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A new Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate is now available to primary producers in New South Wales. The rebate covers 25% of the cost of purchase, delivery and installation of water infrastructure that addresses animal needs and improves resilience to drought. 

Eligible activities include:

  • Pipes
  • Water storage devices such as tanks and troughs
  • Pumps
  • De-silting of existing dams
  • Bores and associated power supply.

Ineligible activities include:

  • Construction of dams
  • Water infrastructure for uses other than to supply water for livestock.

The rebate can be claimed for eligible water infrastructure expenses since 1 July 2018, up to a maximum rebate of $25,000 per farm enterprise. Apply at www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/emergency-water-infrastructure-rebate-scheme.

EMERGENCY DROUGHT TRANSPORT SUBSIDY

The amount that can be claimed under the NSW RAA Emergency Drought Transport Subsidy has increased from $30,000 to $40,000.  The subsidy can be applied for the cost of transporting fodder, water to a property for stock or domestic use, stock to and from agistment, and stock to sale or slaughter.

The subsidy covers up to 50% of the full cost of freight up to a maximum of $5 per kilometre and 1,500 kilometres per journey.

Applications close 30 June 2019.

Apply at www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/transport-subsidy-emergency-drought-relief.

Single Touch Payroll requires employers to send tax and superannuation information to the ATO every time they pay their employees and will commence on 1 July 2019 for all employers.

Features of Single Touch Payroll:

- Employers will no longer need to provide their employees with payment summaries for the information they report through Single Touch Payroll.
- Employees will find the information they need to complete their income tax return in ATO online services, accessed through myGov. Employees who choose not to have a myGov account can contact the ATO to get a copy of their payment summary information.
- Employers will no longer need to provide the ATO with a payment summary annual report (PSAR).
- From January 2020, the ATO will pre-fill activity statement labels W1 and W2.
- Employers will be able to offer online commencement forms to new employees, including Tax file number declaration, Superannuation (super) standard choice, Withholding declaration and Medicare levy variation declaration forms that can be sent to the ATO from myGov.

How to report through Single Touch payroll:

  • Report through your existing Single Touch Payroll enabled software
  • Report through a new Single Touch Payroll enabled software.  If you are a micro employer with one to four employees, the ATO has compiled a list of 24 companies that have put forward product proposals to offer low cost (ie less than $10 per month) Single Touch Payroll solutions. The list can be found at www.ato.gov.au/business/single-touch-payroll/in-detail/low-cost-singletouch-payroll-solutions.
  • Ask a third party, such as a registered tax or BAS agent or payroll service provider, to report through Single Touch Payroll on your behalf. If you have four or less employees, Twomeys will be able to report your Single Touch Payroll information quarterly for the first two years, rather than each time you process a pay run.

NB: If you have closely held payees (i.e. the payee is directly related to the entity from which they receive payments, for example family members of a family-owned business), you are exempt from reporting closely held payees for the 201920 financial year.

The instant asset write-off threshold has increased to $30,000, and has been extended to 30 June 2020.

The instant asset write-off now also includes businesses with a turnover from $10 million to less than $50 million. These businesses can claim a deduction of up to $30,000 for the business portion of each asset (new or second hand), purchased and first used or installed ready for use from 7.30pm (AEDT) on 2 April 2019 until 30 June 2020.

Businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million can also claim a deduction for each asset purchased and first used or installed ready for use, up to the following thresholds:

- $30,000, from 7.30pm (AEDT) on 2 April 2019 until  30 June 2020
- $25,000, from 29 January 2019 until before 7.30pm (AEDT) on 2 April 2019
- $20,000, before 29 January 2019.

NB: The GST exclusive cost of the asset must be less than the above thresholds in order to claim an instant asset write-off.

Heavy vehicles can be used in different activities both on and off public roads. The amount of fuel tax credits you can claim depends on what fuel you use, when you acquired it and if you use it:

  • for travelling on public roads
  • in all other activities, including off public roads, on work sites and to power auxiliary equipment.

You need to do separate calculations for different fuel tax credit rates.

