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Articles & Videos

Our newsletters strive to provide you a collection of articles that are not only interesting and topical, but are also relevant to you in today’s business and economic environment.

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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The usual time of about 4-6 weeks it took for your home loan application to complete settlement is no longer valid !!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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Australians have frozen $266 billion worth of debt so far. This one chart shows how few are able to repay it.

At the end of May, Australians had frozen repayments on $266 billion worth of loans, according to new APRA figures. While mortgages make up the bulk of them, deferrals were more common amongst businesses than home loans. Banks have extended the hardship program to January, but with few exiting it entirely questions remain over whether it…
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Discretionary trusts in the ATO spotlight

As the ATO renews its focus on tax avoidance, section 100A, a 40-year-old provision in the Income Tax Assessment Act, is under review. Discretionary trust structures continue to be widely used by many families around Australia, both for the purposes of holding assets and distributing income to their beneficiaries. Discretionary trusts are so called because…
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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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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

Download a copy of our February 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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