What does the China/US trade war mean to Australia?

As the bilateral trade war between the US and China heats up, we look at what this might mean to Australia caught between its cultural and military ties to the US and its strong economic relationship with China. At the annual United Nations General Assembly President Donald Trump threw fuel on the trade war fire by stating that “…regrettably we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our … Read more

Working from home: What deductions can you claim?

For a while now, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been concerned about tax deductions individuals have been claiming for a whole host of expenses. The latest on their ‘hit list’ are home office expenses.  We guide you through what you can and can’t claim if you work from home. Last financial year, 6.7 million taxpayers claimed a record $7.9 billion in deductions for ‘other work-related expenses’ which includes expenses … Read more

Got a HELP debt? The impending changes to speed up your repayments

The Government has moved to put an end to ‘eternal students’ who constantly study and never earn an income and speed up the payment cycle for those with outstanding debt. New lifetime caps on Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt will prevent people from constantly going to University without converting that study into a viable career. From 1 January 2019, new loan limits come into force: $150,000 – for students … Read more

Last minute changes to company tax and franking rate passed by Parliament

Legislation passed by Parliament late last month introduces a new test that will restrict some companies from accessing the lower company tax rate from the 2017-18 financial year. Across a 3 year period, the company tax and franking rate changed, then the definition of what is a small business entity changed (from a $2 million to $10 million turnover) along with how the franking rates apply, and now we have … Read more

190,000 taxpayers ‘examined’ in ATO online rental blitz

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced a new data-matching program targeting taxpayers earning income from the exploding popularity of short-term rentals available on platforms like AirBNB and Stayz.  Utilising information from online platform sharing sites matched to information from financial institutions, the ATO is targeting 190,000 individuals to make sure they have not failed to declare or under declared rental income or have overclaimed deductions. In effect, whatever data … Read more

Are you holding back your business?

Overcoming the biggest problems in business often comes down to the simple things. Here are a few simple things you can do to capitalise on your opportunities and reduce your risks. “I didn’t get time…” No more excuses Most people simply don’t set aside the time to do the forward planning they know they need to do. Here’s a simple test: write down your goals for the business. Now ask … Read more

Clothing deductions hung out to dry

The Australian Taxation Office is closely examining work-related clothing and laundry expense claims of taxpayers submitting their 2017-18 tax returns. The ATO says that clothing claims are up nearly 20% over the last five years with people either making mistakes or deliberately over-claiming. Common mistakes include people claiming ineligible clothing, claiming for something without having spent the money, and not being able to explain the basis for how the claim … Read more

Will Australians pay more for a good cause?

In the same month that desperate farmers made headlines preparing to destroy starving flocks and pleading with the public to pay a few cents more for their dairy products, Dick Smith’s nationalistic brand announced its closure. The question is, will Australians pay more for a cause? Comments like “We’re with you” and the 2.8k heart emojis on facebook do very little when you can’t feed your herd. It’s nice there … Read more

When can you take your super?

The cash sitting in your superannuation fund can be tempting, particularly if you are short of cash. But, the reality is there are very few ways you can take advantage of your superannuation once it has been contributed to the fund – even if you change your mind. The sole purpose test underpins access to your superannuation – that is, superannuation is for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits … Read more

Addressing Elder Financial Abuse

Please follow the link below to see the latest video instalment on Protecting your Clients from Financial Elder Abuse, featuring Stephen Jones. Protecting your Clients from Financial Elder Abuse