around the application of section 100A particularly in respect of the ordinary and commercial dealings exemption. The case provides some guidance surrounding what arrangements are outside the scope of section 100A and arrangements that are exempt because the arrangement is an ordinary family or commercial dealings.

The Commissioner has recently appealed the case and will be releasing their own guidance on the application of section 100A expected in Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2022/D1. In our opinion, section 100A is and will continue to be an area of ATO focus in most private groups reviews and audits.

Section 100A

Section 100A is an anti-avoidance provision that target situations where one person is made presently entitled to income, but another person receives the benefit (cash) of the income. For section 100A to apply there must be a reimbursement agreement and:

An example where section 100A could apply occurs when:

Facts of the case

The case involves three key parties, being:

Corporate Services was a newly incorporated ‘cleanskin’ company for the purpose of receiving distributions from AIT. The other Springer Group entities had previously traded and were being wound down or sold in order for Mr Springer to simplify his life and transition to retirement.

2012 and 2013

Corporate Services was made presently entitled to the income of AIT for the 2012 and 2013 income tax years. AIT paid to Corporate Services an amount in cash to cover the income tax liability arising the distribution. The balance owing from AIT to Corporate Services remained as an unpaid present entitlement (UPE).

In the following income years, Corporate Services declared a full franked dividend to AIT. The UPE balance and the dividend balance were fully offset.

The franked dividend received by AIT was distributed to Mr Springer. As a non-resident, Mr Springer was not subject to any further tax on the dividend.

2014

Corporate Services was made presently entitled to the income of AIT for the 2014 income tax year. Similar to 2012 and 2013, AIT paid to Corporate Services an amount in cash to cover the income tax liability arising the distribution. However, the UPE balance was placed on complying Division 7A terms.

Outcome of the case

Justice Logan found in favour of the taxpayer in relation to section 100A for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 income years. The key reasons for the court’s decision include:

How can SW help

Although the original decision is a win for the taxpayer, the Commissioner’s approach in this case and the imminent release of draft rulings highlight the Commissioner’s increased focus on section 100A. The saving grace of this taxpayer was the contemporaneous documentation and the strong witnesses that provided honest, candid and consistent evidence with the documentation.

SW will be releasing additional commentary on this case and the Commissioner’s ruling once available.

SW has assisted a number of taxpayers in recent years in relation to ATO reviews and audits on 100A. If you would like any further information please contact a member of the SW tax team.

Contributors

Ophelia Katrivessis

Ned Galloway

As we continue to work from home and emerge from Covid-19, many employers will continue to provide a hybrid working arrangement for employees, that is, a mix of working from home (WFH) and working from the employer premises.

Careful consideration, planning and record keeping should be undertaken throughout this financial year in respect of work related home office expenses in order to maximise the deduction at year end.

Examples of WFH deductions you may be able to claim

The rules:

What has changed?

From 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2022, an actual home office is not required in order to claim home office expenses. 

Prior to 1 March 2020, a home office was required to be a designated room or area in the home set aside just for work, not shared by other people and not used for other purposes.

The ATO will now allow home office expenses to be claimed when working from the kitchen table or from a sofa.

Methods to calculate your WFH claim

1. Shortcut method

Using the short cut method, a tax deduction of 80 cents can be claimed for each hour worked from home.

This method covers costs such as:

This method is suitable for those working from home, without a dedicated home office space and making do. 

If there are multiple individuals working from home, each individual can claim 80 cents per hour. This includes both members of a couple living together.

2. Fixed rate method

Using the fixed rate method, a tax deduction of 52 cents can be claimed for each hour worked from home.

This method covers costs such as;

To use this method, you must have a dedicated workspace in your home. 

After claiming using the fixed rate, a claim for telephone, internet and decline in value of technology items, stationery and computer consumables can also be made.

3. Actual cost method for home expenses

Using the actual expenses method, the claim is calculated by calculating the actual expenses incurred to produce income when working from home.

This may include the following expenses:

For example, any electricity costs claimed will need to be calculated by looking at the cost per per kilowatt of power and the number of hours used for work related purposes. Similarly, telephone expenses bills will need to be itemised. Calls and data incurred specifically for work related purposes will need to be summarised.

Common mistakes made when calculating WFH claims

What should you do prior to year end in order to maximise WFH claims

How can SW help

Contributors

Janelle McPhee

To view a copy of the latest report please click here.