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  • 06Jul2020

    How to Make Your Business Saleable

    Business owners know how important planning for the future is. But when it comes to planning, there is one element that many business owners fail to include: how to make your business saleable. Simply turning a profit isn’t always enough – there are many ways to ensure that your business is saleable. If you want to find out how to make your business saleable, read on!

    how to make your business saleable

     

    How to Make Your Business Saleable: Key Factors

    The new financial year is a time when small business operators review their operations and future plans. For most family firms, the business is their major asset and its eventual sale is what they are relying on to fund their retirement. But selling a small business is not like selling a house. You cannot just list it on the market and sell within 4-6 weeks.

    Michelle Wright, Principal Licensee of Complete Business Brokers, said it was important for owners to know that the average business sale took about 14 months – some much longer. She said owners should start thinking a few years in advance about what made their business valuable and how they would potentially exit. Ms Wright also said there were some key ongoing discussions business owners should be having with their accountants that could help make and keep their business in saleable condition.  

    If you want to know how to make your business saleable, take note:

    • Stock:  These values are commonly discussed at the end of each financial year, however, have you assessed ageing of your stock?  Business buyers do not want to take on old stock. Typically, any stock over 12 months old is considered obsolete so it may be best to encourage clients to sell the older stock at reduced prices to ensure stock is rotating.
    • Plant & Equipment Values:  Potential sellers needed to realise that the sale value of their plant and equipment was not always the same as their tax depreciation schedules.  When it came to selling a business, owners needed to be aware of  the current secondhand values of plant and equipment.  This is critical information required to be able to appraise a business value. 
    •  Private Expenses:  Business owners may be tempted to expense private items to reduce profits/tax, but this can be a real negative when it comes to business value.  Business owners should be discouraged from trying to expense private items. It makes them vulnerable to a tax audit and is detrimental to the saleable value of the business.  
    • Business Structure: Does the existing business structure make an arms length purchase relatively easy? Or does some restructuring need to be considered?
    • Key People/Relationships: Are there staff members and/or client/supplier relationships that are key to running your business? Can these be transferred as part of a sale process?
    • Internal Systems: Are your accounting, stock control and other business systems up to date, efficient, modern and transferrable to new owners?
    •  Jobkeeper Payments:  Some business owners could be holding off on considering a sale until the Jobkeeper payments finish. However, the typical sale process takes at least 14 months – way beyond when Jobkeeper is expected to finish. Therefore, there may still be an argument for starting the sale preparation or listing  process.

    Ms Wright said that Covid-19 was driving demand, with some people, who had lost their jobs in recent months, now looking to buy a business. For more information about Complete Business Brokers, go to www.completebusinessbrokers.com.au

    How to Make Your Business Saleable: Additional Factors

    In addition to the points Ms. Wright provided, there are other important factors to consider if you want to know how to make your business saleable.

    Growth Potential

    How likely your business is to sell can depend largely on how much potential for growth buyers find when analysing your business. Your business is more likely to sell when there is potential to grow and scale. A business that does not provide the potential to grow or develop further offers little to buyers and can even raise red flags.

    Over-dependence

    If your business has one major client that provides a large chunk of revenue, it can put investors and buyers off. This is because clients can be finicky and prefer to take their business elsewhere when you sell your business, especially if this client prefers dealing with you and does not have an interest in working with the new owners of your business. Multiple ‘big clients’, however, can become a major point of attraction for potential buyers, if they are able to be transferred in the sale of your business.

    Accounting Systems

    A business’ accounting system is imperative to its success. The accounting system you use can influence a buyer’s decision, as they may be less likely to purchase your business if your accounting system is poor or outdated. Good accounting practice also prevents you from losing financial records, which can also be a deciding factor for potential buyers.

    Realistic Expectations

    While you manage your business and improve its salability, you should also try to manage your expectations. Often business owners overestimate the true value of their business and get certain values stuck in their mind, creating an expected sell price. If you have a figure in mind for the sell price of your business, you should first ensure that your business is worth it. Buyers look at the historical performance of your business, as well as how it stands at the time of sale, which means you need to properly manage your business’ affairs from the start to ensure no ‘dirty laundry’ is aired later. A healthy, well-managed business can perform better on the market, and you may have more realistic expectations when selling if you know exactly what your business is worth.

     

    To discuss the sale-readiness of your business, or to find out how to make your business saleable, contact or 07 3359 5244.

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  • 06Jul2020

    Virtual Appointments Proving Popular with Our Tax Clients

    Virtual Appointments During Tax Time

    Tax season has arrived again, and this year, business owners and individuals face a new challenge during tax time: COVID-19. The pandemic has forced us all to restructure our lives and live differently, which is why Affinitas Accounting has been offering virtual appointments to our clients to manage their tax returns and compliance, while maintaining social distancing. Our virtual appointments have proven extremely popular and still retain the same level of dedication and professionalism that our physical appointments offer. Affinitas Accounting’s tax clients are embracing the opportunity to prepare their 2020 tax returns using our virtual and online options – so, if you still require assistance with your tax return or compliance, we can help you through our virtual appointments too!

