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11CGT home exemption

When is a home exempt from CGT

CGT home exemption

Your home can be exempt from CGT providing it is your castle. You need to do a few things to make sure it meets the ATO

The ATO considers several factors when determining if a dwelling is considered a client’s main residence. Various tests in relation to different factors to determine to see if you meet this test as your home. This may vary depending on the circumstances and it may be several factors.

What makes a home regarded as your home and makes your home exempt from CGT?

The main residence test for a dwelling is based on facts and takes into factors such as:

▪ whether they / their family live there

▪ how long they have lived there

▪ their intention to occupy the dwelling

▪ is the mail delivered to your home?

▪ are your personal belongings there ie have you physically moved in

▪ is it your house address officially on the electoral roll,

 ▪ whether they have connected utilities such as electricity and gas etc

If you acquire a dwelling and move in ‘as soon as practicable, it will be treated as your main residence from the acquisition date.

Change of circumstances

Of course, if your circumstances change, you may nominate another dwelling or take advantage of the six-year absence rule in relation to your existing home. This can continue to make home exempt from CGT.

Many people often purchase a house move in and then find after several months that the mortgage repayments are impacted due to a change of circumstances. They rent out the property and then wonder if they will then have to pay CGT on their home?

The good news in certain circumstances your house will still remain exempt

To make sure you meet the six-year rule you need to ensure it is your main residence before it was used to produce assessable income; and that you haven’t nominated another property as your main residence for the same time period. 

After establishing the property as your main residence, it is possible to move out and rent the property out for up to six years.   

Per the ATO (summary)

Your property stops being your main residence when you stop living in it.

However, for CGT purposes you can continue treating the property as your main residence:

  • for up to 6 years if it is used to produce income, such as rent (sometimes called the ‘six-year rule’)
  • indefinitely if it is not used to produce income.

During the time that you treat the property as your main residence:

  • Your home continues to be exempt from CGT to the same extent that it was exempt when you stopped living in it, even if you start renting it out after you leave
  • you cannot treat any other property as your main residence (except for up to 6 months if you are moving house).
  • If you do not use your former home to produce income (for example, you leave it vacant or use it as a holiday house) you can treat it as your main residence for an unlimited period after you stop living in it.

The good news is if you move back into your home and then down the track you move back out the six-year rule is reset, and the exemption applies for another six years. Of course, if you only have one home and you leave it empty or for the kids to use it then as long as it does not earn an income it remains exempt indefinitely.

However, if you acquire a new home then the above exemption ceases. Make sure if you are renting your property out then please don’t hesitate to contact us and discuss your circumstances. We welcome you to contact us if you need some advice phone 95979966

11

What is an initial repair for my rental property

An Initial repair occurs when you acquire a new rental property that has existing known repairs. The old house needs fixing before it can be rented. Initial repairs may include such things as plumbing, painting, new carpet or appliance repairs just to name a few

Initail Repairs must be capitalised!

Though Initial repairs are not able to be claimed outright in the first tax year there is some tax relief. These repairs should be treated as a capital expense. By treating them as a capital expense your will be adding them to the cost base of the property.

We are often asked what is the tax treatment of an initial property repair? Can you claim a tax deduction for a newly acquired rental property investment?

Why the ATO wont allow all repair claims to be treated as an expense.

What is the Government thinking around initial repairs? Why did they decide you just can’t claim the repair outright when you buy the property?

In looking at the intent of the legislation, the lawmakers simply said if you haven’t yet rented the property out yet there is no right to claim an expense on revenue account. Furthermore, the ability for some taxpayers to buy a rundown property and then claim all the expenses in fixing that property up would mean the ATO would be inundated with excessive claims. Hence the initial repairs must be capitalized.

A repair claim should be evaluated on merits. You may find it may not be classified as an” initial repair” simply because it’s the first repair made after you acquired rental your property. The ATO has designed a tool kit and it can be accessed here. Also, you can refer to taxation ruling TR 93/23 where you can read more. It states that A repair is not an ‘initial repair’ simply because it is the first repair made after the property is acquired. The ATO has numerous examples within these two resources.

Repairs that will not be claimed outright can be capitalized. The capitalized repairs are added to the cost base of the Asset. This will assist when calculating the capital gain upon sale as a cost. This means that you can reduce your capital gain at the sale of the property but not claim it against your tax when you acquire the property in the first year.

