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Tax Planning


Can you believe that ¾'s of the 2016 financial year has already passed! This is Harris Black's favourite time of the year where we can help you to comply with the tax law but at the lowest possible tax cost. 

Our tax planning meetings provide:

  • a forum to discuss your current results;
  • an estimate of your 2016 tax position and any tax planning opportunities;
  • a review of your structure to ensure it is working for you;
  • details of your upcoming cash flow requirements in relation to your tax obligations; and
  • an opportunity for your Harris Black team member to understand your business in its current environment so we can provide you with the most relevant up to date advice.

Below are some common general tax planning techniques:

Businesses

Deferring Income

  • Income received in advance of services to be provided will generally not be assessable until the services are provided. 

Personal Services Income

  • Individuals operating personal services businesses should ensure that they satisfy the relevant test to be excluded from the Personal Services Income regime or seek a determination from the Commissioner. 

Maximising Deductions

  • Debtors should be reviewed prior to 30 June to identify and write off any bad debts;
  • Review the asset register to identify any low-cost and/or low-value assets that may be pooled to access an accelerated rate of depreciation;
  • Write off any depreciating assets which are no longer being held for use because a deduction may be available;
  • Review trading stock for obsolete stock for which a deduction is available; and
  • Employees' superannuation contributions should be paid before 30 June to obtain a deduction and to avoid the Superannuation Guarantee Charge.

Individuals & Investments

This list is too long, so below are just a few:

  • Motor Vehicles – if you don't have a log book start one prior to 30 June 2016 or if your motor vehicle use is minor ensure you are keeping a diary of work related kilometres;
  • Consider making a donation prior to 30 June 2016; and
  • Consider the timing of a capital gain or loss (pre or post 30 June 2016). 

Have you booked your meeting with your Harris Black team member for tax planning this year? Please contact your Harris Black team member.



Estate Planning

As discussions go, estate planning is amongst the most avoided. For many people, the thought of talking about someone close to them passing away is untenable. It is a highly emotive matter that is accentuated by a fear of causing offence or family discontent. Nevertheless, this is an essential discussion for every family that involves understanding that the plan extends further than just 'who gets what' from the will. The repercussions of death and incapacity need to be understood and a clear direction for control and decision making needs to be agreed upon.

On completion of their estate plan, our clients express feelings of relief and a deep sense of comfort. Knowing that loose ends are tied, obligations will be met and those they care about have been well considered and accounted for, is important. Our clients' families, in turn, are grateful that plans have been put in place that will alleviate the burden of handling complicated legal and financial matters during a time of grief. Further, all parties are reassured by the involvement of an independent party whom they can turn to when the plan requires review, explanation or execution.

Without planning, the wealth and financial security you have developed over a lifetime can be put at risk. While well-intentioned, without a clear plan, those who must manage your estate on your behalf will be pulled in different directions.

From the outset of any discussion, family members need to know that estate planning will be approached sensitively, openly and thoroughly. This is where your accountant is invaluable as a professional and a confidante who has developed a personal relationship with you over many years. Your accountant is therefore well-placed to guide your estate planning decision-making and to inform you and your family of the options at every stage.

In our experience, even for the most complex of circumstances, the first step is to begin a discussion that starts with just two considerations: 
 
     1. What you have – your assets and liabilities etc. 
     2. What you want – your intentions around control, decision making, and asset allocation

Once these two fundamentals are established, we can develop a fully-integrated and carefully considered estate plan that will bridge the two.

To find out more about how Harris Black can advise and help with all aspects of your estate planning, please contact your Harris Black team member today.



HB Featured Add-Ons – Apps For Trades

Accounting add-ons have evolved recently in the world of accountancy. Each month we will feature a range of add-ons that will help you focus and become more efficient within your own practice. 

Add-ons are solutions that can bring the benefits and flexibility of the cloud to you and your MYOB and Xero accounting software, helping you solve problems right across your business.

