Thursday, 25 September 2014


The Australian Government recently passed its bill to repeal the mining tax. The repeal won’t just affect mining companies as the proceeds of the mining tax were to fund a number of concessions for families and SMEs.  The repeal of the mining tax will result in the following changes:

1.    Abolition of the mining tax from 1 October 2014;

2.    Removal of the company loss carry-back from 1 July 2013;

3.    Reduction of the instant asset write-off threshold to $1,000 for assets purchased from 1 January 2014;

4.    Removal of accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles from 1 January 2014;

5.    Abolition of geothermal energy concessions from 1 July 2014;

6.    The low-income super contribution will stay until June 30, 2017;

7.    The income-support bonus will remain in place until December 31, 2016;

8.    Compulsory superannuation will stay at 9.5% until July 1, 2021 when it will rise to 10 per cent. It will then increase annually until it reaches 12 per cent; and

9.    The school-kids bonus will be means tested so that only families earning up to $100,000 will qualify and it will remain until December 31, 2016.

Please contact your UHY Haines Norton Brisbane advisor on (07) 3210 5500 if you have queries about the impact of these changes to your family or business.

By Liz Gibbs

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Compulsory Super Guarantee Charge on hold at 9.5%

With the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014 having now been passed by Government, the Superannuation Guarantee Charge percentage is confirmed as being on hold at 9.5% until 30 June 2021.  From 1 July 2021 there will be an annual increase of 0.5% until the SGC reaches 12% from 1 July 2025. 
Other measures included in the bill are:
  • Reduction in the Instant Asset Write-off to $1,000 for Small Businesses
  • Discontinuation of the Accelerated Depreciation for Motor Vehicles
  • Low Income Super Contribution will continue unchanged until 30 June 2017
  • School Kids Bonus to continue until 31 December 2016, now to be means tested.  Requiring the family income to be less than $100,000 pa.

By Malcolm Barkle

Monday, 30 June 2014

Top Ten Tips For EOFY

As the countdown to the end of the 2014 financial year draws to a close today, here are some last minute tips for EOFY to consider:


Superannuation Tax Deduction

If you haven’t made your super contributions before today for the tax deduction this financial year, check with your fund if the contributions will be accepted today.

Stock Take

Stock take to be done to determine value of stock on hand as at 30 June. The ATO expects stock sheets to be prepared. Also consider method of valuation of the stock ( cost, market selling or replacement value) and the ability to write off any obsolete or slow stock. Remember, the lower your stock, the more likely it will reduce your tax.

Timing of Revenue Recognition 

If your business revenue is assessable when invoiced, consider delaying invoicing until after 1 July 2014.

Bring Forward Expenditure 

Consider bringing forward expenditure into June. i.e. if you are planning on doing some repairs to equipment, etc, get the repairs done in June rather than July. Stocking up on stationery and other consumables before June 30 can help offset profits. If you have any professional subscriptions or other everyday business expenses, paying for them today might be a good opportunity to obtain the tax benefit in this 2014 financial year.

Bad Debts 

If you have exhausted all avenues of collecting your debts and you are not going to get paid, then it is best to write these off as a bad debt on or before 30 June in order to reduce your income. Ensure that the appropriate GST related adjustments are made on the June BAS.

Review Asset Schedule 

Review your asset and depreciation schedule to identify any assets that you no longer have or are now obsolete. This may result in a higher tax deduction for your business and save you tax. Print off your depreciation list, which can usually be found in your last tax return, and make a note of any assets that are obsolete or scrapped.

Employee Bonus Agreements and Salary Sacrifice Agreements 

Review and set employee bonuses agreements and salary sacrifice agreements for the 2015 year. These need to be put in place before the bonus is earned to be considered a valid agreement.


It’s always a good idea to review your current business structure to determine whether this is still appropriate for your current situation. What may have been appropriate for you last year may not be the best in the future. Review on a yearly basis instead of leaving it until it’s too late.

Living Away from Home Allowances 

Access to the transitional tax concessions for the Living Away From Home Allowance finishes today. From 1 July 2014, the Living Away from Home Allowance is

• Limited to employees who maintain a second home in Australia for their own use and provide their employer with a declaration about living away from home.

• Limited to a 12-month period for an employee at a particular work location other than ‘fly-in fly-out’ arrangements.

