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Fixed mortgage rates are at record lows, so is it time to consider fixing your home loan? We asked the experts

Fixed home loan rates have never been cheaper in this country, but could they go even lower or is this as cheap as a mortgage will ever get? Certainly, an increasing proportion of home buyers and mortgage refinancers are betting that the current deals are as good as they’re likely to see. “Historically about 85…
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SEEK recorded the most new job listings in its 23-year history over March, as Australia’s labour market surges back into action

Employment portal SEEK says it recorded the highest number of new job listings in its 23-year history over March. Job listings are up a remarkable 75.1% over the same period in 2020, speaking to the labour market’s recovery from COVID-19 restrictions. But many of the new listings “are for roles that were displaced in the…
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Macro-prudential policies a matter of when, not if

The Reserve Bank of Australia has confirmed that it will keep a close eye on trends in housing borrowing given the rising housing prices and low interest rates, with market pundits confident tighter credit conditions loom. On Tuesday, the RBA revealed its much-expected interest rate decision, announcing a further hold of rates at a record-low…
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‘Penalties will resume’: ATO flips the switch on debt recovery

Taxpayers falling behind on tax debts and lodgement obligations can soon expect contact from the ATO as it confirms the resumption of its compliance activities in the wake of JobKeeper ending. With the JobKeeper program officially over, the Tax Office has now confirmed that it will resume pursuing and enforcing debt recovery action. The change…
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April 2021 Newsletter

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Our Forever Home

My wife Debbie and I decided we needed to buy our forever home before it became an unlikely proposition. As we have been long time tax return customers of Jodie at Accountplan, she recommended that we see Mick for a consultation around home loans. The service that we received was first rate, he explained the…
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Are the days of credit card debt numbered?

The way we pay for goods and services has changed, with more consumers shunning credit cards in favour of alternatives, online and off. Are the days of record-high credit card debt numbered? There was a time, not so long ago, when Australians were hungry for credit cards. It wasn’t just their instant purchasing power, but…
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9 ways to escape your comfort zone and see professional growth

Many of us dream big, but often live smaller, less satisfying lives than we’re capable of achieving. That is because our neurobiology primes us for caution, explains executive coach Margie Warrell.  “We’re wired for safety – to avoid risking failure or loss,” she says. This includes emotional failure such as rejection, wounded pride and bruised…
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Lodgement deferrals on the cards as profession speaks out

The ATO could be pressed into granting lodgement deferrals this year, as practitioners continue to suffer from a 2020 hangover. The Institute of Public Accountants is currently weighing up an option to call on the ATO to apply blanket lodgement deferrals this year, after feedback from practitioners revealed that they are continuing to fall behind…
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Safe Access to the Accountplan Team – UPDATED

On Thursday 1st of April Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the QLD Chief Health Officer announced relaxations to restrictions imposed as a result of a COVID-19 cluster in parts of greater Brisbane.  Based on same the Accountplan team will again be available to take physical visits at our Redcliffe office. To ensure the safety of our…
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How do banks approve home loan applications?

When you apply for a home loan, you submit your financial information, personal details and the details of the property you intend to buy. The bank analyses all that information and checks your credit rating to decide whether to approve or reject your loan application. It’s helpful for you to know what the bank looks…
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5 Tips for Successful Digital Communication

Are digital communication challenges leaving you and your network lost in translation? Here are five tips for getting it right. When we talk to each other face-to-face, we rely on a variety of visual and behavioural cues to communicate our feelings and interpret others’ reactions. With so many of our in-person interactions replaced by virtual…
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‘Don’t cancel your Christmas holidays for STP Phase 2’

The ATO is expected to announce a deferral regime for the mandatory expansion of Single Touch Payroll, with the 1 January 2022 deadline not expected to be a “cold, hard cut-off”, says one industry body. Mandatory STP Phase 2 reporting is now set to commence from 1 January 2022, with employers soon required to report additional…
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What is the impact of child expenses on your mortgage payment?

