Sunday, May 18, 2008

Announcement: This blog has relocated

We have a new look and location. Now you can read the Dollars & Sense blogs at Dollars & Sense.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Beware of Tax Refund Email Scam

An email fraudulently claiming to be from the Tax Office is currently circulating.

The email claims to offer a tax refund and asks people for personal and credit card details.

It is similar to previous scams and uses the Tax Office logo and the words ‘Notification — Please read’ or ‘Australian Taxation Office – Please Read This’ in the subject line. There may also be more variations to these subject headings.

The email asks people to click on a link which redirects them to a bogus website that looks similar to the Tax Office website and asks for credit card and personal details.

The Tax Office will never send people an email asking them to provide personal information including credit card details.

Acting Second Commissioner Bill Gibson said anyone who receives the email should delete it immediately.

“People should be wary of unsolicited emails claiming to be from the Tax Office.
“As an extra precaution we recommend you type internet addresses directly into your internet browser rather than clicking on hyperlinks embedded in emails,” Mr Gibson said.

If people have entered their credit card information on the website, they should report it to their credit card provider as soon as possible.

ATO Media release 2008/24

Monday, April 14, 2008

Be Careful with your Tax File Number

The ATO is reminding taxpayers to keep their Tax File Number secure.

People are increasingly being asked to provide their TFN when it isn't needed. Watch out for bogus job advertisements that ask for your personal details including your TFN. It does not have to be provided to potential employers.

Only certain people can ask for your TFN, the most common being:

• the Tax Office when discussing your tax records
• your employer once you have started work
• your bank or other financial institution
• your tax agent
Centrelink, and
• your superannuation fund.

To read the full ATO media release along with tips for keeping your TFN safe, see here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Office Closed 6th - 13th April

Please note that our office will be closed from Sunday 6 April until Sunday 13 April. Clients who wish to speak with Alan are welcome to try reaching him on his mobile phone.

If you don't get through (we are staying in an area with little reception) please leave a message on the mobile and Alan will call you back as soon as he can.

Alternatively, voice messages left on the office answering machine will be followed up on the 13th when we return. Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Q&A: How Long Do I Keep Records?

Question: How long should I keep my tax records and receipts?

Response: From 2004/05 the majority of individual taxpayers are required to keep their records for a period of five years from the time of lodgement.

Some exclusions may apply, such as in the case of a tax dispute with the Commissioner or capital gains tax (in these cases, the five year requirement may be extended).

However, five years from the time you lodged your return is the record-keeping requirement applicable to most Australian taxpayers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Retrenched or leaving your job?

Leaving your current job can be a frightening experience, especially if you are not sure what's going to happen next.

If you resign, are retrenched or considering a redundancy package, you might be entitled to income support payments when you leave work.

Centrelink's Financial Information Service have put together a "Retrenched or Leaving Your Job Fact Sheet". The fact sheet provides information on entitlement, claiming, restrictions and waiting periods that may apply. You can download the publication in either PDF or rich text format online HERE.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Certain stapled security arrangements under review

ATO Media Release 2008/2

Acting Tax Commissioner Bruce Quigley today warned people to be cautious about claiming deductions for losses incurred under certain stapled security arrangements.

In these arrangements the company issuing the securities suggests that the investor may claim deductions for losses in certain circumstances.
These circumstances include the assignment, transfer or surrender of the note, or conversion or disposal of the stapled security.

Mr Quigley said the Tax Office is concerned that these losses may not be allowable and will be releasing a public ruling on the arrangement shortly.
"We are acting now to warn people who may be involved of our concerns as soon as possible.

"People should seek independent tax advice before claiming deductions for any losses that they incur under these arrangements,” Mr Quigley said.

A taxpayer alert TA 2008/1 was issued today and is available from the Tax Office website

The comments provided in this blog are general in nature and not intended to be specific advice. Each situation is different. You should discuss your circumstances with Alan (or another tax agent) to obtain individual advice before acting on any information.