Budgeting and cash flow management in uncertain times

With a new financial year upon us, we are hopeful that the world, and our economy will start to thrive again.
The impact of COVID-19 may have taken its toll on your business through the end of the 2020 financial year, and rather than focus solely on the loss we are optimistic that you will start to see new opportunities, new ways of doing business and new ideas emerging.

Protecting capital losses – common issues with related party loans

The last few months have been tumultuous for Australia and within the tax world, we have seen a raft of new legislation being introduced to save the Australian economy. However, in trying to stay agile and keeping up to date with the changes, we may lose sight of the usual hidden issues contained within our complex tax system. One of these is the “personal use assets” provision and its impact on the capital gains tax (CGT) treatment of loans advanced by individuals (or any other entity) to prop up struggling businesses.

Extension of the Instant Asset Write Off and how it applies to motor vehicles

The Government has announced that it will extend the instant asset write off (IAWO) to 31 December 2020 for asset purchases below $150,000. Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million are currently eligible for the write off and it is intended that this announcement will be legislated soon.

NT's Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan - Business Hardship Package

The Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan's Business Hardship Package is the latest initiative to help Northern Territory (NT) businesses that have experienced significant hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Support is available to Territory businesses with a turnover less than $50 million who can demonstrate a reduction of turnover of 30% or more due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Working from home? Tax deductions explained

Employees working from home due to COVID-19?
With an increased number of employees working from home in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, home office expense claims are expected to rise significantly for the 2020 tax year. If employees are required to work from home, they may be able to claim a tax deduction for expenses they necessarily incur related to performing their work duties.

COVID-19 and local business

Now more than even it’s important we show and demonstrate our support for local businesses and seriously consider the importance of ‘Australian made’ and changing the conscious choices we have made that have impacted our economy by rebuilding our manufacturing capability.

Navigating COVID-19 - Governance & Risk Advisory for NFP's

Effective governance and risk management is critical for NFPs to help navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.

Your community, organisation , partners and donors are now facing a significant number of critical risks and recognise we are in a crisis scenario. 

Risk management at this time is a proven and effective tool to guide NFPs in their planning, mitigation and response to the issues and challenges they will be facing now and in the next few months. 

Government’s 3rd Stimulus Package designed to save Australian jobs impacted as a result of COVID-19

On 30th March 2020, the Government announced a $130 billion wage subsidy to combat the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian economy. The Government has provided further support to Australian businesses and encouraged businesses to keep their workers employed by providing a “JobKeeper” payment to eligible employers for eligible employees.

Governance & Risk: Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

Effective governance and risk management is critical for organisations to help navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.

Organisations worldwide are now facing a significant number of critical risks and recognise we are in a crisis scenario. Risk management at this time is a proven and effective tool to guide organisations in their planning, mitigation and response to the issues and challenges they will be facing now and in the next few months. Given circumstances can change daily dynamic governance is needed to respond and mitigate these emerging risks and issues.

Coronavirus Outbreak – The potential financial reporting implications for the year ended 31 December 2019

The recent outbreak and spread of the coronavirus has now disrupted many businesses globally and has had a significant impact on financial markets. This publication focuses on the potential accounting and financial reporting implications of coronavirus that management should take into consideration when preparing the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019. Different considerations will apply for later accounting periods e.g. for financial statements for periods ending 31 March 2020 or other accounting periods with a reporting date subsequent to the outbreak taking place.

NT Stimulus #1 - Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package

The Northern Territory (NT) Government is delivering a $65 million Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package to help stimulate the economy and keep Territorians in jobs.

This package is the second phase of the response to the significant economic impact of COVID-19, and is complementary to initiatives offered by the Australian Government to all jurisdictions.

Government’s 1st Stimulus Package Announced

Earlier today the government announced a $17.6 billion stimulus package in an attempt to deal with the impact of coronavirus on the Australian economy.

Please note the below measures are subject to the relevant legislation passing through parliament. At this stage, parliament is not scheduled to resume until the 23rd of March.

Can your company still protect you?

Asset protection is one of the primary reasons companies are used. A company is a separate legal entity and the corporate veil provides protection to the directors, however, in limited circumstances the protection afforded to directors is lost. The traditional instances where director protection is lost were breach of fiduciary duties (i.e. doing what’s in the best interests of the company) and trading whilst insolvent (i.e. being unable to pay company debts as and when they fall due).

