Blogs

10 Tips to Reduce Debtor Days for Small Business Owners - 13th November 2018

Steady, reliable cash flow is crucial for the survival of any small business - so taking steps to ensure your customers pay promptly should be a key priority.


When your clients consistently pay on time, you'll avoid the dreaded "feast or famine" cycle. You'll be able to pay your vendors, suppliers, and employees on time - and not least of all, yourself.


Implement these ten tips now to start getting paid without delay.

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The Work Christmas Party - 5th November 2018

It's not quite Christmas time yet, but most businesses will be in the process of thinking ahead to the yuletide festivities, if not already into well-advanced planning. One of the perennial questions is if and how fringe benefits tax applies to these activities.

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Are You Falling Behind By Not Automating These Business Activities? - 23rd October 2018

The daily processes and transactions involved in operating a business can mean long hours of repetitive tasks and occasional oversights due to human nature. Automating these tasks can result in significant savings in resources and eliminate mistakes caused by human error. The key, however, is to know which tasks should be automated and which ones warrant staff intervention and guidance.


Here are six activities that you should definitely be automating for your business. 

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Can Claims be Made for Home Office Expenses When it's Located Overseas? - 11th September 2018

A question was asked of the ATO recently, via its "ATO Community" webpage that centred on the eligibility of a taxpayer to make deduction claims for home office expenses. While it is a question that would not generally warrant extensive clarification, the fact that the home office in question was located offshore made the query somewhat unique.

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MYOB Set to Scrap Accounting Desktop Product - 11th September 2018

AccountRight Classic, which has been in the market for about 20 years and is one of MYOB's original desktop products, won't be updated beyond September 30 next year. 

For those who want up-to-date support and systems beyond September 2019, this will mean an upgrade to MYOB's cloud-based suite of products.

So now is the time to look to transition to the cloud. If you are unsure how to implement this transition, we can help.

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Family & Domestic Violence Leave - 7th August 2018

Following a recent Fair Work Commission (FWC) Full Bench Decision (See: [2018] FWCFB 3936) all employees who are covered by an industry or occupation modern award may now take up to five days of unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) per each 12 month period.

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Claiming Self-Education Expenses - 6th August 2018

Changing technology and evolving workplaces means that at some stage in every taxpayer's life, an educational re-boot could become necessary - as the adage says, "you're never too old to learn". Therefore supplementary education mid-career is a valuable, and hopefully an income-boosting, pursuit. 



 

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10 Productivity Tools to Help You Do More at Work - 25th July 2018

Productivity is a difficult thing to master. These ten tools will help you along your journey and allow you to reclaim some of your valuable time.

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Tax Lessons from the Football (Soccer) World Cup - 4th July 2018

Being an avid soccer fan, I have been up regularly in recent weeks in the wee hours of the morning, sadly watching the Socceroos early exit from the competition. 

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Tips for Tax 2018 - 3rd July 2018

Before coming in for your tax appointment here are the sorts of information needed to enable us to complete your tax return.

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Why Your Business Needs You to Say No - 26th June 2018

Being open to new possibilities is a positive trait shared by most entrepreneurs - but saying yes to all the people you meet and opportunities that come your way can get you into trouble.


One of the most impactful changes you can make in your business is to form one simple habit: give yourself time to weigh the cost and benefit before making any decision, and politely decline any opportunity that doesn’t align with your goals.

If you're feeling stressed and less productive than you'd like, it's time to get better at saying no. Here's how.

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Managing Tax Disputes Can Be Like Wrestling With a Superhero - 13th June 2018

It is sometimes said that a superhero like the DC Comics character Superman can be an uninteresting character because he is, for all practical purposes, indestructible. Critics have said the knowledge that he will most likely win can make Superman's adventures monotonous.

A similar accusation could be levelled at the Federal Commissioner of Taxation (the flesh and bone personification of the ATO). 

But despite all his powers, our real life superhero (or supervillain, depending on where you stand) can sometimes be successfully opposed, if not entirely defeated. But to do this you must move quickly, know the rules of engagement and have a clear vision of the outcome. 

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Builders: Get Your Taxable Payments Report Ready Before August 28 - 13th June 2018

Businesses in the building and construction industry, take note - the deadline is August 28, 2018 to report the total payments you made to each contractor you enlisted the services of in 2017-18. You will need to report these payments to the ATO on the Taxable payments annual report. 

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Home to Work Travel Claims? Generally not but Sometimes..... - 4th June 2018

As a general rule, travel from your home to your workplace is not allowed as a deduction because it constitutes a "private expense". There are however specific situations where this rule may not apply, and there can be circumstances where you may be entitled to claim some of the travel expenses between your home and your regular workplace, or even your alternative workplace.


But it is a minefield that needs to be treaded carefully so as to not end up in hot water with the taxman.

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How To Let a Client Go - 28th May 2018

Ask anyone who's been self-employed for a few years. By and large, the vast majority of clients are great. The less than ideal ones, however, can become a serious liability.

Problem clients come in all shapes and sizes. There are the late payers and scheduled "no shows". The ones who are demanding and don't respect your time.

Remember, just because you need to earn a profit doesn't mean it's in your best interest to serve everyone who walks in the door.

Here are a few ways to respectfully let go of clients who aren't an asset for your business.

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Protect Yourself and Your Data - Proactive Steps for Living Safely in the Digital Age - 22nd May 2018

These days your personal data is everywhere, and that information is valuable to marketers, hackers and everyone in between. If you want to prevent the unauthorised use of your personal information, you need to take a proactive approach to protecting yourself and your identity.


