Issue 108 - August 2016
Seeking the road to happiness seems more difficult these days, certainly if you pay attention to the news headlines and social media.
Moving past the grim headlines, we can find many examples of good news stories around the world. Here are just a few we recently discovered:
- Over the last 25 years, two billion people globally have moved out of extreme poverty, according to the latest UN Human Development Report.
- The world's biggest economy, the US, has been recovering. Unemployment has halved in six years from nearly 10% to just below 5%.
- We live in an era of rapid innovation. One report estimates the digital economy now accounts for 22.5% of global economic output, and projects digital technologies could generate $US2 trillion of additional output by 2020. Recent news includes:
- The Dot Watch, which turns text messages into braille for the blind, is being celebrated as the first major innovation for visually impaired readers in nearly 15 years. It uses magnets and a grid of pins to create four braille characters at a time that change at adjustable speeds, allowing users to read text messages.
- Australia's economy is transitioning from a resources-led investment boom to one that is built on innovation, technology and trade – the Australian Government is heavily investing in this with its National Innovation and Science Agenda to make it easier for startups to access early stage investment. Investors will now be able to access a 20 per cent tax offset and capital gains tax exemption on investments in innovative startups.
- An app has won a coveted spot in CSIRO's innovation program. The program helps scientists from CSIRO and universities turn their ideas into commercially viable products. The Electronic Pain Assessment Tool (ePAT) app works by taking a 10-second video of the patient's face and analysing it in real time for micro-expressions that indicate the presence of pain.
On the days where you have had enough of the negative, you may want to write your own list of positive things in your life, things you are grateful for and realise that there is a brighter side of life. Keep this list for future reference on bad days.
As part of the 2016/17 South Australian State Budget, the government announced the Job Accelerator Grant Scheme aimed at addressing the state's high unemployment rate and promoting economic growth.
South Australian businesses will be entitled to receive a grant of either $4,000 or $10,000 for every new full time equivalent employee they hire after 1st July 2016 and before 30th June 2018. Businesses with a national wage bill of $5m or less and whom pay payroll tax in South Australia will be entitled to a $10,000 grant. Businesses whom are not liable for payroll tax in South Australia, will be entitled to a $4,000 grant.
The grants will be paid half on the first and half on the second anniversary of the date of their employment.
Businesses will need to demonstrate that their number of employees has increased in order to be eligible.
If you require any assistance applying for these grants, please contact your Brentnalls SA representative.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) knows that many business owners use some of their trading stock for their own private use and each year the ATO issues a ruling on the estimated value of this stock that needs to be accounted for in your business tax returns.
The most common businesses this occurs in are cafes, bakeries, corner stores and butchers.
The below table shows values for the 2015-2016 income year as a guide for business owners in regards to the value it expects to be allocated for any goods taken from trading stock for private use.
Greater or lesser values may also be appropriate in some cases, the ATO has recognised this and if you are able to provide evidence of a lower value, this is what should be used.
In June 2016, the State Government announced that the 50% payroll tax rebate for small businesses will be extended for another four years. This rebate is for small businesses with payrolls between $600,000 and $1,000,000 (phasing out completely once payrolls reach$1,200,000).
The rebate was originally introduced in the 2013/14 State Budget for a period of 2 years, however was then extended in the 2015/16 Budget for a further one year.
As South Australia is currently going through a difficult period in economic transition, the four year extension will provide more confidence to small businesses to plan throughout this period. This will include changing behaviour for hiring new employees as it is for a longer period than previous rebates.
You may be eligible for a partial or full exemption from Land Tax if land is owned and occupied by a natural person as their principal place of residence and the building has a predominately residential character. Where the property is owned by two or more persons, only one person has to meet these conditions.
In order to be considered a principal place of residence, the property needs to be the owner's usual abode (i.e. where they eat and sleep) and occupied on an ongoing basis.
In order to obtain a full exemption at least 75% of the total floor area of all buildings need to be used for residential purposes as the owner's principal place of residence. A partial exemption can apply when between 25% and 75% of the total floor area of all buildings are used for a business or commercial purpose (other than primary production).
As part of the 2016-17 State Budget, the government announced that where a person moves out of their principal place of residence to substantially renovate or rebuild their home, the person is able to maintain this property as their principal place of residence for up to two financial years from 1 July 2016. This will also be the case where a person buys a property with the intention to renovate or construct what will be their principal place of residence.
In addition, where two properties are owned at midnight on 30 June, one being the current principal place of residence and the other being the intended principal place of residence or previous principal place of residence, there is land tax relief available. An exemption will apply provided there is no rental income received on either property during the time both properties are held and the former residence is sold prior to the end of the financial year for which the exemption is sought.
For those of you who work for the Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Transport, any of our emergency services or indeed any other part of the public service, now is the time to prepare or review your estate plan.