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    Virtual Appointments: Online Tax Accounting

    Managing your money and minimising your tax burden is not just a technical exercise. It not only reduces unnecessary spending, but it also helps you move forward in your business with confidence. Let us help you manage and maintain your tax accounting and you’ll gain a trusted advisor for your success.

    When you work with us, we’ll do the following:

    • Reduce your tax each year
    • Maximise your investment in your business future
    • Optimise spending
    • Review your outgoing fees to improve spending efficiency

    We understand the pressures that come with running a business, from cashflow to taxation and payroll. That is why we’re here to help you focus on what you do best – running your business. Our experienced and professional online accountants are well adapted to remote working, allowing us to take advantage of streamlined procedures to ensure that your experience with us is nothing shy of excellent. Here’s what you can expect from our virtual appointments:

    • Prompt communication
    • Advice with your businesses best interests in mind
    • Fixed price quotes
    • Free phone call enquiries
    • A diverse team of highly trained accountants

    Our Virtual Appointments: How it Works

    Our virtual appointments make managing tax time easier for you. You will receive the same dedicated services that you would if you were able to meet at our Brisbane office.When you book or request a booking for our virtual appointments, you will still be assigned a friendly designated human accountant that will be your contact person. The end result is our services are just the same as traditional appointments. The accuracy, efficiency and reliability of our services are streamlined as our team have adapted to working remotely by creating cutting-edge procedures that save time and reduce the need for in-person communication.

    Virtual appointments can be highly beneficial given the advent of social distancing. We utilise the latest technology to ensure that our service remains impeccable for our clients. Our streamlined processes will be saving you a lot of time, money and make running your business much easier during tax season.

    Our clients are contacting us, as usual, via phone/email to book their appointment. At this point, we identify whether they prefer a Zoom meeting, phone call or email only service. Our tax checklist is then sent to each client, which we ask to be completed and returned to us within two days to the allotted appointment time. For those who have booked Zoom meetings, these details are also sent via email.

    If you want to be quick off the mark with your 2020 tax return, you need to remember that annual PAYG summaries and other details are sometimes not finalised on your ATO portal report until mid-late July. Those who have investments should be aware that the tax details for these are often not finalised until Sept-October each year.

    To book your 2020 tax return appointment, contact or phone 07 3359 5244.

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  • 10Jun2020

    5 Top Questions About the HomeBuilder Grant

    homebuilder grant

    The phone has been ringing off the hook with questions about the HomeBuilder grant.

    Here, I’m focusing on those who want to buy land and build (rather than renovators – that’s a whole separate topic on its own).  First, some basics about the HomeBuilder grant:

    To qualify for the $25k HomeBuilder grant you must:

    • Be Australian citizen
    • Earn below $ 125k for singles or $ 200k for couples
    • Sign a building contract between 4 June and 31 December (and start the build within 3 months of contract date)
    • Be building a home where the value of the completed house and land must be $750k or less
    • Own the home in individual names and occupy it as your home. (no investment properties)

    The HomeBuilder Grant: Top 5 Questions Answered

    The easiest way to explain some of the complexities around the HomeBuilder grant is to jump straight into some of the common questions people are asking.

     

    1. Can I get both the HomeBuilder Grant and the state based First HomeOwners Grant?

    As long as you meet the eligibility for each grant independently, you can receive both if you are building your first home.

     

    2. Does this mean that I can get into the market with no deposit?

    There are two elements to answering this question. Firstly, meeting the requirements for genuine savings and secondly the timing of when the HomeBuilder grant will be paid.

    Let’s take a step back and look at how much you typically need to buy a home.

    If you are a first-time homebuyer in Queensland and you qualify for the stamp duty concession, to buy an existing home without the FHOG you would need a deposit of 9% or around $40 000. Of this amount you will need to demonstrate that 5% has been genuinely saved. Neither the FHOG, nor the HomeBuilder grant count as genuine savings.

    If you have owned a home before, you would need a deposit of around 10.5 % or around $ 46 300. Again, of this amount you will need to demonstrate that 5% has been genuinely saved.

    While the grants may help you reduce the amount you end up borrowing, if you are hoping to get into the market with a new home build with a lower deposit, there are some tricky aspects of how and when the grants are paid that you’ll need to be across and plan for.

    Essentially, as with the FHOG, the HomeBuilder grant will not be able to be used as part of your initial deposit.

