Having fun AND making money. But is it a business or a hobby?

It may seem fairly obvious whether a person is in business or not, but the distinction can be important for other reasons. Your client may be having fun AND making money. But is it a business or a hobby? For example, if you are not carrying on a business, the option to deduct losses from […]

Third party FBT danger – what to look for

Where some businesses have tripped up in the past is where the source of benefits provided is not clear cut — that is, where non-cash components of remuneration are sourced not directly from an employer, but from an associate, a related company or from a third-party provider. For fringe benefits tax (FBT) to apply, the […]

Starting out in small business? You may be able to use simpler trading stock rules

If you are operating a small business and at the end of the income year you estimate that your trading stock’s value has not changed by more than $5,000, remember (especially if you are new to business) that you can choose not to conduct a formal stocktake. By making a decision to do this, you […]

Is your business prepared for Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll is a government initiative to streamline business reporting obligations, which is due to become compulsory from 1 July 2018. When a business pays its employees, the payroll information will be sent to the ATO via the business’s payroll software. Reporting under the Single Touch Payroll (STP) system removes the requirement to issue […]

Common errors with fuel tax credits, and how to avoid them

Fuel tax credit rates are updated every year (generally on 1 February, but for 2018 they changed on 5 February). It is therefore a timely that the ATO has made public some common errors that taxpayers make when calculating and claiming fuel tax credits. The tips that follow will help taxpayers avoid these errors, or […]

What you need to know about the luxury car tax

You can judge whether a car is luxury or not, according to the government, if it costs more than $65,094 for 2017-18 (and $75.526 for “fuel-efficient” cars). It was $64,132 for 2016-17 (with an unchanged fuel-efficient option). It’s not an over-the-top price tag if you’re considering true “luxury”, but it’s enough to cop an extra […]

When refinancing, loan interest can be deductible to a partnership

A general law partnership is formed when two or more people (and up to, but no more than, 20 people) go into business together. Partnerships are generally set up so that all partners are equally responsible for the management of the business, but each also has liability for the debts that business may incur. Partnership deduction […]

ATO spells out its big FBT concerns

March 31 and the end of the FBT year is around the corner, so to help taxpayers get things right, the ATO has made public the fringe benefits tax issues that attract its attention. Broadly (not just in relation to FBT), the ATO says the following behaviours and characteristics tend to raise a red flag: […]

Key factors for rescuing a bad debt deduction

It is very often the case that unpaid debts owed to a business can have a significant impact on cash flow and the ongoing profitability of a business. In a taxation context the characterisation of a particular debt as either “doubtful” or “bad” is key as to whether or not the writing off of that […]

The ins and outs of “entertainment” business deductions

As a tax concept, “entertainment” can be relevant not only to fringe benefits tax (FBT), but also to income tax and even goods and services tax (GST). For a business, whether a business expense is “entertainment” will generally also determine whether the cost is deductible. If the expenditure can be shown to be directly connected […]