Most parents in Australia underestimate how child expenses can impact their home ownership dreams, according to a new research from Credit Union Australia (CUA). In a recent survey of 1,000 parents, CUA found that 75% of respondents underestimated the cost of having a child and a quarter now recommended saving at least $8,000 to fund…
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PREPARING FOR THE END OF JOBKEEPER

The Federal Government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy has been a lifeline for thousands of Australian businesses which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally scheduled to end in September 2020, the scheme will now end on 28 March 2021, pending any further announcements from the Federal Government. Nathan Hood, CPA and co-founder of the accounting and business advisory firm Carbon…
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Australians’ financial comfort hits record high despite COVID-19 − but not for all and likely to be short-lived.

The financial comfort of Australian households has reached a record high, despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ME Bank’s latest Household Financial Comfort Report. However, the current and future comfort of many households is in question with underlying data raising red flags. These are the key findings of ME’s Household Financial Comfort Report,…
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Post-JobKeeper support to be announced ‘within days’

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed that the federal government will announce targeted post-JobKeeper support in “a matter of days”, ahead of the expiry of the wage subsidy program. Speaking from Cairns on a tour of Queensland to speak with tourism businesses, the Treasurer said the government will announce its plans to extend targeted support to…
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Mortgage brokers record highest ever December quarter market share

The mortgage broker channel has recorded its highest ever market share result for the December quarter with brokers settling 59.4 per cent of all residential home loans during October – December 2020, according to the latest data released by research group comparator, a CoreLogic business, and commissioned by the MFAA. The December 2020 result is 4.1 percentage points…
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Scott Morrison to consider new aged care tax

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will give thought to a potential new aged care levy through the tax system, following recommendations from the aged care royal commission. Released on Monday, the aged care royal commission final report contained 148 recommendations aimed at bringing about a “paradigm shift” within the sector. To achieve the vision of high-quality…
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‘What’s a worthy deduction?’: IPA doubles down on new tax break

A new tax deduction to encourage individuals to retrain and reskill is as worthy as any other current deduction, argues the Institute of Public Accountants. The IPA’s public support of a new education deduction comes as other accounting and tax bodies have shied away from the proposal, arguing that it would not benefit individuals who need support the…
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March 2021 Newsletter

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12% SG rise a right idea at a wrong time, says CA ANZ

The professional accounting body believes any move to pause compulsory super increasing from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent is neither a backflip or broken promise from the government, but “plain common sense” amid economic uncertainty. Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) has backed calls to halt the increase to 12 per…
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ATO to claw back $155m in JobKeeper overpayments

The ATO has set its eyes on recovering a further $155 million in JobKeeper payments that were paid out to businesses that made deliberate or reckless mistakes in determining their eligibility. Around $135 million in such JobKeeper payments have since been clawed back by the ATO, with another $50 million in payments deemed as honest mistakes…
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New home loan commitments climb to record high

The value of new home loan commitments has increased for the sixth straight month, hitting another record-high $24bn in November – a 5.6% jump from the month prior and a 23.7% rise year-on-year – according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The rise was mostly driven by commitments for existing…
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Submitting a Claim for JobMaker Hiring Credit

Once you are registered for the scheme, you must meet ongoing reporting obligations to be eligible to make a claim and remain eligible. This includes both of the following: Reporting certain information through STP ; Completing a claim form for each JobMaker period you are eligible for. Reporting via STP Your STP reporting is due…
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Managing the JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme

The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is a Government wage subsidy paid directly to eligible employers to help accelerate growth in the employment of young people during the COVID-19 economic recovery. The scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ additional job seekers aged 16 to 35 years. Eligible employers can access the payment for up…
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Australia’s mortgage distress hotspot revealed as end of JobKeeper scheme looms

The financial impact of hard lockdowns on Australian households has been revealed in data provided exclusively to 7.30, with Victoria shown to have more outstanding mortgage deferrals than any other state or territory. While 81 per cent of overall mortgage deferrals from June last year are now back on track with repayments being made, data…
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Australian home loan rates fall to record low 1.69%

Chasing a low interest rate should be on the radar for homeowners and buyers as rates drop even lower to rock bottom figures. The property market just got another boost with the lowest home loan rate in the market dropping to 1.69 per cent. Lender Greater Bank announced the new market-leading rate of 1.69 per…
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Accountant advice scheme crucial post-JobKeeper, government told

The government has been urged to consider providing struggling small businesses with financial incentives to seek advice from their professional adviser once JobKeeper comes to its scheduled end. The renewed push comes after Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Australia, the Institute of Public Accountants, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, the ASBFEO and the…
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‘Absolutely no breathing room’: ATO’s incoming STP deadline faces strong backlash

A petition to delay the start date of the second phase of Single Touch Payroll is underway, with a payroll association slamming the ATO’s six-month deadline as “highly negligent”. On Tuesday, the ATO confirmed that it was working towards a 1 July 2021 start date for STP phase 2, which will see employers required to report additional…
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Online services for business is here!

