The Federal Budget handed down last night by Treasurer Wayne Swan contained a warning of some likely changes that directors should be aware of.
In addition to the various items introduced relating to business taxpayers (including changes to motor vehicle fringe benefits, loss recoupment rules, motor vehicle writeoffs, and capital gains tax changes) the Government also intends to modify the tax laws from 1 July 2011 to expand the director penalty regime.
This would make company directors personally liable for unpaid employee superannuation. And it would also award the ATO the authority to start recovery processes against directors under the penalty regime without the need for the current 21 day grace period for liabilities left unreported for 3 months after they are due. Directors will also be unable to utilise personal PAYG withholding credits if the company has PAYG withholding amounts owing to the ATO.
Other areas such as fraudulent refund detection and a clamp down on the accurate reporting of government grants and payments are also on the radar.
These changes signal the Government’s increasing focus on the issue of director responsibility and liability, and act as an important reminder for anyone sitting in the role of a director.
If you would like advice about your duties as a director, your possible liabilities as a director, and how to keep yourself and your company in the clear, send an email enquiry to [email protected] or phone us on 02 8006 0830 and we will organise a time to have a confidential discussion with you and answer any questions you might have.