Pigot Miller Wilson

Accountants & Advisors

nsw drought

NSW 100% in drought

Emergency Drought Relief Assistance

 

The NSW Government has announced a $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package to help farmers manage the effects of the current drought.

Below is a summary of the assistance available and some links to further information.

The three major elements of the $500 million Emergency Drought Relief Package are:

  • $190 million for Drought Transport Subsidies;
  • $100 million to cut the cost of farming by waiving fees and charges; and,
  • $150 million to bolster the Farm Innovation Fund (FIF) infrastructure program.

The package also includes funding for:

  • Counselling and mental health;
  • Critical services in regional communities including transporting water and drought related road upgrades and repairs; and,
  • Animal welfare and stock disposal.

As always, we’re here to help. Do give us a call on 02 6362 1966 if you need help processing your application or understanding the emergency measures available to you.

To stay informed on the most up to date information as it comes to hand, visit the NSW Drought Hub  at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub

NSW EMERGENCY DROUGHT TRANSPORT SUBSIDIES

(available from 6 August 2018)

 

The NSW Government will offer a subsidy of up to $20,000 per eligible farm business for the transporting costs of fodder, water to a property for stock, stock to and from agistment and stock to sale or slaughter.

Some of the criteria for this assistance is:

  • Covers 50% of the full cost of transport up to a maximum of $5 per kilometre and 1,500 kilometres per journey. The maximum subsidy per journey would be $3,750
  • Subsidy can be back dated to 1 January 2018

The full list of guidelines is available here:

https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/826324/Transport-Subsidy-Emergency-Drought-Relief-Guidelines.pdf

Contact NSW RAA for more information on 1800 678 593 or visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/emergency-drought-relief

WAIVERS ON GOVERNMENT FEES AND CHARGES

 

Local Land Services

All LLS Rates for all landholders in 2019 will be waived, including general rates and rates for Animal Health, Pest Animals and Pest Management, the Meat Industry Levy and costs of Routine Stock Moving Permit and Stock Identification.

This waiver will apply automatically – no application required.

Contact Local Land Services for more information on 1300 795 299

Fixed Water Charges in Rural & Regional Areas

The fixed charge component of water licences issued by Water NSW will be waived for licence holders in rural and regional NSW. The water usage fee component will still apply to all water users.

This waiver will apply automatically – no application required.

Contact Water NSW on 1300 662 077 https://www.waternsw.com.au/

Farm Innovation Fund – Waiver of interest charges prior to 30 July 2018

All existing Farm Innovation Fund customers who had submitted applications on or before 30 July 2018 will have applicable interest charges for 2018 and 2019 financial year refund applied and processed automatically.

Contact NSW RAA on 1800 678 593 for more information https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/emergency-drought-relief

Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle Registration Costs

Class 1 Agricultural vehicles will be exempt from the next annual registration charge.

Contact Service NSW for more information on 13 77 88 https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/news/registration-relief-farmers

OTHER ASSISTANCE AND LOANS

 

There are many support measures in place by way of Drought Concessional Loans, Farm Management Deposits, Rural Financial Counselling Services and Farm Debt Mediation.

For Farm Innovation Fund, NSW Farm Debt Mediation & availability of loans please Contact NSW RAA for more information on 1800 678 593 or visit NSW RAA

For Rural Financial Counselling Services please go to http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/rural-financial-counselling-service  for help.

 

Our team at PMW Partners are available to help you navigate what is available to you and with the paperwork requirements to achieve your financial assistance, call us on 02 6362 1966 for more information.

EOFY18. The 2018 tax year has just finished and regulatory reporting is just beginning with tax returns, financial statements, payroll tax and more. At PMW we’re looking forward to getting all that sorted for you.

This is a big post dedicated to getting you organised and on your way.

Completing your records

Receipts and recording

Every claim, every transaction, every assumption must be recorded one way or another to ensure the item is proved, is accurate and is relevant to your financial and taxation reporting. This guide will highlight some of the actions necessary to get you underway for:

  • Individuals
  • Businesses

What you remember today may not be remembered tomorrow. So…Why wait until tomorrow.
We invite you to get started now, and if you have questions then of course we are just a phone call away.

Download our Individual Tax Return Items to Consider, Individual Tax Deductible Guide and Property Investors Guide.

Individuals

We have a detailed checklist for you to download and complete on our website.  When we are ready to commence your return, just supply it to us. It will be an excellent precursor to delivering our service.

Please follow this link to go direct to the Individual ITR form.

The document will ask you – PAYG summaries, Health Insurance Statements, Dividend Information, Receipts for expenditure (by category).There are even some basic tables that can be completed as well. In relation to gathering records here are some tips:

Banking

Access your bank records online and it should provide you with total interest earnings and charges on accounts and loans. This can typically be printed or saved as a csv or excel file and sent to us.

