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July 2020 Newsletter

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7 tips for troubleshooting your remote work technology

Can’t call tech support? Sometimes the answer is as simple as restarting a device, or figuring out the problem by process of elimination. One challenge when working remotely is not having an on-site tech support team to call on, but did you know you can solve many tech problems by using some relatively straightforward techniques? Let’s start…
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The GST turns 20 today. Is it time to increase the tax rate or broaden the base?

It was 20 years ago today the GST was introduced, and it was the dawn of a new taxation era for Australians. After decades of it being on and off the table, John Howard took it to an election, which he narrowly won, and scraped it through the Senate — because he had to. The…
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Business clients urged to contemplate life without JobKeeper

Businesses have been urged to start planning for life without JobKeeper, with less than 100 days to go before the $70 billion wage subsidy scheme comes to a stop. With less than 100 days to go until JobKeeper reaches its legislated end date of 27 September, Jirsch Sutherland partner Andrew Spring believes it is time…
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Proportion of first-home buyers in the market hits a decade high

facebook twitter pinterest Millennials are leading Australia’s house hunting charge as real estate agents across the capitals report a surge in first-home buyers looking to make lemonade from COVID-19 lemons. While investors steer clear of the market and mature property owners resist the urge to sell for fear of a destabilising economy, experts say young,…
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Tax time 2020: ATO cautions early lodgers

The Tax Office has urged taxpayers to wait until the end of July to lodge their tax returns to minimise their risk of making mistakes. Accountants have begun bracing for a “horrendously busy” tax time this year as individual clients are expected to lodge early to get their hands on potential refunds as soon as possible.…
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Consumers uncertain, but hope on the horizon for small business

With 1 in 4 Australians feeling unsure about their ability to meet financial commitments, Suncorp has seen some interesting customer spending and small businesses redefining their value proposition to remain relevant. The hit to consumer confidence and tightening of household finances has driven changes in customer spending and a shift towards higher savings. Since the…
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Free Guest Tracking App for Small Business Owners

Software developer BGL has launched a new, free application GuestTrack to help businesses (especially restaurants, cafes, offices, schools, sporting clubs, etc) collect and store the data required by governments in the current COVID-19 environment.  What is the App for?To reopen, many businesses are required to collect and store customer, employee and contractor information including name,…
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Land sales skyrocket as buyers pounce on HomeBuilder grants

The chance to build a brand-new home for a bargain has lured thousands of Aussie buyers into the market as developers across the nation report skyrocketing sales and inquiries mere days after the launch of the federal government’s new HomeBuilder scheme. Despite initial confusion over grant eligibility, hundreds of sales were clocked up over last…
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‘Stunning’ superannuation results for 12-month period: analyst

Superannuation fund results defy coronavirus crisis, APRA stats show. Could Australia’s superannuation system be coping with the COVID-19 crisis better than many predicted? That view appears to be supported by new figures from the financial watchdog. According to the latest quarterly report released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), while the savings pool did contract 7.7 per…
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Car expenses rate rise confirmed

The increase in the cents per kilometre rate for calculating work-related motor vehicle expense deductions has now been locked in for the next financial year. The ATO will now raise the cents per kilometre deduction rate for motor vehicle expenses to 72 cents for the income year starting 1 July 2020. The rate last changed in…
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Businesses get extension for instant asset write-off

In its latest move to spur business investment, the government will extend its $150,000 instant assets write-off until the end of the year. The six-months extension, which will be legislated, will cost $300 million in revenue over the forward estimates. As part of the government’s pandemic emergency measures, in March it announced that until June…
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ATO extends deadline for future JobKeeper enrolments

The ATO has now extended the deadline to enrol and identify eligible employees for JobKeeper payments to the end of each month being claimed. An update to the ATO’s JobKeeper key dates has revealed that employers who are enrolling for JobKeeper payments for the first time after May can now enrol their business and identify…
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June 2020 Newsletter

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$150k instant asset write-off set for significant drop

The $150,000 instant asset write-off will soon revert to its original threshold of $1,000 in just over four weeks, with businesses urged to consider the measure ahead of the end of financial year. Announced in the first round of the government’s stimulus package in early March, the instant asset write-off threshold was increased by fivefold,…
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Prime Minister flags possible stimulus extension

