April 2011

Cash Economy

The Australian Taxation Office has recently announced that it will be cracking down on people who deliberately use cash transactions to hide income and evade tax obligations. It has released "cash sales benchmarks" for a number of industries which show the ratio of cash sales to total sales for different turnover ranges and different average sales values. The ATO has a special section of their website devoted to the cash economy:

We have also noticed that the ATO are increasingly using "business benchmarks" to compare key financial information disclosed in tax returns to "industry averages". The ATO have published a significant number of benchmarks and these can be accessed on their website at:

It is interesting to note that there are no benchmarks for primary producers and this may reflect the massive fluctuations that occur in the industry due to variations in climate, markets, etc.

Education Expenses

In a recent landmark decision of the Federal Court, a student was successful in claiming that certain education expenses should be deductible against income from Youth Allowance being received as a full time student. The Commissioner of Taxation appealed the decision to the High Court but lost. The long standing practice of the ATO has been to disallow such claims. In responding the High Court decision, the Tax Office has decided to automatically allow eligible taxpayers on Youth Allowance a deduction of $550 for education expenses for the relevant years from 2007 to 2010 and amend their assessments accordingly.  Taxpayers can however, lodge an amendment request if they have (substantiated) expenses above the $550 amount allowed.

Self Managed Superannuation Fund Seminar

Please note that the date for this seminar has been changed to Monday 9th May. There are still a few places left if you would like to attend - just call the office or send us an email at
If you have already registered for the seminar, you will receive a notice early in April advising details of venue, etc.

 PSA calculators

Do you need to calculate the loan repayment amount on a certain level of borrowings, work out a regular amount required to reach a savings goal or perhaps calculate stamp duty on a proposed property purchase? Check out our Calculators option on the Resources tab of the PS Accounting website at

Taxwise Business News

The February 2011 issue of this newsletter is available on our website - simply click here to open.

PSA Staff News

Chrissie Mackenzie has just commenced 3 months leave to visit family and friends in England. We are sure this will be a wonderful experience for Chrissie. We wish her well and look forward to her return in early July - for the start of the next tax year!












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