December 2011 Newsletter
Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.
Our new firm celebrates our 1st Birthday!!
We are delighted to be sending this our very first E-Newsletter on the anniversary of our very first year of operation - and what a fantastic year it's been. Thanks to you (our clients) we have survived that first critical year of any business and, we are not looking back. It really is a pleasure to come to 'work' each day and to enjoy servicing all of our clients. We are here to help you in all things concerning tax and business compliance - a role that we have been doing for our clients collectively for over thirty years.
This E-newsletter will be the first of many and is a direct result of asking our clients what they want - the repetitive answer was that our clients want proactive information from their accountant.
In each edition you will see links to new articles that will affect the broad taxation issues of our clients, and our aim is that you will at least personally get something useful out of each edition.
We also announce the launch of our brand new Website at www.lidgerwoods.com.au. We hope you visit our site that contains the basic information about our new firm and the services we offer.
As a result of our extraordinary growth, you may also see a third edition to our small office being Kate Marcuzzi who will be undertaking part time administrative work at our office from December 2011.
Finally, your feedback is always most welcome - so if you have anything you wish to say or want to voice your opinions, just drop us a line.
MARC LIDGERWOOD & SOPHIE NEWNAN - 'The Team' at Lidgerwoods Accountants
The Day After - Your Work Christmas Party
Christmas is a great time to relax and enjoy the silly season. It is also a popular time to kick back and enjoy your business successes (and failures) with employees, clients and family by undertaking some sort of social event.
You have your fun but then regret both your headache and the size of the bill the next day, and guess what – you now have potential non-deductible expenditure or fringe benefits headaches also.
Quite simply, fringe benefits tax is payable where the benefit is provided to an employee in respect of employment, but you should also be aware that it upholds it’s very own entire Act of Parliament! Therefore you need to be aware that fringe benefits tax is very complex and all factors of each event need to be taken into consideration such as:
Every scenario is unique and has differing consequences. If you have any questions in relation to your annual party or gift giving, (and please no taunting us with your exciting adventures or events) please contact Lidgerwoods Accountants.
Audit Shield Service
All clients would have recently received our offer to be covered for professional services in the event that you are reviewed or audited by the ATO or other government department. This service was requested by a number of our clients over many years, and I’m happy to say that a resounding number of our clients have decided to take up this insurance offering beginning 1st December 2011.
We agree that this cover is not warranted by many of our clients, and again confirm that it is not compulsory to do so, but if you do not want to take up the offer we do ask that you return the signed declination page to our office in the return envelope.
It is not too late to accept the offer though. All you need to do is pay the invoice we sent out recently, or request another copy of this invoice. If you’d like to discuss the cover in more detail, please contact our office
Superannuation: Common mistakes made by employers
The ATO has reminded employers of their superannuation obligations and has set out common mistakes they are seeing, including:
Superannuation non-compliance is becoming more and more frequent amongst some of our clients – especially when cashflow is tight. Given the increased activity we see by the ATO in this area Lidgerwoods Accountants recommend you contact our office if you consider your superannuation compliance is not up to date.
Record-keeping for businesses
With the introduction of benchmarking (with over 100 industries now benchmarked at the ATO), record-keeping has become the name of the game when a taxpayer is audited so they can prove their figures are correct. Not surprisingly, the Tax Office says that businesses reporting outside the benchmarks may attract their attention as it may be an indication that the business is not recording and paying tax on all transactions, especially cash.
If you have any questions in relation to your record keeping or income substantiation please contact Lidgerwoods Accountants.
A recent case that came before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal involves a claim that was made against an allowance that was described on a truck driver's payment summary as a LAFHA or living-away-from-home allowance.
The taxpayer's return treated the amount received as a 'reasonable travel allowance' which, if it were, any deductions would not require substantiation.
This case demonstrates how important it is for employers to correctly describe allowances and benefits on payment summaries and for employees to understand exactly what they mean. If you have any questions in relation to the allowances you are paying or receiving please contact Lidgerwoods Accountants.
Lidgerwoods Accountants – Christmas Closing Period
We wish to advise that our office will be closed on Friday 23rd December 2011 and reopen on Thursday 5th January 2012. If any urgent issues arise over this period, please send us an email and we will reply when possible.
We thank you for your continued business and support. We wish you and your families a safe & Merry Christmas.
MARC & SOPHIE
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