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September 2019

Access to more resources and tools than most websites.

We provide 24/7 access to all these extra tools and resources to help you build on what we offer concerning your tax and other financial affairs. *

       

 

Latest News. 7-9 individual articles every month and all chosen for their relevance. Our website is a great place to stay informed.

Videos. All are relevant, interesting, educational and interesting. Videos that are changed three times a year to ensure you and your family are able to lean about many issues related financial issues and topics.

Calculators. A good range of calculators to help you better understand and manage your personal and family financial issues. Four of the more popular are: Pay calculator, Budget Calculator, Loan Calculator, and Super Calculator

Client Portals. Portals are quite common on many sites and can be used to store your data, pay bills, log onto investment systems.

Ask us a question at any time. If you have a question on any related topic then don’t hesitate to use a form on our site to ask.

Your information is private and confidential and should be treated that way. Using Secure File transfer means your information is encrypted when sent in either direction over the Internet.

Many sites also have a message window feature that displays messages of interest or that cover topics and deadlines you should be aware of.

 

* Not all are on every website.

Your Accountant

Tax Return Mistakes

Some taxpayers assume that lodging an annual tax return is easy.

         

 

Cheap talk at the pub, or at a party, or from a sales assistant at a computer store, can lead to costly errors.

Examples of items that you cannot automatically claim are:-

  • $300 for work-related expenses
  • $150 for laundry
  • 5,000 kilometres for cars
  • credit card statements as evidence
  • home to work travel
  • plain clothes for work
  • grooming
  • holidays connected to a conference
  • gym memberships
  • pay TV subscriptions

We spend a great deal of effort to remain up to date and aware of all rules, but also alert to opportunities as the rules become more complex every day.

By all means, ask about these expenses if you think they may be relevant and you pay them.

 

 

AcctWeb

SMSF advice appetite strong, says ASIC

A new ASIC report has highlighted demand for further advice on the specifics of SMSFs among the Australian population, particularly among those who have a financial planner.

         
 
 
The report, titled Financial advice: What consumers really think, found that 25 per cent of consumers who had recently received financial advice wanted more guidance around SMSFs.
 
Around 50 per cent of financial advice customers also wanted advice on retirement income planning, while around 45 per cent wanted guidance on growing their superannuation, highlighting the potential value for accountants in establishing a referral partnership with advice businesses to tap into this demand.
 
Within this group of consumers who had seen a financial adviser, 45 per cent chose their adviser based on their level of experience, while about 43 per cent chose them based on their ability to understand the consumer’s personal goals.
 
An additional 43 per cent selected their adviser as they were someone the consumer was comfortable talking to.
 
However, demand for SMSF advice was not limited to those who had seen a financial planner, with 15 per cent of the broader consumer population also indicating a desire for guidance around self-managed funds.
 
This broader group selected their adviser based primarily on their reputation (38 per cent), their experience (41 per cent) and their ability to talk to the consumer in a way they could understand (36 per cent).
 
Across all respondent groups, the majority indicated that the adviser would need at least five to 10 years in the industry to be trustworthy, the report said.
 
 
 
Sarah Kendell 
28 August 2019 
accountantsdaily.com.au
 

Taxpayers confused by Scott Morrison’s $1,080 tax refund

The excitement over the tax sweetener is quickly turning to confusion, as many Aussies wait for a handout that will never arrive.

       

 

The refund is actually a tax offset, which is calculated when you lodge your income tax return

The tax offset reduces your overall tax bill, so you might end up having to pay less if you receive a tax bill.

The low and middle income tax offset is a non-refundable offset, which means any unused offset amount itself cannot be refunded or reduce the Medicare Levy.

Taxpayers with a taxable income that does not exceed $37,000 will receive a low and middle income tax offset up to $255.  People with a taxable income that exceeds $37,000, but is not more than $48,000 will receive $255, plus an amount equal to 7.5% to the maximum offset of $1,080.

Quick Guide

                                       Taxable Income                          Rebate

                                              0 to $37,000                              255

                                       37,000 to 48,000                   255 + 7.5%

                                       48,000 to 90,000                             1,080

                                     90,000 to 126,000                   1,080 – 3%

                                              126,000 plus                                   0

 

 

AcctWeb

Common STP set-up mistakes – ATO

Authorisation failures and software set-up issues are among some of the top mistakes accountants and their business clients are making with the new Single Touch Payroll regime, with one in 10 failing their first submission.

