Contact Us

Phone

(03) 9738 7500 

 

Fax

(03) 9738 7505 

 

Email

info@ocpartners.com.au

 

Our Office Address

Level 1, Suite 5
184 Main Street
Lilydale VIC 3140

Postal Address

Po Box 465
Lilydale VIC 3140

 

Facebook

Online Enquiry

Please call me back
* Required fields

Blog

What lockdown support is available

A series of support measures have been announced by the Federal, Victorian and NSW Governments for those impacted by the current lockdowns.

 

Key initiatives include:

  • Extension and increase of the COVID-19 disaster payments for individuals
  • Expansion of the 2021 COVID-19 business grants program
  • Payroll tax deferrals and a 25% payroll tax waiver (NSW only)
  • Rent moratorium, protections and grants (NSW only)
  • Support for the arts and accommodation business sectors (NSW only)

Victorian Business Cost Assistance Program

The Victoria Government cash grants will be paid automatically to businesses that successfully received a grant from the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two or the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 (including regional businesses).  You will not need to take any further action. The grant will automatically be paid. The payment will be processed from mid-July.

 

COVID-19 Disaster Payment (Federal)

There are two payments accessible to individuals:

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a weekly payment available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or who have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to certain paid leave entitlements.

 

You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account. 

 

Sole traders may apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if you are unable to operate your business from home. However, you will not be eligible if you are also receiving a state business grant.

 

For more information, download our lockdown support guides here:

If you would like to discuss how any of these measures apply to you, please contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 or email info@ocpartners.com.au to schedule a meeting.

Published: 21 Jul 2021

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

FEDERAL BUDGET GUIDE 2021-22

Published: 12 May 2021

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has handed down his third federal budget.  Follow the link below to download our full budget guide.

 

Key initiatives include:

  • Extension of temporary full expensing and loss-carry back providing immediate deductions for business investment in capital assets
  • Introduction of a ‘patent box’ offering tax concessions on income derived from medical and biotech patents
  • Tax and investment incentives for the digital economy
  • Extension of the low and middle income tax offset
  • Child care subsidy increase for families with multiple children
  • $17.7 billion over 5 years to reform aged care
  • $2.3 billion on mental health infrastructure and programs
  • New and extended home ownership programs for first home owners and single parents

Download our full budget guide here:

If you would like to discuss how any of these measures apply to you, please contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 or email info@ocpartners.com.au to schedule a meeting.

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

CIRCUIT BREAKER ACTION BUSINESS SUPPORT PACKAGE

Published: February 2021

The Victoria State Government has announced a support package that provides financial support to eligible businesses impacted by the recent circuit breaker action to limit the spread of COVID-19.

 

Business Costs Assistance Program (closes 16 March)

The new Business Costs Assistance Program helps eligible businesses with costs incurred as a result of the circuit breaker action.

 

The program offers grants of $2000 to small businesses, including sole traders, regardless of whether they employ people or not. The grants will support businesses in eligible sectors who have incurred direct costs because of the circuit breaker action, such as the loss of perishable goods, flowers and booking cancellations, and cancellation fees and charges.

 

Businesses with an annual payroll of up to $3 million, whether they have employees or not, can receive grants of $2000.

 

Who can apply for a grant?

To be eligible, you must:

  • be located within Victoria
  • be registered as operating in an eligible industry sector identified in the list of Eligible ANZSIC Classes (as defined by the industry classification linked to the business’ ABN)
  • have incurred costs (as outlined in Section 5 of the guidelines) as a direct result of the circuit breaker action announced on 12 February 2021
  • have an annual Victorian payroll of up to $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • be registered for goods and services tax (GST) on 12 February 2021
  • hold an Australian business number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 12 February 2021.

Evidence of eligibility:

  • If you are an employing business, you will need to provide the WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) or WorkSafe Application Reference Number (WRN) linked to the business
  • Non-employing businesses (such as sole traders) need to provide an eligible proof of identity document.

For a list of eligible sectors, refer to the list of Eligible ANZSIC Classes.

 

Applicants should check that their details on the Australian Business Register website are correct prior to submitting an application. This includes ensuring that the industry classification (ANZSIC class code) linked to their ABN registration correctly captures their primary business activity.

 

How to apply

The program will be open for applications until the date the program funds are exhausted or 11:59 pm on 16 March 2021, whichever is earlier.

 

Applicants should check that their details on the Australian Business Register website are correct prior to submitting an application. This includes ensuring that the industry classification (ANZSIC class code) linked to their ABN registration correctly captures their primary business activity.

 

To access the program overview or complete the online application form, visit:

For instructions on how to view and update your ANZSIC Classification visit:

 

Small Business Digital Adaption Program (closes 28 February)

Looking to move your business record keeping from paper to digital?  The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program will allow eligible businesses to trial and then receive access to digital products, tools and training they can use to build digital capability in their day-to-day operations.

 

Businesses can start using a new product, like point-of-sale payment, or restore access to a lapsed product under this program. Upgrades to existing digital tools, like adding a shop to a current website, are also included.

 

Products currently available to businesses through this program include website, e-commerce, finance and digital business management tools.

 

Businesses will be able to register, and trial selected digital products from suppliers who have partnered with the Victorian Government, then choose one of these products to purchase.

 

Once businesses have purchased a product, they can apply for a rebate of $1,200 to access the product for 12 months.

 

Spaces for the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program are limited and you must register to be eligible for the program and access digital product suppliers.

 

To access the program overview or register for the program visit:

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances and how these support programs may apply to you, please contact us on (03) 9738 7500 or email info@ocpartners.com.au to schedule a meeting.

___________________________________________________________________________________

FEDERAL BUDGET 2020-21 RECAP

Published: October 2020

The 2020-21 Federal Budget is a road to recovery budget.

 

View and download our Budget 2020-21 Guide here:

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances and how the proposed commitments under this budget may apply to you, please contact us on (03) 9738 7500 or email info@ocpartners.com.au to schedule a meeting.

___________________________________________________________________________________

JOBKEEPER 2.0: THE NEW RULES FROM 28 SEPTEMBER 2020

Published: September 2020 (Updated 1 October 2020 to include alternative test examples)

The Rules for JobKeeper 2.0 have (finally) been released along with updated guidance from the ATO.

 

View and download our JobKeeper 2.0 guide here:

The new Rules
The updated rules and explanatory statement clarify a number of common issues that have been raised since the JobKeeper extension was announced, including:

Carrying on an entity from 1 March 2020
An entity will still need to have carried on a business in Australia on 1 March 2020 to qualify for JobKeeper under the original rules or the expanded rules. An entity that commenced carrying on a business after this date will not generally be able to access JobKeeper.

Eligibility for December if failed previous decline in turnover test periods
An entity can potentially access JobKeeper for the period between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 even if it didn't qualify for JobKeeper for the period between 28 September 2020 and 3 January 2021 (e.g., because it failed the decline in turnover test for the September 2020 quarter).


An entity can potentially access JobKeeper on or after 28 September 2020 even if it was not eligible for JobKeeper prior to this date or it chose not to enrol in JobKeeper before this date. However, these entities will need to pass the original decline in turnover test in addition to the new decline in turnover test(s), although the original decline in turnover test is modified so that it can take into account the months of September, October, November and December 2020 as well as the December 2020 quarter.

Applying the two tier payment rates
When working out the payment rate that applies to an employee, you will be looking at the actual hours worked by the employee during the test period plus the hours they received paid leave or there was a paid absence for public holidays. The higher payment rate should apply if the employee worked at least 80 hours in the 28 day period ending at the end of the most recent pay cycle for the employee before 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.

 

Both of these reference points are applicable to all eligible employees, regardless of whether their eligibility is based on a 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 test date.

 

If you’re already enrolled for JobKeeper for fortnights occuring before 28 September 2020, you don't have to re-enrol for the JobKeeper extension. 

 

Set or edit a tier for an existing JobKeeper employee in Xero:

Employee JobKeeper start dates will need to be set before you next file with STP.

  1. In the Payroll menu, select Pay employees.
  2. In the New JobKeeper payment tools are available in Xero message, click Payroll support page.

  3. Under JobKeeper extension, next to Are employees eligible?, select Enrolment settings.

  4. Next to the relevant employee’s name:
    • If you want to set a tier, click Set tier
    • If you want to edit the tier, click the menu icon Image of three vertical dots. and select Edit payment tier
  5. Under JobKeeper payment tier, select a tier. If a tier isn’t selected, the employee will be ineligible for JobKeeper payment. 
  6. Carefully review the selected information. When you're ready, click Save for reporting.

Repeat these steps for other eligible employees. The employee JobKeeper start dates will be sent to the ATO when you next file with STP.  If you’re unsure which tier to select, please see the ATO website for more information.

 

If you had set up a pay template for your existing JobKeeper employee to automatically pay $1500 per fortnight, you’ll need to update the template to the relevant payment tiers.


GST reporting method
The ATO has clarified that when applying the new turnover reduction tests for the September 2020 quarter and December 2020 quarter, entities that are registered for GST must use the same method that is used for GST reporting purposes. That is, if the entity is registered for GST on a cash basis then a cash basis needs to be used to calculate current GST turnover for the purpose of these new tests.

 

Entities that are not registered for GST can choose whether to calculate GST turnover using a cash or accruals basis, but must use a consistent method.

Current GST turnover
Current GST turnover is based on actual sales that have been made rather than an estimate / prediction of sales.

