Articles

This is a selection of articles we’ve written over the years…

 

Handling Property Inheritance

When an investment property is left to the beneficiaries of a deceased estate, there will be tax implications.

SMSF for different age groups

Different life stages present diverse opportunities and limitations when it comes to investing. How does your age affect your self-managed super fund?

Negative Gearing 101

You’ve probably heard the term ‘negative gearing’ being bandied about by investors, but do you really know how it works and why it’s often called fool’s gold?

Risks with excessive borrowing

In a stagnant market, negatively geared debt may consume any equity you had in the main residence as additional security for loans.

10 Secrets of a winning business

Every day business owners ask the question ‘what makes a great business and what do I need to do to move from good to great?’   The recipe for a great business is not about industry, size or location; it’s about a series of winning fundamentals that define all great businesses. 

Understanding tax implications

Recognising the various tax implications of developing a property is crucial to maximising profit.

Why consult a Propety Tax Specialist

It is wise to include an accountant in your team of professionals who will guide you through your investment journey.

Tax & the Ex-Pat Property Investor

The tax pros and cons of going overseas are reflected in complex rules for property investors.

Tax Planning & tips for Property Investors Financial year end

There are several ways in which property investors can benefit at tax time but don’t leave it until the last minute.

5 steps to a tax free Christmas 2014

OK, we know tax is not the most exciting thing to think about in the lead up to Christmas. But these are the questions we get asked all the time, and if you are familiar with all the tricks and traps, you can save yourself and your business hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

5 Simple way to manage your tax downwards

Look at any company that is in financial trouble and you will probably see the Tax Office as one of the larger creditors.  The reality is that we all pay a lot of tax ‐ some of it income tax, some withholding tax, PAYG instalments and GST.  

Maximising your granny flat

A granny flat can increase a property’s overall rental yield but investors need to be familiar with the tax implications.

Interest – When is it deductible

For most geared investors, interest is generally the largest deductible claimed against rental income so it demands attention.

A Question of Ownership

There are several options when it comes to structuring the ownership of your investment property.

Year end Tax Planning – Tips for Property Investors

With the hot property market, particularly in Sydney, new investors have entered the market.

Write way or ATO way for 2010 – Your Choice

A new PM, Reduced Mining tax, an imminent election, interest rates rises on hold, strong jobs growth, 2 speed economy … This is how we begin 2010/2011 financial year ‐ uncertainty.  

Which property Education Mentoring Consulting fees are deductible

With the property market on fire as reflected by the auction results or more to the point the preauction offers, one starts to question firstly what is driving all the interest? There is no question consistently low interest rates over a period is a major contributor to rising values allowing investors to borrow more and still get a reasonable rental return.

What’s deductible Whats NOT for PropertyInvestors

Clients of Property Tax Specialists receive a comprehensive checklist and templates to reduce time and guide in this process.

What tax and Super Changes are likely with new government

A new government in Canberra … the same Senate though until July 2014. Will it be the promised ‘no surprises’ policy driven change for better? With the strong mandate, it is hoped that will be the case with little of the theatre that went on over the last few years.

What is ATO doing with PI

With their vastly improved systems ATO is able to match data from third parties such as councils and banks to the information lodged on tax returns. ATO is sending out letters to new investors and others  reminding them of what expenses can be claimed as deductions.

What ATO insists on to complete your 2013 Tax

Planning to keep tax at a minimum is an exercise that should be carried out throughout the year and not rushed at the end.

Updating your hybrid discretionary trust

A Hybrid Discretionary Trust may take many forms and there is no standard definition.  Nevertheless, the most common form of this type of vehicle is a discretionary trust, the trustee of which has the power to issue units that encompass various rights.  

Travel to Holiday & Inspecting rental property – what is deductible

Clients have rental investment properties located in resort or holiday locations in Australian destinations.

The $88k FBT motor vehicle trap

The Fringe Benefits Tax Year ends on 31 March 2010 … 3 weeks away. Have you started getting all your documentation together for preparing the FBT return or paying the employer for the fringe benefit value (including GST)?  With cars being one of the most common benefits read below a story to help you avoid mistakes.