In addition to what the Corporations Law (the act that governs company conduct and director responsibilities) provides as exclusions from protection of directors, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has always had the weapon of the dreaded Director Penalty Notice (DPN).

What is a Family Constitution and how can it assist our family?

Many clients are concerned that if something was to happen to them, what would happen to their assets, their children and their family legacy? Some lay awake wondering if their family is equipped with the right tools to manage short and long term needs once they are no longer able to. Often they will ask the same question…..is having a Will and Estate Plan enough?
 

Five emerging trends in Energy, Mining and Renewables

With increased emphasis on corporate social responsibility and digitalisation, companies within the Energy, Mining and Renewables industry are expected to be acutely aware of the trends that are impacting their industry. Our global leaders have outlined the 5 trends they expect to see emerge over the next 12 months and into 2021.

Big Data and Big Oil

Few industries need and produce richer, greater volumes of data than oil and gas: terabytes of the stuff from the geological exploration and appraisal process; the complex modelling and measurement applied to daily onshore and offshore active operations;  the electronic brains behind the delivery of cargoes, coordinating the thousands of tankers and pipelines taking the raw product from field to refinery; and then, of course, the digital monitoring and sensors needed to support the refining and processing of the crude and gas into petroleum and LNG.

Developing a business case

So, you’ve had THE idea. You may have been mulling it over for years or it suddenly appeared, as all good ideas do, while taking a shower. Now the very thought of this idea has you unable to sleep because it represents endless possibility. You’re eager to turn this idea into action and to get it launched. The only problem is that while you’re an expert in developing apps/pre-fabricating modular building materials/distilling craft gin, when it comes to financial modelling it’s all gobbledygook.

SA Land Tax Bill Passes Parliament

Last week the South Australian state government passed the much amended land tax bill. Since announcing the land tax reform in June’s budget, Treasurer Rob Lucas has worked with a number of political factions and special interest bodies through what has been a very public consultation period.
 
With the passing of this legislation, South Australia has moved from the state with the highest land tax marginal rate to presumably a state with a more competitive investing and business environment. But, as always the devil will be in the detail …

Recent Land Tax Changes in Victoria

The Victorian Government has recently enacted changes to the land tax rules in respect of contiguous land in metropolitan Melbourne. From 1 January 2020, the principal place of residence (PPR) exemption will no longer apply to contiguous land unless the PPR land and the contiguous land are in regional Victoria. 

Ensure your company is clean as a whistle

In the flurry of activity that comes with a new financial year, you may have overlooked a significant announcement from ASIC about its changes to the Corporations Act to better protect whistleblowers. Even if you’re confident everything is ‘above board’ in your business, the new requirements are noteworthy for all public companies and large proprietary companies because it states there must be a compliant whistleblower policy in place by 1 January 2020, and made available to all employees.
 

Digital Transformation within the Mining Industry

Amidst the current challenges of the global economy, the mining sector has a sense of optimism.  Demand has been supportive of gold and iron ore prices, and minerals used for batteries will remain in focus, not least due to the ongoing growth in the electric vehicle markets.  Long term fundamentals underpin future demand.
Alongside a favourable outlook for mining demand, the cost side of the sector is being impacted by the application of technology – enhancing margins and reimagining processes which in some cases have endured for decades.

Important Announcement

On 9 September 2019, Moore Stephens International publicly announced the Moore Stephens network will become Moore, a transition to take place globally over the next 12 months.
 
Here in Australia, Moore Stephens will adopt the new brand from 1 July 2020.

Business sales – Net Working Capital and cash adjustments

Looking at selling your business? If you think that agreeing on the business’ value is the hard part, think again.

Many owners overlook the question of the purchase price’s net working capital adjustments, let alone how much cash to leave in a business at the point of sale. These areas are not only complex but can often be a major source of tension towards completion of a business sale. So, while it’s best to ensure you have a skilled advisor on hand to help you navigate your way through, this article will help you understand some of the considerations involved before you head to market.

Working together to connect food and entrepreneurship

Introducing the Agri Food and Wine Category: An initiative of Moore Australia and eChallenge Australia

Tapping into the South Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem the Australian eChallenge connects the business community to students, academics and the general public. 

The eChallenge: Agri Food and Wine is designed to generate new ideas to address local and worldwide problems using anything from software, hardware and other technologies to chemistry, marketing and farming.
 

Removal of Special Purpose Financial Statements – Does it impact you?

