Latest News

We all get bombarded with information from every source possible and frankly, it's too much. Even if you haven't already flicked it into spam you probably don't have time to read it. We call it Information Overload. So, on this page we've selected big picture news items we think are relevant and of interest to our clients.

Friday, February 26, 2016

From 1 July 2015 methods for calculating motor vehicle expenses have been reduced to 2 methods; Logbook and Cents per KM methods. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

There have been 2 changes in regards to HECS recently.

Friday, February 26, 2016

From 1 July 2016, the process for applying for registration as a company under the Corporations Act and applying to be registered in the Australian Business Register (ABR) under the Australian Business Number (ABN) Act will be linked.

A company registered before 1 July 2016 will be able to continue to use its ACN (Australian Company Number) and will not require to apply for an ABN if it doesn’t need to have one.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Termination and recruitment can be complex and costly for Employers. Employers who employ more than 15 employees can be subject to unfair dismissal claims. Small business employers with less than 15 employees still need to comply with the Fair Dismissal Code. Do seek advice when terminating employees as there are various matters to consider, for example:

Friday, February 26, 2016

 “If it could be shown, without a shadow of a doubt, that financial advice improves happiness, health and even personal relationships, would it change the way we judge the role of financial planning?”

This is the question at the heart of new research released today by IOOF, “The True Value of Advice” (the Research), which takes a deep dive into the emotional benefits of financial advice.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The ATO has issued a notice announcing that it will be acquiring details of real property transactions for the period 20 September 1985 to 30 June 2017 from various state revenue offices and tenancy boards. In relation to rental properties, the ATO is seeking details of rent paid and contact details of landlords. In relation to property transfers, the ATO is seeking details of the transfers, including details of the transferors and transferees and any state land tax and/or stamp duty concessions sought.

Friday, February 26, 2016

From 1 July 2015, small businesses can immediately deduct certain capital expenses associated with starting up a business.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

In the lead up to the Federal Budget on 10th May, there have been various rumours, speculations, leaks and ‘wish lists’ in regards to superannuation legislation and taxation. Before May, you should utilise all the current benefits that superannuation has to offer as the rules could change.

There are a number of strategies you could consider to take advantage of under the current rules, while they last.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

There are many benefits to getting good advice, and if you're looking at this website odds are you already know it, you're just looking for affirmation.

Good advice can provide many benefits:

  • Peace of mind
  • Surety
  • Compliance
  • Understanding
  • Financial reward
  • ...and the list goes on

'Good' advice can be distinguished from any old advice you might get from friends, family of collegues and can often be hard to find. But, once you've found a good adviser, listen to their advice and stick with them.

Often the best way to find a good adviser is a recommendation from someone you trust. Look for people you know that are successful, experienced and trustworthy, then ask. If you can't think of anyone off hand, the internet is a wonderful source of information, there's just more of it to filter through.

As a general rule, we suggest you talk to a few different advisers to get a feel for your options and to improve the chances of you finding the 'right one' for you. The age old approach of getting three quotes can hold true hereas well.

Not getting advice doesn't help you at all, but advice doesn't come to you. If you want to get ahead, you've got to get on the front foot and be proactive.

Good advice always pays for itself !!

If you'd like to talk to one of our advisers, please feel welcome to contact us.


 
 

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the issue of asset protection, whether they be professionals, business persons or the ordinary person on the street. In fact, many people have the primary motivation of asset protection when establishing their estate plans.

The assets of an individual can be attacked through a variety of ways, including from creditors, the trustee in bankruptcy, estate challenges under the Family Provision Act as well as when a relationship breaks down. Relationship breakdown will be a relevant factor not only to people who are married but also to people who live in a domestic relationship.

Recent events have shown that medical professionals have been particularly at risk from legal claims. These claims also apply to other professional groups (ie accountants, lawyers, financial planners).

A director of a company has extensive exposure to liability. The sources of liability for a director are prescribed in a variety of legislation, including the Corporations Act, the Income Tax Assessment Act, the Commonwealth Crimes Act, the Trade Practices Act, as well as industrial relations, occupational health and safety and environmental legislation.

Many people are not aware that the definition of "director" under the Corporations Act does not only include persons who are listed as directors with ASIC, but also persons who have effective control of a company and persons who are de facto directors or shadow directors. For example, the courts have determined that an accountant whom the company consulted to improve the profitability of the company exerted the necessary control to be a de facto director, and therefore had exposure to liability as a director.

So if you are in a position that places your assets at risk, what can you do? Deciding on a strategy for asset protection really depends on the circumstances of the particular person. However, here are some general pointers.

Individuals may consider the following for possible protection against creditors:

  • Avoid holding assets in the individual's name. The assets may instead be held by a spouse, company or discretionary trust.
  • If assets are held in an individual's name, it may be possible to transfer the assets. However, stamp duty and capital gains tax issues should be considered.
  • Corporate credit cards are often issued in the name of an employer or company, but generally the primary responsibility for payment of the debt is retained by the cardholder.
  • Holding monies in a super fund up to Pension Reasonable Benefit Limits.
  • Ensure assets are mortgaged or otherwise encumbered - for example to spouses, trusts or companies.
  • Avoid personal guarantees or indemnities, or limit them to specific dollar amounts and/or time period.

However, before undertaking any of these possible protection measures, consideration should be given to the claw-back provisions of the Bankruptcy Act.

Finally, in a proper estate plan there are factors to consider other than yourself.

These factors will include what your parents propose to do with their estate plan. If a person has asset protection issues, the last thing that person may want is to receive a large inheritance in their own name. Similarly, your children may have the same asset protection issues and therefore a large inheritance in their own name would not benefit them.

You should also consider revoking any unnecessary powers of attorney. The vesting provisions of trusts should also be checked.

An effective estate plan is very important. Do not wait until it is too late! Contact us.