DAVE'S CORNER - LABOR TO CUT TAX BENEFITS FOR PARENTS

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced recently that parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated will not receive the Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement. This payment is worth $726 per child, per year and is paid when children are vaccinated at one, two and five years of age. As of last year, parents who have not immunised their children have not received the benefit, with the only exemptions being those made on religious or medical grounds. The PM has announced that this will be the single, most effective and cheapest way of keeping the community healthy.

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DAVE'S CORNER - SMALL BUSINESSES TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE SCT

Small businesses will now have greater access to dispute resolution for resolving complaints against APRA-regulated superannuation funds. The Government has announced that it will expand the jurisdiction of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) to include complaints made by small businesses against superannuation funds and will seek to appoint additional members to the Tribunal with relevant experience. This will provide small businesses with an alternative means of resolving disputes with superannuation funds to the private legal system, thereby potentially reducing costs on small...

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DAVE'S CORNER - FUEL TAX CREDIT RATES

As of the 1 July, 2013, fuel tax credit rates have changed. You may be affected by one or more of the following: Changes to some rates due to an increase in carbon charge amounts A rate change for fuels used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads Increased rates for transport gaseous fuels, other than when used for travelling on public roads Changes to rates for non-transport gaseous fuels used in certain activities. If you’re unsure of what might apply to you, please give us a call to discuss the changes. Keep in mind that fuel credits will be changing regularly. It is very...

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DAVE'S CORNER - CAPPING OF SELF-EDUCATION EXPENSES

The Government has now confirmed its April 2013 announcement that it will cap claims for work-related self-education expenses. Currently, the maximum allowable tax deduction for work-related self-education expenses is uncapped. From 1 July 2014, there will be a $2,000 per person, per year cap on deduction claims for work-related self-education expenses. This will limit deductions on costs incurred in undertaking courses and attending conferences and workshops such as tuition fees, student union fees, textbooks, travel & accommodation expenses, stationery and computer expenses, where these...

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DAVE'S CORNER - CHILD MAINTENANCE TRUSTS

A child maintenance trust (CMT) is a trust set up to provide financial support to a child or children, established by one or both parents, as part of a marriage breakdown settlement. A CMT may be established under an order of the Family Law Court as part of a divorce settlement. What are the advantages of CMT? If properly structured, the income that is distributed out of the CMT to the children who are minors may be taxed at ordinary adult rates rather than the penal rates. This means that, assuming the child has no other income, the first $18,200 of income from the CMT would be tax-free...

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DAVE'S CORNER - REVIEW OF POLICY SETTINGS AROUND EMPLOYEE SHARE SCHEMES

The government has announced that it will review the policy settings around Employee Share Schemes (ESS). The government will review and determine the most effective measures to address the barriers faced by start-up companies, including: Developing guidance to reduce the administrative burden of establishing an ESS Adjusting the valuation of options Examining the point at which share options are taxed for start-up companies This will assist in engaging and attracting employees into the success of a business as well as helping to retain staff.

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DAVE'S CORNER - PAYSLIP REPORTING ABOUT SUPER

The government has proposed changes to how employers report super contribution information on an employee’s payslip. Once implemented, employers will be required to report on an employee’s payslip: The amount of all super contributions (SG, industrial instrument, salary sacrifice and voluntary employee contributions) for the pay period The date when the contributions will be paid to the employee’s super fund. This means that employees can keep track of their super contributions by checking their super account and seeing that their employer has paid their entitlements. For employers, this...

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DAVE'S CORNER - TAXABLE PAYMENTS ANNUAL REPORT

Are you a business in the Building and Construction Industry that pays contractors for building and construction services? From July 2012, businesses in the building and construction industry need to report the total payments they make to each contractor for building and construction services each year. These payments need to be reported to the ATO using the “Taxable Payments Annual Report”. These will be due by the 28th of July 2013.

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DAVE'S CORNER - TAXING OF EARNINGS WITHIN A SUPERFUND IN PENSION PHASE

The government has indicated earnings within super could be taxed even if you are in Pension phase. Under the current tax rules, any income received by a superfund that is supporting an account based pension is completely tax free. Under the proposed changes, earnings within a fund such as this will be taxed on the income over $100,000 at a rate of 15%. While income of $100,000 does seem significant it is important to keep in mind that this is likely to include earnings such as capital gains on the sale of shares and/or property making the $100k threshold potentially easier to exceed than...

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DAVE'S CORNER - INCREASED ASSET WRITE-OFF THRESHOLD FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

In the past if you were running a small business, you received an immediate write-off for any business related asset that cost less than $1,000. Any assets over $1,000 were allocated to a ‘General Small Business Pool’ and depreciated at a rate of 30% (15% in the first year of being allocated to the pool). From 1st July 2012 this immediate write-off has increased to $6,500. This represents a significant benefit for small businesses and cash flow. Those allowable items can include Laptops/Computers, Office Desks and large tools. Any assets purchased after 1st July 2012 over the value of $6,500...

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