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2019 Budget wrap-up

How will the 2019 Federal Budget effect me and my business? Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s main talking point was that this budget will bring us back to surplus. Back in black, back on track. Here are the most important bits: Small/medium business asset write-off Increased up to $30,000 until 30 June 2020. Available for an increased […]

What are PAYG Instalments?

PAYG Instalments, something that alot of our clients get confused about. Pay as you go instalments (PAYG) get issued by the ATO, and you get sent a welcome or adjusted letter. But do you understand it? Shaun Farrugia explains all you need to know here. The entire video (6 minutes) can be viewed here: Or […]

Business structuring: which one is right for me?

Wondering how your business should be structured? In this article we are going to focus on the four main business structures: sole traders, partnerships, companies, and trusts. Get it right from the start and your business will be set up for success. So, what are the differences and which one is right for you? 1. […]

Phone tax appointment

We know you’re busy, if you’d like to have your tax appointment by phone or Zoom that is easy to do. We explain what we need you to email through to us prior to your appointment.

Have you heard of STP?

Single Touch Payroll or STP is a new system whereby all employers are required to submit payroll data to the ATO on the same day that they pay their employees.

How do I know it’s really the ATO calling me?

We have had a few phone calls regarding some scam phone calls from some very dodgy people claiming to be the ATO. It’s important that you know what to do, and you don’t fall into their trap. So, someone is calling you claiming to be the ATO – what do you do? Do not answer […]

Changes to Long Service Leave from 1 November 2018

From 1 November 2018 the new Long Service Leave legislation will come in to effect in Victoria. The fundamental that Long Service Leave starts accruing after 7 years of continuous service still remains, however much more flexibility has been given in both the way that the leave accrues and also how it’s taken. From 1 […]

Do I need Private Health Insurance?

This is a question that we get a lot – particularly around June when the insurance companies have lots of ads on TV telling everyone that they will be severely penalised if they don’t! But do you really need it? No, not necessarily for everyone. We are talking from a tax and cost perspective only […]

Life Insurance explained, minus the sombre tones

*Cue foreboding music and melodramatic voiceover.* “What would happen to your loved ones if you were unable to look after them?” Though the ads are often overly dramatic, life insurance can play an important role for some families. You can’t help but tune out whenever a life insurance ad starts playing these days. The music, […]

What is debt recycling?

We all know that recycling is great for the environment. But debt recycling? Well, if done right, that could be great for your own little patch of planet earth. There are three things that many Aussie property owners wish they could do: make their debt tax deductible, pay off their mortgage sooner, and invest in […]

How to perform a credit health check

Significant changes have been made to Australia’s credit reporting rules after a new Comprehensive Credit Reporting regime (CCR) came into effect in the new financial year. This means now is as good a time as ever to perform a credit check. The new legislation forces full compliance from Australia’s Big 4 banks, who have previously […]

5 Common Credit Card Traps

Credit card providers love to use all kinds of incentives to get you to put that shiny piece of plastic into your wallet, ripe for usage at your weaker moments. Here’s how to avoid getting snared in credit card debt. Most humans love to spend. It’s a scientific fact. No joke, going shopping tells your […]

Are you flushing money down the drain by putting off refinancing?

Every year thousands of Aussie families flush their hard earned dollars down the gurgler because they put off the simple act of refinancing their mortgage. If you’re overdue, rest assured that it’s much easier than you may think! While there are no hard rules about refinancing, it makes financial sense to review the loan when […]

The importance of a will and a power of attorney

It’s a morbid thought that many of us tend to shy away from, but end-of-life financial planning is a crucial stage in any successful financial management plan. One day down the track you’ll no longer be around to use or take care of your assets. It’s an unfortunate, but certain, fact of life. But that […]

The top five advantages of using a mortgage broker

Shopping, watching a movie, catching up on the news – there are many things that are cheaper and easier to do online these days. But obtaining a quality home loan? Well, the only time you’ll want to use the internet for that is connecting with an expert. When it comes to picking a home loan, […]

Don’t blow it. Make the most of your tax refund

Most Australians receive a tax refund, but not all spend it wisely. Here’s how to make the most of your tax windfall – and not blow it all in Bali. It’s now October, and we have already lodged most of our clients individual tax returns. Were you lucky enough to get a refund? It’s an […]

What makes your debt tax deductible?

