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Tax and finance checkup time Max Tax Back – our local guarantee to you

ATO increases focus on rental property deductions The ATO will have an increased focus on rental property deductions this tax time and is encouraging rental owners to double-check their claims are correct before lodging their tax return. In particular, the ATO is paying close attention to: excessive deductions claimed for holiday homes, husbands and wives splitting rental income, deductions for jointly owned properties that is not supported, claims for repairs and maintenance shortly after the property was purchased, and interest deductions claimed for the private proportion of loans. While the ATO will be paying closer attention to these issues in 2015, it will also be actively educating rental property owners about what they can and cannot claim. For example, the ATO will be writing to rental property owners in popular holiday locations, reminding them to only claim the deductions they are entitled to, for the periods the property is rented out or is genuinely available for rent. When getting rental property deductions right, there are a few simple rules rental property owners should follow, to avoid making mistakes on their tax return. First, it is important for all property owners to keep accurate records. This helps to ensure they declare the right amount of rental income and they have evidence for claims made. Secondly, rental property owners should only

claim deductions for the periods the property is rented out or is genuinely available for rent. Finally, costs to repair damage, defects or deterioration existing on purchase, or renovation costs, can’t be claimed as an immediate deduction. These costs are deductible over a number of years. For more information there are a range of videos available to help rental property owners correctly claim rental deductions. Checkout ato.gov.au/ General/Property/In-detail/Rental-properties/ Rental-Property-video-series For more information on holiday homes, go to: ato.gov.au/general/property/in-detail/holidayhomes

Accountants & Tax Agents

Servicing Locals Since 2003 Pensioner Discount Available*

• Tax Returns:

• Individuals: Salary & Wage Investment Properties Sole Traders • Partnerships • Trusts • Companies • Superannuation Funds

• Bookkeeping & Tuition • BAS & IAS Preparation and Lodgements

Contributed by Leisa and Michelle, Hinterland Accounting Services Some of our most common questions at tax time include: I own a business – what’s the best way to budget and make the most profit, without a huge tax bill? I’m coming up to my retirement and I’m not sure what I’m entitled to? How much does a basic tax return cost, and how soon would I expect to get it in my account? I’m thinking of an investment property – what hidden costs can I avoid? We can answer these and many more questions, by contacting us on 5439 0188. We prefer to give our clients a personalised service – one size definitely doesn’t fit all – and can save you money. For those with a busy life (and who doesn’t have one!) we also offer Saturday and late appointments as well, to fit around what is easiest for you. And in our new office at 13 Turner Street, Beerwah, we provide access to a finance broker, insurance broker and financial planners. Just one call can assist in countless options and choices whether you are investing, preparing, looking to retire, first home-buyers or business owners … so please choose local and get the best advice possible. How can you afford not to?

MAX TAX

BACK! Make the most of your money

Monday - Friday, 9am - 5.30pm (Late & Saturday appointments available)

*Conditions Apply

Katrina, Bob, Amy and staff look forward to assisting you!

(07) 5494 1133

Shop 9, Landsborough Shopping Village Extended Office Hours (July to Sept): Monday to Friday 8.30am - 6.00pm Ordinary Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm (after hours by appointment)

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Now at 13 Turner St, Beerwah (Between Vet & Doctors Surgery)

Phone: 5439 0188

admin@hintertax.com.au

www.gcnews.com.au


Money Monthly Business Feature How can I protect my wealth? with Tracey Ferguson Ferguson Martens & Associates Financial Planning Phone: 5475 4511 Email: tracey@fmaplanning.com.au A lot of us take our health for granted, particularly when we’re fit and active. But we all know someone who’s experienced a serious illness or accident, and we all know it could happen to us at any stage. Without naming names, let me share with you a cross section of some real life client insurance claims that were paid during 2014:- A 31-year-old fitness centre owner died of bowel cancer, and her beneficiaries were paid $262,500. - A 49-year-old scientist died in a car accident, and his beneficiaries were paid $428,321. - A 50-year-old roof tiler died of a stroke, and his beneficiaries were paid $463,741. - A 39-year-old administration worker was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, rendering her totally and permanently disabled. She received a payout of $577,500. - A 49-year-old pharmacist became totally and permanently disabled after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and received a payout of $502,690. - A 12-year-old child was diagnosed with Classic Hodgkins Lymphoma, and the child’s mother received a Trauma payout of $110,250.

