How to party smart this Christmas (and avoid being stung by FBT afterwards)

With Christmas fast approaching, a lot of business owners are starting to think (or already thinking!) about how they are going to celebrate Christmas with their employees and clients.

While it is a festive season where you normally spend a little more in treating your employees, their families and clients with good food, wine and some activities, enjoying the time and having some fun, business owners may unknowingly provide Fringe Benefits where it may end up costing you more.

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Need help with your tax return?

For those who are attempting to lodge their own 2018 tax returns this year, your due date to lodge tax return is 31 October 2018, this is only a week away!!!

Frustrated about having to lodge it in a week?

Unsure what information you should include in your tax return, or where to include them?

Want to know more about how to maximise your tax deduction and save on tax?

Too busy to be lodging a tax return when you’d rather be spending time on something you’d enjoy – like picnic with family?

We are here to help.

If you engage us to be your tax agent by 31 October 2018, you may be entitled to have additional time to lodge your 2018 income tax return (of up to May 2019).

We promise we will be gentle, and the process won’t hurt 🙂

Come and have a chat with us, or email us to start the conversation.

Who are you?

In life we play different roles which gives us different names. You can be a parent at home, a child of your parents, a customer at the shops, or, if you run a business, a business owner. But do you know the correct name to call yourself when you run a business?

Very often we get business owners ringing saying they are the director of their company, when in fact they may not even own a company to start with. Understanding what structure your business is in is very important to avoid confusion down the track. Below is a brief description of each business structure and how you can call yourself when speaking to your suppliers or customers.

Sole traders

If you run your business as a sole trader, you will have an ABN for yourself, and your business is run under this ABN. You do not hold a separate entity and therefore cannot call yourself a company director.

In this case, you can call yourself a business owner, or a sole trader.

Partnerships

A partnership involves two or more people (up to 20, with some exceptions) going into business together with a view to making a profit.

If you are running a business under a partnership with others, then (to put it simply) you are the business owner of the partnership.

Companies

A company is a separate legal entity that consists of directors and shareholders. A company director is someone who makes decisions on behalf of the company, whereas shareholders hold shares for the company and is eligible to receive any dividends declared by the company.

If you run your business under a company, and you are the director of the company, then you can legally call yourself a director when speaking to your suppliers or customers.

Trusts

A trust is a structure where a trustee carries out the business on behalf of the trust’s members (or beneficiaries). A trust is not a separate legal entity. You can have individuals or companies acting as trustee(s) of your trust, and individuals, companies or trusts to be a beneficiary of your trust.

If you run your business through a trust, you are the business owner of your business.

Wrapping up…

Only directors of a company can legally call themselves a director, if you run your business in any other format, you can call yourself a business owner.

If you are confused about what structure your business is in, we suggest going through your business documents eg bank statements for your business bank account which will contain the details of the account holder. Otherwise, if we run your books and prepare your tax return, give us a call.

Fake tax agent scam alert

Yet another ATO scam we are being warned about by the ATO. This time the ATO are reporting an impersonation scam where people are contacted by someone from the ATO demanding payment of a ‘debt’.

In these scams, the person pretending to be from the ATO says they have dialled the victim’s tax agent into a three-way teleconference; however, it isn’t the victim’s tax agent, but instead it is someone pretending to be from the agent’s practice. The person then instructed the victim to pay the ‘debt’ on that day, and via bitcoin.

The ATO reports that during July and August it received more than 7000 scam reports to its dedicated phone line, with close to $190,000 being paid to scammers, and more than 1600 people handing over their personal or financial information.

The ATO will issue payment demand notices for outstanding debts so be wary of any such phone calls. The ATO will never ask you to pay your debts via bitcoin or gift cards that’s for sure!

If you receive suspicious calls please let us know as soon as possible so we can report them to the ATO.

Click here to access previous scams the ATO has identified.

How to make your end-of-year financial statements preparation a breeze

Now that we are in August (time flies!) and well into the 2019 financial year, many of you are probably busy preparing your file to send to us for review. Year-end reviews can sometimes be a daunting experience as you never know what the result will be, or what more documents you need to bring in to us… So is there anything you can do to make both of our lives easier? Definitely!

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