Shares and Investment

Dividend statements, contract notes for buy and sells, trust distribution notices are best just to be given to us ,or if you would like to jump into our financial planning then investment summaries are just part of the service.

Rental Properties

If you have property investment then your rental summaries, expense records and detailed repairs invoices for new assets and repairs would be great. Our new product My Prosperity will in the future be the best rental property tool you ever had but in the meantime the information form on our site will provide a good directive of what you need to provide.

Motor vehicle

The most common item of expense to claim and involves running costs, depreciation, interest and insurances. Some expenses such as fuel and oil are claimed using an estimate using the make of your vehicle and the kilometres travelled. Make sure have a log book less than 5 years old and provide an estimate of your annual business or work related distance travelled and we will work it out from there.
Make sure you get the odometer reading for your vehicle at 30 June as soon as possible.

If you don’t have expense receipts it may be best to just claim on a kilometres travelled basis assuming you have a deductible purpose.

Working from Home

If you work from home, as a minimum, please provide us with an estimate of how many hours you work per week from home and what items of equipment you may use. For more detailed home use patterns it is best to speak to us for guidance.

Things you may have purchased

Computers, printers, modems, other electronic devices, tools of trade, vehicles etc – simply provide the invoice, receipt or contract and some detail on why you bought it and how you paid.

Download the Home Office Expenses Guide

Business

These actions do not override any essential planning strategies. These are to ensure you are ready to close the year, start a new one based on a good line in the sand, and finalise that regulatory reporting.

If you have bank reporting, let us know straight away. Banks assess you on how effectively you meet your obligations and annual reporting is a crucial one. Making sure everyone is on target to deliver is not something to be left to the last minute.
Knowing the turnover of all your businesses, is important for us both as the rules may change if the combined revenues are big enough.
Bill it, collect it

The lifeblood of a business is earning and getting paid for its goods and services. For retailers this is relatively easy but for services, construction and progressive supply businesses income recognition, measurement and close off is crucial.

  • Close the tills
  • Review the work complete, or is at a progress billing stage
  • Get it billed
  • Process credit notes and cliams
  • Get your progression stages and profit recognition right and tight
  • Evaluate potential losses and claims
  • Evaluate the collectability of work in progress, and be conservative
  • Close complete jobs
  • Make sure those bad debts have been properly written off
  • Reconcile your ledger to the  trial balance

 

Stock is more than raw material and finished goods

  • Stocktaking is essential to measuring what has been spent but not yet sold. This should be done now if stock is more than $5,000.
  • Raw materials and finished goods are a crucial part of stock and so often work in progress is the poor cousin with few businesses having any way of assessing it, yet, it could be one of the biggest numbers in the financial records. Call us to discuss what to do here as it needs some specialised attention.
  • Identify slow moving or scrapped items and write them down to a recoverable amount
  • Ensure your costs of production are included and you know what your terms of trade are, to ensure stock movements are correctly dealt with.

 

Creditors and other expenses

  • Creditors must be processed before approval
  • Claim all credit notes (immediately every time)
  • Close creditor recognition at 14 days post end of period to allow for as many as possible
  • Review expenditure patterns and recognise creditors not yet received or billed (an accrual)

 

Wages & payroll

  • Ensure all wage categories and deductions have been identified and correctly set up
  • Reconcile the PAYG summary data to the trial balance
  • Ensure FBT reportable benefits are known
  • Prepare PAYG Statements
  • Prepare Contractor Schedule of Payments
  • Complete Payroll Tax Reports if required
  • Lodge Annual Records
  • Roll the payroll year
  • Ensure you are Single Touch Payroll ready (20+ employees)

 

The bank function

  • Process all transactions via feeds or manually
  • Review outstanding cheques and deposits for aging and potential cancellation and re-issue
  • Process all unclaimed monies
  • Reverse all suspended expense payment runs
  • Reconcile bank

 

And finally…

Depreciable assets, finance arrangements and miscellaneous balances can be closed later however please supply copies of invoices of documents for new assets, sold assets and new or completed finance arrangements. these will be processed as part of the year end function.

Download the Business Questionnaire

Audit Insurance

Protection against regulatory reviews 

A lot of change is occuring with technologies, and the information sharing between businesses and the government agencies is massive and will go a big step further with single touch payroll and the need to fund new budget promises. Any business and individual with interests other than as a salary and wage earner will at some point in the near future be involved in some form of review program. Yes there are many forms of review with the desk audit being one of the most invasive and hence, costly.

We have arranged for audit insurance to be available to our clients and we urge you to consider this. Please be assured while it has a cost this particular service is a non profit making service we at PMW Accountants & Advisors provide. This is done to provide you with the potential to protect you against costs of dealing with and defending actions by state and federal regulators.
Ask us about further details now.