The AASB has issued ED 297 Removal of Special Purpose Financial Statements for Certain For-Profit Private Sector Entities.  ED 297, if approved, will remove the ability of for-profit large proprietary, unlisted public (other than companies limited by guarantee) and small foreign-controlled companies to lodge special purpose financial statements (SPFS) with ASIC (i.e. directors can no longer self-assess that they are a non-reporting entity).  Current estimates from the AASB predict 7,295 companies will be impacted by these changes.

Disclosures Required Under RDR Are Set to Tumble

ED 295 General Purpose Financial Statements – Simplified Disclosures for For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Tier 2 Entities proposes to replace the current Reduced Disclosure Requirements (RDR) framework with a Simplified Disclosure Standard. All entities currently using the RDR framework will fall into this new regime. It is important to note the proposals in ED 295 are closely linked to those expected in the forthcoming Exposure Draft on the proposed removal of special purpose financial statements (SPFS).

To read more, please follow the link

Moore Stephens Victoria deepens focus to include legal services

Moore Stephens Victoria has expanded its already extensive offering, with the launch of its new legal services division this month. Headed by Alex Nielsen, an accomplished lawyer with over 10 years’ experience in corporate, tax, real estate and asset management matters, the division will enable a multi-disciplinary approach for its growing clientele.

Ask the Expert: Sub Leases

A Not-for-profit organisation provides services to remote communities in regional Australia.  In order to attract staff, they rent several houses (at market rates) for periods of 5-10 years from external parties.  Staff then rent these houses from the NFP organisation on a short term basis (normally 6 months at market rates). How is this dealt with under the new AASB 16?
 
David Holland, National Head of Technical Accounting looks at the impact of the new AASB 16 leases standards on businesses with sub leases.
 

SA Budget 2019-20: At A Glance

Taking advantage of low interest rates and following in the footsteps of our mainland counterparts, South Australia will increase debt by $7 billion over the next four years to fund a massive $11.9 billion infrastructure spending program.
 
The second Marshall Government budget — and the sixth for Mr Lucas — whilst short on surprises, looks to save money across a range of portfolios and programs, with select areas of Government spending increasing. Here’s our rundown of the key measures. 

SA Budget 2019: At a glance

It is the second budget delivered by Steven Marshall's State Government, with promises of funds for those wanting to get into the housing market and a new hospital. Treasurer Rob Lucas said if his latest budget were a person, it would be wearing "overalls and a high-vis vest". Find out what this year's budget means for you.

How incremental innovation can drastically help your business

If you are that person who thinks to be innovative your business needs to create the next great thing in the form of a new product or a new service, you are missing the whole point. Every business can bring innovation into its corporate culture just by adopting a ‘do better’ or aka incremental approach to innovation. Small changes in processes, service delivery and products can add huge value to your business with minimal impact on the expense items in your P&L. In fact, when done well, incremental innovation can be extremely profitable.

Is your company ready for its public debut?

Are you ready to take your company public? Moore Stephens’ latest corporate advisory recruit Benjamin Yeo has spent more than a decade skilfully guiding clients through the intricacies of preparing Initial Public Offerings (IPO) and outlines what’s necessary to successfully transform your company from private to public.
 

I’ve worked really hard and things are taken care of…or are they?

You’ve worked really hard for a long time, made big sacrifices…family time, early mornings, late nights, taken risks and it has paid off. Time for you to enjoy the fruit of your labour that has been made possible by your sacrifices.
 
Unexpectedly something comes out of the woodwork and you find yourself in a legal battle. You didn’t expect this and suddenly everything you’ve worked so hard for could be gone. Have you done everything you can to protect your assets?

Should Loans be Classified as Current or Non-Current?

Issue

Loans that are in breach of covenants often pose difficult accounting considerations as to whether they should be classified as either current or non-current in the Statement of Financial Position.
This publication will highlight the key factors you should consider when deciding whether a loan should be classified as either current or non-current.
 

Moore Stephens Team Reflects On The 25th Annual Investing In African Mining INDABA

Moore Stephens partners from across Africa and the world gathered at a bumper Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town in February. This year’s 25th anniversary Indaba was marked by more optimism than in the past few years.
 
“It was a lot more positive this year,” said David Tomasi, Global Sector Leader for Energy, Mining and Renewables (EMR) for Moore Stephens International.
Moore Stephens partners from across Africa and the world gathered at a bumper Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town in February. This year’s 25th anniversary Indaba was marked by more optimism than in the past few years.
 
“It was a lot more positive this year,” said David Tomasi, Global Sector Leader for Energy, Mining and Renewables (EMR) for Moore Stephens International.

