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LAW & FINANCE NEWS, ARTICLES AND UPDATES

NEW!!! 21/07/2017 Deductions you can claim

When completing your tax return, you're entitled to claim deductions for some expenses, most of which are directly related to earning your income.

Click here to read more..

To claim a work-related deduction:

  • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
  • it must be directly related to earning your income
  • you must have a record to prove it.

If the expense was for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion.

 

NEW!!! 17/07/2017 Applying the $20,000 instant asset write-off?

This tax time, your small business clients with a turnover of less than $10 million can write off assets costing less than $20,000 each in their 2016-17 return. All simplified deprecation rules will apply to assets when choosing this method.

Click here to read more..

We have identified some tax agents have under-claimed by not applying all the simplified depreciation rules. To use simplified depreciation rules correctly you must:

  • write off eligible assets costing less than $20,000 each
  • pool most other depreciating assets that cost $20,000 or more
  • write off the small business pool balance if it is less than $20,000 at the end of an income year
  • only claim a deduction for the portion of the asset used for business or other taxable uses.

The $20,000 write-off threshold now applies until 30 June 2018.

 

28/06/2016 Superannuation Changes and Planning Opportunities

Superannuation year-end planning for 2015/16 - how do the Federal Budget proposals change your intent to contribute prior to 1 July 2016? By Craig Meldrum, Head of Technical Services & Strategic Advice – Australian Unity Personal Financial Services

Click here to read more..

Understanding what you could do before and after 30 June 2016 can provide the icing on the tax cake for employees, investors and those in small business. Such things as bringing forward tax deductions or delaying the receipt of income within the rules can mean less tax this year.

Click here to download a full transcript, PDF.

 

5/05/2016 NTAA 2016/17 Budget Update

NTAA 2016/17 Budget Update is now available from our website. Updates included in 2016/2017 Budget are non-concessional and concessional superannuation contributions, Transition to Retirement Income Stream, reducing the concessional contributions cap, improved superannuation balances of low income spouses, and more..

Click here to read more..

 

3/05/2016 Top tax deductions you've probably forgotten about by Kate Cowling, Personal Finance Reporter

You may have heard recently that you can claim your handbag on your tax bill. Like many others who have called their accountants in the past month, it may have prompted you to ask "what else can I claim this year?" A quick scan through your wallet of receipts or around your home office would find dozens of tax deductions, but strangely some of the most lucrative and obvious ones get forgotten, tax advisers say. Of course, they won't all apply to you, as claimable items vary based on the type of work you do, how you invest and other personal circumstances. Having said that, there are some frequently-used items the professionals say people overlook.
Click here to read more..

Things you'll use every hour

Do you use your iPhone or iPad for work and have to pay for it yourself? You may be able to claim a deduction for work-related calls or data, says Paul Brassil, a private tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He suggests undertaking a four week log of calls, based on your bill, and working out what portion was work and what portion was private. You claim the portion of work calls on your tax.

If your employer pays for your phone calls, but you've purchased a cover for your phone or iPad to protect it, you may be able to claim that, he adds.

Things you'll use every day

If you have a small business, you can claim a portion of your electricity bill, your internet bill and even your rent. You can claim depreciation on new computers, phones and printers up to the value of $300. Depreciation on your furniture and lighting costs are fair game, to the value of 45 cents an hour for each hour you spend in the home office.

However, this doesn't apply to people who work from home one day a week, Brassil says. You also cannot claim child minding as a tax deduction.

One of the biggest potential windfalls we've seen in recent history is the $20,000 asset write-off for small businesses, which was announced in last year's Federal Budget.

For small business owners, there is no limit on how many assets you can purchase, but beware that you will only get a percentage back and your immediate cash-flow may suffer, warns Dr Adrian Raftery, a tax adviser and senior lecturer at Deakin University.

If you drive to see clients as part of your job, you can save on tax there too, but the ways you can do it have changed.

The two deduction methods are now cents per kilometre, where you can claim 66 cents per kilometre travelled, or the trusty log book.

"It's just a minute in the morning, a minute in the evening, maybe 120 minutes over the year for potentially an extra $5000 [in tax savings]," says Raftery.

It's important to keep your receipts for petrol, insurance, registration, servicing and lease costs for the whole year, not just the log book period, he adds.

Again, don't try and claim your travel to and from work; only genuine travel you take as part of your role that is not paid for by your employer.

Things you may may do once a year or more

You may have done a self education course in the past year to improve your job skills. That's claimable. However, if you've done a course because you're sick of your current job and want to get a new one, that's not a deduction, says Brassil.

Another one people forget all the time is charity. You may have donated to a political party or a fundraiser or a door knocker. As long as you have a receipt and it's a registered charity (see the ATO website), you can claim it.

Dr Raftery says some people feel uncomfortable about claiming charitable deductions, but says the answer to that may be simply giving more to charity.

"If you put $100 into a charity and you're in the top tax bracket you'll get $49 back. If you feel funny about that, why not give $200 to charity and get $98 back?"

Where to be careful

The Tax Office can look at your deductions against the average of other people in your industry and based on that information, you may trigger an audit if you've inflated your costs.

The most important advice from the experts is don't make anything up, because you'll more than likely get caught. It's also not necessary when there are ways to save thousands legitimately.

 

11/03/2016 New Super Stream Measures - to apply from 1/7/16
(Small Employers, less than 19 employees)

Further to our previous advice please note the following: Under SuperStream, Employers need to pay super contributions for their employees electronically (EFT or BPAY) and send the associated data electronically.
Click here to read more..

The data is in a standard format so it can be transmitted consistently across the super system – between employers, funds, service providers and the ATO. It's linked to the payment by a unique payment reference number.

This means Employers can make all their contributions in a single transaction, even if they're going to multiple super funds.

Small employers (19 or fewer employees) must meet the SuperStream standard by 30 June 2016. Larger employers should have been using SuperStream since 31 October 2015.

For more info and how to go about it please contact our office and visit the link below:

https://www.ato.gov.au/super/superstream/employers/

 

10/03/2016 New ATO Small Business Newsroom

Click here to read more..

Running a small business is hard and to make it a little easier we think that ATO’s newsroom is very helpful:

https://www.ato.gov.au/newsroom/smallbusiness/

Good info and easy to follow. They have Web Chat available from 3pm to 9pm to assist with your enquiries too.

As always please contact our office for the obligation free discussion of your circumstances.

 

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