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Newsletters

October 2017

Topics covered in this newsletter.

  • What the proposed housing-based super contribution initiatives offer
  • Considering rise-sharing for income? Tips and traps
  • High income earners: Beware Division 293!
  • Immediate deductions for start-up costs
  • Small business car parking FBT exemption

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September 2017

Topics covered in this newsletter.

  • Look before you leap: the small business CGT concessions
  • Treasury amends LRBA requirements for SMSFs - again
  • Are those investment returns on revenue or capital account?
  • Do you need to lodge your tax return early?
  • SMSF stats just keep getting better

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March 2017

FBT and the provision of cars to employees continues to cause potholes in the road to smooth tax compliance for businesses. We run over the usual FBT return problem areas. Also, as the "sharing economy" is becoming more prevalent, the ATO has found it necessary to issue some guidance.

A not-uncommon conundrum for many SMSF trustees is what to do when the fund is found to have breached the in-house asset rules. There are also some common misconceptions about these regulations that keep resurfacing.

We also look at tax and dividend income, and run over the options for salary sacrifice arrangements.

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February 2017

There is a particular speed hump to negotiate when chasing one of the valuable small business CGT concessions, and that is if the asset involved is “active” as opposed to “passive”. We explain the difference.

There are certain steps to take when tying up the loose ends when looking after a deceased estate, so we provide a 7 point checklist to help. We look at the pros and cons of electing to be a family trust, and also run over important changes regarding the assets test for pensioners.

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December 2016

With the festive season close at hand, we look at the ways in which the spirit of giving can be extended in a tax effective way.

We also look at the details we know so far about the new transfer balance account requirement for SMSFs, and the cap imposed on these accounts. And as the rules around the valuation of assets held under an SMSF have seen a lot of changes, we run over the more important points.

Also dealt with is the luxury car tax, and the level of substantiation the ATO generally requires in regard to home office claims. Lastly we provide a brief run-down of FBT and a business's Christmas party, with a handy "decision tree" flow chart.

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November 2016

If you have the unfortunate consequence of having a tax debt, there are certain steps that can be taken to help ease the pain. We look at the relief available.

Sometimes a valuation is necessary for tax purposes, but there are various ways to go about getting one. There are similarities also in getting deductions right — especially if these deductions are in relation to home office claims.

The ATO has spelled out the areas of SMSF compliance it will be focusing on for the 2016-17 income year. We run over the hot spots.

Please contact this office for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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October 2016

A recurrent topic of inquiry when it comes to possible tax deductions is when taxpayers travel to a work location, and the eligibility or otherwise of certain claims for that travel. We unravel the complexities.

A start-up business is going to have to make a decision about the type of structure most suitable for their enterprise. But we also look at when a business ends, and the delicate topic of liquidation and what needs to be done when winding up a business.

The latest government announcements regarding superannuation are also dissected to see where SMSF trustees may be able to prepare for the future.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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September 2016

The small business community welcomed the government’s $20,000 instant asset write-off initiative from the last federal budget, but there is an added bonus hidden in the legislation that could open up the valuable deduction to a wider tax-paying cohort than just small business entities. We explain.

We also look at legal expenses that are allowable deductions, where interest on a loan taken out to pay a tax debt may be able to be claimed, and in a similar vein when refinancing a partnership can open up a deduction opportunity.

And if you are considering setting up your own self-managed superannuation fund, we run over the considerations you really need to pay attention to.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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August 2016

It takes more than gumboots and a kelpie to qualify for some of the tax concessions available to primary producers, so we look at where hobby farms stand with regard to tax.

If you rent a portion of your home, there are certain things you will need to remember for your tax records.

Are you an SMSF trustee and heading offshore for an extended period? There are certain steps you will need to be aware of to keep your fund compliant. We also run over the tax and deduction consequences of volunteering, and even list some favourable ideas to keep in mind for when your tax refund is credited to your account.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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July 2016

Property investors may be missing out on some valuable depreciation items (and did you know sometimes even the humble garden gnome can qualify), so we run over the sorts of assets you may be able to include.

We also look at what is on the taxman’s radar relating to work deductions this Tax Time, and also run over what you might need to bring in to your appointment if we’re completing your 2015-16 tax return.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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June 2016

Even though the current financial year is winding up, don’t assume that your 2015-16 tax outcome is set in concrete just yet — there are still some legitimate tax planning strategies that can help us help you not pay a cent more tax than you have to. In the same vein, we also list the top 7 tax tips for investors.

SMSF trustees come in two flavours — corporate or individual. Deciding which is best for your retirement savings outcome requires careful consideration, so we have run a ruler over each. We also look at trust essentials, and explain the government’s Restart wage subsidy program that’s available for businesses.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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May 2016

While a lot of the benefits a business can provide to employees will bring an FBT liability with them, this is not the case for every benefit. We look at what you can consider that are also FBT-free. And if staff are looking to salary package, we also run over the possibilities.