    The table sets out what the overall contribution is with a maximum loan of 95% including mortgage insurance, as well as how much is needed at land settlement for both first homebuyers and others. While the actual contribution needed is low, the timing of payments of the grants, and the need to demonstrate genuine savings, means you will actually need a lot more.

    homebuilder granthomebuilder grant

    3. How do I work out whether I’m under the income cap?

    The income cap is the same as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, so your income as an individual must be under $125,000 per year and, as a couple, your combined income needs to be under $200,000. This is your gross income before tax (excluding Super). You will be able to find this on your 2019 Notice of Assessment issued by the ATO.

     

    4. If I was under the income cap last year but may go over this year, am I still eligible for the HomeBuilder grant?

    The wording of the grant is that the income cap will be based on your individual ‘2018-19 tax return or later’ so if you earned less last year, but will earn more this year, they will use the most recent year to confirm your income. 

    There is a requirement to report any change in your circumstances to the state revenue office, so the intention appears to be that if you will exceed the income cap before you are paid the grant that you would no longer be eligible.

    The HomeBuilder grant may be audited, and if for example you earned $190,000 as a couple in 2018-19 tax year and then earned $220,000 in 2019-20 tax year, you could be required to pay back the grant. 

     

    5. What if I am a citizen but my spouse is not?

    There are some things we don’t know yet here, as the application form for the HomeBuilder grant Scheme hasn’t yet been issued, so we don’t know the specific questions that will be asked. 

    However, if it’s going to be similar to the First HomeOwner’s grant, then the eligibility is based on the applicants – which is based on the property ownership. 

    If this is the case and the property is just in the Australian citizen’s name, you may qualify for the HomeBuilder grant.

    Given the uncertainty around what the formal criteria on application will be, I would recommend waiting to see what these are in your state before signing a contract if you need the grant to complete the build. As an industry, we are seeking clarity around Treasury’s intentions here.

    You would also need to seek advice here around whether you may meet the criteria to have two people on the loan where only one is on the title (and consider whether this structure is right for you).

     

    I’ll be posting updates as we get more clarity around the ambiguous areas, but in the meantime, if you’d like to understand what this grant might mean for you, reach out at or give me a call on 0430 383 996.

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  • 09Jun2020

    Tax Time 2020 Preparation

    As tax time 2020 gets closer and closer, we wanted to help our clients prepare and ensure they are ready for the important financial period ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a curve ball, causing this year’s tax time to be a little more complex than those in the past. However, the Affinitas Accounting team has remained on top of all things tax time 2020 related to make it easier for our clients. Are you looking to prepare for tax time 2020? Find out what steps you can take below!

     

    tax time 2020

    Preparing for Tax Time 2020

    If you’re a business owner, you know how stressful tax time can be. This tax time, there is the added stress and responsibility of the Coronavirus, which has implicated every part of every Australian’s daily life – business owner or not. In order to help our clients prepare for tax time 2020, we’ve put together a list of handy hints and helpful tips to set you on the right path. Business owners and individuals looking for help with their tax time 2020 tax returns can also get in touch with any member from our helpful team for faster assistance.

     

    Want help preparing for tax time 2020? Get in touch!

    Call or email us now!

     


    Handy Hints for Tax Time 2020 Preparation

    If you are preparing for tax time 2020, it’s best to start well before 30 June 2020. This will give you enough time to gather what you need for your tax return and prevent any nasty surprises once your tax accountant is done with your yearly results. This year, the onset of COVID-19 has made tax time considerably more stressful and given business owners and individuals alike a lot to think about and prepare for. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of things to start thinking about and getting prepared to be on the front-foot for tax time 2020.

     

    Covid-19 Claims

    1. If you have worked from home due to Covid-19, the government has announced that it will let taxpayers claim 80c per hour to cover costs of home office expenses, based on documented records of the hours you worked from home. However, if you do not think that this will adequately compensate for what it has actually cost you to work from home, you can choose to assess via a one-month diary establishing your percentage of expenses – mobile phone, home computers, printers, internet and any other costs related to working from home.

     

    Individuals 

    1. Account for all your sources of income during the year, particularly if your have had several jobs or received Centrelink benefits for part of the year.
    2. Make sure you have receipts for all your work related deductions. Some expenses like union fees can be taken straight from your annual PAYG summary, but most require their own receipt.
    3. If you have made tax deductible donations during the year, you will need receipts for these.
    4. If you use your car for work make sure you have a calculation of how many km you have travelled. If you require a log book, make sure that it is up to date.
    5. Any other work related travel expenses will require diarised notes of where and when you travelled, the purpose of the travel and receipts for fares, accommodation and any other expenses.
    6. Did you purchase any uniform or protective clothing for work purposes?
    7. Did you undertake any study that was directly related to your work activities?
    8. If you studied or worked from home, how many hours per week?
    9. If you were required to use your personal internet or mobile phone, have you made an effort to establish the percentage usage for work?
    10. You will need details of any earnings from bank interest, share dividends and managed funds.
    11. If you sold any investments you will need both purchase and sales details if there is a capital gains calculation to be completed.
    12. Have you checked your insurances to see if they include tax deductible income protection premiums?

