FIRM BLOG

  • Employer SuperStream checklist - Employers must make superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees. SuperStream is the ATO’s electronic and standardised solution that streamlines the super payment process. Using SuperStream for employers means: You can use one online channel to pay multiple funds Less room for error during data entry, due to fewer steps Transactions reach funds faster ObligationsYou... View Article
  • Getting to know the ATO Business Portal - The ATO has introduced the Business Portal to allow small business owners to manage their tax affairs online at their convenience. Connect your ABN to your myGov account or a compatible AUSkey so you can access the business portal. The portal is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The portal can be... View Article
  • ATO warns of illegal early super release - The ATO has issued a warning to the public regarding illegal early release of super schemes, which are subject to severe penalties. There are strict rules around when you can access your super so your current decisions do not jeopardise your quality of life in retirement. The ATO has reminded the public you may only... View Article
  • ATO update: Tax deduction rules on travel to rental properties - The ATO has enforced strict guidelines on tax deductions for rental property owner’s travel expenses. As a rental property owner you are not able to claim deductions for travel expenses relating to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent. If you have already claimed a tax deduction for the cost of travel to and from your property... View Article
  • Paying super to contractors - The ATO classifies contractors paid for their labour as employees for superannuation guarantee purposes. This is the case even if the contractor quotes an Australian Business Number (ABN). Eligibility requirementsSuper contributions must be made for these individuals if you pay them: Under a verbal or written contract that is wholly or principally for their labour-... View Article
  • ATO updates Taxpayer’s Charter - The ATO has updated the Taxpayer’s Charter which prioritises a relationship with the public built on mutual trust, courtesy and respect in all interactions. Your rights regarding review of ATO decisions are clearly outlined by the Charter if you feel you have been mistreated. The Charter has also committed the ATO to use easy to... View Article
  • SMSF trustee investment strategy checklist - SMSF trustees have the freedom to invest as they choose to grow their retirement savings, which is why it is vital that they check in on their investment strategy regularly. Maximising your retirement nest egg depends on how well your investment strategy functions at different phases in your working life. This is why your investment... View Article
  • ATO provisions for mental health - Small business owners suffering from mental health issues can seek the ATO’s help in meeting their taxation and super commitments. If you are going through tough times take advantage of ATO services that will help keep your finances in check. Get in contact with the ATOGet in touch with the ATO as soon as you... View Article
  • Trustee reporting obligations checklist - Trustees must comply with reporting obligations to avoid penalties from the ATO. The following trustee reporting checklist to make sure you are stress-free at tax-time. Trustees must: Value the funds’ assets at their market value at 30 June Pay any minimum annual income stream payments required under super laws Get an actuarial certificate if required... View Article
  • Record keeping for small businesses - Businesses that fail to keep accurate records may struggle to remain compliant at tax time and incur financial penalties from the ATO. Follow the ATO’s record keeping guidelines to stay organised. Basic organisation tips: Keep records electronically (if possible) Keep evidence of all transactions Take photos of paper receipts to avoid faded records Keep all... View Article
  • A checklist for setting up your SMSF - Setting up an SMSF can be complex, which is why a checklist is useful to streamline your process. Before you set up your SMSF, first determine if having an SMSF is a commercially viable option. Once a decision is reached and you are about to start your SMSF, here are the basic steps to get... View Article
  • Tax implications of a business restructure - Tax exemptions may apply to small businesses going through a restructure provided they meet certain criteria. Typically when a business is sold, you would have to pay income tax due to transferring assets. However, when a business is restructuring, the ownership of assets remains unchanged, and there is instead a rollover. This allows you to... View Article
  • ATO update: Check for $17.5 billion in lost super - The ATO’s new data revealed that although the total amount of lost and unclaimed super reduced by $420 million in 2017-2018, there is still $17.5 billion left to be found. The ATO has prioritised reuniting people with their lost super spread across over 6.2 million accounts. In the past financial year, the ATO was successful... View Article
  • When can the ATO issue a default assessment for overdue lodgements - A default assessment is an assessment of taxable income for overdue tax returns or the net amount or assessable amount-for late activity statements. Although the ATO’s preferred approach is to work with taxpayers to help them meet their lodgement obligations, a default assessment will be issued if this collaborative approach fails. PenaltyThe administrative penalty of... View Article