Tax planning-where are the real benefits

As ATO and the government continue to tighten the tax rules, Tax planning becomes an imperative.   Now that is close to financial year end some issues should be examined in the light of performance of the last 11 months.  

Tax pitfals of accessing profits in companies

Where you are running a business, particularly a Personal Services business including consultants, tradies, professionals etc., now is a critical time – to start reviewing the performance of your operation over the last 11 months with your accountant tax specialist or financial adviser.

Super Basics Q&A

The Global Financial Crises has scared many people, especially those with investments in super retail funds managed by ‘experts’. The dominant question for small investors particularly those with small balances is ‘ why did you not get me me out in time?’ The implication is that if you were the experts why could you not see this situation coming? The reqality is many are too small.

Social Media … the good the bad and the ugly

Social media allows every comment, word, thought, and rant of an individual to be accessible to the world.

SMSF And Borrowing

Knowing what assets your Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) can own is an important part of being a fund trustee.

Super what happens to it when you die

The general rule is that superannuation is not part of your estate unless you expressly make it part of your will, right? Well, maybe not.

Pregnant Pause – Paid Parental Leave scheme from the govt

The Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme is open for business.  Available to eligible parents whose babies are born or adopted from 1 January 2011, the scheme opened for registrations on 1 October.

Is the new national PPS register relevant to property Investors

You might have heard the advertising about the Personal Property Securities Act (PPS Act) and the national register that opened on 30 January 2012.  But with a title like that it’s easy to think that the Act and the register are not something that the majority of us need to worry about.    

Who has best tax deal Large medium or Small business

Are big companies getting a better deal than you? How can you fight back?

Top SMSF Property Investment Mistakes

With everyone’s super growing, now court cases are revealing the problems associated with incorrect documentation or poor planning and advice. See below some of the mistakes people are making with this structure for investment property funded by loan.

Divorce – What it means to you & your Business

Breaking up is hard to do. Beyond the emotional and financial turmoil divorce creates, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved.

Superannuation what happens

The general rule is that superannuation is not part of your estate unless you expressly make it part of your will, right? Well, maybe not. A recent case before the courts serves as a warning to make sure that you take care of the details.

Are big companies getting a better deal

The Tax Justice Network – Australia, recently created headlines when they released a report into the practices of the top 200 ASX listed entities ahead of the G20 summit.

Tax things you can do

Planning to keep tax at a minimum is an exercise that should be carried out throughout the year and not rushed at the end.

New Tax Breaks for smaill business & ATO benchmarks

Spreading some joy prior to the Federal Budget, Treasurer Wayne Swan has announced an immediate tax write-off for small business of the first $5,000 on the cost of a new car used for work purposes.

More Tax Changes – Never Ending Story

Never ending story – more tax change from 1 January 14

Loosening the rules for Property in SMSFs

As the four major banks dominate mortgage lending in Australia, they have a huge stake in the property market. They would not want to see property values below loan values as happened in the US and Europe.

Look out – someone just took your businesss

Business Issues – Leases & Goodwill, International tax traps

Landlords the ATO and deductions

How Far Will ATO Go in pursuing Landlords and Deductions?

Knowing when to change your business structure

For successful businesses, simple business structures often do not work.

Why using 20K tax deduction MIGHT be a mistake

The budget has come and now gone (. The centrepiece of allowing small business to write-off/deduct (instead of depreciate) assets each costing less than $20k is great. BUT it needs planning for timing and cash flow. 

Top 5 Simple Tax Planning Strategies

Tax planning should ideally form part of your overall financial planning, as it may well have an impact on your overall financial situation.

Is ATO coming for You

Every few months we warn you about what the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is looking for and how you can reduce your likelihood of being in the spotlight. We look at the obvious and not so obvious ways the ATO is looking at you.

Investment allowance traps

The Investment Allowance (or tax break) was part of the Government’s stimulus package designed to ensure that business investment remained consistent, despite the dwindling economy.   

How to sell your business

People go into business for many reasons. Most notable amongst them is to sell out at a profit or at large enough price to enable a comfortable retirement.  

