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“Building a Better Tax system” What does this mean for you?

Posted on February 14, 2019 by admin

The Australian government has launched the Better Tax campaign in order to help inform the public of tax reforms coming into effect. Designed to “better Australia”, here is a look at what this plan means for you. Individual Tax: New low to middle-income tax offset: Offering immediate relief of up to $530 after an individual lodges their tax return for each income year from 2018-19 until 2021-22. Increase to income tax rate thresholds: Changing over the next seven years so less tax is paid by Australian taxpayers. The first change took effect on 1 July 2018 with future changes in 2022-23 and 2024-25. Reduction in the number of tax brackets: In order to simplify the system, in 2024-25 the tax system will move from five tax brackets to four. Business Tax: Tax cuts for incorporated small and medium businesses, with a turnover of less than $50 million per annum. These companies will move to a 25 per cent tax rate by 2021-22. The small business income tax offset; increasing the rate of the tax discount for unincorporated small businesses with a turnover below $5 million Increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $20,000 to $25,000 and extending it until 30 […]

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Superannuation tips for each stage of your working life

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A 2018 study revealed that almost 40% of Australians think they won’t have enough money to retire on – and that number is on the rise. Managing your superannuation fund can be confusing but it was found that 50% of us do not consult a financial planner. As we face different financial challenges at different points in our lives, how do you ensure you have enough to retire on? 20s to 30s:It is not uncommon for many people in their 20s and 30s to have multiple superannuation fund accounts accumulated through years of youth part-time work or otherwise. Now is the time to chase up on lost super. With one superannuation account, you not only can save on fees but it may also give you better investment returns. When combining and comparing your active accounts, be mindful of any termination fees, insurance policies, investment options, and ongoing service fees. 40s to 50s:You may find yourself earning more than you’ve ever earned before, but it is also a time where you may be juggling more living costs – from your mortgage to your growing family’s fees. Experts advise against decreasing your mortgage payments and encourage voluntary payments to your superannuation fund. […]

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Travel allowance and expenses

Posted on February 7, 2019 by admin

On the occasion that you are required to travel overnight for work, you may be eligible to receive a travel allowance from your employer for accommodation, food, drink or incidental expenses. The reasonable amount of travel expenses is updated yearly and is based on job type and salary. From this allowance, tax deductions are to be withheld unless specified otherwise. Exceptions are: you’re expected to spend all of the travel allowance paid the amount and nature of the travel allowance is kept separately in accounting records the travel allowance is not for overseas accommodation the amount of travel allowance paid is less than, or equal to the reasonable travel allowance rate. Where the exceptions apply, your employer won’t withhold tax and will include the allowance on your payslip. It is important to keep detailed records of your travel expenses, length of trips and if it was overseas or domestic travel. If you need to claim anything from these trips in the future, you will need the appropriate documentation that covers all expenses, not just excess amounts. Vehicle, food, accommodation and incidental expenses need to be documented on a case by case basis: With travel allowance Written evidence need to be […]

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Didn’t pay your employees’ super on time?

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How to reduce the hassle of missing your employee’s super payment. The Super Guarantee Charge (SGC):The SGC may apply to employers who do not pay the minimum super guarantee (SG) to their employee’s designated superannuation fund by the required date. The non-tax-deductible charge includes the SG shortfall amounts with interest and a $20 administration fee for each employee. You will need to lodge your SGC statement within a couple of months of the respective quarter. While employers are able to apply for an extension to lodge and pay the SGC, the nominal interest will still accumulate until the extension is lodged. From this point, the general interest charge will apply until the SGC is paid off. What you can do to reduce your SGC:The nominal interest and SGC shortfall can be offset or carried forward by late contributions against the SGC in certain conditions. This excludes the administration fees, certain types of interest and other penalties. The late contribution is also not tax-deductible, nor is it able to be used as a prepayment for current or future contributions. However, you are able to carry it forward if the payment is for the same employee and is for a quarter within […]

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Instant asset write-off for small businesses to be extended and increased

