In this issue...

  A Business Property Decision-Buy Or Rent?  
When running a small business that requires bricks and mortar, the big question is - do you buy or rent? There is no single right or wrong answer to this question, but we have summarised here the advantages and disadvantages of buying.

Advantages to Buying

Fixed Costs - Knowing your long term commercial mortgage repayments can be reassuring when budgeting (subject to any interest rate changes, fixing rates can mitigate risk).

Tax Benefits - As an owner, there are tax deductions available for costs associated with the property. Capital gains concession may be available for profits on sales of business premises.

Access to equity - You may be able to use the property as security for other business/property finance.

Additional income - In some cases, the property may be too big, allowing the opportunity of renting out a portion of it to a tenant. If your business outgrows your premises, you have the option of renting out the entire space or selling it.

Capital growth - If you have purchased your property within an area of appreciating land values, the prospect of selling for a profit is a positive one.

Control – The security and freedom gained by owning is an advantage. If any improvements are required, you can add value to your investment.

Disadvantages to Buying

Lack of flexibility - You do not know what the future may hold – for example if your business grows rapidly, your owned space may be inadequate, forcing a premature sale of the property.

Upfront costs - You will usually need a deposit even if you are borrowing funds. The initial upfront costs of purchasing a property can be high, such as appraisals, associated fees such as stamp duty (if applicable), property improvement and transfer costs.

Agility - Be aware of the risks associated with selling (especially if it becomes urgent) and the vacancy rate in your area. Make sure to do your homework, understand your risks and keep abreast of the current market.

Capital loss - Sale of the property could result in a loss if it is sold for less than the amount for which is was purchased.

Maintenance and improvements - as an owner you are solely responsible for maintaining the property and making any improvements.

If you are considering buying premises for your business, please contact your Harris Black team member to discuss further.

  Pick Where You're Going To Play 
One of the big challenges we see with clients is they cannot take advantage of all the opportunities they identify.

There may be lots of opportunities, but they have limited;
  • Resources
  • Capabilities
  • Funds
  • Skills
For example, they cannot get the people they need to take full advantage of an opportunity because of demand for these particular types of people, or alternatively they get the people but a significantly higher cost than they had budgeted for. So they take on work where they do not have enough capability or capacity, and their margins are being diluted.

While there are many opportunities for these particular companies, they often end up dealing with unprofitable clients that are consuming a lot of time and resources.

Where to play

The key for this issue is to determine if the business needs to narrow their focus.

For example – a business was dealing with large corporate clients who were consuming a lot of their resources, the payment terms were stretched and they expected the business to be available on demand. This business also worked with smaller clients where the payment terms were better, they were much more flexible, there was less complexity, less risk and the smaller clients actually appreciated it. The business determined that by narrowing their focus and working on smaller clients their revenue would decrease but their profit would increase.

Is it about revenue or profit?

It should be about profit, what's the point of doing $1 million revenue when you're going to make $50,000 profit when you can do $300,000 somewhere else and make $100,000. You're just busy filling up all your valuable time in the wrong areas.

There are lots of opportunities for businesses and an important consideration when setting strategy needs to also be about what you shouldn't do.

What is the lesson here?

Pick where you're going to play, look for the greatest opportunity where there is a match between your capability and the opportunity to make the most profit.

To know more about where you should play, contact your Harris Black team member today.
  Harris Black Digital Toolbox – "Trello" 
Digital technology provides great opportunities to amplify the impact of your business activities and practices.

Gone are the days where you need to do everything manually within your practice like ordering, logistics, payments and receipts, marketing, HR, motor vehicle log book and so many more.

Every month, Harris Black will showcase a digital tool that will improve awareness, knowledge management, communication, and productivity within your business practice.

In this month's issue, we give you Trello.

From sales and marketing to HR and operations, teams can design and customize Trello to fit their unique needs and work styles.

And with over 100+ integrations with other key tools like Google Drive, Slack, Jira and more, Trello is a living, breathing project hub of cross-team collaboration no matter where your work needs to happen.

Trello - A Quick Overview
Source: Trello Youtube

With Trello you can:
  • Create boards to organise anything you're working on.
  • Use them solo or invite co-workers, friends and family to collaborate.
  • Customise workflows for different projects.
  • Add checklists of "To-Do's" on cards.
  • Assign tasks to yourself and co-workers.
  • Comment on items with your friends.
  • Attach files from Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Upload photos and videos.
To know more about Trello, contact yout Harris Black team member today.

  Scam Alert:
Scams Targeting ASIC Customers 
Scammers pretending to be from ASIC have been contacting Registry customers asking them to pay fees and give personal information to renew their business or company names.  

These emails often have a link that provides an invoice with fake payment details or infects your computer with malware if you click the link.

