In this issue...

  What Is A Mortgage Comparison Rate?
So what is a mortgage comparison rate – and more importantly, how can it help you get a better deal on your home loan?

Essentially, a comparison rate is a rate that includes both the interest rate and the fees and charges relating to a loan, combined into a single percentage figure.

Most people just use the loan interest rate to compare different loans. Although this is a good start, it doesn't take into account other costs such as establishment fees, approval fees, any upfront or ongoing fees that comprise the overall cost of a loan.
A comparison rate is made up of the following:            
  • the amount of the loan;
  • the term of the loan;
  • the repayment frequency;
  • the interest rate; or
  • the fees and charges connected with the loan.

A comparison rate is a useful tool for borrowers to compare the cost of different loans, but it is important to consider all of a loan's features and not just the comparison rate.

Other features to consider:

  • Service required by the bank (if any) – do you need a branch?
  • Offsets, drawdown facilities etc.
  • Fixed or Variable Interest

If you haven't reviewed your loan recently and want to know if there is a better opportunity out there for you please call your Harris Black team member.

  What Is A Testamentary Trust? 

A testamentary trust is a trust created under a will and does not come into effect until after the death of the person who made the will. In basic terms, instead of giving your assets directly to your beneficiaries as specified in your will you will transfer your assets to the 'trust' for the benefit of your beneficiaries.

A testamentary trust is designed to provide maximum flexibility and allow for tax-effective distribution of capital and income as well as providing possible protection of your beneficiaries from third parties of your beneficiaries. 
Trust allow for optimum allocation of income and capital, which in turn may permit beneficiaries to qualify for aged, disability and sole parent pensions, Austudy or the like, for which they would otherwise not have qualified under a normal inheritance.

The incorporation of testamentary trust into a Will is not relevant to every situation but in many cases they offer valuable advantages over simple Wills. Testamentary trusts – which can be discretionary trusts, capital protected trusts or tailored to suit your requirements, are similar in many respects to trusts created by deed whilst you are alive.

Having a testamentary trust as part of your estate plan is particularly important for asset protection, tax minimisation and protecting your family's inheritance.

Who are the parties to a Testamentary Trust?

The Will Maker or Testator

The person who specifies that the trust be created as part of their will.

The Trustee

The trustee is in charge of overseeing the day to day management and administration of asset owned by the trust. You can appoint more than one Trustee and the Trustee can also be a beneficiary of the trust.

The Beneficiaries
Are the people who will receive the benefit from the Trust.

To determine if a testamentary trust is right for you, we recommend you speak to an expert in the field of estate planning.

Please contact your
Harris Black team if you require help in this area.

  How To Be Successful In New Situations

Embarking on a new situation, whether it be a job interview, transfer to a new office or a creative pitch, can be downright daunting.

Yet, success almost always begins with new situations so they should be embraced, not avoided. Taking advantage of new opportunities is fundamental for both career and personal growth.

Despite the advice given to manage new scenarios, many people are not comfortable in engaging in unfamiliar behaviour.

Nonetheless, skills as simple as remembering a person's name, introducing themselves and proactively asking questions can help increase an individual's confidence and ultimately succeed in new situations.

Here are some ways to develop and leverage off these basic skills:

Remembering names

We all know recalling names makes a great impression, however, many of us fail to do it. People feel more warmly towards those that remember information about them; hence why recalling a person's name is a great way to establish trust.

When meeting someone new, commit to paying attention to their name rather than focusing on your next move. Repeating their name out loud straight after you hear it helps to lodge it in your short-term memory. Use imagery by associating the person with a mental picture that provides a clue to their name, for example, "Sarah from Sydney."

Introducing yourself

People are usually hesitant to introduce themselves to others for various reasons; from the fear of making a mistake during an introduction, worry about interrupting or bothering people, or even the possibility of rejection. However, introductions are necessary in establishing relationships and improving the prospects of new opportunities.

It helps to practice your opening lines and have a list of initial questions to ask. Good first impressions rely on how you make your counterpart feel, so be enthusiastic, don't hesitate to ask them questions about themselves, show interest and actively listen.

Asking questions

The social risk of asking a dumb question is almost always less than a person thinks yet many people are still reluctant to ask questions. When you are in a new situation, try to find a buddy in whom you can ask any "newbie" questions. In social situations, asking questions displays interest and improves communication.