You told the ATO they needed to improve their online services and they listened. Online services for business is replacing the Business Portal and electronic superannuation audit tool (eSAT). Providing a secure, modern channel to manage your tax and super obligations, this new service can be accessed on multiple devices, including a smart device like…
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Australians reset financial goals for 2021

Over half of Australians (54%) said ‘COVID-19 has forced them to change their 2021 financial goals’ compared to previous years, according to a new study by ME Bank. In the study of 1,000 Australians, the top 10 most listed financial goals included: Item % [Multiple response] 1. Building up ‘rainy day’ savings 44% 2. Saving for…
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February 2021 Newsletter

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IMPORTANT! Do you have employees on salary?

Annual Reconciliations of Annualised Salary Arrangements are due 1st of March 2021: The new annualised salary provisions for full-time employees came into effect on the 1st of March 2020 and impacted a range of Modern Awards. The changes had a significant impact on the way businesses in certain industries manage and implement payment arrangements for…
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Flashy cars, low income: ATO eyes tax-dodging red flag

Black economy participants and tax dodgers driving luxury cars will continue to come under ATO scrutiny as it looks to extend its motor vehicle data-matching program for a further three years. The extension of the data-matching program will see the ATO continue to collect records from eight state and territory motor vehicle registries for the…
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ATO launches appeal against JobKeeper decision

The ATO has turned to the Federal Court in an attempt to overturn an Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision that granted a sole trader access to JobKeeper. The AAT had earlier ruled that sole trader Jeremy Apted was entitled to JobKeeper because his backdated ABN registration had satisfied the integrity rule of holding an ABN before or…
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Tax Office issues SG amnesty disqualification warning

The ATO has warned businesses who have qualified for the superannuation guarantee amnesty to pay their dues or risk disqualification. The Tax Office has begun reaching out to businesses that made SG amnesty disclosures to remind them to pay their disclosed amounts or to set up a payment plan and meet each ongoing instalment amount. The warning…
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‘Back to the drawing board’: CPA Australia pours cold water on new tax deduction

The government has been told to abandon plans to allow taxpayers to claim deductions for education and training expenses unrelated to their current jobs, with the proposal criticised for failing to target those who need it the most. The government’s proposal, announced in last year’s federal budget, aims to tackle a rapidly evolving labour force in…
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Property tipped to get its MOJO back: ME’s property trend predictions for 2021

As we close the curtain on a turbulent year and welcome the New Year, ME’s Head of Home Loans, Andrew Bartolo shares his top property trends to look out for in 2021. Prices will likely rise “Property prices are expected to rise across multiple markets in 2021,” says Bartolo. “A resilient housing market that has…
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Simple morale-boosting behaviours to help kickstart your year

Before we dive into the year ahead, it’s a good time to reflect on how you and your team work together on a professional, and personal, level. Appreciation among colleagues is a key ingredient of all high-quality workplaces, and it needs to be fostered in a top-down approach. After all, research has shown positive reinforcement boosts morale,…
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January 2021 Newsletter

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80¢ per hour work-from-home deduction method extended

Taxpayers continuing to work from home in the new year will be allowed to continue using the simplified working-from-home deduction method following a third extension by the ATO. The 80¢ per hour shortcut method, introduced in April 2020 in response to COVID-19, will now be in place until 30 June 2021. This is the third time…
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JobKeeper Payment Extension Two Key Dates!