  • Event-based reporting framework for SMSFs - The event-based reporting (EBR) framework for self-managed super funds (SMSFs) commenced on 1 July 2018. The initiative allows for the administration of the Transfer balance cap (TBC). Under the EBR framework, you need to report to the ATO, when the first member of your SMSF begins a retirement phase income stream. The SMSF annual return... View Article
  • ATO reminder: fuel tax credit rates have increased - Fuel tax credit rates have increased on 1 August. The ATO reminds you to use the new rates to calculate claims on your next business activity statement (BAS). How to simplify fuel tax credit claimsIf you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use the ATO’s simplified methods to keep... View Article
  • Managing risk in your SMSF - SMSFs provide the trustee autonomy and an increased opportunity to maximise your retirement savings. However, an investment strategy must be accompanied by a risk management plan should some of your investments come up short. Consider the following risk management strategies: DiversificationDiversification reduces risk by investing in many different assets including property, annuities and equities. By... View Article
  • ATO announces $20,000 instant asset write-off - The ATO has extended the $20,000 threshold to 30 June 2019. If you buy an asset and it costs less than $20,000, you may write off the business portion in your tax return. To be eligible to use the simplified depreciation rules and claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of each asset costing... View Article
  • Choosing the right super risk profile - Choosing the right super risk profile at the right time can drastically increase your retirement savings. The following considerations will help you invest wisely when it comes to building your retirement nest egg. Types of investment optionsYour super fund should offer a range of investment options to consider. Here is what to know about each... View Article
  • Claiming tax when working from home - The ATO is seeking to increase their attention on home office expenses due to the high level of questionable claims made by taxpayers. There has been an increase in the number of Australians claiming deductions for costs incurred from working from home. The ATO reports that in the last tax year 6.7 million taxpayers claimed... View Article
  • 3 easy ways to maximise your super - Superannuation is more critical than it has ever been. If having an ageing population has taught us anything, it is how managing money now can have substantial ramifications for your retirement plan. Merge your superEvery super account you have comes with a set of fees. It is worth your while chasing down inactive accounts and... View Article
  • ATO developing software to stop tax avoidance - The ATO is in the midst of developing advanced data programs to find individuals who are leaving a source of income out of their tax return. Analytical tools have been developed to utilise the amount of data the ATO receives to identify instances where income has gone unreported. This is to address the annual $1.4... View Article
  • Paying super to different visas - Normally employers have to pay a worker super. However, this becomes confusing with the different visas that employees might be on. Some rules are listed below. Paying super to temporary residentsTemporary residents working in Australia are eligible for super guarantee. When temporary residents leave Australia, they can claim the super paid as a departing Australia... View Article
  • Authorisations for Single Touch Payroll - On the 1 July 2018, the Australian Government introduced Single Touch Payroll (STP) for employers with 20 or more employees. The new scheme requires employers to report payment activities each time employees were paid. Authorisations for an agent to act on behalf of an employer to streamline the process of STP are provided below. STP... View Article
  • Changes to FBT for Utes - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has released draft guidelines changing its previous stance on Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) for utes. Amendments originated from reports that dodgy tax returns were responsible for a loss of $8.7 billion in income tax due to wrongful claims. Failure to comply with new requirements listed below may result in a... View Article
  • Employer super obligations reminder - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding employers to check they are meeting their obligations when it comes to paying super to their workers. To help you make sure you are meeting your requirements, consider this checklist: Are you paying the correct amount? You are required to pay a minimum of 9.5 per cent of... View Article
  • Income tax return: what to report - The time to report and lodge your annual tax return for your business is fast approaching. Remember, what you must report will depend upon the type of business entity you have. Sole traders As a sole trader, you are required to lodge a tax return even if your income is below the tax-free threshold. This... View Article
  • Winding up a SMSF - The Tax Office is reminding individuals winding up a self-managed super fund (SMSF) that before lodging your final SMSF annual return, you must first have an audit completed by an approved SMSF auditor. When lodging your SMSF annual return, answer Question 9 in Section A: ‘Was the fund wound up during the income year?’. You... View Article
  • What is exempt current pension income? - Any ordinary and statutory income a self-managed super fund (SMSF) earns from assets held to support retirement phase income streams is exempt from income tax – this income is commonly referred to as Exempt current pension income (ECPI). This form of income does not include assessable contributions or non-arm’s length income. Individuals can choose to... View Article