 

Current GST turnover also includes proceeds from the sale of capital assets, unless the sale is input taxed. Current GST turnover includes taxable and GST-free supplies, but should exclude input taxed supplies such as residential rental income and financial supplies like dividends, interest etc. JobKeeper and ATO cash flow boost payments should be excluded from the calculation along with other payments that don’t represent consideration for a supply made by the entity.

JobKeeper payment rates (alternative tests for the 80 hour requirement)
If an individual did not work for at least 80 hours in the 'standard' reference periods for working out whether the higher or lower payment rate applies from 28 September 2020 onwards, it is necessary to determine whether this threshold could be satisfied in connection with some alternative reference periods.

 

In broad terms, these are available if:

  • the employee's total hours of work and paid leave in the standard reference periods were not representative of the total number of those hours in earlier periods;
  • the individual was not employed during all or part of the standard reference periods;
  • the first pay cycle ended after the reference time; or
  • where an employee has been transferred to a new employer as part of a business sale.

Similar rules apply to eligible business participants and religious practitioners.

Employees not tied to hours worked
Some employees will automatically qualify for the higher JobKeeper payment rate. Broadly, this applies if the employer has incomplete records of total hours of work and paid leave, including where salary, wages, commissions, bonuses etc are not tied to an hourly rate or contracted rate.

 

The employee must also fall within specific categories, including where they were paid at least $1,500 in the reference period; they were required to work at least 80 hours under an industrial award, enterprise agreement or contract; or it is reasonable to assume that they worked at least 80 hours during the applicable period.

Wage condition extended to 31 October 2020
For the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and 12 October 2020 the ATO is allowing employers until 31 October 2020 to meet the wage condition for all employees included in the JobKeeper scheme.

Alternative tests not yet available
The ATO has not yet released details of the alternative tests that will be used in determining whether certain entities can pass the new turnover reduction tests. The ATO has stated that these will be similar to the alternative tests that apply in connection with the original decline in turnover test, but further guidance will be published soon.

 

For more information, visit:

If you require assistance with determining eligibility, enrolling employees, Xero payroll or STP filing, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to discussing pricing and scheduling.

___________________________________________________________________________________

CHANGES AND EXTENSIONS TO THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT

Published 07 August 2020

JobKeeper has been extended for another 13 fortnights with additional eligibility criteria and reduced payment rates. Employee eligibility criteria has also changed effective from the fortnight commencing 3 August 2020.

 

Changes to employee eligibility - effective 3 August 2020

For JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020 the key date for assessing employee eligibility is now 1 July 2020 (previously 1 March 2020).

 

Employers will need to work through the eligibility criteria for employees to meet the ‘one in, all in' criteria, ensure employee nomination notices are in place, and ensure that sufficient amounts are paid to these newly eligible employees by 31 August 2020 to be eligible for JobKeeper payments for the 3 -17 August 2020 JobKeeper fortnight.

 

JobKeeper 2.0 - commencing 28 September 2020

JobKeeper has also been extended for an additional 13 fortnights commencing 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021. The modifications apply in two stages:

  • 28 September – 3 January 2021 (extension 1), and
  • 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (extension 2).

To receive JobKeeper payments, employers will need to reassess their eligibility with reference to actual GST turnover for the September 2020 quarter (for payments between 28 Sep and 3 Jan 2021), and again for the December 2020 quarter (for payments between 4 Jan 2021 and 28 Mar 2021).

 

Businesses can enrol at any time until the program closes.  The required fall in GST turnover will remain the same.

 

Payments under Extensions 1 and 2 will be tiered and paid at a reduced rate.

  • Tier 1 rate applies for:
    • eligible employees who were working for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and
    • eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average
  • Tier 2 rate applies for other eligible employees and business participants
  • Employers and businesses will need to nominate the rate they are claiming for the eligible employees and/or eligible business participants.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released a factsheet outlining these changes.  Once legislated, these changes take effect from 28 September 2020.

For more detailed information, visit:

If you require assistance with determining eligibility, enrolling employees, Xero payroll or STP filing, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to discussing pricing and scheduling.

___________________________________________________________________________________

HAPPY NEW FINANCIAL YEAR!

Published 01 July 2020

Tax appointments for 2020 returns

We are now taking bookings for 2020 tax appointments.  In line with social distancing requirements, phone and Zoom meeting are encouraged.  Face-to-face meetings can be scheduled (by appointment only).  If you need to drop hard copy information into our office, please contact our office first.

 

Please be aware that as we are only a week into the new year, some 2020 tax information may not be available.  For many employers, this is the first year of producing Income Statements through Single Touch Payroll, and the ATO is encouraging taxpayers not to submit their tax return until this information is marked as Tax Ready.

 

To assist you with gathering the information required for your returns, we have published a comprehensive checklist of items to consider.  Some expenses will require apportionment between work related use and private use, so please also consider this when collating your tax information.

 

Click here to view: Checklist of items to consider

 

Did you know that for every new client that is represented by OC Partners, we provide a year’s access of clean drinking water to a family in Cambodia?  Read more about our giving initiatives here: OC for Good

 

Single Touch Payroll (STP) Finalisation and Income Statements

For many employers, this will be the first year of finalising Income Statements through Single Touch Payroll.  Most employers have until 14 July 2020 to finalise their data; employers with 19 or less employees have until 31 July.

 

Xero users can follow the instructional guides for finalising Income Statements below:

 

Review and finalise STP data

At the end of the financial year, reconcile your payroll to the general ledger and fix any errors. Ensure you've posted your last pay run for the financial year before continuing.

  1. In the Payroll menu, select Single Touch Payroll, then select the Finalisation tab.

  2. Click the menu icon to the right of an employee’s name, then click Edit.
  3. Review the employee’s year-to-date summary.

  4. (Optional) Add a Reportable fringe benefits amount.

  5. (Optional) Add a Reportable fringe benefits amount, exempt.

  6. Click Save, or Save and next to repeat the process for your next employee.

  7. To finalise data for individual employees, select the checkbox next to their name. To finalise data for all employees, select the Employees checkbox at the top of the table.
  8. Click Finalise and submit to the ATO.

  9. Select the checkbox to authorise the file, then click Submit to ATO.

When you finalise your STP data and send it to the ATO, it may take up to 72 hours for the status in Xero to update.

 

Fix an employee's finalised STP data

You can correct an employee's STP data after submitting it to the ATO.

  1. Post an unscheduled pay run to adjust the employee's pay.

  2. File the pay run with STP.

  3. Review and finalise the employee's data again.

For more information, visit:

 

Superannuation payments for the quarter ended 30 June 2020

Payments for superannuation entitlements accrued during the quarter ended 30 June 2020 are due on the 28th of July 2020 and must be received by the fund before that date.

 

Superannuation payments are deductible when paid and are not deductible if paid late.  It is recommended you process your superannuation payment at least one week prior to the due date to allow time for the payment to clear.

 

If you processed your superannuation payment for the June quarter prior to 30 June (to secure the tax deduction in that month), it is recommended you revisit your records to ensure that all superannuation entitlements for that quarter were included in that payment and pay and remaining amounts (if required).

 

Rising out of these challenging times

The economic and operational challenges of the last six-months have given many business owners greater insights into their businesses.  Whether more closing tracking monthly turnover percentages, redesigning business operations or scrutinising cost, these insights are invaluable to rebuilding your businesses out of this pandemic.

 

OC Partners offer a business insights service where we can assist with the preparation of budgets and forecasts and meet with you monthly to guide you through the strategic decision making that will drive growth in your business.

 

If you are interested in signing-up to this service, contact us to discuss scope and pricing.  

 

Xero and Hubdoc

We firmly believe Xero is the gold standard of cloud-based accounting solutions for small business.  Xero makes invoicing, payroll and reconciling your bank transactions a breeze.  If you are not yet using cloud-based account software, or would like to discuss changing software platforms, contact us to find out what Xero could do for your business.

 

Xero has also recently acquired Hubdoc, a data capture tool to streamline the data entry and retention of bills and receipts.

 

How Hubdoc works:

  • Hubdoc does the work of creating transactions in Xero for you. It extracts key data from bills and receipts, then uses the data to create transactions in Xero.
  • You can email bills and receipts straight into your Hubdoc organisation, or use the mobile app to upload a photo.
  • As soon as Hubdoc receives a document, it extracts the key data such as supplier, date and amount. After you've coded and published the document, Xero creates a transaction and matches it to your bank statement line ready for you to reconcile.
  • You can set up Hubdoc to automate every step, so all you need to do is reconcile the transaction against your bank statement line in Xero. This is particularly useful if you get regular bills from the same supplier.
  • Hubdoc also stores documents so you don't need to keep paper copies of bills and receipts. You can organise your documents in Hubdoc using tags and folders.
  • If you want to back up your Hubdoc documents you can quickly send them to another storage system such as Bill.com or Dropbox.
  • Like Xero, you can invite us, your bookkeeper, or team members into your Hubdoc organisation, and decide how much access you want to give them.

If your Xero organisation is on a business edition pricing plan, Hubdoc is included in your Xero subscription. Within Xero you can create a new Hubdoc organisation, or connect your existing one.

 

You can access Hubdoc directly from your Xero organisation. When logged in, click your organisation name, then select Hubdoc.  If you're already logged in to Xero using the same browser, you will automatically log in to Hubdoc.

