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2015 Federal Budget Summary

Posted on May 14, 2015 by editor


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Getting Ready for SuperStream

Posted on May 6, 2015 by editor

SuperStream is a government reform aimed at improving the efficiency of the superannuation system. Under SuperStream, employers must make super contributions on behalf of their employees by submitting data and payments electronically in a consistent and simplified manner. Why is SuperStream being introduced? The main purpose of SuperStream is to ensure employer contributions are paid in a consistent, timely and efficient manner to a member’s account. The change also removes many of the complexities employers currently face as a result of funds being able to set up different arrangements for accepting contributions (due to the lack of common standard). Who does SuperStream apply to? SuperStream is mandatory for all employers making super contributions, APRAregulated public offer/industry funds, and self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) receiving contributions. However, if a related employer is making super contributions to a related self-managed superannuation fund, SuperStream does not apply to the employer or the SMSF. When do I have to start using SuperStream? Employers with 20 or more employees: If you have 20 or more employees (medium to large employer) SuperStream started from 1 July 2014. From that date, employers needed to start implementing SuperStream and have until 30 June 2015 to meet the SuperStream requirements […]

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What the repeal of the mining tax means for small business

Posted on November 8, 2013 by editor

by Sonia Nair The government has released exposure legislation to repeal both the carbon tax and the Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT), effective from July 1, 2014. But what does this mean for your business and which concessions or offsets are set to go? Also, in a fact that has been glossed over by many, repeal of small business capital allowance concessions due to the scrapping of the MRRT will apply from January 1, 2014 – less than two months away and six months earlier than the proposed repeal of the MRRT. Removal of the MRRT (the Mining tax) The removal of the MRRT holds far more implications for the average small business, as it will affect the measures below that were intended to be funded by the MRRT: * repeal of the loss carry-back rules from July 1, 2014 * reduction in the small business instant asset write-off threshold from January 1, 2014 * repeal of accelerated deceleration for motor vehicles from January 1, 2014 * rephasing of the change in the superannuation guarantee (SG) charge, for quarters starting on or after July 1, 2013 * repeal of the low-income superannuation contribution (LISC) for concessional contributions for financial years […]

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Lobbying pressure from the banks to keep their ‘financial planning’ sales force

Posted on June 17, 2013 by editor

The Accountants’ Exemption which allows accountants to provide “incidental” personalized financial/superannuation advice will be replaced by the new limited license regime from 1 July 2013, subject to 3 year transitional measures. Under the new regime, accountants who are not qualified/licensed will no longer be able to provide any non-general, “personalized” superannuation advice, including setting up a SMSF. However, the new ‘limited license’ will enable qualified accountants to provide a broader range of financial product advice than currently allowed for under the existing accountants’ exemption. This Practice, Forest Accountability, is a corporate authorized representative and a member of  independent financial advisory group Lifespan Financial Planning. Lifespan is the only remaining independent accountant based financial planning group after a similar independent group, Count was taken over by the Commonwealth Bank last year. A number of accountants/advisors who did not want to become CBA’s sales people and lose independence left Count, and joined Lifespan. We, as a practice, are licensed to provide personalized financial/superannuation advice as a member of the financial advisory group after 1 July 2013 without the need to seek new limited license. However, we are in the process of explaining the changes to all of our financial planning clients and […]

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2013 Federal Budget – Our Summary

Posted on June 13, 2013 by editor

Summary Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered his sixth Federal Budget on 14 May 2013, claiming it “sets out a responsible path to surplus on a timetable that supports jobs and growth, despite lower than expected revenue.” The 2013 Federal Budget only contained a few surprises as many of the measures had already been announced. Please note that these measures are proposals only and may or may not be made law. There are a number of announcements of which you should be aware, in particular: → Confirming the reforms to superannuation announced on 5 April 2013, including: Changing the tax exemption for assets supporting a pension – the $100,000 cap Introducing a $35,000 pa concessional contribution cap for those above 50 and 60. Excess concessional contributions will be permitted to be withdrawn. Deeming rules apply to new account based pensions under the income test. → Deferring personal income tax cuts. → Phasing out the Net Medical Expense Tax Offset → Increasing Medicare Levy from 1.5% to 2% from 1 July 2014 → Limiting self-education expense deductions to $2,000 pa. → Early HECS-HELP repayments removed → Abolition of the $5,000 Baby Bonus from 1 March 2014 → Increase Social Security Allowance income thresholds. […]

