What does a bookkeeper or BAS agent do? How can they assist you in meeting your obligations as a business owner? What should you expect in terms of qualifications and experience?
Why You Need a Bookkeeper
- To keep all of the records up to date so you can get accurate financial reports, and to assist with legal record keeping requirements.
- To help in keeping your end of year accounting bills down; by accurate processing throughout the year, there are fewer adjustments required by the tax agent.
- To avoid late penalties by making sure the GST, PAYG tax and superannuation compliance obligations...
Retail outlets and beauty salons to be audited in new FWO campaign
Hair and beauty salons and retail outlets are the focus of a new Fair Work Ombudsman compliance campaign that will target businesses along the east coast of Australia.
Fair Work Inspectors will conduct audits of at least 1600 businesses in randomly selected urban and regional areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The campaign will be conducted in two phases, with audits to be conducted in waves.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell said the first phase was already underway and the campaign would take approximately 12 months to complete.
Clients Affected by Natural Disasters
The ATO recognises that tax affairs are not a priority for individuals and businesses who have been affected by natural disasters and will be sympathetic to people trying to manage their affairs.
If you or your clients are affected by natural disasters such as cyclone, flood, bushfire or drought, the ATO can help with your lodgement program and reconstructing records.
The ATO provides support by:
- Allowing lodgment deferrals of activity statements or tax returns without penalty.
- Allowing additional time to pay tax debts without incurring general interest charges (GIC).
- Making arrangements for payment of tax debts by installments.
Superstream being ignored by some Superfunds
Some Superfunds are ignoring the logic of SuperStream and sending threat letters to employers, which is getting out of control. The most effective way for an employer to embrace the efficiency of SuperStream is to use one gateway, preferably provided by their payroll software, and pay it all in one process.
Superfunds need to get on board. Encourage and embrace employers who are working with this system. Stop sending legal letters because you can't process as quickly as you should.
Superfunds, stop tricking people into paying monthly when really they have no legal obligation to do so.
Governance Guide and Task Risk Management
The ATO has developed a tax risk management and governance review guide for business. While aimed at large business, there are guidelines for small to medium businesses as well.
The ATO is encouraging businesses to adopt an internal control framework to selfassess tax and operational risks.
The full guide addresses responsibilities of both boards of directors and management personnel.
Small to medium entities may not have the formal documents of large entities, but nevertheless the same principles can apply.
- Role of management in authorising suppliers, granting credit to customers, controlling bank accounts and so on Levels of access and permissions granted to staff...
The law states that every business making a payment must check the validity of their suppliers. They must check that:
1. Suppliers have provided an ABN and that it is a valid ABN and it belongs to them.
2. Check that the supplier is allowed to charge ST.
3. You must obtain a valid tax invoice from suppliers.
If your supplier used an invalid ABN or is not registered for ST but they have charged it, and you pay it to that supplier then the ATO position, based on the law, is that you are not allowed to claim back that ST from the ATO.
There are increasing reports...
Advice on Super Changes After 2016 Budget
The ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group meeting was held on Friday 20 May 2016
Proposed Superannuation Reform
If the proposed reforms are legislated:
- The lifetime cap will take effect from 7:30pm on 3 May 2016, taking into account all non-concessional contributions made since 1 July 2007.
- The Budget 2016 superannuation fact sheet 04 highlights that this change is only expected to affect a relatively small number of individuals, contributing more than $500,000 non-concessional amounts.
- We do not currently publish information on superannuation fund members who have contributed more than $500,000 in non-concessional contributions to their superannuation fund.
Superstream - What are your options & obligations?
SuperStream 2016 is a compulsory system of submitting Superannuation Payment information (standardised data) electronically. The information links the payment made by the employer to the employees account in the relevant superfund/s.
It is the intention that SuperStream will make the whole superannuation system and employer meeting their obligations efficient, faster, more reliable and with
Every business is different, so there's no 'one size fits all' approach to adopting SuperStream 2016.
Employers have various options; using software that confirms to SuperStream, or using a service provider that can meet SuperStream obligations on your behalf.
Your Options may Include:
Following on from last month's 'End of Financial Year Project Plan', take this opportunity to review your business generally.
Before End of Year - Review Business Progress
- Review Profit & Loss to end March/April - Check with your trusted advisor (accountant & bookkeeper) on how you are doing for the financial year. Mark it in your diary to do this every April/May!
- Review Superannuation paid for Directors - Discuss with Accountant/Bookkeeper effects of budget on superannuation
- Review the list of Assets & remove obsolete or defunct items
- Review cashflow for additional tax deductible pre-30 June purchases
- Review all your Insurances -...
Benjamin Franklin once said "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
Take this opportunity to make your End of Year stress free by using the timeline and your trusted advisor to calmly prepare for the end of year.
Lodge and Pay Monthly IAS/BAS - March
Lodge and Pay Quarterly BAS - January to March
Check employees have signed authority to email payment summaries.
Check SuperStream compliance is in place for start by 1 July
Prepare your End of Year Plan
Lodge and Pay Monthly IAS/BAS - April
Fringe Benefits Tax annual return – due date...