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Tips for More Productive Meetings - 7th May 2018

Increasing efficiency and minimising costs are essential to running a profitable business. Yet many small business owners waste countless hours on meetings that lack focus, run on too long, and pull staff away from more productive tasks.

Follow these seven tips to make your meetings more efficient and cost-effective. 
 

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Company Directors: Do you REALLY Know Your Responsibilities? - 2nd May 2018

As anyone running a business knows, commercial decisions must be made, and many times these decisions involve some degree of risk. While the distinction between entrepreneurial freedom and delinquent corporate behaviour will be clear cut for most company directors, there are nevertheless circumstances where these lines can blur, resulting in sometimes substantial (and sometimes unexpected) personal exposure.

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Dealing with Tax and Renting via Airbnb - 23rd April 2018

Airbnb is one of many examples of the "sharing economy" - connecting buyers (users) and sellers (providers) through a facilitator that usually operates an app or a website. Airbnb acts as this facilitator by allowing individuals, referred to as "hosts", to rent out a room of their house or their whole house for a short-time basis via its online platforms.

While the focus here is on Airbnb, the tax concepts outlined could be applied in a more general sense to anyone seeking to rent out a part of their home, whether through Gumtree, Realestate.com.au, Flatmates.com.au and so on.

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Is Technology Making You Less Efficient? - 17th April 2018

"For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three". - Alice Kahn

 

If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of technological gadgets out there, never mind apps and other digital "solutions", you're not alone. Technology sprawl and the rabbit hole of more and more information, available all the time, is making productivity - and healthy downtime - a real challenge for many of us.

 

Although we may be quicker at completing redundant tasks, more time is wasted managing all our different apps and technologies - and more of us live in a near constant state of distraction.

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Personal Risk to Managers and Business Owners who Underpay Employees - 17th April 2018

Managers and business owners who underpay employees are increasingly at risk of being fined personally if they underpay employees. More often than in the past, the Fair Work Ombudsman [FWO] is prosecuting individual company directors and managers (including HR managers) where the businesses they own or manage have underpaid employees.

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So You've Launched Your Business - Now What? - 10th April 2018

Good news for small business owners: according to the US Small Business Administration, nearly 80% of small businesses survive their first year.

However, that number begins to drop as time rolls on. Only half of small businesses pass the five year mark, and a mere third celebrate their tenth anniversary.

Taking steps to create a good foundation in the early days of your business is essential for a sustainable and profitable future. Here's how. 

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Bitcoin: Its place in your wallet or SMSF portfolio - 4th April 2018

While bitcoin may be the most well-known cryptocurrency, there are nearly 1,500 in existence. In its simplest form, a cryptocurrency is a "peer-to-peer electronic cash system", which means that the currency is not in a physical form like cash but sits in an electronic register.  

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Small Business Stamp Duty Exemption - 27th March 2018

The NSW Government has created a new Small Business Stamp Duty exemption (the exemption) for certain insurances acquired on or after 1 January 2018.

 

Currently all commercial insurance policies attract Stamp Duty which is imposed by the State Government. For eligible small businesses, this means that there is no longer a requirement for this cost to be paid.

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Solicitor Trust Account Audits - 26th March 2018

Are you a solicitor who requires an External Examination of your Trust Account? 

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Common Errors with Fuel Tax Credits and How to Avoid Them - 7th March 2018

Fuel tax credit rates are updated every year (generally on 1 February, but for 2018 they changed on 5 February). It is therefore a timely reminder that the ATO has made public some common errors that taxpayers make when calculating and claiming fuel tax credits.


The tips that follow will help taxpayers avoid these errors, or you can watch this webinar recording for more information on getting fuel tax credit claims right.

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Is your Business Prepared for Single Touch Payroll? - 5th March 2018

Single Touch Payroll is a government initiative to streamline business reporting obligations, which is due to become compulsory from 1 July 2018. When a business pays its employees, the payroll information will be sent to the ATO via the business's payroll software.


Reporting under the Single Touch Payroll (STP) system removes the requirement to issue payment summaries, provide annual reports and tax file number declarations to the ATO. During the first year of its introduction, the ATO says employers will not be liable for a penalty for a late STP report.


Read on for Important points to keep in mind for the transition to STP.

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Capital Works Deductions for Rental Property - 14th February 2018

Rental property investors can claim capital works deductions for construction costs for a rental property, however there are limits imposed in relation to the dates such works were completed. 

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Rental Property Owners Lose Some Deductions - 7th February 2018

Legislation that came into law in the last half of 2017 makes certain measures first announced with the 2017 Federal Budget now a reality.


The "housing tax integrity" bill solidifies the government's intention to deny all travel deductions relating to inspecting, maintaining, or collecting rent for a residential investment property. As well, second-hand plant and equipment that came with an investment property are now off the table as far as depreciation goes.


The measures will apply from July 1, 2017, so will affect returns for the current financial year. However the changes to depreciation are dependent on when assets were purchased (more below).

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Having Fun AND Making Money. But is it a Business or a Hobby? - 7th February 2018

It may seem fairly obvious whether a person is in business or not, but the distinction can be important for other reasons. You may be having fun AND making money, but is it a business or a hobby?

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Yellow Pages vs Facebook Ads - Should you Cancel your Print Listing? - 22nd January 2018

If you're a small business owner with a modest marketing budget, every dollar you spend has to be worth the investment.


Here are a few reasons you may reconsider allocating your Yellow Pages budget to Facebook Ads.

