How to avoid delays when processing your Tax Return this year


Avoiding delays when lodging your tax return this year could be quite challenging because of the ongoing pandemic.

Moreover, you can still lodge your tax return electronically until 31 October 31 or 15 May 2021 if you are using the service of a specialist tax accountant.

Before you start lodging your tax return, make sure you have everything covered to avoid delays. You should also make sure that you are aware of all the COVID-related deductions that you can claim.

On the flip side, take note that the ATO can sometimes delay the processing of your tax return, especially if you have old overdue tax returns to lodge.

The normal processing will only continue once you get your tax affairs up to date. If you want to save time, hiring a tax accountant is recommended when taking care of outstanding tax returns.

Tax Office

With the lifting of the lockdown restrictions, accountants are permitted to open their offices to accommodate their clients. However, with stringent social distancing guidelines still in effect, professional service firms do not have access to their offices.

Online Tax Return Service

If you’re taking precautionary measures and don’t have a way to see a qualified accountant in person, utilising an online tax return service would be a perfect alternative.

With an online tax return service, you can claim everything you are eligible for. We at Glance Consultants offer this valuable service.

When lodging your tax return this year, make sure to have a checklist of the necessary things that you need to do to avoid delays.

If you need further assistance, you can seek assistance from Glance Consultants to help you lodge your tax returns successfully. Our firm can provide a comprehensive checklist to cover your requirements.

Contact us on 03 9885 9793 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.

How to establish a long-Term business strategy amid the COVID-19 Pandemic



Today, various businesses in Australia have begun developing long-term strategies to help minimise the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic within the industry. Moreover, identifying the most effective way to maximise your market value relies heavily on your innovative solutions, specifically when it comes to generating leads, boosting ROI, and raising conversion rates.

While establishing a long-term strategy may sound like an easy thing to do, finding the best one that fits perfectly with your business needs is not that simple. So to help you develop a strategy that can support your business in these trying times, here are several points to consider:

Be Customer-Focused

Avoid focusing too much on numerical information — you need to understand the specific challenges that your consumers might be facing. For example, some of your consumers may be more price-conscious than usual due to a recent job loss or financial strain.

Stay Relevant

To get ahead of the curve against your competitors, you need to be able to answer and solve the problems that your consumers face amidst the ongoing crisis. However, take note that the issues you are attempting to address and solve could change – especially during a pandemic. That is why it is vital to be attuned to the current disposition of the business climate. By understanding the current state of the industry and staying up-to-date with the latest news, you should be able to arm yourself with the correct strategy while addressing the key issues that may affect your business.

Keep Your Message Clear

Due to the pandemic, many businesses continue to change the way they distribute products or services to their customers. Whether you are releasing a new product, offering innovative delivery options, or changing your time or availability, always make sure to keep your messaging clear in every digital marketing channel you utilise.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still on (at least until a vaccine is developed) and coming up with a long-term strategy is necessary for business survival. If you’re currently struggling with your finances, Glance Consultants will be able to extend help by providing you with expert advice and more.

Contact us 03 9885 9793 at or fill out our contact form to get in touch with us today.

The new Director Identification Regime



Background

The Director Identification Number (DIN) regime is coming.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2019 (Cth) (the Bill) was passed on 12 June 2020 and subsequently received Royal Assent on 22 June 2020.

The Bill, together with other legislative changes, is part of the Federal Government’s ‘Modernising Business Registers Program’ that is aimed at unifying the Australian Business Register and more than 30 other business registers that are administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The introduction of the DIN regime is a central component of the Bill’s objective and is given effect through amending the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth).

What to remember

  • Directors will be required to have their identity verified and have a unique and permanent identifier issued to them.
  • Companies will need to put processes in place to ensure that all existing directors apply for a DIN within the prescribed timeframe once the DIN regime is implemented.
  • Once the DIN regime is implemented, companies will also need to ensure that director appointment processes include the necessary steps for new directors to apply for a DIN. Once the transitional period ends, this process will need to be undertaken prior to a director appointment.

