GPS Diagnostic Tool

Are you struggling to prioritise your business issues and opportunities? Do you need clarification on which strategies will accelerate the growth and profit of your business? Take 5 minutes to complete the 25-question Mindshop Growth and Profit Diagnostics to identify from 10 key success factors:

  • Your top 3 areas of high performance (what’s working)
  • Your top 3 areas of improvement (what’s not working)
  • An overall graph showing how you performed across the top 10 key success factors: marketing, sales, people, implementation, strategy, profit, leadership, innovation, technology, and systems.

Where will you focus your energy to succeed in the coming year?

Change To Work From Home Deductions

The ATO are keeping a close eye on work from home (WFH) deductions to ensure taxpayers are claiming the correct deductions.  There is a new fixed rate method for this financial year too. If you’re lucky enough to WFH or work in a hybrid arrangement read on for our tips to claim WFH expenses.

WFH deductions for the 2023 financial year are based on either the actual expenses incurred or a revised ‘fixed rate method’ of 67 cents per hour effective from 1 July 2022. The revised fixed rate method replaces both the previous fixed-rate (52 cents per hour) and the ‘covid-19’ or shortcut rate (80 cents per hour), and there are changes to what expenses are included.

The revised fixed rate method of 67 cents per hour does not require the taxpayer to have a dedicated home office space. This rate covers running expenses incurred, including:

  • internet expenses
  • phone expenses
  • electricity and gas for heating, cooling and lighting
  • stationary and computer consumables e.g. printer ink and paper.

If using the fixed method, a separate deduction is not available for any of the above expenses. However, you can include a separate claim for the following expenses:

  • decline in value of assets used while working from home e.g. computer and office furniture
  • repairs and maintenance of these assets
  • cleaning of home office.

 Records are required to be kept; the ATO will not accept estimates as proof of deductions. Timesheets, rosters, logs of time spent or a diary for the full year are sufficient evidence of working from home hours. Alternatively, a 4 week representative diary can be kept from 1 March 2023 as evidence. There is also a requirement that one bill for each expense (i.e. phone and internet expenses) should be kept.

The actual cost method remains unchanged for the 2023 financial year. As in prior years, detailed records are required for all the working from home expenses being claimed including evidence of calculation of the private use and work-related apportionment.

A reminder, you can’t claim a deduction for the below items under the working from home costs:

  • coffee, tea, milk and general household items
  • expenses where your employer reimburses you for the cost.

Please contact your Harris Black team member for additional information if required.

The Tax Institute – 2023 Tax Summit

In September, Bjorn Kirberg of Harris Black and 12 other members of the Brentnalls Tax Group headed to Melbourne to attend the 2023 Tax Summit.

The event was hosted over 3 days at the Melbourne Convention Centre and consisted of 800 delegates and a choice of 70 different sessions.

It was a good opportunity for the Brentnalls Tax Group to discuss and brainstorm after the sessions and expand on more technical tax issues.

Some of the highlights were the Gala Dinner with great entertainment and AFL themed closing lunch.

A number of key takeaways included more in-depth and detailed technical discussions on:

  • Division 100A and the ATO’s perspective
  • Some specific Division 7A technicalities
  • Small Business CGT and voluntary liquidations at the end of a company’s life
  • Contractor vs Employee and recent case law
  • The importance (and potential disadvantages) of Family Trust Elections and Interposed Entity Elections
  • Market value substitution rule and the unintended consequences
  • What’s on the ATO’s radar
  • Trust resolutions

The most valuable part was going with a group of likeminded tax professionals.  The Brentnalls Tax Group is constantly sharing ideas and client issues/scenarios as they come up, strengthening our network and ability to tackle complex issues.

HB Tech Space – Microsoft 365 Copilot

Why Microsoft Copilot Technology Will Change How We Work | ITPro Today: IT News, How-Tos, Trends ...

Microsoft 365 Copilot is an AI-powered productivity tool introduced in March 2023 by Microsoft. It aims to transform the way people work by leveraging large language models (LLMs) and integrating them with Microsoft 365. Here are some key points about Microsoft 365 Copilot:

Purpose: Microsoft 365 Copilot is designed to help individuals and organizations unleash creativity, unlock productivity, and uplevel their skills by using AI to streamline various work-related tasks.

Integration: Copilot is integrated into various Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more. It works alongside users to assist them in various tasks within these applications.

Creativity and Productivity: Copilot assists in creative tasks like generating initial drafts, adding relevant content to presentations, and creating data visualisations in Excel. It also helps in boosting productivity by summarizing emails, drafting suggested replies, and providing real-time meeting summaries in Teams.

Security and Privacy: Microsoft emphasises security, compliance, and privacy in the design of Copilot. It is built on Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to security and privacy, ensuring data protection and compliance with policies.

Learning and Expansion: Copilot is designed to learn new skills and improve its capabilities over time. It can already perform a range of tasks but is expected to become more sophisticated as it learns new domains and processes.

Responsible AI: Microsoft is committed to responsible AI practices, and Copilot undergoes reviews for potential harms and mitigations. Efforts are made to reduce biases and ensure transparency in decision-making.Availability: Microsoft plans to roll out Copilot across a range of productivity apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Viva, Power Platform, and more. Pricing and licensing details will be provided in the future.

Important Tax Dates

21 October 2023

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

28 October 2023

  • Lodge and pay quarter 1, 2023–24 activity statement if electing to receive and lodge by paper and not an active STP reporter. Pay quarter 1, 2023–24 instalment notice (form R, S, or T). Lodge the notice only if you vary the instalment amount.

31 October 2023

  • Lodge and pay quarter 1, 2023–24 activity statement if electing to receive and lodge by paper and not an active STP reporter. Pay quarter 1, 2023–24 instalment notice (form R, S, or T). Lodge the notice only if you vary the instalment amount.
  • Lodge tax returns for all entities if one or more prior year returns were outstanding as at 30 June 2023.

11 November 2023

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

How can we help you?

Today’s financial environment demands a regular review of strategy and a focus on execution.