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Business Tax Tips – Instant asset write off 2017 – $20,000 claim limit ends 30 June 2017

Business Tax Tips – Instant asset write off 2017 - $20,000 claim limit ends 30 June 2017

Instant asset write off 2017 – $20,000 claim limit ends 30 June 2017

If you are a small business (aggregated turnover of less than $2 million) contemplating buying machinery or equipment, be aware that these are final months of the $20,000 instant asset write-off 2017.

With a final date of 30 June 2017, you may consider bringing forward any planned asset investments to the next few months – particularly in this current low interest-rate environment.

The ATO says

Small businesses can immediately deduct assets costing less than $20,000 purchased since 7.30pm 12 May 2015.

You can use the new threshold amounts in claiming deductions in your 2015 and 2016 income tax returns.

The deduction is claimed in the income year in which the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

What’s changed?

The instant asset write-off threshold has increased to $20,000 (up from $1,000). This allows you to immediately deduct the business use portion of a depreciating asset that costs less than $20,000.

The changes apply

  • To assets acquired after 7.30pm on 12 May 2015 until 30 June 2017
  • On a per asset basis, so several assets each costing less than $20,000 would qualify
  • To new and second hand assets.

Assets that cost $20,000 or more (which can’t be immediately deducted) will continue to be deducted over time using a small business pool.

The low pool value threshold will also increase to $20,000. This means that an immediate deduction is available if the pool balance is less than $20,000 at the end of an income year.

What’s not included?

There are a small number of assets that aren’t eligible for accelerated depreciation, for example horticultural plants that have specialised depreciation rules.

Record keeping

Just like any other business asset, you’ll need to keep records to support any claims for a deduction.

Find out about:

Simplified depreciation for small business where we read –

You can choose to use the simplified depreciation rules if you have a small business with an aggregated annual turnover (the total normal income of your business and that of any associated businesses) of less than $2 million.

Under these rules, you:

  • Immediately write-off – deduct their full cost in the year you buy them – most depreciating assets that cost less than $20,000* each that were bought and used, or installed ready for use from 7.30pm (AEST) on 12 May 2015 until 30 June 2017
  • Pool most other depreciating assets that cost $20,000 or more in a small business asset pool and claim
  1. A 15% deduction in the first year (regardless of when you purchased or acquired them during the year)
  2. A 30% deduction each year after the first year
  • Write-off the balance of your small business pool at the end of an income year if the balance – before applying any other depreciation deduction – is less than $20,000.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Call 0407 361 596 Aust and also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

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Cashflow Tips – Claiming Business expenses – Consider what you want to achieve

Cashflow Tips – Claiming Business expenses – Consider what you want to achieve

Cashflow Tips – Claiming Business expenses – Consider what you want to achieve

We see many business financial situations, working on the business books in different industries. Commonly the owner is told by fellow business owners and often accountants, to be claiming business expenses as much as you can to reduce profit and pay little tax. That is sensible, and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website encourages tax minimisation that is lawful (but not tax avoidance by manipulation if false claims etc).

However, while assisting with the debt collection and client payment allocation to correct invoices (one service we provide – we tailor to what the client needs) and while working on one client’s books, I notice quite a few personal transactions like F&V and Meats, that they want to claim as staff/office expenses, but aren’t aware that it looks like the accountant is allocating them as NON-DEDUCTIBLE – it would be hard to justify as “office or staff” amenities to the ATO so often as well!

Additionally, IKEA and paint and Bunnings can be legitimate office Repair and Maintenance, but if purchased while your business is closed, it could look suspicious.

So be aware that it looks like the accountant is not going to claim some things for you any way, and that is probably safer for you also, in case of ATO audit.

Cashflow Tips – Claiming Business expenses – Consider what you want to achieveOften, really isn’t much value to try claiming as much as possible as business expense (from what I have seen other businesses do) and as we often hear them say they do.

WHY?

  • If there is an audit it can be denied and reversed and fines imposed – the ATO website is clear that only business-related expenses are claimable
  • The other thing is low profit can inhibit funding if required in the future via bank overdraft or venture capital, or partner investor – Not all will really look into the real detail. And if you want/have to sell, you need to show 3 good years of good profit – otherwise who would want to buy it?
  • Doing a year-end” Directors bonus” to reduce profit shows a clear easy message to potential bank or financiers. I have done that in earlier years – it clearly says you are profitable, but reduces the profit legitimately, so less company tax needs to be paid, and can be done declared after the year end!

It needs to be discussed with the accountant, but even they miss-understand the disadvantage of claiming lots of expenses to reduce profit, and the harm to your future financing and wealth potential.

