car buying private or business

Changes to car thresholds from 1 July

The following car threshold amounts will apply for the 2024–25 financial year.

Income tax

  • The car limit for 2024–25 is $69,674. This is the highest value you can use to calculate depreciation on a car where both of the following apply:
    • you use the car for business purposes
    • you first use or lease the car in the 2024–25 income year.
  • As a business owner, you can claim a tax deduction for expenses for motor vehicles you use for business purposes.
  • If you use a motor vehicle for both business and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the business part. You must be able to show the percentage you claim as business use and have records to support your claim.

Goods and services tax (GST)

  • If you buy a car and the price is more than the car limit, the maximum GST credit you can claim (except in certain circumstances) is one-eleventh of the car limit. For the 2024–25 income year, the maximum GST credit you can claim is $6,334 (that is, 1/11 × $69,674).
  • You can’t claim a GST credit for any luxury car tax you pay when you buy a luxury car, even if you use it for business purposes.

Luxury car tax (LCT)

  • The LCT threshold for 2024–25 is:
    • $91,387 for fuel-efficient vehicles. This is in line with an increase to the motor-vehicle purchase sub-group of the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
    • $80,567 for all other luxury vehicles, in line with an increase in the ‘All Groups’ CPI.

If you’re looking to buy a luxury car, remember to be cautious of those who offer to buy one from a dealer on your behalf at a discount. This may be a scheme to evade LCT. You may be at risk if they don’t have the right insurance or if the car is damaged or defective.

To find out more about LCT, including when you need to apply it and what’s included in the LCT value of a car, visit the Luxury car tax page on the ATO’s website.

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parliament canberra

2024–25 Federal Budget Highlights

Budget 2024–25 key measures you must know

Described as a “responsible Budget that helps people under pressure today”, the Treasurer has forecast a second consecutive surplus of $9.3 billion.

The main priorities of the government, as reflected in the Budget, are helping with the cost of living, building more housing, investing in skills and education, strengthening Medicare and responsible economic management to help fight inflation.

The key tax measures announced in the Budget include extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off for eligible businesses by 12 months until 30 June 2025, introducing tax incentives for hydrogen production and critical minerals production, strengthening foreign resident CGT rules and penalising multinationals that seek to avoid paying Australian royalty withholding tax.

The Budget also includes various amendments to previously announced measures, as well as a number of income tax measures that have already been enacted prior to the Budget announcement, including:

These enacted measures have not been discussed in detail in our summary report:

Income tax

The tax, superannuation and social security highlights are set out below. The government anticipates that the tax measures put forward will collectively improve the Budget position by $3.1 billion over a 5-year period to 2027–28.

  • The instant asset write-off threshold of $20,000 for small businesses applying the simplified depreciation rules will be extended for 12 months until 30 June 2025
  • The foreign resident CGT regime will be strengthened for CGT events commencing on or after 1 July 2025
  • A critical minerals production tax incentive will be available from 2027–28 to 2040–41 to support downstream refining and processing of critical minerals
  • A hydrogen production tax incentive will be available from 2027–28 to 2040–41 to producers of renewable hydrogen
  • The minimum length requirements for content and the above-the-line cap of 20% for total qualifying production expenditure for the producer tax offset will be removed
  • A new penalty will be introduced from 1 July 2026 for taxpayers who are part of a group with more than $1 billion in annual global turnover that are found to have mischaracterised or undervalued royalty payments
  • The Labor government’s 2022–23 Budget measure to deny deductions for payments relating to intangibles held in low- or no-tax jurisdictions is being discontinued
  • The start date of a 2023–24 Budget measure to expand the scope of the Pt IVA general anti-avoidance rule will be deferred to income years commencing on or after assent of enabling legislation
  • Income tax exemptions for World Rugby and/or related entities for income derived in relation to the Rugby World Cup 2027 (men’s) and Rugby World Cup 2029 (women’s)
  • Deductible gift recipients list to be updated.