Not so private practice

If you’ve been in the unfortunate physical state to warrant a visit to your local physiotherapist or podiatrist recently, you may have noticed the mismatched waiting room furniture and dog-eared reading material has been replaced. Instead, you’re more likely to find thoughtfully designed lounge areas that maximise the opportunity to sell wellbeing products to a captured audience, not to mention herb-infused water served with a not-so tatty glossy.
 

Mining Indaba - Risks and Reflections

As Mining Indaba kicks off its 25th anniversary, let’s look at how risks associated with the mining industry in Africa have changed.

Whilst some of our observations may seem like common knowledge, it is worth reflecting on the risk landscape to ensure we are ever mindful of the constant need to remain relevant and reset.

Reduction in Corporate Tax Rate

Changes, changes and more changes - Bringing forward the company tax cuts

Following on from the various changes to company tax rates earlier in the year, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Lower Taxes for Small and Medium Businesses) Bill 2018 was introduced and passed by the Senate relatively quickly last week. The Bill proposes to bring forward the tax cuts for small and medium businesses. The Bill is currently awaiting Royal Assent.

Lithium Report

WA is strategically placed to take advantage of increased lithium demand created by the ever growing battery industry. By 2025 it is expected the lithium-ion battery market will reach a value of USD $93.1 billion, equating to a CAGR of 17.0%. This demand uplift will be driven by increased consumption and development of electric vehicles, portable consumer electronics and grid storage systems.

Death and Taxes

As much as we would like to think we are immortal, the truth is the opposite and if you pass away without a will, the complications you leave behind are significant. If you do not have a will, the time it takes for the administrator of your estate to gain control of the assets is also much longer.

A World of Uncertainty

We live in an uncertain world
 
Trade tensions, country leaders who do not follow the status quo, wars and rumours of wars…
 
It can be easy to adopt a “bunker mentality” and hunker down for a long, cold economic winter ahead. Curiously, it’s not all bad news for Australia...

Swimming with Sharks

Insights and analysis from ‘The Shark Tank’ – season four

Another ferocious season of Shark Tank has come to a close with Season four, which ran from 15 May 2018 to 7 August 2018. The season aired 13 episodes containing 52 proposals that were pitched to the panel of Sharks. Of the 52 proposals, 33 were successful in obtaining one or more offers from the sharks. However, 20 proposals came up empty handed with 1 contestant declining the offer proposed and 19 proposals receiving no offers at all.

 
The team from the Moore Stephens Corporate Advisory division has gone along for the ride to provide a summary of the key metrics for this season, along with the key insights derived.
 

Company Tax Cuts and the National Energy Guarantee

What a week it’s been. We now have a new Prime Minister after a week where we saw the government confirm it will not proceed with pushing company tax cuts through the Senate nor bring them to the next election. Similarly, the National Energy Guarantee has been put on the back burner.
 
We have to wonder whether politics and votes now have greater influence on policy, than convictions and what is best for the economy.

Manganese: Is it the Forgotten Battery Mineral?

Peter Gray and Josh Snow from Moore Stephens WA in conjunction with industry partners have been researching further into manganese, a key battery component, looking to determine if it is in fact the “forgotten battery mineral”.

Moore Stephens WA has extensive experience dealing with entities involved in the processing and development of metal-ion batteries, with practical knowledge designed to further understand the industry and its patterns and trends.

FoodSA Summit 2018: From Milk to Cream

Tim Sargent (Moore Stephens South Australia) and Ulli Spranz (B.-d Farm Paris Creek) on ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of preparing a multi-million dollar business for sale and the practicalities of succession planning.

Stuart Whitehead joins Moore Stephens

With over 20 years’ experience in the delivery of Strategy Consulting, Performance Improvement, Information Systems and Corporate Finance engagements; Stuart Whitehead has joined the Moore Stephens Victoria team as a Director to head up the new Consulting division.

Trojans now arrive by email!

At the end of a busy day Adel was preparing to go home. She is an office manager at a very successful small family business that sourced and supplied quality aftermarket parts for air conditioning repairs.
 
Just before Adel closed down her computer she received an email from her boss, the owner, David. In the email David asked Adel to arrange an urgent $50,000 transfer to a supplier that night...

The 'Netflix' Tax

Originally dubbed the “Netflix Tax”, from 1 July 2017, foreign businesses are liable to charge Goods and Services Tax (GST) at a flat rate of 10% on imported services and digital products supplied to Australian consumers ie. “B2C” sales. 