- A 29-year-old carpenter was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, and received a Trauma payout of $300,000. - A 45-year-old real estate agent underwent Open Heart Surgery, and received a Trauma payout of $347,287. It’s clear that events like this don’t always happen to ‘someone else’, but in fact can happen to you or your family members. If you are an employee, chances are you have some level of insurance inside your super fund… but do you know how much you have? Or how this compares with the amount you actually need? We spend a lot of time talking about the creation of wealth, but the protection of that wealth is equally essential. You work so hard to achieve financial security, and if the proverbial ‘wheels fall off’ you don’t want your plans to be derailed. Take a moment to consider the repercussions of your illness, injury or even death. Could you or your family afford the necessary medical treatment, maintain the mortgage and keep up with bills and daily living expenses? If you could never work again, how would you cope financially? When you’ve got so many things to spend money on, personal insurance might seem like an unnecessary luxury. It’s easy to put it off until a time when you think you might need it – the problem is, none of us know when that will be!

Fixed Fee Intitial Consultation Available

Taking instructions in most areas of law including: • Conveyancing – Buying & Selling of residential, rural and commercial properties • Estates, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Directives • Business and Commercial Law • Family Law

We provide a professional and cost effective Conveyancing Service Free perusal of your Contract by our staff before you sign

The surprising thing is that insuring yourself is not as expensive as you might think. A 35-year-old man can cover himself for $750,000 if he dies, plus $750,000 if he becomes totally and permanently disabled, plus $250,000 if he suffers a major medical trauma, plus $5,000 per month income protection – all for around $180 pm, a large portion of which is a tax deduction to him. The same cover can be provided for a 35-yearold woman, at a cost of around $220 pm, again with a large portion that is tax deductible. The way you structure your insurance is also important, and can make a big difference to your cash flow, and also to the tax consequences when you claim. So when putting together your financial plan, please consider the protection of your wealth as an integral component of your overall strategy. Talk to me today.

A committed and honest approach to the creation of financial security for YOU.

 Financial Planning  Superannuation Tracey Ferguson  Insurance

Shop 15, Turner Park Shopping Village, 21 Peachester Rd, PO Box 273, Beerwah Q 4519 Ph: (07) 5494 6566 Fax: (07) 5494 0941 Email: beerwah@ktlaw.com.au

3 golden rules for first homebuyers As someone who has been trudging the rental treadmill for a while, or maybe has never quite found the right home at the right time, getting your foot in the door of the property market can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life. But before you make that almighty jump, what should every first time buyer know?

here, unit values are plummeting there. But in reality, pinpointing a boom suburb - or a flop - takes a bit more work. Leaf through house price data from the past few years to check for trends. It might be that an area has just come out the other side of a dip and is poised for a comeback, making it a good time to strike. On the other hand, the boom might be on the way out.

By keeping these three golden rules on hand, you’ll be well on your way to a happy, fulfilling life in your first home.

These figures can give you the knowhow to figure out how much you can borrow on your first home loan with confidence.

1. Don’t get sucked in It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the headlines - house prices are rising www.gcnews.com.au

2. Start saving early It’s no secret that buying your first

home takes a bit of saving slog, but this doesn’t need to come at the expense of all the things you love doing. Once you’ve got your heart set on your first home, it’s best to start that savings expedition early. Getting into the groove can take a while, but a cut back or three over the long term could make all the difference for securing your first home loan! 3. Use your head Let’s be honest: It’s hard to take all the emotion out of purchasing your first property! If you’ve been working hard to get the funds together, finding a beautiful house can lead you to

Level 1, CUA Plaza, 54 Baden Powell St, Maroochydore Ph: 5475 4511 Fax: 5475 4522 E: tracey@fmaplanning.com.au W: www.fergusonmartens.com.au

make a rash decision - one that could cost you financially further down the line. To avoid landing in hot water, weigh up all the costs and commitments that you’ll need to take on if you do make the purchase, including stamp duty and home loan repayments.

Teresa Harrison Phone 5422 9458 or 0410 648 098

smartline.com.au/tharrison tharrison@smartline.com.au

Australian Credit Licence Number 385325

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Tax and finance checkup time TAX AND FINANCE CHECKUP TIME Can you help with business or personal tax returns? Or financial planning & advice? The next feature will appear in Glasshouse Country & Maleny News on Wednesday July 8 Deadline 12noon Thursday, July 2 To book your spot please call Carol 0488 444 525, Tina 0477 004 977 or Sarah 5438 7445 or email advertising@gcnews.com.au

Your tax questions answered When do I have to lodge my 2015 tax return? If you prepare and lodge your own tax return, you must lodge it by October 31, 2015. If you are using a registered tax agent, the tax agent has other deadlines, in most cases up to May 15, 2016. However, if you are using a tax agent for the first time, or you are going to use a different tax agent this year, you must contact them by October 31, 2015. Do I need receipts to claim deductions for workrelated expenses? You can claim up to a total of $300.00 of workrelated expenses without the need to have written receipts. Once your claim exceeds $300.00 you must have receipts for the full amount. The expenses you claim must be related to your income and not be for private purposes. The expenses must have been paid for between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. It's risky to fudge the dates! If your employer reimbursed you for your workrelated expenses, you can’t claim the expenses in your tax return. You have already got your money back! I donated to several charities last year. Can I claim a tax deduction? To claim a tax deduction for your gift or donation, the organisation you donated to must be registered as a deductible gift recipient. Art Union tickets do not qualify as a tax deduction!

