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Things to consider before starting a SMSF Posted on Jul 30, 2014 by editor

Super

There are a lot of advantages to having a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Increased flexibility and control over your savings are the most obvious benefits, with many SMSF trustees and members appreciating the ability to make their own investment decisions. Other advantages include the possibility of investing in a property, the ability to manage administrative costs, and, in some cases, tax breaks. However, there are also a lot of responsibilities associated with running a SMSF, and it is not necessarily an advisable choice for everyone. Here are some things to consider if you are interested in starting an SMSF: -To […]

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Changes to fuel tax credits Posted on Jul 30, 2014 by editor

Tax

Backdating to July 1 2014, the carbon charge will be removed from all fuels. The ATO has indicated that this will result in some changes to fuel tax credits. There will be an increase in fuel tax credits available for a range of off road activities, while credits will no longer be available to specified non-transport activities in agriculture, fishing and forestry. Businesses that are registered for GST are also now able to claim more for gaseous fuels used for transport purposes. If you are unsure as to how the changes may impact you the ATO has provided a range […]

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Renovating a property owned by your SMSF Posted on Jul 25, 2014 by editor

Super

While an SMSF may borrow money to purchase a property using a limited recourse borrowing agreement (LRBA), there are strict regulations surrounding the use of borrowed funds to renovate and improve properties. While you may be able to purchase an older property and renovate it using borrowed money, you are restricted from ‘improving’ the property, for example by building an additional storey or adding a swimming pool. If you are unsure as to whether the changes you have planned would be considered an ‘improvement’, it is advisable to seek the advice of the ATO. You are, however, permitted to improve […]

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Carbon tax repealed Posted on Jul 24, 2014 by editor

Tax

The Abbott government has delivered on its long-standing election promise to repeal the carbon tax, effective from July 1, 2014. A condition of the repeal receiving crucial crossbench support from the Palmer United Party (PUP) was that savings be directly passed on to consumers and small businesses. As a result, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has been given extended powers to fine parties failing to do so. Initially this stipulation created anxiety amongst the business community, as the government failed to clarify whether or not all businesses would be required to provide proof of passing on savings. However, […]

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Australians paying too much in superannuation fees Posted on Jul 8, 2014 by editor

Super

It has been revealed that Australian superannuation fees are amongst the highest in the world. Many leading economists, including Treasury director David Gruen, are making a call for fees to be reduced, in line with national interests and an aging population. Cumulatively, superannuation fees cost Australians approximately $20 million per annum. This represents about 1% of GDP and equates to an average of $726 per person each year. Our superannuation fees are three times higher than their British equivalents. Recent research, conducted by the Grattan Institute, estimates that by halving super fees, funds would be, on average, 15% bigger by […]

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Using myTax Posted on Jul 8, 2014 by editor

Tax

The ATO has introduced a new streamlined online tax return process for individuals with very straightforward tax affairs. MyTax is made up of just ten screens and is intended for people whose only income derived from wages, salary, dividends, bank interest, allowances,  and/or other Australian government payments. To use myTax your only tax deductions need to be from work-related expenses, expenses related to income from interest or dividends, gifts/donations, and the costs associated with handling your own tax affairs. The only tax offsets that can be used in myTax are the senior Australians and pensioners’ tax offset, the zone and […]

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