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Articles of Interest

  • Cash Economy
  • The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has expanded their efforts to combat the "Cash Economy". The "Cash Economy" refers to business transactions settled in cash and then not recorded as either income or expenditure. We feel that a number of small business owners will be struggling to understand that at a time of adverse economic conditions, when business owners have to literally pour ...

TAX Tips before 30 June

  • Deduct Investment Property Expenses
  • Do you have an investment property? There are plenty of forms and other documents you need to get together ahead of June 30, and you don't want to miss out on any of them and risk paying some extra tax.

    Bank statements, receipts, income summaries, depreciation schedules, valuation reports and an income summary report from property managers are just some of the documents you'll need. Check with your tax agent, and make sure you don't miss out on a single form. Also remember, there are other deductions you can claim if you're renting out a property. Some of these include:

    • Accounting fees
    • Borrowing expenses
    • Bad debts
    • Agents' fees
    • Gardening
    • Insurance
    • Mortgage Insurance
    • Postage
    • Cleaning

    And there are more.... You should also keep in mind that for buildings constructed after 1982, there is a 2.5% straight line deduction for work such as structural improvements.

    Depreciation and Deduction can be forgotten, so check with your tax agent to determine which rental deductions apply to you – you may be eligible for some you're currently unaware of.

Latest News from Australian Tax Office (ATO)

  • The ATO advises that this year (2011-12 - Last updated 10 June 2011) it will be paying close attention to claims from people employed in the following occupations:
    • earthmoving plant operators
    • flight attendants
    • carpenters and joiners, including apprentices and trainees,
    • and real estate employees
    The most common mistakes made by people in these occupations include:
    • not having sufficient documentation to support motor vehicle and travel expenses
    • incorrectly claiming motor vehicle expenses on the basis of carrying bulky equipment, and
    • incorrectly claiming home office, mobile phone and internet expenses
  • Superannuation Options for employees working overseas
  • Employers may be paying double super for employees working temporarily overseas. To prevent the payment of double super, Australia has bilateral agreements with many other countries, including a new agreement with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which commenced on 1 April 2011.

    Employers are not required to pay super under another country's laws, provided:

    • Australia has a bilateral agreement with the other country
    • the employer continues to make super guarantee contributions in Australia
    • the employer (or a related entity) obtains a Certificate of coverage from us.

    For more information, refer to Bilateral agreements.

  • Claiming deductions for education expenses against youth allowance
  • As a result of a High Court decision on 11 November 2010, you may be eligible to claim a deduction for your study expenses if you received youth allowance to study full-time.

    If you were eligible for a deduction in the years 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010, ATO will be writing to advise you that ATO will be amending your assessment(s). You will receive a letter from ATO between 1 March 2011 and 30 April 2011.

    For more information go to

  • Unsure if our workers are employees or contractors
  • Use the employee/contractor decision tool on ATO website which is designed to help you (as a payer) understand whether your individual workers are employees or contractors in order to comply with your Commonwealth tax and superannuation obligations. It is not designed for situations where you enter into an agreement with a company, partnership or trust for them to provide a worker, or obtain workers through an intermediary such as a labour hire firm, or where you are a labour hire firm.

    Once you have answered a series of questions, you will be provided a report which will give:

    • a decision of employee or contractor (for Commonwealth taxation and superannuation purposes) for this particular arrangement
    • a summary of the information you have provided the basis of the decision, and
    • a summary of your Commonwealth taxation and superannuation obligations relating to the worker.

    For more information go to Unsure if our workers are employees or contractors.