Superannuation

  • Superannuation will be paid on government-funded paid parental leave (PPL) for parents of babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2025
  • The Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery Program will be recalibrated to pursue unpaid superannuation entitlements owed by employers in liquidation or bankruptcy from 1 July 2024
  • Prior to the Budget the draft of the $3 million super tax legislation was given Senate go-ahead and remains unchanged — it will include the taxing of unrealised gains and no indexation. Read more »

Tax administration

  • The ATO will be given a statutory discretion to not use a taxpayer’s refund to offset old tax debts on hold
  • Indexation of the Higher Education Loan Program (and other student loans) debt will be limited to the lower of either the Consumer Price Index or the Wage Price Index, effective from 1 June 2023
  • A pilot program of matching income and employment data of migrant workers will be conducted between the Department of Home Affairs and the ATO
  • A new ATO compliance taskforce will be established to recover tax revenue lost to fraud while existing compliance programs will be extended.

GST

  • Refunds of indirect tax (including GST, fuel and alcohol taxes) will be extended under the Indirect Tax Concession Scheme.

Small business depreciation — instant asset write-off threshold of $20,000 extended to 2024–25

The instant asset write-off threshold of $20,000 for small businesses applying the simplified depreciation rules will be extended for 12 months until 30 June 2025.

Small businesses (aggregated annual turnover less than $10 million) may choose to calculate capital allowances for depreciating assets under a simplified regime in Subdiv 328-D of ITAA 1997. Under these simplified depreciation rules, an immediate write-off applies for low-cost depreciating assets. The measure will apply a $20,000 threshold for the immediate write-off, applicable to eligible assets costing less than $20,000 that are first used or installed ready for use by 30 June 2025.

Assets valued at $20,000 or more (which cannot be immediately deducted) can continue to be placed into the small business simplified depreciation pool and depreciated at 15% in the first income year and 30% each income year thereafter. The provisions that prevent small businesses from re-entering the simplified depreciation regime for 5 years if they opt-out will also continue to be suspended until 30 June 2025.

The measure extends a 2023–24 Budget measure to increase the instant asset write-off threshold to $20,000 for the 2023–24 income year. A Bill containing amendments to increase the instant asset write-off threshold for 2023–24 is currently before Parliament. The Bill was amended by the Senate to increase the instant asset write-off threshold for 2023–24 to $30,000 and extend access to the instant asset write-off to entities that are not small business entities but would be if the aggregated turnover threshold were $50 million.

Tax administration

Statutory discretion for ATO to deal with tax refunds and debts on hold

The Commissioner of Taxation will be given the discretion to not use a taxpayer’s refund to offset old tax debts where that debt had been put on hold before 1 January 2017. The tax law will be amended to provide for this ATO discretion which will apply to individuals, small businesses and not-for-profits. The discretion will maintain the ATO’s current administrative approach to such debts.

Student loans indexation reform

Indexation of the Higher Education Loan Program (and other student loans) debt will be limited to the lower of either the Consumer Price Index or the Wage Price Index, effective from 1 June 2023, subject to the passage of legislation. The measure will apply retrospectively.

Data matching program for migrant workers’ income and employment

A pilot program matching income and employment data will be conducted between the Department of Home Affairs and the ATO to mitigate the exploitation of migrant workers and abuse of Australia’s labour market and migration system. This measure forms part of broader reforms to the migration system.

Strengthening ATO ability to combat fraud and extension of compliance programs

The ATO will be provided additional funding to continue various compliance programs. The current ATO Personal Income Tax Compliance Program will be extended for another year from 1 July 2027 to enable the ATO to continue its focus on emerging risks to the tax system. The Shadow Economy Compliance Program and the Tax Avoidance Taskforce will be extended for 2 years from 1 July 2026.

Funding will be provided to the ATO to improve its detection of tax and superannuation fraud, including to upgrade its information and communications technologies to be able to identify and block suspicious activity in real time. A new compliance task force will also be established to recover lost revenue and block attempts to obtain refunds fraudulently. Funding will also be provided to improve ATO’s management and governance of its counter-fraud activities.

The ATO will also be given additional time within which to notify a taxpayer if it intends to retain a business activity statement (BAS) refund for further investigation. The current required notification period of 14 days will be extended to 30 days, aligning it with time limits for non-BAS refunds. This measure will take effect from the start of the first financial year after assent of the enabling legislation.

2019-20 Budget measure on black economy will not proceed

The 2019–20 Budget measure “Black Economy — Strengthening the Australian Business Number system” will not proceed as integrity issues are being addressed through enhanced administrative processes implemented by the ATO.

