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Articles

ATO Issuing 30-40 Penalty Notices a Day – And Rising

Office steps up debt collection with scores of director penalty notices and hundreds of credit referrals. The ATO is sending out 30-40 director penalty notices every day and has begun referring taxpayers to credit agencies as it steps up debt collection post-COVID. The DPNs follow 52,319 warning letters dispatched last month to directors of companies with…
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EOFY Checklist for Businesses: 2022 Edition

Getting your business’s end of financial year work done smoothly is no small task. This handy checklist offers a quick overview of the key processes and major to-do items. End Of Financial Year (EOFY) isn’t just a marketing opportunity for businesses looking to entice business customers to make the most of available tax deductions (although…
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ATO Flags Super Guarantee Charge Deadline

Businesses that have trouble paying employee super will need to lodge before 30 May. Employers that will struggle to pay an employee’s minimum superannuation guarantee (SG) amount on time and to the right fund, must remember to pay the superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) this tax time, says the ATO. “We understand that paying your employees’…
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ATO ‘Should have Acted Earlier’ on 100

Widely used trust practices had been known about for years, says IPA. Advisers have relied for years on common practices “considered legitimate” for trust taxation and the ATO should have acted earlier if they were unacceptable, the IPA says in its 100A submission. As a result, IPA members were “blindsided” by the 100A draft ruling…
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Our Extended Hours During Tax Season 2022

From Saturday 9th July 2022 through till Saturday 27th of August 2022 we will be offering extended hours during Tax Season as follows:                Mondays              8:30am to 5pm               Tuesdays             8:30am to 7pm               Wednesdays       8:30am to 7pm               Thursdays            8:30am to 5pm               Fridays                 8:30am to 5pm               Saturdays            9am to 1pm We will extend the additional hours should…
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May 2022 Newsletter

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ATO will take Hard Line this Year: H&R Block

Expect a stronger compliance regime after the office returns to business as usual. The ATO is focusing on a range of claims that have come into greater attention this tax year, from changing work-related expenses to the sharing economy and digital currencies, said H&R Block. Speaking to Accountants Daily, H&R Block director of tax communications…
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Inflation Hits Highest Level in 22 Years

Inflation has hit its highest level since the introduction of the GST, with the market to now eagerly watch for how the Reserve Bank manoeuvres the cash rate. New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 2.1 per cent over the March quarter. During the year to…
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Construction Costs Rising at the Fastest Annual Pace Since Introduction of the GST

CoreLogic’s Cordell Construction Cost Index (CCCI) for Q1 2022 showed national residential construction costs increased 9% over the 12 months to March 2022, the highest annual growth rate on record outside of the introduction of the GST (10.2% over the year to March 2001). The CCCI quarterly growth rate reaccelerated in Q1 2022 to 2.4%,…
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Gig Economy Escapes Scrutiny Thanks to Election

Treasury bill lapses that would have forced sharing platforms to report transactions. Ride-sharing and short-stay rental apps have been given a reprieve from mandatory reporting requirements thanks to the election. The 21 May federal vote means a law, which would have required digital platforms to relay all transactions to the ATO, lapses and must start…
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ATO Position ‘Has Litigation Written all Over It’

The status of benefits paid to a member after death remains problematic, hears SMSF conference. An ATO decision over whether benefits paid after the death of an SMSF member are classified as member benefits or death benefits will come to a head in legal action, warns the SMSF Association. The deputy chief executive of the SMSFA, Peter…
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Introducing Tahni Blewett | Senior Accountant

Tahni had already acquired over 10 years’ experience in the Accounting and Taxation Industry prior to joining the Accountplan team this week. The last 5 years of this was spent operating her own accounting business at North Lakes.This experience has armed Tahni with an incredibly strong ability to relate to small business owners, this is…
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ATO Hints at ‘Common Sense’ Approach to COVID Test Deductions

Expenses incurred from the test before the individual engages in work will most likely be covered, says CPA Australia. CPA Australia’s senior manager tax policy, Elinor Kasapidis, said the ATO is likely to take a “common-sense approach” to tax deductions on COVID-19 workplace tests. This would allow employees to claim tax deductions for COVID-19 tests…
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April 2022 Newsletter

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Introducing Ingrid Liddy | Financial Advice Manager | Accountplan

Ingrid Liddy recently joined our Financial Planning team bringing 20 years of experience in the Financial Planning Industry – the last 8 years being spent right here in Redcliffe. Ingrid assists our Snr Financial Planner in the provision of Super & SMSF strategies, Tax effective investments, Retirement Planning, Centrelink & Aged Car entitlements & even…
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Budget: Headline Items for Personal Returns