GST is an indirect consumption tax that is similar to Sales tax/VAT.

This development has caught many US on-line and e-commerce businesses on the hop with the main impacts being that it will bring many new taxpayers into Australia’s GST “net” and in most cases Australian customers will have to cough up more to cover the GST.

2017-18 South Australian Budget Wrap

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has revealed his fourth budget, the last before the 2018 state election. Voters have been wooed with community grants, infrastructure spending, apartment affordability measures and some extra payroll tax relief for business.

Whilst the big banks –  today's headline story  - and foreign investors (neither of whom vote) have come out the biggest and very sore losers.

Five minutes with Jo Austin, one of our 30 year firm veterans!

Joanne (Jo) Austin first joined the firm in 1987, straight out of school and looking for work. Initially just a small business with six people operating out of an East Perth house, Jo has been with the firm for 30 years and has seen it grow from six people to close to 100; from East Perth, to Osborne Park, and finally into the Perth CBD. We caught up with Jo on her 30th anniversary to ask her a few questions about her time with the firm.

ASIC clamps down on ‘non-lodging’ proprietary companies to confirm their status

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) are targeting proprietary companies that have not lodged financial statements for FY 2016.

Over the past fortnight, there has been an increase in activity by ASIC in targeting large proprietary companies and foreign controlled small proprietaries that are not lodging financial statements. ASIC is requesting said companies confirm their ‘non-lodgement’ status or lodge the ‘outstanding’ financial statements.
 

Autumn Home Shopping

Finding the perfect property isn’t always easy, and as the colder months approach, the number of homes available for purchase starts to subside. The reduction in house stock can swing the pendulum to favour the seller as buyers fight for the smaller number of properties.

Client Story – Jeremy Nichols, Composure Group

When asked to describe his life using a film title, Jeremy Nichols, Founder and Managing Director of the Composure Group, answered “Life is Beautiful” and it’s not hard to see why. Jeremy has qualifications in Health Management and a MBA, he played for Melbourne FC during University and has been on the Board of the Club for 4 years. He founded Composure in 2013 after 20 years in the consulting industry. The group has a deep knowledge of human behaviour in an organisational context. They bring passion, energy and intelligence to helping organisations to play at their best, with a vision  based on Strategy, Culture and Leadership. When dealing with clients Jeremy sees culture as the elephant in the room “We all know it’s there but we’re not willing to confront it, we are not willing to talk about it, we are not willing to actually deal with because it’s often confronting”. He recently spoke with some of our younger staff members at Moore Stephens Vic.  

Claiming depreciation on investment property

Rental property investors have access to a range of tax strategies. One such strategy, which is often underutilised, is claiming depreciation as a tax deduction.

Property expenses, such as depreciation and capital works expenditure, can be deducted over a number years, adding to a significant return for property investors come tax time.
 

Moore Stephens Tax Alert - Redundancies and ETPs

Redundancies are, unfortunately, a part of doing business. Over the last year or so, there has been a lot of movement within the Western Australian job market with employments being terminated or being made redundant.  As an employer, it is critical that you understand what your responsibilities are. To help you, we have undertaken various reviews of calculations for Employee Termination Payments (ETP) and genuine redundancies

A ride to raise - Moore Stephens supports Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue, together with Charity Car Events, host an annual awareness event across New South Wales ‘Beyond Bitumen’. For the second year in a row Alan Quinlan, IT Manager at Moore Stephens NSW participated in the event and helped raise just over $10,000 of the more than $200,000 raised by Beyond Bitumen tour.

Crowd Sourced Funding: What you need to know about the new CSEF legislation

“The passing of the crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) legislation for Australian Small Business is great news, particularly in the current environment where it can be difficult to raise capital. However, there is likely to be some work required to ensure that companies are ready to access CSEF” Davide Costanzo, Moore Stephens - Director, Tax and Business Advisory

Shock for landlords as land tax skyrockets

Over the past month soaring property values have seen landlords hit by steep increases in landlord taxes.

A number of landlords, property owners and lessors have been shocked when confronted with sharp increases in land tax bills this month.

The State Revenue Office (SRO) argues that 2016 was a revaluation year, which means your site value will most likely increase in 2017.
 

Finding a home loan when you’re self employed

Working for yourself has many perks and rewards, however, when it comes to applying for a home loan, being your own boss often sends up a red flag to banks and other lenders. Why? A salaried employee has a regular, steady income and is less likely to experience the cash flow volatility of a small business owner, contractor, entrepreneur, tradesperson or freelancer.