     

    Small Business Owners

    1. Many of the hints for individuals are transferrable to small business owners.
    2. Have you reviewed your debtors to see if there are any bad debts to be written off?
    3. Do you have any obsolete stock or equipment that can be written off prior to 30 June?
    4. Are all your staff obligations for PAYG Tax and Superannuation up to date?
    5. Have you disposed of any capital equipment or bought any new equipment?
    6. Is any of the new equipment worth less than $150,000 and available for immediate write-off?
    7. Have you sat down and completed a tax planning exercise to in the past quarter?

     

    Investment Property Owners

    1. Ask for an annual statement of income and expenses from your rental property manager
    2. Account for all the expenses paid directly by you in relation to the property – usually rates, water, body corp, insurance and some repairs.
    3. Have you checked whether you have a current depreciation schedule for the property.

     

    tax time 2020

     

    Virtual Visits for Tax Time 2020

    Covid-19 is about to change the way many people deal with their annual tax returns. Online tax preparation is nothing new, but tax season 2020 is going to put more emphasis on professional accountants to offer flexible and virtual alternatives to face-to-face appointments.

    Many taxpayers traditionally visit their accountant for an annual chat, and we look forward to this face-to-face connection at our Aspley office. But this year, visiting your tax accountants office is a risk that should be avoided by all tax professionals and their clients. Covid-19 may be contained – but it has not been cured, nor has a vaccine been developed. We don’t want to put our clients or our team at risk, if that risk can be easily avoided.

    The Affinitas Accounting team will be engaging with clients via email, phone, Zoom or any other form of communication that does not involve face-to-face interaction. Affinitas Accounting has already spent many years in the online world and have prepared thousands of returns via post and/or email. This will make the transition easy for those new to such a system.

    Via the tax agents portal, we already have access to much of our clients’ current and historical tax information. We have learnt how to use technology to its best advantage – including sharing our screens with clients to better explain various issues. And we are working on introducing paperless processes to allow clients to check and sign their returns – then ultimately receive their notices of assessment. Even if you have multiple years’ worth of tax returns to lodge, or a business or investment property tax return, these can be done via a virtual initial appointment and online process.

    We believe many people are going to discover just how easy and convenient it is to virtually visit their accountants in 2020 – and will probably make it an annual event.

     

    Need Help for Tax Time 2020?

    The Affinitas Accounting team is dedicated to helping you manage the upcoming tax season and make the process as smooth and simple as possible. To this end, we are extending our operating hours during tax time, from July to October, to help clients or schedule virtual appointments. If you need to speak to one of our friendly tax agents, get in touch!

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  • 02Jun2020

    Tax Time 2020 – Covid and Other Challenges

    The time to prepare for the end of the financial year is BEFORE 30 June. Seems simple when you say it – but many businesses do find it challenging – which is why reaching out for help from professional advisers like your tax accountant can be important.

    Reviewing your business performance and maximising your tax outcome for the year can go hand-in-hand – and will help ensure no nasty surprises emerge when your accountant finishes your yearly results.

    With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of things to start thinking about and getting prepared to be on the front-foot for tax time 2020.

    These are all general tips for you to think about – some specifically relate to your potential tax outcome and others are business operational matters that could be worth considering. 

     

     

    30 June and Tax Time

    Find out how to prepare for tax time 2020 HERE!

     


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  • 28May2020

    Understanding the ATO Instant Asset Write-Off

    The ATO’s instant asset write-off is another form of financial relief the ATO and the Federal Government has included and expanded on in the COVID-19 relief schemes. First developed in 2015 as a way of enabling small businesses to claim the depreciation amount of a work-related purchase like a car or a computer in one hit, rather than gradually over a number of years. Recently, the ATO expanded on the criteria needed for this asset write-off. If you are a business owner or sole trader interested in the instant asset write-off, read on to find out how the scheme works. 

     

    instant asset write-off

     

    What is the ATO Instant Asset Write-Off?

    The instant asset write-off scheme was initially introduced in 2015 and was largely aimed at helping small businesses claim the depreciation amount of company assets immediately, rather than over many years. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the government and the ATO introduce a number of financial relief schemes aimed at helping businesses survive this troubling time, and recently, they adjusted the criteria for the instant asset write-off scheme to include larger businesses. 