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted that a number of the government’s stimulus measures, including JobKeeper, could be extended for certain sectors in need. Mr Morrison said that while JobKeeper and JobSeeker were currently legislated to a hard end date in late September, his government would ensure that it would remain flexible in view of…
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Will I get $1080 payment in 2020? How to access income tax offset

The roll out of the federal government’s low and middle income tax offset in 2019 caused mass confusion as well as a spike in early lodgements as Aussies scrambled to get the cash. And this year, the frenzy is expected to be even greater. As the coronavirus crisis takes its toll on the Australian economy…
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JobKeeper and the coronavirus stimulus bill has been slashed, but what can we do with the extra cash?

The bill for the Government’s economic rescue package has been cut, dramatically, thanks to a $60 billion miscalculation revealed last week. On Monday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it meant the country would be borrowing $60 billion less to cover the coronavirus stimulus. But at the same time, the activities of its debt agency, which is…
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ATO has the final word on lodgement deferrals

The Tax Office will not grant further extensions to lodgement due dates but will meet the profession halfway by not imposing late lodgement penalties up to the end of the financial year. Despite the best efforts by the professional accounting bodies, the ATO has chosen not to grant a blanket deferral for lodgement and payment due…
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Rate of COVID-19 job losses slows

The rate of job losses as a result of the economic downturn has slowed down, with the number of Australians out of work suppressed to under a million, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has updated its weekly payroll jobs and wages figures for the…
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Lodgement extensions critical as 3 out of 4 agents fall behind

Close to three out of four tax agents are now behind on lodgements compared to this time last year, as calls for further extensions continue to ring out. A Tax & Super Australia (TSA) survey of 530 accounting professionals has found that a blowout in increased workloads from the government’s stimulus measures has resulted in…
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The Northern Territory’s pubs have all opened for business again. Here’s when the rest of Australia can return.

The Northern Territory has largely reopened for business on Friday, including its pubs. In marking the “historic day”, the NT News boasted the Territory was “the safest place in Australia” with its restrictions now the most lax in the country. This is how other states shape up. While the rest of the country lays out…
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Now is the time to plan for post-pandemic business recovery

While the debt that COVID-19 disruption has thrust upon the economy is unprecedented and businesses are grappling with uncertainty and dwindling cash flow, they must plan for a post-pandemic future in order to ensure both survival and recovery, an expert has said. Businesses that have locked their sights on building cash reserves, helped by the…
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JobKeeper documentation ‘absolutely critical’ in ATO audit

Practitioners have been advised to keep contemporaneous documentation of their calculations and advice around the JobKeeper payment scheme to avoid inevitable audit scrutiny in the near future. While the ATO has declared that it will take an “understanding and sympathetic” compliance approach when reviewing JobKeeper turnover projections, practitioners have now been urged to document their…
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RETURNING TO WORK AFTER COVID-19

You would have seen that various states and territories around Australia have already eased some of their own restrictions, while others, such as Victoria, will re-examine state-of-emergency measures from 11 May. As we await these important updates, as business owners and operators, we now move from the day-to-day management of this crisis to planning for…
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JobKeeper reimbursement to hit 728,000 businesses

Micro employers are leading the way with JobKeeper enrolments as the first ATO reimbursement payments begin to land in employers’ bank accounts. The latest figures from the Treasury show that 728,640 organisations have now enrolled for the JobKeeper scheme, covering around 4.7 million employees. A breakdown of those figures revealed that 40 per cent of…
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How to manage a remote team — especially if you never have

As ever more employees around the world who have rarely — if ever — worked remotely find themselves logging on from home, managers face a daunting challenge in helping their teams maintain effectiveness while adapting to an unfamiliar work arrangement. However, telecommuting is a perk you need to implement thoughtfully as it can lead to…
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Instant Asset Write-Off and Equipment Finance

Another initiative by the Federal Govt to assist small and medium business during the Coronavirus pandemic saw the instant asset write-off threshold increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). The higher Instant Asset Write-Off (IAWO) threshold provides cash…
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Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

Much has been written, and rightly so, about some of the high profile Government initiatives such as JobKeeper, JobSeeker and of course the Business Boost Cash Payments. It has however seen another very worthy Government initiative go largely un-noticed – the Federal Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee (CSMEG) Scheme. The CSMEG is designed to support small…
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ATO releases JobKeeper alternative test