I have seen that if you want to borrow or expand, it is better to have clean accounts, and take bonus wages if extra Profit and money is there, as wages are fully deductible, and don’t need to be explained or justified as some transactions such as mentioned above, may need to.

And you will also know that a good wage for you and your wife is better when you want to re-finance or borrow for an investment property in the future. The brokers I work with (and even in my own situation this year) have a hard time explaining to lenders the true story – most do not understand business and Profit and Loss (especially “Extra expenses” claimed on the business)

Yes you need to improve your home, and you need to do that, but it doesn’t bring in income like an investment property will.

The quicker you access more property or other investments, the earlier you set yourself up for better wealth later, by passive capital growth.

I wish I had that shown to me 10-20 years ago, but no-one did, and I realise only a few see how it can work or how to make it work – owners and accountants alike.

You may be in a good position to be able to get an investment property with your incomes, and growing business turn-over. But if you load up non-business expenses it gives the accountant more work, looks like they may not claim it all any way so it wastes their time, it makes extra work for a broker to convince a bank you are very profitable etc so they are comfortable to lend to you as a low risk to them (which is what they aim for!)

So consider the bigger picture – you may be able to do more, but that is up to you and when you have the time/interest to look into it.

Just my observations of other business people and how most limit the possibilities.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today! 0407 361 596 Aust

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You also get FREE 30 min to assist in setting up your company in the software, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – no-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

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Business Tax Tips – Tax on Temporary Residents or Foreign Workers or Non-resident Worker Tax

Business Tax Tips – Tax on Temporary Residents or Foreign Workers or Non-resident Worker Tax

Tax on Temporary Residents or Foreign Workers or Non-resident Worker Tax

If you have employees that are temporary residents or foreign workers, it is important to know the tax that applies and conditions the worker must meet, such as current work VISA – here is what the ATO says

What you need to work in Australia –

To work in Australia you need a visa that allows you to work here. You should also have a tax file number (TFN).

Visas are issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. You can check if your visa allows you to work by using the department’s free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) serviceExternal Link.

Your TFN is your personal reference number in our tax system. You can apply for a TFN online once you have your work visa and have arrived in Australia. You should apply for your TFN before you start work or soon after.

Apply for a TFN

You don’t have to have a TFN, but you pay more tax if you don’t have one. Getting a TFN is free.

If you think someone else has used your TFN or it has been stolen, phone ATO on 1800 467 033 (within Australia), between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

When you start a job –

Complete a Tax file number declaration

Your employer will ask you to complete a Tax file number declaration, which tells them your TFN and whether you are an Australian or foreign resident for tax purposes.

Your employer uses the information to work out how much tax to withhold from your wages. They should also provide your TFN to your superannuation fund so it can accept your superannuation contributions and pay the correct tax on them.

You have 28 days to provide a completed Tax file number declaration to your employer. If you don’t, they must deduct a higher rate of tax from your pay.

You should give your TFN to your employer only after you start work for them. Never give your TFN in a job application or over the internet.

Your employer deducts tax

Your employer will deduct tax from your pay and send it to us. This is called ‘pay as you go withholding’.

You can check how much tax should be taken from your pay.

Note: New working holiday makers tax tables apply from 1 January 2017

If you employ working holiday makers, new tax tables apply from 1 January 2017.

Working holiday makers include individuals who hold either a:

  • working holiday makers visa (subclass 417)
  • work and holiday makers visa (subclass 462)
  • associated bridging visa.

For more information refer to Tax table for working holiday makers.

Superannuation entitlements

Superannuation (or ‘super’) is Australia’s retirement savings system. If you are a temporary resident, your employer should pay super contributions for you just as they do for eligible Australian resident employees.

It doesn’t matter whether you work full time, part time or casually.

Your employer must pay super contributions into a super fund on your behalf if you are paid A$450 (before tax) or more in a calendar month and you are either:

  • 18 years or older, or
  • under 18 and work more than 30 hours per week.

Your employer does not need to pay super for you if you are doing work of a private or domestic nature for 30 hours or less each week – for example, if you are employed as a nanny.

Compulsory employer super contributions are in addition to your salary. Most people can choose which Australian super fund these contributions are paid into.

You can use the Employee superannuation guarantee calculator to work out if you are eligible for super payments and how much your employer should contribute.

See also:

Cash payments and ‘contractor’ payments

Some employers prefer to pay in cash instead of to a bank account. This is okay, provided they still:

  • deduct tax from the money they pay you
  • give you payslips showing how much tax has been deducted
  • pay super contributions on your behalf (if you’re entitled to super).

If they don’t do these things, you could get less pay and super than you’re entitled to.