How do the recent changes to super rules affect you

By now you would have seen all the media reporting on the changes to Super rules which the government has announced recently – ahead of the budget. See below is a summary of these.

GST Refunds

If your customers prepay you for your services and are not entitled to a refund if they ultimately don’t take up the service, then a new court case opens the way for a potential GST benefit.

Gifts to tenants – are they deductible

In broad lay language, the basics of tax law says that if you spend money to generate income (rental), then you can claim the expense as a deduction against the rental income – where there is a direct income.  

Getting too close to your business when personal and business funding blend

Most small business owners are pretty close to their business.  For many, it is a major part of their life and the distinction between personal and business is easily blurred. This can also cross over to their financial affairs with business and personal finances being interrelated.  

FBT – Things You Should Know

The FBT year runs from 1 April to 31 March.  FBT is one of those areas that many employers struggle with; not because the tax is complex but because of the level of detail required to fulfil your obligations.  

Steps to a Tax Free Christmas

These are the questions we get asked all the time, and if you are familiar with all the tricks and traps, you can save yourself and your business hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

The business realities of managing Christmas

The Christmas season affects different businesses in different ways and can have a significant impact on you.

Contractors or Employee… Why is it important

A recent decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) should serve as a warning for any employer who employs independent contractors.  In a case brought by the Tax Commissioner, a company that employs over 1000 contractors to provide interpretation and  translation services is now potentially liable for superannuation guarantee payments to all of its contractors ‐ now and retrospectively.

Common Questions on Borrowing in SMSF

With ATO closing a lot of loopholes, owning  and managing your wealth creation assets in you SMSF is now the fashion. The main attraction is Tax rates lower than personal marginal rates. On retirement, there are also benefits of lower tax. The government is happy with this arrangement because pension entitlement are reduced as you receive more from your SMSF.

Changing Rules for Trusts

A lot of family businesses use discretionary trust structures. These have been popular because they provide both a level of risk management, separating the business from your personal assets, and are also quite tax efficient. A discretionary trust allows the trustee to appoint the income of the trust (this is typically the profit of the business) to any of its beneficiaries in the proportions that it determines from year to year.

Can your SMSF buy art work

The answer is yes you can (as long as the asset is genuinely for retirement income purposes, not for your personal use now, and not acquired from a related party) but the Government is looking closely at what SMSF’s acquire and how those assets are managed.  

Buying a Business – More than just the sale price

If you thought reaching an agreement on price was difficult, wait until you get to the fine details of buying or selling a business.

Business scruples – Business valuations

How do I know how much my business is really worth?  We’ve been talking to a new investor and are starting to doubt our assumptions about its value.

BMT Div 40 Div 43 explanations

What used to be called depreciation in the past is now referred to as Capital Allowance (Div 40) and Capital Works Writeoff (Div 43). Many times it is difficult to determine in which category an asset in a property fall into. Get it wrong and you can lose tax deductions or worse ATO may take issue with it in case of an audit.

Beware the ATO Changes in 2013

What looks like a fast moving 2013 has started with a bang including the excitement of an early declaration of a federal election in September. Will the world stop or just slow down?

ATO Fires first warning shot

The Tax Office has fired the first warning shot in the war against naive, deceptive and dishonest taxpayers, revealing its targets for 2013/2014.

Asset Protection

The tragedy raises serious questions for owners, agents and landlords. Questions of responsibility, ultimately leading to questions of ownership structures, Asset Protection and property management.

Are you the only normal person at your office

Ever wondered why you’re the only ‘normal’ one at your office?  Better understanding your behavioural profile, those of your colleagues and customers can help break down communication barriers and help you achieve results.  It also helps overcome that feeling that everyone else around you is obviously completely insane!

Are Property Investment Seminar Expenses Tax deductible

With the huge opportunities in the investment property market at the moment, many people attend seminars to learn more about how to invest and generally educate themselves on how to create wealth

Divorce & investment property

Investing in rental properties jointly with your spouse or de facto partner can have tax implications in cases where the relationship ends.