The ATO has provided the following update for bookkeepers The JobKeeper Payment extension two starts from 4th January 2021. Eligible employers need to complete a new decline in turnover test and the payment rates change for eligible employees. ‘To support employers and their intermediaries that may be taking leave over December and January we are…
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How to incorporate IAWO into your asset acquisition strategy

You may have heard that temporary full expensing under the Instant Asset Write Off (IAWO) has arrived, and that means larger businesses are now considering how they can make the most of it. The Instant Asset Write-off is a tax deduction designed to do what it says on the tin: allow business owners to write…
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How to sustain office friendships when working remotely

Can a deliberate, virtual effort save office friendships? Three experts share ideas to help keep workplace friendships alive. As more and more businesses adapt to remote work, informal, hallway conversations seem like a distant dream. The office friendships that are built on these workplace interactions are now dependent on what happens through a screen. “People who…
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December 2020 Newsletter

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Full expensing opt-out given tick of approval

The Treasurer’s move towards allowing businesses to opt out of fully expensing certain assets will provide flexibility to businesses and prevent depreciation benefits from being wasted. Earlier this week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that the eligibility of the full expensing measure would be tweaked to allow larger Australian-based businesses to access the measure. The measure currently allows…
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‘Lower working life income’: Treasurer hints at SG increase pause

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hinted at a possible pause to the scheduled increase to the superannuation guarantee as the long-awaited retirement income review is released. The 650-page retirement savings review, chaired by former senior Treasury bureaucrat Michael Callaghan, has found that increasing the SG rate to the legislated 12 per cent could cut working income…
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Lessons from the GFC: RBA cautions against ‘removing stimulus too early’

The Reserve Bank has warned the government against reducing support for the economy too soon, with Australia’s recovery from its first economic downturn in nearly three decades likely to be bumpy. In a speech to the Australian Business Economists (ABE) organisation, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Guy Debelle has advised the government…
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Government mulls mandatory e-invoicing adoption for all businesses

E-invoicing could soon be mandatory for all businesses as the government ponders over the best way to roll out the new system. Options being canvassed by the Treasury in its recently released consultation paper include introducing a requirement that all businesses adopt e-invoicing through a phased approach starting with large businesses. e-invoicing involves a digital exchange…
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Why You Can’t Afford to Be Bad at Bookkeeping

Maintaining your books isn’t something you should do solely as a tax-savings strategy; it can also prevent you from losing your sanity and getting dragged into a potential lawsuit over commingling your funds. Here are five significant reasons for maintaining a separate chequebook and set of books for each of your businesses: Corporate veil .First…
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How to transfer a home loan to another person

There are several reasons why you may potentially have to transfer your home loan to another person. For example, if you own a property jointly with your spouse, ownership will change in case of a divorce. Or, if the owner is seriously ill or has passed away, change in the ownership may be required. If…
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When Things Don’t Add up: How to Detect Bookkeeping Fraud in Your Company

No business owner sets out to commit bookkeeping fraud (well, the majority don’t); however, it does happen. Business tax and financial systems can be complex and confusing to understand, and inexperienced small business owners and entrepreneurs can sometimes make mistakes. On top of this, stress and exhaustion can lead to mishaps. Sometimes, completely unintentionally, bookkeeping…
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How accountants met the challenges of COVID-19

The pandemic has created a whole new set of challenges for accountants – from untangling complex stimulus schemes and adapting to new technology, to leading staff and clients through uncharted waters, and safeguarding their own and their clients’ businesses. This is how two CPAs have risen to the challenges of 2020. The gravity of the COVID-19…
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What are the extra costs of buying a home?

When taking out a mortgage, many people forget to consider the associated fees and expenses. Here are some of the extra costs that you’ll need to consider when you take out a home loan. Home loan application fees Most lenders charge a home loan application fee. This can range from loan to loan, and covers:…
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‘Not a locked gate’: Tax watchdog cracks open cash flow boost, JobKeeper anomaly case

New businesses shut out of the cash flow boost and JobKeeper program may see their knocked-back applications reassessed after the Inspector-General of Taxation made inroads with its investigation. These genuine new businesses have found themselves ineligible for the stimulus measures because of a restrictive integrity rule, which requires entities to have notified the ATO of taxable…
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The RBA has begun ‘quantitative easing’. What is it, and how does it work?

