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Minimum Rate Increase To 21 Awards – Is Your Business Compliant?

2021-11-29 09:30:32 admin

From 1 November 2021, minimum wages in 21 awards were increased. If you are not paying your employees this new rate of pay, you may find yourself facing significant penalties for failure to comply with the Fair Work Ombudsman. This increase is to be applied to anyone who is paid the minimum award wages or the national minimum wages.

As an employer of workers, you must pay them a fair wage according to the award that their profession exists under. That wage must meet the minimum wage expectations for the award, which is the minimum amount an employee can be paid for the work that they’re doing. Employees may be paid more than that wage, but the bare minimum that they can be paid is set out in the awards and as a part of the national minimum wage base rate.

The national minimum wage was increased from $19.84 per hour to $20.33 per hour, or 772.60 per week (increased from $753.80). This increase should have applied from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2021. In addition, employees who are covered by awards should also have had their base rates increased by 2.5 per cent, though these increases may begin on different dates for different groups of awards.

Most award wage increases applied from 1 July 2021, though there were 21 awards where the Fair Work Commission deemed there to be exceptional circumstances in place that would affect the increase. Those 21 awards were increased from 1 November 2021, and include:

  • Pilots Award
  • Cabin Crew Award
  • Airline Ground Staff Award
  • Airport Award
  • Alpine Resorts Award
  • Amusement Award
  • Dry Cleaning and Laundry Award
  • Fitness Award
  • Hair and Beauty Award
  • Hospitality Award
  • Live Performance Award
  • Models Award
  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award
  • Nursery Award
  • Racing Clubs Events Award
  • Racing Ground Maintenance Award
  • Registered Clubs Award
  • Restaurant Award
  • Sporting Organisations Award
  • Travelling Shows Award
  • Wine Award

This increase is a result of the Fair Work Commission’s announcement after conducting its Annual Wage Review.  The Fair Work Commission is the independent national workplace relations tribunal. It is responsible for maintaining a safety net of minimum wages and employment conditions, as well as a range of other workplace functions and regulations.

Workplaces are expected to ensure that all of their employees are being treated fairly and paid the minimum rate relevant to their circumstances (award/base minimum rate).

Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their pay and compliance requirements.

Are you concerned about potential non-compliance with the new minimum wage, want to know more about the other increases to different kinds of rewards? Trying to get your head wrapped around the new superannuation guarantee requirements, or after some business planning advice in the approach to the new year? We’re the people you can speak to about any concerns you may have for your business and its future.

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How Do You Make Sure Your Super Goes To The Right Person When You Die?

2021-11-22 09:30:48 admin

What happens to your super when you die? It might not be a question that has cropped up in many people’s minds, but it is something that you should be concerned about.

Upon the untimely death of someone, their superannuation may be one of the elements of the estate that can be bequeathed and divided between their loved ones (trustees of the estate and beneficiaries. 

This is not done through your will though, as it isn’t automatically included unless specific instructions have been given to your super fund. Often this is done through a binding death benefit nomination. These payments are usually paid out in lump sum payments and split between beneficiaries as dictated by the deceased.

However, like any property or asset that can be challenged, the death benefits from superannuation and SMSF can be a legal quandary if the appropriate succession planning measures have not been put into place.

Death benefits are one of the most commonly occurring legal issues that plague the superannuation and SMSF sector for individuals. Many court cases involving death benefits are the result of poor succession planning, as individuals who were not stated to be recipients of the payments miss out on what may be supposed to be theirs.

In the event of an individual’s death, the deceased’s dependent can be paid a death benefit payment as either a super income stream or a lump sum. The non-dependants of the deceased can only be paid in a lump sum. The form of the death benefit payment (and who receives it) will depend on the governing rules of your fund and the relevant requirements of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR).

If succession planning around who the superannuation is to be left to is in place by the deceased, those who may be classed as dependents and non-dependents can become legally blurred.

In any event, dependents are defined differently depending on what kind of law they are being examined under (superannuation law and taxation law).

Under superannuation law, a death benefits dependant includes:

  • The deceased spouse or de facto spouse
  • A child of the deceased (any age)
  • A person in an interdependency relationship with the deceased (involved in a close relationship between two people who live together, where one or both provides for the financial, domestic and personal support of the other).