The DIN regime

The DIN regime is part of the Federal Government’s wider objective of:

  • tackling illegal phoenix activity;
  • making company directors more traceable and accountable;
  • streamlining business registers by providing a single-point of contact; and
  • furthering the Government’s ‘Deregulation Agenda’ by creating an electronic system than is readily accessible to everyone.

The DIN regime will involve a one-time application that requires directors of private and public companies (including foreign-born or foreign domiciled directors) and alternate directors to have their identity verified and then be allocated a DIN as a unique and permanent identifier. A DIN will continue to apply to the director even if he or she leaves their position.

DINs will be recorded in a new database that will be administered and operated by a registrar from an existing Commonwealth body. The identity of that Commonwealth body is yet to be announced.

The regime will make it easier for the registrar to verify director identities and refuse/cancel a DIN where an individual’s identity is in question. The requirements for identity verification remain to be confirmed, but will be contained in data standards made be the relevant registrar.

Additionally, the regime will also aid regulators and external administrators by establishing a transparent system that will in turn create a more timely and cost-effective process when investigating and commencing proceedings against directors.

When does a DIN need to be obtained?

The implementation date for the DIN regime has yet to be officially announced, with implementation to occur 2 years after the Bill received Royal Assent unless an earlier date is set. It is anticipated that the roll out will occur in the first half of 2021. However, commencement may well be later given the impacts of COVID-19.

Within the first 12 months following implementation, new directors will have 28 days after appointment as a director to apply for a DIN. Following this period, individuals must apply for a DIN before becoming a director. For existing directors, transitional provisions will provide a period during which they will need to obtain a DIN.

Whilst directors will be required to have a DIN, the obligation is to have applied for, rather than obtained, a DIN prior to appointment as a director.

This is to provide flexibility, and a defence, for circumstances where a DIN has not been issued for reasons outside the control of the relevant person (e.g. processing delays).

Consequences for non-compliance

Under the proposed regime, there will be civil and criminal penalties for:

  • failing to apply for a DIN within the prescribed timeframes;
  • failing to apply for a DIN if directed by the registrar;
  • intentionally applying for more than one DIN
  • intentionally providing a false DIN to a government body or relevant body corporate; and
  • being actively involved in the contravention of any the above offences.

Tax Considerations for Rental House

Investment property income you get from your property is considered by the Australian Taxation Office to be taxable income. It is taxed according to your marginal tax rate, and it should be declared on your income tax return.

With that said, it is essential to consider what are the critical tax considerations for your investment property in Australia. Here are some of them:

– Deductions

According to the ATO, investment property expenses can be considered as a tax deduction if they are connected to the investment property. Therefore, the management and the maintenance expenses you pay will offset any taxable income.

Some examples of what can be considered a deduction on investment properties are expenses on the advertisement in relation to advertising for new tenants, interest expenses on your investment property loan, landlord insurance, repairs & maintenance, depreciation, agent fees, mortgage insurance etc. Make it a habit to always keep your receipts for these expenses.

– Property Tax

You will also need to pay for separate property taxes such as council and water rates. These taxes are paid to the local government for activities such as public maintenance and rubbish collection. This tax is calculated based on the value of your property and its location.

– Land Tax

Land tax is calculated using the land value of your property and is paid to your state government.


Final Word

Owning an investment property and receiving rental income is a great investment option, but it also requires you to consider the income considerations. Hopefully, the considerations mentioned above will help you get a better idea of what to expect and how to legally minimize your taxes.

Talking about your tax implications can be quite overwhelming and sometimes confusing for many. If you have any questions, Glance Consultants will be happy to assist you.

Please fill out our contact form or call us at 03 9885 9793.