  • TPRS extension to contractors - From 1 July 2018, businesses that supply cleaning or courier services must report payments made to contractors (if payments are for cleaning or courier services) via the Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) each year. However, the ATO does not require taxpayers to lodge their TPAR during the period up until the proposed law change is... View Article
  • Avoid being short changed with your super - With recent regulatory changes to super contributions, it is easier than ever to ensure your employer is paying you the super you are entitled to. There are specific steps you can take to ensure you are being paid correctly. Consider the following: Understand your entitlements Employers have to put 9.5 per cent of an employee’s... View Article
  • Tax deduction for landcare operations - You may be able to claim a tax deduction for capital expenditure on a landcare operation in Australia in the year it is incurred. Providing you are a primary producer, a rural land irrigation water provider who incurred the expenditure on or after 1 July 2004, or a business using rural land for taxable uses... View Article
  • Super contribution caps: the basics - Making contributions to your superannuation fund is a great way to grow your nest egg, however, there are caps on the amount you can contribute every financial year to be taxed at lower rates. Once you go over these caps, you may be required to pay additional tax. The cap and extra tax amount will... View Article
  • Rental property and tax - The Tax Office is reminding individuals who either own or are looking to purchase a rental property that there are essential record-keeping and taxation obligations that they must meet. Examples of records to keep (for the period the individual owns the property for and up to five years after it is sold), include: – Rental... View Article
  • Protect yourself from early super release scams - When it comes to protecting your nest egg, avoid getting caught out by a promoter of an illegal early release super scheme. Early release super scheme scams will involve a promoter contacting you and offering to help you access your super early. They usually target individuals under significant financial pressure or those who are not... View Article
  • Avoid these top tax misconceptions - As tax time continues, the ATO has announced the top misconceptions many individuals make when completing their claims for tax deductions. Four popular tax misunderstandings include: 1. Individuals can give credit card statements as proof of claim Debunked: When making a claim, individuals must be able to show they spent the money, what the money... View Article
  • Hiring temporary residents: employer super obligations - Employers are being reminded by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) not to forget that along with permanent residents; temporary residents are also entitled to super guarantee (SG). In most cases, an employer will be required to pay SG on top of their employee’s wages (temporary residents included) if they pay them $450.00 or more before... View Article
  • Cents per kilometre rate rises for work-related car expenses - The Tax Office has confirmed the rate for work-related car expenses will rise to 68 cents per kilometre for the income year beginning 1 July 2018. The new rate will affect those eligible individuals who elect the cents per kilometre method when calculating the income tax deductions for their work-related car expenses for the 2018-19... View Article
  • Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty - The Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty was introduced on 24 May 2018 by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services in a bid to tackle non-payment of employee super. The Amnesty provides a one-off opportunity for employers to self-correct any past super guarantee (SG) non-compliance without incurring a penalty. However, there is a lot of ambiguity around... View Article
  • Income tax gap results - The ATO has released its latest findings on the tax gap for Australian individuals. The estimated gap in 2014-15 is approximately $8.7 billion or 6.4 per cent. The income gap is an estimate of the difference between the tax the ATO collects and the amount that would have been collected if each taxpayer was fully... View Article
  • Reviewing your super - The ATO is encouraging taxpayers to review their super this tax time. Finding lost super or consolidating any unwanted multiple accounts can make a massive difference to your nest egg. There is over $18 billion in lost and unclaimed super. Those who have changed their name, address, job or lived overseas are at high risk... View Article
  • Avoid scams this tax time - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding individuals to remain vigilant against any scams that may pop up this year around tax time. With over 37,000 scam attempts reported to the ATO this time, last year, individuals need to be wary of scam artists looking to trick taxpayers into either paying for fake debts or... View Article
  • SMSFs: beware of illegal early super release - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees to beware of allowing members to access their super early. A self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee must meet a condition of release before any funds can legally be released. The ATO can issue severe penalties if you or a SMSF member access your... View Article
