January 2021 – Practice Update

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January 20, 2021

New insolvency rules commence

Important changes to Australia’s insolvency laws commenced operation on 1 January 2021. The measures apply to incorporated businesses with liabilities less than $1 million and are expected to cover around 76 per cent of businesses currently subject to insolvency. The new rules do not apply to partnerships or sole traders.

The Treasury’s Simplified Debt Restructuring factsheet states the conditions that companies need to satisfy to be eligible to access this new process. In addition, ASIC confirms that for a debt restructuring, a company is required to make a declaration that it is eligible, which must be published on the ASIC site (and a copy given  to ASIC). There is also an ASIC Q&A on the new rules.


Jobkeeper eligibility: Test case opens the door to claims

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has found that a taxpayer had and was entitled to an Australian business number (ABN) in March 2020 and therefore qualified for JobKeeper payments. The 21 December 2020 decision is considered a test case for JobKeeper eligibility. The tribunal found in favour of the taxpayer on all grounds including that taxpayer, Jeremy Apted, had and was entitled to an ABN on 12 March 2020. The AAT said that the integrity of the JobKeeper scheme was ensured by reference to the ABN registration process, even where a registration (or reactivation) is backdated.

The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) Karen Payne released a report focusing on the ATO’s administration of JobKeeper and cash flow boost payments for new businesses. IGTO concluded that the ATO did not provide a number of new businesses with an opportunity to provide evidence of having made taxable supplies (within the modified meaning) before it determined that they were ineligible for the JobKeeper and Boosting Cash Flow support measures.


Change to age limit on making non-concessional contributions, but what happened to the changes to the bring forward rules?

For the 2020-21 financial year onwards, you no longer need to meet the work test or work test exemption criteria if you are 65 or 66 years old. You can still make non-concessional contributions if you are 67–74 years old and meet the work test or satisfy the work-test exemption criteria.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (More Flexible Superannuation) Bill 2020 has been on the agenda for the Senate for some time with a commencement date of 1 July 2020. This bill was designed to tie in with the above-mentioned legislated change for most contributions from 65 to 67 and allow the bring forward rule to be utilised for those in this age bracket.

As such, Australians aged between 65 and 67 are still in limbo about accessing the bring-forward rules for non-concessional contributions with the bill still stalled in Parliament.

Our clients can call our specialist SMSF team to discuss this Bill, contribution rules and eligibilities, irrespective if they have an SMSF or not.

Additional information on non-concessional contributions and the bring forward arrangements can be found at the ATO website HERE

Transfer balance cap indexation

Hughes O’Dea Corredig, as the winner of the 2020 SMSF Firm of the Year, are proud to share current and up-to-date information regarding superannuation. The ATO are advising industry that indexation of the general transfer balance cap will occur on 1 July 2021 if the All Groups CPI figure for the December 2020 quarter is 116.9 or higher.

Once indexation of the general transfer balance occurs, there will be no single transfer balance cap which applies to all individuals and indexation of the general transfer balance cap will have consequences on other caps and limits that will flow through to other parts of the tax and super systems.

Should you be approaching retirement or considering contributing into superannuation, feel free to touch base with our specialist SMSF team at HOC to discuss whether you have any strategic opportunities to improve your situation. For more information on HOC’s SMSF team, click HERE.

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