Have you already lodged a BAS but forgot to include an item? Don’t panic. There are ways around it, and we can help. We also consider the tax implications that can arise through making claims on a holiday house, and raise the delicate topic of cognitive decline among older SMSF trustees.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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April 2016

While your business might own some tempting assets, be careful when making use of these for your personal enjoyment, as this could trigger a tax liability. And if you are considering changing the structure of your small business, a new measure means you might in certain instances no longer trigger CGT.

SMSF trustees note; it is essential that you know the difference between a binding and a non-binding death benefit nomination, so we run over what these mean. And speaking of legacies, every successful business owner should ideally have a succession plan in mind.

We also look at travel expense claims, how these differ from the living away from home allowance, and also how the ATO is getting help from insurance companies to uncover undisclosed wealth.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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March 2016

With the fringe benefits tax (FBT) season looming, it will pay to be reminded that FBT liabilities can also arise due to third party involvement. We underline the factors to keep watch over.

And with the ATO being ever vigilant on the characterisation of income, we also spell out where care needs to be taken regarding income you receive for providing “personal services”.

Thinking of transitioning your enterprise from operating as a sole trader to join the ranks of incorporated businesses? There’s more involved than just opening another bank account, and there are important taxation differences to keep in mind.

We also look at the difference between “repairs” and “maintenance” when it comes to claiming deductions on your rental property, and take a look at the conditions of release that must be satisfied if you’re ready to access your super savings.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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February 2016

Claims for vehicle use remain one of the most popular for a huge number of taxpayers, but recent tweaks to both the compliance regime and the provisions for making such claims means that correct record keeping is essential. And as doing business online is becoming even more pervasive, it’s just as well the Tax Office has provided guidance on claiming relevant costs for setting up a website.

Trustees of SMSFs continue to make use of limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs), but there are important considerations, and warnings, to be aware of before you jump in. We also look at an FBT-free commuting alternative, and remind certain taxpayers that the special zone tax offset they may have previously claimed may no longer be available.

Please us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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December 2015

If you are building a new home or repairing an old one, there is a concession that allows you to extend the period when you are able to claim the main residence CGT exemption, even if you are not living in that dwelling, if circumstances are right. And as there still seems to be lingering confusion on the $20,000 small business pool write-off, we run over all the details.

The cut to the small company tax rate is welcome, but there is a dividend franking implication that you need to keep an eye on. We also briefly explain what "adjusted taxable income" is, and survey the tax landscape from a cyber security point of view.

Please contact our office for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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November 2015

Everyone likes end-of-year Christmas parties, but there’s no reason to rack-up a tax bill while celebrating. We list five tips to keep the fun tax-free. And while getting a valuation is sometimes necessary, you need to make sure there are no negative tax outcomes.

Like everyone, company directors have responsibilities. The potential problem for directors however is that they can be held personally liable. We run over the rules. Also this month we look at the circumstances that allow a deduction for the fees paid for training courses, the reality of bracket creep and tips to reduce the impact, and the necessary steps you need to take when winding up your SMSF.

Please contact this office for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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October 2015

If you haven’t heard of the “sharing economy” yet, it could be time to start to get familiar with this “new way of connecting buyers (users) with sellers (providers)”. Services like Uber, Airbnb, AirTasker and MenuLog are all in the Tax Office’s sights to ensure these new forms of business pay their full share of tax.

We also run an eye over various rental property claims that continue to be misunderstood, look at the Tax Office efforts to match credit card data with declared income, and spell out the more common traps that SMSF trustees can still fall into. We also reveal a handy tip about claiming a portion of professional association membership costs, even after retirement.

There are certain tax breaks made available to the small business sector that every small business owner should know about, so we spell out what is available. We also look at how the tax system treats children’s income, spell out the top tax mistakes that small businesses keep making, and discover that there is such a thing as a deductible cup of tea.

Please contact this office for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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September 2015

Thousands of Australians head offshore each year to expand their horizons and a lucky few will fund their adventure by working overseas. There are however important tax considerations. We run through the dangers.

If we have already lodged your tax return but you’ve discovered an extra deduction you could have claimed, or became aware of an error that needs fixing, don’t panic. There are ways to make sure your assessment has the right outcome.

There are certain tax breaks made available to the small business sector that every small business owner should know about, so we spell out what is available. We also look at how the tax system treats children’s income, spell out the top tax mistakes that small businesses keep making, and discover that there is such a thing as a deductible cup of tea.

Please contact this office for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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August 2015

Up until this year, the Tax Office’s compliance focus has tended, in part, to look at certain professions for problems or mistakes made by taxpayers, but a change of tactic this Tax Time sees it focus instead on particular expense claims. We run through the work-related expenses at the top of the Tax Office hit list.

We also look at some considerations for anyone thinking about taking a pension from their SMSF, as well as having a look at how a “transition-to-retirement” arrangement could be beneficial.

Lastly, if you’re selling a business, the GST “going concern” concession should not be an assumed bonus, so we run over the rules to make sure you don’t miss out. We also look at public rulings and how these can relate to your own tax affairs.

Please contact this office for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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