In this month's edition of our HB Featured Add-ons, we will showcase the top six apps for trades.

Running a trade or construction business is hectic. There are invoices to generate, subbies to organise, payments to take and accounts to stay on top of. Who wouldn't want a helping hand?
Whether you are a business owner, building contractor, install and repair HVAC systems, are a plumber, work on electrical systems or perform another trade, it's important to document what you do, the time you do it in, capture signatures and be able to quickly retrieve paperwork and payment.

From job estimates, invoices and timesheets, here are some nifty apps and online tools to make business life easier for trade and construction businesses.

1. MYOB PayDirect

This app gives you the power to take payments on the spot.

MYOB PayDirect is the faster, smarter way of doing business on the go. Invoice on the spot, take payment and automatically update your accounts at the same time before you leave the job. Your customers can pay you without delay anywhere, anytime. Plus, payments are in your account as early as the next day, not in weeks or months.

Enjoy more sales, more often, by offering your customers the option to pay by card. Learn more.

2. Tradify

Tradify is the smart new tool helping tradies get their nights back. It makes invoicing, quoting and scheduling easy and integrate seamlessly with MYOB online accounting software. You can use us on desktop, tablet and mobile, anywhere, anytime. Learn more.

3. Deputy

Deputy makes it easy to schedule employees, manage time and attendance, track performance, and improve workplace communication. You can create schedules for your employees, track time and attendance with geo-location and face detection technology and record performance with journals with a real-time view of announcements across all devices. Learn more.

4. Necleus Logic

Nucleus Logic is a platform that brings all of your current processes together. It assists businesses who sell, build or stock products by putting their order collection and fulfilment processes into the cloud. Learn more.

5. Tall Emu CRM

Tall Emu CRM manages your business relationships in one central system. It's a powerful, flexible and easy-to-use system with powerful workflow and customisation capabilities. It's perfect for managing marketing campaigns and following up on leads. Learn more.

6. Employment Hero

Fully integrated cloud HR system, Employment Hero provides a jobs board, integrated payroll and live HR support. Employment Hero makes managing employment easy. Learn more.

To find out more about these add-ons, contact your Harris Black team member today.



Harris Black Top 15

This month's edition of Harris Black's Top 10 features our team's favourite movies of all time. It became obvious that a lot of us are movie lovers so we came up with our 15 favourite movies of all time. So if you're planning to watch a throwback movie, here are some of Team Harris Black's favourites. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the movies!

  1. Notting Hill
  2. The Wedding Singer (1998); 
  3. Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004);
  4. Titanic (1997);
  5. Pretty Woman (1990);
  6. Love Actually (2003);
  7. The Longest Ride (2015);
  8. My Sister's Keeper (2009);
  9. Fletch (1985);
  10. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987);
  11. The Castle (1997);
  12. Muriel's Wedding (1994);
  13. Shawshank Redemption (1994);
  14. Avatar (2009); and
  15. Scarface (1983). 


Intellectual Property At A Glance 
 
While intellectual property can be a valuable business asset for business owners, it must be legally protected if a business owner wants to increase the value of their business.

Intellectual property can add further value to a business when it is sold. Intellectual property is the collection of ideas and creations of your mind or intellect such as trademarks, logos, concepts, designs, computer programs and so on. Most businesses will have some form of intellectual property that derives commercial value.

There are several types of legal ownership available depending on the nature of the intellectual property. The most commonly used types are trademarks, patents, design rights, domain names and copyright.

Trademarks

A trademark is a right granted to a sign or device used by a business to distinguish its goods and services from other businesses. They can take the form of a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo or picture.

Although it is not compulsory to register a trademark, registering provides exclusive rights to use the trademark across Australia for commercial purposes and assign, transfer or sell the rights to the trademark to another business.

Trademarks can protect businesses against imitation since they can use the trademark to identify with a particular product or service.

However, owners should be aware that even though trademarks offer a greater degree of protection, trademark breaches are not enforced by the Trademark authority; rather they must be pursued by the trademark holder.