  • Penalty relief for taxpayers - From 1 July 2018, the Tax Office is advising Australians that if they find an error in their tax return or activity statement they will not incur a penalty but will advise of the error and how to get it right next time. Penalty relief will only apply to eligible taxpayers or entities (i.e., turnover... View Article
  • ASIC’s view on SMSFs as ‘one-stop property shops’ - The Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) has released a new report highlighting its view on the setup of SMSFs for property investments using ‘one-stop shop’ models. ‘One-stop shop models’ tend to promote the purchase of residential property through SMSF borrowing. They are usually arranged by groups of real estate agents, developers, mortgage brokers, financial advisers... View Article
  • Avoid these five common Tax Time mistakes - Tax Time is now upon us, with the ATO Assistant Commissioner announcing the top five mistakes commonly made when Australians complete their annual tax returns. Common mistakes some taxpayers are making include: – Leaving out a portion of their earnings, i.e., forgetting to include a job – income from a temp job, or income earned... View Article
  • ATO advice for SMSF members with a market-linked pension - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has recently been made aware of circumstances where a member of a SMSF commences a new market-linked pension and unintentionally exceeds their transfer balance cap. An individual may have exceeded their transfer balance cap if they were receiving a life expectancy or market-linked pension just before 1 July 2017 (which... View Article
  • Personal Income Tax Plan passed - The Personal Income Tax Plan announced as part of this year’s Federal Budget has been passed by Parliament. The plan introduces: – a new low and middle-income tax offset to reduce the tax payable by low and middle-income earners in the 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 income years – a new low-income tax offset from... View Article
  • SMSFs: reporting change - Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are required to provide an accumulation phase value (APV) on their transfer balance account report for 30 June 2017 in certain circumstances. SMSFs should note, APV is often different to the account balance of the SMSF member’s accumulation phase assets. This is due to the exit and administration fees and realisation... View Article
  • Claiming clothing this tax time? - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is cracking down on claims for work-related clothing and laundry expenses this tax time. Last year total claims for work-related clothing and laundry expenses totalled nearly $1.8 billion. The ATO has acknowledged that many of these claims are legitimate. However, it is unlikely that half of all taxpayers would have... View Article
  • Changes to SMSF 2017-18 annual return - There is a number of changes to the 2017-18 Self-managed super fund annual return (SAR) thanks to the super changes which came into effect on 1 July 2017. Transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) accountThe ATO has included a new label for the number of TRIS accounts an SMSF member has in accumulation phase. A... View Article
  • Importing goods worth $1,000 or less? - Overseas businesses that meet the GST registration threshold (A$75,000) will be required to charge GST on goods purchased from the 1 July 2018. Specifically, GST will be charged on goods that are: less than A$1,000 (low-value); not GST-free (i.e., alcohol or tobacco products); and imported into Australia. Individuals who purchase low-value goods (which they import)... View Article
  • Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty - In a bid to tackle non-payment of employee superannuation, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services announced the beginning of a 12-month Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty (the Amnesty) on 24 May 2018. The Amnesty provides employers with a one-off chance to self-correct past super guarantee (SG) non-compliance without incurring a penalty and is available until 23... View Article
  • Preparing for tax time - With the end of the financial year fast approaching, preparing ahead will help to take off the pressure of running your business and organising your tax affairs this tax season. Business owners can benefit from gathering and sorting their records now, including cash, EFTPOS, bank statements, credit or debit card transactions that relate to sales... View Article
  • First Home Super Saver Scheme - The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) is a scheme that enables Australians to save for their first home inside their superannuation fund. The plan allows for faster saving with the before tax (concessional) treatment within super. The 2017-18 Budget allowed individuals to make voluntary concessional and non-concessional payments into their super to save for their... View Article
  • Targeted amendments to Division 7A - The Government is widening the scope of Division 7A to include unpaid present entitlements from 1 July 2019. This will apply where a related private company is entitled to a share of trust income as a beneficiary but has not been paid that amount (unpaid present entitlement). Division 7A is an integrity rule that requires... View Article
  • Claiming personal super contributions deductions - More taxpayers can now claim a personal super contributions deductions this tax time due to the removal of the 10 per cent maximum earnings condition that came into effect from 1 July 2017. Eligible individuals include those who earn their income from: Salary and wages A personal business (self-employment) Investments such as interest, dividends, rent... View Article