Many spending initiatives go to support for low-income individuals and families.  “Decent” and “encouraging” were two verdicts from the tax industry on the 2022 budget, with measures to address cost-of-living pressures high on the list. Big-ticket items were left untouched: stage 3 personal tax cuts remain scheduled to start in 2024-25 and the superannuation guarantee…
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Understanding the Sole Trader Tax and Maximising your Return

If you’re a sole trader running your own small business in Australia, then you’re lucky enough to have the flexibility and freedom to do things your way. But unfortunately, at tax time, you have to fall in line like everybody else. Only you have the additional burden of a sole trader tax. If you’re not up to…
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ATO Updates E-Invoicing Supplier List

Businesses seeking to adopt e-invoicing will need to use providers accredited by the ATO. The ATO has released the latest register of e-invoicing service providers accredited by the Australian Peppol Authority. “The service providers included on this register have completed the Australian Peppol Authority accreditation process and are trusted to operate in the network,” the…
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COVID Deductions ‘Rely on Work-Related Purpose’

Existing rules already allow claims for rapid antigen tests and other pandemic kit required by employers, says H&R Block. Teachers, medical staff and personal services workers such as hairdressers could claim deductions for masks, hand sanitisers and RATs without the need for legislative changes, said the director of tax communication at H&R Block. Mark Chapman…
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Petrol Prices mean Car Allowance ‘Undercooked’

The ATO has got its sums wrong with its increase in vehicle deductions by just 3¢ per kilometre. The rise in the work-related car expense deduction to 75¢ a kilometre from July fails to reflect the reality, said accounting bodies, and will leave millions of taxpayers short-changed. The ATO announced the rise, up from 72¢, last…
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Why Retirement Planning Must Be Personal

Retirement advice must be tailored for the individual, writes industry expert Jeremy Duffield. Is there a typical investor? Even if two people are in the same industry, with a similar income, they won’t have the same investment goals. Their personal financial situations will be different, so it makes sense to personalise super investment. Everyone’s circumstances…
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ATO Warns of Crypto Crackdown

Cryptocurrency is catching on fast in Australia and accountants need to be alert to the tax implications, says the ATO. Trades in cryptocurrency leapt 64 per cent in 2021 and the ATO is using data matching to make sure nothing slips through the net, acting assistant commissioner Sylvia Gallagher said last week. With more than…
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COVID Compliance Holiday Coming to an End, Says ATO

During the pandemic the ATO pressed pause on its usual regime, but it’s slowly returning to business as usual. The ATO will focus on chasing debts and artful tax dodgers now that Australia is returning to normal post-COVID, acting assistant commissioner Sylvia Gallagher said. Speaking at the Accountants Daily Strategy Day in Sydney last week…
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East Coast Floods and the Housing Market

Property market performance across Australia’s east coast, particularly South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales over the past year, could be summarised as having leading price growth, increased auction activity, and favourable internal migration trends. However, the end of February was a sobering reminder of the impact of extreme weather events and climate change.  Numerous…
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Accountants ‘Livid’ Over ATO Trust Crackdown 

The recent ATO ruling on trust distributions is an “unfair” change to the game and accountants need to be aware that clients will be under increased scrutiny, says ChangeGPS founder Timothy Munro. Speaking at a recent ChangeGPS webinar, Timothy Munro said accountants were “livid” about the rulings that would force them to completely rethink their strategies heading…
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URGENT: Federal Government Offers Grants, as ‘Flooding Disaster’ Escalates

The federal government has announced financial support is available for flood-impacted victims, as major flooding continues in South-East Queensland and the NSW North Coast. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Queenslanders impacted by the unfolding “flooding disaster” can apply for up to $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child, as part of the government’s Disaster…
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March 2022 Newsletter

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How to Stop Wasting Time Once and for All

Small business owners often waste time. Even though a study conducted by TSheets (now QuickBooks Time) found that nearly 60% of self-employed workers in the U.S. said they either worked every weekend or every other weekend, if you’re truly honest with yourself, you’ll probably admit that there’s a difference between spending time on work-like activities…
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NAB Predicts 32% Jump in Home Loan Repayments

National Australia Bank (NAB) has warned mortgage holders that their loan repayments could climb by a third, or an average of $721, during the next 18 months. A surge home loan pain would also see Australian borrowers experiencing the tightest budget pressures in a decade. NAB has forecasted mortgage rates to increase by 2.25 percentage…
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Data Confirms 2021 Worst Year for Home Loan Affordability