Design Rights

A design can refer to the features of a shape, configuration or pattern that gives a product its unique appearance. Examples of a design include a logo, branding, packaging and so on. A registered design gives the owner, exclusive rights to commercially use, sell or licence it.

Patents

A patent is a right granted for any device, substance, method or process which is new, innovative and useful. If you have developed a new product or process, you may consider applying for a patent.
There are two types of patents in Australia; the "standard" patent provides long term protection for 20 years or more and the "innovation" patent lasts for up to eight years and applies to innovations that would not qualify for a standard patent.

Patents only provide protection within Australia. However, you can make a separate application in each country or file a single international application and select the countries in which you wish for protection.

If you are considering applying for a patent be wary not to disclose or promote your idea to anyone without first applying for a patent, otherwise you may risk your chances of registration.

Copyright

Copyright is a free and automatic legal right applied to any original work such as art, literature, music, films and so forth. Copyrights do not have to be registered for ownership. You cannot copyright ideas, the works must be tangible.

Domain Names

A domain name is your website address on the internet. It helps to form your business' identity and allows your customers to find your business online. To register a domain name it must be unique and not already registered as a business name or company, or a registered or pending trademark.

To know more about these, please contact your Harris Black team member.



Conducting Effective Meetings

Meetings, although necessary, can be time-consuming, ruin productivity and are a cause of frustration for many.

Running effective meetings is a key managerial skill which is essential to effective decision making and execution which consequently affect business results.

Here are some ways to improve the way you conduct meetings:

Establish a clear objective

Meetings should have a clear and stated objective, with a specific end result defined. An objective for the meeting gives purpose for holding the meeting and directs the content to follow.

Include a written agenda

A written agenda ensures you cover and stick to necessary and relevant topics. Some factors to consider when writing an agenda include: 

  • What are the priorities of the meeting?
  • What should the meeting accomplish?
  • What is the order of topics?
  • What topics must be covered?
  • How much time should be spent on each topic?
  • Who will lead the discussion for each topic?
  • How will off topic discussions be handled?
  • A start and end time

Review attendees

When organising a meeting, take the time to work out who really needs to attend. Inviting people who may not feel their attendance is needed or that they lack the skills or expertise to be of assistance may view their attendance as a waste of time. When creating a list of participants, link attendance to decision roles.

Manage off topic discussions

The beginning of the meeting is a good time to mention the focus of the discussion and remind attendees that other issues can be addressed at a later time. To help stick to your schedule, display the meeting agenda on a screen or whiteboard to keep people focused.

Create action items

Send participants a meeting summary reinforcing the key points of the meeting no longer than 24 hours after the meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page. Ensure attendees are informed of responsibilities, tasks and deadlines assigned and document them to avoid ambiguity.


 
Tax Relief For Small Business That Restructure On The Way 

Small businesses are important to the Australian economy, as they facilitate growth and innovation. However, as a small business develops over time, its initial legal structure may no longer be suitable for the business. Where a business has to restructure to accommodate growth, the transfer of assets from one legal structure to another could give rise to unwanted tax liabilities, even though the underlying economic ownership remains the same. 
 
With this in mind, the Government has proposed amendments to the law to provide tax relief for small businesses that restructure on a genuine basis. If the legislative amendments are enacted as proposed, the changes would apply for restructures occurring on or after 1 July 2016. In introducing the Bill, the Assistant Treasurer said that this legislation completes the Government's $5.5 billion Growing Jobs and Small Business package. Ms O'Dwyer said the Bill will reduce risk and complexity, and will make it easier for businesses to grow.



Trusts' ABNs To Be Cancelled If No longer Carrying on Business 

The ATO has advised that the Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR) will begin cancelling the Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) of approximately 220,000 trusts, where there is evidence they are no longer carrying on an enterprise.

