Bankruptcy and the ATO

Bankruptcy

With an increasing number of people being declared bankrupt (either voluntarily or by a creditor obtaining a court order), it’s important to note that despite being declared bankrupt, certain debts are not extinguished and must be paid during and after your bankruptcy period including;

  • Court imposed penalties and fines.
  • Unliquidated damages you are liable to pay due to accidents (e.g a car accident).
  • Commonwealth student assistance debts (i.e HELP debts to the ATO), including supplement loans.
  • Debts you incur after your bankruptcy commences, and
  • Maintenance, including child support (but only after your bankruptcy ends).

With respect to ATO amounts that you owe:

  • Tax debts for the period before the date of bankruptcy are extinguished when you become bankrupt.
  • If the ATO has not issued and served a notice of assessment at the time of bankruptcy but there is a tax liability that has arisen before the time of bankruptcy, it is a contingent liability and is extinguished when you become bankrupt.
  • ATO debts arising from tax periods after your bankruptcy has commenced will not be extinguished.

Also be mindful that the ATO may keep any tax refund you are due and offset it against any debt you owe them or the Commonwealth (e.g. child support).

Unless you pay your debts in full, bankruptcy last for three years

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Are you having financial difficulty?

Not feeling financially secure?

Don’t leave it until it’s too late!

Most people in today’s society are inundated with commitments from all areas of their lives and feel overwhelmed and stressed.

Generally, we want to make more money so that we can achieve the lifestyle of our choice – but is making more money really the answer?

Co-Director Michael Osborne talks about how our financially well organised program can help you.

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The gold in our failings

Failure is NOT the opposite of success. It is PART of success......

Secretly, humans are conditioned to love a good fail.  While stories of triumph are inspiring, epic fails are generally more relatable, and certainly more entertaining…

However, we generally forget the key reason we should celebrate failure, which is that failure provides us indispensable learning opportunities.  And, if we can shift our perspective to see our stuff ups as valuable progress, failure is lined with gold.

Here are eight ways to help turn fails into future wins:

 

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Let’s get to the core of the problem

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We are firm believers that everyone comes to work to do a great job – initially anyway.  So why do businesses have poor performers?  Likewise, why do team members find it difficult to deal with conflict in the workplace; that difficult client or demanding boss?

To get answers to these questions we need to look beneath the surface.  Go beyond actions and behaviour and look to the drivers of performance: Core Values.

The Identity Iceberg demonstrates the impact our values have on actions and behaviour.  What’s visible above the surface – our Actions and Behaviours – are the tip of the iceberg.  They’re what we see and experience.  They’re driven by what’s beneath the surface.

Immediately beneath the surface are our Habits – good and bad.  Consider how hard it is to change a habit.  These habits are driven by our Beliefs.

For example, we might believe that a certain team member is disengaged in the business because they’re often late, sick or the first to leave the office at night.  As a result of our beliefs, we create habits like overlooking them for new opportunities or ignoring their positive actions to focus on their bad behaviours.  We find it very difficult to change these beliefs.

Read more

Copy of Copy of Copy of Are you starting this financial year blindfolded_ If you don't have a business plan then that is exactly what you are doing.

What happens when a business has no business plan?

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A business plan is essential for the success of any business.  An effective business plan gets to the heart and soul of your business, it provides direction, keeps you on track and is a set of guidelines created to reach a specific business goal. Strategies can range from annual budgets to individual marketing strategies for the release of new products. Without a coherent overall strategy, a small business has no road map to follow when pursuing opportunities and running daily operations. The consequences of not having a comprehensive business strategy can be severe.

Lack of Objectives

Without a coherent strategy, your company does not have identifiable business objectives. Your company lacks the focus needed to achieve corporate goals and develop plans that will move the company forward. A lack of objectives means that your company does not have a clear vision for the future. If you don’t know the goals and objectives you’re reaching for, how do you know when you’ve accomplished them? Objectives are used to develop long-term growth and productivity plans that are essential for the sustained success of your organization. 