Under taxation law, a death benefits dependant includes:

  • the deceased’s spouse or de facto spouse
  • the deceased’s former spouse or de facto spouse
  • a child of the deceased under 18 years old
  • a person financially dependent on the deceased
  • a person in an interdependency relationship with the deceased

Depending on the type of law that the beneficiary is classified under affects how they can interact with the death benefits.

How Do I Make Sure My Beneficiaries Will Receive The Death Benefits That I Want Them To Have? 

Death benefit payments need to be nominated by the holder of the superfund, as superannuation is not automatically included in your will. If you fail to make a nomination, your super fund may decide who receives your super money regardless of who is in your will.

That’s why succession planning is important when it comes to death benefits, no matter the situation. Even if you are at your healthiest, you’ll want to be prepared for any eventuality.

To get your succession planning right, here are 5 tips that will help you during the process.

    • Locate and/or consolidate your superannuation funds – if you do not consolidate your funds, ensure that there is a binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) in place for each fund.
    • Prepare a BDBN – this is a notice given by you as a member of a superannuation fund to the trustee of your super fund, nominating your beneficiaries on your death and how you wish for the death benefits to be paid.
    • Seek advice before making changes to your level or type of insurance cover – you may be compelled to disclose medical conditions which may impact your ability to obtain cover or impact the cost of your cover if you remove or change your insurance cover.
    • Review your binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) each year during tax time
    • Seek advice on a superannuation clause under your will – though superannuation is not an estate asset, the death benefit may be paid to the estate under certain conditions, which you should consult with a super professional about.
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What Happens To My Tax If I Have More Than One Job?

2021-11-18 15:32:56 admin

Are you in the process of getting a second job to supplement your income? Or have you already received one, and are now simply confused about what you are being taxed on?

Gaining employment in a second position or job means that you may have a higher amount of tax withheld from your pay. Though this might sound daunting, it is simply because you are already claiming the tax-free threshold from another paying job.

The tax-free threshold in Australia is $18,200. If you are claiming your tax-free threshold, you are not paying tax on the first $18,200 earned in each income year. The tax-free threshold is equivalent to earning:

  • $350 a week
  • $700 a fortnight
  • $1,517 a month

Withholding tax at a higher rate means that you are less likely to have a tax debt at the end of the income year

You may be receiving pay from two or more payers at the same time if you:

  • have two or more jobs
  • have a regular part-time job and receive a taxable pension or government allowance.

In these instances, your new employer will give you a Tax file number declaration to complete. Centrelink is also a payer who will give you this form if you apply for their payments.

When you fill in this form, you can choose whether to claim the tax-free threshold from your employer. However, if you are:

  • Still earning income from your first employer, you should not claim the tax-free threshold for your second job
  • No longer earning any income (including from paid leave), then you are entitled to claim the tax-free threshold from your second job and have a lower rate of tax withheld
  • Starting to receive income from both employers, you can request that one employer withholds at a higher rate to avoid a tax debt at the end of the year.

If you are in the position of having two jobs, it is recommended to claim the tax-free threshold from the payer who usually pays the highest salary or wage. Your other payers then withhold tax from your income at a higher rate, which is known as the no tax-free threshold rate. This is likely to reduce incurring a tax debt at the end of the financial year.

Sometimes the total tax withheld from all sources may be more or less than the amount you need to meet your end of year tax liability. These tax withheld amounts are credited to you when you lodge your income tax return. If too much tax is withheld, it may result in a tax refund. However, if not enough tax was withheld, the difference may need to be paid to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) so that you have paid enough tax for your income.

Confused, concerned or a little perplexed about what having a second job could mean for your tax obligations? Want to know more about what happens if the tax withheld isn’t enough? You can speak with a registered tax agent like us about your tax liability in the event of a second job.

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Are You Suffering From Unpaid Super?

2021-11-08 09:30:44 admin

Australia’s superannuation laws are designed with the intent to ensure that your nest egg for retirement is protected and able to continue to grow throughout your career.

Your employer is expected to make contributions to your superannuation by law, known as the Superannuation Guarantee, as a part of your wages and salary package. The current rate for the SG is 10% in 2021-22.

Up to a quarter of Australian workers may have been underpaid or unpaid when it comes to parts of their super. During these turbulent times of financial insecurity or instability, many employers may have found it difficult to prioritise making SG contributions on your behalf. The reporting obligations and quarterly payment schedules could result in them not meeting their SG obligations in a timely fashion.