 

When you add a document, Hubdoc automatically extracts key data if you’ve turned auto extraction on. Once the document is processed, complete any missing details and publish the document to Xero. If you’ve enabled "Push to Xero Files" in Hubdoc, a copy of the document is also sent to your Xero files library.

 

To learn more, visit the following Xero guides:

 

To discuss your individual circumstances and how these item may apply to you, contact us on (03) 9738 7500 or email info@ocpartners.com.au to schedule a meeting.

___________________________________________________________________________________

END OF FINANCIAL YEAR ACTIONS

This has probably been the most difficult year ever for business owners due to the impact of COVID-19.

 

This makes the key actions before 30 June more important this year than for any previous year.

 

As a business owner, there are many obligations that you need to consider and action just before and after 30 June.  Some of these will help to minimise your tax, others will reduce your exposure to an ATO tax audit. We have outlined these action points below to assist you.

 

Please carefully consider this information and contact us if you have any questions or if there is anything we can assist you with.

 

DATE ACTION REQUIRED + UPDATES
30 Jun 2020

Trusts: Resolutions need to be in place to be able to distribute trust income for the 2020 financial year.

 

Companies: Review shareholder loans and make minimum loan repayments or declare dividends.

 

Superannuation payments are deductible when paid and must be received by the fund before close of business on 30 June to deduct contributions in the current tax year.

 

Complete a stocktake (where required).

 

Write off bad debts and scrap any obsolete stock or plant and equipment.

 

Ensure any inter-entity management fees have been invoiced in your accounting system with proper agreements in place.

 

14 Jul 2020

Single Touch Payroll Finalisation Declarations need to be made by 14 July 2020 (for employers with 20 or more employees)

 

28 Jul 2020

Quarterly super guarantee payment due (1 April – 30 June 2020)

 

31 Jul 2020

Single Touch Payroll Finalisation Declarations need to be made by 31 July 2020 (for employers with 19 or less employees)

 

28 Aug 2020

Taxable payments annual report due for payments to contractors (for participating industries, see further notes below)

 

7 Sep 2020

Last day for Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty for historic non-compliance

 

 

Key changes you need to be aware of

    NO TAX DEDUCTIONS IF YOU DON’T MEET YOUR TAX OBLIGATIONS

    From 1 July 2019, if taxpayers don’t meet their PAYG withholding and reporting obligations to the ATO, they will not be able to claim a tax deduction for payments:

    • of salary, wages, commissions, bonuses or allowances to an employee;
    • of Director’s fees;
    • to a religious practitioner;
    • under a labour hire arrangement; or
    • made for services where the supplier does not provide an ABN.

     

    If you make a mistake and voluntarily correct it before the ATO begins a review or audit, a deduction may still be available but penalties may still apply for failure to withhold the correct amount of tax.

     

    PAYMENTS TO CONTRACTORS

    Payments to contractors operating in certain industries need to be reported to the ATO by 28 August 2020.

     

    This Taxable Payment Report is required for:

    • Building and construction services
    • Cleaning services
    • Courier services
    • Road freight services
    • Information Technology (IT) services
    • Security, investigation or surveillance services
    • Mixed services (providing one or more of the services listed above)

     

    SUPERANNUATION GUARANTEE AMNESTY

    The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) amnesty provides a one-off opportunity to disclose historical non-compliance with the superannuation guarantee rules and pay outstanding superannuation guarantee charge amounts.

     

    7 September 2020 is the last day that employers can take advantage of the SG amnesty.

     

    This only applies to voluntary disclosures.

     

    To qualify for the amnesty, employers must disclose the outstanding SG to the Tax Commissioner. You either pay the full amount owing, or if the business cannot pay the full amount, enter into a payment plan with the ATO. If you agree to a payment plan and do not meet the payments, the amnesty will no longer apply.

     

    2020 EOFY Reminders & Action Items

    SINGLE TOUCH PAYROLL - UPDATE

    Small businesses with 19 or less employees and that employed family members were due to start reporting these employees (known as “closely held”) through Single Touch Payroll (STP) from 1 July 2020.

     

    However, due to COVID-19 the start date of this has been extended to 1 July 2020. Your small business can start voluntarily using STP earlier than this date.

     

    All other employees should now be reported through STP.

     

    REPORTABLE FRINGE BENEFITS

    Where you have provided fringe benefits to your employees in excess of $2,000, you need to report the FBT grossed-up amount.  This is referred to as a `Reportable Fringe Benefit Amount’ (RFBA) amount it needs to be updated for each employee as part of your Single Touch Payroll finalisation procedure for 2020.

     

    STOCKTAKE

    Businesses that buy and sell stock generally need to do a stocktake at the end of each financial year as the increase or decrease in the value of stock is included when calculating the taxable income of your business.

     

    If your business has an aggregated turnover below $10 million, you can use the simplified trading stock rules. Under these rules, you can choose not to conduct a stocktake for tax purposes if the difference in value between the opening value of your trading stock and a reasonable estimate of the closing value of trading stock at the end of the income year is less than $5,000.  You will need to record how you determined the value of trading stock on hand.

     

    If you do need to complete a stocktake, you can choose one of three methods to value trading stock:

    • Cost price – all costs connected with the stock including freight, customs duty, and if manufacturing, labour and materials, plus a portion of fixed and variable factory overheads, etc.
    • Market selling value – the current value of the stock you sell in the normal course of business (but not at a reduced value when you are forced to sell it).
    • Replacement value – the price of a substantially similar replacement item in a normal market on the last day of the income year.

     

    A different basis can be chosen for each class of stock or for individual items within a particular class of stock. This provides an opportunity to minimise the trading stock adjustment at year-end. There is no need to use the same method every year; you can choose the most tax effective option each year. The most obvious example is where the stock can be valued below its purchase price because of market conditions or damage that has occurred to the stock. This should give rise to a deduction even though the loss has not yet been incurred.

     

    TRUST DISTRIBUTION RESOLUTIONS

    Trustees (or directors of a trustee company) need to consider and decide on the distributions they plan to make by 30 June 2020 at the latest.  Decisions made by the trustees should be documented in writing, preferably by 30 June 2020.

     

    If valid resolutions are not in place by 30 June 2020, the risk is that the taxable income of the trust will be assessed in the hands of a default beneficiary (if the trust deed provides for this) or the trustee (in which case the highest marginal rate of tax would normally apply).

     

    ACTION STEP: If you haven’t already signed your Trust Distribution Resolution, please contact our office before 30 June 2020 so that we can properly prepare this document for you to sign.

     

    PAYROLL TAX

    Payroll tax applies to all entities that have an Australian payroll that exceeds state-based limits.

     

    You should note that in addition to normal salaries and wages, the following items are generally also included in payroll expenses if payroll tax applies:

    • fringe benefits based on the grossed-up taxable value of fringe benefits;
    • all employer contributions to superannuation on behalf of employees; and
    • some contractor or sub-contractor fees.

    ACTION STEP: The Annual Return/Reconciliation for payroll tax must be lodged by 21 July 2020 (Queensland, Victoria, Northern Territory, Tasmania and WA) or by 28 July 2020 (NSW and South Australia) with your State Revenue Office.

     

    WORKCOVER / WORKSAFE

    Your WorkCover/WorkSafe insurer sends an annual reconciliation to all registered employers at the end of the financial year.

     

    In completing your annual reconciliation, you will need to include the following items in addition to normal salaries and wages:

    • fringe benefits based on the taxable value of fringe benefits (do not gross-up);
    • all employer contributions to superannuation on behalf of employees; and
    • some contractor or sub-contractor fees.

     

    For more detailed information about what items to include in the reconciliation statement, please contact our office.

     

    Once the reconciliation is received and processed by your WorkCover/WorkSafe insurer, you will be issued with a final assessment or a refund depending on the instalments you have paid during the year.

     

    ACTION STEP: Complete and lodge the Annual Reconciliation with your WorkCover/WorkSafe insurer by the due date.

     

    GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST)

    A reconciliation of GST should be performed as at 30 June 2020 to determine if there has been an under or over-payment of GST in the 2020 tax year. If a discrepancy has arisen, then it is possible to adjust a subsequent Business Activity Statement (BAS) to rectify the error, however there are limits imposed on adjustments that can be made in this way.

     

    Income declared on your BAS should be reconciled to income declared on your income tax returns.

     

    Also, please note that you are required by law to substantiate all Input Tax Credit claims with a complying Tax Invoice, and you need to retain these documents for a minimum of 5 years.

     

    ACTION STEP: Complete the annual GST reconciliations, and check that you have all required tax invoices and other supporting documents.

     

    ATO AUDIT ACTIVITY

    Please note that the ATO and State Revenue Office are constantly increasing their audit activities. There has been an increase in audit activity for PAYG Withholding, Payroll Tax, WorkCover, GST, Division 7A loan accounts from companies, and Trust distributions from Discretionary Trusts.

     

    We can offer a review of your records and record-keeping procedures if you are concerned about your ability to satisfy an audit.

     

    ACTION STEP: We offer our clients the opportunity to participate in an audit shield services to cover the costs of unplanned professional fees resulting from audit activity. If you would like more information about this service, please contact our office.

     

    Last Minute Tax Minimisation Tips

    Here’s a few final reminders about ways to reduce your tax for 2020:

    1. Write-off Bad Debts in your computer system before 30 June 2020.
    2. Write-off any trading stock that is damaged or obsolete.
    3. Review your Asset Register and scrap any obsolete plant and equipment.
    4. Pay for marketing materials, repairs, consumables, office stationery, and donations before 30 June 2020.
    5. Ensure employee superannuation contributions are made (and received by your employees’ superannuation fund/s) by 30 June 2020 to allow a tax deduction this financial year.
    6. Realise any capital losses you have before 30 June 2020 to offset against any capital gains you may have made.