There are two kinds of debt in this world: the kind that is tax deductible and the kind that isn’t. Knowing the difference, and planning your purchases accordingly, can significantly improve your cashflow, opportunities and overall financial position. So what makes debt tax deductible or not? Non-tax deductible debt Let’s start by clarifying that we’re […]

Putting the property price dip into perspective

Sure, the value of the average Australian home may have fallen for nine consecutive months, but it’s far from doom and gloom. Let’s put it all in a bit of perspective. It’s easy to see a headline such as “Australian dwelling values fall for the ninth consecutive month” and start feeling down about the whole thing. […]

Could you benefit from salary sacrificing?

Keen for a new laptop, car, or even an airport lounge membership? Sick of putting your hand in your pocket for school fees, the rent or your mortgage? All of these things could be paid for through a salary sacrifice arrangement. With the majority of a fresh financial year ahead of you, now is a […]

Don’t blow the budget on your next property purchase

You know how it goes. You see that dream property you’ve just got to have, and then next minute, the budget is in smithereens. Well, at least that’s what happens to almost a quarter of home buyers. Here’s how to keep a lid on your emotions and your budget. Purchasing property is perhaps the most […]

How to save for a first home deposit

So you’ve decided to finally take the plunge and start saving for a deposit to buy your first home? Here’s a few handy tips to get you started. Saved for a holiday before? Or a car? What about TV or computer? The good news is that saving for a house deposit isn’t too dissimilar. It’s […]

The truth about 0% car finance offers

Seen an offer along the lines of: ‘Drive away, 0% finance to pay’? Well, like most things in life, when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Finance offers like 0% (or other low interest rates) for new cars exist for a reason: the seller wants you to put the pedal to […]

Using your super fund to save for your first home

For most first home buyers, the property market can seem like a tough nut to crack. But today we’ll look at a new super scheme that makes it a whole lot easier to save for a deposit. Heard of the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme? No? Fair enough, it hasn’t been around that long. […]


Calculators online

We have put together some online calculators to help you research prior to coming in and seeing us work out the knitty gritty. We know that knowledge is power, and we want you to have the most information possible. Head on over to our calculators page to view finance comparison, extra payment calculators and even […]


Budget wrap-up 2018

Tuesday night Scott Morrisson handed down what can be best described as an pre-election Budget and in our opinion a very tax centric budget. No major announcements of increases or decreases in service spend and It is still expected that the budget will return to surplus in the 2019/20 financial year.   Did you see […]

You’re married! Now what about your finances?

The hangover has worn off, the (frightening) wedding bills have been paid, and you finally have time to relax and look forward to a long life of marital bliss ahead. Or do you? You and your partner probably had a number of money-related discussions before you walked down the aisle, such as whether you hope […]

Redundancy equals opportunity

Redundancy – not something most of us like to contemplate.  Yet it is a reality for many of us in our working life.  So rather than redundancy being seen as something negative, let’s flip it around – your redundancy could be the best thing that has ever happened to you.   It’s not you, it’s […]

What you need to know before buying your second property

Whether it’s as an investment asset or a holiday home, buying your second property poses a unique set of challenges. Here’s what you should consider.  Australians love property, and it’s not difficult to see why. Property is seen as a secure, long-term and low-risk investment with clear financial returns. Indeed, in 2016 total returns from […]

Do you know what you can and can’t claim?

Taxpayers are being put on notice by the ATO, which will be paying close attention to claims for ‘other work-related expenses’ this year. Ensuring you have appropriate records, and sound advice, will be more important than ever for your next tax return. Last year 6.7 million taxpayers claimed a record $7.9 billion in deductions for […]

Going guarantor on a family member’s loan?

Saying no to family is always difficult. But if a family member or friend asks you to become a loan guarantor, it always pays to think carefully before signing on the dotted line. Being a co-borrower or guarantor on a loan certainly has its benefits. For example, by acting as a guarantor you can help […]


The sharemarket – a beginners guide by Paul Benson

If you catch a snippet of the radio in the morning on your way to work, you’re likely to hear what happened to the Dow Jones overnight.   If you read your news on-line or watch the news on TV it’s likely you’ll hear about the All Ords or maybe the ASX200. You might even […]

We’ve got your back

It’s no secret that the banking royal commission has shone a light on serious misconduct and poor lending standards by some of Australia’s biggest banks. So we thought it was a good time to address the proverbial elephant in the room and set the record straight. You may have seen headlines in recent times regarding […]

Four business hurdles that trip up first timers

Whether you’re keen to start monetizing a passion project, or want to finally escape office politics and run your own show, here are four issues that regularly trip up new business owners. Starting your own business is an exciting time. However, for the unprepared, it’s fraught with uncertainty and risk. Here are four of the […]


Seven reasons why you shouldn’t hit the panic button

Sure, the first half of this week has seen the Australian share market described as a “bloodbath”. But now’s not a good time to panic. Here’s why. The US Dow Jones might have suffered its biggest dive in history, and the Australian stock market got a little sucked down with it as a result, but […]

Lending restrictions could soon ease

Financing options for homebuyers could open up once more with the federal government suggesting that lending restrictions could be eased if property prices fall sharper than expected. Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison says the government is closely monitoring the slowing housing market and that stricter house lending rules imposed on banks are “completely malleable”. “The great […]

Floating the idea of refinancing your home loan?