There is a rising issue occurring from superannuation laws that employers may possibly be exploiting, which could significantly affect their employees’ retirement outcomes.

The Government recently offered an amnesty to employers to catch up in their superannuation guarantee obligations but it appears that there are many that are still not complying with the rules.

According to Industry Super Australia (ISA), underpaid and unpaid superannuation costs almost 3 million Australian workers an average of $1,700 each year. Some of the more common occupations in which unpaid and underpaid SG contributions occur may include those in the hospitality and trades sectors and occur more frequently with young and lower-income employees.

If this were to happen to you, the shortfall dealt to your retirement income can be a significant detriment that could affect you greatly. For example, if you were employed for 30 years with the same employer with whom you were suffering this superannuation loss, you could lose out on up to $50,000 in superannuation.

There are minimal circumstances in which an employer does not have to pay super contributions to their employees due to the employee’s eligibility. These instances may include:

  • If you are an employee being paid for work as a non-resident in a Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA)
  • If you are a non-resident paid for work completed outside of Australia
  • If you are paid under the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP)
  • If the work that you are conducting is of a domestic or private nature, and you do not work more than 30 hours in a week
  • If you are under 18 years of age and are not working more than 30 hours in a week
  • If you are paid less than $450 before tax in a calendar month

In the event that you are not receiving superannuation contributions from your employer, but you do not fall under those circumstances mentioned above, you may be one of the 3 million Australians who are losing out.

If you are in this position then you need to take action as soon as possible.

The Australian Taxation Office can become involved with the reclamation of underpaid super contributions by employers.

In the event that your employer is not doing the right thing, you can:

  • Report unpaid super contributions to the ATO after the lodgement due date for super contributions.
    • You will need to provide your personal information (including your Tax File Number), the period you are checking and your employer’s details (including their ABN).

Under current law, if your employer misses an SG payment, or doesn’t pay by the lodgement deadline, they are required to lodge an SG charge statement and pay a late fee.

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Rent Concessions, Property & Commercial Enterprises – What Do You Need To Know Tax-Wise?

2021-11-01 09:30:35 admin

Over the last 12 months, there have been many notable schemes promoted by state and federal governments to assist businesses and individuals with much-needed tax relief. Numerous relief schemes have been put into place to assist those with rent relief for their businesses.

Rent is a major business expense. It is one that many businesses across the country have often had to face in one way or another.

To address the issues that many businesses faced with lockdowns and cashflow issues as a result, some businesses were eligible to apply for rent concessions as a result of the impact of COVID-19, which could be as either a waiver or as a deferral.

Waiver

In the event that a waiver is the available rent concession, the tenant no longer needs to pay the amount of rent that has been waived.

Deferral

The tenant is still required to pay the amount of rent deferred, but the amount can be paid at a later stage (in the event that the ruling of the rent concession is as a deferral on payment).

Tenants who receive rent concessions from their landlords and landlords who give rent concessions to commercial tenants need to be aware of the difference between payments that are waived and deferred. Getting the two wrong can be costly, as rent payments are often a significant impact on the cash flow of a business. Missing payment due to a misunderstanding of the rental concession type you may have been afforded could be detrimental.

Property and tax is a tricky subject that goes beyond these rent relief measures and concessions. As the schemes start to dial back, it’s important to remember that tax and your dealings with property is an ongoing conversation you may need to revisit and reacquaint yourself with.

If you own, lease or rent a property that is used for business purposes (whether commercial, such as a shop or an office, or even your own home) you need to be aware of the tax implications and obligations that you will have to fulfil.

If you are in possession of a property that is used in such a manner, you:

  • must include any rental income in your tax return
  • can claim deductions for some property expenses
  • will be liable for capital gains tax on any capital gain if you sell the property
  • may have GST obligations and entitlements.

In your dealings with property, you will also likely have additional tax obligations, including those relating to one-off transactions (such as the buying, selling, leasing or developing of property).

This could result in the Australian Taxation deciding that those one-off transactions should deem you as conducting an enterprise. If the turnover from these activities is more than the GST registration turnover threshold (what you are allowed to bring in before reaching a limit), you may be required to register for GST.

Ensure that your tax obligations and consequences are met by consulting with us. We are equipped with the knowledge to assist you. You can also enquire about potential tax concessions surrounding rent and property with us, as there may be more available to you and your business than you might think.