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Ideas for Business Goals in 2018 - 9th January 2018

The start of the year is the perfect time to dust off last year's business plan and set some new goals for the future. 


These tips can help you get started brainstorming how your company can plan for greater success in the years ahead.

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Tips for Getting Rid of Slow Moving Stock - 13th December 2017

Stale inventory is a costly nuisance for any business owner. Ideally the rule of thumb is to sell the goods taking up space on your sale floor within 90 days; after the three month mark stale inventory becomes dead inventory. Products are much harder to move and nearly impossible to get top dollar for.

Fortunately there are a number of ways to recoup at least part of your investment on old, slow-moving stock. Get rid of your old inventory with these six tried and true ideas.

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Ordinary Time Earnings: What's In, What's Out - 6th December 2017

The superannuation rules stipulate that an employee's earnings base must be the amount on which minimum superannuation contributions are payable to avoid the superannuation guarantee charge (SGC). This earnings base is determined as "ordinary time earnings" (OTE).


Just to clarify, here are the remuneration elements that are (and are not) included.

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GST and the Buying or Selling of Real Estate Premises - 4th December 2017

Whether a sale of property is subject to GST will be dependent on a number of factors. The sale of real property must be made in the course or furtherance of an enterprise before it is brought into the GST system.


Read on for further information.

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The Ins and Outs of "Entertainment" Business Deductions - 4th December 2017

As a tax concept, "entertainment" can be relevant not only to fringe benefits tax (FBT), but also to income tax and even goods and services tax (GST). For a business, whether a business expense is "entertainment" will generally also determine whether the cost is deductible. If the expenditure can be shown to be directly connected with the carrying on of a business, it should be deductible.

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Newcastle Retailer Scoops Sales at Supercars - A Story of Adaptability and Innovation in Business - 29th November 2017

What opportunities lie within your business when circumstances 'move your cheese'? How adaptable, flexible and responsive are you to change in your industry? 

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Does "Mindfulness" Have a Place in Business? - 28th November 2017

Research has shown that practicing mindful meditation can lead to reduced stress, lowered blood pressure, increased brain activity, and improved immune response. It's also been shown to have measurable value for companies when their leaders and employees practice mindfulness, too.

Here are a few ways taking a more mindful approach to running your business can lead to greater success. 

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What is Your Succession Plan? - 22nd November 2017

No matter whether your company has one employee, a hundred or a thousand, a succession plan is essential to minimise the risk of financial loss.


Read on to help prepare for a stress-free transition when it's time to sell or transfer ownership of your business.

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3 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Look More Professional When You're Starting Out - 14th November 2017

For bootstrapping young businesses, making a professional first impression as you build your brand is key.

Although hiring a branding expert may be too large an expense in the early days, you can still help your business stand out in the best possible way without breaking the bank.

Just follow these simple marketing moves that will help people to know, like, and trust you. 

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Do you share this habit with the world's most successful business leaders? - 8th November 2017

What do Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, and Arianna Huffington have in common? All of these smart, savvy, successful business leaders share a passion for self-improvement through reading.

If you want to improve your skills as a business owner, why not spend a bit of time each day reading books that guide you to greater success?

This reading list of 4 inspiring business books will help you get started:

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Tax and Christmas Party Planning - 1st November 2017

Christmas will be here before we know it, with smarter business owners already planning their end-of-year festivities. Celebrating the season can be team-building or just a bit of fun, but the well-prepared business owner will also know that a little tax planning can help make sure there's no unforeseen tax problems.

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Is It Better to Buy or Lease a Company Vehicle? - 30th October 2017

If you need a car to operate your business, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to purchase or lease.


Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of buying versus leasing a vehicle for your business:

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Immediate Deductions for Start-Up Costs - 11th October 2017

Historically, taxpayers may have been able to claim a deduction for the costs associated with setting up a business or raising finance. Here we share the immediate deductions for your business start-up costs.

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The ATO's Occupation Specific Tax Deduction Guides - 4th October 2017

To save time finding out what you can or can't include as deductions on your tax return (so you can keep records for us over the income year), the ATO has developed a suite of occupation specific guides. The guides have been designed to help taxpayers understand what they can think about including, or what is completely off the table, as work-related expenses.

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Why Sign a Non-DIsclosure Agreement? - 3rd October 2017

Your trade secrets are invaluable - after all, your "secret sauce" is your competitive advantage, the thing that makes your business unique and special. 

For small business owners, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are a good idea when you hire a new employee, bring in a business partner or consultant, or sign on with a new supplier or vendor. 

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Moving to Cloud Accounting is Smart for Business - 19th September 2017

Soon, you'll be forced to. 

You would have seen our blog in May this year advising that Single Touch Payroll (STP) is coming from 1 July, 2018.

STP is a government initiative to further streamline business reporting obligations between businesses and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Employers will be able to report salary or wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to the ATO from their payroll software at the same time they pay their employees. 

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Share Trader or Investor, Trading Stock and Capital Asset - 11th September 2017

Investment products may be held as trading stock by a taxpayer carrying on a business of share trading or options trading. However, whether a particular parcel should be treated as trading stock must be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

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Do You Need to Lodge Your Tax Return Early? - 6th September 2017

If you are planning to permanently move out of the country before the end of this financial year, you may be able to have your tax return lodged early. 

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Look Before you Leap: The Small Business CGT Concessions - 4th September 2017

The CGT relief concessions that are available to small businesses can be very generous. However they can also be complex and confusing, so knowing a few of the finer details can go a long way to ensuring your small business can take best advantage of them. 