         
 
 
With the Single Touch Payroll regime now over a month old for employers with 19 or fewer employees, ATO assistant commissioner Jason Lucchese has shed light on some of the common mistakes he continues to see with the initial set-up of STP.
 
The first involves authorisations to allow the registered tax or BAS agents to act on behalf of the client for STP lodgement.
 
“One of the most common mistakes we’re seeing is that some employers and tax professionals don’t have internal authorisations in place before they commence or commence reporting,” Mr Lucchese told Accountants Daily.
 
“That’s where the person who will be sending the STP report may not be the business owner or the public officer, and they need to make sure they’ve made appropriate delegations or they’ve put appropriate delegation.
 
“For example, the payroll manager, they may need to be added as an authorised contact if they’re interacting with the ATO about STP matters.
 
“Similarly, if you are a registered tax or BAS agent, to lodge STP reports on a client’s behalf, they obviously must authorise that agent and they’ll need to make sure that they are linked to their business in ATO systems as part of that initial set-up.”
 
The other most common mistake involves connecting to the ATO using a software service ID (SSID).
 
Mr Lucchese noted that STP reports will not be received unless the correct SSID is provided — usually done by calling the ATO or through a one-off notification through access manager.
 
“For tax agents, with single clients or themselves, they can phone us to provide that SSID or they can also complete a one-off notification through access manager as well,” he said.
 
“For agents that have multiple clients, they can also do that through a bulk request form through the tax or BAS agent portals through the ATO website.”
 
These mistakes are still leading to a 10 per cent failure rate on first submission, an early learning first raised in June when about 65,000 small business employers were reporting through STP.
 
That number has now jumped to over 300,000 out of the total 750,000 small business population, with just over a month out before the 30 September transition deadline.
 
 
 
Jotham Lian 
13 August 2019 
accountantsdaily.com.au
 

Proposal to hold directors liable for GST set to pierce corporate veil

The proposed extension of the director penalty regime to GST liabilities could spell the end of the corporate veil for small to medium enterprise directors, says an insolvency specialist.

         
 
 
With the reintroduction of Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing) Bill 2019 last month, the commissioner could soon be allowed to collect estimates of anticipated GST liabilities and make company directors personally liable for their company’s GST liabilities.
 
This follows on from the current director penalty regime which makes directors personally liable for PAYG withholding amounts and SGC obligations.
 
Speaking with Accountants Daily, Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants partner Stephen Hundy said that with many SME directors providing personal guarantees for a company’s obligations, the latest proposal to extend director penalty notices to GST could potentially see the end of the corporate veil.
 
“With a large number of SME companies we deal with, the directors have exposed themselves personally for their company’s debts due to the large number of personal guarantees provided,” Mr Hundy said.
 
“Together with the ATO’s power to issue DPNs in respect of unpaid PAYG withholding tax and superannuation guarantee charge (SGC), this can mean in some cases that an SME director may be personally exposed for a large majority of the debts of their company. 
 
“In many cases, the directors have no choice but to provide personal guarantees in order to obtain credit from financiers and suppliers. In a lot of cases, however, we find that directors do not know what they have personally guaranteed and also they are unaware that they are personally liable for PAYG withholding tax and SGC,” he added.
 
“With tax debts, we see the majority of debt owed to the ATO comprising PAYG withholding tax and GST. At present, a DPN cannot be issued in respect of unpaid GST; however, if the director penalty regime is extended as proposed to include GST, this will increase the extent to which directors’ assets may be at risk in the event of an insolvency.”
 
While the bill has not yet passed, Mr Hundy believes accountants should remind their clients of their various obligations and the prospect of having GST added to that list of liabilities.
 
“Advisers and accountants should ensure that their director clients are aware of what they are guaranteeing and also that they are liable for PAYG withholding tax and SGC. In respect of taxation lodgements, it is advisable to lodge these with the ATO even if the associated debt cannot be paid, as this may offer some protection in the future if things go awry,” Mr Hundy said.
 