Some employers may incorrectly treat you as a contractor or even encourage you to get an Australian business number (ABN). Having an ABN doesn’t make you a contractor. Only people who carry on a business can have an ABN.

If an employer offers to pay you in cash without deducting any tax or paying contributions into your super fund, report them to us by phoning 1800 060 062 (within Australia) between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. You don’t have to give us your name.

When you leave a job

After the end of the income year (30 June), your employer will give you a payment summary. This shows how much you earned and how much tax was deducted from your wages. If you leave a job during the year, you can ask for your payment summary when you leave. Your employer must give it to you within 14 days.

After 30 June you lodge an annual tax return to tell us how much income you received and tax you paid. This information will be on your payment summaries. We then send you a notice of assessment and your tax refund if you are entitled to one.

If you’re leaving Australia permanently you may be able to claim your super.

Next steps:

o    Paying tax and lodging a tax return

o    Returning to your home country

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Cashflow Tips – What Cashflow means to your Employees

Cashflow Tips – What Cashflow means to your Employees

Cashflow Tips – What Cashflow means to your Employees

The Great Game of Business (GGOB) is a book and website and coaching movement that originated as a means to save a company division of International Harvester on its demise back in the 1980’s and how employees and management saved the company and their livelihoods with a unique way to run business – it has grown to launch another 60 associated companies and is regarded as one of the for-runners of Open-Book Management. Here is an exert from one of its blog posts).

Dave Sholten writes … Here are three statements in which I fully believe:

1.     Cash flow trends can be the ultimate measure and indicator of success and/or failure of the company performance.

2.     Your employees are begging you to be transparent with them.

3.     It is important to your employees that they can TRUST you.

Put These Three Statements to Good Use

If we can assume (and agree) that the above three suggestions are accurate, then employees really want to know the honest financial health of the company, which most often includes cash flow.

Don’t ever let your pride convince you to hide the bad news, or get in the way of being honest. Honesty doesn’t have to be easy, and doesn’t always have to be good news, but it is necessary and fair in every trusting relationship.

It would serve you and your conscious well if you identified a few of the key “success/failure” financial indicators of your company’s performance, and then plan a way to start sharing with the employees the “score” involving those indicators.

You might start with your annual update, and then enhance that communication to a quarterly update. You should look forward to when your employees start to ask you questions like:

  • Why did that number go up?
  • How does this number impact that numbers results?
  • What can we do to make that trend better?

When this happens, YOU HAVE ARRIVED! Your team, however many, are asking the questions, are asking to be more included in your game of business and want to learn more about the numbers and how to positively impact the future. You will gain support and teamwork in the future course of your business. Your entire workforce will be engaged in supporting your quest to “win the game.”

For those employees who don’t embrace the information and learning, keep a close eye on them. Their heads are in the sand, and hopefully (not a recommended corporate strategy) they don’t treat your product/service/customers/clients and fellow employees that way.

In conclusion, here is what your company’s cash flow means to employees:

  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Confidence
  • Continued employment
  • Commitment to the team and organization
  • Faith in the future
  • Winning

What is your experience with employee engagement and helping you run the business as a team together so ALL benefit?

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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Business Finance 101 – Do you know – What are the Accounting Principles?

Business Finance 101 – Do you know - What are The Accounting Principles?

Do you know – What are The Accounting Principles?

In accounting (recording the monetary values of financial transactions) there are general rules and concepts developed over many decades that apply. These are called basic accounting principles and guidelines and are the groundwork on which more detailed, complicated, and legalistic accounting rules are based. In Australia. The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) uses the basic accounting principles and guidelines as a basis for their own detailed and comprehensive set of accounting rules and standards.

There is a phrase “generally accepted accounting principles” (or “GAAP“) which consist of three important sets of rules: (1) basic accounting principles and guidelines, (2) detailed rules and standards issued by AASB, and (3) the generally accepted industry practices.

When a company distributes its financial statements to the owners or the public, it is required to follow generally accepted accounting principles in the preparation of those statements. Further, if a company’s shares are publicly traded, federal law requires the company’s financial statements be audited by independent public accountants. Both the company’s management and the independent accountants must certify that the financial statements and the related notes to the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with GAAP.

GAAP is useful because it attempts to standardise and regulate accounting definitions, assumptions and methods. Because of generally accepted accounting principles we are able to assume that there is consistency from year to year in the methods used to prepare a company’s financial statements. And although variations may exist, we can make reasonably confident conclusions when comparing one company to another, or comparing one company’s financial statistics to the statistics for its industry. Over the years the generally accepted accounting principles have become more complex because financial transactions have become more complex.