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How to Network Successfully with Local Business Owners - 21st August 2017

In the age of social media, small business owners may think networking isn't as valuable as it used to be. On the contrary, it's just as important for people to get to know your face out and about in the community as it ever was. 

And fellow business owners are much more likely to refer you once you've met in person, even if you're known for running a successful business online.

Here's how to start networking more effectively with business owners in your neighbourhood.

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Save Time in Your Small Business with Appointment Booking Apps - 16th August 2017

Ready to improve productivity while saving yourself the headache of booking your calendar the old fashioned away?


A scheduling app is a sure fire way to vastly improve day-to-day operations, streamlining your work day, saving time and reducing costs.


Put an end to time-wasting telephone tag and those endless back and forth emails with any of these 4 popular scheduling apps.

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How to Set Your Small Business Payment Terms - 15th August 2017

Healthy cash flow is important for any business, but particularly for small business owners in those first few "make it or break it" years. 


Business owners who set clear payment terms with their customers, invoice quickly, and follow up on late payment can avoid the dreaded cash flow crunch that can quickly put them out of business.

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Travel Allowances and Proper Use of the Exception to Substantiate Claims - 1st August 2017

A travel allowance is a payment made to employees to cover accommodation, food, drink or incidental expenses they incur when they travel away from their home overnight in the course of their duties.

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Child Death Benefit Recipients and the Transfer Cap - 1st August 2017

The death of a parent is hard on all those involved, however once the grieving  has eased, a time comes to address financial matters.  One of these issues can be what happens to any superannuation they have left.  

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Advantages of Digital Signing for your Small Business - 24th July 2017

Electronic signature software offers small business a number of time and cost-saving benefits. If you've considered going paperless but haven't yet made the plunge, here are 6 excellent reasons to start using digital signatures today.

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FREE ATO workshops for Small Business - 17th July 2017

Did you know the ATO offers FREE workshops for small business?

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Accelerated Depreciation for Small Business - 4th July 2017

In the 2015-16 federal budget, the government increased the small business immediate deductibility threshold from $1,000 to $20,000, which was originally due to end at June 30, 2017. But a law amendment bill has recently been passed by Parliament that extends that measure by 12 months until June 30, 2018, after which the deductibility threshold will revert to $1,000.

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Be Prepared: What You Need to Bring to Your Tax Return Appointment - 4th July 2017

If you're coming in soon to discuss your tax return for yourself or your business, be prepared.

Here is a brief general checklist of things to prepare for your tax return appointment. Not all of the following will be relevant for everyone, but will depend on your own circumstances. The checklist will help you tick off what you do or don't have in preparation for your next visit.


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How to Kick Some Business Goals this New Financial Year - 29th June 2017

The start of a new financial year is the perfect time to dust off last year's business plan and set some new goals for the future.

These tips can help you get started brainstorming how your company can plan for greater success in the years ahead.

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Unexpected Extra Tax to be Levied on Trusts - 13th June 2017

When the then NSW Treasurer, Gladys Berejiklian, delivered her Budget speech on 21 June 2016, she introduced a new foreign investor surcharge on both stamp duty and land tax on residential real estate. The intention was to take the heat off the property market and to raise $1bn. 

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End of Year Tax Planning Tips for Business - 7th June 2017

The general rule is that you can claim deductions for expenses your business incurs in its task of generating assessable income. Many of these deductions are obvious - rent, materials, supplies and so on - but there are also some less obvious options left available just before the end of the income year, should your circumstances suit, to further reduce your enterprise's tax burden for the year.

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What is a Tax Loss and How Can it be Turned to Good Use? - 7th June 2017

You generally make a tax loss when the total deductions that can be claimed for a financial year exceed the total of assessable and net exempt income for the year. 

If you operate a business that makes a loss you can generally carry forward that loss and claim a deduction for it in a future year. If you're a sole trader or in a partnership, you may be able to claim business losses by offsetting them against your other personal income (such as investment income) in the same income year.


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Commutation Requests and ATO reviews: What You Need to Know Before June 30 - 5th June 2017

In a recently released practical compliance guideline, the ATO sets out its administration approach in relation to super fund commutation requests. It is an essential piece of information for SMSF trustees because it explains which commutation requests will not be subject to an ATO review.


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Penalty Unit Increase: 30 More reasons to Make Sure Your Tax Outcome is Right - 5th June 2017

A piece of legislation that recently made its way through Parliament means that come July 1, misdemeanors committed by errant taxpayers will become a lot more costly.

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Finding Money Within Your Business - 30th May 2017

Many small businesses experience cash flow problems from time to time and urgently need working capital. Approaching a bank and considering a loan may be an attractive option when money is tight. Fortunately there are other resources you can tap before you ask for that expensive overdraft or overdraft extension. The money you need might already be right there in front of you - locked up in inventory, assets or your debtors' book. 

You can often free up funds from within your business by re-examining your business systems and these funds might in themselves be sufficient for your immediate needs. 

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Single Touch Payroll is Coming - 9th May 2017

Single Touch Payroll is a government initiative to further streamline business reporting obligations between businesses and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

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Improving Cash Flow: How to Get Paid Faster - 11th April 2017

Maintaining positive cash flow can be challenging for small businesses, whether you're just starting out or have been running your company for years. 

These tips will help you get paid faster, so you can avoid a dangerous cash flow crunch.

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The Importance of Documenting Processes and Systems in your Business - 27th March 2017

Many entrepreneurs operate with their business processes and systems in their heads. They know what they need to do each day and the way they want to get things done.