The Reserve Bank has announced a $100 billion “quantitative easing” program. What does that mean, and why did they do it?  Quantitative easing “Quantitative easing” is one of those economic terms that is too abstract, so it’s difficult to know what it means. But essentially, it’s all about manipulating interest rates. Historically, quantitative easing is…
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ATO to examine data on 10m individuals under new JobKeeper compliance program

The ATO’s data-matching program with the Department of Home Affairs will be extended for another three years, with a particular focus on identifying compliance with the JobKeeper program. The Tax Office will now acquire data on active and newly granted visas in the period 2020–21 to 2022–23 financial years, building on its visa data-matching program that…
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November 2020 Newsletter

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Tax Office clarifies cash-flow boost compliance focus

Closely held entities with different salary and wage scenarios will not be explicitly targeted by the Tax Office’s ongoing cash-flow boost compliance program. Earlier this month, the ATO began contacting a number of cash-flow boost recipients who had made an “unusual or unexpected change” to the amount of salary and wages reported in their business activity…
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5 essential tech tools for your 2021 home office

The global pandemic has become an unexpected catalyst for technology adoption. Experts predict the remote working tech accountants will need by next year. In the last few decades, many small and medium-sized accounting firms have remained cautious when it comes to adopting new technology. But the pandemic is disrupting the profession – in some cases,…
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You shouldn’t do your own tax return if it involves any of these items

When lodging your tax return, there are elements that can either increase or decrease the size of your refund. Some are easy to understand, while some are a bit more complex. If you aren’t a tax expert, those complex items can prove to be a bit tricky when it comes to lodging your return by…
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Blame game: How to react to mistakes at work

Mistakes happen: the email is sent to the wrong person, the decimal point is put in the wrong column. What does your response say about you and your organisation? Pointing the finger is frequently the response when things go belly up in business, but playing the blame game isn’t a good tactic for individuals or for organisations.…
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The role of accountants in providing loan advice to SMEs

Now more than ever, professional accountants in public practice are well positioned to leverage their relationships with funding bodies to help deliver the best outcomes for clients. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding themselves under unprecedented strain, with many forced to defer loan payments and seek funding support while they grapple with severely…
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Businesses given a month to implement updated ATO tax tables

Employers will now have approximately one month to implement income tax cut changes as the ATO updates its tax withholding schedules. The Tax Office has now updated its withholding schedules and tax tables to reflect the new personal income tax thresholds that were passed by Parliament last week. The changes will apply to payments made on and from…
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Australian Housing Outlook 2020-2023

Welcome to the 19th edition of the Australian Housing Outlook. The report, authored by BIS Oxford Economics and sponsored by QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance, deep dives into property market dynamics during this extraordinary time and forecasts where prices are headed over the next three years. The way we live and work has fundamentally shifted during…
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Federal Budget 2020: Everyone’s a winner – almost

Tax cuts, more incentives for business investment and payments for pensioners and aged care: tonight’s Federal Budget was a wide-ranging fiscal program to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and kickstart an economic recovery. The Federal Government will run a budget deficit of $A213.7 billion with total debt peaking at $A966 billion by 2024…
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October 2020 Newsletter

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ATO circles around 1,200 who utilised early release of super tax planning strategy

Around 1,200 individuals have been contacted by the ATO around a tax planning strategy involving the early release of superannuation measure. The Tax Office has now identified 1,200 taxpayers who withdrew money under the COVID-19 early release of super measure and immediately recontributed it in a bid to claim a tax deduction. The recontribution scheme,…
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How Long Does Home Loan Approval Take During COVID-19?

The usual time of about 4-6 weeks it took for your home loan application to complete settlement is no longer valid !!  Turnaround times for getting your home loan application assessed are longer than usual, and lenders are constantly moving the goal post. How long will it take for my home loan to get approved?…
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ATO to trade data on 12 million Australians on Centrelink

Up to 12 million Australians on Centrelink will now have their real-time salary and wage data shared between the ATO and Services Australia under a new data-matching program. The ATO has now commenced the sharing of Single Touch Payroll (STP) data with Services Australia, formerly the Department of Human Services. According to a gazette notice…
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Proposed sped-up tax cuts blasted in new ad campaign

Critics of the Morrison government’s proposed sped-up tax cuts are demanding that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg move away from high-income tax breaks and instead look towards social spending, a new national advertising campaign explains. Endorsed by former Reserve Bank officials and senior bureaucrats, a new national campaign now opposed the government’s plan to bring forward income tax cuts…
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COVID ‘cloud’ weighs on spring housing season