How an Audit for a Superannuation Fund works

The superannuation fund is an adaptation made by the Government of Australia to motivate its citizens to accumulate funds that will provide them with a stream of income in their retirement years. The state does this by making it compulsory for employers to contribute superannuation on top of their employees’ salaries and wages. They also provide tax benefits for further encouragement. 

If you have a superannuation fund, you need to know that it should have a mandatory audit done by an auditor accredited by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. The audit will include a Financial Report Audit and a Compliance report audit. 

 

Financial Report Audit

The following are the primary requirement to get a financial Report Audit:

● An audit engagement letter signed by the trustees

● Trustee representation letter which is signed

● Financial accounting reports, such as member statements, income statements, balance sheets, etc. 

● Duly accomplished annual tax return

● Supporting documents

 

Compliance Audit Report

Here are the documents needed for the Compliance audit report

● A signed copy of pension documentation if it is in pension mode

● Permanent files copies

● Actuarial Certificate

● Life insurance certificate (if applicable)

● ASIC annual return if employers are acting fund trustees

Once the auditor receives the files mentioned above, they will proceed with their auditing task. If there are breaches, auditors will try their best to rectify the matter legally. 

 

Final Word

When getting an auditor who will be in charge of auditing your superannuation fund, make sure that ASIC accredits them. You can check their legitimacy by going to the website and confirming their registration. 

If you have more questions that are not covered by this article, kindly fill out our contact form or call us at 03 9885 9793.

We will help you and assist you with your superannuation fund concerns and enquiries. 

Are Cryptocurrencies Subject to Tax? It Depends on What Happens

Are Cryptocurrencies subject to tax? It depends on what happens.

Recently, the cryptocurrency has been discussed in Australia with the ATO implementing new measures to get cryptocurrency users to pay tax. This subject matter had raised many bags of dust, with people suggesting this deal won’t make it through. But it is clear now that you will be taxed for using your cryptocurrency. This article will discuss how you can handle these taxes.

 

Why are cryptocurrencies subject to tax?

For the Australian Tax Office (ATO), bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies are not money, foreign, or Australian currency. Instead, cryptocurrencies are classified as property and an asset, which qualifies as taxable under capital gains tax. The everyday use of your bitcoin does not carry a tax obligation. However, your cryptocurrency is taxable when:

  1. You sell or gift your cryptocurrency
  2. Trade or exchange cryptocurrency for fiat currency or another cryptocurrency
  3. Convert your cryptocurrency to a fiat currency
  4. use your cryptocurrency to obtain goods and services, and so on.

 

Is your cryptocurrency taxable in the event of a hard fork?

In the event of a coin split or a hard fork, as it happened with the release of Bitcoin cash in August 2017, the tax liability imposed is of two kinds, namely:

  1. When cryptocurrency is held as an investment: in the event where you hold a coin as an investment, and there’s a hard fork or coin split, the ATO will only charge you capital gains when you chose to dispose of the new coins.
  2. Cryptocurrency held in business: when the cryptocurrency is contained in the industry, it is seen as trading stock; capital gains are charged on the coins when it is put out for sale.

 

Is a cryptocurrency trader taxable for his trades?

The ATO is specific on the tax liability of a cryptocurrency trader. The trader is taxable for capital gains as to the profits made from the trade; the trader can also deduct his losses.  

 

Cryptocurrency tax exemptions

The following are tax exemptions that are available to cryptocurrency users in Australia. 

  1. When cryptocurrency is used to make a purchase for goods and services for personal use
  2. When cryptocurrency is held for more than 12 months; the holder is eligible for a 50% capital gain tax.

Changes on July 1st 2020

According to the Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office, an error has been made regarding the estimated number of employees who can access the JobKeeper program. It was initially planned to cover around 6 million workers, but they had revised the estimate to only around 3.5 million. They stated that the estimate reflects the not-so-severe impact of health restrictions being imposed as expected.

Meanwhile, the ATO has extended the deadline to lodge the monthly declaration to every 14th day after the end of the month instead of the initial 7th day after the end of the month.