     

    If you require assistance performing any of these actions, or would like to discuss your individual circumstances and how these item may apply to you, please contact us on (03) 9738 7500 or email info@ocpartners.com.au to schedule a meeting.

     

    General advice disclaimer

    General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not consider your investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions based on this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your specific investment needs and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product. 

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    REMINDER: JOBKEEPER ENROLMENTS FOR APRIL AND MAY CLOSE 31 MAY

    Published 21 May 2020

    Businesses have until 31 May to enrol for JobKeeper to claim for the JobKeeper fortnights ending in April and May. You will still be able to enrol for later fortnights at a later date.

     

    If you enrol by 31 May you can claim for the fortnights ending in April and May, provided your organisation meets the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights.

     

    Note that you will only be eligible to claim for the fortnights ending in April if you will satisfy the fall in turnover requirements for the month of March, or April, or the quarter ending June 2020.  

     

    Key dates:

    • 31 May:  Complete your enrolment and identify eligible employees and business participants for April & May.
    • 31 May:  Complete your declaration for the month of April to confirm your eligibility for JobKeeper Payments.
    • 7 June: Complete your declaration for the month of May to confirm your eligibility for JobKeeper Payment.

    Next step:

    See also:

    If you require assistance with determining eligibility, enrolling employees or completing your monthly declaration, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to discussing pricing and scheduling.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR JOBKEEPER AND HOW TO SET THIS UP IN XERO

    Published 30 April 2020

    The ATO has extended the deadline for April JobKeeper payments. Eligible employers will now have until the 8th of May to pay employees for the month of April and will have until 31st of May to register for JobKeeper and be reimbursed for eligible April payments.

     

    Key dates:

    • 4 May: If already enrolled, you can login to the ATO Business Portal and complete the monthly declaration to confirm your eligibility for JobKeeper.
    • 8 May: This is the final date you can pay any necessary top-up payments your employees for the first two JobKeeper Fortnights (30 Mar - 12 Apr13 Apr - 26 Apr).
    • 31 May: Business and employee enrolment closes for April and May.  You will also need to complete the monthly declaration to confirm your eligibility by this date.

     

    JobKeeper features added to Xero

    Xero have create a handy page with all the tools to help you get ready, including the turnover calculator and a list of potentially eligible employees.

    JobKeeper features in Xero 

     

    The turnover calculator will help you and your advisor determine if your business is eligible for JobKeeper, then you can continue with the enrollment process.
    Start getting set up for JobKeeper

     

    Your top JobKeeper questions answered
    Xero have collated a list of commonly asked questions to help Xero users get the information you need.
    Read Xero's JobKeeper FAQs

     

    JobKeeper how-to video series
    Xero created short how-to videos to help you understand the ins and outs of the JobKeeper payments.

    Not using Xero?

    If you are using an different cloud-based accounting system or STP enabled payroll solution, refer to your vendor's guidance notes for further information.

     

    If you require assistance with Xero payroll, enrolling employees or STP filing, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to discussing pricing and scheduling.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    JOBKEEPER PAYMENTS - RULES HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED

    Published 15 April 2020

    Last week, the government’s $130 billion JobKeeper program passed both houses of parliament, granting Treasurer Josh Frydenberg the power to determine the rules governing the scheme.  These rules have now been released, and the ATO has provided its first round of guidance notes.

     

    JobKeeper payments webinar - on demand viewing:

     

      Download Webinar Slides: JobKeeper webinar slides (PDF format)

     

    If you are a business and have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be eligible to access the JobKeeper Payments.  The scheme will run for a 26-week period from 30 March to 27 September.  Registration will be available from Monday 20 April.

     

    Qualifying employers that decide to participate in the JobKeeper scheme must, as a condition of entitlement, notify all employees in writing that they have elected to participate in the scheme and that their eligible employees will all be covered by the scheme.

     

    Once an employer decides to participate in the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees have agreed to be nominated by the employer, the employer must ensure that all of these eligible employees are covered by their participation in the scheme. This includes all eligible employees who are undertaking work for the employer or have been stood down. The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme. This ‘one in, all in’ rule is a key feature of the scheme.

     

    Eligible employers

    Employers will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

     

    On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.

    • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
    • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
    • Your business has faced a
      • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
      • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
      • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).

     

    How to calculate a fall in turnover for the first fortnight starting 30 March 2020

    To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

    • GST turnover for month of March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
    • projected GST turnover for month of April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
    • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.

     

    How you choose to project your fall in turnover is not dependent on whether you report a quarterly or monthly BAS, though you can do that if it is easier.

     

    How to enrol for the JobKeeper payment (from 20 April onwards)

    You or a registered tax professional can enrol for the JobKeeper payment:

    1. Register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper payment updates.
    2. Check you and your employees meet the eligibility requirements.
    3. Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March to 12 April).
    4. Notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.
    5. Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to your registered tax agent if you are using one.
    6. From 20 April 2020, you can enrol with us for the JobKeeper payment using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.
    7. In the online form, provide your bank details and indicate if you are claiming an entitlement based on business participation, for example if you are a sole trader.
    8. Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).

     

    How you will provide confirmation of eligible employees you will claim JobKeeper Payment for (available from 4 May 2020 onwards)

    You or a registered tax agent can apply for the JobKeeper payment for your eligible employees:

    1. Apply to claim the JobKeeper payment by logging in to the ATO Business Portal
    2. Ensure you have paid each eligible employee a minimum of $1,500 per JobKeeper fortnight before tax.
    3. Identify your eligible employees in the application form by
      1. selecting employee details that are prefilled from your STP pay reports if you report payroll information through an STP enabled payroll solution, or
      2. manually entering employee details in ATO online services or the Business Portal if you do not use an STP enabled payroll solution, or
      3. using a registered tax agent who will submit a report on your behalf through Online services for agents.
    4. Submit the confirmation of your eligible employees online and wait for your confirmation email or SMS showing it has been received.
    5. Notify your eligible employees you have nominated them.
    6. The ATO will pay you the JobKeeper payment for all eligible employees after receiving your application.
    7. Each month, you will need to reconfirm that your reported eligible employees have not changed through ATO online services, the Business Portal or via your registered tax agent. This will ensure you will continue to receive the JobKeeper payments from us. You do not need to retest your reported fall in turnover, but you will need to provide some information as to your current and projected turnover. This will be done in your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.
    8. If your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you will need to notify us through your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.
    9. If you use the ATO Business Portal, you will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at ato.gov.au/mygovid

     

    What do you need to do for your employees

    You need to identify which employees you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for and tell them you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for them.

     

    You need to provide these employees with the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and ask them to return it to you by the end of April if you want to claim JobKeeper payment for April.

     

    Download the form here:  JobKeeper employee nomination notice (PDF 188KB)

     

    Both you and the nominated employee need to complete the form. You do not need to send this notice to the ATO, however you should keep a record to document that your employee has agreed that you claim the JobKeeper Payment for them.

     

    If your employees have multiple employers, they can usually choose which employer they want to nominate through. However, if your employees are long-term casuals and have other permanent employment, they cannot nominate you. They cannot receive the JobKeeper payment from more than one employer.

     

    Note: You should not use this JobKeeper employee nomination notice if you are intending to claim JobKeeper payments for an eligible business participant for example a partner in a partnership, an adult beneficiary of a trust or a shareholder or director of a company or a sole trader. A different nomination process will be required (yet to be determined).

     

    If an employee is currently receiving an income support payment (for example, JobSeeker), they must also notify Services Australia of their new income to avoid incurring a debt that they will have to repay.

     

    How to pay

    You need to re-start or continue to pay your eligible employees at least $1,500 a fortnight in line with your existing pay cycle through your existing payroll solution.

     

    Employers who choose to participate will need to pay their eligible employees at least the minimum amount of $1,500 before tax per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment for that fortnight.  You will not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if you pay your nominated employee less than $1,500 per fortnight.

     

    When to pay

    You should pay your employees for each JobKeeper fortnight that you plan to claim for. The first fortnight is from 30 March – 12 April and each JobKeeper fortnight follows after that.

     

    If your eligible employees earn less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, you must pay them at least $1,500 for each fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. The difference is a ‘top up’ of their salary or wages.  New rules are being introduced to not require superannuation guarantee to be paid on any additional payments (AKA the ‘top up’ amounts) that are made to employees as a result of JobKeeper payments.

     

    For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by the end of April. This means that you have until the end of April to make any ‘top up’ payments required for these first two fortnights.

     

    If an employee has been stood down after 1 March 2020, you can start paying them $1,500 per fortnight to qualify for the JobKeeper payment for that employee.

     

    If an employee ceased working for you after 1 March 2020, you can re-engage them and pay them at least $1,500 per fortnight. You will only be eligible to claim for the fortnights after you re-engaged your employee.

     

    Tax treatment

    All JobKeeper payments are assessable income of the business that is eligible to receive the payments. The normal rules for deductibility apply in respect of the amounts your business pays to its employees where those amounts are subsidised by the JobKeeper payment.  The JobKeeper payment is not subject to GST.

     

    More information:  

    For more information about eligibility criteria, how to register and how this will be reported, sign up for our upcoming webinar this Friday 17 April at 11:30am. 

