This article discusses final and non-final withholding taxes, and the recent changes to withholding tax on disposal of property assets in Australia that may apply to both Australian resident and non-resident tax payers.

Final withholding tax Non-residents are not required to disclose their interest, dividend and royalty income in an Australian income tax return, as final withholding tax is deducted.  The rates of withholding tax vary across the tax treaties signed with other countries and are broadly:

Read more: Update on Australian withholding tax

Author: Michael Eagan

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) added new Code sections 1400Z-1 and -2 to incentivize investment in certain designated low income or distressed communities (known as “qualified opportunity zones”). The IRS recently released Notice 2018-48, which provides a complete list of these designated opportunity zones. The list, segregated by state, provides census tract data for each opportunity zone.

Read more: Opportunity Zones Created to Incentivize Investments in Low Income Communities

Author: Matt Szydlowski, CPA

On June 21, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair (“Wayfair”). The fallout of this decision will significantly change the way online vendors handle sales and use (“S&U”) tax for out-of-state consumers going forward. It will, therefore, also affect online consumers. Are you impacted!? Continue reading.

Old Law:

Prior to the Wayfair decision, vendors were subject to the rules that stemmed from a 1992 court case, Quill v. North Dakota (“Quill”). Under Quill, a vendor was only required to collect sales tax if they had a physical presence in the state in which the buyer was located (i.e. they had property or payroll in the state). Many online retailers who sold goods to consumers in other states, but who lacked a physical presence in that state, didn’t have to collect sales tax. It was the responsibility of the consumer (purchaser) to voluntarily pay the required use tax to their state of residence. A majority of consumers did not remit their use tax obligations.

Read more: Groundbreaking Sales & Use Tax Case Decided by the Supreme Court

In June 2018, one of the largest acquisitions in the history of E-commerce companies was announced.

U.S. retail giant, Walmart has acquired a 77% stake in Flipkart, the largest e-commerce company in India, for USD 16 Billion. This has made Walmart the majority shareholder in Flipkart, acquiring it's 77% from the existing promoters and other investors including Softbank.

Read more: Tax Issues in Walmart-Flipkart E-commerce Deal

Farmers and rural businesses will have to keep all their VAT records and submit returns online from April 2019. But while Government plans to Make Tax Digital could prove challenging and time-consuming, it also offers a great opportunity to improve budgeting and business management.

“While it’s easy to see digital tax returns as an administrative burden, the new technology actually offers many advantages,” explains Daisy Johnston at accountant Old Mill. “Clients who have already moved their accounting online have benefited from real-time cash flow control, reduced paperwork, and greater opportunities for tax saving measures.”

Government plans to introduce digital self-assessment returns – originally set for 2020 – are likely to be delayed by Brexit. However, the trend is clear – and businesses might do well to embrace the change sooner rather than later, she adds.

Old Mill recommends farmers start preparing now and is holding Making Tax Digital clinics to help clients come to terms with the changes and treat this as an opportunity to improve their businesses. So who does it affect?

Read more: Making tax digital has real business benefits, says Old Mill