    As part of the ATO and the government’s economic stimulus measures, the asset limit for the instant asset write-off scheme has increased from $30,000 to $150,000. The pool of eligible businesses has also been amended from those with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million, to an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million. These significant changes will see the instant asset write-off scheme benefit many more businesses than before. 

    This means that a greater number of businesses can purchase a piece of equipment or a company vehicle and receive an immediate deduction of up to $150,000. However, the relief scheme is not without strict regulations that must be adhered to if businesses are to utilise this financial relief benefit to its maximum, and there is some confusion in particular around how the scheme works for company-owned and bought vehicles. 

     

    What is the ATO Instant Asset Write-Off Limit on Cars?

    While the instant asset write-off limit has increased from $30,000 to $150,000, a ‘car cost limit’ has been implemented for businesses wanting to purchase a vehicle at this time. This will define the amount you can actually claim on a newly purchased vehicle. 

    Specifically, cars that are “designed to carry a load less than one tonne and fewer than nine passengers,” have a total claim limit of $57,581 and anything beyond that point “cannot be claimed under any other depreciation rules,” the ATO explains. 

    However, the full purchase price of a vehicle which can carry more than one tonne/more than nine passengers can be claimed back. 

    Cars that cost $150,000 or more, as well as farm trucks and tractors, are ineligible for the instant asset write-off scheme.

     

    Does the Car Threshold Include LCT, On-Road Costs, Insurance and Registration?

    All costs but insurance and registration are included in the car threshold amount – this includes stamp duty, any accessories, luxury car tax, on-road costs and delivery. 

    Insurance and registration are recurring business costs, which are immediately deductible under the general deduction provision and thus not included in the cost of the car. 

     

    Are Lease and Financed Cars Eligible?

    A hire purchase lease will be eligible for the instant asset write-off scheme, but operating and finance leases will not qualify. 

     

    Criteria for the ATO Instant Asset Write-Off: Cars

    1. Must be a business asset. Any old asset will not comply. Whether it’s a new or second hand asset, to get the 100% deduction the asset must be 100% employed in your business. Assets that are part business and part private will require a log book to establish a business use percentage.
    2. Car limits may still apply. A passenger vehicle designed to carry a load of less than 1 tonne and fewer than 9 passengers is limited to a maximum write-off of $57,581 – even if it 100% used in business. Vehicles that are greater than one tonne or carry 9 passengers or more may be eligible for a higher write-off amount.
    3. You must own and be using the asset by 30 June. The asset must be owned by the business and be in use (or able to be used) by the business by 30 June to claim the write-off.
    4. Employees are not eligible for the instant asset write-off scheme, but they may be able to claim back some of their own car usage.

    Many car dealerships are calling for the extension of the scheme to allow more businesses to take advantage of it. 

     

    Choose Affinitas Accounting

    The ATO’s instant asset write-off can provide a major financial aid to many businesses. If you think you are eligible and want to apply, please feel free to contact one of our friendly business accountants for swift, prompt assistance. 

     

    Contact Us Now

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  • 28May2020

    JobKeeper Explained: What is it and Who is Eligible?

    JobKeeper was introduced in April 2020 and is an effort being made by the Federal Government to support eligible businesses effected by COVID-19 to cover the costs of their employee’s wages, on condition that the business has experienced a loss of a predetermined portion of their turnover. Around $130 billion will be paid to hundreds of thousands of Australian businesses to subsidize employee wages. If you are a business owner who wants to explore JobKeeper and want to know if you can apply, read on to find out how it works and who is eligible.

    JobKeeper explained

    What is JobKeeper?

    The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020 came into effect on 9 April 2020 (though the payment scheme was officially backdated to 30 March 2020), which allowed for the implementation of the Federal Government’s $130 billion JobKeeper relief scheme. It forms part of the Government’s $320 billion total economic stimulus and support package for businesses and employees affected by the Coronavirus (COVID–19) crisis. The scheme was aimed at keeping Australians employed even in the event of their employer temporarily closing down due to trading limitations caused by the outbreak.

    Businesses who were impacted by COVID-19 and who suffered a loss in turnover of at least 30% can apply for the JobKeeper fund which will give them access to a wage subsidy for their employees. Eligible employers will be able to continue to pay their employees on a fortnightly basis: $1500 per employee from March 30 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.

    For those in non-essential industries, such as accommodation, retail and hospitality, this subsidy payment equates a complete wage replacement – something those working in the hardest-hit industries would need.

    The JobKeeper payment scheme will end on 27 September 2020, encompassing 13 fortnights of employee wage payments.

     

    Who is Eligible for JobKeeper?