GST

Refunds of indirect tax extended under Indirect Tax Concession Scheme

Refunds of indirect tax (including GST, fuel and alcohol taxes) will be extended under the Indirect Tax Concession Scheme (ITCS).

The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) will have ITCS access upgraded for additional concessions to be claimed for the purchase of vehicles for personal use by SKAO officials or a member of their family. Additional concessions for commercial rent will also be formalised for existing ITCS packages for Bangladesh, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. Construction and renovation concessions will be formalised for the existing ITCS package for the Netherlands. Concessions for both commercial rent and construction and renovation will be formalised for the existing ITCS package for Pacific Trade Invest.

Superannuation

Super to be paid on government-funded paid parental leave

Superannuation will be paid on government-funded paid parental leave (PPL) for parents of babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2025. Eligible parents will receive an additional payment based on the superannuation guarantee (12% of their PPL payments), as a contribution to their superannuation fund. Payments will be made annually to individuals’ superannuation funds from 1 July 2026.

Recovery of unpaid super from liquidated or bankrupt employers

The Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery Program will be recalibrated to pursue unpaid superannuation entitlements owed by employers in liquidation or bankruptcy from 1 July 2024.

To discuss how these Budget measures impact you or your business, please contact your Allan Hall Advisor.

Full Budget papers are available at budget.gov.au and the Treasury ministers’ media releases are available at ministers.treasury.gov.au.

CONTACT ALLAN HALL BUSINESS ADVISORS

fuel pumps

Register for fuel tax credits

Check if you can claim for fuel tax credits

You can claim credits for the fuel tax (excise or customs duty) included in the price of fuel used in business activities.

You can claim for taxable fuel that you purchase, manufacture or import. Just make sure it’s used in your business. Taxable fuels include liquid fuels, fuel blends and gaseous fuels.

Check what activities you can claim for

You can claim for business activities in:

  •  machinery
  •  plant
  •  equipment
  •  heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes
  •  light vehicles on private roads (not on public roads)

To be able to claim, you must be registered for goods and services tax (GST) and fuel tax credits.

Register for fuel tax credits (and other taxes)

Register for fuel tax credits through the Business Registration Service. You can use the same form to register for other taxes at the same time.

Before you apply:

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cryptocurrency

GST and using or receiving digital currency

What to do when you receive and use digital currency as payment for goods and services

Digital currency as payment for goods and services

Receiving or using digital currency to pay for goods and services in your GST-registered enterprise is the same as using money, but it is different to trading digital currency.

Receiving digital currency

If you make a taxable supply and you receive digital currency as payment, the GST amount for that payment included in your business activity statement must be in Australian dollars.

Your tax invoice must meet the normal tax invoice requirements and include either:

  • the GST payable in Australian dollars
  • sufficient information to work out the GST payable in Australian dollars.

Examples of sufficient information includes the:

  • price expressed in Australian dollars
  • value expressed in Australian dollars, or
  • conversion rate used by the supplier, or a statement, to work out the GST payable if it is not in Australian dollars.

Using digital currency

If you use digital currency to make a purchase for your GST-registered enterprise and claim a GST credit, the GST amount of the credit in your business activity statement must be in Australian dollars.

To work out your GST credits, your tax invoice will include either:

  • the GST amount in Australian dollars
  • sufficient information to determine the GST amount in Australian dollars.

How to convert digital currency

To work out the value of your digital currency for your business activity statement, you must use the exchange rate on the conversion day that applies to you.

Exchange rate

If the exchange rate is in Australian dollars, you may choose to use the exchange rate:

  • from a digital currency exchange or website, or
  • agreed on between the supplier and the recipient.

If the exchange rate is in a foreign currency, you must convert the amount expressed in foreign currency to Australian dollars.

Conversion day

The conversion day is the date you use to convert your digital currency into Australian dollars.

If you account for GST on a non-cash basis, your conversion day is determined by whichever happens first of either the:

  • day you receive any of the payment
  • transaction date or invoice date.

If you account for GST on a cash basis, your conversion day can be the transaction date, invoice date or the day you receive any of the payment.

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Happy friends enjoying on terrace. Smiling man and women are celebrating together during sunset. They are wearing casuals in party

FBT treatment of work Christmas parties and gifts

Fringe Benefits Tax — What business owners need to know this Christmas

As the festive season approaches, you are likely planning your end-of-year functions and perhaps even thinking about Christmas gifts for valued customers and employees for another year.

