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An outline of some important dates to keep in mind for lodgement of your 2022 tax return, and some focus areas for the ATO.

Coming into the new financial year, these are some of the important updates and ATO focus areas that all business owners should be aware of.

2019-20 has been an unusual year. This year, more than ever, we want to ensure that we help you achieve the best result possible, as well as reducing your tax exposure and minimising the risk of an audit by the regulators.

Here’s some of the big changes to bear in mind in collating your 2020 year tax information:

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has now issued a high alert over myGov-related scams as tax time scams increase.  The high alert comes after the ATO reported increasing instances of myGov-related SMS and email scams.

As you may have heard this week, the Federal Government has announced another round of stimulus/support measures past the end of September, extending support for eligible businesses through to March 2021.

While of course there is no legislation yet, here is what we know so far.

There are few things to note in regards to JobKeeper:

1. You can still qualify for JobKeeper
2. You only have to qualify in one period
3. JobKeeper is assessable income

Click here to keep reading..

To reopen, many businesses may be required to collect and store customer, employee and contractor information, including name, email and mobile number. This information will help authorities trace any COVID-19 infections if they occur. The way the information is collected and stored must also comply with privacy laws and time limits.

This has been and continues to be a worrying and uncertain time, with constantly changing messages about COVID-19 and its impact on our health, lives and the economy.

Our message is simple. We are here to support you, and work with you now, through the next few months and when the crisis ends.

The business landscape has shifted significantly. Many of our clients have been forced to shut down their businesses. This is causing increasing levels of stress, but also giving business owners time.

As many of you are aware, the Australian government acted quickly to introduce several packages of support for businesses and individuals impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.  While it was fantastic to have such rapid response from our government in its efforts to help those affected, there were wide-ranging unintended consequences including significant uncertainty about eligibility for the measures.  In particular the complex JobKeeper legislation was the subject of many mixed messages from ATO and Treasury, as well as raising numerous questions about situations that had not been considered in the original legislation. 

The Government has introduced a package of measures to provide assistance to eligible individuals financially impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) including the temporary early release of super. This is a single payment of up to $10,000 in both the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years.

Here are some points to consider before applying to release your super:

The ATO has warned that business owners, employers and employees may be targeted by scammers pretending to be from the ATO, asking for their bank account details.  Please ensure you and your employees DO NOT provide this information.

We hope you were able to reflect and remember in your own way on ANZAC Day, despite the physical limitations in place.

We have had a big week, with lots of JobKeeper work in particular since enrolments opened on 20 April.  See below for some updates & important information on JobKeeper, but first an important reminder to be vigilant against scammers.

The JobKeeper Payment legislation was passed last week, however rather than the flood of information and guidance we were all hoping for, the details are still only coming at a frustrating trickle. 

Below is some of the most recent information available on eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper Payment.

You may have seen or heard lots of discussion in the media, at the moment, full of gloomy predictions because of ‘inverted yield curves’.

We would like to share an article from our main investment manager, Dimensional Fund Advisors Ltd, which hopefully provides a broader picture on this issue.  We hope this provides a different perspective for your investment journey.

Cliff and Teri were excited.  They were also relieved.  Excitement came because they were entering a new stage of their life in retirement after selling their business.  Relief was there because they knew they were going to have an enjoyable next stage of life as they were now financially comfortable.

Carol’s husband Errol had sadly passed away after a long period of illness.  He had been the person who made most of the financial decisions for the family.

Daunted by the complexity of her finances and her grief, Carol sought assistance from a financial adviser referred by her lawyer who was dealing with Errol’s estate.

Superannuation is your savings for your retirement. While the Government will be gradually increasing the super guarantee payments made by your employer on your behalf from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent by 2025, these contributions alone may not be sufficient to support your retirement lifestyle. There are, however, strategies that can help you boost your super savings.

Salary sacrificing not only helps to boost your superannuation savings but reduces the amount of tax you pay as well.

To read more…

There have been changes to the Privacy Legislation

Effective from 22nd February 2018 amendments to Federal Privacy Act legislation will see mandatory data breach notification laws introduced to Australia for the first time.

This will be known as the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme (NDB) and will impact all organisations covered by the Australian Privacy Act 1988.

Single Touch Payroll (STP), the direct reporting of salary and wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation contribution information to the ATO, comes into effect from 1 July 2018.

Employers with 20 or more employees at 1 April 2018 must use standard business reporting-enabled software from 1 July 2018. The head count for ‘20 employees’ includes full-time, part-time, casuals (who worked any time during March), employees based overseas, or on paid or unpaid leave. Directors and independent contractors are excluded from the count.

STP is currently voluntary for businesses with less than 20 employees although proposed reforms seek to extend the reporting system to all employers by 1 July 2019, regardless of the number of employees. .

Considering retirement and starting to plan the rest of your life, there are some important decisions you need to make. When you see a financial adviser, you might be surprised to find they’re not always financial. These are some questions you might need to consider to prepare for retirement.