However, they stated that JobKeeper payments will be released based on when the declaration has been lodged. This means that the sooner businesses comply, the sooner they will be able to receive their JobKeeper payments.

On another news, the ATO has released guidance aim to soften the rules regarding the claiming of deductions for home office expenses. This is in line with the increasing number of taxpayers who were forced to work from home due to the pandemic.

First, they have decreased the requirements individuals need to be able to claim expenses. In most cases, this can be applicable to individuals who need a specific area at home for work-related purposes. Specifically, the ATO allows individuals to claim home office expenses if they are working from home to fulfill their office duties or are running their own business which, as a result, caused them to incur additional running expenses.

There are three main mechanisms that will allow taxpayers to calculate the allowed deduction:

  • First is the actual expenses which can be computed by taking the actual expenses incurred alongside the percentage of business or work for calculating the deduction.
  • Second is the “normal” set rate method using the set rate of 52 cents per hour then claiming separate deductions for other expenses like phones, computers, and the internet.
  • The last one is the “shortcut” set rate method which allows individuals to claim 80 cents per hour, though this one will cover all expenses mentioned in the “normal” set rate method.

Taxpayers will have the freedom to choose which method works for them, specifically the one that can provide them with the biggest deductions.

 

How to Keep Your Business Going During Rough Times

Can you Claim Deductions for Employee Training?“You have to understand accounting and you have to understand the nuances of accounting. It’s the language of business.” – Warren Buffett

A misconception among small business owners is that accounting only involves managing your books and paying your dues. But there are many little things in accounting that you should consider. This is where the problem usually starts. If you’re not careful, you might end up messing up your cash flow, or worse, paying penalties for unpaid taxes. It’s time to look at your accounting practices and make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes.

1. Mixing Personal Spending with Business Spending

Confusing your personal spending as a business spending is a common mistake among entrepreneurs. For instance, when you’re doing your monthly supplies run, it’s easy to pick up some items for personal use and unintentionally tag all them as a business cost. The key is to keep all your receipts. This way, you have proof of your expenses should your business requires to be audited. Worried about losing receipts? Scan or take photos of them, so you have a digital copy. Consider filing them by month or year and labelling them appropriately by category or department. When you categorise your business expenses, you won’t have problems finding records or receipts.

2. Taking Sales Tax for Granted

It’s quite easy to forget about your sales tax —especially if you have no idea how to deal with them. To make sure you’re complying with all your tax requirements, consider consulting or hiring experts to look into your finances.

3. Working with an Inexperienced CPA or Bookkeeper

Your CPA and bookkeeper are your sidekicks to managing the financial side of your business. It’s essential to work with professionals who have enough experience in their field. If you’re new to accounting and will have to depend on your CPA or bookkeeper’s knowledge and skills, take the time to choose candidates and professionals to hire.

4. Thinking Every Deal Closed Always Equates to Cash Flow

When you’re updating your books and forecasting cash flows, be mindful of how you record your deals. When you don’t consider the money your company needs to put out to complete a project, your books could give an inaccurate picture of your business’s financial status. What happens when instead of earning from a deal, you end up losing money? Do you need assistance with accounting? Glance Consulting offers bookkeeping, accounting, and cash flow forecasting services. Let us help you get the peace of mind that you have your books in order and your finances straightened out.

Please fill out our contact form or give us a call at 03 9885 9793 to learn about our accounting services.

Do You Have a Pandemic Business Plan

pandemic business planAs the world continues to fight against the coronavirus pandemic and countries try to flatten the curve, businesses have started adapting to a “new normal.” But if there is one lesson many entrepreneurs are learning from our situation, it’s the importance of having a pandemic business plan.

What is a pandemic business plan?

A pandemic business plan is your company’s guide to responding to emergencies, particularly in a long-term crisis like the coronavirus spread. It contains policies for communicating among employees and clients. This plan also includes budget contingencies and other strategies to ensure your business stays in operation during any situation.

