The Company Tax Rate Saga
In the last week of the August Parliamentary sittings, the controversial corporate tax cut plan for the big end of town (i.e. companies with an aggregated turnover of over $50 million) was defeated.
In addition, long-awaited legislation impacting the company tax and franking rates for small to medium companies (i.e. introducing a new ‘base rate entity passive income test’ from the 2018 income year to qualify for the lower 27.5% tax rate) was passed.
This legislation was particularly relevant for company rates applicable to passive investment and ‘bucket’ companies, which may now need to reconsider earlier lodged 2018 company tax returns, as well as the amount of franking credits attached to dividends paid from 1 July 2017.
Additionally, consideration may also need to be given to the company tax rates (and in certain circumstances, the franking rates) previously applied with respect to the 2016 and 2017 income years.
This is in light of the recently issued ATO compliance and administrative approaches for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 income years.
Unfortunately, the recent Government delays have created much confusion in this area, and in certain cases, a review and possible amendments may be required for previously lodged returns.