The alternative decline in turnover test rules for the JobKeeper payment scheme has now been registered by the ATO. The legislative instrument, Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Alternative Decline in Turnover Test Rules 2020, has now been registered. The alternative tests will only kick in if an entity cannot satisfy the basic decline in turnover…
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COVID-19 stimulus may not provide the hoped for boost as JobKeeper tensions mount

Today’s the day. After weeks of chaos, mass lay-offs and scenes of desperation as thousands queued outside Centrelink offices for government relief, the money finally will start to flow via JobSeeker. For those newly unemployed who have hung on since the end of last month, racking up debts and trying to negotiate with banks and landlords,…
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One third of Australians see incomes fall – many top up savings to prepare for the worst

A third of Australians have already been negatively financially impacted since the onset of COVID-19, and more expect to. That’s the main finding from ME’s COVID-19 Financial Sentiment Snapshot commissioned this week. Of those surveyed, 33% said their income had decreased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 67% said their income was unaffected (56% said…
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Regulator sets 5-day limit on super release

The prudential regulator has told super funds they must release member funds within five business days in the vast majority of cases if they have been assessed as eligible for the government’s early release scheme. In a statement, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume said the government welcomed the announcement…
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ATO issues further guidance for sole traders, trusts, partnerships, companies

Guidance around JobKeeper eligibility for sole traders and businesses that operate in the form of a company, trust or partnership has now been updated by the ATO. In an ATO update on Thursday, such entities will be eligible if they carried on a business in Australia on 1 March 2020; satisfied the fall in turnover…
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Safe Access to the Accountplan Team

There are a number of reasons that you may be wanting to reach out to the team at Accountplan: Completing your 2019 or 2020 Tax Returns in order to receive the $1080 low-middle income tax offset and your refund Lodging your BAS in order to access Business Cash Boost payments ranging from $20K to $100K Seeking guidance or help…
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JobKeeper Enrolments Begin

Enrolments for the JobKeeper payment have now begun, with the ATO issuing a number of guides for businesses to assist them through the process. With over 850,000 businesses having expressed interest to register for the government’s $130 billion JobKeeper scheme, the ATO has now officially opened enrolments through Online services for agents and the business portal. To…
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Affected by coronavirus and need Financial Assistance ? Here’s what you need to know…..

The Federal Government’s wage subsidy plan is designed to help more than 6 million people who have seen their income fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. The JobKeeper scheme gives affected businesses $1,500 per fortnight per employee to help pay the wages of an estimated 6.7 million Australians for six months. Employers will need to…
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Accountplan Update – Coronavirus Super Withdrawal

The ATO has confirmed that applications to access super under the new compassionate ground – coronavirus condition of release can be made from 20 April 2020. Applications will be able to be made: Via MyGov, or By phoning the ATO for those unable to access online services. Application process Applicants will need to certify eligibility and will be provided…
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Accountplan Update – Federal Government Job Keeper Allowance

The Federal Government have announced a $130B package to assist Australian Businesses retain their staff via a wage subsidy program.  The key points as they are known at this point are listed below: Up to $1,500 per fortnight payment per employee (this is not means tested) Business are legally required to keep employees on their books to be entitled to the…
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Accountplan Update – QLD Government Assistance

Further to prior updates we now have further information on the assistance package available from the QLD State Government: Queensland COVID-19 jobs support loans SMEs may be eligible for a loan to retain employees and maintain your operations. The $500 million concessional loan facility will include low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry…
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Accountplan Update – Government & Banking Sector Assistance

Further to prior updates we have below outlined an updated summary of assistance packages available from either the Federal Government, QLD State Government or the Baking Sector Federal Government PackagesBoosting Cash Flow for Employers Provides up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and not for-profits (NFPs) with a minimum payment of $20,000.…
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10 Point Checklist for COVID-19 Coronavirus and Natural Disasters Strategies

1. Check the list of government loans/grants that the business might be eligible to apply for. 2. Create a COVID-19 coronavirus/natural disaster team which will meet daily (10 – 15 minutes) to review issues and to recommend new or amended strategies. 3. If not already done so, implement strategies to enable team members to productively…
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A Happy Client With His New Home