Here is an example of an ongoing repair that is tax-deductible!

If the dishwasher was working perfectly when you started renting the property but needed repairing a couple of months thereafter, then this would be considered an ongoing repair and tax-deductible.

Repair vs Improvement need help ?

Gartly Advisory looks after many happy clients who own rental properties. Plan carefully and do your homework. The ATO is looking closely at rental property claims as more Australians love to acquire property for investment purposes.

Not sure about what can be claimed upon purchasing your new rental property then reach out to us and we can assist!

11car logbook

Car logbook and my car expenses deduction

You must only claim motor vehicle expenses relating to work travel and we recommend a logbook will substantiate your claim. To substantiate car expenses the ATO requires that you keep a car logbook or use the 20% statutory method. The car logbook is used to justify your motor vehicle claim.

Types of expenses Common types of motor vehicle expenses you can claim include:

  • fuel
  • repairs and servicing
  • interest on HP,
  • lease payments,
  • insurances or  VIC roads registration
  • and depreciation of your vehicle

Per ATO here is what you must do for the operating or logbook method

Logbook method You can claim the business-use percentage of each car expense, based on logbook records. You must record:

  • When the logbook period begins and ends
  • The car’s odometer reading at the start and end of the logbook period
  • Details of each journey including start date and finishing date. I.e odometer readings at the start and end, kilometres travelled, and reason for the journey.

You must keep the logbook for a period (at least 12 continuous weeks) . This must be a normal representative of your travel throughout the year.

You can then use this representative period to calculate your claim for five years if no change in use .

The Statutory Method

The other method is the Statutory method. The statutory method for car benefit FBT calculations is used when the operating cost method is not selected. Or if a car logbook hasn’t been kept . The other reason is if the formula provides a more favourable result.

The FBT benefit value is determined by multiplying the car’s cost by 20%. Then apportioning the amount for days of private use.

The Statutory Formula method applies a statutory fraction, currently, 20% regardless of kilometres travelled. Applied to the base value of a car to determine the FBT-taxable value of the car benefit.

Therefore you need to do a logbook. If you, don’t you may find in an ATO review or Audit they may not accept your motor vehicle claim a

Business % of expenses is claimed based on your logbook records once you keep it for 12 weeks. You don’t need to do it beyond this or do another logbook until your travel circumstances change. By change, this means your use of the vehicle changes from the previous usage. i.e you are no longer required to do lots of business travel

Don’t forget you can also only claim the business usage of the GST as well and must adjust for private %

What can I claim for my car expenses

So as a small business what can I claim?

  • Your car is used for business trips to visit customers pick up supplies and other business activities such as business travel etc document in your car logbook.
  • I work from home can I claim my car 100% – no you need to still justify your travel and ensure your home is your real base to start the travel
  • I drive to work and then take the company car so its 100% usage. Providing the logbook states that and its garaged at work then it may be claimable 100%
  • I drive to and from my place of business – this is considered private and not claimable
  • I pick up the mail around the corner after this is the rest of the trip to my business claimable – no there is a famous case about this.

Commercial vans and Utes above one tonne generally don’t need to have a logbook but check with us.  However, say you are a hairdresser and buy a one-tonne pickup, will this exempt me from the logbook requirements? Probably not as the car isn’t being used for the purposes of trade but rather for you to get to the salon

If you have a sedan and need to carry heavy tools you can sometimes justify a greater business use from home to work

Car in a Trust or Company

So my Trust or Company provides me with a car to use who pays the FBT

In this case, you must work out a private usage of the car and declare this as a contribution by the Trust. This offsets the private usage and ensures the Trust only claims the business usage

I am in a Company with joint shareholders. The Company pays my petrol can I claim the car expenses in my own name?  Again as a shareholder, you need to either reimburse the Company or the Company needs to pay FBT. You can offset the petrol costs against the employee FB contribution.

If you are reimbursed for car expenses the expenses cannot be claimed again.

It pays to keep a logbook and determine the right business usage and thereby ensuring you can claim the right amount for tax and keep the taxman happy.

11home business and cgt

Claiming occupancy expenses if your home business and cgt.

The implications of your home business and cgt needs to be considered if your home is regarded as a place of business.

Typically many small businesses operate their business out of the home. Especially since the onset of covid.

Occupancy expenses you can claim

In this case, then you are entitled to claim home occupancy expenses if you are running a business.