Business plan introduction session only $99 read more here………

Resources not properly allocated

Business plans and strategies are used to allocate corporate resources into projects and operations that need them. When there is a lack of planning, or planning is not coherent, it’s difficult to create budgets for special projects and understand the personnel and funding resources necessary to launch new products and grow the company. Instead, leaders disperse funds “on the fly,” as managers request them, without a budget to compare against. Dispersing funds this way, a company can then find itself short of funds for critical activities such as payroll and paying vendor invoices. The adage, “failing to plan is planning to fail” – often attributed to Ben Franklin – certainly applies here.

Unclear Organisational Structure

Part of business planning is identifying the people in charge. Some businesses prefer having a highly structured hierarchy, while others are more loosely organized. Whichever method you prefer, make it clear to everyone. This establishes responsibility for the success of each department and helps staff know who to report to for clarification of job duties or questions. Without a coherent business strategy, the company structure is not defined and there is no focused effort for employee and corporate development.

 Communication Flow Not Coherent

The efficient processing and distribution of information is essential for the success and growth of your small business. A business strategy establishes lines of communication and allows employees to understand information priority, the flow of information in and out of the company and how information is distributed internally. Without a strategy, there is no formal structure for communication and important information can get lost. Each employee will naturally focus on what he believes is important, which may or may not align with yours.

Take Action: Identify Your Purpose

You know the purpose of your business. It’s the reason you started the company. Don’t assume, however, that employees and even managers know the purpose. Perhaps you think they certainly should know it because you’ve discussed it many times. Still, it needs to be a clearly written explanation so that everyone can understand it. Some companies create their mission statement as their purpose. It’s the company’s reason for existing.

Develop a Fluid Plan

Through strategic planning, you can map out how your company will achieve its mission or purpose. Be wary, however, of going into too much detail in your plan. The business climate is a fluid one, changing due to many factors, including industry advances and the state of the economy. If your strategic plan is too detailed it will be difficult to adjust course even slightly when you need to. Your plan should indicate to everyone the direction the company is headed towards its mission, but be flexible enough to change course as needed.

 

Are you starting this financial year blindfolded_ If you don't have a business plan then that is exactly what you are doing.

Single Touch Payroll for small employers

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If as an employer you are not ready for Single Touch Payroll (STP) don’t panic!   Although 1 July has rolled around, smaller employers (those with less than 19 employees) have three months from this date (until 1 October 2019) to be STP-compliant. Furthermore, no penalties will be imposed during the initial 12 months of STP, therefore there is no need to be worried.

While for many employers, their STP solution will be to adopt STP-compliant software or outsource their payroll to their registered Accountant or Bookkeeper, many very small employers may be eligible for the micro-employer concessions including:

  • Reporting quarterly through their registered accountant or bookkeeper for two-years until 30 June 2021 (instead of reporting each time you pay your employees).
  • Adopting a free or low-cost, simplified STP solution (as opposed to payroll software).

Micro employers are those with less than five employees at the time of application. Virtually all employees are counted (including casuals, those on leave, and employees working overseas), however closely-held payees are excluded – namely, family members of a family business, directors or shareholders of a company, and beneficiaries of a trust.

In the event that a business is currently a micro employer but later no longer qualifies as it puts on extra staff, the ATO adopts a different approach in respect continued eligibility for the above concessions. While eligibility for quarterly reporting will be unaffected by an increase in staff above four, the ATO expects employers to cease using the simplified, low cost STP reporting solutions if they later cease to qualify as a micro employer. This would then generally mean adopting STP-compliant software, or lodging via your registered accountant or bookkeeper.

Single Touch Payroll compliance made simple seminar 

In respect of the low-cost, simplified STP solutions, an updated list of products now available and currently in development is maintained on the ATO website. There are a wide range of products available including free solutions such as apps to install on your phone that allow employers to simply key in employee payroll information (gross amounts per pay, and tax withheld etc.) and send it to the ATO (and thereby maintain your manual payroll systems if you so choose).

Of course, micro employers can opt to disregard these free or low-cost solutions and instead adopt STP-compliant software and, in doing so, enjoy the advantages of computerizing your payroll processes.

