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Keeping you up to date

SMSF - Real Time Reporting

After much debate the decision on real time reporting for Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) has finally been announced.

The outcome is that funds that have a member who has a balance of $1M or more will now be required to report to the ATO quarterly with details of any transactions that impact any members Transfer Balance Cap.  This includes the commencement of pensions, lump sum withdrawals from pensions, rollovers as well as a number of other less common transactions.  The due date for the report will be 28 days after the end of the quarter the event took place in.  So if you commence a pension on say 15th November you must report this on the December quarterly report, due 28 January.

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Do you or someone you know have a HECS debt and live overseas?

The ATO has reminded individuals that they must repay their Higher Education Loan Program (HELP, formerly known as HECS) and Trade Support Loans (TSL) even if they live overseas and are not an Australian resident for tax purposes!

So if you live and work overseas and earn worldwide income that exceeds the minimum HELP and TSL repayment thresholds, you will be required to make repayments against your loan.

For further information, please click here.

Simpler BAS

It is meant to make reporting business income to the ATO easier, but Simpler BAS appears to be creating some confusion for taxpayers.

From July 1, the ATO changed its requirements so that businesses with a turnover of less than $10M had reduced BAS reporting requirements. You may have noticed that your software and the ATO portal have been updated so that you are only required to provide information in the following fields:

  • G1 – Total sales
  • 1A – GST on sales
  • 1B – GST on purchases

You are no longer required to provide information on export sales, GST-free sales, capital purchases and non-capital purchases.

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ATO crackdown on work related expenses

In the 2015/16 financial year, over $8 Billion of work-related car expenses were claimed by taxpayers. A “significant portion” of these claims were at the limit of requiring detailed records and this has raised a flag to the ATO. They’ve announced that they will be paying “close attention” to these claims.

When making any tax related claim, the onus of proof is always on the tax payer. If asked, you need to be able to substantiate your claims with detailed records – and that is why we always ask for supporting documentation to confirm your eligibility for a claim.

So be aware, car-related expenses are on the ATOs radar.

For further information on what you can claim, please click here, or contact your accountant.

Own land in Queensland? Do you pay land tax?

Land Tax is payable where you own land over a certain value and is determined based on assets held at midnight on 30 June each year.  The value is based on the unimproved land value (which is also used to calculate rates).  If you own more than one property the values are aggregated.  There are exceptions, including for the primary residence. So what do you need to know?

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Do you employ staff? Do you make your SG payments on time?

The ATO has advised that it will be increasing its “proactive” management of super guarantee reviews and audits in this financial year. And with the increase in real-time software usage and data matching between agencies such as banks and super funds, it is now easier for the ATO to receive better and more timely information – meaning that any late lodgements or breaches are more readily identifiable.

What does this mean for you?

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Are you a Director? Do you really want the responsibility?

Many of us are directors of the private companies we operate.  It is often a necessity of being in business.  But do you realise being a director comes with serious responsibilities?  For most of us, our businesses run day to day without a hitch.  We pay our bills when they fall due and otherwise act within the constraints of the law. 

However, sometimes things can go wrong so it’s important to make sure you understand the risk, and do everything you can to mitigate your liability.

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Are you a company Director or Secretary?

Are you a Director or Secretary of a Company? Are you aware of what your obligations are? There are some pretty heavy penalties for breaching your obligations so it’s important to ensure you are across them all. We recommend revisiting these obligations regularly so that you aren’t inadvertently breaching them.

ASIC has some great information about what these requirements are, as well as a video which explains some of the things you need to consider. Click here to read more.

When is a contractor not a contractor?

The current OSR Payroll Tax audit activity (read our payroll tax article) prompts us to once again recommend all businesses to review the arrangements they have with their contractors.  Contractors are not just an issue for Payroll Tax purposes.  They also need to be considered for Superannuation, WorkCover, PAYG Withholding  AND FairWork purposes!

Unfortunately, the definitions used for each of these calculations can be vastly different. And given that each of these issues are enforced by a different regulatory body means you need to be across them all.  We recommend that it is best practice to review your contractor arrangements at least annually.

If you need assistance reviewing your arrangements, contact us and we can help guide you through the minefield!

Are you eligible for the $20K instant asset write-off?

Are you a small business with a turnover of less than $10 million? Did you know that the Government provided an extension of the 2015-16 budget measure so that you can write off eligible assets costing less than $20,000 up until 30 June 2018?  Click here for further information.

However, we’d only recommend using this for purchases you genuinely need. There’s no point spending money just so you can access this deduction. So, if you’re considering using this initiative, please contact our office PRIOR to making the purchase and we can help you ascertain if it’s in the best interest of your business.

Payroll Tax - are you calculating yours correctly?

The OSR is currently auditing businesses to check they are correctly reporting their Payroll Tax.  Think you are correctly reporting? It might be a good idea to double check, because many are being caught out unexpectedly.

The target of their audits are primarily contractors.  And, as with most state government taxes, their definitions are exceptionally wide, and in many instances, seem uncommercial and unfair.  But unfortunately, that is not an excuse for not reporting!

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They'll pay you back, right?

Picture this - a loved one needs some financial assistance and you’re in the position to help so you offer to loan them some money. They solemnly promise to repay you and you believe them. They’re family so you don’t think there’s any need to get legal documents drawn up – and besides, you trust that they will do the right thing. But what happens if they don’t?

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Do you have an SMSF and are currently taking a pension?

As you are all no doubt aware, significant changes to superannuation occurred recently. We touched base with all of our Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) clients prior to the end of the financial year with details of what they were required to do at that time (if anything). So what’s the next step?

We now need to consider how our SMSF clients manage their pensions in the future. Trustees of SMSF’s will shortly receive a letter from us providing information on what the new rules are. We ask that you take the time to read through these thoroughly as your decisions may have a significant impact on the tax payable by your SMSF future years.

If you have any concerns about how this might affect your super fund, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Reduction in Small Business Company tax rate

Great news! The government has finally legislated the change in company tax rates - and it applies from 1 July 2016!

This means that small businesses - defined for the 2017 year as businesses with a turnover of less than $10M - will now have a company tax rate of 27.5%.

For all other companies, including those that are not in business, the tax rate will remain at 30%.

For further information, please click here.

If you have questions regarding how this might affect you, please contact our office.

Xero multiple file discount

Do you have more than one Xero business edition file hosted through us? If so, we’ve got great news! We’re very pleased to announce that anyone with multiple files will now be eligible for 15% off each file. This discount will be applied to your next invoice which will be sent in the coming days. Happy days!

ASIC scam emails

Scam emails are commonplace nowadays. You can usually spot them a mile off by their less than professional look and bad spelling. But these scammers are getting more and more savvy. In our office, we have state of the art spam protection and filters and yet we still have some spam that slips through.

We’ve had 2 such instances recently which highlight the importance of being vigilant and not clicking on any emails that you aren’t 100% sure about.

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SMSF processing....

 A well-known financial commentator recently suggested that the Trustees of a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) might be better off using a SMSF only ‘administrator’ rather than their accountant to administer their fund. Their argument was that it was cheaper and just as efficient. But is that necessarily the case? And is that the only important thing to consider when selecting an administrator?

We’ve put together what we consider to be a list of the main differences that we as accountants can provide when compared to a SMSF ‘administration’ only service:

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General Advice

The information provided by Bentleys (Sunshine Coast) Pty Ltd does not constitute financial product advice and is for general information only. It is written without taking into account any individuals personal objectives, situation or needs, and is not intended as professional advice. Any person acting upon such information without receiving specific advice, does so entirely at their own risk. Please contact your Accountant to discuss your personal situation before relying on this information.