If you use some or all of your business from your home, you may be able to claim tax deductions for home-based business expenses in the following categories:

  • occupancy expenses (such as mortgage interest or rent, council rates, land taxes, house insurance premiums)
  • running expenses (such as electricity, phone, the decline in value of plant and equipment, furniture and furnishing repairs, cleaning)
  • the expenses of motor vehicle trip between your home and other locations, if the travel is for business purposes.

A home-based business is one where your home is also your principal place of business. That is, you run your business at or from home and have a room or space set aside exclusively for business activities.

Where you are renting a home, then there are no cgt implications

Where you are operating as a Trust or a Company, you cant directly claim the interest etc., on the house. However, you are entitled to charge your business rent.

Your claim is based on % of occupancy of your home. Make sure you do a mud map and work out the area allocated. Please don’t include your toilet or kitchen as the ATO considers this material and need it for private purposes.

However, your home will be subject to CGT on the proportion of use and time.

CGT implications upon sale of home if used for business

Selling your home from which you have run your business will make it subject to capital gains tax on the percentage set aside for business multiplied by the period. However, as a small business, you will be able to claim the small business capital gains concession. These concessions may considerably reduce or eliminate the gain.

Please discuss your options with us and keep adequate documentation if the ATO decides to review your claim.

11

Rental expenses claim. Keeping the ATO happy

Are you claiming rental expenses that might relate to the private use of your rental property?

The ATO has indicated that they intend to review taxpayers who have rental properties.

Who’s on the title is important!

When declaring the property. The ATO will be looking for the persons whose name is on the title to declare the net rental income or loss. This also goes for the eventual gain when sold.

Many think that if they share in the loan liability that this is sufficient. The truth is it is entirely based on ownership and title details.

Beware of the ATO

The ATO’s focus will be looking closely at those taxpayers that incur expenses beyond the norm for their rental property. The ATO will consider these expenses as both excessive and where the rental property is not available for rent but rather used as a holiday home.

The ATO like all of us is aware if you have a holiday home for rental in most cases there is a big chance you will use it for your personal use.

Travel to and from your holiday home or rental property

From 1st July 2017 travel expenses to your travel holiday home were legislated to be disallowed. (note this does not apply to commercial properties).

The ATO has previously been on the public record stating that they will take a keen interest in the interest expense claims. They will look to see if the property is available for continuous rent vs the percentage of the expense claim. Remember also you can only claim interest from the time it’s available to rent and not before.

Further, those taxpayers who have drawdown additional funds against their investment loan or refinanced will need to ensure the loan interest claim reflects the proportion % of the original loan.

Those using loan offset accounts should be okay

Adjust for private use on rental expenses

Make sure that if the property is used for private use then the property expenses are proportionately claimed accordingly.

The same goes for low rental, not arms-length, adjustments also apply.

The ATO has technological ways to check taxpayers’ stories, including real estate sites, social media and other sources such as water and electricity accounts. Take care when claiming and if in doubt please check with us.

Rental properties are still a great investment. We are now seeing many of the rental schedules being positive rather than negative gearing. This is entirely due to low-interest rates and high rentals.

We encourage you to contact us if you are purchasing a new property and let’s discuss who should hold the property and what claims can be made

11Payinga Franked Dividend

Can my Company pay a Franked Dividend?

Franked Dividends are recognising tax paid by the Company and transferring the tax as a credit when the Company pays Profit to shareholders.

Running your own Company will mean that as a shareholder you will want to access these profits. This is done as a Dividend. In simple terms your company is a money box and the only way to get it out as a shareholder is to pay profits as a Dividend. This will either be paid to you as a Franked or unfranked Dividend.

Profits to shareholders can be paid from the Company retained profits as a dividend.

A company pays distributions to its members. Shareholder members may be individuals or other entities such as your family trust. The amount of a dividend allocated will depend upon a number of shares you hold and the percentage of ownership.

What is a Franked Dividend and a Franking Credit?

Your Company, after paying a paid tax payment, either in the form of a company tax instalment or year-end company tax, will record these amounts as franking credits in the Company Franking Account.

Presently the Company Tax rate is set at 26%

When the Company issues a dividend, it will issue a distribution or dividend statement to each shareholder member.

The dividend statement is then given to each shareholder who receives a distribution outlining their entitlement.