Being proactive and accessing specialist advice, self-employed applicants can also enjoy a successful and hassle-free road to securing a home loan.

Investing in property through an SMSF

It is vital for those with a self-managed super fund (SMSF) to carry out the necessary checks before purchasing a property in their SMSF, especially where borrowing is involved.

Our experienced advisors have listed a number of checks to consider before purchasing a property with your SMSF.

Be careful using the ATO like a bank overdraft

Individuals and businesses with cash flow difficulties sometimes use the ATO like a bank overdraft. They deliberately don’t pay their taxes on time and whilst they may incur interest in doing so, it allows them to use the monies owing to the ATO for other purposes.

Up until now, the ATO have been very slow at chasing outstanding monies owing to it but this may change. Soon they will be able to disclose tax debt information to credit reporting bureaus which may have serious and inescapable consequences.
 

Wake up Australia- become PPSA compliant and register your interests! A message to owners of commercial assets who allow others to have possession of their property

When will owners of plant and equipment and other commercial assets who allow others to hold or use their property realise they need to do a PPSR registration if they want to protect themselves? Despite repeated warnings about the risk of not registering and a number of court decisions that have made the situation clear, it appears that the message that owners need to register their security interests on the PPSR is still not getting through.

The recent WA Supreme Court decision of Flown Pty Ltd v Goldrange Pty Ltd 2016 WASC 419 has once again has highlighted the problem. The case involved a commercial lease situation and certain plant and equipment that was “owned” by the lessor that were on the leased premises. The lessor had earlier provided a loan of $460k to the Lessee for the purchase of the plant and equipment that was secured by the plant and equipment and guaranteed by the directors of the lessee.

Swimming with the Sharks - Insights and analysis from season two of Shark Tank

Channel Ten’s Shark Tank was back for a second season, aired between 8 May and 7 July 2016, and featured budding entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to venture capital investors (the ‘Sharks’). Moore Stephens’ Victorian Corporate Advisory Team took this opportunity to once again swim with the Sharks and gain an insight into the minds of both entrepreneur and investor.

Budget Super Changes passed into Law

After months of uncertainty, the Senate has passed the Federal Government's superannuation reform package. The initial proposal from the May 2016 Federal Budget has seen significant amendments. Much of the change has a commencement date of 1 July 2017 and generally speaking, the superannuation environment will be more restrictive after July 2017. This provides superannuation fund members with a seven-month window to take advantage of the existing provisions and best position their superannuation assets to provide maximum benefits into the future. The opportunity is significant and the time to act is now.

Profit and Cash Flow: What's the Difference?

We often hear from business owners who report a healthy profit at year end, but scramble to pay their bills on time throughout the year. This scenario is especially common for start-ups and companies that work on long-term projects. These types of businesses tend to have a long cash conversion cycle that causes a significant disconnect between cash in the bank and the profit reported on income statements and tax returns. Here’s why.

Transitional Provisions for SMSFs

The Government will apply transitional arrangements to SMSFs affected by the retrospective aspects of the Federal Budget’s proposal to limit non-concessional contributions. In the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the introduction of a lifetime cap of $500,000 on non-concessional superannuation contributions, including contributions since 2007, was announced. 

Avoiding SMSF Disputes

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) can be vulnerable to disputes, especially when family members are involved.
 
If left unresolved, disputes surrounding SMSFs can result in a hefty bill. SMSF disputes may be caused by various relationship breakdowns, for example, those funds with parents and siblings as members and trustees, or in cases where there is simply a clear difference of opinion.

ATO Targeting SMSF Tax Avoidance

The Australian Tax Office has its sight set on an emerging tax avoidance tactic being taken up by a number of self-managed superannuation funds. 

The ATO has warned individuals (at or approaching retirement age) not to use a strategy known as diverting personal services income (PSI) through their SMSF to minimise or avoid their income tax obligations. 

Paperless Record Keeping- Best Practice

The ATO reminds us on its website that by law, business operators have to keep records, which “explain all transactions, be in writing, be in English or in a form that can be easily converted, and be kept for five years”. Some records, especially in relation to capital gain tax events, may need to be kept for longer. Clients sometimes tell us about their frustration in relation to this record keeping burden. They tell us about running out of space for the piles of paper. However, the ATO tells us that “be in writing” also means “in electronic format” and that “the principles are the same”.
 