Posted on January 31, 2019 by admin

As of 29 January 2019, the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme will be extended to 30 June 2020 for assets purchased under $25,000. The Instant Asset Write-Off affects small businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million a year. It allows business owners to immediately deduct assets costing up to $25,000 which can then be claimed for tax return in that income year. The Prime Minister’s announcement on 29 January stated that “businesses who go out and invest today, whether it’s a vehicle, whether it’s a piece of plant or equipment, all of it, up to $25,000, immediate write down.” However, there are certain assets that are excluded from the scheme so it is best to check with your accountant or financial advisor. It is important to remember that the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme reduces the tax your business has to pay, it is not a rebate. Your cash flow will still have to be sufficient enough to support the purchases. With the ATO reporting that the average claimed amounts were at $11,000 in 2016-2017, there are concerns that the scheme is underutilised. Fewer than 350,000 small businesses have taken advantage of the scheme in the 2016-2017 year. There is […]

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How to get out of a SMSF

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Sometimes a self-managed super fund (SMSF) isn’t for you. While that is ok, getting out of an SMSF can be a tricky and complicated process. Every individual involved in an SMSF is responsible for their part. No decision can be made on their behalf or outsourced to another member or industry professional. Once deciding to leave your SMSF, you must approach carefully to avoid penalties and damages or disruptions to the remaining member funds. To successfully remove yourself you will need to: Notify the ATO within 28 days Remove all assets from the fund, whether paid out or transferred to a new account, leaving it empty Have a final audit of your fund Complete your reporting

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SuperStream to be extended to SMSF rollovers

Posted on January 24, 2019 by admin

First introduced in 2015, SuperStream is a government standard for processing superannuation payments electronically in a streamlined manner. Currently, SuperStream can only process rollovers between two APRA funds electronically but a change coming into effect on 30 November 2019 will now see this process extend to self-managed super funds (SMSF). This means rollovers between an APRA fund and an SMSF can be processed through SuperStream later this year, and the time taken could even be reduced to three days. The streamlining of the rollover process between all funds aims to increase efficiency and reduce compliance costs. An example of this is the removal of the requirement to draw a cheque when rollovers are made from an SMSF to an APRA fund. Further, direct transfers between funds will give greater confidence when tracking the whereabouts of your money. For a fund to receive a rollover, trustees will have to provide the ATO with the fund’s requested information – such as ABN, bank account details and internet protocol address – at least 10 business days before the fund receives the rollover.

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Superannuation for Women

Posted on January 18, 2019 by admin

It’s no secret that the median super balance for Australian women at the time of retirement is significantly lower than that of their male counterparts. The Australian Commission & Investments Commission (ASIC) have reported that men retire with about twice the amount as women. The discrepancy is reportedly even higher between Mums and Dads. Between lower wages and a higher likelihood of having an interrupted working life for women, women also tend to live longer and thus require more super to cover more years. Unfortunately, between personal finances, business financial capabilities, and governmental policies, actions to close this gap can be limited. Where viable, private companies can consider: continuing paying superannuation to staff during parental leave. paying full-time super benefits to part-time parents. This has already been implemented by Viva Energy (a Shell subsidiary). From the ABS, women are much more likely to be working part-time than men. increasing the percentage of base salary put toward their employees’ super accounts.

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Single Touch Payroll to include all businesses in 2019

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On 1 July 2018, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) rolled out Single Touch Payroll (STP). This changed the way employers with 20 or more employees report their employees’ tax and super information. Generally through payroll or accounting software that offer STP reporting (or through a third-party service provider), employers are expected to report information on withholding amounts, superannuation liability information or ordinary times earnings (OTE) and salary, wages, allowances and deductions. The STP currently affects businesses with 20 or more employees, but just last month, the Senate passed a Bill for the STP to include all Australian businesses, affecting at least an additional 700 000 businesses. Although the amendments to the STP are currently under review by the House of Representatives, the change is expected to be implemented on 1 July 2019.

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A guide to consolidating your super

Posted on December 20, 2018 by admin

Merging your super is vital to maximising your retirement savings. Changing jobs over the years will put you at risk of losing some of your super if your previous employers have set up accounts you have forgotten about. Fees will erode the balances on these inactive accounts and result in you losing your hard earned super. You should also consolidate to maximise the interest accrued on your single super balance. Merge your super with this checklist and keep your super savings on track for success. Research your fund’s policyCompare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. You should assess: Exit fees Insurance policies Investment options Ongoing service fees Performance of the funds Rollover processOnce you have made your decision, you can combine your super balance by: Requesting to merge your accounts through your chosen super fund Apply through your myGov account or the ATO Keep in mind that funds will take time to process your request and rollover.

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