Harper News

Not 100% ready to retire? ‘Try before you buy’ with a TTR strategy

Under the superannuation rules, there is scope to access some of your retirement savings in your super fund under an arrangement called “transition to retirement” (TTR).
Under this arrangement, a super fund member can ease into retirement by reducing their working hours without reducing their income.

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How to give your SMSF a boost in retirement

While providing income for retirement is the obvious purpose of a pension paid from a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), there are some issues to consider before drawing a pension from your SMSF.

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Work-related expenses in the firing line

With Tax Time 2015 in full swing, the Tax Office has flagged that it will pay particular attention to workrelated expenses. It says it’s an area that adds up to about $19.5 billion in tax deductions each year. 

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Introducing the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

The government recently introduced into Parliament a bill to establish an independent Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. If passed by the Senate, it will replace the existing Australian Small Business Commissioner as an advocate and assistant to the sector.

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The essentials of succession planning

While it might be a tough topic to broach, it is inevitable that someday you will leave your business. You can’t know whether you’ll sell up, retire or leave due to health reasons, so is important that you prepare yourself for any eventuality.

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Insurance through your SMSF

They say that the best insurance is the one that you never make a claim on, and it seems that many selfmanaged superannuation fund (SMSF) trustees had in the recent past mistakenly taken this to mean that not having any insurance cover at all was a viable option (a relatively recent review of the sector found that only 13% of funds were covered).

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Tax deductions for your holiday house

Many of us look forward to an annual getaway, either to the beach or the bush, to unwind and re-charge after another tiring year.

While having a holiday house is a luxury that a lucky few may be fortunate enough to be able to own outright, for many Australians having a beach shack or bush retreat can be made more affordable by leasing out the property to other holiday makers.

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Tax deduction misconceptions: What you can’t claim

There are some misconceptions about deductions that many taxpayers commonly believe to be claimable, but are typically rejected by the Tax Office. While some are obviously not allowable, they have all been genuinely attempted to be claimed — and in most instances knocked back. Other disallowed claims, however, may surprise.

While the Tax Office may reject the following in the first instance, taxpayers who believe they have a “reasonably arguable position” should consult this office for more advice.

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Your $20,000 immediate write-off questions answered

In the recent Federal Budget, the government announced a series of measures to assist small businesses, with one of these being an immediate write-off for depreciating assets that cost less than $20,000. This measure, which has now been written into law, applies from the 2015 Budget night (7.30pm [ACT time], May 12) to June 30, 2017.

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Tax and super planning checklist

The Federal Budget has come and gone, and the weather is getting colder… it must be nearly time for financial year end work! To help you get through this busy time, we present the following Tax and Superannuation Planning Checklist. This checklist outlines some salient year-end tax and superannuation matters to consider before 30 June 2015, and some planning tips for the 2015-16 income year.

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Working from home — the tax implications

In general terms, the Tax Office takes the view that expenditure associated with a person’s place of residence is more likely to be of a private nature. However if you produce assessable income at home, or some of it, and you incur expenses from using that home as your “office” or “workshop”, you will generally be in a position to be able to claim some expenses and make some deductions.

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The role of auditors: An SMSF essential

Auditors play a crucial role in the compliance regime of self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). The legislation that governs the SMSF sector requires that accounts, statements and all compliance needs of an SMSF be audited every year by an “approved auditor”.

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End-of-year superannuation planning

To get your superannuation into its best tax position, for this year-end and into 2015-16 and beyond, consult this office on which strategies suit you best. But to start with, the following tips may help point your thoughts in the right direction.

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Last-minute tax planning tactics for individuals

This financial year is almost over, but there are still tactics you may be able to employ to make sure you pay the right amount of tax for the 2014-15 year. While the best strategies are adopted in July (that is, as early as possible in a financial year and not at the end), it’s worth remembering proper tax planning is more than just sourcing bigger and better deductions.

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Small business: Decisions for your end-of-year planning

There are a variety of decisions that are required to be made at year end to manage your tax bill. Your choice will be based on your businesses activities both past and future and also when you are looking to exit.

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Federal Budget 2015 wrap-up

Federal Budget 2015 wrap-up
Small business is a sector that came out a clear winner from the 2015-16 federal budget delivered by the Treasurer Joe Hockey. Despite the lead-up mutterings that the budget was going to be “dull and boring”, there were nevertheless a few surprises contained in the pages of the budget papers.

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International tax 2015 Federal Budget

The government intends to change the tax residency rules so that most people who are temporarily in Australia for a working holiday as non-resident for tax purposes, regardless of how long they are in Australia, will continue to be taxed as a non-resident.

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Superannuation 2015 Federal Budget

In the 2015-16 federal budget, the government reiterated that it will not introduce any new superannuation taxes during this term of government. Accordingly, no new superannuation measures were announced, including any changes to the limited recourse borrowing arrangements.

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Tax Administration 2015 Federal Budget

The government announced that it will provide $127.6 million over four years to a “serious financial crime taskforce” for investigations and prosecutions that will address superannuation and investment fraud, identity crime and tax evasion.

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General business 2015 Federal Budget

In early 2015, the government released draft legislation to implement changes to the taxation of shares and rights acquired under an employee share scheme (ESS). Consultations on the draft legislation identified some minor technical changes that could be made to the legislation.

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