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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          Private Health Insurance Rebate

          The private health cover rebate changed on the 1st July 2015: Most people were receiving a standard 30% rebate on their premiums, either taken along the way as reduced premiums…

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          Understanding PAYG Instalments

          What are PAYG Instalments?Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments is a system for making regular payments towards your expected income tax liability. It generally only applies if you earn business…

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          Airbnb Rental Income

          With the increase in people using the sharing economy to supplement their income, for instance with AirBnb and Stayz, it’s helpful to keep in mind the tax implications these sorts…

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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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      Defining Contractors

      A recent Federal magistrate’s court decision is important for indicating the change happening under labour laws affecting the relationship between self-employed people and other businesses. The court has considered the first ever ‘Sham’ contract prosecution. It found that two alleged self-employed workers were in fact employees, but that no ‘sham’ had been conducted.

      The decision is important because large numbers of the two million self-employed people in Australia have larger businesses as their clients. For these businesses it’s important also. The self-employed constitute 19 per cent of the workforce but 25 per cent of domestic economic activity (based on GST receipts to the ATO).

      The court action, taken under a provision of the Rudd government’s Fair Work Act (FWA) also indicates a lot about the approach of the government to the self-employed, micro-business sector.

      Is your client your ‘employer’ when you employ yourself?

      In 2006 The International Labour Organisation passed a motion declaring self-employment to be legitimate. The ILO is a division of the United Nations and the peak international institution setting labour law principles globally. The ILO also declared that ‘sham’ contracts should be outlawed.

      A sham contract exists according to the ILO if someone misrepresents what is actually an employment arrangement, passing it off as an independent contractor arrangement. Conceptually it involves a low level form of (non-criminal) fraud.

      Sham contract legislation was created by the Howard government in late 2006. It’s a provision now of the Fair Work Act (FWA). The Howard legislation was certainly a global first and is possibly still the only law of its type in the world.

      The Fair Work Ombudsman is charged with investigating and prosecuting shams, but in more than two years, it appears it hasn’t found a case where a prosecution could be concluded. The first prosecution was conducted by the construction union the CFMEU against Nubrick Pty Ltd.

      In this case a manager had engaged two workers in a brick factory as ‘independent contractors’ (ie) self-employed. It seems that both the manager and the workers believed that having an Australian Business Number (ABN) secured their self-employment status. The judge however found the workers were in fact employees of Nubrick.

      The judge ruled that for a sham to exist under the FWA, there must be an intent to deceive or misrepresent. In this case the manager at Nubrick and the workers genuinely believed that an ABN was sufficient for self-employment to exist. An error has been made and an error does not constitute a sham.

      The judge’s decision drew on significant legal precedent in giving judicial interpretation to the FWA sham contract provisions. It’s a sensible decision.

      The law is quite settled on what constitutes the difference between an independent contractor and employment contract. At Independent Contractors of Australia we call it a ‘swinging pendulum’ test and have produced explanations and summaries of the tests. (See www.contractworld.com.au) Both the Australian Taxation Office and the federal Department of Innovation have created online decision tools’ to help identify the difference.

      But in practical application there can be confusion. Understanding the subtests (around 20) and applying them consistently requires managerial knowledge and attention to detail. I’ve looked at and advised on lots of arrangements and the level of accurate knowledge by Australian managers is low. They persistently get it wrong even if the intent is good.

      Most common misunderstandings relate to the use of ABNs, which has been highlighted with this Nubrick case. Another myth, in particular held by accountants, is the supposed 80/20 rule which is in fact irrelevant to common law. Too many managers and businesses rely on a lawyer’s standard form contract in a ‘set and forget’ process. Unfortunately this doesn’t help because the courts will always ‘look through’ the written word to find truth in the behaviours of the parties.

      The Rudd government has applied similar sham contract provisions in the FWA to that established by the Howard government. There’s cross-party political agreement on the type of law needed consistent with the ILO declarations and with common sense. Ordinarily you don’t convict someone for making a common mistake. The best thing to do is correct the mistake.

      There’s an Australian culture of very poor management performance in applying correct procedures for engaging the self employed. Corporate managers ‘get it wrong’ and it’s in this area where there’s a big need to lift performance.

      People might make genuine errors which the courts will understand. But at some point courts will become impatient with real or particularly feigned ignorance on matters which businesses should make themselves aware of. Sham contract convictions are inevitable if businesses fail to upgrade their behaviour.

      This is not something that can be ignored. The self-employed make up 28 per cent of the private sector workforce. It’s normal now for independent contractors to provide services to all sorts of businesses. There’s a strong need for improvement in this area and the sham contract laws create an added legal need for improvements.

      Ken Phillips
      My Business, November 2009


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