During this period, it’s important to understand and be mindful of the implications of Fringe Benefits Tax on gifts and parties, to ensure that your generosity doesn’t cause unwelcome tax consequences for your business.

To help, we have set out the following guidelines to assist you:

Fringe Benefits Tax at Christmas

Christmas Parties

If your business lodges an FBT return calculating entertainment using the 50/50 method, then 50% of the cost of your Christmas party will be subject to FBT.

If you do not lodge an FBT return using the 50/50 method then the cost of your Christmas party will be exempt from FBT provided one of the following applies:

  • The Christmas party is held on business premises on a working day for current employees only, OR
  • The Christmas party costs under $300 per head.

If your business entertains your employees frequently (more than 10 times per year) then your Christmas party may be subject to FBT regardless of the cost, so please discuss this with your Allan Hall advisor first.

Example

  1. A law firm holds its Christmas party for employees only on a Friday afternoon in the office garden complete with marquee, live band, premium alcohol and a delicious banquet cooked by a celebrity chef. The cost comes to $490 per head. This will be exempt from FBT.
  1. An electrical company holds its Christmas party at a local restaurant with food, drink and entertainment. Ten employees and their spouses are invited making a total of 20 people. The total cost comes to $5,000. As this equates to $250 per head it will be exempt from FBT.

Customer Gifts

Gifts to customers are tax deductible and not subject to Fringe Benefits Tax, provided they are a genuine gift e.g. a Christmas hamper or a bottle of wine.  If you choose to take a customer out for a Christmas drink instead, your portion of this may be subject to Fringe Benefits Tax.

Staff Gifts

Gifts are a great way to show your employees how appreciative you are of their efforts whilst still attracting a tax deduction for your business. However, it’s important to understand that staff gifts over $300 will be subject to Fringe Benefits Tax.

Further, staff gifts under $300 should be eligible for the minor benefits exemption from Fringe Benefits Tax, but if they are recreational gifts (such as concert, cinema or sports tickets) then no income tax deduction or GST can be claimed.

Understanding the intricacies of Fringe Benefits Tax and the implications of FBT on your Christmas entertaining — gifts and parties — can be challenging. Many of our team offer skilled and highly experienced advice in all aspects of Fringe Benefits Tax, so please contact your Allan Hall Advisor for specific assistance before planning your Christmas functions and/or staff and customer gifts.

NOTE: If your business is a tax-exempt body or charity then a separate set of rules applies so please consult your Allan Hall Advisor.

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Compliance cogs

Understanding Director Penalty Notices

Navigating the ATO’s Enforcement Measures

In the complex territory of tax obligations, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is actively deploying Director Penalty Notices (DPN) at an average rate of 60 per day, as revealed by the ATO themselves.

A DPN does not confer liability upon directors for outstanding company debt, as directors are inherently liable by law. Rather, it serves as a formal notification that initiates a countdown, compelling directors to either remit the debt promptly or confront the ensuing consequences.

There are imperative steps for directors to take in response to a DPN:

  1. Complete business lodgements even if there is an inability to pay associated liabilities such as PAYG, GST and superannuation
  2. Ensure business address accuracy on ASIC’s register
  3. Seek advice from a liquidator if you are unable to meet the DPN amount.

Lockdown DPNs

A lockdown DPN comes into play when a company fails to lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) and Instalment Activity Statements (IAS) within three months of the due date or Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) statements within one month and 28 days after the quarter’s end to which the superannuation charge contribution relates. In such cases, directors face automatic and permanent exposure to penalties, with the sole remedy being full payment of the debt.

Non-lockdown DPNs

Conversely, a non-lockdown DPN provides directors with a 21-day window to consider options for remitting the applicable tax (penalty). The available choices include paying the debt, appointing a voluntary administrator, engaging a small business restructuring practitioner or appointing a liquidator. Failure to act within this timeframe results in the penalty becoming permanent, empowering the ATO to initiate debt recovery proceedings.

Adding a layer of complexity, the ATO now issues DPNs that break down amounts owed into lockdown (monthly unremitted amounts) and non-lockdown (monthly remitted amounts) columns.