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Director Identification Numbers And What Companies Might Need To Do To Get Prepared

2021-10-25 09:30:27 admin

Did you know that there are 31 different business registers that a business or company may need to be registered with that are a part of ASIC? Some of these registers are being brought together, in what will be known as the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).

The Commissioner of Taxation was appointed in April 2021  as the Commonwealth Registrar of the ABRS. In the near future, registering a company will be done through the ABRS instead of ASIC. This is a part of the government’s move towards a more efficient digital economy.

Previously, a company or business was registered through ASIC, where a Tax File Number and an Australian Business Number would be required. These are obtained through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and are a critical part of setting up a business or company.

Beginning from November 2021, there will be an additional step introduced in the registering of a company, involving a Director Identification Number (DIN).

This director identification number is a unique identifier that a director will apply for once and keep forever.

Every company director will need to have a DIN prior to 30 November 2022, with Indigenous directors having an additional year (till 30 November 2023) to adhere to the new requirement.

This applies to directors if their organisation is a company, registered foreign company, registered Australian body or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

In the future, registering a company will be done through the ABRS instead of ASIC. This is a part of the government’s move towards a more efficient digital economy.

Directors will need to apply for their director ID themselves because they will need to verify their identity. Eligible persons that have sufficiently established their identity, will be provided a DIN that they will keep for their lifetime – even if they cease to be a Director.

No one else will be able to apply on their behalf.

The new DIN Requirements apply to appointed Directors and acting Directors of Australian corporations and registered foreign companies, which includes those companies who are responsible for managed investment schemes and registered charities. This is set out under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). 

As of the time of writing, the DIN requirements do not extend to unincorporated bodies, de facto or shadow Directors, or company directors.

DIN’s will be recorded in a new database to be administered and operated by the Australian Tax Office and be made available to the public.

The ATO will also have the power to provide, record, cancel and re-issue a person’s DIN. A DIN will be automatically cancelled if the individual does not become a Director within 12 months of receiving the DIN.

Following the DIN, the ARBS will then take over the Australian Company Register, the Business Names Register, and the Australian Business Numbers (currently on the Australian Business Register).

The ABRS is responsible for the implementation and administration of director IDs. ASIC will then be responsible for the enforcement of associated offences.

It is expected that around 10% of all Australians will require a DIN.

Despite the small number, it is a crucial part of the plan to prevent and halt phoenix directors from being appointed to companies, who then rack up significant debts that no one is held accountable for.

It is believed that this change will make the process cheaper, faster, and easier, as companies will no longer need to be first set up through ASIC before dealing with the ATO for an ABN and TFN.

If you currently have a company and do not already possess a MyGov account, now is the time to rectify it in the move towards DINs.

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Innovation Stems From Collaboration – So How Can Your Business Get Involved?

2021-10-18 09:30:33 admin

Innovation is one of the pinnacles of good business practice. However, sometimes innovation isn’t a process that can be achieved by one person alone. In business, some of the best ideas and practices that your business might achieve could occur through collaboration.

Most businesses will have understood the impact and importance of internal collaboration between team members and already put into place tools to help promote this. However, what exactly does effective business collaboration look like?

Business collaboration is the leveraging of internal and external connections in order to generate ideas, find solutions and achieve common goals for your business. It can be done internally (through collaboration with your team), or externally (through the combined efforts of multiple businesses).

Many businesses are already seeing the benefits of remote collaboration within their teams, especially with regards to the time being saved and the increase in productivity.

Businesses may also find that learning opportunities are presented to their employees and team members through the interaction and collaboration with other businesses that could benefit them, with additional knowledge and skillsets gained throughout the process.

Even with many restrictions remaining in place that limit travel on both domestic and international scales, businesses are able to confer with remote workers and businesses through the assistance of digital technologies, thus enabling collaborative efforts to continue

As restrictions ease and businesses are able to engage with one another once again in face-to-face settings, remote collaboration tools can be used to facilitate inter-business collaboration from the ease of anywhere.

These include:

  • Instant messaging – allows for quick online communication for day-to-day business with the teams involved.
  • Video conferencing – replicating face-to-face contact without the need to travel into the office or to a meeting space.
  • Online workspaces – communicating, collaborating, and sharing ideas in one online space, without the need to be in the same room or even area
  • Cloud sharing – cloud tools offer functionalities for collaborating on files, tasks, projects, and calendars in real-time in one accessible, shared online space.