National home loan affordability fell “dramatically” in 2021, with a record calendar year decline of 14.5 per cent, according to non-bank lender Bluestone. Bluestone Home Loans has released its Home Loan Affordability Index for December quarter, revealing the index fell to 93.8 in December 2021 quarter compared to 82.9 in the December 2020 quarter. The latest…
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RBA Governor Defends Cash Rate Forecasting

The governor of the Reserve Bank has defended the central bank’s cash rate forecasting, despite increasing expectations from market that a rate rise will come sooner than flagged. Speaking to the House of Representatives standing committee on economics for its hearing on monetary policy on Friday (11 February), the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia…
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Construction Costs Continue to Surge

Despite an easing in the quarterly growth rate, national construction costs increased 7.3% over the 2021 calendar year – the highest annual growth rate since March 2005, according to the latest figures from CoreLogic. CoreLogic’s Cordell Construction Cost Index (CCCI) found a softening in quarterly construction cost growth in Q4 to 1.1%, from the 3.8% surge…
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Accountants Back Move to Make COVID-19 Testing Tax-Deductible

Professional accounting bodies have welcomed the federal government’s move to make COVID-19 testing expenses tax-deductible and FBT exempt. In an address to Australian Industry Group on Monday (7 February), Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the federal government would look to ensure COVID-19 testing expenses are tax-deductible. “Since the start of 2022, the Government has secured more than 80 million Rapid…
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ATO Flags E-Invoicing Opportunities for Businesses

The ATO has urged businesses to consider the use of e-invoicing as it becomes the new and improved way to send and receive invoices for organisations.  In a recent update, the ATO said that the adoption of e-invoicing can help businesses simplify and automate the exchange and processing of invoices.  “Government agencies, business, and software…
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Australia’s Rents Continue to Climb, Despite Affordability Constraints

Capital cities, regional areas, houses and units all saw an increase in rents last quarter, culminating in the highest calendar year growth rate since 2007.  CoreLogic’s quarterly Rental Review shows the national rental index increased 1.9% during the December quarter, a repeat of the figures recorded in the September quarter.  Despite quarterly growth rates easing since…
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ATO’s Late Lodgement Focus Set to Continue this Year

In February last year, the ATO launched a new compliance campaign targeted at late lodgements in response to concerns that a lapse in lodgement often indicates broader regulatory issues. ATO assistant commissioner, SMSF segment Justin Micale noted at the time that despite the due date for lodgement of the 2019 SMSF annual return being deferred until 30…
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February 2022 Newsletter

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Tips for Changing Payroll Frequency

Switching to less-frequent payroll periods can save time and money on payroll processing costs, but to navigate the change successfully, you need to recalculate payments, make changes to your accounting software, and communicate with your employees about the change. Weekly Payroll Sending out weekly pay slips results in processing payroll 52 times per year and…
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Grim Forecast for Aussie Homeowners after Sharp Inflation Rise

Interest rates could be hiked as early as May, economists have predicted following a sharp rise in inflation. Australia’s consumer price index (CPI) rose to a bigger-than-expected 1.3% in the December quarter, pushed up by soaring petrol and housing construction costs. The figure is up from an 0.8% increase over the previous three-month period. The…
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Small Businesses want the SME Recovery Scheme Replaced

Small Business Australia is appealing for Canberra officials to replace the SME Recovery Loan Scheme with the revenue contingent loan (RCL) of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS). The scheme allows SME owners to access low-rate loans with the option of deferring repayments for up to 24 months to give them more breathing space as…
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ATO Highlights Support for Out-Of-Date Lodgments and Payments

The ATO has issued a reminder to those who have clients currently not up to date with their lodgment and payment obligations. The Tax Office said the new year is a good opportunity to check in with clients, noting that “if you find some are not up to date with their lodgment and payment obligations,…
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How OneDrive Safeguards Your Data In The Cloud

You control your data. When you put your data in OneDrive cloud storage, you remain the owner of the data. For more info about the ownership of your data, see Office 365 Privacy by Design. How you can safeguard your data Here are some things you can do to help protect your files in OneDrive: Create a…
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Cloud Accounting 101: What is it and who can benefit by using it?

Cloud accounting may sound like more tech-industry jargon, but the concept behind it has caused huge and overwhelmingly positive impacts for business owners over the past decade. Also known as ‘online accounting’, cloud accounting generally makes managing your finances and tax affairs easier, faster and safer for business owners. What is ‘the cloud’? When someone…
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Understanding Cloud Computing

Cloud computing got you perplexed? You’re not alone. Most of us talk about ‘the cloud’ without even realising what it really means. We’re clearing the air on cloud computing and how it can benefit your small business. So what is the cloud? The cloud is where you put all your data, all your files and…
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Is My Data Safe In The Cloud?

