The Australian Taxation Office advises areas of interest this year amongst other being telephone, internet, meals (long haul truckies), motor vehicle logbook and single cab motor vehicle claims, and as usual we want to help ensure you receive all your allowable deductions so we provide the following
information to assist you with this year tax deductions:
If you use your phone incidentally and the total you’re claiming comes to less than $50 you don’t have to analyse your bills and can estimate $0.25 for work calls from your landline, $0.75 for work calls from your mobile and $0.10 for text message sent from your mobile.
If you have a phone bill with itemised usage you can use this to work out the deductible amount. Eg. phone bill $60/month and you estimate your work usage is 25% and the time spent at work is 11 months (taking into account annual leave) then your deductible amount would
be $60 x 25% X 11 = $165.
(Our advice is that you also keep a 4 week log as your itemised bill generally does not show incoming call eg. your boss or work related calls to you. The 4 week log will ascertain your work percentages more accurately).
If your phone bill isn’t itemised (or even if it is) we advise you to keep records of all calls during a one
month period (both incoming and outgoing) and use this to determine the percentage of phone usage
that is related to work. This entails keeping a record of estimated number of calls related to work as a
percentage of total calls, estimated time spent on calls for work over total call time, estimated data
use for work related phone activity.
Please click here for a phone log and internet worksheet to assist with you claims this year.
It is also advisable to complete the internet part should you wish to claim your internet this year.
Whilst logbooks are not required to enable you to claim your single cab ute, or vehicles over 1 tonne (as per ATO legislation), it is advisable to complete one for a period to ascertain the percentages claimed. Our recommendation is to keep a log book for period of at least 12 weeks (more if time permits) to enable us to prove the percentages claimed. For these types of vehicles, Eg. a single cab utility or vehicle over 1 tonne. Record all your travel both personal and work related during this time.
With other vehicle, sedans dual-cab ute etc. the logbook is required for a 12 week period.
Once this record is obtained you can use the data/percentages for a 5 year period unless you
purchased a new vehicle or your work conditions change.
Please click here for an example of logbook compliance record that could be printed off and used
or of course we do have logbooks to purchase in the office should you prefer that option.
Long-haul truck drivers claiming meals (even up to the commissioner rate) will be needed to provide
how they estimate their meal costs per day claimed. Our recommendation is that you either keep 3
months’ worth of meals receipts or 3 months bank statements showing your meals and incidentals.
As the COVID19 pandemic continues and the uncertainly and instability of the economy
continues, we would like to re-assure you that for us, it is business as usual.
The safety of our staff and our valued clients remain of the upmost importance for us and
for that reason we are now implementing the following measures effective immediately.
Staff will now be working remotely and be available by phone, email & messenger during our
normal opening hours. Mon, Tues, Thurs, Frid - 9am -5pm
Change to physical office opening hours – now Monday & Thursdays.
To assist you in dropping off your documents, we will have the office open
Monday’s & Thursday 9am – 5pm. (Please contact us should you require a time outside this)
Please note strict guidelines set out by Queensland Health and Governments will need to be adhered to at all times.
The drop off will be in the form of knocking and opening the door, placing documents on designated area inside the door and leaving, the documents will then be retrieved by staff member.
We are very fortunately to live in time where we have access to so many mediums e.g. email, fax, skype, zoom, phone, messenger and cloud based software, this enable us to continue to provide you with all normal services and to guide you through this crazy fog of government legislation.
Take care everyone xx
Stage 2 & 3 Extension of JobSeeker Payment
There is no doubt that many businesses are still struggling to recover from the COVID 19
pandemic and as such in order to help assist the recovery the Government had put forward the
“Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020” which
received Royal Assent on 3rd September 2020. The bill gave effect to the extension of the
Jobkeeper scheme to 28th March 2021.
JobKeeper Stage 2 (Extension 1) - 28 September 2020 - 3 January 2021
JobKeeper Stage 3 (Extension 2) - 4 January 2021 - 28 March 2021
To qualify for the amended Jobkeeper (Stage 2) scheme, there are new additional tests that will
need to be satisfied, where your actual GST turnover (or gross sales if not registered GST) has
declined by at least the required percentage (e.g 30% for entities aggregated turnover less
$1 billion) for the quarter (July, August & September) ending 30th September 2020 compared
to your 30th September 2019 quarter.
To qualify for the amended Jobkeeper (Stage 3) scheme, there are new additional tests that will need to be satisfied, where your actual GST turnover (or gross sales if not registered GST) has declined by at least the required percentage (e.g 30% for entities aggregated turnover less $1 billion) for the quarter (October, November & December) ending 31st December 2020 compared to your 31st December 2019 quarter.