  Harris Black Featured Add-On: 'OneSaas'

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

In this month's edition of 'Harris Black Featured Add-on', we feature an add-on that will automatically sync and connect your data between all your business applications. OneSaas automatically shares data between popular accounting, ecommerce, CRM, billing and invoicing, inventory management and email marketing applications.

Watch the video to know what OneSaas can do for you and your business. 

Introduction to OneSaas
Source: OneSaas YouTube 
Why Choose OneSaas? 

Online Retail

Connect multiple shopping carts and even your eBay store. Automate your accounting, fulfilment and inventory management. Plus connect your CRM and email marketing app. 

Agencies, Web Developers and Consultants

Connect your billing & invoicing app to accounting. When an invoice is created, it will be automatically created in accounting. Plus connect your CRM and email marketing app. 

B2B Sales

Connect your CRM to accounting. When you close a deal, the invoice and customer will automatically be created in accounting. Plus connect your email marketing app. 

Event Organisers

Connect Eventbrite to accounting. When a ticket is sold, the invoice and customer will automatically be created in accounting. Plus connect your CRM and email marketing app.

here and see how your MYOB or Xero accounts integrates and works with your other business applications. 
With your apps working happily together, you'll be able to get back to business. OneSaas will surely help your business save time and money and also provides better data which means you will make better business decisions.

To know more about this application, contact your
Harris Black team member today

  Harris Black Top 10: Favourite 'Horse Race Day' in Australia

Spring has sprung and the Spring Carnival Racing in Melbourne is just few weeks away! 

For this month's edition of Harris Black Top 10, our team have pooled our top favourite races across Australia.

Giddy up!
  1. Esk Picnic Races (QLD)
  2. EKKA Races (QLD)
  3. Birdsville Races (QLD)
  4. Melbourne Cup (VIC)
  5. Launceston Racing Carnival (TAS)
  6. Bendigo Races (VIC)
  7. Canterbury Races (NSW)
  8. Grafton Races (NSW)
  9. Cranbourne Races (VIC)
  10. Mount Gambier Races (SA)

  Tips In Building Credibility As A Leader

Quite often, an employee's level of satisfaction can be traced back to his or her leaders. Research shows that only 49 per cent of employees trust their senior managers; quite an alarming statistic.

As all leaders should know, trust goes hand in hand with credibility. Credibility is something that all leaders must aspire to obtain, as it positions leaders as highly dependable sources of expertise and information.

Here are some suggestions new leaders can use to build their credibility:

Engage in active listening

When you're responsible for managing people at work, tuning out of what they're saying can be dangerous as you risk missing important information like feedback or updates. If your staff also believe you're not listening to them, they won't confide in you in the future, which can prevent them from producing their best work.

Actively listening isn't an easy task at first, but can be learned with a few healthy habits. Keep distractions to a minimum or move the conversation away from computers or mobiles when colleagues are speaking to you.

Get straight to the point

With studies now showing that humans have shorter attention spans, as a leader, when you speak to your team, cut to the chase to ensure they remember all the important parts. While you're keeping things brief, make sure your team knows that you're also receptive to questions and feedback.

Remain consistent

An important thing for leaders to think about is consistency. When you are consistent with your staff, you gain credibility. Therefore, make sure you can do what you'll say you do. Before making any promises, consider if you can take it on. Knowing when to say no can create a balanced sense of priority among your team.

  Increase Organic Reach On Facebook 

Facebook marketing has changed over the past few years, with fewer consumers now seeing brand and business posts in their newsfeeds. 

More and more businesses on Facebook are noticing a decline in their organic reach and have started looking for ways to reach their audience. 

Organic reach refers to how many people businesses can 'reach' for free on Facebook via their organic content. The main reason why organic reach is declining is due to more and more content being created and shared, creating more social competition for businesses.

The second reason is that Facebook has changed the way its news feed works. Rather than showing people all possible content, Facebook has changed its newsfeed to show content that is most relevant to the user.

Therefore, to improve their organic reach, businesses need to start:

Posting the right content mix for their audience:

Businesses need to post the right content to the right audience at the right time. Consider posting a variety of content to achieve the engagement you want.

Using visual content to stand out in the news feed:

Use visual marketing to tell your story and communicate your brand's message by posting pictures, branded quote images or images with tips from your blog.