     

    Details:

      JobKeeper Payments - what you need to know

      Time: Apr 17, 2020 11:30am AEST

      Duration: 30 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A

      This is a complimentary webinar, there is no charge to attend

      Attendees will be in listen only mode, questions can be submitted by text

     

    If you would like to join us, please email info@ocpartners.com.au with your details and we will forward an invitation.

     

    To discuss these measures and strategies for your business, or to review your individual circumstances and assess the relief measures that may be available to you, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to schedule a virtual meeting.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE (16 Mar)

    COVID-19 STIMULUS AND SUPPORT MEASURES

    Published 1 April 2020

    Information regarding stimulus and support measures is still flowing in thick and fast.

     

    At a federal level, the Government announced on Monday evening further measures that will be introduced to support businesses and employees.  The JobKeeper Payment is a subsidy program designed to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so that more employees can retain their job and continue to earn an income.

     

    At a state level, applications for the Victorian Government’s Business Support Fund are now open.  Eligible businesses can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning.

     

    We have listed below the key links for registering your interest in both programs, together with a comprehensive recap of all announced stimulus measures that you can download.

     

    Key links:

    COVID-19 Stimulus Measures and Support Measures - in detail
    Click the link below to download our comprehensive guide to the COVID-19 Stimulus & Support Measures.

     

    COVID-19 Stimulus and Support Measures (click to view)

     

    The guide covers the measures for:

    • Businesses,
    • Individuals, and
    • State and Territory initiatives.

    Please note that the legislation for the $1,500 JobKeeper payment has not yet been finalised.  The information contained in this guide reflects the information provided in the announcement and may be subject to change.  Further information will be released once the legislation is passed.

     

    You can read Treasury's announcement here: Fact sheet - Supporting businesses to retain jobs

     

    To discuss these measures and how they apply to you, or to review your individual circumstances and assess the relief measures that may be available to you, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to schedule a virtual meeting.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

    Published 24 March 2020

    First and foremost our thoughts are with those businesses experiencing the forced shutdowns that commenced on Monday and the further shutdowns announced this evening.  This will be a difficult time for everyone.

     

    This second round of closures serve as a warning for all businesses to make preparations in anticipation of further potential shutdowns.  Businesses will need to remain agile and be able to respond to any additional distancing measures as they are introduced.

     

    For workers that have already been impacted by forced shutdowns, it will be important for you to understanding the assistance and supplements that may now be available to you and take the necessary steps to access that support.

    Coronavirus COVID-19 Stimulus Measures
    The Australian Government passed both stimulus packages without objection.  We’ve prepared a 12 minute video summary outlining the stimulus measures and relief packages available (both state and federal) and key steps business owners need to take.

     

     

    Detailed factsheets for both stimulus packages are linked below:

     

    Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Package 1 (click to view) 

     

    Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Package 2 (click to view)

     

    Key steps all businesses need to take:
    We’ve summarised below some of the key actions outlined in our blog that business owners should be taking right now.

    • Stay on top of all announcements and what they mean for you
    • Focus on your core business wherever possible
    • If core business is impacted, look to alternate services/delivery methods that will keep your business running
    • Manage cashflow, control outgoings where possible, invest in the activities that will keep your business running
    • Communicate with your customers, especially if your trading circumstances change
    • Lean on the support available to you and support the businesses around you
    • Contact your bank to discuss any relief measures available to you
    • Keep in contact with us, let us know the challenges you face as they arise, we’re here to help.

    To discuss these measures and strategies for your business, or to review your individual circumstances and assess the relief measures that may be available to you, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to schedule a virtual meeting.

    OC Partners is here to help you navigate the coming months and work with you to tackle the challenges you may face.

     

    Please note that as of today, we have elected to close off the office to the public, but are available for appointment by phone or video.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    DOWNLOAD TOOLKIT

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE (16 Mar)

    Published March 2020

    In light of recent developments and government announcements in response to Coronavirus COVID-19, we felt it important to email you with a list of key information to be aware of.

     

    No disruption to our services

    In response to this unprecedented and escalating global event, OC Partners is committed to playing our part in helping to slow the spread of infection for the protection of those most at risk (the elderly and chronically ill). We will be monitoring and following recommendations made by the World Health Organisation and local government with respect to risk minimisation.

     

    Our office will remain open to the public, but we will follow the recommendation to avoid shaking hands.

     

    We will continue to conduct meetings and appointments as usual, but do have tele-meeting and video conferencing solutions available for those under self-quarantine or choosing to limit their travel.

     

    We also encourage our clients to remain vigilant themselves and adopt either of these alternate meeting solutions if you may have had contact with an individual who has tested positive, or as a precautionary measure to protect any at risk individuals close to you.

     

    If this situation continues to escalate and temporary shutdowns of schools and business are imposed, please rest assured that we have the policies, procedures and resources in place to allow our team to work effectively from home with no disruption to client services.

     

    Reminder to all employers and business owners to review OH&S policies

    We take this opportunity to remind all employers and business owners to stay up to date with their Duty of Care towards customers and employees. It is vitally important that you understand your obligations and have the necessary policies in place to manage any circumstances that may arise.

     

    More information about employer obligations with respect to COVID-19 (including impact of self-isolation and working from home) can be found here:

     

    Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws
    Published 4 February 2020 | Updated 13 March 2020
    Link: fairwork.gov.au > coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws

     

    Coronavirus COVID-19 Stimulus Measures

    The Australian Government has announced an economic response to the Coronavirus totalling $17.6 billion. This is intended to protect the economy by supporting investment and keeping people in jobs and provide additional household income and business support.

     

    Please appreciate that, as with any legislative change, these proposed measures must follow a due process before they are passed into law. A package of Bills will be introduced into Parliament in the final Autumn sitting week in March 2020 for urgent consideration and passage.

     

    Careful consideration of legislative risk should be made before committing to any additional unplanned spending or business initiatives until these announcements are passed.

     

    The proposed measures are as follows:

    • Support for business investment
      • Instant asset write-off extension
      • 50% asset investment incentive
    • Cash flow assistance for employers
      • Boosting cash flow for employers
      • Supporting apprentices and trainees
    • Stimulus payments to households
    • Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities

    Support for business investment

    Instant asset write-off extension

    From Thursday 12 March 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) to $150,000 (for businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million) until 30 June 2020.

     

    50% asset investment incentive
    A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to accelerate certain depreciation deductions. This measure will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million. These businesses will be able to immediately deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules then applying to the balance of the asset’s remaining cost. This measure is proposed to only apply to eligible assets first used, or installed ready for use, by 30 June 2021.

     

    Note that unlike previous stimulus packages, it appears the 50% asset investment incentive may only be an accelerated depreciation allowance on eligible assets, not a bonus additional deduction on top of existing depreciation rules. The existing rules applied to the balance of the asset's remaining cost.  We expect this to be defined more clearly in the legislation when passed.

     

    Cash flow assistance for employers

    Boosting cash flow for employers
    Tax-free payments of up to $25,000 for eligible small and medium businesses (i.e., with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff) based on their PAYG withholding obligations. This may not be a cash payment, but rather a credit equal to 50% of the PAYG amounts withheld from salary and wages paid to employees.

     

    Businesses that lodge activity statements on a quarterly basis will be eligible to receive the credit for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020. It is anticipated that business that lodge on a monthly basis will be eligible for the credit for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements.

     

    If a business pays salary and wages to employees but is not required to withhold any tax, then a minimum payment of $2,000 will still be made. The minimum $2,000 payment will be applied to the first activity statement lodgement.

     

    Note that existing integrity measures relating to private companies would still apply that can disallow deductions for remuneration paid to an associates of a company that is excessive of a reasonable amount.

     

    Supporting apprentices and trainees

    Employers with less than 20 full-time employees may be entitled to apply for Government funded wage subsidies amounting to 50% of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. The maximum subsidy for each apprentice/trainee is $21,000.

     

    Stimulus payments to households

    Tax-free payments of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. It is estimated that around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners. These payments will commence to be automatically made from 31 March 2020.


    For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to Coronavirus visit: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

     

    Assistance for severely affected regions and communities

    The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is also providing administrative relief for some tax obligations for people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis.

     

    From 1 April 2020 we will recommence our annual tax planning services. In light of the proposed measures outlined above, and overall economic uncertainty, this may be vital to ensure businesses maximise the benefit of the measures being made available to them, review the impact these changes may have on existing income streaming and tax plan strategies and review PAYG instalment rates for possible credit variations.

     

    To schedule an appointment, contact our office on (03) 9738 7500. Book early to secure your place.

     

    Other matters to consider - credit terms

    In what is looking to be very uncertain times ahead, we remind our business clients to review their credit terms and be very vigilant with who they extend credit to.

     

    It is important that engagement and credit terms are communicated clearly and made readily available to customers. For example, ours are published on our website and linked in our email signatures.

     

    OC for Good

    Did you know Jason is participating in Cycle4Change again this year?

     

    This annual cycling event is to raise money for Southern Cross Kids' Camp.  SCKC is a charity dedicated to interrupting the cycle of abuse and neglect by conducting five day camps for primary aged children across Australia. These camps give an opportunity to those kids to have positive experiences; a time where they receive unconditional love; a place of safety and a week of happy memories.

     

    Over four days starting this Thursday (19th), Jason and the Cycle4Change team of 30 riders will cover a challenging ride of 472km of riding and 9645m of climbing through the Yarra Valley.  Last year they raised over $95,000.