ME bank has forecast a subdued property market during spring under the “COVID-19 cloud”, a sentiment echoed by analysts. In his outlook for the Australian property market this spring, the non-major lender’s general manager, home loans, Andrew Bartolo, said that while there is usually an onslaught of listings and buyers preparing to pounce during this…
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Buzzwords: The ‘new normal’ of business jargon

Research suggests jargon has many positives. However, overdoing it could have a negative effect on your business or employees. It all depends on how you use it. Nice to e-meet you. Corporate lingo and office-speak. We all use it. And loathe it – especially when we’re the recipient. Synergy (a buzzword for teamwork) won the…
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Tax Commissioner reveals JobKeeper extension rules

The Commissioner of Taxation’s rules around the JobKeeper extension have now been registered, shedding light on the calculation of the actual decline in GST turnover test. Commissioner Chris Jordan has now registered three legislative instruments pertaining to the method of determining when a supply is made to calculate actual GST turnover; the alternative reference period…
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New home loans are being taken out at a record rate, as first home buyers pile into the property market

New home lending grew at its fastest clip in 11 years in July, while owner-occupier finance hit a new record. It comes as first home buyers jump into the market, largely replacing property investors. While the Commonwealth Bank upgraded its price forecasts on Wednesday, there are a handful of factors that could see the market…
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ATO kicks off ‘soft’ debt collection restart

The ATO has launched a soft restart of its debt and lodgement activities as it looks to re-engage with businesses. Apart from Victoria, where businesses are working towards a staged reopening plan, the ATO has begun reaching out to businesses in other parts of the country as part of its debt intervention activity restart after such…
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An auctioneer’s guide to winning the bidding on the day

Turning up to an auction to bid on your dream home can be a daunting experience. But going in with a bidding strategy can help ease some of those nerves and also give you an edge over other bidders. Money reached out to Andrew Cooley, partner and auctioneer with Cooley Auctions, to find out which strategies…
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How to address the weakest link in your business’ cyber defences

As many businesses envisage an online-only presence and working from home becomes more prevalent during coronavirus, cyber security risks are on the up. A Google search of coronavirus returned about 2.8 billion results, while cyber security yielded a paltry 600 million or so. Yet with so many people working remotely, we greatly increase the points…
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5 property market myths busted

Australia’s median property value fell 0.6 per cent in July and is tipped to fall anywhere between a few more percentage points and a whopping 32 per cent.  But according to Aussie Home Loans chief customer officer David Smith, that doesn’t mean prospective buyers should hold off on their purchasing decisions.  “We have seen a drop in house…
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Have you received a government payment or grant?

If your business has received a grant or payment from the Australian Government or a state or territory government, you may need to include it in your tax return. Some grants and payments are assessable income and so need to be included in your tax return. Grants and payments that are assessable income include: JobKeeper…
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September 2020 Newsletter

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URGENT: JobKeeper Payment Scheme Extension Fact Sheet

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Return on investment: 9 effective time management techniques

For many of us, one of the key lessons from the past few months has been a new appreciation of time. For some, the shutdown of schools, gyms, restaurants and team sporting activities offered a breather from our jam-packed schedules. For others, setting up the office at home blurred the boundary between business and pleasure,…
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14 big tax deductions not to be forgotten this EOFY

It’s been an unusual year for business owners and tax payers, and tax time will be even more critical than before. To maximise your tax return, be sure to consider these key deductions. Between lockdown restrictions, government stimulus measures and the approaching end of the financial year (EOFY), small business owners have already had an…
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How to rethink your small business goal-management strategy in 2020

Incorporating a fresh goal-management framework, like OKRs or SMART goals, is a great use of any downtime that COVID-19 has caused, or even just as part of your new financial year planning. The strategy behind the way SMEs and startups run their businesses rarely gets reviewed. Hustle culture demands for businesses to always be operating at…
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Government confirms JobKeeper 2.0 turnover tweak

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced that eligibility for JobKeeper 2.0 will now be based on single quarters, in light of the stage 4 restrictions facing Melbourne. The eligibility changes, which will apply nationwide from 28 September, will now require businesses to show the requisite actual decline in turnover for the September quarter alone, rather than…
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Incoming ATO audits tipped to focus on JobKeeper, employer obligations