Showing people you're listening:

Facebook users want businesses to pay attention to what they say. Once they know your business is listening, they'll be more likely to visit your page and engage with your content again. Acknowledge when people interact with your page through a 'like' or comment.

  Personal Middle Income Tax Rate Cut
On The Way

The Federal Government has introduced a Bill which proposes to implement its 2016 Budget proposal to increase the third personal income tax threshold that applies to personal income taxpayers. The rate of tax payable on individuals' taxable incomes from $80,001 to $87,000 would fall from 37% to 32.5%.

The non-resident tax schedule would also be amended as a result of the Bill, increasing the upper limit of the first income tax bracket to $87,000. A tax rate of 37% would apply to taxable income between $87,001 and $180,000, and the top marginal tax rate of 45% would remain for taxable income over $180,000.

Shortly following the Bill's introduction in Parliament, the ATO issued new PAYG withholding tax schedules that reflect the lowered personal tax rate in the Bill. Effective from 1 October 2016, employers will be required to lower the amount of tax withheld for affected taxpayers to factor in the new lower tax rate. Any tax overpaid beforehand will be refunded by the ATO on assessment after the end of the 2016–2017 financial year. 


Small Business Tax Breaks In The Pipeline

A Bill has been introduced in Parliament which proposes to:

  • increase the small business entity turnover to $10 million from 1 July 2016;
  • increase the unincorporated small business tax discount from 5% to 16% over a 10-year period;
  • increase the turnover threshold to qualify for the lower company tax rate; and
  • lower the company tax rate on a schedule over 11 income years, reaching a unified company tax rate of 25% in the 2026–2027 income year.

Small business entities with aggregated turnover of less than $10 million would be able to access a number of small business tax concessions, including, among others, immediate deductibility of small business start-up expenses, simpler depreciation rules and simplified trading stock rules.

TIP: The $2 million threshold for the purposes of the small business capital gains tax concessions will be retained.

The tax discount for unincorporated small businesses – introduced in the 2015–2016 income year – entitles individuals who are small business entities, or who are liable to pay income tax on a share of the income of a small business entity, to a tax offset equal to 5% of their basic income tax liability that relates to their total net small business income. This offset is capped at $1,000. Although the proposed increases in the offset would increase the amount of offset an eligible individual may claim, the offset would remain capped at $1,000.

TIP: With a difficult Senate, the Coalition Government may make further changes in order to pass its Bill.

  Single Touch Payroll Reporting
Legislative Changes

A Bill to establish a new reporting framework, Single Touch Payroll (STP), has been introduced in Parliament. Under the proposed changes in the Bill, "substantial employers" would be required to automatically provide payroll and superannuation information to the Commissioner of Taxation at the time the information is created. A number of related amendments aim to streamline employers' payroll and superannuation choice processes by allowing the ATO to pre-fill and validate employee information.

Entities with 20 or more employees (substantial employers) would be required to report the following information to the Commissioner of Taxation:
  • Withholding amounts and associated withholding payments on or before the day by which the amounts were required to be withheld;
  • Salary or wages and ordinary time earnings information on or before the day on which the amount was paid; and
  • Superannuation contribution information on or before the day on which the contribution was paid.

The changes are proposed to apply from the first quarter beginning on or after the day the Bill receives Royal Assent.

In general, STP reporting will commence on 1 July 2018 for substantial employers and the related amendments will apply more broadly from 1 January 2017. In some cases, the Commissioner may defer these start dates by legislative instrument.

TIP: The ATO has issued a consultation paper, published on its website, which seeks comments on the ATO's proposed administration of STP reporting.

  Take Care With Work-Related Deduction
Claims, Says ATO

The ATO has reminded individuals to make sure they get their deductions right this tax time. Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said the ATO has seen "claims for car expenses where logbooks have been made up and claims for self-education expenses where invoices were supplied for conferences that the taxpayer never attended".

Mr Whyte said that in 2014–2015 the ATO conducted around 450,000 reviews and audits of individual taxpayers, leading to revenue adjustments of over $1.1 billion in income tax. Mr Whyte said "every tax return is scrutinised", and if a red flag is raised and the claims seem unusual, the ATO will check them with the taxpayer's employer. In addition, Mr Whyte reminded taxpayers that this year the ATO has introduced "real-time checks of deductions for tax returns completed online".