I approached Mick Doyle at Accountplan to help me with the finance on my first home purchase.  The service I received was fantastic and Mick made the home buying process a breeze. Mick was able to answer all my questions, explain the pros and cons of the various loan options before me and in the…
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Interest rates in Australia have been slashed one final time to 0.25%, a historic rock bottom for ‘unprecedented times’

The RBA has announced an emergency stimulus package on Thursday, cutting the official interest rate out of cycle to 0.25%. It’s the second cut in just three weeks as the RBA seeks to contain the coronavirus fallout to the economy. It came as one part of a four part package, with the RBA also unveiling quantitative…
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Why sport matters in the time of coronavirus

Scenes from a daughter’s footy training. It’s early evening. The sun is setting; the temperature is sublime. The suburban ground by a river is fringed with trees and, thanks to recent rain, the oval is in a wonderful state of lushness that surely won’t last. While my daughter trained at one end of the oval,…
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The federal government has announced its $17.6 billion coronavirus stimulus package. Here are the six key elements.

Scott Morrison announced the details of the federal government’s $17.6 billion coronavirus stimulus package on Thursday. The government outlined six key elements to the plan – with a focus on support for business. Here’s what the government will be handing out. Despite the urgings of the opposition, economists and the Reserve Bank, the Morrison government before now has…
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REVEALED: $18 billion rescue package: Here’s what it means for you

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will inject a multi-billion dollar coronavirus stimulus package into the economy, with funding for small businesses, pensioners and the aged care sector among its largest elements. However, the biggest element is the $750 payments the government will direct to households receiving benefits payments. Those payments will be targeted at around 6.5…
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With only one more interest cut in its back pocket, the RBA could begin increasing the money supply in Australia ‘within months’

Having cut the cash rate to 0.5% on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is for the first time near the limitations of monetary policy. Economists now expect it to cut once more to 0.25%, its own declared ‘lower bound’, before considering quantitative easing, or QE. QE is the controversial process by which a central bank…
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Queensland SMEs get 6-month tax break

Queensland small and medium businesses have been granted a six-month payroll tax deferral as the state government looks to ease pressures on businesses following the global outbreak of the coronavirus. Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has announced that small and medium Queensland businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to defer…
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The government is preparing a massive economic stimulus package, as the coronavirus threatens to hurl Australia into recession

The Morrison government harbours real fears Australia is at risk of falling into recession from the coronavirus, as it prepares a multibillion-dollar economic stimulus package which will focus heavily on tax relief measures. The Reserve Bank of Australia estimates the coronavirus impacts on education and tourism exports has already slashed Australia’s economic growth in the…
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March 2020 Newsletter

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Mercer slams means test, strongly urges universal age pension

‘With a universal age pension, Australians will have an incentive to save for retirement,’ says Knox. Actuaries giant Mercer has slammed the means test and called for a universal age pension in its submission to Treasury for the retirement income review, reports Investment Magazine. The actuary wants the means test completely scrapped. It also says the…
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Queensland Government On-time Payment Policy: Register now to get paid faster

The Queensland Government recognises that cash flow is vital for small business. From 1 July 2020, government payment terms under the On-time Payment Policy will be reduced from 30 to 20 calendar days for all valid invoices from small business suppliers, with no value threshold. We invite all Queensland small business owners and operators to…
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Real wage growth is now ‘years away’, as the bushfires and coronavirus fears cut into Australian pay packets

Australian wages on track to rise just 2.2% this year, lifting 0.5% in the December quarter, according to ABS data out on Wednesday. The weakness comes as the coronavirus and the bushfires shave growth in key sectors, like tourism and retail, and hurt wages in the accommodation and food services sectors. With unemployment unlikely to sink…
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5 methods for improving cash flow in your small business

The most important success factor for any small business is the ongoing availability of cash. In this article, chartered accountant and tax agent Joe Kaleb explains how you can use forecasts, invoicing and other practical tactics to improve cash flow. Whether you got into business to make money or two choose your own hours, the…
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Attorney-General floats naming and shaming penalty for wage theft