JobKeeper audits are expected to go on for two years, while the ATO’s scrutiny of employer obligations is set to continue over the next 12 months, says one audit insurance provider. Accountancy Insurance director Roman Kaczynski noted that while ATO audit activity is significantly down on previous years due to COVID-19, JobKeeper reviews have continued to…
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August 2020 News

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ATO will not claw back ‘honest’ JobKeeper mistakes

The ATO will not seek to recover JobKeeper payments from employers who made an honest mistake, a parliamentary inquiry has heard. Fronting a COVID-19 parliamentary committee, ATO second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn said that while the Tax Office had written to 8,000 businesses to inform them that JobKeeper payments would cease because of eligibility issues, it had…
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Profession appeals for stage 4 workaround arrangements

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been called to grant the 16,500 tax and BAS agents facing six-week business closures with the flexibility to support clients through the stage 4 restrictions. Tax professionals based in metropolitan Melbourne will now be required to close their practices and work from home from 11.59pm on Wednesday as part of stage…
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Accounting bodies to weigh in heavily on JobKeeper 2.0 design

The professional accounting and tax bodies will soon present the Treasury with a laundry list of issues to be considered in the design and execution of JobKeeper 2.0, as the profession aims to avoid implementation issues that encumbered the first version. A joint submission from members of the National Tax Liaison Group is expected to…
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Instant Asset Write-off: Is 2020 the year to invest in ERP?

Have you been putting off an upgrade to enterprise resource planning software? With the Instant Asset Write-off available to much larger businesses than ever before, now may be your moment to embrace ERP. The Federal Government has responded to the unique challenges caused by COVID-19 to provide targeted stimulus to Australian businesses, primarily in the…
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Our Extended Hours During Tax Season

From Saturday 11th July we will operate as follows:                Mondays                             830am to 5pm                Tuesdays                             830am to 7pm                Wednesdays                      830am to 7pm                Thursdays                           830am to 5pm                Fridays                                  830am to 5pm                Saturdays                            9am to 1pm Call us on 07 3883 8999 to book your appointment with a tax specialist now.…
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The home buyer ‘must-haves’ post-COVID-19

A crystal ball would be required to predict what life will be like after COVID-19, but when it comes to what home buyers want in a post-pandemic world, patterns are beginning to emerge. New keyword search data from realestate.com.au shows a significant jump in nine work-from-home-related property features during the pandemic – illustrating that home…
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A home lender’s tips on how to approach the market amid the COVID-19 outbreak

As housing prices across Australia remain unsteady in the wake of COVID-19, potential homeowners are calculating whether it’s the right decision to break into the property market. To help make an informed decision, we recruited home loan specialist at CUA, Joel Dooner, to provide some insight into considerations that should be made before you decide to take…
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Accounting profession waits on JobKeeper 2.0 guidance

The accounting profession has cautiously welcomed the extension to JobKeeper as it awaits further guidance from the Treasury and the ATO. The government has announced a reshaped, six-month extension to the JobKeeper program after it was due to expire on 27 September. JobKeeper 2.0 will now see different payment rates and eligibility requirements over the December…
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ATO records ‘biggest 1 July ever’ with 640% spike

Over 1.7 million Australians have now lodged their tax returns in the first two weeks of the new financial year, leading the ATO to issue a cautionary note on trending mistakes with early lodgements. The ATO has now seen its “biggest 1 July ever”, with over 740,000 online lodgements on the day, up from just…
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Early days yet in commercial property value cycle

Company share prices may be updated every few minutes on the ASX website, but commercial property values can take years to unravel. In times of uncertainty, trading activity in commercial property, be it sales or leasing, reduces rapidly, leaving stakeholders with little evidence of where values and prices are really at. That’s exactly what’s happening…
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A quarter of small businesses ‘would have struggled’ without accounting support

A new report has found one in four Australian small-business owners admitted they would have struggled to survive the impacts of COVID-19 had it not been for the support of their accountant or bookkeeper. The QuickBooks COVID-19 Recovery Report has revealed that 74 per cent of small-business owners turned to an accountant or bookkeeper for support during…
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