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ATO warns against investment property tax mistakes

Rental property owners are in the spotlight as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned against common tax return mistakes.

 According to the ATO, a “majority” of rental property owners are making errors in their tax returns. Most commonly, these are around what expenses can be claimed and when. Particularly prevalent are mistakes around claims for repairs and maintenance versus capital expenditure.

 Some tips provided by the ATO include:

Financial year-end causes stress for business owners

If you find the end of a financial year a challenge, you are not alone. New research from Xero has revealed that 71% of small business owners find this time of year stressful.

 Of the aspects related to financial year-end, 83% of business owners found one or more overwhelming.

 Navigating tax compliance took the lead with 33%. This was followed by gathering financial data (32%), the time investment required during this time of year (30%), staying on top of receipts (28%) and balancing financial deadlines with day-to-day operations (26%).

Lenders are willing to help struggling borrowers

If you are struggling to pay your bank or lender, ASIC, the financial services regulator, says you should ask your lenders directly for help.

 New research shows that 30% of Australians say they would not seek a hardship assistance arrangement from their bank or lender when struggling to make payments. In fact, more than 40% of Australians say they would rather sell off assets or get a second job before applying for assistance.

Take note of these changes to SMSF tax returns

It’s coming up to tax time, which means the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released its tips for lodging your tax returns.

 For taxpayers with a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), there has been a change that you should be aware of.

 From the 2024 income year, if you received one or more distributions from trusts, you must complete a Trust Income Schedule and attach it to your SMSF return.

 To complete the trust income schedule, you will need either:

 * A statement of distribution from the trustee.

Minimum wage increases

The minimum wage has been increased, which may affect your small business.

 Starting 1 July, the national minimum wage will increase by 3.75% to $24.10 an hour or $915.90 a week.

 This increase will apply from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2024. This means if your weekly pay period starts on Wednesday, the new rates will apply from Wednesday 3 July 2024.

Don’t be caught out by 3G switch-off

Telstra and Optus are switching off their 3G networks at the end of August and beginning of September, which could affect your business, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has warned.

 The switch-off will affect devices that can only use 3G. This may include your mobile phone, EFTPOS machine, security systems and cameras, scanners, industrial routers, tablets, smart watches, asset tracking tools or surveying instruments.

Make note of these important tax dates

As a business owner with employees, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned that it is important to stay on top of your payroll.

 This includes:

 * Accurately recording the amount you pay employees

* Withholding the correct amount of tax

* Calculating and paying superannuation guarantee accurately

 As the end of this financial year draws closer on 30 June, remember these important ATO dates: