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Great Questions from Week 2 of Facebook Q&A

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08 / Feb / 2013

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Melanie, what kind of new policies are expected in near future for the building industry?

Emma

The biggest change for the building industry so far came into affect with the 1/7/12 Taxable Payment Annual Report, where all payments to contractors for their labour must be reported to the ATO by 21/7/13.

As of 1/10/12 access to tax concessions for living-away-from-home allowances and benefits will generally be limited to a period of 12 months for an employee at a particular work location.

The industry (and particularly the ATO) are also cracking down on phoenix activity, which involves the deliberate liquidation of a business entity to avoid financial obligations, including tax and superannuation liabilities, without risking the operator’s assets and with the full intention of resuming business operations through a new entity.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also promoting information for employers and workers on their website including frequently asked questions, tools and calculators at www.fairwork.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

Hello! A Q&A for you: there are so many requests for donations from worthy causes around at the moment, are they all tax deductible or just the ones that say they are? And what evidence do we need hang onto for tax return time? Thanks!

Kerry

Voluntary gifts of $2 or more to approved organisations are tax deductible.

The voluntary bit means that you’re not receiving anything in return for your donation e.g. you’re not buying a raffle ticket (or chance to win a prize), you’re not getting any product or service in return for the payment

Your receipt will usually indicate whether or not you can claim a deduction for the gift. If you are not sure, you can check with the organisation. If you are still not sure, go to www.abn.business.gov.au or phone the ATO to find out if the organisation is an approved organisation.

You need to hang onto the receipt for tax time to get the tax deduction. A business needs to hang onto their tax records for 7years, and an individual for 2years.

 

SMSF…more changes in the wind….still worthwhile?

Coffs Cleaner World

Yes, it appears the Politicians will continue to make changes to super – so it is important to think about your investment in super. It is also important to assess the pro’s & con’s of a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) at any stage you’re thinking that is for you.

Some Pro’s – unlimited asset protection, 15% tax rate (hard to beat), total control over what you invest in, access to investments not on offer in public funds.

Some Con’s – no access to money until age 55, risk of government interference.

A SMSF is not for everyone. You have to be prepared to be involved in the management of the fund – do your research on investment options, assess risks, comply with the Law.

To establish a viable SMSF that’s competitive with large funds you’ll need around $200,000 in super savings.

The government changes to super will affect all funds, public & SMSF – the question of how much to invest into super will be impacted on what these changes are. The question on whether a SMSF is worthwhile really comes down to your willingness and ability to manage the fund yourself.

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