Disqualifying directors and forcing companies to publicly disclose underpayment offences are among some of the measures currently being considered by the Industrial Relations Minister to tackle worker underpayment. Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter today released a discussion paper exploring further changes to tackle worker underpayments. The paper comes ahead of legislation to criminalise…
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10 truths about working from home

Working from home, also known as living the dream, is a complicated arrangement. While the daily commute to the couch is awesome, the drop in productivity can be a real battle. Whether you’ve worked from home for years or only a few weeks, these 10 truths are sure to ring true. 1. The fridge is…
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9 brilliant business ideas for 2020

It’s a new year and time for new business ideas. Here are nine brilliant ones to consider in 2020. 1. Use introversion as a superpower Introversion need not affect your networking ability. According to leadership and communication expert Shane Michael Hatton, it can even be a superpower. “Let the purpose of being in the room…
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Australian house prices are tipped to keep rising this year, with Sydney expected to soar by a massive 10%

Domain has updated its forecasts for 2020, and it expects house prices to rise by 8% nationally this year. Sydney is expected to lead, adding 10% to its house prices and bring the median to an astronomical $1.25 million. Melbourne and Brisbane are forecast to grow by 8%, while Perth’s market is expected to finally…
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Almost half of Australian employees will ask for a pay rise this year – and they’re unlikely to get one

Almost half of all Australian employees are set to ask for a pay rise this year, but the chances of the average worker actually getting one is another matter. As Australian wage growth stagnates, it’s often only healthcare workers who are getting solid raises. Of all industry workers, it’s only ecommerce workers who report actually being…
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Why almost a fifth of mortgage holders would not switch lenders for a better deal

Almost a fifth of Australian mortgage holders would never consider switching banks despite the potential savings of tens of thousands of dollars, according to new research. While mortgage interest rates are at record lows, not every home owner is prepared to jump to a new lender, according to a Finder survey of more than 1000…
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ATO issues urgent warning over sophisticated tax scam

The ATO has issued an urgent warning about a sophisticated scam which has resulted in millions of Australians divulging personal information. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued an urgent warning over an elaborate tax scam which imitates an official website and sees users handing over highly sensitive information. According to the ATO, fraudsters conned…
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February 2020 Newsletter

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Australia’s economy is barely growing but the RBA doesn’t look like it’s ready to cut rates just yet

Australia’s latest inflation figures were once again low — the headline figure rising just 0.7% in the December quarter — but largely in line with what the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had been forecasting. While consistently low inflation point to “underlying problems” in the economy, according to Indeed economist Callam Pickering, the RBA is unlikely to…
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Australia’s buy now pay later companies are pledging to do better by their customers. Here’s what they’re promising.

A “world-first” code setting out minimum standards buy now pay later companies must follow has been unveiled by the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA). It promises to make late fees fair and capped, limit services to those above the age of 18, freeze and even waive fees in case of financial hardship among other measures.…
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Voluntary super a ‘blatant tax grab’: ISA

A proposal to make super voluntary for low-income earners would be nothing more than a “blatant tax grab”, according to new research by Industry Super Australia. Last year, Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg put forward a proposal to allow workers earning $50,000 and under to opt out of compulsory super, arguing that it would allow taxpayers…
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‘A real fight’: Advice gap looms as more exit the industry

Australians are set to miss out on quality advice as an increasing number of advisers leave the industry, a mid-tier has warned. HLB Mann Judd head of wealth Michael Hutton believes a perfect storm of events, including the introduction of new education and professional standards under FASEA and the fallout of the royal commission, has…
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More pensioners are taking up part-time work to avoid the threat of pension poverty

More pensioners than ever are having to work part-time just to get by according to new research, with nearly 5 per cent of people on the pension now doing paid work. Cost of living and inequality researcher Paul Blacklow, of the University of Tasmania, said women and divorcees were increasingly affected. “Aged pensioners who are…
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5 golden rules for opening a café

The café game is hard. It’s a business with as many hard luck stories as culinary pioneers – but there are things you can do to improve your odds. Opening a café is something people dream about when they’re stuck in their cubicle at work, but often the reality of running a café doesn’t match…
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What 0% car finance can end up costing you in the long run

