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Claiming against your Travel Allowance

by Alex in Blog

A travel allowance is a payment made to employees to cover accommodation, food, drink, or incidental expenses they incur when they travel away from home overnight, in the course of their duties.

The ATO recently announced that it has noticed an increasing disparity between travel allowances paid and deductions claimed for accommodation, meals,
and incidentals.

They state that this has increased the incidence of it checking these claims, which has highlighted deficiencies and difficulties for employees in showing the amount claimed was incurred, or was incurred in gaining or producing their assessable income.

In most circumstances, when claiming deductions, you need to substantiate the expense claimed with documentary evidence, and produce that evidence should the ATO request it.

For now, you can claim a deduction for travel expenses incurred, without meeting the substantiation rules, provided:
• The claim for deduction does not exceed the amount of the travel allowance received
• The travel allowance does not exceed an amount that the ATO considers “reasonable”.

So, what can you claim against this allowance?
The ATO publishes guidelines each year on what it considers reasonable amounts for a travelling employee (we can show you these estimates if you are interested).

These guidelines give a reasonable daily travel allowance amount and consider the following factors:
• destination of travel (broken down into metropolitan cities, country centres within Australia and international countries)
• accommodation
• meals
• other incidentals
• employee annual salary (in ranges)
• Specific rates for truck drivers.

If you have any questions regarding travel allowance claims, please give us a call on 4642 1530.

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End of year planning for SBE’s

by Alex in Blog

Christmas- a period of relaxation, rest and relatives. Unless you own a Small Business of course!

For those of us in Small Business Enterprises, not only do we need to get through the Christmas rush/wind-down, we also need to be looking ahead and planning for the New Year.
Checking over your overdue debtors and chasing overdue accounts enables us to start the year off fresh- with many employees taking breaks over January, getting through to Accounts Payable can be a slow process. This also applies to client invoicing- ensuring that your invoices are delivered leaves less likelihood that people will ‘forget’ to pay these bills over Christmas.
Then it’s time to start planning- what are your goals for next year? (And we aren’t talking those ‘work off the Baked Ham’ New Years Resolutions.)

By finalising your account reconciliations early, you can prepare your YTD results- use your half yearly P & L to see what area’s need improvement and set your 2018 targets. While you can spend considerable time breaking down costs and income projections, look closely at other aspects of your business as well- client retention, turnover, new client leads, staff numbers and different methods of marketing. Write down some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Trackable) goals- where can the second half of the year take you?

Another important, and often underappreciated action, is to back up all IT data. With the Summer storms approaching, backing up to a different kind of cloud is highly recommended and will save you many headaches should unexpected events arise.

And lastly, have a break (for those in Retail, after the rush dies down)! You can’t buy good health.

From all of us at Entire Accounting and Tax, we wish you a very Merry and Joyful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 
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Tax Time deductions and reforms to benefit Small Business

by Alex in Blog

What business expenses can I claim this year?

With many changes to SBE entitlements throughout the year, it can be difficult to determine what deductions your Small Business may be entitled to. Here, Alex provides you with a quick, simplified rundown of what you may be able to claim.

Whilst you cannot claim private expenses, as a small business owner, you can claim a deduction for most costs you incur in running your business, for example staff wages, marketing, and business finance costs. Just remember to always ensure you keep records to support your claims.

If you or your employees travel for business, you can claim:
• airfares, train, bus or taxi fares
• accommodation costs and meal expenses for overnight business travel, noting that fringe benefits tax may apply for some employee travel expenses.

Can I deduct the cost of some assets straight away?
If you use the simplified depreciation rules, you claim a deduction:
• immediately – for the business portion of depreciating assets costing less than $20,000 each
• over time – for most other assets, combining costs into a small business pool and claiming a set percentage each year
• immediately – if the balance of your pool is less than $20,000 at the end of the income year.

What can I claim if I have a home-based business?
If you run your business at your home, or your business is based from home, you can claim the business portion of some expenses, including mortgage interest
and electricity.
Keeping in mind if you sell your home, you may have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) on the business portion and declare it in your tax return.

To find out more about what you can claim as a small business owner, give us a call. We are here to help!

Anti-competition laws a huge win for Small Business


The government’s move to legislate significant amendments to competition laws in a bid to deter anti-competitive conduct has been called a huge win, for small businesses in particular. The amendment will help address anti-competitive conduct and protect the competition process rather than the interests of individual players in the market.