These tools allow businesses to work uninterrupted with individuals, clients and other businesses, as the distance between is no longer a major inhibiting factor to operations (if operations can be conducted away from the site). It can also potentially promote global interconnectedness for the business, as collaboration does not have to occur at a local or domestic level.

Your business might not collaborate with other businesses in exactly the same way as a business in the same industry. It’s important to know what might be the right form of collaboration for your business to benefit from it – and doing that will depend on what you may want to get out of it, and how long you may want it to last.

Alliance

This is known as the traditional type of business collaboration, usually involving two or three companies temporarily working together. They are able to reach a common goal by combining their resources and knowledge, which can be effective for businesses with knowledge/resource gaps that another business could temporarily fill.

Co-Opetition

Competitors can be great collaborators if used appropriately. Co-opettion involves collaborating with competitors so that businesses can share resources, avoid duplication of their work and generate new customers for all parties involved.

Portfolio

When one large business manages a broad collaboration with multiple smaller, external partners, this is known as portfolio collaboration. The main, central business sets the rules for the collaboration and maintains it, offering many of the benefits of an alliance but in a long-term form that generates more connections between businesses.

Community 

Simply put, community collaboration uses one of the greatest resources that a business may have at its disposal – the community. Essentially, businesses collaborate with individuals or other businesses that are within their community. This can be done via both the business community (e.g local business partnerships) AND the customer community (e.g. social media influencers).

Network

If a business knows of other businesses with similar goals and values that they want to uphold, they may instigate network collaboration. This style of collaboration means that the businesses may not necessarily be in competition with one another but, with shared interests can collaborate on mutually beneficial projects with access to one another’s resources and customer base.

Your business may choose to collaborate with other businesses through:

  • A wiki, which can be used to share knowledge, improve training and contribute towards a strong company culture.
  • Cross-promoting, where the businesses promote one another on various platforms. This could be done through social media, running partnered promotions, or even by getting creative with guest posts on websites or a shared podcast.
  • Running a networking event to find new clients and potential future collaborators, which can be conducted online or in person.
  • Community events can be a great way to connect your business with potential customers and collaborators, and running it with another local business is an effective way to put yourself out there and foster connections that could lead to long-term partnerships.

The rapidly changing and digitally-inclined business world means that businesses that don’t prioritise collaboration – both internally and externally – are likely to fall behind. Making the most of collaboration solutions and tools allows collaborations to be streamlined, which is beneficial to all involved.

If you are looking for advice on how to structure these collaborations or work out the best way to get involved with other businesses, you can plan out your way forward with our help. Start a conversation with us today.

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Spousal Contributions: The Filler For Super

2021-10-11 09:30:51 admin

Depending on your relationship, you may have discussed with your partner the prospect of marriage. Or you might be more comfortable remaining in a long-term de facto relationship (especially since many de facto relationships have similar rights as those of a marriage).

You might share a lot of things with your partner (such as a mortgage, a family, or a car), but did you know that you might be able to boost their super for them?

Specifically, if you (or your partner) were unable to work for a length of time, such as during maternity/paternity leave, unemployment or are a single income household, the super fund of the non-working part of the pair might not be increasing. As a result, the retirement savings held in super for one member of these households may not be increasing as exponentially fast as the working member.

The good news is that when in a relationship, a spouse can boost their non-working partner’s super fund with their own contributions. The best part? It could be a tax write-off for the working spouse.

Under Australian superannuation law, a spouse can be a legally married partner with whom you live or your de facto partner. That gives additional benefits to those in de facto relationships, who can choose (if one member of the relationship isn’t working or earns less) to boost their partner’s super fund. A spouse must also be younger than 75 years old when you make the contribution.

One of the primary losses of super gains that can occur is a result of maternal or paternal leave. If you and your spouse are thinking about starting a family and may have to take time off work during the pregnancy, spousal contributions can be a great way to continuously inject funds into super so that the gap from the pause in employment can be mitigated.

If you are looking to help your spouse’s super grow, there are two ways that you can go about it.