The Accounting Standards are split into various categories eg “Statement of Cashflows”, “Construction Contracts” etc, and a list with the most recent updates/ pronouncements for Australia can be found HERE.

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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MYOB – Tax Tables for 2016 – 2017?

The new tax tables for 2016-2017, have mainly changed in the level $37001 – $$87,000 (was $80,000) range. The full levels are –Pers Tax Rates 16-17

Does your MYOB software have out of date tax tables, or you know you need them by experience every year. (To find what you have, click Set Up then General Payroll Information. In about the middle is the table date at the start of that tax year it applies to).

Tax tables become out of date nearly each year as tax rates and/or Medicare and HECS thresholds can be changed by the Tax Office (ATO). MYOB only supply new tax tables via full software annual subscription. You can no-longer buy the  latest tax tables separately as many years ago. Users must upgrade to a new version or take out Cover under their support program to receive the latest tables or ‘pay2myob.bin’ file for earlier versions (MYOB) to keep payroll compliant. (If you want assistance to upgrade to the latest MYOB call Paul – 0407 361 596 or email us – info@accountkeepingplus.com.au).

The special MYOB tax file (eg ‘pay2myob.bin’) has been specially formatted so that it disallows any manual edit it. Additionally, each version is formatted specially, so you can’t use a tax file formatted for MYOB Version 19 with say Version 16. For the Mac version (AccountEdge®) the tax table file is called “MYOB Tax Tables” or in v9 to 9.6 has a “.tax” extension. Everything else though is the same and all the comments here apply equally to the Mac version.

Note third-party tax tables cannot be used in MYOB 2011 onwards – you MUST have subscription or upgrade. Contact us to discuss your needs, or assistance with upgrades and get our extra BONUSES no obligation. 0407 361 596.

There is a Solution up to MYOB v19.11 and Account Edge 14.5 – Third party updated tax tables available for $67+GST provide a substitute, have been tested by ourselves and work with many prior versions. They are for those who want to continue to use their current versions of MYOB® without the need to upgrade. Note that there is nothing in your license agreement that prevents you using 3rd party tax tables.

Installation is simple. The tables are supplied with easy to follow video and instructions and instantly downloaded after secure credit card  payment in most instances, or will be emailed to you. You also receive a PDF copy of the applicable Aust Tax Office Weekly Tax Table for you to check the accuracy of the calculations. After-sales email support is available for any installation or setup issues you may encounter. If you would like Account Keeping Plus to install for you, we can do by remote desktop – Teamviewer (free software). For $50+GST. Call or email for instructions.

Note – NO changes are made to the software. The only changes made are to the tax rates in your company data file that the software calls upon to calculate PAYG Withholding in a pay, when processing payroll. The changes made are not permanent and can be reversed by reloading the tax tables from your current tax table file, simply moving a file in the software folder

These third-party tables are available, which Account Keeping Plus have tested in the software and tested against the ATO tables and work perfectly for us and our clients. To get more details and purchase for your MYOB – click the grey box to the right – “Tax Tables

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

Call 0407 361 596 Aust and also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia


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MYOB – Overpayment of Retention – How do I deal with the overpaid retentions?

MYOB – Overpayment of Retention – How do I deal with the overpaid retentions?

MYOB – Overpayment of Retention – How do I deal with the overpaid retentions?

ClientA regular client called me in for several issues – but the main one was that a customer had overpayment of Retention owed. In the Building industry a customer usually withholds an amount – say 10-15% of the Invoiced amount over, and only pays once the job is completed and all parties are satisfied – the Retention. The client calculated that an extra $10,200 over the $4,000 Retention, had been paid, and she had called the customer but they were sure it was correct – how to deal with it?

Answer – Depending on the method you use – some create another invoice for the Retention amount, to be paid later, some just leave the invoice with the balance (Retention) still open, as in this case.

 She would be checking her figures again, but no other jobs were outstanding, so it wasn’t several Retentions owed together either.

So I suggested just add another line and include details of the payment date and total and that $10,200 was over paid. Then she could Receive Payment to the invoice for the full $14,200 payment.

Then create ANOTHER invoice but with NEGATIVE $10,200 so it becomes a Credit Note/Invoice, save it, and email to customer.

Then in the Sales Register under the Credits tab, find the Credit, highlight it, then in the lower LHS you can “Refund” – this generates a Cheque, linked to the Credit Note, uses up the Credit Note and allows refund by manual cheque or EFT Transfer to the client bank account.

For more detail on how to handle customer overpayments – see MYOB Support Note HERE

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much! Call and you also get FREE “Avoid these GST mistakes” – There’s 18 that the Tax Office see regularly – Get them right!

Email info@accountkeepingplus.com.au or call 0407 361 596 Australia