To work out how much fuel was used in the different activities, you can use any apportionment method considered fair and reasonable for your circumstances.
Common methods and measures include where you:

  • add up all the eligible quantities of each fuel type that attract the same fuel tax credit rate
  • subtract any ineligible fuel, such as fuel you used in light vehicles on a public road, from the total fuel acquired
  • determine a reliable percentage of eligible fuel usage for a sample period and apply this over a number of tax periods.

The ATO's simplified method for working out fuel used in vehicles with auxiliary equipment can be found at:
www.ato.gov.au/business/fuel-schemes/in-detail/heavy-vehicles/?page=5#Methodsofworkingoutfuelconsumption_auxil and includes the following:
 

 Vehicle Percentage  Auxiliary equipment
 Concrete truck  30%  Mixing barrel and mechanisms for loading/unloading concrete
 Commercial coach  5%  Air conditioning
 Refrigerated vehicle  10%  Refrigeration unit
 Waste collection  15%

 Bin lifting equipment

The current fuel tax credit rate for heavy vehicles travelling on a public road is 15.8c/litre and for all other uses – including power auxiliary equipment of a heavy vehicle is 41.6c/litre. With such a large difference in the rates, it is important that you identify any non on road use of heavy vehicles and claim it at the appropriate higher rate.

NSW GOVERNMENT REBATES

A family with two children could save $1,000 by using Energy Switch and claiming the Active Kids voucher, Creative Kids voucher and the CTP Green Slip refund.

A pensioner concession card holder could save $1,200 if eligible for the Low Income Household Energy Rebate, Gas Rebate, CTP Green Slip refund and free rego.

First and second year apprentices registered with the NSW Department of Education and Training can apply for a registration rebate to help with the costs of registering their motor vehicle.

Frequent toll users who spend on average $25 per week or more in tolls or $1,300 over the year are eligible for one free 12 months registration for a car, ute 4WD or motorcycle for registrations due between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.

For more information on Service NSW Cost of Living rebates: www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/cost-living

ROYAL COMMISSION UPDATE

Recently the government released the final report of the Royal Commission into the financial services sector. It's an important document which clearly calls out the need for change across the financial services industry.

The government has announced a comprehensive set of measures in response, and will now go about implementing the legislative and regulatory changes required for the recommendations to take effect. That process is likely to take a period of time to implement.

At Twomeys we welcome any changes that help to make high-quality advice available to more Australians. We are absolutely committed to continue to deliver a consistently high standard of service. We will keep our financial services clients updated on how the changes may impact their individual circumstances and what we will be doing to manage those changes.

If you have any questions about the Royal Commission or how we could potentially assist you with your financial advice needs, please contact Michael Gay.


The ATO has announced it will continue its data matching program of share transactions acquired between 20 September 1985 to 30 June 2018.

The objective of the program is to ensure that taxpayers are correctly meeting taxation obligations in relation to share transactions, including registration, lodgement, reporting and payment responsibilities.

In particular, the ATO will continue to acquire details of share transactions from sources such as Computershare, Link Market Services, Australian Securities Exchange, Boardroom and ASIC.

The ATO has enacted legislation to extend the industries required to report payments to contractors under the Taxable Payments Reporting System (TPRS) regime.

Road freight, IT and security investigation or surveillance industries will need to report payments from 1 July 2019.   This is in addition to the cleaning and courier industries which came under the TPRS from 1 July 2018, and the Building and Construction industry which has been required to report payments to contractors since 2012.

Rural financial counsellors help farmers who are dealing with, or are at risk of, financial hardship.  Rural financial counsellors can:

• Help identify financial and business options, including negotiating with lenders

• Help develop an action plan

• Help access the Farm Household Allowance (FHA)

• Provide information about government and other assistance schemes

• Provide referrals to accountants, agricultural advisers and educational services

• Provide referrals to Department of Human Services and to professionals for succession planning, family mediation and personal, emotional and social counselling.

There are 30 Rural Financial Counsellors located throughout NSW, including offices at Young, Forbes, Dubbo, Mudgee, Ganmain, Crookwell and Yass-Gundagai. A full list of Rural Financial Counsellors in NSW and their contact details can be found at http://www.agriculture. gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/rural-financialcounselling-service/nsw. gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/rural-financialcounselling-service/nsw.