Navigating the intricacies of DPNs can be challenging for directors, so engaging with a qualified tax advisor is crucial to gaining the necessary support and understanding:

  • Explaining the mechanics of DPNs
  • Reviewing individual circumstances to provide tailored assistance and outlining options based on unique circumstances
  • Offering support throughout the decision-making process.

In essence, understanding and responding to Director Penalty Notices requires a comprehensive approach, combining intricate tax knowledge and strategic insights, ensuring directors are well-equipped to address these ATO enforcement measures.

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Related reading

Compliance cogs

Federal Budget ATO compliance crackdown

Increased number of reviews

The importance of audit insurance in the wake of the Federal Budget – did you know that you can get insurance that covers the costs of professional fees incurred to respond to an ATO audit?

The recently announced Federal Budget 2023 has unveiled significant funding increases ($588M) in the government’s stance towards tax compliance, particularly through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). GST compliance,and Personal income tax deductions have been specifically named by the government as areas of risk.

If you are in business, audit insurance is an often-overlooked component of business insurance, however in an environment where compliance scrutiny is intensifying, having audit insurance serves as a proactive measure to safeguard one’s financial interests.

Extended audit scope

Even if you are not in business, you may be a high-income earner, or have investment properties, the scope for an ATO review is much greater than in the past. You should be aware of safeguarding your financial well-being and know that you are not immune to tax compliance scrutiny (and review).

As complexities within our tax system increase, the time and expertise required to respond effectively to ATO reviews also escalate, resulting in more costs to simply respond to the review, not including ongoing management of the ‘case’ to completion. The potential cost of such services is increasing, with accountants needing to spend many hours (at hourly rates) to address detailed audit correspondence and liaise with clients.

Audit insurance offers coverage for professional fees incurred in responding to ATO and other government department reviews.

Investing in audit insurance ensures that individuals are also financially prepared to handle these reviews without incurring a significant cost burden.

With a substantial allocation of government funding towards tax compliance, the ATO aims to enhance its ability to address emerging risks and generate additional revenue. In light of these developments, it becomes increasingly crucial for businesses and many other taxpayers to consider the importance of audit insurance as a protective measure.

READ MORE ABOUT AUDIT INSURANCE HERE

audit

Insurance for tax audit costs

Limit your costs in the event of an audit with tailored coverage

The ATO has been funded with an additional $1.5 billion to increase the volume of audits and reviews, making it more likely that businesses and individuals will be audited. 

Considerable costs can be involved in responding to an ATO tax audit, as you may need your accountants to prepare detailed responses and compile supporting documentation.

The costs can quickly add up to significant levels for the work involved. 

AuditCover audit insurance covers professional fees in the event of an audit. Policies are available starting from $99 for individuals and $150 for businesses and groups, and the premium is tax deductible.

AuditCover audit insurance covers audits and reviews for: 

  • Capital Gains Tax 
  • Income Tax 
  • Land Tax 
  • Payroll Tax 
  • Workers Compensation 
  • BAS/GST Compliance 
  • Superannuation Guarantee 
  • Fringe Benefits Tax 
  • Stamp Duty and more…

For any questions please call AuditCover on 1300 895 797 or read more here. Allan Hall clients are invited to obtain a quote from AuditCover.

DISCLAIMER: As with any insurance, it is important that you read the Policy Wording and ensure that the product is right for you. This page is intended to provide general information about tax audits and AuditCover and does not constitute advice.

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suited man seated in a field

Director penalty notices

ATO follow up of unmet PAYG withholding, Superannuation Guarantee Charge and GST

In March the ATO started contacting company directors to inform them about their potential personal liability for company tax debts under the Director Penalty Notice (DPN) program.

A letter is being sent to directors of companies if the company has not met their debt obligations in respect of PAYG withholding, Superannuation Guarantee Charge and GST.

Directors will be notified that the ATO is considering issuing them with a DPN, which makes them personally liable for the debts of their business if the company does not actively manage their debt.

The focus is on making directors aware of their obligations and personal liabilities, and the actions that may be taken if they don’t engage. Clear pathways will be provided to re-engage, work with the ATO and avoid escalation.

There is information on the ATO website for help with paying and support in difficult times. It is crucial that directors engage with the ATO early before any debts become unmanageable.

Directors can access the ATO’s payment plan estimator to work out an affordable plan.

Generally, while there is a debt, general interest charges continue to apply so make sure all lodgments are bought up to date to avoid further penalties.

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