The world of car finance can be just as tricky as navigating home loans. There is often a multitude of options to compare, especially when it comes to low or no-interest car loans. While they might sound like a fantastic deal, these loans often come with a catch. As the old saying goes, if something’s…
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The Commonwealth Bank reckons there are four big economic indicators to watch this year in Australia

The Commonwealth Bank has revealed its economic forecasts for 2020, delving into what will move Australia and the world this year. Chief economist Michael Blythe has identified domestic factors that will affect the country’s fortunes including consumer spending, business investment and construction rates. Blythe also says mini-booms – including LNG exports, infrastructure, and a growing…
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January 2020 Newsletter

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Use caution when making bushfire donations from super

SMSF trustees hoping to make donations to charitable causes associated with bushfire relief out of their super may run into problems unless they have triggered a condition of release, according to SMSF Alliance. The SMSF administrator’s principal, David Busoli, said in an email update that the issue of funding large-scale donations to bushfire relief charities…
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Accounting body advises caution on incoming SME tax changes

Small businesses are being urged to keep abreast of some key tax changes coming in 2020, with an accounting body warning they “can have a big impact on the way you run your business”. According to Susan Franks, senior tax advocate at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), some of the core changes…
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‘Xennials’ were born in the early ’80s — here are all the ways they’re different from the millennials they were supposed to be

If you were born between 1977 and 1985, you’re officially a member of the microgeneration known as xennials. The term was coined by Sarah Stankorb in a 2014 Good magazine article to describe a group that straddles Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980, and millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, according to the Pew Research Center. Xennials, according to Stankorb and…
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Budgeting for 2020? This is your ultimate guide to getting on top of everything

It’s the start of a new year — and there’s never been a better time to get your money sorted. This is the year to get on top of your budget (or start one), clear that debt, sort out your super and maybe even put a deposit down on a home. I’m sure that’s all…
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5 ways to start upskilling right now

Whether you want to learn a new skill or build on existing skills and knowledge – ongoing and self-motivated learning has become the need of the hour. “In this new age of disruption, change is almost constant, says Dr Mathew Donald FCPA, a leadership, management and organisational change specialist. “This means that the workers of…
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The cyber scammers are getting smarter

Retailers aren’t the only ones who want your money this holiday season. Finance expert Noel Whittaker shares some of the sophisticated cyber scams you need to be on the lookout for. Judgingby the emails I am receiving, internet scams and computer attacks are on the increase. In early December I was talking to an 82-year-old…
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A third of Australians choose overseas travel over a home

ME surveyed 1,000 Australian adults who had travelled overseas in the past 10 years to find out how important travel is to us.  When asked to choose between being well travelled or owning a home, 1 in 3 Australians value travel over home ownership. When drilled down some of the findings are quite surprising: The…
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Finance Friday – Buy Now Pay Later

Finance Friday – Buy Now Pay Later Welcome back to another edition of Finance Friday, this week Mick talks about the buy now pay later scheme. Posted by Accountplan on Thursday, 12 December 2019

Prevent burnout – 3 burnout symptoms and how to avoid them

Stress can seem like an inevitable consequence of a fast-paced work environment. However, when it reaches chronic levels, it can result in what the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as an “occupational hazard” known as burnout. In its latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the WHO defines burnout as a “syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has…
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SG amnesty clears lower house, ATO urges employers not to wait

A bill proposing to grant a one-off superannuation guarantee amnesty has now been passed by the House of Representatives, as the ATO urges employers not to wait before the measure becomes law. Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019 has now been passed by the lower house without any amendments, and will now be…
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End-of-year tax scams set to spike as ATO issues warning

With over $2.1 million paid to scammers impersonating the ATO this year, the Tax Office is warning of yet another spike as tax payments deadlines draw near. The latest ATO scam reports show that 622 taxpayers had paid over $2.1 million to scammers pretending to be from the Tax Office this year alone. That amount…
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December 2019 Newsletter

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Learn from failure by looking for the seeds of success

Understanding the reasons for failure is crucial for real progress, and there has to be a readiness to engage in a process of tests and experiments to eventually reach the goal. In the method they have developed, there is a series of loops – iterations – forming a cyclical process of conceptualising, prototyping, testing and…
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Major banks tip $400m into Business Growth Fund

The federal government’s planned Business Growth Fund has received a boost, with the big four banks each committing $100 million the fund to boost long-term funding for SMEs. In addition to the $100 million contributions from ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac, HSBC has promised to contribute a further $20 million to the Business Growth Fund. The…
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How much do I need to retire at 60?