Single Touch Payroll compliance made easy

Tax time: Are you in the ATO’s sights?

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A consistent theme this tax time is overclaiming and under reporting. With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) getting more and more sophisticated in its data matching approaches, taxpayers can expect greater scrutiny where their claims are more than what is expected.

Here is a checklist of the key issues.

What’s new

For you

Your Superannuation

Your business

Your Trust

 

If you are concerned about any of the issues raised, please call us – we would be more than happy to help you.

the health of your wealth in 2019 and beyond

20 everyday tips to save you money in 2019

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A recent Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) report, found that 1 in 6 Aussies are struggling under a mountain of credit card debt, with outstanding balances now totalling $45 million.

With the start of the new financial year, now could be a good time to get started on clearing your debt.  Help keep yourself on track with these 20 everyday possible ways to save.

  1. Get your partner on board – If you have a partner then making sure that you’re both communicating and agreeing about your financial priorities is important.
  2. Reduce your vices – Do you smoke, Drink?  Have an addiction to coffee?  Whatever your vice, make a conscious effort to cut back.  Healthy and wealthy – a double benefit.
  3. Learn how to cope with stress without spending – Buying things can be an easy way to relieve stress, but it’s not always good for your wallet or your mental state. Find a healthy and sustainable way to relieve stress and both your mind and your wallet will thank you.
  4. Stick to one shop per week – Doing one large shop rather than several small ones cuts down on impulse buys, takeaway and wastage. Plan ahead and write a weekly meal menu so you can get all ingredients you need at once.
  5. Use your own coffee machine – According to a businesses.com.au article, the cost per cup from an office coffee machine lies between $0.40 and $0.60. If you compare this to the average price of a cup of café brewed coffee in Australia, which is currently between $5-6 per cup, there are definitely savings to be had by brewing coffee at home.
  6. Taking a cut lunch to work – Packing your own lunch or snacks a few times a week could save you a whole lot of cash. You will also be more inclined to make healthier choices when you prepare your own lunch and could cut back on your calorie intake.
  7. Make school lunches at home – If you have children, making school lunches at home rather than using the tuckshop could save hundreds of dollars and give you more control over what your child is eating.
  8. Pay your bills on time – avoid late fees and grab a discount – Paying your bills on time is a great way to keep your credit record clean. If you struggle with your bills, consider setting up a regular repayment amount to even out the cashflow. Some energy providers will also offer a discount to customers who pay on time.
  9. Check how much interest you are paying on your credit card – If you owe money on your credit card, check what interest rate you are paying. Credit card interest rates can vary from less than 10% to more than 22%.
  10. Phone your bank – Even a small discount could save thousands over the life of your loan.
  11. Shop around for your car insurance – The cost of a comprehensive insurance policy can vary by over one thousand dollars per annum.
  12. Review your health insurance – Health insurance can be another great place to make savings.
  13. Review your personal insurance – including your life, total and permanent disability, trauma and income protection insurance.  Some of them can be paid via your superannuation fund.
  14.  Update your telecommunications contracts – There are hundreds of different phone plans.  Review yours periodically to ensure that it’s cost effective.
  15. Review your electricity and gas options – Being on the wrong plan could be costing you. Also, consider making small changes such as washing your laundry in cold water.
  16. Car pool when you can – If you are going to the same destination, get your friends or family together and car pool.
  17. Track down your lost super – One in three working Australians have lost track of some of their superannuation, to the tune of around $18 billion. Track down your lost super to potentially increase your retirement nest egg by thousands of dollars.
  18. Cancel memberships you don’t use – If you’ve got a gym membership, sports club membership, or something similar that you’re paying for but not using, look into cancelling it ASAP. You could be throwing money away.
  19. Check your family is registered for the Medicare Safety Net – If eligible, ensure that you and your partner are registered as a family for the Medicare safety net, rather than as two individuals. This will lower your Medicare safety net threshold.
  20. Salary sacrificing – In some work places you can salary sacrifice goods and services.

If you are struggling to make ends meet talk to our professional team today on (03) 9744 7144 about how we can help you with your financial situation.


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