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NEW ROUND OF ATO IT PROBLEMS

Wednesday, 01 March 2017

The Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) IT systems again experienced a major outage in February causing widespread problems with the ATO’s portals. The ATO said the IT problems were a continuation of the major outage in December.
The fresh round of widespread IT outages has caused major disruptions and widespread criticism.

TPB WARNS ON HACKING

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has issued a warning that hackers may be targeting tax practitioners and their practices in an attempt to harvest personal information, commit identity fraud, or to launch ransomware and other malicious attacks.
The TPB said, “It is important to ensure that you have sufficient IT controls in place to protect the security and confidentiality of your client records and therefore assist you in meeting your obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).

The Australian Tax Office has said that about 25 per cent of small businesses were not compliant in September 2016 with their superannuation reporting obligations under the Government’s ‘SuperStream’ reporting rules.
Under the rules all employers regardless of size were required by 30 June 2016 to report and make their superannuation payments in compliance with SuperStream rules.

Businesses with more than 20 employees will be required to report payroll and some other financial information to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) using the ‘Single Touch Payroll’ system from 1 July 2018.
Legislation implementing STP (part of the Government’s Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016) passed Parliament in September 2016.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has highlighted that new privacy legislation currently before Parliament is likely to affect BAS Agents’ handling of clients’ tax file information.

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 which amends the Privacy Act 1988 was introduced to Parliament in October 2016. (It has not yet been passed by Parliament.)

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) says that 95 per cent of overdue tax and BAS Agent registrations were completed during 2016.
However during the year the Board also issued 349 written cautions and 46 tax and BAS agents received sanctions of an order, “highlighting that Code of Professional Conduct item 14 requires practitioners to respond to the TPB in a timely, responsible and reasonable manner,” it said.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has deferred plans for changes in the way it handles activity statements and the director penalties regime.
The Tax Office told the ATO’s Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group meeting in November that it had decided to postpone the scheduled activity statement financial payment and director penalty regime release to a date to be announced, but likely to be no earlier than December 2017. The changeover had been planned for December 2016.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) says it is still working to restore full operations of its internal and external IT systems after the huge systems failure in December.
In December Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan described the failure as the “worst unplanned system outage in recent memory.” He said “This was an extremely unusual and unfortunate event with the outage caused by a significant and unprecedented failure of storage hardware.”

Reckon have had a huge year with many new features released in Reckon One, a few highlights include:

In April, they released their newest Payroll module with unlimited employees for $3 p/m built on the idea of no steep price increases as your business grows.

In July, they enabled TPAR reporting in the Core (The Basics) module, for those operating in the building and construction industry. A release to the Payroll module enabled lodgement of SuperStream compliant files automatically via NAB Super Pay or the Ozedi Gateway. Finally, Reckon partnered with PayPal to include a ‘pay now’ option on invoices to help small businesses get paid faster.

BACKPACKER TAX TO START 1 JANUARY 2017

Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Federal Government’s new backpacker tax will come into effect from 1 January 2017 after it secured passage of the legislation through the Senate in a deal with the Greens.
After a prolonged series of unsuccessful negotiations with different combinations of the Senate cross-bench, the Government finally secured a deal with the Greens on the last sitting day of parliament before its Christmas recess.

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