Ho, ho, HO, Merry Christmas! What a wonderful time of the year!
The team at McDonnell Hume Partners would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.
We wish to advise our office will be closed from Monday the 24th December and will re-open on Monday the 7th of January 2019.
We look forward to continuing to work with all our wonderful clients. Let's make 2019 a great accounting year!!
SINGLE TOUCH PAYROLL (STP)
Single Touch Payroll (STP) was introduced by the ATO and reporting started gradually on 1 July 2018 for large employers with 20 or more employees.
For employers with less than 20 employees STP will commence 1 July 2019. The Legislation has now been passed and this will happen! The ATO will put in place some transitional arrangements but, all employers will need to report in line with the STP guidelines/rules from 1 July 2019
The ATO has advised that unlike the introduction of the Superannuation Clearing House, they WILL NOT be providing a portal or STP product to assist you meet these new obligations.
They have however worked with some of the accounting software providers to develop simple, cost effective (less than $10 per month) solutions for businesses who need to report through STP, but do not currently have payroll software. These solutions may include mobile apps, simple reporting solutions and portals. These solutions will best suit employers with one to four employees who need to report through STP, but do not currently have payroll software.
If you find yourself in this situation, please find a list below of possible STP payroll solutions as released by the ATO;
AccXite Pty Ltd
BAS Off Pty Ltd
Cristabel Pty Ltd
Easy Pay Slip Pty Ltd
Employment Hero Pty Ltd
e-PayDay Pty Ltd
Etax Accountants Pty Ltd
Free Accounting Software
Intuit Australia Pty Ltd
LodgeiT Pty Ltd
Myaccountant Technology Pty Ltd
MYOB Australia Pty Ltd
OB Secure Messaging
Reckon Australia Pty Ltd
Single Touch Pty Ltd
SRI Enterprise Software Pty Ltd
Xero Australia Pty Ltd
We will continue to keep you updated with any changes and the implementation of STP as the 1 July 2019 date approaches.
Don't know what Single Touch Payroll (STP) is?
Single Touch Payroll is a change to the way employers report their employees' tax and super information to the ATO.
STP will require you to have your payroll transaction data transferred to the ATO each time your employees are paid. This may require you to use a software solution that will transmit the data to and from the ATO on your behalf.
This payroll or reporting system must be STP Compliant, so that each pay cycle you can report the following items to the ATO:
- each employee's name and tax file number (TFN)
- tax withheld on the gross
- ordinary time earnings for the period, and
- any superannuation guarantee obligations.
The ATO will then report to you each month or quarter the correct amount of PAYG tax withheld to pay in your activity statement. Also, each quarter there will be information available regarding your superannuation obligations to either pay the ATO clearing house or your independent provider.
As part of the new regime, the reports and liabilities owing will be available to you in real time. This means that, if you wish, you will be allowed to make payments towards PAYG tax withheld and superannuation contributions in your pay cycle before the due date.
If your system is already automated with reports that can provide the information listed above for every pay cycle, all you need to do is confirm if your product is STP compliant.
However, if your system is still manual it is now time to discuss and review your internal processes. The STP regime is mandatory for employers of more than 20 staff from 1 July 2018, and will be mandatory for all employers by 1 July 2019.
Our advice is to become STP ready to avoid any fines or penalties in the future from the ATO. In the event that you need a solution or just want your system reviewed, we are happy to help by advising a suitable cost effective solution.
We are here to help you through the process if you need it. Please do not hesitate to contact our office for support.
WORK CHRISTMAS PARTIES AND GIFTS- WILL YOU BE LIABLE FOR FBT?
The festive season is upon us but, before you start making spirits bright and rewarding your employees with gifts or parties this Christmas, it's important to be aware of any fringe benefits tax that may apply when providing your staff with all the extras!
Christmas party, consider:
- how much it costs
- where and when it is held - a party held on work premises on a normal work day is treated differently to an event outside of work
- who is invited - is it just employees or are partners, clients or suppliers also invited?