Single Touch Payroll – Final Call

For employers with 20+ employees

It is finally here and for any employer with less than 20 employees your turn will come next year unless you volunteer to report under the current regime.

  • Employers will now report payroll and superannuation information direct to the ATO via Xero, MYOB and other accounting  system or payroll service providers.
  • This is done on a real time basis, i.e when you run the payroll
  • This information can be updated at a later time via an update process
  • There is a 12 month no penalty concession available unless notified that option no longer exists

Bear in mind that, while this concession is available, there can be potential reviews and actions that may cause other investigations to the business and or employees.

It is prudent to actively manage payroll particularly with director and related party amounts to ensure unusual variations do not apply without good reason. We are happy to discuss this further with you.

It is also fair to expect that this regular supply of information is likely to play a significant role in the government managing the massive social security and child support system, this being something employees may have a particular interest in.

The Super Amnesty

The government recently announced an amnesty for employers to catch up on their superannuation guarantee obligations from 24 May 2018 to 23 May 2019. No penalties will be applied during this period and is off the back of the introduction of the single touch payroll system noting that many employers may be adversely affected.

For those employers with cash flow issues this is an important opportunity to rely upon but also to ensure no late payment issues occur in the future as Single Touch Payroll will be the red rag to the bull.

We fully expect the banks financing programs will also look at this information moving forward and we urge all employers to be aware and prepare.

For more information and to discuss your tax plans further, please call us at PMW Accountants & Advisors on 02 6362 1966.

At this End of the Financial Year, there are a number of smart strategies you could consider to effectively reduce your individual tax liability.

Superannuation is a sometimes complicated topic, with ongoing legislation changes, we encourage you to discuss these ideas with your PMW Advisor before making any decisions.

Contact us for more information or to discuss you financial needs 02 6362 1966.

Personal tax-deductible contributions

The rules have been relaxed and you’re now able to make additional deductible contributions to bring you up to the annual cap of $25,000.

Prior to 2017-18, only people who were substantially self-employed or earning passive income could claim a tax deduction for superannuation contributions.

From 2017-18, this requirement has been removed so that all eligible contributors can claim a tax deduction for their personal contributions. This means that employees who were previously unable to make a personal tax-deductible contribution may now be eligible.

While still subject to the $25,000 concessional contributions cap, this strategy may prove timely if you have made a considerable capital gain from the sale of a property or shares – as your deductible contribution to your super fund may help to offset your assessable capital gain. Not only could it reduce your marginal tax rate, it may also boost your super balance for retirement.

Note that if you are not able to claim your super contributions as a tax deduction (for example, your income for the year is too low), they will be treated as after-tax (non-concessional) contributions.

Take advantage of the government co-contribution

If you’re in a low income bracket (if your total income is $36,813 pa or less) and you make an after-tax contribution to super, the Government will co-contribute 50% of the total of your after tax contribution into your super. For example, if you make a $1,000 after tax contribution towards your super, the Government will contribute $500 to your super.

The co-contribution is calculated as 50% of your after tax contribution, but the maximum $500 government co-contribution also reduces by 3.33 cents for every dollar you earn over $36,813 pa and ceases once your total income reaches $51,813 pa.

When determining eligibility for the Government co-contribution, earnings that are salary sacrificed to super and reportable fringe benefits come under the definition of total income. If you fit within the income thresholds outlined above, and satisfy some other conditions, contributing to your super from your after-tax salary before the end of the financial year may be a great way to top up your super, and get an extra boost from the Government.

Your financial adviser can give you the latest updates and more information on this opportunity.

Please note: Total income equals assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits plus reportable employer super contributions, less business deduction (other than for work related expenses or personal super contributions). 

Split super contributions with your spouse

If you have an imbalance in super between you and your spouse, it’s possible and also advantageous for you to consider splitting your superannuation contributions.

Super splitting is not offered by all funds, so you will need to check whether your fund offers this feature and discuss the benefits with you PMW Advisor.

If you have a spouse, you are permitted to transfer certain super contributions from the previous financial year over to the super account of your partner. If the receiving spouse is over preservation age at the time of the split request, he or she must declare that they are not retired. Splits cannot be done once the receiving spouse turns 65. You can do this every year, once the financial year has ended. Up to 85% of taxable (concessional) contributions such as SG, salary sacrifice and personal tax-deductible contributions made to super can be transferred.

There are several reasons for considering splitting super with your spouse:

There may be potential tax advantages to withdrawing the money from two super accounts rather than one (between preservation age and age 59).