Unfortunately when a business grows and staff need to be hired - or the owner needs to take time away from the business - it's a real liability not having processes and systems documented in one place.

Here we share the top five reasons to record your company processes and systems, so your business can run more efficiently and effectively even when you're not there.

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How to Create Good Habits in Business - 21st March 2017

One thing many small business owners share is the feeling that there are never enough hours in the day to complete every task on the to do list. 

The challenge is prioritising what you need to do right now - deal with a customer, meet a deadline, attend an event - and the things you know you should do for the ongoing growth of your business.


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Active vs passive assets and the small business CGT concession - 1st March 2017

The small business capital gains tax concessions are extremely valuable, and for small business owners who need to dispose of assets that have risen in value during the time they have owned them, accessing these concessions can mean greatly reducing any consequent tax liability, even to zero.

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The Missing Click that Counts - 16th February 2017

Sometimes saving money is just a simple click away.

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Getting the Work-Life Balance Right - 17th January 2017

As a small business owner it's hard to juggle your work and outside responsibilities. It's important to run your business effectively and still have a life outside the office.


You need a good balance between work and play for your health and well-being. Small business owners often fall into the trap of working too hard, ending up exhausted from the constant work demands associated with self-employment.

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Update Your Business Plan for a New Year - 14th December 2016

As we come into 2017, it's a good time to reflect on your recent business successes - and consider what you'd like to achieve in the coming six to twelve months.


These tips can help you with the process of making plans to help guide your business to greater success.

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Tips for Managing Debtors When You're Self-Employed - 22nd November 2016

You've poured passion, time, and money into fulfilling a contract, have agreed on payment terms and invoiced your customer - and then nothing. Days turn into weeks, and you still haven't received payment.

Wondering how to tip the balance of power in your favor? Try these strategies to get paid quickly and avoid non-payment.


 


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6 Essential Accounting Terms for Small Businesses - 18th November 2016

Want to increase your accounting knowledge so you can have more informed, insightful discussions with your accountant this quarter?


Start right now, with this list of 6 essential accounting terms for small business owners
.

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Sometimes There is No Tax on Certain Types of Income - 7th November 2016

It is possible to receive amounts that you do not need to tell the taxman about, and don't have to include as income on your tax return. The ATO classifies these into two different categories (or three, if you count "other" as a category).


If you are not sure whether a payment you receive is exempt income, non-assessable non-exempt income or is another type of amount that is not taxable, you can always check with this office.

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3 Advantages of Digital Signing for Businesses - 31st October 2016

Digital signing, versus the traditional "wet" signature, has become increasingly popular in recent years.  More and more countries across the globe have endorsed the legal validity of digital signing, enabling businesses to digitize entire workflows and further optimise management processes.


Whether you're preparing an employee work agreement, finalising a new client contract, or submitting an invoice, digital signing can prove beneficial in a number of ways.


Here are just three reasons businesses, organisations, and even governments choose digital signing over paper.

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Main Causes of Stress for Business Owners & How to Counter Them - 26th September 2016

Research compiled by Office Vibe reveals that over 70% of professionals regularly experience the physical and mental symptoms of stress. And stress-related illness costs businesses a whopping $200 billion a year in missed work and medical bills.

Wondering how you can stop stress from derailing your productivity, profits, and overall wellbeing? Follow these practical tips for avoiding the main causes of "business burn-out".

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From Apple to Avon: Six Inspiring Marketing Successes - 20th September 2016

From Mac computers to make-up, here are six examples of super-strong brands that cornered their markets using different marketing strategies.

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Is an SMSF Right for You? - 19th September 2016

Do-it-yourself superannuation, in one form or another, has been around for about 30 years. But it has only been over the last few years that SMSFs have made an indelible mark on Australia's retirement savings landscape.

By asset value, SMSFs have now surpassed retail and industry super funds.

But is an SMSF right for you?


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Correcting GST Errors and Making Adjustments on Your Business Activity Statements - 5th September 2016

If you identify a goods and services tax (GST) error for a previous period or on an already lodged business activity statement (BAS), there is always scope to make a correction.

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Four Steps to Better Time Management - 29th August 2016

Time management skills are increasingly important in a world where people seem to rush headlong from one thing to another. Add in the effect of social media and addictive computer games that can be accessed from anywhere at any time and it's no wonder that some people struggle to fit everything into their days.

So what can be done about it?

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5 Savvy Things to do With Your Tax Refund - 17th August 2016

For many people, their tax refund is treated like a mini lottery win. This tax time, consider putting your "gift" from the ATO to good use.


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Baby Boomers and Millennials in Business - 9th August 2016

These days, it's inevitable that a diverse group of older and younger workers cross paths in business.

Here are a few ways to help these two groups work together, so your business benefits from their unique and complementary skills.

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How to Get Your Business Noticed on a Shoestring Budget - 8th August 2016

Very few small businesses have a huge marketing budget to work with. Fortunately, there are a number of simple, free and low cost ways to get the word out about your company that are also highly effective.

These tips will show you five simple ways to promote your local business without breaking the bank.

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Key Tips to Keep Your Business Finances in Order - 8th June 2016

If you're like most small business owners, you spend the majority of your time managing daily operations, keeping customers happy, and looking for new ways to grow. Spreadsheets, cash flow analysis, and financial projections are probably not your first passion.

However, measuring profitability, creating realistic budgets, and planning ahead for the future are crucial to your professional success.

Follow these four tips to get a handle on the numbers, and take control of your business finances.

