sophie2It's a Girl!

We are very excited to advise all of our very loyal clients that only 5 days ago, Sophie has welcomed Rose Elsie to the world. Both Rob, Sophie & their first child Rose Elsie are doing very well and expect to be home soon for Christmas. Additionally you should all be aware by now that Sophie has also changed her surname to Wade after her marriage just over a year ago, so don’t be confused, it is still the same Sophie!

With Sophie and bub spending some quality time at home in the coming months, and also due to our continued client growth, we have added to our team here once again.

In mid-September 2014 we welcomed Peta Bergmeier to our team in a full-time position as a Senior Accountant.  Peta is a qualified accountant with over eight years of experience in the Public Accounting industry (mostly in Wagga & Sydney) working on taxation compliance and superannuation (SMSF) clients.

A few tax related articles are attached to this newsletter that may be of interest to you – please take the time to peruse these in case something is relevant to your personal situation.  If you need to discuss anything in the articles feel free to contact our office anytime.

We are this year again closing the office for a few well-earned weeks off over the Christmas Break from 23rd December 2014, but will all be back on deck on Tuesday 6th January 2015.

xmas1

The Team at Lidgerwoods – Marc, Sophie, Kate, Peta & Marie

We will be closed for Christmas 2014 from 5:00pm Monday 23rd Dec 2014
and reopen 9:00am on Tuesday 6th January 2015

The team at Lidgerwoods Accountants wishes you a
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year!

xmas2



ato3Business Activity Statement Forms

Beginning for the 2014/15 financial year, the ATO will no longer issue pre-printed Business Activity Forms for any of our clients who lodged the previous statement using our agency lodgment services. Therefore if Lidgerwoods has lodged the previous period forms on your behalf, you will not be sent future pre-printed Activity forms in the event you wish to self prepare these documents moving forward.

This is an administrative change at the ATO, and not an internal policy change of our firm.

Editor: If you wish to attend to your own BAS lodgements in the future, you need to contact our office to have us arrange with the ATO to reissue these forms so you can prepare and lodge to the ATO yourself, or arrange to connect electronically to the ATO via your own Business Portal.

 


boardroom

Director liable for company's PAYG withholding

A recent case before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) involved a company that had withheld nearly $850,000 in pay as you go (PAYG) withholding that it had deducted from its employees' salaries and wages.

It was obviously in some financial trouble, and failed to remit any of the monies to the ATO before being wound up.
The ATO issued director penalty notices (DPNs) to the director (the DPN is the first step in the process for the ATO to start legal proceedings to recover the unpaid PAYG).

The director tried to fight the case, but the DPNs were valid in the opinion of the AAT.

Editor: Company directors have a legal responsibility to ensure that their company meets its PAYG withholding and superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) obligations.

This doesn't only apply to companies that are wound up, as a director of any company that fails to meet a PAYG withholding or SGC liability by the due date can become personally liable for a penalty equal to the unpaid amount.


payonlineATO's data matching program on specialised payment systems

The ATO has announced a data matching program in relation to electronic payments made to businesses through specialised payment systems.

For the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, it will request and collect data from the following businesses:

  • Ausfit
BillBuddy Debit Success eDebit Ezidebit EzyPay
Integrapay IP Payments Paymate PayPal Australia PaySmart POLi Payments
Quickpay          

and the following banks BPAY data:

  • ANZ Bank
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • National Australia Bank
  • St George Bank
  • Westpac
  • The ATO will collect details of merchant and biller business names, contact details, settlement amounts, and transaction records. Records relating to approximately 25,000 individuals will be matched.

accinsEditor: It is becoming more and more obvious that Big Brother is watching us all, and if you transact it electronically and you do not declare these transactions, it will ultimately come to light. Our advice – declare your tax transactions fully, and sleep soundly at night! With more access to data matching we expect to see more review activity by the ATO – so it’s not too late to consider utilising our Accountancy Insurance offer sent to all clients in Oct-Nov 2014. If you need to discuss this further just call us.


constructMining tax repeal & other notable tax changes

With the abolition of the mining tax from 1 October 2014, a number of other important tax measures have come into force:

  • Abolition of the company loss carry-back concessions from 1 July 2013.
  • Reduction of the instant asset write-off for small business entities from $6,500 to $1,000 – that applies from 1 January 2014.
  • Abolition of accelerated depreciation (of up to $5,000) for motor vehicles from 1 January 2014.

Editor: It is important to note that the changes to the depreciation rules for small business entities (e.g., the immediate write-off threshold reducing to $1,000) applies to assets first 'used' or 'installed ready for use' from 1 January 2014. In simple terms, business assets bought before 31st December 2013 can use the much bigger tax deductions still, and those assets bought after this date revert back to the old rules ($1,000 limit on immediate write-off) with much smaller deduction claims allowed.


jun02Lost super climbs to $14 billion

New statistics released by the ATO reveal that more than $14 billion in lost super is waiting to be claimed.
“There’s over $6 billion of super, sitting in accounts where funds have not been kept up-to-date with changes to personal details,” said Mr Shepherd.
“It’s easy for this to happen because when people get married or move house, the last thing on their mind is updating their name and address details with a super fund.”

An additional $8 billion in super is sitting in accounts that have not received a contribution in five years or more.
Visit www.ato.gov.au/superseeker for more advice on how to track down lost and unclaimed super.

Editor: We implore every client who reads this article to go to the website above and do their own search to clean up their superannuation accounts - who knows you may find some super that you never knew you had! That would be a great Christmas present!


matureworkerSubsidy to encourage employers to hire mature workers

The mature age worker tax offset will be abolished by the Government from the 2014–2015 income year and later income years. However, a new expenditure program being delivered by the Department of Employment, Restart, will provide alternative support by way of subsidy of up to $10,000 to employers who hire mature age job seekers.

The Restart program offers a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 (including GST) to eligible employers of mature age job seekers. The job seekers must be 50 years of age or older, and have been unemployed and receiving income support for six months or more. To receive the full payment, a business must employ the same employee for at least 30 hours per week for an ongoing period of two years.

The Restart wage subsidy can also be claimed on a pro-rata basis if you hire a mature age worker part time, for at least 15 hours a week.

Editor: Do not discount the value you can attain from employing mature and experienced workers


profitProfessional firms and profit distribution under scrutiny

The ATO is investigating arrangements involving the allocation of profits from a professional firm carried on through a partnership, trust or company, where the income of the firm is not personal services income.

Firms which could be affected include, but are not limited to, those that provide architectural, engineering, financial, legal, and medical services.

In particular, the ATO wants to take a closer look at arrangements where practice income is treated as being derived from a business structure, even though the source of that income remains, to a significant extent, from the provision of professional services by one or more individuals. The ATO said it was concerned that the general anti-avoidance rules under the tax law could apply to a scheme which is designed to ensure that the individual practitioner professional is not directly rewarded for the services they provide to the business, or receives a reward which is substantially less than the value of those services.

The ATO further indicated that the lower the effective tax rate achieved by the scheme, the higher the risk of attracting the Commissioner’s attention.

Editor: We will contact those clients we believe affected by this change, but if you wish to discuss with our office please just call us.

 


Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.


Lastly we welcome your feedback.  If you found this E-Newsletter very useful (or not?),
we’d appreciate your feedback either way.

MARC, SOPHIE, KATE, PETA & MARIE - 'The Team' at Lidgerwoods Accountants

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