When it comes to refinancing your home loan, it’s a case of reward vs risk. Let us step you through some of the most common questions and concerns. Refinancing your home loan is the process of either extending or replacing an existing loan with your current financial institution or one of its competitors. It can […]

Shaun talks about Trusts: Podcast

Shaun Farrugia (Optimised’s founder), recently sat down with Paul Benson from Financial Autonomy (who is also our resident Financial Planner). They talked about all things Trusts, including: The dummies guide to what exactly a Trust is How it can work as a funnel and the tax flexibility that it allows The two types of people […]

Make sure your New Years resolution includes a home loan health check

Whenever we think of New Year’s resolutions, we always seem to commit to improving our physical wellbeing rather than our financial wellbeing. Whether that involves signing up to the gym, getting a personal trainer, or subscribing to a healthy food delivery service – more often than not it costs us money and the resolution doesn’t […]

Bitcoin: Boom or bubble?

Ask 10 different financial experts about the future of Bitcoin, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Here’s the good, the bad and the outright ugly. The price of a single Bitcoin has skyrocketed more than 1700% since the beginning of the year. But those kinds of returns don’t come without their risks. Here’s what 10 […]

Why it might be time to consider a principal-and-interest home loan

Australians have gravitated towards the benefits of interest-only home loans in high numbers in years gone by. But a raft of changes mean it might be a good time to start looking into the principal-and-interest option instead. In Australia, four out of every ten residential mortgages are interest-only – a pretty high number compared to other countries. […]

Regulator to crack down on home loan lending standards

It could soon become harder for Aussie families to secure a loan directly from lenders, with the prudential regulator warning people to prepare for a crackdown on lending standards. APRA’s main concern is that banks and other lenders are underestimating their borrowers’ living expenses when loans are applied for. As a result, it’s feared borrowers […]


Dissecting the PM’s Tax cut teaser

You may have heard the PM drop a big hint earlier this week that tax cuts are coming for middle-income Aussie families. However it was all very light on detail, so here’s what to make of it. In case you missed it, here’s the tidbit that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dropped on tax cuts: “In […]

The big interest rate news you probably missed this week

You may have heard that the RBA is once again holding its horses when it comes to the official cash rate. But you probably missed the much bigger interest rate news one day earlier. Every year, on the first Tuesday of November, Australians around the nation hold their breath in anticipation of the Rate That […]

Create a business budget in seven simple steps

You’ve got clients, you’re making money and you’re paying the bills. But if you don’t have a budget, how do you know your business is on track? Many businesses make the mistake of not creating a budget, either because they don’t know how, they don’t think it’s important, or they simply couldn’t be bothered. According […]

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Blockchain, Bitcoin & other Cryptocurrencies: What you need to know

Blockchain. Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies. You’ve probably heard these words popping up more and more often around your office water-cooler, but what do they mean? Let us explain. Blockchain, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are some of the more exciting technological developments in recent years. But they can be hard to wrap your head around. Online shopping is […]


Poor cash flow is the cause of up to 80 percent of small business failures. Make sure your business doesn’t become another statistic. Seizing an opportunity for growth, responding to threats quick-smart and keeping stakeholders happy – these are all hallmarks of good business. And they all require good cash flow management. In fact, cash […]

Introducing Finance

We’d like to announce our recent launch of our Mortgage Broking service. While doing our clients tax planning sessions, and helping out with documents for pre-approvals we have often found that our clients needs could be better met. You may deal with a Mortgage broker once, but we will have an ongoing relationship with you. […]

List of possible deductions

Can you believe it’s tax time again already? As our appointment bookings flood in, we wanted to share with you a list of possible deductions and what to bring with you on the day. We don’t want you to miss out on any of those precious deductions so please tally up everything prior to your […]

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2017 Budget wrap-up

We have put together a summary of the key tax and financial changes that were announced in last night’s federal budget. This was Scott Morrison’s 2nd budget and is focused on increased transport infrastructure spending which will support his forecast of bringing the budget back to surplus by FY20/21. For our business and contractor clients, I look […]