Theoretically, how much money you need in retirement depends on how long you live. Although there’s no crystal ball for this, we know that improved healthcare and economy mean that people are living longer than their parents’ generation. When budgeting for retirement, try to go for the maximum life expectancy. Men can expect to live…
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How RBA rate changes affect your interest rate

With the RBA setting the official cash rate at all-time lows, it’s a good time to work out how this impacts the interest rate on your home loan and whether you are getting a good deal or not. When the interest rate on your home loan fluctuates, it can feel as though you don’t have…
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House Prices Predicted to Keep Rising

Property market sentiment has rebounded, with a greater percentage of Australians reporting they are feeling positive towards the current market. That was the standout finding from research conducted by ME Bank in October 2019. Other findings show: 42% of Australians in the property market feel positive about the market (up 9 percentage points) and 24%…
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CHECKLIST FOR THE FIRST STEPS IN STARTING A BUSINESS

Turn your idea into a business by following these steps. You’re excited and confident about your idea for a business, and want to take it to market successfully. That’s great. Our checklist will help you cover off the things that you should do, and must do to start a business in Australia. FIRST, KNOW YOUR…
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The key to a successful negotiation? Start with planning and focus.

Effective negotiating can lead to both parties benefitting from the outcome. Here’s how planning and focus can help. Every day, we act as negotiators. However, we seldom think about the skills required or the processes we must follow to negotiate successfully, according to Chas Savage, CEO of Ethos CRS, a company that specialises in customised capability training…
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Lenders are now looking closer at your character – what you need to know

Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) is now in full swing, giving lenders a closer look into your financial character and highlights facilities that you may not have disclosed in your application.  The CCR shows the lender if a credit facility is open or closed, the credit limit and repayment history information on a monthly basis.   So,…
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Too loyal or time-poor for a better rate? Problem solved

Another month, another rate cut. Finance can be so tedious. That is until you realise it could mean more money in your pocket. But how? For many, matters of personal finance are so dull and/or difficult, they are immediately filed in the too-hard basket. And for their trouble, or lack thereof, these people are often…
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How to leave work-related stress at the office door

Experts offer tips on how to leave work stress at the door when you clock off. Overwork in the Asia-Pacific region is endemic. A report by Kisi, Cities for the Best Work–Life Balance 2019, found that Tokyo and Singapore were the top two most overworked cities in the world, while Kuala Lumpur came in at number four. In…
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Should I quit my job? 5 signs it’s time to go

We all experience frustrating times in our careers, but if you find yourself asking the question, “Should I quit my job,” then you’ll want to review these five signs that it’s time to move on from your current role. You hit snooze when the alarm goes off, drag yourself through the day’s meetings and you…
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November 2019 Newsletter

Download a copy of our November Newsletter

A wage rise now – or more retirement income?

The argument over raising compulsory employer superannuation contributions often misses the impact on the wider economy and ignores alternatives to boosting retirement incomes. There is a sustained campaign for the Australian Government to increase employer superannuation contributions to 12 per cent of a worker’s wage (from 9.5 per cent under the superannuation guarantee), and an…
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5 ways to improve retention of millennial employees in your business

Loyalty and engagement aren’t necessarily easy to foster in millennial employees. But with the right approach, any manager can make the workplace a better environment for their staff. Many things affect how successful your business is and how quickly it grows. There are your marketing and sales strategies, the clientele you target, your choice of…
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$16bn: Small business owes ATO big

Almost one in five Australian SMEs entered into payment plans with the ATO last financial year, as they struggle to pay a collective tax bill of over $16 billion. Sail Finance recently revealed the findings of a sample poll of finance brokers it had conducted, many of whom said the Tax Office’s payment plans are “too…
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Don’t use buy now, pay later services if you want a home loan, mortgage brokers warn

Australians who are hoping to get a mortgage have been given a warning as pressure on Afterpay and other providers ramps up. Finance experts have warned house hunters to “stay away” from buy now, pay later platforms such as Afterpay, with spending habits viewed as a hurdle for home loan applications. “Definitely try and avoid…
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