Latest News

Keeping you up to date

Before you run out and have a spending spree....

One of the announcements in the Federal Budget was the deductibility of assets of less than $20,000.  But please be warned that this has not been legislated as yet – so you might want to wait before getting your credit card out and going on a shopping extravaganza for your business.

If this legislation is passed it will be retrospective from 7:30pm on the 12 May 2015, so some retailers may be encouraging you to spend up big now. As with any proposed law changes it can be prudent to wait until it has actually been passed before acting on it.

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SMSF Contraventions - the ATO's new approach

The ATO has recently confirmed they are taking a new approach in instances where a contravention report for a SMSF is lodged by an auditor. Details can be found on the Cooper Grace Ward website.

The good news is that we don’t see many contravention reports for our clients. However, if we determine that a contravention report may be issued by the auditor for your SMSF, we will be in contact with you prior to sending your work to the auditor to discuss the issue so we can determine the best way to manage it.

We also have advice that the ATO is unlikely to have the resources to contact EVERY trustee and that they may be prioritised based on the severity of the issue and in some instances may make contact by post.

As more details of their new approach become known we will keep you updated.

Tips for small business - Tip 5

We are continuing on with CPA Australia’s tips for Small Businesses – this is the last tip in the series.

Tip 5 –Review your business plan for the changed environment

If business conditions change, it is good practice to revisit your business plan and budgets and amend them to reflect current circumstances.

We therefore recommend businesses should:

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The ATO is keeping up with technology

The ATO recently released an app to help taxpayers manage their tax on the go.  They have a range of calculators to help manage your finances, as well as the ability to add reminders for lodgement due dates to the calendar on your mobile device.

To find out more, click here

Is your business SuperStream ready?

SuperStream is a Government reform aimed at improving the efficiency of the superannuation system.  Basically, it is a means of submitting data and making contributions electronically on behalf of all of your employees in a consistent and simplified manner. 

If you employ more than 20 employees, this initiative kicked off on 1 July 2014. 

All other employers now need to comply with SuperStream from 1 July 2015.

The ATO have put together some frequently asked questions for employers.  Click here for further information.

Now would be a great time to check whether your payroll software is SuperStream compliant.  If it’s not, you may wish to look to upgrade to one that is. 

Alternatively, the ATO and many of the industry super funds are offering a superannuation clearing house facility that is SuperStream compliant.  

ATO Correspondence

The ATO has recently announced that it will be taking the next step in its initiative to reduce paper correspondence.

For clients that have registered with the ATO on MyGov, notice of assessments will be uploaded to the site rather than being posted to either our office or you.

It is important that you check the refund or payment the ATO has advised matches the estimate we provided you with.  If it doesn’t, please contact our office immediately so that we can investigate.

Single Touch Payroll

For a while now we have been hearing about the ATO’s (and other Government departments) planned move Standard Business Reporting (SBR). SBR is a quick way to prepare and lodge reports to Government directly from business accounting or payroll software.  

The latest announcement in SBR is Single Touch Payroll. Under Single Touch Payroll, employer’s accounting software will automatically report payroll information to the ATO when employees are paid.

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Tips for Small Business - Tip 4

We are continuing on with CPA Australia’s tips for Small Businesses – this is the fourth tip in the series of five. 

Tip 4 – Adopt appropriate risk management strategies

Uncertain times may expose your business to risks that threaten its viability. CPA Australia therefore recommends that businesses develop appropriate risk management strategies that help to reduce the following risks:

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New Year's Financial Resolutions

Many people use a new year to kick start change in an area of their life – it might be losing weight, getting fit, finding true love, changing careers. But have you considered your financial health?

ASIC’s Money Smart has released a set of New Year Financial Resolutions. It comes complete with apps and calculators to help you on your journey.

Interested? Click on this link to find out more.

As always, we encourage you to contact your accountant or financial planner before making any major financial decisions – we can advise you on the options available taking into account your personal situation.

Make sure salary packaging does not cost you your super

Many of us use this time of the year to consider options to reduce tax by increasing our contributions to super or salary packaging a car or laptop.  This can be a smart option as it can reduce tax, and in the case of super contributions, boost your retirement savings.

But if you are going to salary sacrifice it is important to first check with your employer what their policy is on super guarantee.

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Tips for Small Business in uncertain times

CPA Australia has released a series of tips for Small Businesses that we thought might benefit some of our clients. We will cover a new tip each month for the next 5 months. Tip 1 provides some information on reducing your external debt (apologies to any bank managers reading this!).  However, as this is general information, we strongly recommend discussing your situation with us before making any major decisions.

Tip 1 – Reduce your reliance on external debt

Results in a recent small business survey indicated that some businesses are taking on debt at the same time their businesses are stagnating or declining. In such circumstances, it may be more appropriate for businesses to be reducing their reliance on debt, not increasing it.

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Do you have a staff member leaving? Don't get caught out with FBT

The Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year ends in March each year.  At that time we send out forms to help calculate your FBT liability for the year.  But if you have a staff member who receives a fringe benefit leave part way through the year, you may need to them to complete forms before they leave.  If they don’t, you might find you have to chase them for signatures months after they have left, or where you can’t get the appropriate documentation, find you have an increased FBT liability.

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Tips for Small Business - Tip 3

We are continuing on with CPA Australia’s tips for Small Businesses – this is the third tip in the series of five.

Tip 3 – Review your cost structures for savings

Increasing business costs was a theme in some of the markets surveyed. If a business cannot bring costs under control or pass increased costs onto customers, this reduces both cashflow and profitability and can impact the future viability of your business.

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Technology and Keeping in Touch

At PWA we are constantly looking at ways to improve the services we offer our clients and minimise the footprint we leave on the environment. 

As part of this initiative you will notice that we are emailing more of our correspondence to you.  This not only saves paper and postage resources, it also means that you receive correspondence from our office more quickly and now have the ability to electronically file your documents.

If you have any feedback on this new process, your comments are appreciated.

FBT

It’s that time of year again when businesses that provide benefits to employees need to consider the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) implications.

Business clients will receive an annual questionnaire next week to help you consider your situation and whether you need to take steps now to minimise any FBT payable.

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Final Days for Project Do It!

We mentioned earlier this year that the ATO, under Project Do It, are offering concession for taxpayers who have foreign investments that have not been disclosed on their tax returns in prior years.

This is a one off opportunity to bring your outstanding affairs up to date with limited penalties. After this we expect to see the ATO take more aggressive action in this space.

The final date for Project Do It is 19 December.  So if you have any foreign investments you have not previously disclosed, now is the time to contact our office to determine whether they should have been reported.

Tips for Small Business - Tip 2

We are continuing on with CPA Australia’s tips for Small Businesses – this is the second tip in the series of 5.

Tip 2 – Improve your productivity

Survey results indicate that some businesses need to focus on getting more from existing assets and employees. For a business to be successful in good times and bad, it needs to ensure that their business is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Read more ...

Party Time!

It’s that time of year again where questions arise regarding the tax consequences of Christmas Parties.

The ATO is holding a timely webinar regarding Entertainment and FBT on 4th December.

To register, click here.

If you need information on your Christmas Party please give us a call.

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.