WARNING! ATO phone scams

6 December 2018

We are seeing an increase in sophisticated phone scammers posing as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or as a registered tax agent to scare taxpayers into paying funds. These scammers are threatening legal action and arrest if amounts are not paid.

A number of our clients as well as our staff have received phone calls or messages on their voice mail from a person claiming to be from the ATO saying that they will be indicted for fraud or will go to prison if they don’t pay an amount to cover a tax debt. The scammers are using technology to make it look like calls are coming from a legitimate ATO number or accounting firm.  The number may appear on caller ID and be left on messages for a call back.

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ATO texts to update bank details

1 November 2018

From 5 to 23 November 2018, the ATO will be sending SMS text messages to individuals and businesses entitled to a refund who have provided incorrect bank account details in their tax return. You will receive a text directly from the ATO if a refund bounce occurs.

Many people are understandably wary about text messages and emails requesting bank details, considering the number of hoaxes and scams that abound these days.

It is important to be aware that ATO texts during this period are not a hoax and updating your bank details will ensure you receive your refund. BUT be warned, scammers are likely to impersonate the same SMS so you will need to carefully check the text for legitimacy.

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Drought Transport Subsidy off-farm asset threshold relaxed

Drought Transport Subsidy off-farm asset threshold relaxed

5 October 2018

The NSW Government has announced a relaxation of the off-farm asset test for farmers to access the Drought Transport Subsidies and the Drought Assistance Fund. Criteria for ‘new entrants’ has also been included to recognise and support people who are new to farming and who would benefit from accessing drought support measures while building their farm business.

The current off-farm asset threshold has been increased from $1 million to $5 million, meaning more farmers are eligible to access a range of support measures.

A transport subsidy of up to 50% of the total freight cost, up to a limit of $20,000 per year or $30,000 in total, is available to eligible farmers to assist with transporting of stock to/from agistment and to sale or slaughter or to transport fodder and drinking water.

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Registration relief for farmers

Registration relief for farmers

6 September 2018

To give farmers and their families some much needed drought relief from 30 July 2018 the NSW government are waiving registration charges on Class 1 agricultural vehicles.

In addition, farmers will also benefit from a rebate on heavy vehicle registration costs for the next two years.

Waiving registration charges on Class 1 agricultural vehicles

What is a Class 1 agricultural vehicle?

- A Class 1 agricultural vehicle exceeds one or more of the following prescribed dimensions

  • 2.5m wide, 4.3m high, 12.5m long, 42.5 tonnes gross mass (or exceeding a statutory axle mass limit)

- Has its own automotive power

- Is built to perform agricultural tasks (and registered/insured for on farm use)

Example of vehicles that are eligible for the relief may include Loader, Bulldozer, harvester, picker, sprayer, excavator, spreader, grader, tractor

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Understanding Drought Subsidies

Understanding Drought Subsidies

23 August 2018

As the drought continues across New South Wales, both the State and Federal Governments have announced a number of funding packages and support for farmers. At this stage there have been no support announcements in relation to non-farm business owners impacted by the drought.

We recognise the drought impacts everyone differently, and that in many cases the subsidies will only be a token amount of support. We also appreciate that not everyone will be eligible, nor wanting to claim the support available.

If you have looked into the funding and support available, you will appreciate the challenges in understanding the support available, the eligibility criteria, and the application processes. The Boyce team have researched the details of support currently available and are well placed to assist you in determining whether you are eligible and in the best type of assistance to suit your individual circumstances.

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