Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme changes: What they mean for Tasmanian farmers

The Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme allows farmers to set aside primary production income in years of high income, to draw on in leaner years. The deposits are an excellent cash flow planning tool and an important strategy for primary producers to consider in their tax planning. They help farmers build up cash reserves while smoothing fluctuating income, maximising profits and minimising tax liabilities.

Effective 1 July 2016, the government introduced several amendments to the FMD scheme. The changes give farmers more flexibility in managing their businesses and mean that FMDs should be back on the table during the upcoming tax planning season.  In this article we look at two of the changes that we see as particularly relevant to our Tasmanian farming community.

Read more

FBT on portable electronic devices in 2017

The FBT exemption for small business employers providing work-related portable electronic devices to employees has been expanded in the 2017 FBT year (that is, from 1 April 2016).

Under the old rules, FBT exemption does not apply to multiple portable electronic devices provided to an employee in the same FBT year, where those multiple items have “substantially identical functions”. This “one device” limit still applies to employers that are not small businesses.

However, small business employers (that is businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $2 million) can now access the exemption for more than one work-related portable electronic device, even where the devices do have “substantially identical functions” (such as the functions of a tablet and a laptop).

Read more

3 Tips to Update Your Business Plan for the New Year

What’s your New Year’s Resolution: “stay fit”, “stress less”, “save more”? The New Year is a welcome opportunity for some personal reflection and goal setting, but are you making any resolutions to help make your business better than ever? January is a great time to consider your business goals and to plan what you’d like to achieve in the coming twelve months.

Read more

Tax and the sharing economy

There are more and more sharing economy, or collaborative consumption, websites and apps hitting the market in Australia and they are making their way from the big cities into the Tasmanian market. With the holiday season upon us, short-term vacation rentals through apps like Airbnb and Stayz will be in full swing. And now that Uber has arrived in Hobart – just in time for the silly season – Tasmanians and our tourists are embracing the ride-sourcing phenomenon.

But before you decide to rent your house out for summer with Airbnb or earn some extra money driving for Uber, you need to consider the tax implications – you may need to pay GST and income tax on your earnings and you may be liable for CGT down the track.

Read more

Top 3 stresses for business owners & how to manage them

We all know that, left unchecked, stress can grind down your passion and undermine your performance – not to mention, take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. So when you consider the pressures of starting and running a business it seems wise to add effective stress-management to the list of skills you need to develop to build and sustain a successful business.

Everybody experiences stress sometimes. But it is possible to stop stress from derailing your productivity, profits, and overall well-being. Follow these practical tips to avoid the main causes of “business-owner stress.”

Read more

5 tips to avoid FBT on your staff Christmas gifts and work party

Christmas will be here before we know it, and once again many employers will be thinking about recognising their employee’s efforts throughout the year and getting everyone together for some fun and relaxation. While we don’t want to be the party-stoppers, we do think we should let you know that it’s worth thinking about how to manage tax and Christmas. While you should feel free to celebrate, make sure that you don’t get stung with unexpected taxes; particularly fringe benefit tax (FBT) and associated income tax and GST pitfalls.

Read more