You can go to the ATO’s website www.ato.gov. au for more information on what you can claim and can’t claim. You can also ask a registered tax agent. I have a rental property. What can I claim? The basic answer is that you can claim all expenses incurred in connection with the rental property. Each year the ATO publishes a Guide for Rental Property Owners. This guide details what you can claim and can’t claim. You can download the guide from the ATO’s website, www.ato.gov.au. A major point: If the construction of your rental property commenced after 18 July 1985, you may be able to claim depreciation of the original construction cost of the building. Ask your tax agent! How do I prepare and lodge my tax return? For most people the preparation of income tax returns has not become easier over the years, but the ATO is providing e-tax, which enables tax payers to prepare and lodge their tax return electronically. Most taxpayers still go to an accountant or tax agent to ensure the return is prepared correctly and claims are maximised. If you expect a refund, many tax agents offer to deduct their fee from the refund. By Jens Staermose FCPA, principal, W. D. Hall Accountants, Glass House Mountains and Mooloolah Valley, phone 5494 7727, fax 54947726, email jens@wdhall.com.au www.wdhall.com.au

Let us maximise your tax refund! Call 5494 7727 7 Jordana Place Glass House Mountains Telephone 5438 7899 16

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email: jens@wdhall.com.au web: www.wdhall.com.au

12 Jones Street Mooloolah Valley Telephone 5494 7727 www.gcnews.com.au


Tax update for individuals

Rosemarie ~ Accountant

Josh ~Accountant

ND D RS

Sonja ~ Receptionist

Let me introduce you to our team, not only are we highly professional accountants – we are also here to be your best friend. Years ago major changes were made to the way individuals were assessed with the introduction of the Taxation Laws (Self-Assessment) Act 1992. The Self-Assessment Act meant that individuals lodged a return based on their own honesty. The return would be assessed automatically – we had entered the world of computers. In 2004 the Self-Assessment Act was reviewed by treasury and recommendations made to the Government on what changes should be made to improve the system. Those improvements came into effect in 2013. The result? The Self-Assessment System puts the onus on the taxpayer to make sure that their return complies with taxation laws. Every year the tax office becomes more aware of what is happening. Every Government department is now linked to the tax office. Certain institutions are required to report to the tax office. Employers are required to inform the tax office of payments made to individuals, whether they are employees or contract workers. All of this information is used by the taxation office to check against your tax return lodged. It generally takes the taxation office a year to match this information. This is because it takes the various institutions time to get the information to the tax office. Our accountants here at Fiducian Accountants & Business Advisers are specialists in making sure your deductions are 100% compliant. The tax office software is continually

Business feature being upgraded to provide more thorough automated checks, and this can lead to reviews and audits. This is why we advise you on what you need to do throughout the year to provide substantiation in the event that you are required to prove your claims. All through the year, the tax act is being tested. This generally happens as a result of an audit. When an auditor disallows a particular claim, the onus is on the taxpayer to prove that the expense is directly incurred for the purpose of earning the income … not the auditor to prove that the expense is not necessary. So, the taxpayer has the joys and expense of fighting the ATO through the courts to prove their case. In the event that the ATO wins the case, the Government is extremely happy and nothing more is said. Except that it has been proven that a particular expense is not deductible. In the event that the taxpayer wins the case, the ATO is not happy and sets about to redefine how that deduction needs to be substantiated. Hence, for our clients, it looks like the legislation is changing because they are having to keep more and more detailed records for the same expense they’ve always been claiming. With the latest changes from the 2015 Budget, there is even more emphasis on planning for a retirement. This is something that should not be left to the last minute. We have our own in-house Financial Planner who can help you get the best out of your investments. Depending on your age, you could benefit with the Transition to Retirement rules. Don’t leave planning to the last minute … the last minute could be too late!

Peter ~Financial Advisor

Melanie ~ Accountant

Susan ~ Bookkeeper

Accountants & Business Advisers

When Professional and Quality Advice Matters

• Accounting and Tax Returns • Bookkeeping • Regular Processing (daily, monthly, quarterly, annual) • BAS Josh Friend Josh Friend wart • Assessment of Financial Position • Financial Statements • Car and Business Equipment Financing

s & Business Advisers

Accountants & Business Advisers

Shop 9 Turner Park Shopping Center 21 Peachester Rd, Beerwah 22/11/2012 12:11:34 PM

Call us on

5494 0566

Fiducian Accountants & Business Advisers is a division of Fiducian Business Services Pty Ltd. ABN 16 063 433 367 Tax Agents Registration 39935025. 22/11/2012 12:11:34 PM

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Tax time 1st july 2015  
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