Note: Under the previous guidelines provided, businesses were required to record at least a 30% loss in the June 2020 and September 2020 quarters to be eligible for Stage 3.
The amendment “Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments & Benefits) (Timing of Supplies Made & Decline in Turnover Test) Rules 2020 (No 1) effective from 17th September 2020, now only require the 30% loss for the December 2020 quarter (October, November & December) to qualify for the Stage 3 extension.
Please note ensure when calculating your turnover that you use the correct accounting method (this is the GST accounting reporting basis you use either Cash or Accrual).
Jobkeeper 2 will now reduce and be paid at two different rates
For sole traders and Eligible Business Participants (EBP) they are also subject to the same thresholds that define access to the Full or Reduced rates, and eligibility will depend on the hours of active work/engagement in the business for the month of February 2020.
Warning: Entities and EBP must be able to reasonably demonstrate the basis on which they have determined that a business participant was actively engaged in the business for the required number of hours in the month of February 2020.
The Government rolls out its second stimulus package of $66.1 billion
in an attempt to help support everyone affected by COVID19
We will simplify it for you
Cash Flow Support – Business – Stages 1 & 2
Small to medium businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million, that employs staff maybe eligible to receive (in form of a refundable credit administered by ATO) up to $100,000, with a minimum total payment of $20,000 based on their PAYG withholdings.
This is based on 100% of their PAYG withholdings for the employees’ wages/salaries up to maximum of $50,000 over 2 stages.
Eligible employers who pay wages will receive a minimum (tax free) $20,000 even if they are not required to withhold PAYG tax (paid over 3 stages.
E.g. $10,000 paid April 2020, $5,000 July 2020 & $5,000 Oct 2020).
Note: The tax-free payment will be calculated and paid by the ATO as an automatic credit to an employer, upon the lodgment of activity statements from 28th April 2020, with any resulting refund being paid to the employer.
Income Support Payments
A six month ‘Coronavirus supplement” support payment of $550 per fortnight will be paid to individuals who are currently eligible for certain income support payments, such as Jobseeker Payments, Youth Allowance & Parenting Payment.
Eligibility to this support payment has been eased to include self-employed and sole traders.
Furthermore these payments will be in addition to their normal payments.
Tax-free stimulus payments of $750 will be paid to eligible recipients (concession card holders (except those receiving income support of $550)) over 2 stages, from 31 March 2020 and from 13 July 2020.
Early access to Superannuation benefits
The government has introduced a new compassionate ground of release that will enable an individual to access $10,000 of their superannuation tax free to assist them to deal with the adverse effects of Coronavirus but only if the meet one or more of the following criteria
The individual is unemployed
The individual is eligible to receive Job Seeker payment, youth allowance, parenting payment
Or after 1 January 2020 either, the individual was made redundant or their working hours were reduced by at least 20%
Or the individual is a sole trader – their business was suspended or there was a reduction in business turnover of at least 20%.
Additionally the individual will be able to also access an additional $10,000 from July 2020. (Totaling $20,000 over two financial years 2020 & 2021 with 6 months between drawdowns.
Please contact us should you require any further information.
Take care everyone, together we can overcome this historical uncertain time xx
What a crazy year this has been, between drought, bushfires and now COVID 19, we are all as a society trying to comprehend it all.
Good news is that it’s “Tax Time” again and hopefully we can spread a little sunshine, in a way of a refund.
This year we see more in-depth reporting and changes to our convoluted legislated taxation laws.
It’s an exciting year for SAR as we celebrate 10 years in Yarraman (Yeh!!!) , and anyone who runs a business knows that this is no easy feat, so from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for your ongoing support.
Due to all your amazing support we have expanded our office to take in the adjoining building, almost doubling our work space.
Jobkeeper Payment details still not available
Bill was passed last night but full details are not available yet.
Last night, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package bill 2020 was introduced and
passed both Houses of Parliament. Unfortunately, it did not contain the finer details of
how the Jobkkeeper Payment Scheme will operate.
What it did was set up a framework including giving the Treasurer the power
to make Rules, by way of Legislative Instrument, as to how the Scheme will work.
The Rules are not currently available.
ATO’s role in the Jobkeeper Payment Scheme
Further, as previously announced by Treasury, the Commissioner of Taxation will be given certain discretions relating to the operation of the Scheme, including the ability to provide alternative turnover tests that can be satisfied if the tests already announced by Treasury cannot be met (e.g. that businesses with a turnover below $1 billion must have had or will have at least a 30% reduction in their turnover due to the effect of COVID -19).
It is anticipated that the ATO will make this information available once Treasury has released the Rules.