A trust's ABN will be cancelled where available information indicates that the trust has not lodged business activity statements and/or trust income tax returns for the last two years. Exclusions to these ABN cancellations apply for trusts that are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) or are non-reporting members of a GST or income tax group.

The ATO said entities will receive a letter if their ABNs had been cancelled. This letter will include the reason for the cancellation, and a phone number to ring to have the ABN reinstated immediately if the entity does not agree with the decision.



Withholding Tax For Car Allowances 

Car expense deductions for individuals were simplified from 1 July 2015. Employers who pay their employees a car allowance need to withhold tax on the amount they pay over 66c per kilometre. If employers have not been doing this, the ATO notes they should start now to avoid their employees having a tax debt. 
 
TIP: Employers should consider having a discussion with affected employees about whether to increase the withholding amount for the remainder of the financial year to cover the shortfall.

If you have any questions, please contact your Harris Black team member. 



Travellers With Student Debts Need To Update Contact Details

Australians with a Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debt and/or a Trade Support Loans (TSL) debt who are moving overseas for longer than six months will need to provide the ATO with their overseas contact details within seven days of leaving the country. International contact details can be provided to the ATO using its online services (e.g. an ATO account linked to myGov).

From the 2016–2017 income year, anyone who has a HELP or TSL debt and earns above the minimum repayment threshold will be required to make repayments regardless of where they live.

TIP: Students' debt will be indexed each year until it is paid off. You can make additional voluntary repayments at any time, including from overseas, to reduce the balance of your debt.


    
Celebrating 10 Years 

We are very proud to announce that Renee Bettenay recently celebrated her 10 Year Anniversary as a Director of Harris Black. Having commenced with Harris Black as an undergraduate in July 1997, Renee is close to having been with the firm for a total 20 years... From the time she graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), it was obvious Renee was a leader and she quickly became a valued asset to the firm. Ever passionate about her chosen field, Renee's skill and determination saw her advance to the position of Partner in 2006.

Over the last 10 years in particular Renee's dedication and commitment to Harris Black and to our clients has been clearly evident. Playing a key role in the mentoring and development of the firm's accountants, Renee continues to provide professional direction and development to the entire Harris Black Team and the firm as a whole.

Congratulations Renee!



Congratulations Bjorn And Michelle 

The Harris Black Team would like to congratulate Bjorn Kirberg and Michelle Morgan on their recent engagement. Bjorn is one of HB's Senior Managers who specialises in handling complex and technical tax matters. Many of our clients will know that Bjorn is a meticulous planner who never does things by halves....

In keeping with his style of going to great lengths to ensure a job well done, Bjorn had Michelle join him on a climb of Sydney Tower and proposed on the Sky Walk platform!


 
Important Tax Dates 

31 March 2016

  • Tax return for companies and super funds with total income in excess of $2 million in the latest year lodged (excluding large/medium taxpayers) – due date for lodging, unless due earlier. 

    Payment for companies and super funds in this category is also due by this date.
  • Tax return for companies and super funds with total income in excess of $2 million in the latest year lodged (excluding large/medium taxpayers) – due date for lodging, unless due earlier.

    Payment for companies and super funds in this category is also due by this date.
  • Tax return for individuals and trusts whose latest return resulted in a tax liability of $20,000 or more, excluding large/medium trusts.

    Payment for individuals and trusts in this category is due as advised on their notice of assessment. 

28 April 2016 

  • Quarterly PAYG instalment activity statement, quarter 3, 2015–16 for head companies of consolidated groups – due date for lodging and paying.
  • March 2016 monthly activity statement – due date for lodging and paying.  
          



About Us


 

 

 

 


Since 1994, Harris Black has been providing accounting and advisory services to our valued clients to help them achieve their business and personal wealth goals.

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National Affiliation

Harris Black is a key participant in a network of nationally affiliated independent chartered accounting firms called the Brentnalls Group.

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Brisbane, QLD 4000 
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P: (07) 3032 0200
F: (07) 3032 0201
E: info@harrisblack.com.au