Warning signs the email is not from ASIC

An email is probably a scam and is not from ASIC if it asks you:
  • To make a payment over the phone;
  • To make a payment to receive a refund; and
  • For your credit card or bank details directly by email or phone.
How do I protect myself from email scams?
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date;
  • Be wary of emails that don't address you by name or misspell your details and have unknown attachments; and
  • Don't click any links on a suspicious email.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, contact your Harris Black team member today.

  Scam Alert: Illegal Early Access To Super  
The ATO has issued a warning to be aware of scammers who promise to organise access to people's retirement savings for a fee. Unscrupulous promoters encourage people to illegally access their super early to help with expenses such as the purchase of a car, paying off debts, sending money to overseas relatives and taking a holiday. The ATO has seen promoters, mostly in western Sydney, targeting people with small to medium super balances, those involved in local community groups, and those who may not have engaged with their super before being approached.

  Scam Alert: Tax Related Scams 
The ATO has warned taxpayers to be on "high alert" for tax-related scams. ATO Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said the most common scam is still the "fake tax debt" phone scam, but the ATO is also seeing an increase in "fake refund" or "refund for a fee" scams, and email and SMS scams enticing people to click a hyperlink, download a file or open an attachment.

Scammers frequently claim to be from the ATO and taxpayers should be wary of any phone call, text message, email or letter about a tax refund or debt, especially if they were not expecting it.

  Transacting With Cryptocurrency: Updated ATO Info 
The ATO says a capital gains tax (CGT) event occurs when a person disposes of their cryptocurrency (eg Bitcoin). A disposal can occur when someone:
  • sells or gifts cryptocurrency;
  • trades or exchanges cryptocurrency (including the disposal of one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency) – if the cryptocurrency received cannot be valued, the capital proceeds from the disposal are worked out by using the market value of the cryptocurrency disposed of at the time of the transaction;
  • converts cryptocurrency to fiat currency like Australian dollars; or
  • uses cryptocurrency to obtain goods or services.
If you need assistance with the tax treatment of cryptocurrency, or the ATO's record-keeping requirements for taxpayers who are involved in acquiring or disposing of cryptocurrency, please contact your Harris Black team member.

  Call To Boost Instant Asset Write-off To $100,000  
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has called for the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses to be embedded in legislation and extended up to $100,000 every three years. Ms Carnell said increasing the instant asset write-off to $100,000 every three years would enable small businesses with higher costs for key equipment to participate.

These recommendations stem from the Ombudsman's November 2017 paper, Barriers to investment: a study into factors impacting small to medium enterprise investment.

  Delay In Extending Reportable Payments To Courier And Cleaning Services  
The legislative logjam in Federal Parliament is affecting the implementation of a wide range of tax measures, and the ATO is having to implement some practical work-arounds.

In the 2017–18 Federal Budget the Government announced that from 1 July 2018, businesses that supply courier or cleaning services will need to report payments they make to contractors for courier or cleaning services. The payments must be reported to the ATO each year using the taxable payments annual report (TPAR). However, legislation to implement this is still before the Senate.

The ATO will not require TPARs to be lodged up until the law change is passed by Parliament. Taxpayers will be expected to keep sufficient business records to enable a TPAR to be prepared and lodged "as soon as is reasonably practicable after the law is enacted".

  GST Exemption For Offshore Sellers Of Hotel Bookings To Be Removed: Draft Legislation Released
The Treasurer has released draft legislation to ensure offshore sellers of hotel accommodation in Australia calculate their GST turnover in the same way as local sellers from 1 July 2019.

Under the proposed changes, offshore suppliers of rights to use commercial accommodation (eg hotels) in the indirect tax zone (broadly, Australia) will be required to include these supplies in working out their GST turnover. If the supplier's GST turnover equals or exceeds the registration turnover threshold, GST must be remitted for supplies that are taxable supplies.

  Harris Black News 
On Wednesday 26 September 2018, strawberries were in the spotlight for one good reason. The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation held a one-day sale of the very famous strawberry sundaes which are only available at the Ekka every year.

This one-off event will benefit the Queensland strawberry farmers following the nation-wide needle contamination crisis.  

    Important Tax Dates 
21 October 2018
  • September monthly activity statements – final date for lodgement and payment
  • Quarter 1 PAYG instalment activity statement for head companies of consolidated groups – final date for lodgement and payment.
28 October 2018

  • Quarter 1 activity statements – final date for lodgement and payment.
  • Payment for super guarantee contributions for Quarter 1 contributions.
31 October 2018
  • Lodgement of PAYG withholding where ABN not quoted – annual report
  • Lodgement of PAYG withholding from interest, dividends and royalties paid to non-residents – annual report.
  • Individual, partnership and trust income tax returns – final date for lodgement unless an approved SAP or a later lodgement date has been granted.
  • Lodgement of income tax returns for trusts and companies, which did not lodge their income tax return on time for the previous financial year.
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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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