Dividends paid by your company can be either Franked Dividend or an un-franked Dividend. The franking amount will depend upon the availability of tax paid by the company in the company’s franking account. When no company tax has been paid by the company a franked dividend may not be paid. Therefore, the Company may choose to issue a dividend, as un-franked.

The Dividend statement will show the amount of franking credit attached to the distribution. The statement will also show the extent to which it’s franked. Only resident taxpayers of Australia can claim a tax offset for a franking credit attached to a dividend.

Non-resident taxpayers, receiving a franked distribution are exempt from withholding tax in Australia. This is to the extent that it’s franked. Therefore, if it is 100% franked there is no final tax to pay or declare as a non-resident.

We recommend reviewing your Company’s Retained Profits regularly. Leaving large profits in retained earnings can lead to tax problems down the track when you decide you need to access these profits. Regular Dividends can eliminate the problem of tax implications being paid out in large Dividends.

Grossing up your Dividend in your tax return.

An individual shareholder in your Company will pay you a dividend. The franked dividend from the Company must include the amount together with any franking credit as declared taxable income. This is known as Grossing up your Dividend.

Receiving a franked divided also entitles you to a tax offset equal to the” franking credit amount. For tax purposes, this effectively means any tax up to 26% on the income will result in a neutral result.

A tax offset can result in a refund or excess tax payable. The tax may result in the need to pay additional tax liability on the distribution. When this happens, it is known as ‘top-up’ tax.

Taxpayers with lower taxable incomes can receive a refund of all or almost all the franking credits. This will be dependent on their income position.

As your accountant, we try and work with you to obtain the best result for your tax position. Managing how you declare your declared Frank Dividends using the right tax opportune time. The aim is to help smooth out your tax position and reduce your retained earnings in the Company.

Contact us for help 03 9597 9966

11gifting assets

Gifting assets to a family trust

Gifting Assets to your Family Trust protects your investments and assets and is also great for tax planning. Many of us establish a Family Trust for asset protection and to ensure our assets are correctly passed onto the next generation. Having now established your trust, you may now ask how do I get money into the Trust?

Fundamentals of a family trust

Let’s explore the basics of a family trust first. The Trust has a couple of fundamental elements that you should be aware of, but in simple terms these are:

  • Trust Deed – the rule book of how you run your Trust
  • Settlor – establishes the family trust.
  • Trustee – runs the Trust on behalf of the beneficiaries
  • Appointor – appoints the Trustee.
  • Beneficiary – family who benefit from the Trust.

How do I get money into my family trust?

Putting money into your trust can be done in two ways:

  1. Gifting assets from your funds to the trust.

2. A Loan from you to trust – repayable defined or non-defined

Either method works but gifting assets to your Trust is better for estate planning. It must be done properly so that the Trust Assets are secure and recognised as owned by the family trust.

A Trust is a legal entity . However, some registries won’t recognise the Trust but require the Trustee to be the registered owner on behalf of the Trust.

Loaning money to your Trust!

Loaning money to your Trust will allow you to request that you can recall the monies you have lent to the Trust . Repayments will depend upon the Trust the ability to pay and several other factors. Even though a loan agreement is not necessary, many people still decide to draw up an agreement for certainty and estate planning.

The Trustee has an obligation to repay the loan if requested. If no loan agreement, then maybe at a minimum the loan should be recorded by the Trustee by a minute. The accountant should record it on the Trusts balance sheet. Yes ,interest can be charged but that again depends upon what you have agreed to with the Trust and you as the lender.

Gifting assets to the Trust

A Trust can help protect you and your family’s assets. Many families gift assets to the Trust. This means that you forego ownership and the asset forms part of the Trusts capital or corpus. This means that over time creditors, angry family members and newly wedded children cannot make a claim on these assets as they are now owned by the Trust.

In most Family Trusts, the control is established by yourself as the Appointor. The appointor has the ability to fire and hire the Trustee. This means that you effectively control the Trust.

Upon your death, your executor acts on your behalf. The great thing is that the Trust continues to the next generation detailed in the Trust Deed. This will continue until trust vesting day normally 80 years after establishment.

As the Assets are owned by the Trust, gifting can in some circumstances for social security planning.

Every person’s circumstances are different. Therefore what we have outlined above is a very simplified summary of the operation of the trust and your money. We suggest that you seek professional advice. We are happy to assist you if you need help in this area.

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