 

If you are buying or selling property over $2 million – New rules now apply

From July 1 2016, all Australian residents, selling property with a market value over $2 million (GST exclusive) will need to get a clearance certificate from The Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

From 1 July 2016, a 10% withholding tax will apply when foreign residents sell certain types of Australian property. If  you are selling Australian property, the new rules assume you are a non-resident unless you have a clearance certificate from the ATO. Without this clearance certificate, the purchaser must withhold 10% of the purchase price and pay this to the ATO.

South Australian State Budget 2016/17: Key take-outs for Business

Late last week The Hon. Tom Koutsantonis released the 2016/17 South Australian state budget. A budget aimed at “transforming South Australia into a modern, high technology and globally competitive economy - which will create more jobs for South Australians”.  As expected it is a fairly benign budget with the government still focused on the successful implementation of last year’s many measures.
This year the new business initiatives focus on much needed job creation and, together with the extension to exisitng payroll tax rebates announced a few weeks ago and the stamp duty reductions announced last year, we hope the measures will deliver a much needed confidence boost to SA business.
with the extension of the existing payroll tax rebates for the next four years announced a few weeks ago and the stamp duty reductions announced last year - See more at: http://www.bdo.com.au/en-au/insights/articles/budget/2016-south-australian-budget-backs-smes#sthash.Ie5Qhanw.dpuf
Today’s announcements, along with the extension of the existing payroll tax rebates for the next four years announced a few weeks ago and the stamp duty reductions announced last year, will give many the confidence to back their vision and grow. - See more at: http://www.bdo.com.au/en-au/insights/articles/budget/2016-south-australian-budget-backs-smes#sthash.Ie5Qhanw.dpuf
Today’s announcements, along with the extension of the existing payroll tax rebates for the next four years announced a few weeks ago and the stamp duty reductions announced last year, will give many the confidence to back their vision and grow. - See more at: http://www.bdo.com.au/en-au/insights/articles/budget/2016-south-australian-budget-backs-smes#sthash.Ie5Qhanw.dpuf

Buyer beware: the new risk to clients funding insurance in super

It may be hard to believe but we’re almost on the home straight of what has felt like the longest election campaign in recent history. And while both of the major parties have unveiled a number of policies over the past two months on key issues ranging from higher education, to innovation, penalty rates – and of course, “jobs and growth” – one of the most debated and divisive policies continues to be the government’s proposed changes to superannuation.

Keeping it in the family

While the ATO continues to crackdown on tax minimisation strategies, quite a few legal pathways to paying less tax while preserving wealth for retirement or estate planning purposes still exist. Family trusts have significant tax saving abilities that make them an attractive tool for wealth creation.

Insurance traps in your super

Insurance arrangements in super can create a few surprise outcomes for members who leave big superannuation funds to start their own self-managed super fund yet leave a portion in their old fund.
 
Members need to be wary of the traps that can cause a loss of cover. As insurance is a complex financial product members need to understand the benefits, risks and the costs entailed when entering into insurance cover in large superannuation funds.

ATO imposes stricter guidelines for SMSF borrowing

Self-managed super funds (SMSF) have until 31 January 2017 to conform to the ATO’s new rules on related party loans.
 
 A guidance paper released by the Tax Office stated that related-party loans e.g. family trusts or private companies to SMSFs now must be at interest rates of 7.75 per cent for shares and 5.75 per cent for property.

Doing Business in Australia- new video

This video offers practical information about doing business in Australia. Moore Stephens WA Director James Tng provides an overview of all relevant tax issues that will arise and covers regulations you need to be aware of to maximise the chances of success in Australia. 

Non-Resident Withholding Tax Regime

From 1 July 2016, disposal of certain Australian property by non-resident Vendors will be subject to a non-final 10% withholding tax. The purpose of this is to assist in the early collection of tax from foreign residents and encourage them to meet their tax obligations in Australia. The tax is required to be withheld by the Purchaser and remitted to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Globalisation and the tax system- how taxation affects individuals moving to and out of Australia

The world has shrunk and the business is more fluid than ever. Business has changed and e-commerce has revolutionised the way business is done and where business is conducted from.
 
In the modern world, you can conduct business from a coffee shop, on a beach or in an office. With this change and the way products and services are being delivered, we are noticing now more than ever an inflow and outflow of people into and out of Australia.

Understanding unfair dismissal

The number of unfair dismissal applications lodged last year suggests that employers are still struggling with unfair dismissal laws.

