600 Targeted in Random ATO Audits

600 Targeted in Random ATO Audits

Back in June, the Australian Tax Office told a Parliamentary standing committee on tax and revenue that it was “considering” reintroducing random audits. Now the ATO has confirmed random audits will commence in 2016. The compliance program targeting 600 individuals and small businesses will focus on tax evasion and under-reporting.

Naughty or Nice? Xmas tax checklist

Naughty or Nice? Xmas tax checklist

It’s that time of year again – what to do for the Christmas party for the team, customer gifts, gifts of appreciation for your favourite accountant (just kidding), etc., etc. Here are our top tips for a generous and tax effective Christmas season:

Merry Christmas to all

Merry Christmas to all “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy’s words are just as pertinent now as in 1963. In uncertain times it’s more important than ever to embrace the spirit of the season. Share the joy. Be merciful and … Read More

Christmas Closure Dates 2015

Christmas Closure Dates 2015 Please note our last day will be December 23rd 2015 and we will reopen at 8:30am on January 6th 2016. We take this opportunity to wish you a happy and safe holiday season.

First Point Group – Finance Brokers & Consultants – Big Changes to Investment Property Loans – June 2015

First Point Group – Finance Brokers & Consultants

Finance / Home Loan Market Update

Big Changes to Investment Property Loans

There have been some big changes in the past few weeks for investment property loans. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has been talking to all banks / lenders in the market since 2014 regarding the fact that they have been lending more money to “property investors” than to “owner occupiers”.

In 2012, Owner Occupied loans represented around 60% of all new Home Loans funded in the Australian market, however, the trend since 2012 has steadily moved towards investment loans now accounting for around 58% of total new Home Loan transactions. APRA sees this as a possible concern and has been working with the banks to place a “cap” on investment loan transactions. If the trend continues to be weighted towards investors, any type of property market correction could possibly have a magnified effect, as generally speaking, property owners are more likely to sell their investment properties than their own homes. In a worst case scenario, this could drive property values down too far, creating a situation where debt exceeds property value.

New Victorian stamp duty and land tax surcharges to impact developers and investors – June 2015

New Victorian stamp duty and land tax surcharges to impact developers and investors – June 2015

The Victorian Government has introduced new legislation which will impose 3% stamp duty surcharge on foreign purchasers of residential property in Victoria from the 1st July 2015. This will increase the stamp duty that foreign investors pay from 5.5% to 8.5%.

The surcharge also applies to certain acquisitions by foreign purchasers of interests in companies or unit trusts that own residential property in Victoria which are caught by the landholder duty provisions.

Depreciation for primary producers – June 2015

Depreciation for primary producers – June 2015

The Treasurer has announced that accelerated deduction rates for primary producers announced in the Federal Budget will be brought forward to include acquisitions made from 7.30pm on 12th May 2015. The measures when originally announced were meant to start from the 1st July 2016.

This means primary producers will be able to:

The sharing economy and tax – June 2015

The sharing economy and tax – June 2015

The ATO has released advice about the tax treatments of income earned from ‘sharing economy’ activities.

These activities can include letting out a room, renting or letting a car park space, driving passengers in a car for hire or doing odd jobs, errands, deliveries or more skilled services on an ad hoc basis. The ATO are applying the same tax laws regardless if these activities are being conducted in a more conventional manner or are being promoted via an app or website such as Uber or AirBNB.

Minimum wage increase from 1 July 2015 – Employers take note! – June 2015

Minimum wage increase from 1 July 2015 – Employers take note! – June 2015

On June 2nd 2015 Fair Work Australia issued it’s annual minimum wage review ruling, granting an increase to the minimum wage. This means the first full pay period commencing on or after the 1st July, 2015, the minimum wage rates set out in the modern awards will increase by 2.5%.

1.86 million minimum wage workers will go from receiving $640.90 a week to $656.90 a week, a weekly increase of $16.00. Taken as an hourly rate, that’s an increase from $16.87 to $17.29.