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ATO Update: COVID-19 support, small business changes

STP Phase 2 changes – register for our webinar

Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 reporting starts 1 January 2022. Employers need to start sending additional payroll information through STP. The ATO is hosting a series of webinars that explain the changes in detail. The sessions will include industry professionals who will help employers and tax professionals understand what the changes mean and what they need to consider. The first webinar in the series will be held on Wednesday 22 September from 1.00–2.30pm AEST and will cover:

  • a high-level walkthrough of the STP Phase 2 Employer Guide
  • software provider readiness and the deferral process if you need more time to get ready
  • industry tips on what to think about now and what you can do to get ready
  • the webinar schedule, including topics and dates so you can mark them in your calendar.

Employers and tax professionals can book now. The webinar will be recorded, so those unable to attend will be able to watch it at a later date.

Register for the first Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 Webinar here.

For more information, visit Expanding Single Touch Payroll (Phase 2)


Taxable payments reporting system (TPRS)

Businesses who pay contractors may need to lodge a Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) this year, due 28 August. The easiest way to lodge is through ATO Online services for business or through your registered tax or BAS agent. You should already have the records you need from preparing your activity statements. For the latest information about who needs to lodge a TPAR, and what and how to report, see www.ato.gov.au/TPAR.

On 9 August the ATO posted social media across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter promoting the 28 August TPAR lodgment date, and a #SmallBiz retweet on 19 August on Twitter.


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Digital operations to help your business bounce back

The ATO understands that many businesses are impacted by the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, but it’s important that you consider shifting to digital operations to help your business bounce back. Peppol e-invoicing can help your small business clients streamline their manual invoicing processes. Through Peoppol e-invoicing, invoices are sent and received faster, and in a more secure way than email or post. This will increase your chances of getting paid faster, improve your cashflow and let you focus on growing your business. To support you, the ATO have developed a new how-to get started with e-invoicing content along with informational videos on business.gov.au/e-invoicing.


Understanding Personal services income

Personal services income (PSI) is income that is mainly a reward for an individual’s personal efforts or skills. You can receive it in almost any industry, trade or profession, and it can affect how you report your income and the deductions you can claim. Use the ATO’s tool to work out if you have PSI and if the PSI rules apply. Find out more at ato.gov.au/PSI


Getting under the hood of your motor vehicle expenses

Claiming deductions for motor vehicle expenses? Remember, there’s also a limit on the cost you can use to work out depreciation. For the 2020–21 income year, the limit is $59,136, or the cost of the vehicle if it’s less than this amount. For more information on claiming motor vehicle expenses, check out our fact sheet at ato.gov.au/motorvehicleexpenses.


PAYG and reporting obligations

If you want to claim deductions for payments you’ve made to your workers (whether they are employees or contractors), you must meet the required PAYG withholding and reporting obligations for these payments. Find out more at ato.gov.au/PAYGWdeductions.


Concessions at a glance 

Know what concessions you may be eligible for this tax time? Small businesses have access to a range of concessions. This includes the increased small business income tax offset, small business restructure rollover and lower company tax rate. Find out more at ato.gov.au/concessionsataglance.

Do you reimburse or pay for your employee’s expenses?

Register for ATO virtual introductory sessions to find out what an expense payment fringe benefit is, how to identify if you’re providing them to employees and what records you’ll need to keep.

Helpful eligibility fact sheet for the loss carry back tax offset

Wondering if you’re eligible for the loss carry back tax offset? The ATO has a simple flow chart you can follow to help determine your eligibility.


Wellbeing support for small business owners

Unexpected life events can add stress and pressure to the unique experience of running a small business. If you are facing mental health and wellbeing difficulties, learn more about the support options the ATO offers, as they understand these circumstances can affect your tax and super obligations.


Need a hand lodging? Check out the latest ATO video

The ATO has recently launched an interactive video ‘How to lodge your tax return. This clickable video provides advice about how to lodge, what to include and how to track the progress of your tax return. Whether you’re new to the tax system, looking for a refresher or your tax circumstances have changed, the video allows you to ‘choose your own adventure’ while accessing tailored information for your circumstances.


Check out the new and improved ATO app!

Refreshed for tax time, our ATO app allows sole traders and individuals to securely access a personalised experience that enhances and simplifies their interactions with us. View when lodgments and payments are due, keep personal and business details up to date, and access helpful tools and calculators like myDeductions. To start using the ATO app, download it from Google Play or the App Store www.ato.gov.au/app


Scam alert – August 2021 phone scam – new payment methods

The ATO is receiving reports of scammers demanding payment via new methods. These scammers are trying to trick people into making payments by pretending to be from the ATO and other agencies.   They might tell you that your TFN has been suspended or compromised due to money laundering or other illegal activity, or that you owe a debt.

If you’re ever unsure whether an ATO contact is genuine, phone 1800 008 540 to check or visit www.ato.gov.au/scamalerts to find out more.

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