MHP News

March 2020

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2020. As advised in our last newsletter, our bulletins will now reach you in March, June, September and December.

It's been a turbulent few weeks with the hype around the COVID-19 virus and the effects this had had on our economy. I'm sure there will be much more unsettled times in the weeks and months to come.  

Following our Facebook page will keep you up to update with details in regard to Government announcements, assistance packages and links  https://www.facebook.com/MHPCharteredAccountants/

In House Tidbits

COVID-19

It's business as usual at McDonnell Hume Partners. However, we take the health and safety of our staff and clients very seriously. We ask if you have an upcoming appointment and have travelled overseas in the 2 weeks prior or are feeling unwell with flu like symptoms to please contact us to reschedule your appointment, or organise an alternative arrangement, like a phone appointment. 

This also applies to dropping off or collecting information to and from our office. If you meet the criteria above, please post or email your documentation to us and if you are unwell and cannot collect your documentation, let us know and we will safely mail this to you. 

Aside from the above, if you are felling fit and healthy we'd love to see you! Rest assured that our office space undergoes regular cleaning and in addition to our regular cleaning, we will undertake additional cleaning processes to ensure all communal surfaces like door handles etc are sanitised appropriately. These additional sanitary measures will continue into the foreseeable future. We will keep our office space clean and well sanitised.

During this time of uncertainty let's keep each other safe.

The State and Federal Governments have responded in relation to the COVID-19 and have released some initial relief for small businesses due to the impact the pandemic is going to have on small business cashflow and operations.

Below is a summary of some of the assistance and support. It's important to consider these things sooner rather than later so you are prepared for any business disruption the COVID-19 pandemic may generate. Please contact your accountant to assist you in pursuing the government initiatives and for further for further explanation or assistance.

Federal Government Initiatives 

  • Up to $100,000 assistance based upon Pay as You Go Witholding (PAYGW) (commencing March 2020 BAS) payable in 2 instalments
  •   Apprentice/Trainee payment subsidy/supplement. 50% payment subsidy/supplement (9 months commencing January 2020)
  • BAS/IAS payment plans
  •   PAYGI Variations
  • Asset purchases accelerated tax deductions

State Government Initiatives

  • Payroll Tax holiday to February to June deferred to 3 August (application)
  • Interest free loans up to $250,000 (April applications) to support wages and maintain operations can be applied for  

Bank Discussions/Applications

  •        50% Government backed loan up to $250,000
  • Changes to interest only including review interest rates.
  • Defer monthly repayments & interest for say 3-6 months
  • Extend short term facility limits (part of $250,000 initiative)

Business Activities

  • Follow up debtors & work out payment terms
  • Keep invoicing up to date
  •   Contact landlord for reduction or deferral
  • Consider supply chains
  • Review expenditure 
  • Communicate with Suppliers
  • Micro cashflow your business
  • No deferral exists on superannuation payments (remain due 28 April & 28 July)

The following links will also provide you with further information.

www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws

www.ausbanking.org.au/coronavirus-statement-from-the-aba/

www.business.gov.au/News/Novel-coronavirus-information-for-business-owners 

www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/support/novel-coronavirus

ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/The-Australian-Government-s-Economic-Response-to-Coronavirus/

Staff Training

Partners and staff have been busy undertaking professional development training sessions ensuring we are up to date with the latest tax and accounting news, information, ATO hotspots and more. This ensures our tax and accounting knowledge is always current and we are then able to assist and provide you with accurate knowledge at all times. Some of the latest training we have been busy completing is;

  • Tax Hot Spots
  • Superannuation Guarantee
  • Trust distributions
  • Preparing clients for selling their business
  • Tax obligations of Executors and Other Legal Personal Representatives
  • Tax Issues for Rural Land Holding
  • Primary Production Land: Duty Exemptions for Inter Generational Transfers

Tax Time 2019/2020

Tax Planning/Interims

The first three quarters of the financial year are almost done, which means it's time to start thinking about tax planning.

Tax planning or interims as we often refer to it, is the evaluation of your finances from a tax perspective. The purpose being to ensure maximum tax efficiency of your business. 

Factors we examine include timing of income, timing of purchases, planning expenditures or even planning for retirement. 

The overall aim is to give you an idea how your business is tracking and to determine your current tax position. We can then recommend strategies to reduce tax and/or give you ample notice of any tax that may be due in the future.

In preparation of interims and to assist us in planning relevant tax strategies you can start thinking about the following in the lead up to June;

  • Your projected income 
  • Your projected expenses in the lead up to June. 
  • Ensuring your accounting software is reconciled to date

15 May 2020 Due Date- DEADLINE

The 15 May deadline will be here before we know it.  If you have not lodged your 2019 tax return then you need to by 15 May 2020

You must lodge (and pay where applicable) your 2019 tax returns by 15 May if;

  • you have not already lodged and are not eligible for the 5 June 2020 concession.
  • you are a company or super fund in this group you also need to pay on this date (if required).

Note: Individuals and trusts in this category pay as advised on their notice of assessment.

If this is you, we need your tax information NOW

Remember, the ATO imposes fees for late lodgement of your income tax returns.

Call us if you are unsure if you fit in this category, we can quickly let you know.

Upcoming Due Dates

It's important to note that current due dates may change due to the impact that the corona virus is having on small business.