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Get Up to $250 As A Rebate Against Your Electricity Bill - 1st June 2016

The Family Energy Rebate helps NSW family households with dependent children to cover the costs of their energy bills.

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Three Ways Your Accountant Can Save You Money - 30th May 2016

Many small business owners think they're saving money by handling their financials themselves. While it's a real asset to learn bookkeeping basics, cash flow management and your tax obligations, hiring an accountant to oversee your finances has many benefits. Leaving your books to a pro will free up time so you can focus on serving your clients and implementing plans for growth.

Here are a few ways an accounting professional can help you save money that you can reinvest back in your business.

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5 Apps for Tracking Small Business Expenses - 25th May 2016

Did you know that 50% of small business expenses are generated on the go? It's no wonder the majority of expense receipts end up shoved in coat pockets or an old shoebox.

Why not take the uncertainty and disorganisation out of expense tracking by going mobile?

These five apps can be used anywhere, anytime, to ensure no penny goes unlogged or unclaimed.

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Bookkeeping Basics for Small Business Owners - 23rd May 2016

Feeling overwhelmed by mountains of paperwork and complex calculations? Here are three bookkeeping basics to help ensure a healthy financial future for your small business.

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Tax Tips for New Business Owners - 10th May 2016

Want to avoid paying more than you should come tax time? Set yourself up for success by following these four pillars of painless tax prep.

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Growth Hacks for your Small Business - 10th May 2016

Deciding on an online marketing plan can be overwhelming for small business owners looking for affordable ways to nurture steady, sustainable growth. With time in short supply, the key is to find one or two growth strategies that will get results at minimal cost.

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@avca.net.au - 13th April 2016

Notice anything different?

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The Benefits to Business When They Embrace the "F" Word - 12th April 2016

Research conducted by Galaxy for business solutions provider Citrix reports the Australian economy is missing out on productivity gains worth billions of dollars each year.

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Welcome to the AV Chartered Accountants Portal - 7th April 2016

AVCA secure client portal is here!

Connect with us in a secure online space so that we can collaborate on important documents and accounting tasks with you simply, easily and securely.

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Avoid These 5 Costly Accounting Mistakes - 6th April 2016

Most business owners understand that effective financial management is key to their success. But lack of knowledge, frustration, and even avoidance can add up to accounting mistakes that derail future growth. Protect your business and reduce your stress by avoiding these five costly accounting errors.

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Job Subsidies Currently Available for Businesses - 29th March 2016

There are a number of job subsidies and grants currently available to employers who hire eligible job seekers including mature age, long-term unemployed, Indigenous, youth or parents.

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Tax Season Tips for Small Business Owners - 24th March 2016

Preparing for tax season is really a year-round endeavor. Tip number one for SMB owners is to update financials on a monthly basis, using a streamlined software or cloud-based system.

Here are four more ways to take the stress out of tax time, and get the most out of your return.

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Claiming Business Website Development Costs - 16th March 2016

Most businesses have an online presence - whether to advertise their business or allow customers to purchase goods or services.  Here we share how you can go about claiming a deduction for your website development costs.


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Insights from your Profit and Loss account - 15th March 2016

Gain insight into how well your business is performing by understanding your profit and loss account.

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Does your business need an ABN? - 3rd March 2016

It's not mandatory for a business to have an Australian business number (ABN), but there are a few good reasons why you should.

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Food for (tax) thought, and the GST debate - 25th February 2016

There may be several positives to come out of the government's push for tax reform, with the various submissions to its Re:think initiative from industry and the wider taxpaying community.

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Tax and cyber security: Are you prepared? - 10th February 2016

Since July 2015, scams targeting both individual and business taxpayers have been running rife.  Here's how you an protect your business.

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Employ New Workers and Receive a Payroll Tax Rebate - 10th February 2016

The Jobs Action Plan is designed to give businesses an incentive to employ new workers and expand their enterprises in both metropolitan and regional areas in NSW.





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SuperStream - Free Employer Webinars from the Tax Office - 2nd February 2016

Employers with 19 or fewer members of staff have still got until June 30, 2016 before they need to comply with the new SuperStream standard for superannuation payments.

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Have You Thought About the Small Business Pool Write-off? - 20th January 2016

The temporary $20,000 immediate write-off for "small business entities" attracts regular queries, even though it has been many months since the initiative was first announced with the Federal Budget early last year.

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Do You Have What it Takes to Run Your Own Business? - 4th January 2016

Getting your business up and running and making a profit is usually much more difficult than it sounds. 

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How to avoid three common profit mistakes this festive season - 8th December 2015

If you are a small business owner experiencing your first Christmas season, it can be a very busy and profitable period.

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2000 Reasons to Consider Hiring a New Employee - 16th November 2015

The Small Business Grant of $2,000 per new employee is a key priority of the New South Wales Government. The grant is designed to encourage the nearly 650,000 small businesses in New South Wales that do not pay payroll tax to hire new employees and expand their business.
 

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Unbundling phone and internet expense claims for work purposes - 5th November 2015

Individuals can claim deductions for mobile, home phone and internet expenses that have been incurred for work purposes.

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Special Disability Trusts - 21st October 2015

Do you have a child with special needs?

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Find Your Small Lost Superannuation Accounts - 14th October 2015

A Bill has been introduced into Parliament which contains legislative amendments to increase the account balance threshold below which small lost member accounts will be required to be transferred to the Commissioner of Taxation, i.e. from $2,000 to $4,000 from 31 December 2015, and from $4,000 to $6,000 from 31 December 2016.

