Blog

Smart ways to invest your tax refund

Tax time can often feels like a hassle, but it's all worth it when that tax refund lands in your account. So, what's the best way to spend it?

With last year's average refund being $2,574, it's no small question.i And if you are one of the lucky ones to receive a refund your options are endless. From paying down debt to investing in your future to blowing it on a big holiday, the choice of how you spend your refund will depend on your goals and your circumstances.

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Tax man sizes up clothing claims

Submitting a claim for your work-related clothing expenses is common come tax time, with more than six million Aussies claiming deductions in the past financial year.

But this year it's a deduction that's likely to bring your tax return right under the ATO's spotlight, as the regulator is cracking down on the rapidly growing number of these claims.

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Cruising through the finish line

The end of financial year can sometimes feel like a race to the finish. To help you cruise through the finish line come June 30, we've prepared a handy list of tips for both businesses and individuals.

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Tax Alert: June 2019

With the end of financial year only weeks away, the ATO has announced that one of its key areas of focus this financial year-end will be rental properties, although returns from taxpayers using cryptocurrency assets are also expected to come in for close attention.

To help you prepare for this year's tax time, here's a roundup of some recent developments in the world of tax.

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After the election: tax changes on the way

With the uncertainty of the federal election now out of the way, we can look forward to some significant reforms to Australia's existing tax system.

The Morrison Government went into the election with a comprehensive suite of tax proposals and these are now likely to pass swiftly through Parliament, as the Opposition has indicated it will support the legislation.

So just what are the changes we are likely to see when it comes to both our personal tax and the taxes that apply to small and medium-sized businesses?

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Guide to Travel-Related Work Expenses

Travelling for work can be expensive, whether it's visiting clients locally or attending a conference overseas, so it's important to claim everything you are entitled to in your tax return. But be aware that the ATO is paying increasing attention to claims in this area.

The essential thing to consider when claiming any travel expense in your tax return is that it must be work-related and only take you away from home for a relatively short period of time. Any expenses you have paid and already been reimbursed for by your employer can't be claimed. Here are some tips on what you can and can't claim, and the records you need to keep.

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Is your business financially fit?

The secret to a successful business is to make sure you are not just working IN your business but you are also working ON your business. As the end of the financial year approaches, there's no better time to give your business a financial fitness check.

Of course, the best policy is to continually monitor how your business is faring throughout the year. But if you've been caught up in the day-to-day management then now is a good time to get back on track because you will be looking at your figures for tax time anyway.

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Are stretch goals right for your business?

Much has been written in various business journals about the mythical stretch goal. Above and beyond your standard SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) stretch goals aim to totally transform businesses, pushing them to new heights.

Elon Musk is a famous proponent of this 'shoot for the moon' approach. His company SpaceX aims to do nothing short of put people on Mars. The sheer audacity of the goal has meant they've made some terrific progress.i

On the hand, sister company Tesla recently failed to meet more than 20 of their ambitious projections.ii So, while stretch goals can be transformative, they are also risky business, and only some companies are in a position to take them on.

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Are you ready for Single Touch Payroll?

If you haven't heard about the introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) for employers with less than 20 employees, it might be a good idea to keep reading as this new system represents a big challenge for many small businesses.

With an estimated 730,000 employers required to begin electronically reporting their payroll information directly to the ATO from 1 July 2019, lots of small business operators need to get their head around STP, and quickly.

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Selling a business? Don't forget about tax

It can take many years and a lot of hard work to build a successful small business. When you finally decide it's time to sell, tax is often the last thing on your mind. Yet it can have a big impact on how much of the sale price you get to keep - and how much goes to the taxman.

The biggest tax issue to consider is capital gains tax (CGT). Although the Government tightened eligibility for its small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions in 2018, there are still generous discounts available for those who qualify.

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