Coronavirus Action Plan – Aston Accountants

You might be concerned about how Covid-19  (coronavirus) may affect us at Aston Accountants.  At the moment, it’s business as usual for us and we are following advice from the Australian Government Department of Health.

As you may already know, all of our partners, accountants and bookkeepers are able to work from home so it will be business as usual if we find it necessary to self-isolate or quarantine ourselves.   We have already had three of our team voluntarily self-isolate themselves when family visitors have arrived from overseas and we don’t believe this has had any impact on the service we provide.

We will continue to be contacted by email and are also able to have our office phones diverted if necessary.  If you phone and cannot be connected with the team member you wish to talk, please ask if a message can be forwarded to them to ask them to phone you back.

If you have an appointment booked with us and are feeling unwell on the day, we would appreciate if you cancel and reschedule, particularly if you have recently returned from overseas.   We don’t charge any fees for cancellations, even those made at the last minute.  We’d much rather see you when you are feeling well again.

Similarly, if one of our team is unwell, we are encouraging them to stay away from the office and work from home.  This may result in occasional appointment cancellations so we ask for your understanding if this occurs.   We also have video-conferencing software available if you prefer to talk to us face-to-face without coming into the office.

If you are feeling additional financial stresses to your business because of the Covid-19 outbreak, please contact us if there is anything we can help with, e.g. arranging payment plans with the ATO, revising PAYG instalments and so on.  A more detailed list of small business tips released by CPA Australia can be found here and here

We will continue to monitor the situation through the Australian Department of Health and update you further if their advice changes.

Link for additional information:  

We suggest that you do not rely on this document alone and that you follow the regularly updated Australian Department of Health guidelines here or here

Are you guilty of wage theft?

In the recent months the phase “wage theft” is popular term, as it was used in news articles about some national companies admitted to underpaying their staff. While news reporters are only reporting those “big” and well-known companies, any employer can potentially be committing some degree of wage theft. It is important that employers run their checks periodically to ensure they are doing the right thing.

What is wage theft

Wage theft is a term

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Recent changes affecting employers

1 January 2020 seems to be an important day to note for employers as there are 2 changes that employers need to be aware of, in relation to the way superannuation guarantee charges are calculated and payroll tax threshold changes.

Salary sacrificed super contributions and SGC obligations

Prior to 1 January 2020, if an employee decides to salary sacrifice their wages into their super fund accounts, the employer can choose to exclude those amounts in their superannuation guarantee contribution calculation.

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Fuel Tax Credit Rate Changes for the 2020 financial year

For those businesses who are registered for fuel tax credits (FTC), do you know there are THREE different rate changes (so far) in the 2020 financial year?

The following tables will come in handy when you prepare your quarterly BAS.

Remember we are always available if you need a helping hand!

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Giving the most with your Bushfire Donation

It’s amazing, and emotionally uplifting, to see how generous Australians are when it comes to making donations to help with the bushfire crisis.   It is also a good time to be aware that, for your donation to be tax deductible, it must be made to an organisation that has been given official status by the ATO as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).  If you are on a high marginal tax rate and know that the donation will give you a year-end tax deduction, that may encourage you to give more.

Most of the major charities are DGRs but sometimes, in times of crisis like this, small groups of people set up local fundraising entities and these might not have registered to be DGRs.  Similarly, many of the donation-seeking funds set up online through websites such as GoFundMe will not necessarily be registered as DGRs.

Some people may not be too concerned about this, and may still choose to support the fundraiser that best suits their ethos, no matter whether it gives them a tax deduction.   Others may be willing to give more if they know they will get a reduction in their year-end tax.

So, How do you check if an organisation is a DGR?

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