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Is Your Business Ready for SuperStream & Standard Business Reporting? - 10th September 2015

We invite you to another informative breakfast hosted by AVCA on some massive changes the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have coming for businesses in the very near future.

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10 Quick Growth Tips for Your Small Business - 19th May 2015

Small businesses can grow in boom times as well as periods of difficulty by working smarter and taking advantage of opportunities. Put these following effective tips into practise to help grow your business.

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10 Proven Ways to Get More Twitter Followers - 28th April 2015

Social media is a more potent force than ever before and one of the sites at the forefront of the social media revolution is Twitter.  With millions of active users, Twitter is an extremely powerful marketing tool. The secret to Twitter success, of course, is growing and then holding a large follower base which can then retweet your own tweets, bringing you even more exposure.

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10 Money Saving Tips for Freelancers - 17th February 2015

While working at home as a freelancer sounds like the ultimate dream for anyone who tires of the rat race, freelancers still have more than their fair share of financial matters to worry about. In fact, perhaps the most important trait that any freelancer should have is the ability to be fully responsible and accountable to themselves, and saving money is something that you will be wholly responsible for.

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Changes to Australia's Credit Reporting System - 18th December 2014

Changes made to the Privacy Act earlier this year brought one of the most significant changes to Australia's credit reporting system in over 25 years.

The introduction of comprehensive credit reporting has changed the level of information held on an individual's credit report to include positive credit information where once upon a time the credit report only reflected negative information.

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Workable New Year resolutions - 8th December 2014

New Year resolutions - we've all made them, and broken them - often before the end of January. There's something about New Year celebrations that makes us yearn for a fresh start, but is there a way to make that desire for change more permanent?

Here's a twist that can make your resolutions more durable, more beneficial and less prone to that embarrassing quick fade.

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Enjoying a stress-free holiday this Christmas - 4th December 2014

As a business owner it's important to take time away from work.

But worrying about whether staff are meeting deadlines and suppliers are happy translates to more stress and less time enjoying your holiday.

With a little staff communication and planning beforehand, you need not worry that your business won't be able to cope in your absence.

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Changes to the Delivery of Business Activity Statements (BAS's) and Instalment Activity Statements (IAS's): Get an AUSKEY! - 1st October 2014

Up to June 2014, every month the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) sent millions of paper BAS's and IAS's to businesses all over Australia. In an effort to save printing costs and to encourage more businesses to engage with the ATO electronically, the ATO changed their practices.

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The perfect payroll - The importance of getting it right - 4th July 2014

In the past few days some clients of ours have passed on letters received from their mutual Employer. Apparently their Employer underwent a payroll audit, although the letter does not clarify if the payroll audit was internal or an external audit from the Australian Taxation Office or the Office of State Revenue. 

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Self Managed Super Fund Trustees on Notice: New ATO Powers from 1 July 2014 - 1st July 2014

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will have new wide ranging powers from 01 July 2014 to deal with Trustees of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF's) who breach the rules governing super funds. Previously the ATO only ever had powers to ignore the breach or to heavily penalise the Trustees by taxing almost half of their Super Fund. It was an all or nothing approach with nothing in between.

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9 Reasons To Switch To Cloud Computing - 20th May 2014

Don't be left up in the air by traditional IT solutions. Check out the top 9 advantages for small businesses switching to cloud computing.

Cloud computing is fast becoming the norm because storing information and using software hosted on the Internet has many advantages.


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The natives are revolting - 14th May 2014

Whilst watching the highlights of Smokin' Joe's first budget I couldn't help but think about the French Revolution. I'm not sure how much Tony Abbot and Joe Hockey know about history and a little known event around 1789 where it didn't end well for the "government" of the day when the poor decided to revolt against their lot in life while the rich enjoyed the spoils.

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SuperStream - Are you ready? - 5th May 2014

SuperStream is a Government initiative to ensure that all contributions paid by larger employers are paid electronically via SuperStream from 01 July 2014.

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Tax Planning - 30th April 2014

There are many ways in which entities can defer income, maximise deductions and take advantage of other tax planning initiatives to manage their taxable incomes. Taxpayers should be aware that in order to maximise these opportunities, they need to start the year-end tax planning process early. Of course, those undertaking tax planning should be cognisant of the potential application of Pt IVA and any other anti-avoidance provisions. However, if done correctly, tax planning can provide a number of tax savings for entities.

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Property rental deductions claims mostly refused - 25th March 2014

An individual has been mostly unsuccessful before the AAT in challenging the Tax Commissioner's decision to refuse a variety of deductions relating to rental properties. The individual, who worked full-time as an industrial chemist, owned rental properties with her husband and had done so for many years. In the 2003, 2004 and 2005 income years, they owned nine rental properties.

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Business sale earnout - 26th February 2014

The Coalition government has decided that it will proceed with a long-standing proposal to improve the current tax treatment of earnout arrangements.

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Legal expense deductions to fight ASIC charges refused - 23rd December 2013

A stockbroker has been unsuccessful before the AAT in arguing that legal expenses he had incurred in the 2011 income year were deductible.

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Tax debt release based on serious hardship refused - 9th December 2013

The AAT has affirmed the Commissioners decision to refuse to release an individual from his tax liability based on serious hardship grounds. Under the Taxation Administration Act, the Commissioner has a discretion to release an individual from paying a tax liability (in whole or in part) if satisfying the liability would cause that person serious hardship.