  • GST at settlement - As of 1 July 2018, purchasers of new residential premises or potential land are required to withhold an amount from the contract price and pay the amount to the ATO before settlement. A supplier (vendor, seller) of residential premises or potential residential land must notify the purchaser in writing whether they will need to withhold... View Article
  • How the new super measures will apply to SMSFs - The Government has introduced new measures to allow SMSF members to access their super for their first home or make contributions to their super from the sale of downsizing their home. SMSFs should be aware of the following: Downsizing From 1 July 2018, SMSF members who are 65 or over and exchange a contract of... View Article
  • Focus on work-related car expenses - The Tax Office has flagged work-related car expenses as a concern this tax time. The ATO is targeting those who make mistakes or deliberately lodge false claims. Examples include: – Claiming things they are not entitled to, i.e., private trips such as work to home travel. – Making claims for trips that did not occur.... View Article
  • Budget 2018: living stronger - The Government is focused on encouraging older Australians to better grow and secure their personal retirement funds. Retirees exempt from work test An exemption from the work test will be established to allow retired Australians aged between 65-74 who have total super balances below $300,000 in their first year that they do not meet the... View Article
  • Budget 2018: creating a level-playing field - The Government will continue its commitment to strengthen the economy by focusing on improving its integrity measures to create a fairer level-playing field for all. Funding new ATO enforcement Additional funds will be allocated from the Budget over four years to fund a new ATO enforcement strategy to tackle the black economy. Through this measure,... View Article
  • Budget 2018: living longer - The Government is introducing a series of new measures designed to help Australians keep a greater portion of their superannuation savings pie. Insurance opt-in Insurance within super may not be suitable for everyone, particularly young people and those with low balances. From 1 July 2019, insurance will be offered on an opt-in basis for members... View Article
  • Budget 2018: building resilience - The 2018 Federal Budget is built on the back of a historically strong post-mining boom Australian economy, triggering fairly conservative changes to tax policy. The Budget’s strategy is to provide sustainable tax relief to those in the workforce, stimulating spending and encouraging businesses to invest in creating jobs. Individuals The Government is introducing a seven-year... View Article
  • Upcoming deadline for SMSF 2016-17 returns - Self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees are reminded that the deadline for their 2016-17 annual return is fast approaching. The extended due date for annual SMSF returns is 30 June 2018. As the due date falls on a Saturday, the ATO is allowing returns to be lodged the next business day, Monday 2 July 2018, without... View Article
  • ATO clarifies claims made in recent media coverage - The Australian Tax Office is standing by its actions undertaken that were presented on a recent current affairs program. The ATO says where taxpayers fail to lodge tax returns and BAS returns over a number of years despite repeated requests, the ATO will raise a default assessment based on evidence that can be obtained, i.e.,... View Article
  • Topping up your super with downsizer payments - Due to new super measures introduced by the Government, Australians will now be able to contribute part of the proceeds of the sale of their home towards their superannuation. From 1 July 2018, where the exchange of contracts of sale for a ‘main residence’ home occurs on or after 1 July 2018, individuals will be... View Article
  • Employing holiday makers on a visa - Employers can employ holiday makers on either a Working Visa (subclass 417) or a Working and Holiday Visa (subclass 462). Employees on either visa are taxed at 15 per cent from the first dollar earned, regardless of their residency. Working holiday makers cannot claim the tax free threshold and must provide their employer with their... View Article
  • How to catch out an illegal super scheme - When a super scheme seems too good to be true, it often is. Many illegal super schemes are operating in Australia, so it is crucial to understand the characteristics of such schemes. A popular illegal scheme is one whereby an individual is enticed by being told they can access their super early to pay off... View Article
  • Changes to GST payments at settlement - Buyers of new residential premises or subdivisions of potential residential land will need to pay the GST component of the purchase price to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as of 1 July 2018. The amount of GST will not change. This change does not affect the sales of existing residential properties or the sales of... View Article
  • Staying ‘super’ compliant - Employers have a legal responsibility to pay eligible employees superannuation to provide for their retirement. And although most employers do the right thing, some do try to bend the rules which can see them facing hefty penalties. Employees are entitled to superannuation if they are paid $450 or more before tax in a calendar month,... View Article