How do you create a pandemic business plan?

The first step to creating a pandemic business plan is to build a team of experienced and trusted individuals who truly understand how your company operates. When possible, try to include members from all departments, like your HR, operations, and your top management team. This way, you’re able to see the bigger picture and how each department would play a role in an emergency.

When you have your risk management team all set up, it’s time to do the work:

1. Set up guidelines

Lay the foundation of your pandemic business plan. Create the guiding principles that everyone must follow during a situation like a pandemic. Your guidelines should include how the company will continue providing and supporting your employees.

Will you be offering medical care for your staff? Who will be responsible for caring and communicating with your team? Additionally, this is the part where you may need to decide whether to temporarily pause any ongoing programs to ensure you have enough budget for your business essentials.

2. Develop a communications plan

Communication is vital in an emergency and especially during a pandemic. Set up a communications program or policy that ensures your staff receive important company updates and messages even when they’re not in the office. The same goes for your clients. How do you plan to reach out to them and let them know of significant company changes or updates?

3. Create a flexible workforce schedule

Understandably, you may want to continue providing services to your clients and maintaining business operations even during this time. However, you should make sure that your company can do this safely.

Think about setting up a flexible work schedule for your staff. When possible, give them the option to work from home.

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way many entrepreneurs and companies do business. What changes have you implemented in your workplace? If you need help adapting to our current situation, Glance Consultants can assist you. We offer strategic business advice and planning, business performance management, and cashflow management.

Call us at 03 9885 9793 or fill out our contact form for your enquiries. We continue to commit ourselves as your trusted advisor in your ever-changing business journey.

Leadership Characteristics To Help Your Business Outlast the Coronavirus Outbreak

leadership in times of crisis

Do you feel like you’re being pulled from every direction while trying to keep your business afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak?

We are living in difficult times. As we start adapting to our current situation, however, here’s something to keep in mind as business owners and leaders of your organisation:

 

 

“It is in times of crisis that good leaders emerge” — Rudolph Giuliani

While it may seem difficult, there is no better time than now to be visible and take charge in all aspects of your business. Your customers need you. Most importantly, your employees need your support and direction.

Here are some leadership characteristics to help you during this time:

Confident and Calm

If you’re the first one to go screaming out the door, then don’t expect your employees to be calm.

Your staff, customers, and other stakeholders are relying on your leadership to get your business through the challenging months ahead. This isn’t the time for self-doubt and inaction. It’s the time to implement your crisis management plan or create one if you don’t have any.

While your leadership is essential during this period, it doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own. Get everyone on board and remember, “We are all in this together.”

Transparent

Communication is critical in times of crisis. When everyone understands the challenges that your company is facing and what you’re doing to solve those issues, there will be no cause to panic. Your staff won’t have to worry about the future of your business, which directly affects their future.  

Innovative

Now is a great time to think out of the box. Since the outbreak, many businesses have opted to continue their operations from home. Can your business do the same? If yes, what technologies will you and your staff need to get the business going?

Some basic applications and services you may need are: 

  • A video messaging application for your weekly meetings
  • An online file hosting service so your team could access documents conveniently
  • Online accounting software to keep your books up-to-date
  • An online calendar to schedule workflows, team huddles, and client meetings

Compassionate

If there is one important characteristic a leader should have during this time, it’s compassion. Don’t get too caught up with managing your business that you end up forgetting the needs of your people.

Every member of your staff is handling the situation differently. Check-in on them regularly and see how you can help make things easier for them.

The Coronavirus pandemic has caught many businesses off guard. While the future may seem uncertain, one thing is for sure. Your business could thrive and survive any crisis with good leadership.

For assistance and support, get in touch with Glance Consultants. We offer a range of services for Small to Medium Enterprise. You can send an email to enquiries@glanceconsultants.com.au or call us at 03 9885 9793.

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