Income Tax Point-in-Time Service Updates

Tuesday 9 January 2018 @ 10.03 a.m.

The Income Tax Point-in-Time Service has been updated to include the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Act 2017 (Act 126 of 2017), the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Omnibus) Act 2017 (Act 128 of 2017), the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 (Act 129 of 2017), the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Act 2017 (Act 130 of 2017), the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No. 1) Act 2017 (Act 132 of 2017) and the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 3) Regulations 2017.

Act 126 of 2017

Schedule 1 to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Act 2017 amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) to ensure that travel expenditure incurred in gaining or producing assessable income from residential premises is:

  • not deductible; and
  • not recognised in the cost base of the property for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes.

Schedule 2 to the Act amends the ITAA 1997 to deny income tax deductions for the decline in value of ‘previously used’ depreciating assets used in gaining or producing assessable income from the use of residential premises for the purposes of residential accommodation.
Schedule 3 implements an annual vacancy fee on foreign owners of residential real estate where residential property is not occupied or genuinely available on the rental market for at least six months in a 12 month period.

Act 128 of 2017

The Act comprises eight Schedules that will implement several small, but necessary amendments to veterans’ affairs legislation to clarify, improve or streamline the operation of the law.

Act 129 of 2017

An Act to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to:

  • redefine marriage as ‘a union of two people’;
  • introduce non-gendered language so that the requirements of the Act apply equally to all marriages;
  • enable same-sex marriages that have been, or will be, solemnised under the law of a foreign country to be recognised in Australia;
  • amend the definition of ‘authorised celebrant’ to include new categories of religious marriage celebrants and certain Australian Defence Force officers;
  • enable ministers of religion, religious marriage celebrants, chaplains and bodies established for religious purposes to refuse to solemnise or provide facilities, goods and services for marriages on religious grounds;
  • and make amendments contingent on the commencement of the proposed Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2017;
  • and to amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to provide that a refusal by a minister of religion, religious marriage celebrant or chaplain to solemnise marriage in prescribed circumstances does not constitute unlawful discrimination.

Act 130 of 2017

This Act amends the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) and the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (FTR Act).
The Act implements a first phase of reforms arising from the recommendations of the Report on the Statutory Review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and Associated Rules and Regulations (the Report).
The Act contains a range of measures to strengthen Australia’s capabilities to address money laundering (ML) and terrorism financing (TF) risks, and generate regulatory efficiencies, including amendments to:

  • expand the objects of the AML/CTF Act to reflect the domestic objectives of AML/CTF regulation
  • close a regulatory gap by regulating digital currency exchange providers
  • provide regulatory relief to industry by clarifying due diligence obligations relating to correspondent banking relationships and broadening the scope of these relationships, de-regulating the cash-in-transit sector, insurance intermediaries and general insurance providers, qualifying the term ‘in the course of carrying on a business’, and allowing related bodies corporate to share information
  • strengthen AUSTRAC’s investigation and enforcement powers by:
    • giving the AUSTRAC CEO the power to issue infringement notices for a greater range of regulatory offences, and
    • allowing the AUSTRAC CEO to issue a remedial direction to a reporting entity to retrospectively comply with an obligation that has been breached
  • give police and customs officers broader powers to search and seize physical currency and bearer negotiable instruments (BNI) and establish civil penalties for failing to comply with questioning and search powers
  • revise the definitions of ‘investigating officer’, ‘signatory’ and ‘stored value card’(SVC) in the AML/CTF Act, and
  • clarify other regulatory matters, including granting the AUSTRAC CEO a power to perform tasks that are necessary or incidental to his or her functions, and the weight given to ML and TF risk in certain decisions made by the AUSTRAC CEO.

Act 132 of 2017

Schedule 1 to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No.1) Act 2017 (‘the Act’) establishes the First Home Super Saver Scheme, which allows individuals who are saving for their first home to take advantage of the concessional taxation arrangements that apply to the superannuation system.
Under the First Home Super Saver Scheme, first home savers who make voluntary contributions into the superannuation system can withdraw those contributions (up to certain limits) and an amount of associated earnings for the purposes of purchasing their first home. Concessional tax treatment applies to amounts that are withdrawn under the Scheme.
Schedule 2 to the Act allows an individual to use the proceeds in relation to one sale of their main residence to make contributions (downsizer contributions) of up to $300,000 to their superannuation provider if they are 65 years of age or over. Downsizer contributions can be made regardless of the other contributions caps and restrictions that might apply to making voluntary contributions.

Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 3) Regulations 2017

These regulations amend the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Regulations 1999, the Fringe Benefits Tax (Application to the Commonwealth) Regulations and the Taxation Administration Regulations 2017 to treat digital currency consistently with money and makes minor technical amendments to the tax law.

The amendments made by these Acts and the Regulation have been updated in the Point-in-Time Income Tax Service current to 9 January 2018. (NB: Subscription required).

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