Questions on Taxation law
Ans- As per the guidelines of American taxation office (ATO), the cost base of a property has the following elements [Guide to CGT (2003-04)]-
- Amount paid to aquire the property asset
- Incidental costs of the CGT event or of acquiring the CGT asset, excluding the expenditure for which there is a deduction for income tax purposes in any year
- Non-capital costs associated with owning the asset, e.g. rates, land taxes, repairs and insurance premiums, etc., excluding the costs for which there is a deduction for income tax purposes in any year
- Capital costs associated with increasing the value of the asset, e.g. any major addition to the body of the asset that increased its usefulness and value.
- Capital costs of preserving or defending the ownership of or rights to your asset
Hence, in the given situation, the cost base of the investment can be calculated as below-
= $500,000 + $25,000 + + $5,000 + $250,000
Ans- As per ATO guidelines, capital gains tax (CGT) events are the different types of transactions or events that might result in a capital gain or loss [Capital Gain Tax (2008)]. In this situation, the event sale of this property is a CGT event which is listed under ‘End of a CGT asset’.
The capital gain incurred by Louisa that is chargable under capital gains tax is as calculated follows-
Sale price = $1,500,000
Prior year capital loss = $40,000
Cost base of the property = $780,000
Capital Gains taxable= $1,500,000 – [$780,000 + $40,000]
Ans- As per guidance provided by the AASB [Characteristics of Expenses (2006)], the classification of expenses as business and living expenses on the given situations are as follows-
(a) The expense related to hairdressing by a model who earns a living in the show business. It has been mentioned that she generally has 3 hair dressing appointments per week on average to meet requirements of her clients/employers. This is a business expense.
(b) Additional food and vitamins and consumed by a professional athlete is a business expense, because maintaining health, strength and physique as per the requirement of the sport helps the athlete earn a living for himself. Hence, even if it’s an additional dosage it will be considered a business expense.
(c) The expense for sunscreen worn by a bricklayer is a non-business and personal expense, because even if he doesn’t apply the sunscreen it won’t affect his profession. It is his personal lifestyle expense.
(d) An alarm clock owned by a night-shift worker is a non-business and personal expense, because alarm clock is not a necessity to the business. It is his personal need that he needs an alarm clock to wake up.
(e) The expense related to moisturising cream worn by a flight attendant is a non-business and personal expense, because looking good and maintain your skin does help you do the job but it isn’t a primary skill required for the job. Hence, it is her personal expense to maintain her beauty and health.
Ans- As per Sec 40-30 of the ITAA [Wolters Kluwer (May 2017)], 40-30(1)-
A depreciating asset is an asset that has a limited effective life and can reasonably be expected to decline in value over the time it is used, except:
(a) land; or
(b) an item of trading stock; or
(c) an intangible asset, unless it is mentioned in subsection (2).
As per subsection 40-30(2), these intangible assets are depreciating assets if they are not trading stock:
(a) mining, quarrying or prospecting rights;
(b) mining, quarrying or prospecting information;
(c) items of intellectual property;
(d) in-house software;
(f) spectrum licences;
(g) datacasting transmitter licences;
(h) telecommunications site access rights
As per the above definition, identification of a depreciable asset could be done in the given cases. Those are-
- Buildings in respect of which Div 43 deductions are available: Not a depreciable item, because this section does not apply to capital works for which you can deduct amounts under [Division 43 Commonwealth Consolidated Acts (2008)].
- Patents : A depreciable item, because it provides access and ownership rights
- Goodwill: Not a depreciable items as it is not included in the list of items. Also, because goodwill is not a tangible or intangible asset, it is a fictitious asset.
- Land: Not a depreciable items because even though it is a tangible asset, it is a part of the list of excluded asset which are not depreciable. Also because in real scenario, the value of land generally increases with time.
- Trading Stock: A depreciable item, because it falls under the list of intangible assets which are depreciable under section 40-30.
Ans- As per Chapter 8 of Fringe Benefits tax guide, issued by the Australian Taxation office [Loan and debt waiver fringe benefits (July 2018)], an employer is rightful to get fringe benefit taxation if he has cleared a debt of his employee or provided a loan to his employee at a very low or no rate of interest. The interest rate should be less than the statutory rate on interest which acts as a benchmark (currently 5.65%).
As per paragraph 8.5 of chapter 8, the taxable value of a loan fringe benefit is the difference between:
- the interest that would have accrued during the FBT year if the statutory interest rate had applied to the outstanding daily balance of the loan, and
- any interest that actually accrued.
This result is then further reduced by the otherwise deductible amount.
It is also to be noted that GST does not affect the taxable value of loan fringe benefits.
Let us now discuss in detail the case of Yan’s employer-
Loan provided by Yan’s employer = $100,000
Rate of interest = 2.25%
Amount spent on personal residence = $70,000
Amount received on a rental property where he gets rent from = $30,000
i.e., 70% personal use and 30% business use
Assumption: The employer is not liable to GST
Advice to Yan’s employer:
As we know that, the employer has the complete right to set the rate of interest on loan. He might or might not be aware of hoe Yan is going to use the fund borrowed. The employer should be mindful of the fact that as per the guidelines, no FBT liability is assumed for that part of the loan which is used for commercial purposes, i.e. to produce income.
Therefore, the employer should charge such a rate of interest that it is sufficient to avoid incurring FBT on that part of the loan used for private or domestic purposes.
Calculation of FBT payable
The ideal taxable value of the loan fringe benefit without the otherwise deductible rule would be-.
= (Amount of loan x statutory interest rate) - (Amount of loan x actual interest rate charged)
= (100,000 x 5.65%) – (100,000 x 2.25%) = $3,400
If there was no interest on loan, the taxable value of the loan benefit would be-
= (Amount of loan x statutory interest rate)
= (100,000 x 5.65%) = $5,650
In this situation of tax-free interest, the employee would have paid tax on the amount of-
= $5,650× 30% business use
Therefore, the taxable value = $3,400 – $1,695 = $1,705
And the tax benefit received to Yan’s employer will be on the amount of $1,705.