If you have any questions on this, please contact your Harris Black team member today. 
  ATO Eye On SMSFs And Income Arrangements

The ATO is reviewing arrangements where individuals (at or approaching retirement age) purport to divert personal services income (PSI) to a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) to minimise or avoid their income tax obligations.

The ATO notes the arrangement it has described in Taxpayer Alert TA 2016/6 and is encouraging taxpayers who have entered into such an arrangement to contact the ATO so it can help resolve any issues in a timely manner.

Where individuals and trustees come forward to work with the ATO to resolve issues, it anticipates that in most cases the PSI distributed to the SMSF by the non-individual entity would be taxed to the individual at their marginal tax rate. Issues affecting SMSFs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but the ATO will take individuals' cooperation with it into account when determining the final outcome.

TIP: The ATO has said that individuals and trustees who are not currently subject to ATO compliance action and who come forward before 31 January 2017 will have administrative penalties remitted in full. However, shortfall interest charges will still apply. 

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

  Social Welfare Recipients Data-Matching Program

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released details of a data-matching program which will enable it to match income data it collects from social welfare recipients with tax return-related data reported to the ATO. The data matching will assist DHS to identify social welfare recipients who may not have correctly disclosed their income and assets. In addition, data DHS receives from the ATO will be electronically matched with certain departmental records to identify people's noncompliance with income or other reporting obligations.

DHS expects to match each of the approximately seven million unique records held in its Centrelink database. Based on noncompliance criteria, the DHS anticipates it will examine approximately 20,000 records in the first phase of the project. The category of people who may be affected by the data matching includes welfare recipients who have lodged a tax return with the ATO during the period 2011 to 2014. 

Important Tax Dates

21 October 2016 

Activity Statements

  • September monthly activity statements – final date for lodgement and payment.
  • Quarter 1 (July-September) PAYG instalment activity statement for head companies of consolidated groups – final date for lodgement and payment.

PAYG Instalments 

  • Annual PAYG instalment notice – final date for payment and, if using the rate method or varying the instalment amount, final date for lodgement.

28 October 2016 

Activity statements

  • Quarter 1 (July-September) activity statements – final date for lodgement and payment.
  • Annual activity statement – TFN withholding for closely held trusts where a trustee withheld amounts from payments to beneficiaries – final date for lodgement and payment.

GST instalments

  • Final date for electing to pay GST by instalments (that is, option 3) for June balancers if another reporting option was previously used.
  • Quarter 1 (July-September) instalment notices (forms S and T) – final date for payment and, if varying instalment amount, lodgement.
  • Final date for opting out of option 3 for the current financial year.


  • Final date for eligible quarterly GST reporters to elect to report GST annually.

PAYG instalments

  • Final date for eligible instalment reporters to elect to report annually for June balancers.
  • Final date for notifying your quarterly PAYG instalment reporting and payment choice for the 2013 income year for June balancers.
  • Quarter 1 (July-September 2013) instalment notices (forms R and T) – final date for payment and, if varying the instalment amount, lodgement.

31 October 2016 

PAYG withholding 

  • PAYG withholding where ABN not quoted – annual report – final date for lodgement.
  • PAYG withholding annual report – payments to foreign residents – final date for lodgement.


  • Annual GST return or Annual GST information report – lodgement and payment (if required) is due when the income tax return is due, for those who have an income tax obligation.

Income Tax

  • Individual, partnership and trust income tax returns – final date for lodgement unless an approved SAP or a later lodgement date has been granted.
  • Trusts that are medium to large taxpayers in the last year they lodged and have one prior year return overdue as at 30 June of the last financial year.
  • Lodgement of income tax returns for trusts, which did not lodge their income tax return on time for the previous financial year.
  • Income tax return lodgement due date for all June balancing companies where one or more prior-year returns were overdue, as at 30 June.
  • Income tax returns lodgement due date for companies that did not lodge their income tax return on time for the previous financial year. 

TFN Report

  • Quarter 1 (July-September) TFN report for closely held trusts for TFNs quoted to a trustee by beneficiaries – final date for lodgement.

11 November 2016 

Activity statements

  • Quarter 1 (July-September) activity statements lodged electronically – final date for lodgement and payment.

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This newsletter is for guidance only, any professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publisher nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this newsletter. We recommend that you contact your
Harris Black team member before making any decision to discuss your particular requirements or circumstances.

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