The accounting industry’s interest in cloud services — from online bookkeeping to full-featured accounting software — shows no signs of slowing down. Intuit’s e-book “The Appification of Small Business,” forecasts 78 percent of small businesses will be fully cloud operational by 2020. The cloud is a collection of securely networked physical servers where customers upload and…
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Food Services Financial Reporting: Three Must-Review Items on your Financial Statement

Whether you run a boutique restaurant, franchise, food truck or catering service, key areas of focus tend to be the same across business types—sales and cash flow; labour and food and beverage costs. And that’s as it should be: sales and cash flow ensure you have enough money to pay your bills and your staff, while…
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Tax Time Essentials for Uber: ABN, GST, and your New Business

In the past, starting a small business was a rarity. In today’s landscape, it’s possible for virtually anyone with the motivation and drive. For many small business owners, the role of Uber driver (or any ridesharing profession) has become a great way to earn a living while being your own boss. Ridesharing, using a personal…
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Everything You Need to Know About Income Protection Insurance

If life and work are ticking along, you’ll be so focused on your business that the last thing you’ll be thinking about is what would happen if you couldn’t work. However, the best time to think about the spectre of illness or injury, is while you are healthy. The healthier you are, the cheaper insurance…
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‘A slap in the face’: Qld’s New Land Tax Slammed

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is accusing the state government of treating the property market like a “cash cow” it can milk for profit. The state government announced plans to change existing regulation that sees investors with portfolios split across various states and territories pay less land tax than those with property located…
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January 2022 Newsletter

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ATO Provides Deadlines for Early Access to Super Over Christmas

The ATO has released new information for individuals who need to access their superannuation early on compassionate grounds during the Christmas shutdown period. The ATO offices will close from midday Friday, 24 December 2021, reopening on Tuesday, 4 January 2022.  The ATO said that for those who need a compassionate release of super determination before…
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Sleep Health: How to Sleep Better when Working Remotely

Learn how managing the fine line between work from home and living at work is worsening sleep working. Australia has recorded some of the longest working hours among full-time employees in OECD countries over the past two decades. The direct and indirect costs of sleep deprivation in Australia are estimated at A$51 billion a year.…
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NAB Backs Assessment that Property Market is Near Peak

NAB has come out in support of CoreLogic’s assessment that the property market is at or near its peak. CoreLogic’s most recent Home Value Index, released this morning, suggested that the slower growth in November of 1.3% suggests that the market is close to an apex. November was the slowest month since January, and CoreLogic analyst Tim…
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December 2021 Newsletter

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Growing Cohort Squeezed Out of Property Market – Says Economist

Up to 15 per cent of current households would have been able to enter the property market in the 1990s but are now forced out, an economist has said. Independent economist and University of Tasmania vice-chancellor’s fellow Saul Eslake appeared before the House of Representatives tax and revenue committee for its ongoing inquiry into housing affordability last…
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How Tax Laws Apply to your Cryptocurrency Gains

According to the Australian Taxation Office, more than 600,000 taxpayers have invested in crypto assets in recent years, and many have failed to declare their capital gains. The technology that supports cryptocurrencies is relatively new, but the tax laws that apply are well established under capital gains tax provisions for cryptocurrency investors. Australia is supporting…
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Businesses expect to return to pre-COVID profitability levels by the end of 2022 – but supply chain chaos remains a concern

Business confidence has seen a resurgence across industries in October, as NSW and Victoria reopened and companies returned to pre-pandemic trading. A newly released survey conducted by HSBC found 65% of Australian businesses are optimistic they can generate growth over the next 12 months, in line with international peers. However businesses named supply chain chaos…
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Most Borrowers Ready for a Rate Rise: RBA

The majority of mortgage holders are already maintaining higher loan repayments than required and won’t be shaken by a climbing cash rate, according to the Reserve Bank. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) assistant governor (economic) Luci Ellis appeared before the House of Representatives standing committee on tax and revenue on Monday (15 November), for its…
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Inflationary Pressure Pushes Up Interest Rates

Interest rates are rising, but it’s the banks rather than the RBA that have moved first. Tom Uhlich of Boss Money looks at what’s driving the change – and at the implications for the property market. We haven’t seen it in years. The RBA  has not raised interest rates for more than 130 months. But we all knew it…
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Low and Middle-Income Tax Offset could be Extended

