Info base

Info Base

Our Info Base is a collection of fact sheets, templates, downloadable forms, lodgement checklists, taxation details and other relevant information. 

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  • INFO BASE

    • Resources

      • Individuals

          Residents: Personal tax rates and thresholds

          These rates apply to individuals who are Australian residents for tax purposes: 

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          Non-Residents: Personal tax rates

          Non-residents are not subject to the $18,200 tax free threshold and are not required to pay the Medicare levy.   

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          Rental Properties

          Purchasing a rental propertyWhen purchasing a financed rental property you may consider:o The interest on the debt is deductible in contrast to the interest on the debt for your main…

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          Motor Vehicle Deductions

          Since 1 July 2015 there are only two methods available for claiming a deduction for motor vehicle expenses:Logbook, orCents per kilometre All motor vehicle claims need to be supported by…

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      • Tax Rates

          Residents: Personal tax rates and thresholds

          These rates apply to individuals who are Australian residents for tax purposes: 

          read more »

          Non-Residents: Personal tax rates

          Non-residents are not subject to the $18,200 tax free threshold and are not required to pay the Medicare levy.   

          read more »

          Weekly, Fortnightly & Monthly Tax Tables

          To calculate the Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding tax amount for your employees download the weekly, fortnightly or monthly tax tables below, depending on your agreed pay frequency. These schedules incorporate the…

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      • Lodgement Dates

          Tax Return Lodgements 2017

          A list of lodgement dates applicable to tax returns for the 2016 - 2017 financial year is below:Individual Tax Returns –• Individuals who lodge their own tax returns, the due date…

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          BAS Lodgements 2017-2018

          The lodgement program due dates for the 2017 - 2018 financial year are listed below for all quarterly and monthly activity statements, including PAYG withholding payments. Please note the different…

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      • Checklists and Downloads

          Personal Tax Return Checklist

          Income:• Group certificate(s)• Statements of any allowances, Centrelink benefits or pensions• Details of interest received on bank accounts• Dividend statements• Rental property statements from managing agent or details of any…

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          Tax Return Checklist for Rental Property Income

          Income & Expenses:• Rental statements from property agents – these will include the rental income, property agent fees and commissions, and advertising expenses• Body corporate / strata fees•…

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          Requirements for BAS

          Below is a list of the detail required to be able to process BAS documentation for lodgement:Bank statements for the full BAS period – Make sure you have all the…

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          Spreadsheets - Business Income & Expenses

          It's not always necessary to purchase, install, create and update complicated accounting package programs when starting up a business. Sometimes a simple Excel spreadsheet can be more suitable, particularly with sole traders and…

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          Spreadsheet - Rental Property

          This spreadsheet is a useful tool for monitoring your rental property's income and expenses for your year end tax return. Keep track of your quarterly earnings and expenditure, as well as capital purchases…

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          Spreadsheet - Motor Vehicle Expenses

          This spreadsheet is a useful tool for monitoring and recording your motor vehicle expenses for your year-end tax return. Keep track of your quarterly expenditure, including lease payments and interest on loans…

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          Template - Motor Vehicle Logbook

          A logbook can help you get the most from your business or work-related motor vehicle use. Download this template so you can keep track of each business or work-related trip…

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      • Superannuation

          Consolidating your super

          There are numerous benefits to keeping your super in one place.  Apart from only paying one set of fees, you will also be able to keep track of your retirement…

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          Binding Beneficiaries Nominations

          Under superannuation law, the Trustee of your super fund has the discretionary power to decide which of your dependents receives your super if you die before you retire. The law…

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      • Estate Planning

          Template - Last Will & Testament

          A Will is a legal document that clearly sets out your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death. Having a clear, legally valid and up-to-date Will is…

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      • Starting a New Business

          Starting Up Your Business

          1.  Business PlanBefore you register for an ABN and start trading it is vital to sit down and flesh out the finer points of your business idea: Consider the different…

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          Company & Trust Set Up

          If you decide on a company or trust structure for your new business AFYF can assist you in meeting the various legal, ATO and ASIC documentation necessary for registration and…

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          Registering a Business Name

          When you first get started in a business you should register your business name with ASIC. Registration of a business name lasts for either one or three years, depending on the…

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          Company & Partnership Agreements & Deeds

          When first setting up your partnership, company or trust there may be a requirement to draw up and sign an agreement or deed. These agreements can regulate the arrangements between partners,…

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          Invoicing - What to Include

          Invoices can be hand-written, carbon copies or computer generated from programs like Xero or MYOB, but they all need to include certain details.  For businesses registered for GST invoices need…

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      • BAS & GST

          BAS Lodgement Dates 2017-2018

          The lodgement program due dates for the 2017 - 2018 financial year are listed below for all quarterly and monthly activity statements, including PAYG withholding payments. Please note the different…

          read more »

          Requirements for BAS

          Below is a list of the detail required to be able to process BAS documentation for lodgement:Bank statements for the full BAS period – Make sure you have all the…

          read more »
      • Business Planning

          Business Planning

          A business plan is an essential tool in starting up your business. It allows you to set a clear direction for your business, to communicate planning objectives and strategies to…

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      • Employing People

          Weekly, Fortnightly & Monthly Tax Tables

          To calculate the Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding tax amount for your employees download the weekly, fortnightly or monthly tax tables below, depending on your agreed pay frequency. These schedules incorporate the…

          read more »

          Job Descriptions with Various Templates

          The job description should be the very first step in the recruitment process. It provides a support for writing job advertisements, specifying necessary qualifications, interviewing candidates, planning job training and…

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          Letters of Offer & Example

          A letter of offer is an important aspect when hiring a new employee as it outlines the terms and conditions of the job being offered.Try to include as much detail…

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          Letters of Appointment & Example

          A letter of appointment is another aspect of the recruitment process that the employer should complete to confirm the details of employment. It generally only needs to be a short…

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          Issuing Payment Summaries to Employees

          Payment summaries must be issued to every employee paid during a financial year ending 30 June. These summaries should be given to employees by the 14 July each year.The information…

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      Property Claims: Investors should check the rules on depreciation

      Many property owners are neglecting to take advantage of a valuable building depreciation allowance available on rental properties built or renovated from 1985 onwards. Under the allowance, the cost of a building or the renovations can be claimed as an expense at the rate of 2.5 per cent a year over 40 years.