Year End Balancing Procedures 

In completing your accounting records for the financial year, the following procedures should be carried out today:

a) Recording of all debtors and debtors reconciliation (print report);
b) Recording of all creditors and creditors reconciliation (print report);
c) Bank reconciliation, including loans, leases and hire purchase accounts (print reports);
d) Preparation of PAYG Payment Summaries and reconciliation of Gross Wages and PAYG Withholding amounts with Wages account; and
e) Reconciliation of your GST Collected and GST Paid accounts.

These procedures are extremely important, as some accounting programs will not allow these reports to be generated at a later date.


Delay income/Bring Forward income 

If you are able to, try to defer income until after June 30 to avoid paying tax this financial year. As an example this may be done by reviewing term deposit maturity dates. Where your tax bracket is likely to rise due to “bracket creep” or due to the impact of the proposed Budget Repair Levy, it may be an opportunity for you to bring forward some income.

Gifts and Donations 

Gifts or donations of at least $2 to tax deductible charities made by 30 June 2014 are deductible this year. You should ensure the charity is endorsed as a tax deductible gift recipient and that you keep receipts.

Home Office Expenses 

Complete a 4 week diary to justify your claim for home office expenses.

Obtain a quantity surveyor’s report 

For new or existing investment properties ensure you have a quantity surveyor’s report to justify depreciation on plant, fixtures and buildings.

Car expenses 

Complete a schedule of work related travel during the year if you use the cents per km method to claim up to 5,000 business kilometres.

Log Book Currency 

If you claim motor vehicle expenses using a logbook, make sure that you have a current log book for work related car travel, particularly if business use has substantially increased.


Prepay your professional fees, work related courses, (e.g. MBA fees), or annual professional body registration fees. If your bank can organise this, consider a 12 month prepayment on investment loans.

Inspect your investment property 

Make sure your calendar records your inspection of your rental property and ensure you keep documentation of your travel expenses

Uniforms and work clothes 

Consider upgrading your work wardrobe if your work clothes qualify for deduction (e.g. uniforms and protective clothing).

Private Health Insurance 

Review your private health insurance arrangements to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge and maximise the Private Health Insurance Rebate for the 2015 financial year. The Rebate is means tested and the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is levied on payers of Australian tax who do not have private hospital cover for singles earning more than $90,000 and families on $180,000.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Not-for-Profit Update

Friday 13th of June was a black day for the ATO. The Full Federal Court made a decision in favour of Public Benevolent Institutions.  The decision of Perram J (handed down on 17 July last year) has had the ATO’s appeal dismissed by the Full Federal Court.

The Court agreed that a public benevolent institution includes an institution which is organised, or conducted for, or promotes the relief of poverty or distress, even if it was primarily involved in fundraising and did not directly provide aid or relief. 

Darren Laarhoven

Senate committee recommends ACNC repeal Bill be passed

"On Monday 16.6.2014 the Senate Economics Legislation Committee  tabled its report on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No 1) Bill 2014. The Bill, which is still before the House of Reps, proposes to repeal the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012, thereby abolishing the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (the ACNC). The Committee majority recommended the Bill be passed, although the Labor and Greens Senators issued dissenting reports."

- Thompson Reuters Tax News, 17 June 2014

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Business Improvement Tips by Rowan  


These days when you provide someone with your business card they are more likely to look up your LinkedIn profile than the company website, so having a detailed and up to date profile is crucial. The way you present yourself digitally should represent your personal branding, and the branding of the firm you work for. Here are three simple tips that will help improve your profile.

Ensure you have a picture – something that looks professional! It doesn’t matter if it's not taken by a professional photographer, but do wear a smile and try to keep it to a headshot without much background noise.

Update your summary section – this is where you sell yourself. A lot of people don’t have much or any content in this section. It should detail any work you specialise in. Think: what do you want to be known for?

Make sure you add all of your skills to the “skills & endorsements” section of your profile. This is important so that colleagues or people you have done business with can “endorse” you  for particular skills – be specific. 

More social media tips to come in future blogs!

Friday, 17 January 2014


By Rowan Wallace

Another year has now begun with a bang, and it seems to me that all indications are that it will be a better year for businesses than the prior year.

However business owners need to take steps now to ensure they are ready to capitalise on opportunities.

Now is an ideal time to:

(i)                  Get an outside perspective of your business – the good, the bad and the ugly!
(ii)                Set SMART goals for 2014 – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound
(iii)               Analyse your sales and customers – seek to engage with your customers and ensure your business is meeting their needs. 

Now more than ever, it is time to capitalise on all the hard work you have put into your business. 

All the very best for 2014.