     

    It's not too late to donate. If you'd like to contribute, visit SCKC Fundraise > Campaigns > Jason Olszewski

     

    If you have any questions regarding the above, or for any other business or taxation matters you would like to discuss, please contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to book a meeting.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Auskeys to be decommissioned in March

    Published February 2020

    Please be aware that Auskeys will cease to function from 11:59pm on the 27th of March, 2020.  Together, myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will replace Auskey.

     

    From that date you will not be able to access online services (ATO business portal) using your Auskey.  You will need create a myGovID and then link you myGovID to your business.

     

    myGovID: How to get setup and link your myGovID to a business

    How do I get set up?

    Download the myGovID app, enter your details, and add your identity documents.

     

    1. Download the myGovID app Available on the App Store or Google Play
    2. Enter your details: Open the myGovID app and follow the prompts. You will need to enter your full name, date of birth and email address.
    3. Add your identity documents You’ll need two of the following Australian identity documents (your name must match in each):
      • driver’s licence or learner’s permit
      • passport
      • birth certificate
      • Medicare card.

    Link your myGovID to a business

    To use myGovID with participating government online services, you need to link your myGovID to a business in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).

     

    The primary person for the business (i.e. a sole trader or company director) will need to link your myGovID to your Australian Business Number (ABN) in RAM first.  You can then set up authorisations in RAM for other team members (such as employees) and issue invitations for them to access online services for your business.  You will require the name and email address those users recorded on their personal myGovID as they will use their individual myGovID to log into RAM to accept the authorisation request.

     

    See also:

     

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES TRADING THROUGH A TRUST

    You may not see your business ABN available to you to link in RAM.  If this occurs, you will need to contact the ATO using the support details below (1300 287 539, option 3) and quote your Trustee’s ABN or ACN.

     

    They will use this to confirm that you are an authorised and manually link the Trust ABN for you.  You can then proceed to add additional users through RAM as required as per the instructions above.

     

    ATO support:

    • for myGovID, call 1300 287 539 (option 2) 8am–6pm Mon–Fri
    • for Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM), call 1300 287 539 (option 3) 8am–6pm Mon-Fri and 10am–4pm Sat

    For more information, refer to: https://www.mygovid.gov.au/how-do-i-get-set-up

     

    If you have any questions regarding the above, or for any other business or taxation matters you would like to discuss, please contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 to book a meeting.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Australian Bushfires

    Published January 2020

    Sadly, we know that many people and communities are and have been impacted by the bushfires currently affecting much of Australia.

     

    Understandably, the immediate concerns remain on community safety, food and shelter. In the weeks and months ahead, it will be the time to focus on supporting and helping communities to rebuild.

     

    When the recovery phase commences, CPA Australia's disaster recovery toolkit, below, can assist you with the many elements of recovery.

     

    Furthermore, when you are ready to turn your mind to tax affairs, visit the Australian Taxation Office's dealing with disasters page for more information on the support available.

     

    CPA - DOWNLOAD TOOLKIT: https://www.cpaaustralia.com.au/-/media/corporate/allfiles/document/professional-resources/business/disaster-recovery-toolkit.pdf

     

    ATO - DEALING WITH DISASTERS:

    https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/dealing-with-disasters/

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Important information for end of financial year!

    Published June 2019

    Auto-Super Payments

    Xero is recommending that superannuation payments through auto-super are processed before the 20th of June to allow sufficient time for the payments to clear before 30 June.

     

    Superannuation is deductible in the year it is paid, not the year it is accrued.  If you are looking to secure your tax deduction in this financial year, we recommend you follow Xero’s advice and process your super payment before the recommended date.  Xero cannot guarantee that super payments processed after that date will settle by 30 June.

     

    Please note that this is only if you wish to secure a tax deduction in this financial year.  If not, simply ensure that your superannuation payment is madeby the due date, being no later than 28 days after the end of the quarter in which it was accrued.  Note also that payments made after that date are not deductible and must be reported to the ATO as a late payment.

     

    Inactive Super Accounts

    From 1 July 2019 the “Protecting your Super’ laws come into effect.   These rules are design to minimise erosion of inactive and low-balance super accounts.

     

    Inactive super accounts will have any insurance cover automatically cancelled on 1 July 2019 unless you opt-in.

     

    Inactive super accounts are accounts that have not received a contribution for 16 consecutive months.  This has the potential to affect non-remunerated business owners, non-working spouses, people on extended maternity leave and retirees.

     

    Superannuation funds have been making contact with members that will be affected – provided that your contact details were up to date.  If you believe you may be affected by this change and have not already received notification, we recommend you make contact with your fund.

     

    When was the last time you had your superannuation and insurances reviewed?  If you would like a reviewed undertaken, contact us and we can put you in contact with a financial adviser.

     

    Note: This advice is general in nature, and you should consider obtaining advice from an appropriately licensed or authorised financial adviser before you decide on a financial product, including superannuation and any effects it may have on personal insurances.

     

    Minimum Wage Increase from 1 July

    Minimum wage will increase from 1 July 2019.  We recommend you review all employment contracts that may be affected by this increase to ensure you remain compliance with the relevant modern award or National Employment Standards (NES).

     

    Make sure you review your pay templates against award rates for all employees at 1 July 2019 and reflect any changes in your payroll system (where required).

     

    STP

    Still not sure what STP is and what you need to do to be ready?  Visit our events page at https://www.ocpartners.com.au/events.html to view a recording of our recent webinar or read our previous blog post below for more information.

     

    Strategic Business Planning

    Want more out of your business in the year ahead?  Contact us to discuss participating in a strategic business planning session.

     

    We can spend a half day or full day with you working on your business to help:

    • identify your business strengths and opportunities
    • quantify and document your business goals;
    • prepare budgets and forecasts for the year ahead; and
    • Provide the action plan required to make those goals a reality.

     

    If you would like to discuss any of the items above, contact us on (03) 9738 7500 or info@ocpartners.com.au to book a meeting.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Single Touch Payroll (STP) - are you ready?

    Published May 2019

     

    What is Single Touch Payroll?

    Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a new way of reporting tax and super information to the ATO.

     

    Using payroll software, or another STP solution, you will send your employees’ salary and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information to the ATO each time you pay your employees.

     

    Employers who had 20 or more employees as of 1 April 2018 were required to register from 1 July 2018 and should now be reporting through STP.

     

    Small employers with 19 or less employees will need to report through STP from 1 July 2019 and must opt in before 30 September 2019.

     

    How is this information reported?

    STP works by sending tax and super information from your payroll or accounting software to the ATO as you run your payroll.

     

    When you start reporting:

    • you will run your payroll, pay your employees as normal, and give them a payslip
    • your pay cycle does not need to change (you can continue to pay your employees weekly, fortnightly or monthly)

    In your STP-enabled payroll software, when completing a pay run, you will have an additional button allowing you to file that information with the ATO.  This will send a report to the ATO which includes salaries and wages, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and super information.

     

    What you need to do

    To be ready for Single touch Payroll you will need to perform the following steps:

    • Choose an STP Enabled software solution
    • Set up payroll and decide who will opt in
    • Check organisation settings are correct
    • Decide when to opt in
    • Opt in and start reporting

     

    STP Enabled Software Solutions

    For existing Xero Payroll users, Single Touch Payroll is available under all Standard and Premium Xero Business Plans.

     

    In addition, Xero has also introduced two additional STP enabled plans for businesses with 4 or fewer employees:

    • Standalone Payroll - $10 p/mth
    • Payroll Cashbook - $29 p/mth

    Note: these two STP enabled plans do not include auto-super.  This is only available under Premium Xero Business Plans.  you will need to continue reporting your superannuation payments through your existing SuperStream Compliant Clearing house.

     

    Most other accounting software providers will also have an STP compliant solution available.  If you are not a Xero user, we recommend you contact your provider to confirm that your software is STP ready.

     

    There are also a number of no-cost and low-cost payroll only solutions available for Employers with 1-4 employees (micro employers).  A full list has been published by the ATO and can be accessed here: https://www.ato.gov.au/business/single-touch-payroll/in-detail/low-cost-single-touch-payroll-solutions/

     

    If you are not an existing Xero Payroll user, and would like to discuss any of these solution with us, you can contact our office on (03) 9738 7500 or email us at info@ocpartners.com.au

     

    Important changes to year-end payroll reporting under STP

    Under Single Touch Payroll, your employees will be able to see their year-to-date tax and super information in ATO online services, which can only be accessed through myGov. Their data is updated every time you report (each pay day for most employers).

     

    You will no longer need to provide employees with a PAYG Payment Summary for the information you've reported and finalised through STP. Once you finalise your data, your employees (or their registered agent) will be able to lodge their income tax return using the STP information available in ATO online.

     

    You will also no longer need to lodge a PAYG Payment Summary Annual Report (PSAR) at the end of the financial year for the payments you report through STP.

     

    At the end of the financial year, you will need to finalise your STP data. This is a declaration to the ATO to state you have completed your reporting for the financial year.

     

    Once you make the finalisation declaration, the ATO will display the information as Tax ready for your employees in ATO online via myGov.

     

    For employers who opt in to STP before 30 June 2019, this declaration must be submitted by 31 July 2019.  

     

    When should you opt in?

    Single Touch Payroll is available now and you can opt in voluntarily.  Small employers can start reporting any time from the 1 July start date to 30 September 2019.