  • Transferring contributions from the younger spouse to the older spouse could enable you to access more retirement money earlier.
  • Transferring money from the older spouse to the younger spouse could enable the older spouse to receive more Age Pension by delaying the date at which their super becomes an assessable asset.
  • Splitting superannuation monies does not count towards the receiving spouse’s contributions cap. The original contribution made counts towards the members’ concessional cap.
  • To help equalise balances between you and your spouse. From 1 July 2017, a $1.6 million ‘transfer balance cap’ applies to limit the total amount of super savings you can use to commence retirement phase income streams (where earnings on assets are tax free). Because this cap applies on an individual basis, equalising super balances between members of a couple can ensure that both members stay below this cap.

 

The benefits of spouse contribution tax offsets

Another potential tax concession is a spouse contribution tax offset. This strategy may be available if you make after tax contributions directly to your spouse’s super account – these are known as eligible spouse contributions. To take advantage of this strategy, your spouse will need to be under age 65, or aged 65 to 69 and have satisfied a work test during the financial year.

You can open a super account in your spouse’s name and make contributions to that account from your after-tax pay. You can also make these contributions to your spouse’s existing super account. If your spouse’s assessable income, reportable employer super contributions and reportable fringe benefits are under $37,000 pa, you will receive an 18% tax offset on the first $3,000 you contribute on their behalf, up to $540 pa. The offset operates on a sliding scale and phases out to zero once their income exceeds $40,000 pa.

 

A word on contributions caps

It’s worth noting that when there are a number of caps that could present opportunities to you, particularly if you are close to retirement or underfunded for your retirement years. Contributions of a non-deductible nature up to $300,000 can be made in the right circumstances.

When considering any super strategy, it’s important to assess how much you are contributing to super in any one year. The Government has set annual limits – known as contributions caps.

The contributions caps for the 2017-18 financial year are:

  • $25,000 (indexed) for pre-tax (concessional) contributions, regardless of age.
  • $100,000 for after-tax (non-concessional) contributions, or $300,000 over a three-year period if you are under 65 any time during the financial year you make the contribution.

In addition:

  • Your non-concessional cap reduces to Nil once your total super balance (just before the start of the year) is $1.6 million or more.
  • The cap you have available under the bring forward rule will reduce once your total super balance (just before the start of the year) is $1.4 million or more.
  • If you triggered a bring forward rule in 2015-16 or 2016-17 (the bring forward cap during those years was $540,000) but did not use all of your cap by 30 June 2017, transitional rules reduce the remaining cap you have available.

 

Contribution eligibility

In order to make voluntary super contributions, at the time of the contribution, you must be:

  • Under age 65
  • Aged 65 to 74 and have been employed for gain or reward for 40 hours in a 30 consecutive day period during the financial year –
    • This includes up to 28 days after the end of the month in which you turn 75
    • Spouse contributions cannot be made where the receiving spouse is aged 70 or over.

Voluntary contributions generally cannot be made once you have reached age 75.

 

Talk to your PMW Advisor, we can help simplify your end of financial year preparations and ensure you maximise the tax benefits.

Call us 02 6362 1966.

 

Please note, the information included here is general advice and does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation or needs and you should always seek independent advice from one of the Certified Financial Advisors or Registered Tax Agents at Pigot Miller Wilson before implementing any superannuation or tax strategies. Information in this article is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, as at 12 April 2018, which may be subject to change.

With the end of the 2017 financial year fast approaching, it’s time to take a closer look at your business and investments for the tax season.

Plan to get the best from your business and investments.

The ups and downs of your business success, your future plans and legislative changes throughout the year can all have an affect on your tax at the end of the financial year.

Which is why we like to catch up with you in May and early June to review your current circumstances. We’ll get your records in order and do an in-depth analysis of your business and investment profitability. With your profit forecasting, we can get an estimate of the tax payable and if there are any strategies available to make sure your tax is kept to a minimum.

Let’s talk soon – the sooner the better!

 

Analysis and planning can take time, so we’d love you to make a booking today on 02 6362 1966 with your PMW Advisor and get ahead of the June 30 rush!

 

Recently we’ve seen some major changes to many areas of superannuation.

Most of the changes are effective from July 1st, however there are some changes that need to be considered and acted on before 30th June 2017.

The biggest change is the tax exempt pension which will now be capped at $1.6M, from 1st July 2017. If you have funds over this pension cap, you will be paying a 15% tax rate on the residual funds earnings. For some, there may be strategies you can adopt prior to the 30th June 2017 to reduce the impact on your remaining funds.

What should you do?

To check if any of the changes affect your superannuation, or if you need to act before 30th June 2017, speak to your Financial Advisor.

We have a team of licensed Financial Advisors who can help you determine how the changes could impact you and review your current financial circumstances.

Call us 02 6362 1966 for more information.

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