  • Fuel tax credit mistakes - Fuel tax credits are provided to businesses who acquire, manufacture, import or use fuel in part of running a business. These credits can greatly benefit business owners but it is important to get the claim right. The ATO sees common mistakes made when calculating and claiming fuel tax credits, including: Wrong calculationsA common error is... View Article
  • ATO alerts issued for unclaimed super - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will be contacting 80,000 individuals, starting this week, to alert them of unclaimed super. An email campaign will alert members about ATO-held unclaimed super money from 5 April. On 16 April, 20,000 letters and SMS will be sent. The ATO currently holds unclaimed super money for around 5.38 million accounts,... View Article
  • ATO targeting holiday homes - The Tax Office has rental property owners in its sights this tax season with a large number of mistakes, errors and false claims made by some using their own property for personal holidays. The ATO is reminding owners they cannot claim deductions for holiday homes that are not actually available for rent or only available... View Article
  • Non-arm’s length income from trusts and SMSFs - The ATO is reminding self-managed super funds (SMSFs) of the rules regarding non-arm’s length income from trusts. The non-arm’s length income rules can apply to investments, transactions and other arrangements undertaken by SMSFs when the terms of the relevant investment, transaction or arrangement are uncommercial in nature. If income is distributed from a discretionary to... View Article
  • Bitcoin tax scammers - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is warning taxpayers to be aware of scammers impersonating the Tax Office and demanding cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin as payment for fake tax debts. The ATO became aware of these fraudsters late last year with over $50,000 paid in Bitcoin to scammers claiming fake ATO debts. Once scammers receive payment,... View Article
  • SMSFs and cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the past few years. As many keen investors jump on board, the ATO is reminding SMSFs to be aware of the tax consequences. Cryptocurrencies are classified as capital gains tax (CGT) assets, therefore, upon their disposal they may be subject to capital gains tax (CGT). It... View Article
  • Employers urged to act now for Single Touch Payroll - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is urging employers with 20 or more employees to prepare for the introduction of Single Touch Payroll. Single Touch Payroll will be introduced from 1 July 2018, requiring employers to report their employee’s tax and super information to the ATO through Single Touch Payroll approved software. Employers will report each... View Article
  • Eligibility for the downsizer measure - As of 1 July 2018, the Government will introduce a new measure that allows the contribution of up to $300,000 of proceeds from downsizing a home to be added to superannuation. The new measure will benefit those aged 65 years and over, provided they meet certain eligibility rules including: The amount you are contributing is... View Article
  • Tax tips for property investors - Property investors can access a wide range of tax deductions and items subject to depreciation for their rental property yet many miss out on unknown tax breaks, foregoing an average of $20,000 a year on a $1 million house. Here are four ways to maximise your tax deductions while complying with the tax office: Use... View Article
  • Setting up your SMSF correctly - Setting up your self-managed super fund can be a daunting process; you want to ensure you are covering all legal requirements throughout the process. The Australian Taxation Office has outlined steps to take when setting up your SMSF to ensure you are eligible for tax concessions, able to receive contributions and looked after if a... View Article
  • Work-related expenses - The Australian Taxation Office is continuing to pay close attention to claims made as ‘work-related expenses’ throughout 2018. Making incorrect claims of work-related deductions can land you in hot water with the ATO, and thus it is important you can justify these claims. In order to claim correctly, you must be able to show that:... View Article
  • Common SMSF mistakes to avoid - Running a self-managed super fund can be a great strategy for your super and your retirement, provided you manage it correctly. To ensure you can enjoy the later stages of life and retire comfortably, you will need to be aware of common SMSF mistakes and how to avoid them. Record keeping Bad record keeping when... View Article
  • Tax deductible legal expenses - While we like to think of business ventures as a platform to make money, there are also many expenses that will be incurred through running one. Luckily, there are many tax deductions a business owner can claim when it comes to the expenses their business incurs, in particular their legal expenses. Understanding what these tax... View Article
  • The in’s and out’s of asset allocation - Deciding where to allocate your assets can be confusing and even daunting, particularly if you aren’t confident in your knowledge of the current financial sphere. Consider the following in’s and out’s of asset allocation to make the process much easier: Set goals Goal-setting is extremely important, particularly when it comes to your money. When deciding... View Article
  • The ATO targeting record keeping of small businesses - The Australian Tax Office is honing in on small businesses failing to comply with guidelines regarding appropriate record keeping. Findings from the ATO’s Protecting Honest Business campaign indicated that one of the leading factors for small business failure is their poor record keeping practices. Small business owners are required to disclose particular information, and keep... View Article
