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REIQ Journal : December January 2009
4 Industry News Long term leasing in holiday accommodation: the facts Penalty amnesty on pay-roll tax The Office of State Revenue (OSR) has recently announced a penalty amnesty to allow employers to bring their pay-roll tax for contractor payments up to date. Pay-roll tax applies to wages paid or payable by an employer to an employee and to certain other amounts. Payments to a contractor can be liable to pay-roll tax if the contractor is an employee and the contractor payments are therefore wages. In some cases, the common law employment tests can be difficult to apply to contract arrangements and an employer may incorrectly exclude contractor payments from taxable wages. From 1 July 2008, Queensland has adopted “relevant contractor” provisions, which will support the common law employment tests by clarifying circumstances in which pay roll tax will apply to contractor payments. The penalty amnesty will assist employers to bring their pay-roll tax affairs up to date and transition to the new arrangements. It will apply to disclosures made to OSR until 31 March 2009 using the Amnesty Declaration Form. Where OSR determines that an amount has been incorrectly excluded from taxable wages for pay-roll tax purposes, penalty tax of up to 75 per cent can be imposed plus unpaid tax interest will apply. In addition, OSR tax audits usually cover the preceding five financial years. The benefits of making a voluntary disclosure under the amnesty are: No penalty tax will be imposed in relation to the contractor payments; The rate of unpaid tax interest will be halved in relation to the contractor payments; and Only the previous three financial years will be reviewed. Upon conclusion of the amnesty, OSR will be conducting an audit program in relation to contractor payments. The usual penalty tax and unpaid tax interest arrangements will apply. For more information on the amnesty, or to download the necessary forms, visit www.osr.qld.gov.au. For assistance, phone the OSR Client Contact Centre on 1300 300 734, or email email@example.com Agents are reminded to ensure that group titled properties for sale or rent are marketed in accordance with the relevant body corporate by-laws, development conditions for the complex, and council zoning. For example, Development Approvals may contain conditions that prohibit permanent residency within a complex and only allow accommodation on the site to be used for tourist purposes. Agents should take care to ensure information they provide to owners or prospective owners does not contravene the development conditions for a complex. Domain announces partnership with eBay eBay has launched a new real estate category, powered by Domain.com.au, which broadens the range of products available to Australian eBay shoppers and will drive more renters and buyers to Domain.com.au’s property listings. eBay Vice President Simon Smith said the relationship with Domain.com.au will provide the five million Australians who visit eBay each month with greater choice. “We believe this partnership will further bolster eBay’s reputation as a great place to find practically anything online, by dramatically increasing the profile and depth of real estate on eBay.com.au.” Visit http://ebay.domain.com.au to view the site. REIQ Journal December 2008/January 2009