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FY2012 Year End Planning Tips

Posted on June 13, 2012 by editor

 1.    Lock in 30% rebate by prepaying private health insurance premiums by 30 June 2012 As announced in the recent 2012 Federal Budget, from 1 July 2012, the private health insurance rebate and Medicare levy surcharge will be income tested against the income thresholds in the table below.   Unchanged Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Singles $84,000 or less $84,001-97,000 $97,001-130,000 $130,001 or more Families* $168,000 or less $168,001-194,000 $194,001-260,000 $260,001 or more Rebate Aged under 65 30% 20% 10% 0% Aged 65-69 35% 25% 15% 0% Aged 70 or over 40% 30% 20% 0% Medicare levy surcharge Rate 0.0% 1.0% 1.25% 1.5% If your rebate is likely to be materially reduced from current 30% (to 20% – 0%) from 1 July 2012, you may like to think about locking in the 30% rebate by prepaying the premiums now. The ATO’s fact sheet confirmed that current 30% rebate will apply to premiums that provide insurance cover for a future income year. The main conditions are: The premiums must be paid by 30 June 2012; and You have not already claimed the rebate as a premium reduction or from Medicare. The ATO has also confirmed that a premium payment occurs […]

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Big Savings for Small Business

Posted on June 7, 2012 by editor

Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program NSW businesses produce hundreds of thousands of black balloons every year that could be reduced. The Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program has been developed by the Office of Environment and Heritage to help small businesses save money by reducing power consumption. You can make simple power saving changes across your business that will cut hundreds of dollars off your energy bills and reduce carbon pollution at the same time. Big savings for small business Energy efficient businesses can make big savings. For instance, replacing an old, inefficient air conditioning system with a high efficiency system can reduce heating and cooling costs in your office, shop or factory by up to 40 per cent – that’s more than 13,500 black balloons. Or by simply switching to compact fluorescent lighting you can cut lighting electricity use by up to 75 per cent, or save around 32,400 black balloons. Easy steps to energy efficiency Follow these simple steps for big savings: STEP  1  Register Complete the Registration Form. Pay assessment fee of $75 or $150*. STEP 2 Receive Subsidised energy assessment (see approved list of assessors). Tailored Energy Action Plan. STEP 3 Choose Your energy efficiency improvements. Receive up […]

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2012 Federal Budget Summary

Posted on June 5, 2012 by editor

Superannuation Increase in the concessional contribution cap for people aged 50 or over with less than $500,000 in super will be postponed until 1 July 2014 (FY2015), l.e.$25,000 cap will apply to all ages in FY2013 and FY2014 Tax payable on concessional super contributions by people earning $300,000 pa or more will increase from 15% to 30% The minimum income payments for a superannuation pension/income stream won’t increase until 1 July 2013 (FY2014), and remain at 3% for under 65, at 3.75% for age 65-74 in FY2013 Individuals The combined result of maximum low income tax offset being reduced to $445 from current $1 ,500, and the increase of the tax-free threshold from current $6,000 to $18,200 will result in that taxpayers earning under $80,000 pa will receive modest tax cuts and people earning over $80,000 pa will payapprox. same amount of tax. Tax may increase on certain employment termination payments The tax concession for LAFHA (Living Away From Home Allowance) and benefits will be limited to employees living away from a home maintained in Australia as previously announced. The changes will apply from 1 July 2014 for arrangements entered into prior to the Budget night, 8 May 2012. ‘School […]

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