We believe this information is imminent and as soon as it is available, we will be working quickly to provide you with all the information you need to assist you.
We believe the information previously announced by the Government, will be the whole, and representative of how the Scheme will end up operating.
Stay tuned, we will update you as soon as it comes to hand.
As Coronavirus continues to spread, we are endevouring to help ensure a safe environment for our staff and our valued clients.
In an attempt to minimise the effects of the virus we are implementing the following;
• Cancelling all non-essential business & personal travel
• Ensuring 14 day self-quarantine is strictly adhered to, for any staff members who were required to travel.
• Cancelling gr...oup seminars, conferences and training sessions
• We have placed additional hand sanitizers around the office and administration
• Implemented additional cleaning/disinfectant activities.
• Limiting visitors by recommending alternative contact.
Our aim is to help ensure our clients businesses stay viable during this tough time, by offering our unwavering customer service in different formats e.g phone, skype or email.
We will continue to stringently monitor the situation and be guided by the relevant health authorities.
Please be re-assured for the SAR team it is business as usual albeit with tighter health controls.
Extension of JobSeeker Payment
To reduce the instances for confusion, the information that was listed here was replaced 28/09/2020 with the current legislation surrounding JobKeeper - scroll up :)
Undoubtable the “Jobseeker Payment” has been a great initiative and is creating a lot of
interest and confusion. We have been inundated with phone calls with clients seeking
clarification….. we will endeavour to clarify a few things for you.
The key measures of availability are:
1. Ascertain that your business has satisfied the 30% downturn in business.
This can be determined is by comparing your GST turnover for March 2020 with your GST
turnover for March 2019 (this is a onetime requirement).
2. The $1,500 per fortnight is a reimbursement of wages already paid to eligible employees
(see previous blogs for full details on eligible employee)
3. First fortnight is 30 March 20 to 12 April 20 and will continue on a fortnightly basis at this
stage until 27 September 2020.
4. Ascertain which of your employee’s are eligible and have them complete the “Jobkeeper Employee Nominations Form” (this is vital). ato.gov.au/jobkeeper.
5. Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per fortnight.
6. Enrol from 20 April 2020 for Jobkeeper payment through your MYGOV or we can do this for you. You must do this before end of April to claim reimbursement for April.
7. This is also available to Sole Traders.
8. As a partner in a partnership, adult beneficiary of a trust or shareholder or director of a company you may also be eligible as “business participants”.
As this is uncharted waters for everyone we understand that you may require more information relevant to your business. We are here to assist you if you require any further information. Although you may find it a little easier via email firstname.lastname@example.org , due to the large volume of calls we are currently receiving, alternatively the ATO offer great in-depth information on their website.
Stay safe everyone xx
We have also excitedly welcomed a couple new staff members.
For locals you may already know Cheryl Nix. Cheryl has been a familiar face within the local banking industry, and our newest recruit is Julie, Julie come with wealth of knowledge within the accounting administration industry and brings with her exceptional customer service experience.
Unfortunately society still dictates that we lead exceptionally busy lives and this year with the COVID 19 and distancing requirements, we are striving for ways to not only keep us all safe, but to also simplify the completion of your Business/Income Tax Returns, whilst retaining our one-on-one personal service.
This year we offer several options in which you can utilised to complete your return, these include;
PO Box 91
YARRAMAN QLD 4614
The drop-off system enables you to drop off your information after hours, or at your convenience without the need for an appointment,
it will operate in two ways,
We have attached a business checklist to assist you in getting your information together.
Other checklists are available from our website under “Forms” for example Rentals Properties, Individual, small business etc. or alternatively please contact the office and we will be more than happy to email the required forms to you.
If you utilise the drop options we will make contact with you on receipt of your paperwork and as we work through your return. (If you could ensure we have an email address and phone number included within your paperwork to enable us to contact you as we proceed).
Whatever option you choose to use, please be assured that our personal service’s policy and your confidentiality is paramount, our sole aim is to make this process for you as quick, efficient and as painless as possible.
Our opening hours during the Tax Season are as follow;
From 1st July to 8th August: Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday: By appointment only
Afterhours – by appointment
From 10th August to 30th September: Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm
From 1st October to 31st October: Normal trading hours resume
1st November to 31st July Normal trading hours resume
As always and for your convenience we are again offering appointments outside these hours.
Please call the office to discuss your specific requirements, we are taking bookings now.
SAR Accounting is a family run business and although we continue to growing expeditiously you can be assured as always, of our attention to detail, and our personal service’s policy will always remain unchanged.
I sincerely look forward to seeing or speaking to you soon and once again I sincerely thank you for your ongoing support.