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ATO issues notice to tax agents

The Tax Office has issued several reminders to tax agents – one concerning methods to calculate GST turnover for JobKeeper payments and the other a warning on the inappropriate use of myGov.

ATO issues notice to tax agents
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • May 08, 2020
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The ATO has issued a notice for tax agents help clarify how to calculate GST turnover for the purpose of determining eligibility for the JobKeeper program.

“If your clients account for GST on a cash basis, they can use either cash or accruals (non-cash) to calculate their GST turnover. If your clients currently use accruals to account for GST we expect in most cases they would continue to use this method. However, if they choose to use the cash basis we may want to understand why the different approach is an appropriate reflection of turnover,” the ATO has clarified following some confusion.

In both cases, it noted, the basis used must be the same for calculating clients' projected and current GST turnover.

“Whichever calculation used, your clients will need to keep records to demonstrate the calculation and explain why this method was chosen,” the ATO advised.

In a separate notice, the Tax Office warned tax practitioners that using their clients' myGov credentials is not an approved channel to manage their clients' tax affairs.

“Doing this breaches the ATO Online terms and conditions. MyGov is not an approved channel for tax practitioners to use. You may risk referral to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) if you use myGov on behalf of your clients, with or without your clients’ knowledge,” the ATO cautioned.

It underlined that tax agents must use Online services for agents or their practice management software to manage their clients' tax affairs.

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