Bookkeepers and Business Owners! – Training you – Solving Problems – Or We do your books for you!

Bookkeeping – Train, Troubleshoot or we do the books for you! MYOB Reckon Xero & Set Up


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Business Tax Tips – Beware – Claiming “I didn’t know” is no excuse with the ATO and can lead to fines!

Business Tax Tips – Beware – Claiming “I didn’t know” is no excuse with the ATO and can lead to fines!

Beware – Claiming “I didn’t know” is no excuse with the ATO and can lead to fines!

Beware of your liability as a small business owner for tax credits you have claimed, or not knowing what your bookkeeper/wife is reporting in your BAS and tax returns – ignorance is not an excuse with the ATO! As Terry Hayes relates in Smart Company about a carpenter in a recent Dispute with the ATO –

While it’s often said that lawyers and accountants are their own worst clients, or doctors are their own worst patients, taxpayers too can be their own worst clients when they represent themselves in disputes with the Tax Office.

This happened recently with a carpenter who represented himself before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in a GST dispute with the Tax Commissioner.

In that case, the AAT upheld the Tax Commissioner’s decision to impose on the taxpayer a 50% administrative penalty on the basis of “recklessness” because he had over-claimed GST credits.

The taxpayer is a carpenter by trade, a sub-contractor in the building industry. He is a sole trader and has no employees. The Commissioner audited his Business Activity Statements for the period 1 January 2007 to 30 June 2010 and found he had over-claimed input tax credits. The BASs showed that claims for ITCs exceeded his GST payable in all but six out of the 42 BASs lodged in the relevant period. The tax shortfall amount was around $130,000 and the penalty imposed was some $65,000 based on 50% of the shortfall amount.

The taxpayer said that his wife prepared and lodged his BASs and that he never reviewed them or any of the supporting documents, including the invoices that he kept in a box in the linen closet which, as it transpired, did not substantiate his ITC claims. He also did not keep vehicle log books. Nor did he ever check any of his bank statements and so he was unaware that he was receiving GST refunds from the Commissioner over a lengthy period of time in the joint bank account that he had with his wife.

The taxpayer did not dispute the tax shortfall but argued he was not responsible for the penalty maintaining that it was the Commissioner who was mostly responsible for it. He alleged that Tax Officers had represented to his wife that he was entitled to claim ITCs for the purchase of his family home because he maintained a home office (although the AAT noted the settlement statement for the purchase of the home did not show any GST having been charged by the vendor to the taxpayer and his wife as the purchasers). Additionally, the taxpayer claimed it was the Commissioner that allowed the situation to go on for so long without him being audited.

The taxpayer also alleged that a car salesman had represented to him that he could claim back the GST on the purchase of two vehicles, but he accepted before the AAT that he was given wrong information by the salesman.

The taxpayer also stated that he had lost a lot of information about his purchases when his old computer died and that many other receipts that he had stored had faded and were illegible. The taxpayer contended that the mistakes in his BASs “were not made intentionally by his wife and that he had always been honest with the Commissioner”.

The taxpayer was self-represented. The AAT did not accept what the taxpayer said his wife was told by the Tax Officers or what the taxpayer said he was told by the car salesman. It agreed with the Commissioner’s contention that the taxpayer had over-claimed ITCs “for a lengthy period of time in circumstances where he knew or should have known that he was not entitled to claim the ITCs”. The AAT said the taxpayer had conceded he was “indifferent as to whether the BASs were accurate”. It also noted the taxpayer “never checked any of the BASs or whether he had the supporting documentation for the ITC claims because he thought everything was fine”. The AAT was of the view that the taxpayer “chose to leave the preparation of his BASs in the hands of his wife who had no taxation expertise”.

In the Tribunal’s view, the taxpayer’s conduct amounted to recklessness because there were foreseeable risks as to a tax shortfall where his BASs included claims for ITCs to which he was not entitled. The AAT said a reasonable person in the taxpayer’s position should have known about those risks. The Tribunal said the taxpayer “displayed complete indifference to the high risk of non-compliance in his GST affairs”. Game, set and match to the Tax Office on this occasion.

The AAT held the taxpayer had failed to discharge the onus of proving that the penalty was excessive. It held the decision to impose an administrative penalty of 50% was correct and that it should not be remitted in the circumstances.

Taxpayers must exercise care in their taxation affairs. They have that responsibility, and while they may claim they have no intention of making mistakes, that does not unfortunately stack up. Leaving the preparation of BASs to a family member (even if they are well versed in this), be it a wife or someone else, does not absolve the taxpayer from his or her responsibilities.

