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Resources ยป Australian Taxation Office

Australian Taxation Office

Australian Taxation Office -

Things to know as a Bookkeeper.

Go direct to The Bas service provider to keep yourself informed to any proposed major reform affecting bookkeepers providing BAS services for a fee.



Festive activities and FBT – It pays to understand

The ATO's fact sheet, Fringe benefits tax and Christmas parties, helps you understand the FBT implications when you hold Christmas parties or give presents to your staff. It explains how, in most cases, the 'minor benefits' exemption means you will not be subject to FBT when, as an employer, you spend less than $300 per employee on a Christmas party – provided you meet certain conditions.

View the fact sheet here.



Does someone prepare your activity statement for a fee?

If so, you need to be aware that new legislation provides for the registration and regulation of business activity statement (BAS) agents to ensure the standard of their services.

Under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, an entity which provides a 'BAS service' for a fee must be registered.

To be eligible for BAS agent registration an applicant must meet the registration requirements set out in the new legislation.

The ATO expect the provisions relating to the registration of BAS agents to become effective in 2010.  In the interim, any information released by the new Tax Board will be available on the Tax Agents' Board website at under the 'tax agent services legislation' link.

If you need your qualification's, consider Uniting Bookkeepers Mentoring Program, click here for more information.....



Defaulting on payment arrangements

(this article has been taken from The Tax Agent September 2009 magazine).  Payment arrangements are a common way for taxpayers who are having trouble meeting their tax obligations to get back on track. We have received a lot of positive feedback from tax agents about how useful payment arrangements can be. However, defaulted arrangements can be a problem.

Why and when clients default on arrangements.

Payment arrangements default when the balance of your client's debt is more than we expect on a given date.

This is different from a cancelled arrangement.  We cancel an arrangement when a client, who already has an arrangement, contacts us because their circumstances have changed and their arrangement is no longer suitable.  We then cancel their old arrangement and enter a new arrangement with them.

Your client's payment needs to reach us on or before the due date to avoid a defaulted arrangement.  Different methods of payment have different processing times, so, it's important that your client uses a payment method that suits them and that they are familiar with the processing times.  Payments made by Bpay, for example, can take up to three working days to process.

What defaulting on a payment arrangement means

We encourage taxpayers who are having trouble keeping up their payment arrangements to contact us early to discuss their circumstances. By doing this, they can avoid having a defaulted payment arrangement.

Of course, we need to maintain a level playing field so that taxpayers doing the right thing are not disadvantaged. That's why, when we talk to taxpayers, we look at their individual circumstances including their compliance history.  When we look at their compliance history, we take into account a defaulted payment.

More information

For more information, visit our website at  We have a range of tools and resources, including our payment arrangement calculator, to help your clients address their tax debts in line with their circumstances.

The online payment arrangement calculator can be used for debts of $25,000 or less.  To access it, visit our website at select Find a rate or calculator then Payment arrangement calculator.

To contact us on behalf of a client who cannot pay their tax on time or who has an outstanding tax debt, call us on 13 72 66 Fast Key Code 122 to discuss their circumstances and the available options. 

GST Food Classification Made Easy

The ATO have recently published the GST Food classification decision tool to help food retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and tax professionals working with the food industry work out the GST status for food and beverage items.

More than 300,000 individual food and beverage products are sold through large retail suppliers and approximately 50 new products are added each day.  Although many of these products are variations on existing products, a significant number of new products still need to be correctly classified for GST.

  • The new tool asks a series of questions to help you to correctly classify food or beverage items for GST.  The online tool takes about five minutes to complete and provides an easy way for taxpayers to assess the GST status of food items.
  • They have developed a search function for the Detailed food list to help users find the GST status of major food and beverage product lines.

For more information about the GST food classification tool or to search the Detailed food list visit our website at industry 



Common BAS errors

The Problem: including wages and superannuation contributions as purchases at G11
The Solution: Wages should be reported at W1. You don’t need to report superannuation contributions.

The Problem: Claiming GST credits on the total price of a car that exceeds $57,009 including GST.
The Solution: GST credits for cars with a GST – inclusive price that exceeds $57,009 are restricted to a maximum of 1/11 th of that value (currently $5,183)



Code of Practice for Bookkeepers

(Pattern of behaviour, ethics and standards by which all practitioners adhere to)

In March 2005, The Australian Taxation Office has undergone a survey called “Understanding the Bookkeeping Profession”. This is a positive move toward addressing some of the issues many bookkeeping practitioners face and had helped Uniting Bookkeepers develop workshops and products to address just some of the Key Recommendations.

These are the Key Recommendations and findings from the survey:

Key Findings

  • Majority of Bookkeepers are female 77% and at least 40 years of age
  • Sole Practitioners 77%
  • 65% did not attend workshops
  • Products & Services most desired by Bookkeepers are (information sessions) and other Australian Taxation Office related services.

Key Recommendations

  • Greater degree of recognition/acknowledgement
  • Professionalism in the Industry
  • Quality control
  • On-going professional development
  • Facilitation of interaction between bookkeepers
  • Australian Taxation Office interaction and support

Uniting Bookkeepers mission is to implement the Key Recommendations for Bookkeepers so that we can proudly announce that we are Professional Bookkeepers.