     

    This window of time allows small employers the opportunity to finalise and issue PAYG Payment Summaries to their employees for the 2019 financial year before opting into Single Touch Payroll for the financial year commencing 1 July 2019.

     

    Once Single Touch Payroll is enabled, Xero files the financial year to date payroll information, which means that you only have to start filing information from when you opt into STP and it will include all payroll information from 1 July until that date.

     

    Small employers must opt in before 30 September 2019 unless an exemption or deferred start date is available.

     

    How to opt in using Xero

    For Xero users When you are ready, begin following the steps below. Once all your details are confirmed, Xero will display the information you will need to provide to the ATO. All you need to do is give them a call with the details provided to get connected.

    1. In the Payroll menu, select Pay employees.
    2. In the message about Changes to the way you report payroll information to the ATO, click Get started.
    3. If you don’t want to opt in right now, close the message by clicking Remind me later. To reopen the message, click Setup Single Touch Payroll.
    4. Click Opt in to confirm.
    5. Review your organisation details. If necessary, click Update Organisation details. Xero will redirect you to the Organisation details page. Otherwise, click Continue.
    6. To connect your Xero account to the ATO, call the ATO on 1300 852 232.
    7. Provide the ATO with the proof of ownership listed in Xero’s prompt, including your Australian Business Number (ABN) and Software ID (SSID).
    8. Select the checkbox to confirm you've contacted the ATO to connect your Xero account.
    9. Click Register.

    How to file STP information using Xero

    Once you've set up STP, you must file employee pay information with the ATO after every pay run.

    1. Post a pay run.

    2. If prompted, add types to allowance pay items in your pay run (see below).

    3. Click File, then click File now.

      Xero lists the STP filing status as Pending until the ATO accepts or declines the submission.

     

    How to add types to allowance pay items

    Before you file the pay run, Xero will notify you if some allowances need a type.

    1. Click Add allowance types on the notification.
    2. Next to an allowance, click Select type, then select a type from the list.

    3. (Optional) Repeat the process for other allowances.

      Xero only lists the first 10 allowances in a pay run. If you have more than 10 allowances, click Manage all (Xero will redirect you to the Pay Items page).

    4. Click Save.

     

    Review and finalise STP data

    At the end of the financial year, reconcile your payroll to the general ledger and fix any errors. Ensure you've posted your last pay run for the financial year before continuing.

    1. In the Payroll menu, select Employees.

    2. Click End of year reports, then select STP Finalisation

    3. Click the menu icon to the right of an employee’s name, then click Edit.

    4. Review the employee’s year-to-date summary.

    5. (Optional) Add a Reportable fringe benefits amount.

    6. (Optional) Add a Reportable fringe benefits amount, exempt.

      If you add an RFBA, Xero submits it the next time you file with the ATO. For example, Xero will submit the RFBA if you file a pay run with STP before finalising the data.

    7. Click Save, or Save and next to repeat the process for your next employee.

    8. (Optional) Toggle the Show employees terminated this FBT year switch to show more employees.

    9. To finalise data for individual employees, select the checkbox next to their name. To finalise data for all employees, select the Employees checkbox at the top of the table.

    10. Click Finalise and submit to the ATO.

    11. Select the checkbox to authorise the file, then click Submit to ATO.

    Fix an employee's finalised STP data

    You can correct an employee's STP data after submitting it to the ATO.

    1. Post an unscheduled pay run to adjust the employee's pay.

    2. File the pay run with STP

    3. Review and finalise the employee's data again.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I start before it’s mandatory?

    Yes.  If you voluntarily opt in before 30 June 2019, you need to be aware of the changes to year-end payroll reporting and key dates.

    1. You will need to file your next pay run (which includes year-to-date balances) through STP

    2. You will need to notify employees that they will no longer receive a PAYG Payment Summary

    3. You will need to finalise your STP declaration before 31 July 2019

     

    How do I file YTD information if I don’t start STP at the beginning of the year?

    With STP, your payroll software files the financial year-to-date payroll information with your first submission, meaning that you only have to start filing information from when you opted into STP.

     

    What information is sent with STP

    Payment, tax and super information will be reported to the ATO each pay run.

     

    Employment Termination Payments (ETPs) and Reportable Employer Super Contributions (RESC) are reported when you process and file your pay runs.

     

    FBT (fringe benefits tax) is reported when you finalise STP.

     

    Does STP change my PAYG Withholding and superannuation payment cycle?

    No. Single Touch Payroll does not change your payment cycle for PAYG and superannuation.  You will continue to report and pay your PAYG withholding as part of your monthly or quarterly activity statements.  

     

    Will I still need to provide payslips?

    Yes.  You are still required to provide payslips to employees.

     

    Under Single Touch Payroll, your employees will also be able to see their year-to-date tax and super information in ATO online services, which can be accessed through myGov. Their data is updated every time you report (each pay day for most employers).

     

    Employees will no longer receive PAYG Payment Summary for the information reported and finalised through STP, this information can only be accessed in ATO online services.

     

    What happens if I make a mistake?

    If spot a mistake in a pay run that you’ve filed with STP, you can make a correction.  For Xero users, you have a few options depending on the nature of the mistake you’ve found. You can either:

    1. revert the pay run, make your required changes, post and file

    2. complete an unscheduled pay run for the relevant pay period

    3. fix the mistake in your next pay run

    Are there any deferrals or exemptions available?

    Yes.  If you won't be ready to start reporting by 30 September 2019, you may be eligible to apply for a deferred start date.  There are also exemptions available if you live in an area with intermittent or no internet connection and exemptions for closely held payees.

     

    A closely held payee is a payee that is is directly related to the entity from which they receive payments, such as:

    • family members of a family-owned business
    • directors or shareholders of a company
    • trustees or beneficiaries of a trust.

    Employers may not always pay closely held payees a regular salary or wage, and instead, may draw on income from the business throughout the year. As STP information is reported each time payroll is run, employers would not be able to report their closely held payees this way.

     

    Employers with 19 or less employees do not need to report closely held payees in 2019-20 however, all other employees (arms-length employees) must be reported through STP from 1 July 2019, or a deferred start date if one has been granted.

     

    You don’t need to apply for the exemption for reporting closely held employees.

     

    You will be able to lodge payment summaries for closely held employees up to the due date of your 2019 income tax return.

     

    For employers with 20 or more employees, once you start STP reporting you should be reporting closely held payees along with arms-length employees, however you will have until 30 September 2019 to finalise closely held payee information.

     

    Additional resources

    The ATO has provided a factsheet that can be provided to employees explaining how they will receive their payment summary under Single Touch Payroll.

     

    Factsheet for Employees - The way you get your payment summary is changing

    https://www.ato.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Content/MEI/downloads/n75191_employee_factsheet.pdf

     

    If you opt in for Single Touch Payroll prior to 30 June 2019, we recommend you include the following payroll message on their last payslip for the 2019 financial year:

     

    Please note: The way you get your payment summary is changing. payment summary information will now be available via your ATO online services account through myGov and will be called an ‘income statement’. For more information visit ato.gov.au/incomestatement

     

    It is also strongly recommended that the Factsheet for Employees is provided to all employees when you complete your STP Finalisation Declaration.  A suggested email notification is set out below:

     

    Subject: IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES | Your Income Statement is ready

     

    The way you get your payment summary is changing. payment summary information will now be available via your ATO online services account through myGov and will be called an ‘income statement’.

     

    This can be viewed in the following ways:

        1) ATO online services via myGov

        2) your employer

        3) via your tax agent.

     

    After 1 July the ATO will send a message to your myGov Inbox when your income statement is tax ready so you or your registered tax agent can then lodge your tax return.

     

    Your year-to-date pay and super information is also available to you throughout the year in your ATO online services account.  For more information visit ato.gov.au/incomestatement

     

    For more information

    To learn more, visit the ATO website (link below) or contact us on (03) 9738 7500 or by email at info@ocpartners.com.au

     

    Australian Taxation Office

    https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Managing your business cashflow over the holiday period

    Published December 2018

    December is usually the busiest time of the year for retail and hospitality businesses. But businesses in other sectors often find that their sales slowdown and their customers stop paying them for a few months. So cash flow dries up.

     

    Whether your business is large or small, well-established or in start-up mode, you need to take a planned approach to managing cash flow during the holiday season. Here are few tips for keeping on top of cash flow management during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

     

    Keep invoicing in the lead up to Christmas

    Don’t let your business admin slip in the rushed lead-up to Christmas. This is the most important time of the year to stay on top of your invoicing. You may find that many customers will be slow to pay because their businesses are closed over the Christmas period.

     

    SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS

    Be clear with your customers that you expect them to pay within the pre-arranged credit terms over the Christmas period. Phone regular slow payers a few days before payment is due to confirm that they’ll be paying on time. The phone is always a more effective method than email. If you’re not comfortable having this conversation with your customers, your accountant or bookkeeper may be able to assist.

     

    USE THE QUIET TIME TO WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS

    If sales are a little slow in the lead-up to Christmas, use the time wisely to hit the ground running in the new year.

     

    The pre-Christmas slowdown is a great time to work through the to-do list you’ve been compiling all year. This might include taking a thorough inventory, searching for more suitable lending alternatives, completing a comprehensive competitor analysis or researching the market for new products and suppliers.

     

    WANT TO TALK?