  • Understanding various kinds of super fees - No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital. When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you... View Article
  • Minimising the risk of fraud - The Australian Taxation Office is urging all businesses and individuals to take care in relation to avoiding the risk of fraud. With a focus on criminals lodging fraudulent returns in order to obtain unwarranted refunds through accessing banking information that is not their own, the ATO recommends businesses and individuals practice the following: Discussions with... View Article
  • Understanding the First Home Super Saver Scheme - With much controversial discussion surrounding the First Home Super Saver Scheme, understanding exactly what the Scheme entails is necessary. The scheme was announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget as a means to reduce the pressure surrounding housing affordability across Australia. The formalities of the scheme are as follows: As of 1 July 2017, individuals can... View Article
  • ATO cracking down on developers avoiding GST - This year, the Australian Taxation Office has placed a greater focus on property developers and are particularly watching company directors with a history of GST obligations avoidance. As of May 2017, the Government announced new requirements on those purchasing newly constructed residential properties or new subdivisions to remit the GST directly to the ATO as... View Article
  • Maximising your SMSF returns - Many Australians opt for a self-managed super fund but fail to understand how to truly make it perform optimally. If you have an SMSF and are serious about maximising your returns, consider the following: Risk Without taking risks, you won’t be able to experience great profit. However, there you still need to be cautious of... View Article
  • ATO reforms on deductible gift recipients - The Government has announced a reform of the Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status to strengthen governance arrangements, reduce administrative complexity and ensure trust and confidence in the sector. The reforms are as follows: From 1 July 2019, non-government DGR’s must be registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Non-for-profits Commission. Non-government DGR’s that... View Article
  • Succession planning and the transfer balance cap - The superannuation transfer balance caps have been problematic for SMSF members who don’t take careful consideration when succession planning. Failure to understand the impact of these transfer balance cap changes can have on your finances may force you to transfer large amounts of money out of your super. The transfer balance cap of $1.6 million... View Article
  • FBT issues that raise ATO attention - With the FBT year-end just around the corner, it is a good time to review your FBT compliance to avoid raising attention from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). The ATO is currently targeting the following rules for FBT: Motor vehicles Situations where an employer-provided motor vehicle is used or available for private travel for staff.... View Article
  • Secrets to a savvy SMSF - Opting for a self-managed super fund (SMSF) can be a clever financial decision, but it’s not for everyone. If you aren’t prepared to adhere to the following tips, your SMSF will most likely fail to perform as well as you would of hoped it to. Stay informedYou can’t expect your SMSF balance to be the... View Article
  • FBT parking exemptions for small businesses - It is quite common for small businesses to provide their staff with car parking benefits, however, many business owners may not take into account the effect parking has for fringe benefits tax (FBT) purposes. Fortunately, if you are a small business, car parking benefits are exempt if you meet all of the following conditions: –... View Article
  • Super funds boast high returns in 2017 - Superannuation funds in Australia have delivered a return of 10.5 per cent for 2017 – the first double-digit growth since 2013. According to recent findings, there was a 1.3 per cent rise in November 2017 and 0.6 per cent rise in December 2017 alone. The new figures mark the sixth consecutive year of positive returns... View Article
  • ATO targeting mischaracterised lifestyle assets and private pursuits - The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is targeting privately owned and wealthy groups that display specific behaviours and characteristics in relation to their tax affairs and lifestyle. A large focus is currently on lifestyle assets and private pursuits that generate deductions or are mischaracterised as business activities. The ATO is also looking at those assets and... View Article
  • Super housing legislation - The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme and the downsizing contributions into superannuation measures passed Parliament on 13 December 2017. As of 1 July 2017, individuals can make voluntary concessional and non-concessional contributions into their super fund as part of the FHSS Scheme. The scheme may help first home buyers save faster due to the... View Article
  • Earning income from the sharing economy - The holiday season is a peak time for activities in the sharing economy to increase. During this time those participating in the sharing economy must not forget their tax obligations. The most common sharing economy activities around the festive season include: – Providing ride-sourcing services for a fare. – Completing jobs or errands for payment.... View Article