Christmas gifts, consider:
- the amount you spend
- the type of gift - gifts such as wine or hampers are treated differently to gifts like tickets to a movie or sporting event
- who you are giving the gift to - there are different rules for employees and clients/suppliers.
Need to find out more or need more clarification around Fringe Benefits Tax, clink on the ATO links below
KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR SUPERANNUATION
Superannuation is such an important retirement plan but sadly it is often ignored or put in the too hard basket.
It's important that you know:
- how much super you're getting
- what super accounts you have
Having several super accounts could mean you're paying multiple fees and charges. This will reduce your overall retirement income- not good!
Lost and Unclaimed Super
If you have ever changed your name, address, job or lived overseas, you may have unintentionally lost track of some of your super.
If you have lost track of your super it may be held by either your super fund as a lost account, or by us as an ATO-held account. Wherever your super is, you can check for it using ATO online services through myGov.
Check your Super
You can find and manage your super using ATO online services through myGov. You can:
- see details of all your super accounts, including any you may have forgotten about
- find lost super held by your super funds
- find ATO-held super – if your super fund, employer or the government can't find a super account to transfer your super to, the ATO hold it on your behalf until you claim it from them
- combine your multiple super accounts by transferring your super into one super account.
Before consolidating, check with your fund to see if there are any exit fees or whether you will lose any valuable insurance. For more information, visit ASIC's MoneySmart websiteExternal Link.
To find and manage your super using our online services:
- log in or create a myGovExternal Link account
- link your myGov account to the ATO
- select 'super'
- you can then find and choose to transfer your super.
Don't know how to set up a MyGov account?
Here is a video that may help you out
FUEL TAX CALULATOR
Fuel Tax Credit rates can often change. Working out the fuel tax credit amount to report on your Business Activity Statement (BAS) doesn't have to be hard work. The ATO has developed a simple to use calculator to work out your credits. It also helps you work out any adjustments for fuel tax credits from a previous BAS. Check it out below.....
Calculate your fuel tax credits
As well as the calculator the ATO also has a tool available to check your eligibility. You can click on the link below to check if you are eligible for fuel tax credits....
Find out if you are eligible to claim fuel tax credits
Reminder Re Student Loans
Last month we touched on student loans and notifying your employer about your loan,
This is a further reminder to tell your employer whenever you start a new job! Just tick the relevant box when completing your tax file number declaration form.
Doing so will help ensure you meet your compulsory repayment obligations.
If you have a HELP or Trade Support Loan, read up on your obligations at
Out Of Interest
The Financial Impact of Divorce
The last thing anyone thinks of on their wedding day is Divorce! But, the reality is that 35% of marriages in Australia end in divorce.
The financial impact of divorce can be considerable. For example, it can take 5 years to recover financially after divorce; however, even after 6 years, a 20% difference can remain between the financial wellbeing of divorcees and those that are married.
The financial impact also needs to be carefully considered due to the implications that it can have on an individual's personal finances over the short (1-4 years after divorce) and long-term (=5 years after divorce).
Have a look at this article from MHP Private Wealth's Knowledge Centre. Some of the statistics on divorce and the financial impact of divorce can be sobering.
Buy now Pay later services
While they might seem convenient, after pay services can be a trap!
Stay in control and make sure you;
- Plan ahead
- don't get into debt
- don't overcommit and
- ask of help if you need it
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued a keenly anticipated report on the sector showing two million people now use AfterPay and it's services with those customers owing more than $900 million as of the end of June!!!!
Take a look at the fact sheet below brought out by ASIC relating to buy now pay later services.
Please contact us for any clarification on any tax matters or issues pertaining to your individual circumstances.
Be sure to check out the links below and keep up to date with the due dates for your tax obligations.
We'll be back in February 2019!
McDonnell Hume Partners
You can keep up to date with important accounting and business dates and deadlines. More...
The Tax Facts section where you can learn more about tax requirements within New Zealand. More...
Try out our new online calculators. More...
You can also organise an appointment with one of our staff via our special online appointment form. This is particularly useful if you struggle to find the time during normal business hours to phone. Simply click here to book an appointment.