In mid-August the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2017 was passed to implement a key recommendation of the Harper Competition Policy Review to strengthen Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The 2015 Harper Review had found that the misuse of market power law was not reliably enforceable and did not effectively target and deter anti-competitive conduct.

The reformed Section 46 will prohibit a corporation from engaging in conduct with the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in a market in which it directly or indirectly participates.

Entire Accounting and Tax- 4642 1530

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Getting prepared for your Individual Tax Return

by Alex in Blog

The boy scouts have the right idea when it comes to getting ready to lodge your 2017 Tax Return. Being prepared can make the process very quick and simple!

Ensuring that you have the basics, the details and the evidence when you drop in for your meeting with Alex Taylor means that we can process your tax return with minimal fuss and disruption.

Basic Checklist for Individuals;

  • Your Payment Summary from your employer/s
  • Your bank account details for refunds that may be applicable
  • Any Employment Termination Payment Summaries
  • Statements from your bank detailing interest generated on your accounts during the financial year. (These can be easily generated through Internet Banking.)
  • Income generated from ‘Sharing Economy’ programs such as Airtasker, AirBnB, Uber etc.
  • Statements from your Private Health Insurer
  • Details of overseas income (if any)
  • Details of Investment income, such as dividend statements
  • Income Protection Insurance policy receipts
  • Copies of receipts for deductible expenses, including;
    • Uniforms
    • Tools and equipment used for work purposes
    • Donations

Further information may be required for individuals with rental properties, managed funds, or those who have sold any investments (shares, managed funds, investment properties etc.)

Additional Checklist;

If you own a rental property you will need details of:

  • Investment property Rental Summaries from the managing real estate agent
  • Receipts from repairs and maintenance to rental properties
  • Depreciation reports for new properties
  • Bank Statements detailing interest charged on borrowings for investments

If you have shares, units, managed funds or other investments you will need details of:

  • Any investment gains or losses from the disposal of shares, units and rental properties.
  • Dividend Statements

Entire Tax is based in Highfields, QLD and services the greater Toowoomba region. For a no-fuss tax return, please call Entire Accounting and Tax on 07 4642 1530.

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Have you heard of TSheets?

by Alex in Blog, Software, Xero

We have been trialling this online, multi-user, smartphone compatible time-tracking website and have been very impressed with its performance.

With seamless Xero compatibility, TSheets makes client time tracking and billing quick and simple.

If you find your current billing system cumbersome, base your on-site and working hours on guesswork, or have trouble monitoring staff leave requests, we highly recommend taking a closer look!

For more information on TSheets, or integrating a time-tracking and billing platform into your Xero account, give us a call on 4642 1530.

Check out the TSheets website here:  https://www.tsheets.com.au/time-tracking/

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Xero- seamless bookkeeping for SBE’s

by Alex in Blog, Xero

Cloud-based Accounting and Bookkeeping programs have paved a way for small business owners to take more control over their finances. The ability to track everything from your bank balances to outstanding invoices enables you to monitor your business in real time.

We know, Accounting isn’t the highlight of your day- that is why Entire Accounting and Tax is here for you. However the use of a multi-access program such as Xero can make a big difference, not only to your day-to-day operations, but also to your end of financial year and quarterly BAS anxiety.

There are many programs that promise an easy to use interface and time-saving reporting, so what makes Xero different to others on the market?

 

Here is what we love about Xero:

  •  Paperless tracking and coding of receipts
  • Xero automatically imports your bank and credit card transactions on a daily basis
  • Use cash coding to sort and match large numbers of transactions in bulk
  • Ability to apply bank rules for recurring transactions, such as lease repayments, fuel purchases or trade materials
  • Ability to email and track all invoices and outstanding accounts
  • A Fixed Assets Register to keep track of your business assets and provide a precise depreciation schedule at tax time
  • Multiple user friendly– our team can help guide you through any issues you have in real time
  • Mobile-access for viewing your account anywhere, anytime
  • Different from other online bookkeeping programs, Xero can integrate with a wide range of add-ons and banking systems.
  • Simple and precise BAS and EOFY information and reports can be prepared and accessed immediately by you and your tax agent

We could continue, but we think you get the idea. In short, Xero just makes your business administration simpler.

Please contact Alex or Hannah on 4642 1530 for a confidential, no obligation and free discussion on how Xero could simplify your business compliance costs and give you greater insight into your business.

As a Xero certified advisor we can answer many of your questions and guide you through the entire process including setting you up in no time for a small outlay.

Or email us alex@entiretax.com.au or admin@entiretax.com.auXero Certified advisor

 

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