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GST refund request made too late - 2nd December 2013

An individual taxpayer has been unsuccessful before the AAT in seeking a review of the Commissioners decision to refuse a GST refund in relation to the June 2004 quarter. The Commissioner had refused the refund on the basis that the taxpayers application was made after the four-year cut-off date for the June 2004 quarter (that is, 28 July 2008).

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Residency requirement for CGT home exemption failed - 25th November 2013

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has denied an individual's claim that an exemption from capital gains tax (CGT) should apply to a property that he and his ex-de facto partner had sold. The individual had purchased land in 2002 with his then partner, and construction of a house on the land commenced in April 2004. However, the couple ended their relationship in September 2004.

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Parent liable to CGT on half-share of townhouse - 18th November 2013

An individual has been unsuccessful before the AAT in arguing that he should not have to pay CGT on the sale of a townhouse he owned jointly with his son because, he argued, he was only holding his interest in the property to protect his inexperienced son from selling it on a whim.

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Penalty for unsubstantiated work-related deduction claims - 11th November 2013

The AAT has recently affirmed a decision of the Tax Commissioner to impose a penalty on an individual equal to 50 per cent of the tax shortfall amount arising from deduction claims for work-related expenses that were unsubstantiated.

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Plumbers were full-time casuals, not contractors - 4th November 2013

The AAT has found that individuals working for a plumbing business were employees of the business and that the business was required to provide superannuation contributions for them. The business argued that the workers were independent contractors and that there was no superannuation requirement.

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Beware of artificial trust arrangements to avoid tax - 28th October 2013

The ATO has issued an alert to warn taxpayers that it is aware of arrangements where a discretionary trust is used to effectively funnel large capital gains to a newly incorporated company that is then wound up to avoid paying taxes.

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Tax man refusal of tax debt compromises deal - 21st October 2013

An individual has been unsuccessful before the Federal Circuit Court in seeking a review of the Tax Commissioner's decision to refuse a tax compromise deal. The individual had taken over his father's jewellery business, but said he was not aware of the financial mismanagement of the business until unpaid creditors began calling. The taxpayer argued that the Commissioner had not taken into account the ill-health of his father and the effect the global financial crisis had on the business.

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Extra 15% super contributions tax for high income earners - 14th October 2013

The superannuation law has recently been amended so that the effective contributions tax for certain concessional contributions (up to the concessional cap) has been doubled from 15% to 30% for "very high income earners", ie those with income (plus relevant concessional contributions) above a $300,000 threshold.

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GST and adjustment notes - 7th October 2013

The ATO has issued a GST ruling that sets out the requirements for adjustment notes under the GST law. An adjustment note reflects the adjustment to the amount of GST charged on a taxable supply as a result of an adjustment event. An adjustment event will result in the original tax invoice issued by the supplier being incorrect. A supplier is required to issue an adjustment note for a taxable supply unless the supply was issued under a recipient created tax invoice. In that case, the recipient of the supply must issue the adjustment note.

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ATO compliance target areas - 30th September 2013

The ATO has released its compliance program for 2013-2014, setting out key activities and focus areas for the coming year. Some key points include the following:

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Deductions for accommodation and food refused - 16th September 2013

An individual employed by a mining company at Port Hedland on a “fly-in fly-out” basis has been unsuccessful before the Federal Court in appealing an earlier decision that refused his deduction claim of $36,000 for accommodation and food against an allowance.

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CGT small business concessions denied - 9th September 2013

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has held that the exclusion in the tax law from the capital gains tax (CGT) small business concessions for assets used “mainly to derive rent” applies even if the assets are used in “carrying on a business” of deriving rent.

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Individual denied interest deduction - 26th August 2013

Ina recent decision, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) hasaffirmed a decision of the Tax Commissioner to deny a taxpayer claim for a personal deduction for interest and bank fees of over$120,000. These were incurred over a two-year period in relation torental properties purchased by a family discretionary trust that hadbeen set up for that purpose, and of which the taxpayer was thetrustee.

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Reasonable travel and meal allowance amounts - 12th August 2013

The ATO has announced the amounts that the Commissioner considers are reasonable for the 2013-2014 income year in relation to claims made for

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Higher contributions cap of $35,000 - 5th August 2013

On1 July 2013, the concessional contributions cap increased from$25,000 to $35,000 for individuals aged 60 years and over. The samethreshold will apply from 1 July 2014 for individuals aged 50 yearsand over.

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Extra 15% contributions tax for $300,000+ incomes - 29th July 2013

From 1 July 2012, individuals earning above $300,000 must pay an additional 15% tax on concessional contributions. That is, the effective contributions tax has doubled from 15% to 30% for concessional contributions (up to the cap of $25,000 or, for older taxpayers from 2013-2014, $35,000) made on behalf of individuals above the $300,000 income threshold.

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Individual denied interest deduction - 22nd July 2013

In a recent decision, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has affirmed a decision of the Tax Commissioner to deny a taxpayer’s claim for a personal deduction for interest and bank fees of over $120,000. These were incurred over a two-year period in relation to rental properties purchased by a family discretionary trust that had been set up for that purpose, and of which the taxpayer was the trustee.

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Overseas doctor a tax resident of Australia - 15th July 2013

Adoctor has been unsuccessful before the AAT in arguing that he shouldbe declared a non-resident of Australia for tax purposes. The doctorhad been working in East Timor since 2006 and submitted that heresided in East Timor as that was where he spent his time andlived.

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Partnership denied GST credits - 8th July 2013

The AAT has held that a partnership was not carrying on an enterprise and was not entitled to input tax credits claimed in respect of the relevant period.

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