  • Making a Spouse Contribution to their super account
  • Arranging for Contribution Splitting (also known as Super Splitting)

Spouse superannuation contributions can now be made for spouses earning up to $40,000 per year. If a spouse earns less than $37,000, the maximum tax offset of $540 can be claimed when contributing a minimum of $3,000 to their super. Anything contributed that is more than $3 000 will not receive the spouse contribution tax offset.

You will not be able to claim the tax offset if:

  • A spouse has exceeded their non-concessional contributions cap for the financial year or,
  • Their super balance is $1.6 million (for 2020/21) or more on 30 June of the previous financial year in which the contribution was made.

Another way to inject funds into your spouse’s super is to choose to have some of your own super contributions put into their super account. This is fine as long as they have not reached their preservation age yet, or are between their preservation age and 65 years and not retired.

Super contributions can only be split in the financial year immediately after the year in which the contributions were made or in the same financial year as the contributions were made. This is only if your entire benefit is being withdrawn before the end of that financial year as a rollover, transfer, lump sum or benefit.

Contributions can be split in two different ways.

  • Employer contributions – the most common form of super contributions to split
  • Personal tax-deductible contributions – money that you deposit into your super and claimed a tax deduction.

Spouse contributions are generally treated differently to contributions your spouse splits with you.

If your spouse makes a contribution for you, it counts towards your non-concessional contributions cap – not your spouse’s contribution caps. If you are currently employed by your spouse, any contributions that they may have made in this role are reported as employer contributions (not spouse). They may also include amounts transferred from your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s FHSA under a family law obligation.

If you are looking into spousal contributions into super, it is best to seek the advice of your financial advisor or superannuation provider, to best determine what path you should take.

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Retail Workers & Tax – Here’s What You Need To Know

2021-10-04 09:30:36 admin

In spite of the many challenges that have faced many industries across the country during COVID-19’s persistence and ongoing effects, the retail industry through their continued, adapted operations has continued to progress.

As a result, retail workers across many stores may find that the taxable income from their work may have been affected by the changed situation. This may be a result of additional income, less income, or stagnation of their taxable income as a result of stand-downs, business closures or a forced pause in their operations.

No matter the situation though, retail workers will still need to ensure that all of their taxable income has been accurately reported and lodged in their tax returns.

If you are a retail worker earning your income or have earned your income in the industry over the course of the previous year, you will need to know:

  • What income and allowances you may need to report
  • What can and cannot be claimed as a work-related deduction
  • What the records are that you may need to keep track of

This information may be applicable to income earned in the 2020-21 financial year, or to income earned over the next year.

Income and Allowances That You May Need To Report

On the 30th of June, you should have received an income statement or payment salary that shows what you have earned as a retail worker throughout the year. This should include your salary, wages or allowances for that income year.

You should include all of the income that you received during the year in your tax return, regardless of when you earn it.  This may include:

  • Any salary or wages that you may have earned as income.
  • Any bonuses that may have been earned during the year.
  • Any allowances that you may have received to compensate for an aspect of your work or to help to pay for certain expenses when you have travelled for work.

Allowances can also be if an employer pays you based on an estimated amount of what you might spend (e.g. paying cents per kilometre if you use your car for work). It may also be for the actual amount spent on the expense before or after the expense is incurred.

You may receive allowances

  • For work that may be unpleasant, special or dangerous
  • In recognition of holding special skills, such as a first-aid certificate or
  • To compensate for industry peculiarities, such as work on public holidays.

Your employer may not include some allowances on your income statement or payment summary but may include them on your payslips. These can include travel allowances or overtime meal allowances (as paid per industrial law, award or agreement).

If that allowance isn’t on your income statement or payment summary and you spend the entire amount on deductible expenses, it should not be included in the tax return as income or claimed as a deduction. If you spent more than what was your allowance, you include the allowance as income in your tax return and can claim a deduction for your expense.

If your employer pays for the expenses that you occur exactly, that payment is considered a reimbursement. This is not included or considered to be an allowance, and as such, cannot be included as income in your tax return or claimed for a deduction.

Deductions That You May Be Able To Claim

If you are a retail worker looking for claimable deductions that may specifically apply to your profession, you need to:

  • Have spent the money, and were not reimbursed for the work-related expense
  • Have proof that the expense directly relates to earning your income
  • Have a record that proves the expense was incurred (a receipt is usually acceptable).

You can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion of an expense. You can’t claim a deduction for any part of an expense that is not directly related to earning your income or that is private.