“New company directors should always conduct some due diligence in respect of a company’s unpaid statutory obligations before consenting to be appointed; otherwise, they may find themselves personally liable for past company debts. Conversely, exiting directors should ensure that they are released from any personal guarantees which they may have provided for a company’s obligations.
 
“As always, seeking advice early is the key when things get tough. This not only applies to directors but to advisers and accountants, who should seek out specialist advice at the earliest opportunity to enhance the prospects of their client avoiding insolvency.”
 
 
 
Jotham Lian 
14 August 2019 
accountantsdaily.com.au
 

September 2019 – vital statistics for Australia

       
 
One great source of data about Australia. Become better acquainted with the country we love.

An up-to-date snapshot of Australia's vital statistics.  

Please click on the following link to see all this interesting information. The areas covered are:

  • Overview
  • Markets
  • GDP
  • Labour
  • Prices
  • Money
  • Trade
  • Government
  • Business
  • Consumer
  • Housing
  • Taxes
  • Climate

 

Access all this data here.

 

 

tradingeconomics.com/australia

 

Tax Commissioner wants to turn black economy to ‘lighter shade of grey’

ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan believes the agency’s local business visits are helping to change community behaviour, while reassuring small businesses that their tax performance fares well on an international scale.

         
 
Seeking to provide some context over the ATO’s recently released tax gap findings, Commissioner Chris Jordan said that despite small business taxes paid coming in 12.5 per cent below what was owed — a higher percentage than either large corporations or individual taxpayers — the sector is doing well in terms of tax compliance.
 
“Internationally, we are performing really well in terms of our small business tax performance,” he said while speaking at the National Small Business Summit in Melbourne.
 
According to Mr Jordan, “the small business economy is paying about 95 per cent of the tax that it should” when you take out the black economy. That figure drops just below 90 per cent when black economy activity is included.
 
In other countries, that figure is “substantially less”, he said.
 
“I think that is a solid achievement… the vast majority of the small businesses there are doing their best to comply.”
 
However, Mr Jordan noted that with the tax gap research showing an $11.1 billion shortfall in taxes actually paid versus what was owed, “there is still work to be done”.
 
“We will hold to account those who do try to cheat the system so that we can continue to protect the people who are doing the right thing,” he said.
 
“Our role as regulators of small business is really about fairness, about protecting against inequity… and making it as easy as possible for people to comply with the regulations.”
 
This, he suggested, is why the government and the ATO are so aggressively targeting the black economy.
 
“We’re hoping to see the black economy change from black to at least a lighter shade of grey over time.”
 

ATO visits ‘have an impact’

 
Mr Jordan also spoke about the ATO’s plans to visit up to 10,000 SMEs across the country each year.
 
The commissioner said that media coverage of where ATO inspectors will visit next attracts considerable attention.
 
“People do sort of pay attention to it, it does have an impact,” he said.
 
“I was only talking to someone last night who was saying that the local baker that they go to has gone from a cash-only sign to EFTPOS now.”
 
 
 
Adam Zuchetti 
02 September 2019
accountantsdaily.com.au
 

Changes to the Private Health Insurance Statement

Most taxpayers know that if they do not have adequate private health insurance, that there can be a charge or a surcharge on the tax assessment.

         

 

The taxable income also impacts the government rebate received by the health insurer, which effects the net premium. 

The law has recently changed in regards to the way health insurers give you information about your private health insurance premiums.  Previously, your health insurer was required to send a private insurance statement to each adult covered by the policy by 15 July each year.  It is now optional for them to send you this information.  The health insurer may send the statement by email, email, or a link to an online version.

If you do not receive a statement and your tax agent does not, you will need to contact your health insurer.  We have observed that most insurers have provided a statement this tax year, but no one can predict what will happen next tax year.

The Australian Taxation Office will income test your share of the policy, regardless of who paid the premiums and how many other people are covered on the policy.

A few taxpayers may be interested in the reason for two lines on the statement.  Premium and rebate calculations are based on a year ending 31st March and one line is a code for premiums, before that date and the other code is after that date.

The most significant item is that your policy confirms an adequate level of private health hospital cover throughout the year.  If not, you may be liable for Medicare Levy.

 

 

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