    Our measure of success is your success.  Whether it’s budgeting, improving cash flow, implementing better systems or growing your revenue, talk to us about a running strategic planning session, we’d love to share with you THE OC WAY and help you achieve your business goals.

     

    Together, let's make 2019 a great year.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Xero Two-Step Authentication

    Published October 2018

     

    The rise in the number of high-profile cyber-crime and data theft incidents in recent years has highlighted the necessity for business owners and corporations to make online security and safety a priority in their standard operating procedures. This is essential given that crucial information (and in many circumstances this could be confidential) is increasingly being disseminated and shared online between multiple parties, be it via cloud software platforms or the good old email method.

     

    Xero is committed to keeping your data safe and secure and have introduced a security feature that fortifies the security for Xero user accounts. Two-Step Authentication (2SA), requires users to log in with their respective passwords and input another unique, six-digit numerical code that is randomly generated by an authentication app: Google Authenticator.

     

    Why is 2SA such a valuable measure? As the authentication code is app-generated, only the person that is privy to the user email and password and has access to the authentication device will be able to log into the respective Xero account. Hence, it will be much tougher for unauthorised persons to log in.

     

    Here is a short video demonstration on how this works:

     

     

    Alternatively, we have provided the step-by-step procedures as follows:

    1. Download and install the applicable authentication app for your device.
    2. Open the app on your device and select “Get Started”
    3. It will ask you to add your Google account login details, this is not necessary, simply skip over this.
    4. Back in Xero, click “Account”, then select “Setup” under “Two-step authentication”.
    5. Next, use the app to view and scan the QR code on screen with your phone camera. Then hit “Next”.
    6. Enter the authentication code that has been generated into Xero and click “Next”.
    7. Set up your security questions and answers, then click “Next"
    8. It will ask you to record a secondary email account, this is not mandatory and can be skipped.
    9. Click “Done”.

    The next time you log in, you’ll be asked to open your Authenticator app and enter the six-digit code, in addition to your email address and password.  The code resets every two minutes.

     

    As noted above, you can add an alternative email address as an additional recovery method, but this is not compulsory. If you do choose to do so, click “Use another authentication method” when prompted for the authentication code during your next login attempt and follow the prompts to set up your recovery email address.

     

    We hope this information can be of assistance to you. Should you have any questions or run into any difficulty, do feel free to give us a ring and we will be more than happy to give you hand.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

     

    ATO Scam Warning

    Published July 2017

    In recent months, it has come to our attention that people are receiving harsh and threatening correspondences related to supposed outstanding compliance obligations and tax debt, be it by telephone or in written format, from people claiming to act for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Following further investigation into the matters and through verification with the ATO, the correspondences have been proven to be scams and are thus fraudulent in nature.

     

    OC Partners does not condone the acts of these scam artists. Hence, we have prepared some advice (with reference to materials released by the ATO) for clients to protect themselves from falling prey to scammers.

     

    The more common methods used by scam artists to prey on taxpayers are telephone communication, e-mails and text messages. They might also prey on taxpayers under the guise of employment advertisements by requesting for job applicants’ tax file numbers.

     

    In case you have received an abusive phone call from someone that claims to work for the ATO (by abusive we mean active threats of arrest and aggressive tones of speech), chances are that it is a scammer trying to get you to part with your hard-earned money or confidential information. If this happens, we urge that you do not give in to their threats and demands. Rather, contact the ATO on 13 11 42 to get a verification on your tax account balances, or alternatively get in touch with us and we can speak to the ATO on your behalf to check if the context of the phone call is legitimate.

     

    E-mails that are supposedly sent by the ATO often look legitimate due to the presence of the ATO letterhead and logo, and this makes it hard for taxpayers to doubt the authenticity of the correspondence. In saying that however, there are a few indicators that taxpayers can look for:

    • The e-mail domain does not end with “ato.gov.au”.
    • The composition is laden with poor grammar and vocabulary.
    • It contains a link for you to click on (to make sure, try mousing over the link to determine if the domain is accurate).
    • The message requests for the recipient to verify his or her identity.
    • The message is sent from another account, often a private one.

    Text messages can be tricky since the SMS is indeed a valid method of communication used by the ATO. The only possible indicators are if a link is attached to the message or the sender has asked for your personal or credit card details.

     

    In summary, here are the four “Nevers” for our customers to take note of:

    1. The ATO will NEVER threaten a taxpayer with arrest.
    2. The ATO will NEVER cold-call taxpayers to demand for immediate payment, nor will the ATO request that the taxpayer settle the debt by purchasing merchandise such as gift cards.
    3. The ATO will NEVER show up at a taxpayer’s doorstep without making an appointment.
    4. The ATO will NEVER ask for any confidential information from a taxpayer through e-mails or text messages.

    Should you receive suspicious correspondences but are not sure whether to disregard them, do give us a call and we can liaise with the ATO to determine the authenticity of the communication. We are here for our customers so please do not hesitate to contact us. If you prefer to contact the ATO personally, please dial 1800 008 540 between 8am and 6pm, from Monday to Friday, and the support officer will provide you with further advice on the necessary steps to be taken, and may ask for some elaboration on the contents of the correspondence.

     

    General advice disclaimer

    General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Tax Debt

    Published April 2017

    Do you have your tax debts under control?

     

    From 1 July 2017, a new tax measure will come into play for small businesses, and we’re here to help prepare you for this tax change.

     

    Businesses that haven't engaged with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to get their tax debts under control could have their tax debt information disclosed to credit reporting agencies by the ATO.

     

    Initially, the ATO will be applying this new disclosure measure to businesses with a tax debt greater than $10,000 and is in default (at least 90 days overdue). If your tax debt is disclosed by the ATO, your credit rating will be adversely affected for the next 5 years.

     

    What do you need to do?

     

    If you have a tax debt that is 90 days or more overdue, you need to secure a payment arrangement with the ATO before 30 June 2017, regardless of how big or small the tax debt is.

     

    We also encourage everyone who has outstanding tax payments not yet in default, to get these paid as soon as possible.

     

    Tax debts, once disclosed to credit reporting agencies, will go on your credit rating file for 5 years which could greatly impact your chances of securing finance in the future or enter in to credit arrangements with your suppliers.

     

    So, it is important to get your tax debts under control as soon as possible, and well before 1 July 2017.

     

    How we can help you!

     

    As your tax agent, we can help you negotiate an effective payment arrangement with the ATO without negatively affecting your cashflow.

     

    Get in touch with us today to discuss your options and get control of your tax debts.

     

    General advice disclaimer

    General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

     

    SAAS Software

    Published December 2016

    I am going to call it – in today’s day and age the failure to engage with software as a service (SAAS) products such as Xero and Happy HR is business suicide.

     

    The reason for this is that the majority of your competitors would be taking advantage of them and this is because it is well known that these types of products can make your business more operationally efficient giving you more time and everyone knows that time = increased productivity which = more money. The more time and money your competitor has the more time and money they have to put towards blowing you out of the water.

     

    SAAS products are available for a whole range of services. To help you out today I have highlighted the main services with SAAS products that you should at least be invested in.

     

    Accounting

    One of the most challenging aspects of modern business is keeping track of all the money coming in and leaving a business. Thanks to advances in Cloud based technology, business owners are now able to automate and digitise a range of old bookkeeping and account practices to help them streamline these processes. In addition to this, businesses are getting real time analytics and reporting in order to help ensure that they are staying on track towards probability and meeting other financial and business benchmarks. So say goodbye to the shoebox filled with receipts and say hello to your smart phone for helping you maintain your record keeping requirements.

     

    One of the most challenging aspects of modern business is keeping track of all the money coming in and leaving a business. Thanks to advances in Cloud based technology, business owners are now able to automate and digitise a range of old bookkeeping and account practices to help them streamline these processes. In addition to this, businesses are getting real time analytics and reporting in order to help ensure that they are staying on track towards probability and meeting other financial and business benchmarks. So say goodbye to the shoebox filled with receipts and say hello to your smart phone for helping you maintain your record keeping requirements.

     

    Sales

    While access to software in the sales function has been around for some time advances in this space have led to an enhanced user experience allowing businesses to tie in marketing and other business technologies together reducing the administration required to maintain a CRM and automating key functions already set within the business. The options are endless and the sky is the limit so jot down what you want out of your CRM and start shopping.

     

    Marketing

    As marketing is increasingly driven through Social Media, a range of new platforms have come along that easily integrate into these mediums in order to seamlessly push out content on a pre-determined schedule making it easy for those social media novices out there to take advantage of everything social media has to offer.

     

    Point of Sale

    As with many of the software mentioned above, the Point of Sale technology has gone from clunky barcode scanners and MS DOS platforms to streamlined and mobile Point of Sale options. Business owners are finding that the integration of these different platforms are driving further time savings and analytics for their business. Now when an item is sold, it automatically generates an entry into the Sales CRM, creates an account in the Accounting software, and any other inventory software that may be coupled in with it. This has many businesses crying out “Where have you been all my life!”

     

    Human Resources

    One of the areas of advancement in the SAAS product space is in the area of Human Resources. The HR function is one of the most complex and sensitive areas of a business and lots of businesses are doing this wrong. How do I l know this? Well this is not only my area of expertise and I see this on a day to day basis but it is also evidenced by the increase in Fair Work cases over the last 12 months and the prediction by Fair Work that this will continue to increase in the coming 12 months. Access to a simple to use software that can ensure businesses can be legally compliant with HR is now an option for business owners and this is definitely a SAAS product they should jump on now!