Around 14,800 unfair dismissal claims were filed in 2015, keeping the Fair Work Commission (FWC) very busy. And while most cases were settled before a formal hearing, they do create an unproductive distraction for employers.

Revisiting super basics for employers

For many employers, it can be easy to forget the responsibility of managing your superannuation obligations amidst the busy lifestyle of operating a business.

However, those who fail to meet their super obligations risk facing severe and even damaging liabilities.
Employers who pay their workers $450 or more before tax in a calendar month must pay superannuation on top of the employee's wages. If an employee is under the age of 18 or is a private or domestic worker, they must work for more than 30 hours per week to qualify. The minimum an employer must pay is called the super guarantee (SG)

Don’t understate your profits! How early exercise behaviour can reduce employee option cost


The Moore Stephens Victoria Corporate Advisory division has responsibility for assisting clients with their financial modelling and this article focuses on the unlisted employee options component and requirements under Australian Accounting Standards.The Moore Stephens Victoria Corporate Advisory division has responsibility for assisting clients with their financial modelling and this article focuses on the unlisted employee options component and requirements under Australian Accounting Standards.

A Reflection on Leadership

What is the meaning of leadership? What makes a good leader? Theories abound and have done so for decades.

At Moore Stephens we seek to show leadership by setting a strategy that employees can identify with, and goals they feel motivated and empowered to achieve.

Our strategy hinges on simple goals: providing a full service offering... being known for personalised service… connecting people… building better businesses and growing wealth for our clients.

Victorian State Budget Announcement

The Victorian State Government  delivered its 2016-17 Budget on Wednesday with proposed big spending on good hospitals, reliable roads and public transport and securing jobs in growing industries throughout the state.

FBT and Logbook Requirements

FBT – Log book requirements

With the FBT year-end fast approaching, it may be a good time to review your internal procedures to reduce the FBT liability for your business. As a firm, we prepare numerous FBT returns for clients across various sectors and one of our most frequent recommendations is for our clients to keep log books for their motor vehicles. With the change to statutory percentages in 2011, the costs of owning motor vehicles in an entity (companies or trusts) have increased and keeping a log book may be a better option than to use the 20% flat rate where the business usage for the vehicles are high.

Ease of Doing Business in Australia

We are often asked the question “how easy is it to do business in Australia?”

The World Bank Group annually ranks all countries for the ease of doing business and Australia currently ranks in the top 15 amongst the 217 countries measured.

Considering Australia is a developed country that also has the hallmarks of low sovereign risk, a stable economy and competitive currency value, this bodes very well for those looking to do business in Australia.

UK Investment Property - Time to put the rent up?

HMRC are introducing new rules which will restrict the amount of tax relief available to landlords for finance costs relating to residential properties.

These changes do not extend to furnished holiday accommodation.

You will only be affected by these changes if you have a loan on your investment property.

 

Working together - the reinvention of the ATO

Late last year, Moore Stephens Victoria  supported the AustralianTaxation Office (ATO) and then subsequently hosted a Key Agent meeting by our Directors with several senior ATO executives to enhance collaboration with our firm and ultimately to deliver a better client experience.

Financial model reviews reveal interesting insights

My previous article about the Moore Stephens Victoria Corporate Finance team was on work we had been doing during winter on Initial Public Offerings (IPO), reverse takeovers (RTO) and an expert witness report.  Some of that work carried over into Spring with a successful outcome for a number of those clients. 

In this article I am writing about some of the interesting work we have been doing with financial forecast modelling – primarily for financiers.  I also find this somewhat encouraging that a number of our clients are out there getting finance for expansion and new businesses. 

Wealth Management – Market Update

2016 has seen markets across the US, Eurozone & Asia suffer losses in excess of 5% and up to 14% while Australian Shares have fallen over 6%. This has seen markets fall to levels seen throughout the second half of 2015. Concerns are centred around the Chinese economy, the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates and the impact of the rising US dollar against the falling Chinese Renminbi. The falling oil price has also effected markets and has again raised concerns over emerging markets.

Financial Reporting

Upcoming Changes to Contributions and Leasing Standards. The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) is currently considering the responses it has received from constituents regarding its proposals in ED 260: Income of Not-for-Profit Entities.

What’s next for the $20k write off

The small business $20,000 depreciating asset write-off was announced as part of the 2016 Federal Budget and was passed by the Senate in June 2015. Now that many small business owners are turning their minds to their 2015 Income Tax Returns what does this mean for you?