    In an effort to provide support and financial assistance to businesses and employees who need it, the Government has set out a defined list of criteria that businesses need to meet in order to apply for the JobKeeper payment scheme. The eligibility criteria are:

    • Businesses that have experienced a loss in turnover of at least 30%, in a month-long period compared to last year 
    • Businesses that have experienced a loss in turnover of at least 50% if they usually bring in more than $1 billion annually, in a month-long period compared to last year
    • Charities that have lost at least 15% of their turnover in the same period
    • Applicants who have casual workers must have employed the casual worker for at least a year
    • Sole traders
    • Temporary work visa holders may not apply unless they are New Zealanders on the special 444 subclass visas

    Sole traders and some other entities (such as partnerships, trusts or companies) may be entitled to the JobKeeper Payment scheme under the business participation entitlement. A limit applies of one $1,500 JobKeeper payment per fortnight for one eligible business participant. Sole traders, one partner in a partnership, one beneficiary of a trust, and one director or shareholder of a company may be regarded as an eligible business participant.

     

    How do the JobKeeper Payments Work?

    Eligible employers and companies will be able to claim the subsidy amount of $1500 per eligible employee on a fortnightly basis. However, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), who has partnered with the Government during this crisis, will pay employers in arrears, within 14 days of month end. The employer will continue to receive the subsidy payments for eligible employees while they are eligible for the payments. While the program is expected to run for 6 months, payments will stop if the employee is no longer employed by the business.

    Monthly employer payroll reporting is required to trigger the payment by the ATO using Single Touch Payroll (STP).

     

    JobKeeper Obligations and Risks

    While the JobKeeper payment scheme is aimed at helping businesses and their employees, the system is not without risks that business owners should be aware of.

    If an incorrect claim is made, or if the ATO in the future decides that you were ineligible to receive the JobKeeper payment, the ATO will require you to repay any JobKeeper payments that you have received, plus penalties and interest.

    The key risks and responsibilities you, as the employer, must be aware of include:

    • The employer certifies the facts provided to the ATO and the JobKeeper claim made
    • The employer receives significant JobKeeper payments over a 6 month period. For example, an employer with 5 employees would receive $97,500, and an employer with 10 employees would receive $195 000
    • If the employer makes a mistake and is found to be ineligible by the ATO (for example, its turnover was not down by 30%), then they may have to repay all amounts received back to the ATO This is not recoverable from employees (unless they confirmed they were eligible but were not)
    • An employee ceases to be eligible if they cease employment during the life of this JobKeeper scheme
    • The ATO requires you to keep all records in relation to your JobKeeper claim for a 5 year period.

     

    How to Apply for JobKeeper

    The ATO has specific actions that must take place within tight time frames for an employer to receive the JobKeeper payment. If you want to apply for JobKeeper for your business, please contact us or read the below:

    1. Employer Eligibility Assessment

    • Review ATO requirements for the business
    • Review ATO requirements for employees
    • Review ATO requirements for Business Participation Entitlement – Sole Trader, Partnership, Company or Trust
    • Document the fall in turnover % in case of future ATO audit

    2. Identify Eligible Employees

    • Prepare list of eligible employees
    • Prepare JobKeeper employee nomination notice for all eligible employees and ensure
      all notices are signed

    3. Make Correct Wage Payments to Eligible Employees

    • Ensure your payroll software is correctly set up to record JobKeeper “top up” payments
    • Pay the minimum $1500 before tax to each eligible employee each fortnight (starting with the fortnight 30 March to 12 April) to be able to claim the JobKeeper payment for that fortnight
    • Continue to pay the minimum $1500 to employees in every subsequent fortnight until 27 September 2020

     

    4. Enrolment for JobKeeper

    • Enrol for JobKeeper using ATO online services from 20 April 2020
    • Provide employer bank account details for receipt of JobKeeper payment
    • Confirm if applicant is entitled to a “Business Participation Payment”
    • Specify the number of employees who will be eligible for one period and the number eligible for two periods
    • Get confirmation that all employees the employer plans to nominate are eligible and the employer has notified them and has their agreement

     

    5. Apply for JobKeeper Payments

    • Apply to claim the JobKeeper payment using ATO online services between 4 May 2020 and 31 May 2020
    • Ensure all eligible employees have been paid $1500 per fortnight
    • Identify the eligible employees from a Single Touch Payroll prefill or by manually entering into ATO online services
    • Update your accounting system Chart of Accounts to ensure JobKeeper payments are coded correctly

     

    6. Monthly JobKeeper Declaration Report

    • Using ATO online services, report to the ATO using their Monthly JobKeeper
    • Declaration Report on the following:
      • Reconfirm that your reported eligible employees have not changed
      • Input current GST Turnover for the reporting month
      • Input projected GST Turnover for the following month
      • Notify if any eligible employees have changed or left your employment

    Partner with Us

    We want to do our part during the pandemic and, as such, are providing support and assistance to businesses who want to apply for the JobKeeper payment scheme. Please be sure to contact us if you or your business require assistance with your application.