Some of the deductions that may be eligible as deductions for retail workers include:

    • Car expenses – if you drive between separate jobs on the same day, or drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employee on the same day.
    • Clothing expenses – the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job, or protective clothing that your employer requires you to wear.
  • Meal expenses – the cost of overtime meals on the occasions where you worked overtime and took an overtime meal break and your employer paid you an overtime meal allowance.
  • Self-education expenses – if your course relates directly to your current job.
  • Seminars and conferences
  • Technical or professional publications
  • Union and professional association fees
  • Phone and internet usage if your employer needs you to use your personal devices for work.

Record-Keeping Tips

Always keep proof of any expenses that you may have incurred for which you want to claim deductions. This is usually a receipt but can be another form of written evidence (such as an invoice). Those records must show what you purchased, when, where, and how much you spent. They must be in English

There are a few exceptions to the rule. These include small expense receipts, hard to get receipts, overtime meal expense receipts and travel and meal expense receipts. These have special rules and conditions that you need to follow if attempting to claim on these.

If you would like further assistance or information on how you can handle your tax return as a retail worker for this current financial year or for last year’s return, you can speak with us. We can assist you in the process, and make sure that your tax return is lodged correctly.

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Thinking About Becoming A Contractor? ABNs, Sham Contracting, Agreements And More…

2021-09-27 10:30:46 admin

Being a contractor offers flexibility, choice and more control over your own schedule. It also means that you have different responsibilities from other employees that you may have to fulfil.

For employers, knowing the difference between a contractor and an employee is a must. It can lead to costly penalties if the two get confused.

An independent contractor is someone who operates under an ABN and is not an employee of the company that they perform work for. They may also provide services to another person or business,

Sometimes an independent contractor may operate their own business and have many clients, in other cases the independent contractor may only do work for one company.

There are a number of factors that determine whether or not you may be classified as a contractor versus an employee. These can include:

  • How much control you have over the work you are conducting for the business – the more control you have, the more likely it is an independent contracting relationship.
  • If you are allowed to pick when you are working – employees have set hours in their agreement.
  • If you are running your own business and can have other clients while doing the work for this particular business.
  • If you are able to delegate or subcontract the work to others.
  • If you are the one responsible for your work and insurances – employees are covered by their employer, contractors are responsible for organising their own.
  • If you are expected to have your own equipment prepared for the work that you will be performing – employees will be provided with the equipment that they need.
  • If you bear financial risk for your errors.  You might have to redo the work for no pay if you get it wrong

In Australia, independent contractors often use the sole trader business structure when operating and conducting their business. Due to this, there is a legal requirement that you register an ABN for yourself or your business if operating as a contractor/sole trader.

Having an ABN is important. It identities you and your business to the government, and helps with tax and other business-related activities.

Not everyone may be entitled to an ABN (especially if they are considered to be an employee for the work that they are performing),. As a sole trader though, you are as you are considered to be starting or carrying on an enterprise.

For those who wish to contract you for your services, an ABN means that your clients will not be required to deduct tax from you. If you invoice an organisation without being in possession of an ABN, they are required by law to deduct tax at the highest rate that they can, as well as declare the income you receive from them through to the ATO.

If you’re operating as an independent contractor or sole trader, losing a chunk of your income to tax before you even get paid isn’t something that you’re likely to want to happen. That’s why having an ABN is important for you, to ensure that that doesn’t happen.

If your business is looking into creating a working relationship with a contractor, you need to be careful that you do not fall into a sham contracting arrangement.

A sham contractor arrangement is when a business (or individual) tells a worker that they are an independent contractor. It can exist even if the worker is treated like an independent contractor in some ways such as having an ABN and providing invoices like what a genuine independent contractor might have to do.

It’s illegal, and may be done knowingly by an employer to avoid taking fiscal responsibility for paying legal entitlements to employees. It is illegal to:

  • tell an employee they are an independent contractor
  • say something false to convince an employee to do the same work for the employer but as an independent contractor
  • dismiss or threaten to dismiss an employee if they don’t become an independent contractor, or
  • dismiss an employee and hire them as an independent contractor to do the same work.

If you are concerned that you may be involved in a sham contracting arrangement, or are an independent contractor looking for assistance in ensuring that you are remaining compliant with your current obligations when it comes to tax, super or business, we can assist. We are also equipped to help you with dealing with an ABN.

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