A free (and optional) super clearing house service is now
available to small businesses with less than 20 employees to help
them meet their super guarantee obligations.
The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is administered
by Medicare Australia and lets employers pay their super
contributions to a single location in one simple electronic
Small businesses that register to use the service will have
their super guarantee obligation discharged, as long as all of the
they pay the correct amount;
they pay by the super payment cut-off date;
the payment is accepted by the clearing house; and
the payment is not rejected by the super fund.
Employers who receive an employee's choice of fund
nomination will have their choice obligation discharged if they
pass the information to the clearing house within 21 days of
receiving the choice of fund nomination.
Small businesses can register online for the service by:
visiting the Medicare website at
phoning Medicare Australia on 1300 660 048.
The Tax Office, the cash economy and benchmarks
One of the Tax Office's new weapons against the cash
economy is its industry benchmarks.
These benchmarks set out the expected income and expenses of
small, medium and large businesses, most of which operate in the
cash economy. The ATO now has over 100 benchmarks and this year is
ramping up its attack against the cash economy by issuing about
The letters basically question why the figures returned by
taxpayers in their income tax returns do not fit the industry
The ATO expects that after the 100,000 questionnaires are
issued, about 3,000 – 4,000 audits will be conducted.
Editor: Should you receive any queries from the Tax Office
on benchmarks or any other matter, please contact our office
Use of assets in private companies
The Tax Office has advised that from 1 July 2009 (i.e., from the
2009/10 financial year just passed), where an asset is provided for
the use of a private company shareholder (or associate), it will
generally be treated as a 'payment' if the company provides
less than their market value.
Marina is a shareholder of a private company that owns a city
apartment. The apartment is generally available for rent.
However, Marina asks the company not to rent the apartment out
for a week so that she and her family can use it (for free) over a
long weekend. Marina's use of the apartment is a
'payment' for the purposes of the deemed dividend
The amount of any deemed dividend will be the amount the company
normally charges for one week's rent.
Editor: There are a number of exceptions to these rules so
please contact our office if you would like to know more about the
operation of these new rules or the exceptions.
We discuss whether certain clauses commonly found in ordinary commercial contracts could be considered to be penalties.
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