    Contact Us Now

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  • 25May2020

    Common Tax Scams

    Common Tax Scams

    Common tax scams hit hundreds of Australians every year around tax time. In fact, according to Scamwatch, scammers cost Australians $489 million in 2018!

    Tax scams are a major problem for individuals and businesses around Australia, with many people falling victim to fraudulent emails, phone calls and text messages, identity theft and more each year. Scammers claim to be from reputable organisations, pretend to be registered tax agents or even claim to be from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), using convincing language to fool individuals into handing over personal information and money.

    The best way to protect yourself and your finances against these common tax scams is to be aware of them and understand how they work. This will allow you to quickly identify and report any suspicious correspondence you receive. Keep reading to find out what the most common tax scams are and how you can protect yourself against them.

    common tax scams

     

    Common Tax Scams: Fraudulent Tax Preparers

    Every year during tax time, many individuals and businesses choose to employ the services of accounting firms for their annual tax return submission. Scammers know this and use it to their advantage, posing as tax preparers and tax services providers in order to fraudulently obtain personal information.

    A common tax scam that occurs sees scammers portray a tax preparer or accounting service provider, and then charging or requesting from their customers an upfront fee. They usually stipulate that this fee is to cover their tax return services, but once an individual has paid this fee and fallen for the trap, the scammer will disappear – taking your money with them!

    Some scammers collect your personal information and sell it to other malicious entities who can then conduct other fraudulent activities, such as credit card fraud or identity theft. Personal information can even enable scammers to intercede your tax returns and receive them in your stead.

     

    Common Tax Scams: Phishing

    Phishing is a very common tax scam that occurs year-round to thousands of people. It is not unique to tax time, but phishing is an issue that many businesses and individuals have to deal with during tax season.

    Phishing can be in the form of fake emails, advertisements, text messages and even whole websites. Typically, the goal of phishing scams is to collect personal and financial information about a person or business, and then use this information to steal their money, or sell this information to other scammers and unscrupulous characters. Scammers will often pretend to be from a reputable organisation and mimic them in order to gain your trust and help convince you to provide the information they need.

    This type of common tax scam is especially worrying because scammers usually mimic organisations like your bank, your accountant or accounting firm and even the ATO. This makes it easy to fall for the scam and unwittingly provide you information to scammers.

    Scammers who use phishing techniques can also remotely install malicious software on your computer or laptop by getting you to click on a link they sent in a fraudulent email or text. A convincing email or text will persuade you to click on the link, which then installs viruses or hostile software on your computer, which can provide access to your stored data, information and personal files.

     

    Common Tax Scams: Small Business Scams

    Small businesses are often the target of common tax scams, especially around tax time. These scams can be in the form of phishing emails, texts or phone calls, which can be sent to anyone in the company.

    A very common tax scam that small businesses experience is receiving a bill or invoice for so-called services that were provided to your company by another organisation. Around tax time, these falsified bills and invoices usually refer to tax services rendered to a business and can even threaten a small business with a loss of their returns if they do not comply.

     

    How to Protect Yourself Against Common Tax Scams

    Scammers are getting smarter and more crafty every year, changing and improving their methods to rob you of your personal and financial information. Technology has made it easy for scammers to contact and harass you, and even easier to obtain private information. The best defense any business or individual has is awareness and good habits. Here are some ways you can protect yourself or your business from common tax scams:

    • Protect private information such as your full name, your date of birth, your tax file number, your current address, banking and financial details and even your drivers license details. This information can provide scammers with the ideal gateway into your life and make stealing your information, and your money, even easier.
    • Treat requests for personal information with suspicion, as not all requests are legitimate. Even if you receive an authentic-looking request from a service provider you recognise, such as your bank or tax accountant, be cautious and ensure you are dealing with the legitimate organisation before providing any personal information or clicking on any links contained within the email.
    • Ignore requests for payments sent on email or via text message before validating them.
    • Avoid sharing too much information on social media or other public platforms. This will protect you from having your personal information stolen and prevent you from being a victim of identity theft.

     

    How to Handle Common Tax Scams

    If you have been scammed or suspect fraudulent and illegal activity, the best way forward is to report the incident with as much information as possible. The ATO has dedicated points of contact for people who need to report scams. Reporting suspicious emails, texts or phone calls can help stop scammers and helps create awareness around this growing problem.

     

    Get Professional Accounting Services

    Affinitas Accounting is not just one of the many accounting firms in Brisbane. Our team is committed to helping you get back in control of your finances.

    Our Brisbane Accounting firm holds over 20 years of collective experience in delivering high-quality accounting services to individuals and business owners alike. We work with businesses, professionals and individuals offering a comprehensive plan to foster growth, improve cashflows and increase profits. Our accounting firm offers a variety of services ranging from business management and taxation to risk assessment and cash flow advice.

