As this year’s tax time comes to a close, the ATO has warned that it will scrutinise every individual tax return lodged to seek out incorrect claims. In particular, it will be on the lookout for under reported income as indicated by third party data, and deductions that appear high compared to people with a…

Insurance within superannuation has always been a mixed blessing, good for some who enjoy having cheaper insurance, while others see as an erosion of their super balances. It doesn’t matter which camp you fall into, the recent changes to the way super funds provide insurance may impact you depending on your super balance, age, and…

Do you run a side business in addition to your main employment? This could be in primary production (ie a farm or winery), retail or any other profession, trade, vocation or calling, provided it is not in a role of an employee. If you do, you may be subject to non-commercial loss rules, which are…

Did you know that when you sell your shares, the size of your capital gains tax (CGT) bill is affected by how long you’ve held the shares, and how you offset your capital gains and losses? Knowing the tax rules can help you plan your trades effectively. Each time you sell a parcel of shares,…

As the ongoing effects of the drought sweeps across the nation, the financial effects are no doubt weighing heavily on the minds of farmers and other primary producers. While the government cannot make it rain, it is doing its bit to ease the financial strain by giving those affected by drought more time to pay…

The government is getting tough on employers’ unpaid compulsory super guarantee (SG) contributions that may be affecting more than 2.8 million workers. Fortunately for businesses, it has recently announced a revised “grace period” to rectify past non-compliance. All businesses should review their super compliance to consider what action they may need to take. Compliance changes…

Have you considered the powerful tax and superannuation planning opportunities that the small business CGT concessions can offer your business? They allow you to reduce – or sometimes, completely eliminate – the capital gain from the sale of a business asset, whether it’s held directly by your business entity or in another related structure. The…

If you don’t hold private hospital cover – or are thinking about dropping it – make sure you understand the financial consequences. You could be hit with an extra tax surcharge of up to 1.5% or cost yourself extra premiums in future. Don’t get stung! Medicare levy surcharge The Medicare levy surcharge (MLS) is a…

When you’re starting a new business venture, it may take some time before the business becomes profitable. Or, your business may simply operate at a loss in a particular year. What does this mean tax-wise? If you’re a sole trader or individual partner, you may be able to use your business tax loss to offset…

Under the “downsizer” contribution scheme, individuals aged 65 years and over who sell their home may contribute sale proceeds of up to $300,000 per member as a “downsizer” superannuation contribution (which means up to $600,000 for a couple). These contributions don’t count towards your non-concessional contributions cap and can be made even if your total…

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