On 16 June 2016, changes to the Southern State Superannuation Regulations were gazetted allowing members of Super SA and Triple S Super to nominate their estate, or Legal Personal Representative, to receive their superannuation fund balance and their associated
insurance policies upon their death. Therefore, it is now possible for members to nominate someone other than their spouse to receive their death benefit. Nominating their estate enables the member's Will to control how the funds are to be distributed to the beneficiaries of their estate.
Previously, members have had no discretion to decide how they would like their superannuation funds to be paid upon their death. Unlike most other retail and industry superannuation funds, Super SA and Triple S Super stated that where a spouse exists, in the event of death, the trustees must pay any super balance to a spouse. In the event the member died without a spouse, the benefit would only then be paid to the member's estate.
Unfortunately, a superannuation payment to a spouse sometimes lead to unsatisfactory results, for example, if the member had separated from their spouse but was not yet lawfully divorced, if the member wanted to leave their estate to testamentary trusts for minor children, in a blended family situation where the deceased's children from a first marriage missed out altogether, or if the spouse is bankrupt.
Members are required to execute a valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination in favour of their Legal Personal Representative if they do not want their superannuation paid to their spouse. The nomination will not be valid until the completed form is received by the fund and the nomination requires renewal every three years.
We strongly advise all public sector employees to speak with your advisors in order to have all your estate planning documentation reviewed to take into consideration whether a Binding Death Benefit Nomination should be made to someone other than your spouse.
Figured is a cloud add on which collates a farm's crop and livestock information. It provides the owners with the complete picture of the farm's financial position in one place to assist with making real time decisions using up-to-date and accurate data.
There are 2 levels of Figured. These are:
- Production Tracker – track each stock item and its movement ($20 + GST per month)
- Financial Farmer – complete package including scenarios and forecasts ($40 + GST per month)
What Financial Farmer provides, which Production Tracker does not, is the ability for a farm to run scenarios based on expected inputs and prices to access the viability of projects. These projects can be updated when any of the inputs/prices change so they can be easily re-evaluated.
Each member of the farm can have varying levels of access, from anywhere, and leave comments to assist with collaboration. Financial advisors, agronomists and other consultants can also be given access to assist with making any decisions and interpretation of the financial information.
The product integrates with Xero financial software with 2-way data flow saving time on data input.
In June 2016, the Australian Taxation Office developed a fillable TFN declaration form.
This form is available at ato.gov.au/TFNdec
Therefore, you no longer need to order forms and wait for them to be mailed, you can simply download from the address above, or ask your employee to download it and fill it out on their computer.
Once it has been filled in, print the form, arrange for original signature where indicated and send the original to the ATO within 14 days via the address on the form. Remember to keep a copy for your own files as well.
These forms can also be lodged directly from some payroll software.
If your business is using workers not directly employed by your business i.e. labour hire or subcontractors, it is essential you ensure these businesses are adequately registered for work injury insurance.
Return to WorkSA has created an online employer lookup tool to assist with checking registrations. You can search for a business using their ABN, ACN or Employer Number using the following link:
Congratulations to Tridente Architects for taking out awards in the Heritage and Sustainable Architecture categories at the 2016 SA Architecture Awards and receiving a commendation in the Educational Architecture category.
They are now in the running for the National Architecture Awards, to be announced in November.
We welcome Kurtis Wilson, Aasma Anwari, Carla Formato, Ian Lintag, Jake Chesini and Michal Harla who have joined as us undergraduate accountants.
We also welcome Emily Kirk who has joined our administration team.
Congratulations to Sally Storey for completing her Diploma of Financial Planning.
We farewell Quang Nguyen after 2 years and wish him all the best for the future.
||This month we are proud to be supporting Jeans for Genes, raising funds to help
realise a vision of a world without childhood disease.
I started full time at Brentnalls SA in July 2013, and have been working here ever since while studying Commerce part-time at the University of Adelaide. I'm looking to complete my studies in 2018 and hope to go on to become fully qualified as a Chartered Accountant. I particularly enjoy the variety of clients that I get exposure to at Brentnalls SA, and the supportive team environment.
Outside work I am quite busy. I recently became engaged to my now fiancé Shantelle and we are going to be married in November this year. This has meant a lot of planning and the big stress at the moment is locking down a house before the wedding.
I belong to the Christadelphian religion, enjoy reading the Bible, and spend some of my time involved in youth groups. Along with the weekly activities, I recently did some mission work in Papua New Guinea.
I come from a family of 6 boys and am quite close with most of my brothers who are all younger than me.
I enjoy playing social basketball each week at the Ingle Farm Recreation Centre, and I take pride in my defensive efforts at the game, whether justly or unjustly no one's quite honest enough to tell me!