    Affinitas Accounting can offer you:

    • Timely communication
    • Excellent advice
    • Fixed Price Quotes
    • No charge for phone call enquiries
    • Experienced Specialists.

    Need accounting services? Contact us today!

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  • 25Jul2019

    Tax Season Starts With Big Bang

    The much-talked-about 2019 tax cuts are now legislation and it certainly seems to have sparked taxpayers into action in relation to lodging their 2019 tax returns.

    2019 tax cuts

     

    So much so – that the ATO computer and phone systems already have gone into meltdown and been offline on quite a few occasions.

    I suppose it’s only natural that people want the extra money as soon as possible – but remember, only people who actually PAY tax can benefit from the offset of up to $1100 and there are income restrictions for what you are actually entitled to.

    It is not a cash handout.

    Other things to think about for tax season are:

    As always, we can pick up a lot of information from the ATOs Pre-Filling Reports, probably more then ever – but we may not have all of it just yet.  For example:

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  • 10May2019

    Add Value at Tax Planning Time

    The months of May and June are always busy times in the world of tax and accounting.

    Not only are we finishing the last of our tax returns for the 2018 financial year, but we are tax planning with clients for the 2019 tax year.

    Why Is Tax Planning Important?

    It provides each business the opportunity to assess their potential tax situation PRIOR to 30 June each year. This gives a business time to either plan for the expected result and/or implement legal strategies to reduce their tax. Finding out you have a larger-than expected tax bill after 30 June is too late – because there is nothing you can do to reduce it.

    How Does The Tax Planning Process Work?

    By early May, we should have your business results up until 31 March – the end of the third quarter. Based on these figures, we can usually project your annual profit with a fair degree of accuracy. To do this we consider historical data from previous years, plus an estimate from the business owner/s of their projected last quarter results. And we do not just consider the figures in the business entities, but we include how that profit will potentially flow through to other entities or onto individual tax returns.

    Uncovering Tax Opportunities

    Sometimes there are opportunities within the business to reduce your taxable income. These can include pre-paying expenses; writing off bad debts, or obsolete stock and equipment, or contributing extra into superannuation for company directors. The immediate write-off of business assets up to $30,000 also could be useful to pick up new assets needed by the business and claim a full tax deduction prior to 30 June.

    Broader Value Of Reviewing Your Numbers

    Smart business owners will take the time to stop and assess how their business is travelling as year end nears. How do the figures compare with previous years? Are there any line items in the accounts that tell a story? For example, has any particular source of income greatly increased or decreased? Have expenses like wages or cost of goods sold increased and reduced your profitability? What about the balance sheet? Is your cash position getting low? Are trade debtors or trade creditors increasing? Are your tax debts or long term liabilities increasing? Picking up on trends in your numbers – good or bad – can help you put plans in place and set a strategic direction to navigate your business in the right direction.

    Front Foot Business Review

    This end of year process can be taken even one step further, via a formal business review. Called a Front Foot Business Review, we run through a comprehensive checklist with management, designed to check whether the operational, strategic, marketing, risk, insurances, partnership/directors agreements, leases and succession plans are in place and current. This review almost always highlights at least one or two areas that require work to be done.

    To ensure you are making the most out of the 2018-2019 tax planning season, contact us on or phone 07 3359 5244.

    Read more

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  • For the past 6 years, Tammy has been lodging our tax. The team always spend the time to explain how things will affect us and always manage to maximise our returns. We highly recommend the team to anyone we speak to and have had friends move to do their future tax with the team at affinities accounting. Couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

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    Kirsty Whittaker

    I’ve been using Deb from Affinitas Accounting now for many years and have found her to be excellent in looking after my taxation needs. I’m in Tasmania, Affinitas Accounting is in Queensland and distance is no barrier. She understands my business needs, everything is done in a friendly and efficient manner and I happily recommend to anyone looking for ‘down to earth’ taxation advice.

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    We’ve been with Affinitas Accounting for over 5yrs when they were known as Online Accounting & Taxation Solutions. From our initial phone call with Brad looking for an accounting team that would meet our expectations as well as provide efficient service, we’ve been really impressed with the team’s professionalism, knowledge & expertise.

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  • We have only been with Affinitas Accounting for the past 12 months but in this time they have by far exceeded our expectations of an accountant and far surpassed previously used accountants.
    Affinitas are not just about annual returns, BAS statements etc, they take the time to get to know you enabling them to provide advise to help you work toward personal & business goals.

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    Have been coming here for years (when it was then called online tax). Deb has been happy to always go the extra mile and doesn’t mind dispensing helpful advice throughout the year.

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    Thanks Affinitas you for all your assistance and I would strongly recommend them to anyone to use

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