At this time, impending due dates to be aware of are as follows;

  • Superannuation Guarantee (SG): 28 April for the quarter end 31 March
  • Instalment Activity Statement (IAS) and Business Activity Statement (BAS): 21 April for the month end 31 March AND 21 May for the month end 30 April
  • BAS: 28 April for quarter end 31 March
  • Pay as you Go Instalment (PAYGI): 28 April for the quarter end 31 March
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT): Pay Fringe Benefits Annual return (lodgement due 25 June)

Please note: If you have been affected by the bushfires an automatic extension has been granted until 28 May 2020 to lodge and pay activity statements, income tax, SMSF and FBT Lodgements.

ATO QUICK BITS

(1) Australian Taxation Office - Home

(2) Australian Taxation Office - Home

The ATO understands businesses are doing it tough right now, so they are extending their opening hours to give you more time to seek extra support.

If your small business has experienced a slow-down due to COVID-19, you'll be able to call our emergency support info line on 1800 806 218 from 10am-4pm Saturdays and Sundays to discuss what options are available.

Find out more at www.ato.gov.au/…/Deal…/In-detail/Specific-disasters/COVID-19

Attention employers: the super guarantee amnesty is now available. Applications close 7 September 2020.

If you've got a super score to settle, now's your chance to do so without paying super guarantee charge fees or penalties. 

To be eligible:
- The unpaid super must relate to a quarter between 1 July 1992 and 31 March 2018
- You must not have been informed we are examining your SG obligation for the period your disclosure relates to...
- You must apply to us under the amnesty by using the correct form.

Don't miss this one-time only opportunity to get on top of your super paperwork once and for all. Learn more at https://www.ato.gov.au/…/S…/Superannuation-guarantee-amnesty

It's time to move to myGovID!

We're visiting communities across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria this month to help business owners get ready. AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections retire 27 March, so if you need a hand to make the transition, check out our Facebook events page and find sessions near you.

If you need a hand but can't make it, we can still help! Check out the info at www.ato.gov.au/…/Accessing-online-services-with-myGovID-and… to learn more.

Have a study or training loan?

If you earn $45,881 or more this financial year, you'll need to start making compulsory repayments – and your employer can help! Let your employer know you have a study loan so they can withhold extra amounts to cover your repayments at tax time.

Read more at www.ato.gov.au/…/Study-and-training-…/Compulsory-repayments/

Small businesses: If you've been impacted by bushfires this summer, your quarterly BAS due date to lodge and pay has been extended until 28 May. You can still lodge earlier if you're ready.

If you're affected but don't live in an identified postcode, visit www.ato.gov.au/individuals/dealing-with-disasters/ or phone us on 1800806218 to find out how we can support you.

Employers: It's time to start getting your records in order if you've provided benefits to your employees in the last 12 months.

Watch our video for a quick refresher on the types of benefits that attract fringe benefits tax and learn more at www.ato.gov.au/General/Fringe-benefits-tax-(FBT)/

Australian Taxation Office. (2019). Facebook Updates. Available: https://www.facebook.com/atogovau. Last accessed 17/03/2020. 

Out Of Interest

WHO: COVID-19 Information and guidance

Financial Knowledge Centre

On 11 February 2020, WHO announced the official names for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (earlier known as "2019 novel coronavirus – 2019-nCoV") and the disease it causes: virus, SARS-CoV-2; disease, COVID-19.

Importantly, the viruses, SARS-CoV-2 (causes COVID-19) and SARS-CoV (causes SARS), are genetically related, but different. SARS is reportedly more deadly, but much less infectious than COVID-19.

As it stands, in terms of COVID-19*, globally, there has been a reported 119,096 cases, 4,284 deaths, and 65,765 recoveries. Whereas, domestically, there has been a reported 107 cases, 3 deaths, and 21 recoveries.

Understandably, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is receiving considerable attention by media outlets and the like. In this animation, WHO provides further information and guidance on the disease.

For more interesting facts and a short video on COVID-19 follow the link below to MHP Wealth's Knowledge Shop.

https://financialknowledgecentre.com.au/kcvideos.php?id=1195

 

Financial Knowledge Centre. (2020). WHO: COVID-19 Information and guidance Available: https://financialknowledgecentre.com.au/kcarticles.php?id=2510. Last accessed 18/03/2020.

ABC News: The Impact of Child Care Costs

Despite government subsidies, the out-of-pocket costs for child care continue to rise above inflation. Given this, and other factors such as stagnant wage growth, child care can be unaffordable for some Australian families.

According to new research*: "A family household where each parent is on the average full time wage ($85,000pp, ABS, 2019) will spend more out-of-pocket on child care ($5,949) compared to a family sending their child to an independent school (average $5,782) and significantly more than sending their child to a Catholic (average $1,900) or government school ($336), if they are using child care for a similar amount of hours as a child attending primary school".

In this video, ABC News explores the impact that child care costs are having on some Australian families, which encompasses, for example, deciding not to have additional children and delaying the return to work. Importantly, for most of us, deciding to have a child or not, will be the biggest economic decision we will ever make. It can be challenging, especially financially, but it can also be very rewarding.

*Hurley, P., Noble, K., & Jackson, J. (2020). Australian investment in education: early childhood education and care. Mitchell Institute, Melbourne.

For more information follow the link below to MHP Wealth's Knowledge Shop.

https://financialknowledgecentre.com.au/kcvideos.php?id=1194

 

Financial Knowledge Centre. (2020). ABC News: The  Impact of Child Care Costs Available: https://financialknowledgecentre.com.au/kcarticles.php?id=2510. Last accessed 18/03/2020.

 

 

Harvard Reference Generator Study Tool: Referencing a Web Page for a Student's Essay, Dissertation or Thesis | Neil's Toolbox

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.

See you in June 2020

Kind Regards

The Team
McDonnell Hume Partners 
www.mhpartners.com.au

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