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted that the popular tax-saving measure may return in 2022. The federal government has teased the possibility of extending its popular tax offset ahead of the next election. In a recent interview with The Herald Sun, Prime Minister Scott Morrison played coy when asked whether the current federal government would consider…
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Important Message for all Company Directors

New laws came into force from 1 November 2021 requiring all Directors to obtain a Director Identification Number (Director ID). This applies if they are the director of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation. When must you apply for your Director ID? Date You Became…
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Applying for your Director ID

You need to apply for your own director ID. The fastest way to do this is online using the myGovID app. Step 1 – Set up myGovID You will need a myGovID with a Standard or Strong identity strength to apply for your director ID online. If you live outside Australia and can’t get a…
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‘A shock to the system’: Federal Court spousal asset ruling to impact accountants

A recent judgment heard by the Full Court of the Federal Court will have a profound impact on the way accountants approach matters concerning spousal assets. The matter of Commissioner of Taxation v Bosanac [2021] FCAFC 158 was heard recently with the judgment holding that a $4.5 million property acquired in the name of one spouse was jointly owned…
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ATO Circles Inactive ABNs in Latest Probe

The ATO has reminded tax practitioners to ensure their clients’ Australian business numbers (ABNs) are sound with a new review set to identify those that warrant cancellation.  The Tax Office’s review will seek to identify potentially inactive ABNs for cancellation. “Your client’s ABN may be selected if they have not reported business activity in their tax…
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Further super reforms to ‘safeguard’ Australians’ retirement: Frydenberg, Hume

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and financial services minister Jane Hume have encouraged citizens to get behind super reform changes that have come into effect this month, citing them as the “most significant in nearly 30 years”. In a joint release, the Treasurer and financial services minister confirmed that from 1 November 2021 Australians will see their superannuation…
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November 2021 Newsletter

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RBA’s inflation target has been too high, for too long

There has been much coverage recently of two important issues facing the nation: a review of the Reserve Bank and the housing market.  With regard to the former, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and International Monetary Fund this month separately backed a review of the RBA, highlighting its failure to achieve its inflation…
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How to become a customer centric organisation

Most businesses like to think they’re a customer centric organisation, but nobody’s perfect, right? Here’s how to incrementally improve your customer relationships. Think about your clientele and ask yourself: what are their goals? What are they trying to do for them or perhaps their own customers? What keeps them awake at night? When are they…
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1 in 4 Businesses Impacted by Late Payments

Cash-flow issues have reared their head again across Australia’s SME community again, with one in four small businesses reporting late payments. According to a new Xero survey of more than 1,000 SMEs, late payments have become a major stressor with 24 per cent of small businesses and sole traders delaying payments to themselves due to cash-flow challenges.…
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Building Material Costs are Increasing – Should You Buy or Build?

There is no doubt that the construction industry is doing its best to maintain momentum through this period to support economic recovery.  However, the building sector, in general, is still experiencing a significant price increase in building materials, particularly when it comes to steel and timber products, due to sourcing and shipping constraints.  There are…
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What is depreciation and how is it calculated?

Every business uses assets to generate revenue. Think of depreciation as a warning light that tells you the remaining value of the life of each asset. To understand depreciation, you’ll need to know what assets depreciate, common depreciation methods and the impact depreciation has on your financial statements. What is depreciation? Depreciation is the decline in the value…
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How to organise your chart of accounts

A chart of accounts is a lot like the game Jenga. If you take a block away from one section of your business, you have to add it back somewhere else. Accounting systems by definition have a general ledger in which your asset accounts (what you own) match your liability accounts (what you owe). While…
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APRA makes move on home loan buffers

The prudential regulator is increasing the minimum interest rate buffer it expects banks to use in serviceability of home loans. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has announced changes to mortgage lending rules for banks. As flagged by the Reserve Bank on Tuesday (5 October), it is increasing the minimum interest rate buffer it expects banks to use when assessing…
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Why you need a documented succession plan

Handing over your small business to a successor takes considerable time and effort. Here’s why you need a succession plan to help you do it. Small and family businesses have been the backbone of the global economy for decades. In Australia, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up about 70 per cent of all businesses – about half a…
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Debt Consolidation | Client Testimonial

Mick at Accountplan was awesome.  Honestly you don’t realise when you come across a good broker until you’ve had a bad one, and this was my experience until being recommended to Mick. The refinance and loan consolidation he got me was a bloody good deal. Well done Mick, Cheers Dave. Welcome to Accountplan, proudly assisting…
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October 2021 Newsletter

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September 2021 Newsletter