      “Depreciation is claimable on, essentially, any property built after 1985,” says property investment adviser and author Margaret Lomas.

      There’s a two year window between 1985 and 1987 where you can claim building depreciation at the more generous rate of 4 per cent for 25 years, she says, but this has only a couple of years to run.

      There are a few things to know about the allowance, however. First you can claim only the balance that hasn’t been claimed already. If you buy a property that’s 10 years old, you can claim only the remaining 30 years.

      And don’t think that if the previous owner didn’t claim the first 10 years of depreciation you can claim that unused amount – you can’t, Lomas says.

      Also, the allowance is based on the original construction cost of the building. If you didn’t build the house and don’t know the cost, a quantity surveyor can’t work it out for you.

      CPA Australia’s senior tax counsel, Gary Addison, says a common mistake is for people to confuse the value of a property with its construction cost. “They just assume they can claim the value of the whole property” including the land, he says. “But it’s about differentiating the cost of the building from the price you paid for the property, which of course includes the land,” he says. “Land doesn’t depreciate – it appreciates, as we all know. It’s only the building that depreciates.”

      The cost of the land is relevant only when working out any capital gains tax on the sale of the property. You can also claim depreciation on fixtures, fittings and furniture over their “effective life” – how long they’re likely to last. The Tax Office provides guidance on the life expectancy of various assets.

      Lomas, of property investment advice firm Destiny Financial Solutions, says investors should be aware that when they buy a property the fixtures and fittings take on a new effective life.

      “People might think, ‘I’ve bought a property that’s five years old, there’s carpet in there and carpet has a 10-year life, so I only have five years to claim.’ That’s not true,” she says. “What happens is you get10 years – but only on the carpets value from the day you buy it, and clearly that’s going to be second-hand value.”

      Rental property owners also need to know the difference between repairs, the cost of which can be claimed immediately, and capital works, which must be claimed over time. Remodelling a bathroom or building a deck, for instance, isn’t a repair.

      “A repair is when something goes wrong that has to be fixed,” Lomas says. “Items of a capital nature are those that add to or improve your property.”

      Addison notes, however, that you can’t claim an immediate deduction for initial repairs made to a property in the period after you buy it and before it starts producing income.

      People not sure how to treat a particular item – as an asset to be depreciated over its effective life or as capital works to be spread over 25 or 40 years – can turn to the Tax Office’s rental properties guide (see http://www.ato.gov.au/content/downloads/IND00133187n17290608.pdf). The guide explains how to treat more than 230 residential rental property items.

      With the $24 billion in claims for tax deductions in 2005-06 outweighing $19 billion in gross rental income reported by landlords, the Tax Office has pinpointed several other areas where there are “common mistakes”. Claims for interest expenses are among the areas in the Tax Office’s sights. Interest is the single largest claim made by landlords, at $14 billion in 2005-06.

      Lomas says problems arise in this regard when people mix their investment and personal affairs. “Somebody might be borrowing money to purchase a property but they might include $10,000 extra to buy a car,” she says. “They have to know that only [the interest on] the amount used to purchase the property is claimable.”

      Borrowing expenses – costs other than interest, such as legal expenses and valuation fees – are treated differently again. Rather than being claimed immediately, these must be spread over the loan term or five years, whichever period is shorter. Lomas notes that if you borrow money to meet those expenses, the interest on that debt is claimable.

      Mixing business and pleasure also causes problems when property owners combine a rental property inspection with a holiday. The Tax Office says a claim can be made only “for the portion of the travel that directly relates to the property inspection”.

      “Someone might have a house on the Gold Coast, for example, and they might think if they travel up there they can write off all the costs,” Addison says. “But if you stayed for three weeks on holiday, you’d have to apportion your costs.”

      Holiday homes themselves can cause headaches. The Tax Office has made it plain you can’t claim deductions for a “rental property” that is really a family retreat and not really available for others to hire. Similarly, if a property is available for rent only part of the year, you must scale back your claims.

      “You’d have to apportion your interest and expenses,” Addison says. If the house is rented six months of the year, you can claim only half of your interest and other expenses. And if you rent it out to friends at a non-commercial rental – at mate’s rates – you then have to adjust your interest and other claims appropriately.”

      Owners who are selling a property close to the end of financial year should think about the timing of the transaction, says Peter Bembrick, a tax partner with HLB Mann Judd Sydney. “Be aware that CGT is triggered on exchange of contracts, not settlement. So when you exchange before June 30, the whole amount of any taxable gain is included in your 2007-08 return,” he says.

      Addison agrees: “Capital gains can be quite significant and from a tax point of view it might be wise to have them in one particular year rather than another.”

      If you’re looking to buy, be aware that you can’t claim a tax deduction for the costs you incur in finding an investment property. “If you bear in mind the rule that you can’t claim any cost that isn’t related to an income-producing asset, then you can understand that if you fly somewhere to look at a property, or you consult an adviser about a property you might want to buy, you can’t make any claim for those expenses – because you haven’t got the property yet,” Lomas says.

      By Lesley Parker, The Sydney Morning Herald
      May 28, 2008


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