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Keeping you up to date

Do you employ working holiday makers?

Taxing working holiday makers has almost received as much press as the new super rules over the last couple of months.

The government finally made a decision on this so if you hire, or a looking to hire, working holiday makers make sure you check out the ATO's Information first so you withhold the correct amount of tax.  These rules take effect on 1 January 2017.

Four of the most common financial mistakes small businesses make (and how to avoid them)

Many small business owners are entrepreneurs who went into business seeking freedom, a better lifestyle, more money or simply because they wanted to run their own show. Unfortunately, financial acumen is a skill not all people possess. As such, it is only to be expected that business owners make financial mistakes which can jeopardize their dreams. Here are four of the most common mistakes and how business owners can avoid them.

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You've asked, they've listened! Simpler BAS!

Great news for small businesses! From 1 July 2017, small businesses will have reduced reporting requirements for their Business Activity Statements (BAS). You will only need to report GST on sales, GST on purchases and total sales. No more having to include GST free sales, Capital and non-capital purchase or export sales.

The ATO believe that this will result in ‘significant time and cost savings’. They are currently working with software developers to include these changes in future software updates.

For further information please click here.

SuperStream deadline approaching

Despite the initial deadline of 30 June 2016, the ATO have provided small businesses with compliance flexibility until 28 October 2016 to get acquainted with SuperStream.

This means that as of 28 October 2016, all super contributions paid to your employees must be processed electronically via electronic funds transfer or BPAY, with the associated data also being submitted electronically.

What is SuperStream?

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It's that time of year....work Christmas parties, gifts, entertainment...

Christmas parties can be great fun, as long as you don’t let Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) ruin the party. If not managed correctly, FBT can lead to unnecessary tax bills. 

If you are not sure which of the benefits you provide to your employees are subject to FBT then check out the ATO’s guide to make it easier to work out whether you have an issue to consider. Click here for further information.

As always, if you have any questions regarding how this might apply to your business, please feel free to give us a call.

Do you have a Health Care card and are planning to travel overseas for more than 6 weeks?

Before jetting off, you may want to check if your absence from Australia will affect your ability to meet eligibility criteria for your Health Care card.

There are rules surrounding how long your Health Care card will remain current when you travel outside of Australia. Some factors that may interfere with your eligibility include the amount of time that you choose to travel for, and payments that you may receive during your absence.

If you plan on travelling overseas for more than 6 weeks, we recommend reading further on how your Health Care card may be impacted before zipping off to enjoy the world.

New superannuation rules - what do they mean for you?

There has been plenty of media attention given to the new super rules that were legislated last month. Interestingly, most of the rules will only affect around 4% of the population, so the vast majority of us will not see any changes.

For those people (un)lucky enough to be in the 4% impacted by these new rules, the good news is that we have until the end of the financial year to consider the impact it will have for you and the options available to best manage the changes.  This is because the commencement date for the majority of the changes is 1 July 2017.

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Super Changes

Last week the government announced changes to their superannuation proposal announced in the May Budget.  It’s important to remember that these are not yet legislated so we will have to wait and see what happens next….but if you are thinking about making contributions it would be worthwhile taking these into consideration.

So, what are the ‘new’ rules?

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The Voice of Australian Business 2016

Earlier this year we invited our clients to participate in a national survey of businesses which covered such topics as business confidence, political and economic impacts, retirement planning, technology and foreign investment. We are very pleased to be able to present the findings of this survey to you. Please click here to find out more.

Tax rates are changing

In the May Budget, the government announced that changes to individual tax rates would apply in the 2017 financial year. Subsequently, a number of tax tables have been updated by the ATO.

How does this impact your business?

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Thinking of selling your business in the future? It's never too early to start planning!

One of the questions we often ask our clients is ‘when do you plan to sell your business?’

We get all sorts of responses, ranging from ‘I’ve no intention of selling it’ to ‘We think the kids will take it over, but we’re not sure’ to ‘I’d sell it tomorrow if I could!’ Whatever the response, the sooner you plan out the succession or sale of your business, the more time you will have to get things right and, in the case of sale, to maximise the sale price.

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Foreign Tax Matters

Did you know that as an Australian tax resident you are required to report your ‘world wide income’ on your Australian tax return?  If you have already paid tax on this income you will generally be allowed a credit to avoid double taxation, but it is important to ensure it is included as it can affect entitlement such as Centrelink or the tax you pay on other income you earn.

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The new superannuation rules are finally here!

You may have read last week that some of the superannuation rules which were proposed in the 2016 Federal Budget have now been passed by both Houses of Parliament and are waiting for Royal Assent.

We think that this is good news as we now have some certainty around superannuation - and we have seven months before most of the changes take effect.  This means there is time to plan before the commencement of the new rules to ensure that you are set up to take advantage where possible. Conversely, it creates an opportunity to potentially limit the effects where the changes may have a less favourable outcome on your position.

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New staff member joining your team?

It’s important to make sure you have considered all of your obligations.  And since rules change all of the time it can make life easier to have a checklist to use each and every time you bring a new team member on board.

www.business.gov.au has a great checklist available to help you make sure you have considered all of the important obligations you have.

If you need more information on employing staff we are also here to help, so give us a call.

The ATO is issuing Assurance letters

One of the latest ATO initiatives is to issue ‘assurance letters’ to taxpayers. These are issued in an effort to reassure people that they have met their compliance obligations. While most client correspondence from the ATO is sent to our office on your behalf, these letters are being set to clients directly. So what are these letters about?

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When was the last time you reviewed your online security?

It’s an unfortunate sign of the times but scammers and malware are everywhere! We’ve even recently seen our local Council’s targeted – so no one is immune to this. The lesson we can learn from this is to make sure you have great systems in place to limit your vulnerability. Whether at home or in your business some simple steps can help mitigate the risks of security threats. MYOB have recently written a great article about cyber security - 3 online safety tips. It’s well worth a read! 

ATO and 'lifestyle assets'

We have mentioned it before….but in case you have invested in a race horse or an aircraft since our last alert we wanted to let you know that the ATO are continuing to undertake a data matching program on ‘lifestyle assets’.

The ATO intend to check income declared against ‘lifestyle’ assets owned to make sure everything adds up. This is an item on our checklists we consider when we prepare your return each year - and if we are concerned you may trigger questions from the ATO we usually speak to you about it.  But just in case you have an aircraft you have not told us about (!) or have just invested in a nice new piece of fine art give us a call if you have any questions.

For further information, please click here

The Voice isn't just a reality TV show....

One of the benefits of being part of a national network of accounting practices are the resources and research that we can now make available to our clients and our local community. Bentleys Australia undertake regular surveys designed to gain detailed insights into how small and medium size Australian businesses are tracking from an economic, investment, technological and overall confidence perspective.

'The Voice' provides valuable insights into our current business climate and we are very excited to invite you to participate in the latest survey. If you'd like to add your voice to the research, simply click here and you will be directed to the questionnaire. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete - and all of your responses will be completely confidential. Results will be published later in the year and at the completion of the survey you will be given the option to register to be sent the key results of the survey. 

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.