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March 2018 Newsletter

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Synectic news March 2018

Keeping a vehicle log book – plus your free template

When claiming work-related car expenses, many people miss maximising their claim due to poor record keeping.

Inadequate records can also cost dearly if you are audited by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

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What Labor’s changes to the dividend imputation system mean

There has been much discussion about the dividend imputation system in recent weeks as the government and the opposition play political tennis with franking credits.

On 13th March, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced Labor’s plan to change the dividend imputation system if they win the next federal election. The changes would make franking credits non-refundable and, Labor claims, save the budget $59 billion over the decade to 2028-29.

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2017-18 Federal Budget: Businesses

Small and medium businesses were the big winners of last year’s budget. It is therefore no surprise that the 2017-18 Federal Budget announcements have been less stimulating. However, there are still tax and business planning opportunities coming out of the Budget which we look forward to assisting our clients with.

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Employers: understanding the tax system

Navigating the tax system to ensure you are meeting all your obligations as an employer can get confusing. In this article we look at some common areas of concern for business owners and provide some handy tools and tips.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Tax rates and thresholds 2016-17

To save you having to search for the right tax rate or relevant threshold this tax season, we’ve put all the relevant information in one place.

Our guide includes tax rates, offset limits, benchmarks, rebate levels, allowances, superannuation and fringe benefit tax rates and thresholds, student loan repayment rates and salary levels.

How we use ATO benchmarking to help your business succeed

The ATO recently released their small business benchmarks. The benchmarks, updated annually, are financial ratios to help compare your business’s performance against others in your industry. They are used by the ATO but can also be used to find business improvements.

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