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

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

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Business Tax Tips – Research shows how to increase revenue for small business especially start-ups

Business Tax Tips – Research shows how to increase revenue for small business especially start-ups

Research shows how to increase revenue for small business especially start-ups

If a 21% chance of increasing revenue / sales was possible by working with your accountant / advisor – would you do it?  Rose Powell reports on a survey in SMEs can make better use of their accountant to boost their bottom line“For the third of business owners who worked with an accountant as an advisor, one in five (21%) saw a rise in their revenue over the last year”.

Rose wrote – “Small business operators who used their accountant as a business advisor last year were 31% more likely to see an earning uplift, according to … research from the 2013 MYOB Business Monitor.

The vast majority of the 1005 business owners surveyed, 89% used an accountant last year.

Only 32% of owners reported having an advisory or consultative relationship with their accountant, compared with the 57% whose relationships were for compliance only, such as tax return completion or GST reporting.

Just 11% did not have an accountant.

For the third of business owners who worked with an accountant as an advisor, one in five (21%) saw a rise in their revenue over the last year.

Adam Ferguson, general manager of the accountants division at MYOB, told StartupSmart that using an accountant as an advisor was especially valuable for start-up companies.

‘The start-up phase of a business is very different to when it’s up and running. In that phase, your accountant can help with things like creating a business plan, applying for business loans, building out your business case,’ says Ferguson.

For start-ups who are already in operational phase, the increasing use of cloud accounting systems enables accountants to provide feedback and ask the right questions about compliance and cash flow.

Ferguson says cloud accounting means compliance is no longer a year-end process, and increasingly a monthly one. This makes them well placed to advise on cashflow questions.

‘An accountant can play a key role in helping a start-up, reporting on cash flow on a more regular basis, and understanding the dynamics that drive cashflow,’ says Ferguson.

The report found companies that worked with an accountant as an advisor were less concerned about attracting and retaining customers, and were more likely to increase their overall investment in their business strategies.

‘Once you’ve got your cash flow healthy, it becomes a question of how to use that and where to invest that to grow my business,’ says Ferguson.

Over half, 53%, said they found their accountant advisor provided useful advice on how best to manage the money that flows through their businesses.”

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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Bookkeeping – End of Financial year final pay falls in new financial year

Bookkeeping – End of Financial year final pay falls in new financial year

Bookkeeping – End of Financial year final pay falls in new financial year

Client questionJust a quick question. 

We have an employee being paid fortnightly.

Next payment to be made 07/07/2017.  This includes the week 26/6 to 30/6/2017. Does any of this have to be put through in EOFY for 2016/2017?  Or will it be first payment for New year on new tax table?

Solution Payroll is taken as  a cash payment in the accounts – ie WHEN it is paid.

Regardless of what period it covers – it is WHEN it is paid.

So not included in previous tax year.

You can finish your payroll YE17 year, prepare the Payment Summaries – check you include in Gross Payments, any NEW payroll types/categories if you created any during the year.

Then roll forward to new payroll year, and you can process the 7/7/17 payroll that covers end of June days and some of July days.

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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Xero – Handling Overpayments in Xero

Xero – Handling Overpayments in Xero

Handling Overpayments in Xero

From the Xero blog, here is how to handle overpayments in Xero and resolve them –

Overpayments can be challenging at times, or even forgotten. There are some easy ways to handle overpayments within Xero.

Let’s take a look at a few ways we can record an overpayment and apply this to an invoice/bill or refund it directly. In Xero, the term “invoice” relates to a sale, and a “bill” relates to a purchase. I’ve only referred to invoices below, but these processes relate to both.

To Record (handle) an Overpayment, you can either:

  • Simply enter the amount paid directly onto the invoice, and if the amount exceeds your invoice total, Xero will automatically calculate an Overpayment transaction.
  • Create an Overpayment Receive Money / Spend Money transaction in your bank account
  • During reconciliation, create an Overpayment Receive Money / Spend Money transaction

Allocate or Refund an Overpayment (Resolve the overpayment)

Once the Overpayment transaction has been entered into Xero, a cash refund can be recorded or you can allocate the overpaid amount to an invoice for the same Contact in Xero.

  • The Allocate option will appear in the Overpayment Options drop down menu while viewing your Overpayment transaction.
  • If a contact has a new invoice you created Xero will ask if you wish to allocate the overpaid amount against this invoice.
  • You can record Cash Refunds on the Overpayment directly and then reconcile them with your Bank Statement line.

(XERO) have some great Help Centre pages that step through Overpayments in Xero. You can check them out here, and call us for help!

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

***BEFORE you BUYAsk us for a competitive software price BELOW retail – No obligation!

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!

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