avoid FBT christmas
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Christmas is coming – avoid being stung by FBT

As the festive season fast approaches, it’s time to start thinking about and planning for the break. If possible, we want to avoid paying more tax in the form of FBT this Christmas time. Because really, who wants to pay an additional tax? (not us!) We’ll show you how.

Employee or contractor: what's the difference?

With the rise of the gig economy, correctly working out whether you are hiring an employee or simply engaging an independent contractor has never been more important. Getting it wrong can be costly, as a recent court ruling shows. A Perth…

Vacant land deduction changes

Legislation that passed through Parliament last month prevents taxpayers from claiming a deduction for expenses incurred for holding vacant land. The amendments are not only retrospective but go beyond purely vacant land. Previously,…
Calculating Super Guarantee
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Calculating Super Guarantee: The new rules

From 1 July 2020, new rules will come into effect to ensure that an employee’s salary sacrifice contributions cannot be used to reduce the amount of superannuation guarantee (SG) paid by the employer. Under current rules, some employers…
ATO is cracking down on bitcoin

How the ATO is cracking down on bitcoin

After years of puzzling over how to deal with cryptocurrencies, the world’s governments – and their tax authorities – are finally getting serious about regulation. In an effort to crack down on tax evasion and other criminal activities,…
data security for your business

Data security: protecting your business

The recent Facebook scandal demonstrates how serious data security breaches can be, but they aren’t limited to large organisations. Is your business data secure? Simply sending a file to the wrong person or leaving your phone in a taxi…

Productivity: Stop being so busy.

A smartphone buzzes in your pocket. Ten tabs sit stagnant in your browser. Unopened emails, newsfeeds and gifs all claw for your attention. This is the plague of distraction. And in our efforts to always be ‘on’ our actual productivity…
xero expenses

Xero expenses

If you have a Xero account for your business and you have staff that are constantly purchasing business related things without a company credit card, the app Xero Expenses is fantastic. Instead of asking staff to keep their receipts, giving…
business for sale

Selling a business? Don't forget about tax

It can take many years and a lot of hard work to build a successful small business. When you finally decide it’s time to sell, tax is often the last thing on your mind. Yet it can have a big impact on how much of the sale price you get to…

Positives and negatives of gearing

Negatively gearing an investment property is viewed by many Australians as a tax effective way to get ahead. According to Treasury, more than 1.9 million people earned rental income in 2012-13 and of those about 1.3 million reported a…
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Super Guarantee Amnesty Resurrected

The Government has resurrected the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) amnesty giving employers that have fallen behind with their SG obligations the ability to “self-correct.” This time however, the incentive of the amnesty is strengthened by…

5 signs of a well run business

Every small business owner wants their business to thrive, but it can be tough to keep the money coming in the door while staying on top of all the necessary paperwork. One way to ensure success is to understand the behaviours that separate…
spring clean your business

Spring clean your business

This time of year we all tend to do some spring cleaning, and not just at home. Now that we are in the new financial year, you may have some numbers on how things are going and can clear out some unnecessary expenses. The secret to a…
cashless society

Cashless society

Australia is hurtling towards being a cashless society at a startling rate, with some pointing out that if the current trend were to continue it could be as soon as 2022.i Though most would agree it’s unlikely that cash will be completely…
rental property tax expenses

Rental property expenses: what you can and can't claim

It’s not uncommon for landlords to be confused about what they can and can’t claim for their rental properties.  In general, deductions can only be claimed if they were incurred in the period that you rented the property or during…
ATO calling SMSF trustees

SMSF trustees being contacted by ATO

The investment strategies of Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) are under scrutiny with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) contacting 17,700 trustees about a lack of asset diversity. The ATO is concerned that, “a lack of diversification…
small business tax gap
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The small biz tax gap

Last month, the ATO released statistics showing small business is responsible for 12.5% ($11.1 billion) of the total estimated ‘tax gap’. These new figures give visibility to tax compliance issues within the small business sector…
ATO takes gloves off for overseas income

ATO take ‘gloves off’ on overseas income

Five years ago, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) offered a penalty amnesty on undisclosed foreign income. Five years on, the ATO has again flagged that underreporting of foreign income is an issue but this time the gloves are off. How…
2 step authentication

What is 2 step authentication?

Over the last year or so, there have been more and more websites asking for us all to set up 2 step authentication, Xero included. But what is it anyway, why do we need it, and how do I set it up with my Xero account? Cyber security…
International travel

Travel for work – what can I claim?

This is a question that we get quite often. Everyone likes to hope that they can go overseas and claim it as a business expense. But can you? The short answer is sometimes, yes. But often not the entire trip. Firstly there needs to…
Lego tax deduction fail

Weirdest tax deductions revealed

Would you claim the Lego you bought for your kids throughout the year as a tax deduction? One taxpayer did and it made the Australian Taxation Office’s 2018-19 list of most unusual claims. The Lego was not the only claim for money spent…
Uber taxi FBT ruling
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FBT and Uber style ride sharing

When an employee uses a taxi service for travel to or from work or if the employee is sick, it is generally exempt from Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) under the FBT taxi travel exemption. The question is, what about Uber and other ride sharing services,…
wheres my $1080?

Confusion over personal income tax changes – what are you really entitled to?

In early July all three stages of the Government’s personal income tax plan passed through Parliament and are now law. The amendments to the legislation are as follows: The income tax rate thresholds to be progressively increased in the…
Rental Investment

Own an investment property?

Get ready for tax time Tax time has arrived, and we have put together some practical information to help rental property owners prepare and lodge your tax return this year. There are helpful resources available for rental property…
Optimised Accounting sponsoring a bike ride

Sponsoring a charity bike ride

We are excited to share that we are a major sponsor for a charity bike ride coming up in October. Some of our long time clients will be participating in this ride, and we are happy to support them! The bike ride will go towards MND…

Important due dates

We have recently created a poster for our business clients to remember some very important Australian business due dates. We created this for our business clients, but they have been so well received that we've decided all business owners…
1 July changes from the ATO
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1st July changes: what you need to know

As of 1st July 2019 there were some changes that came into affect. This includes: Insurance inside Superannuation funds We let you know the tax tip-offs from the ATO Laundry expenses are going to be reviewed Who owns the assets…
tax from your couch

Tax from your couch

Life is busy – we not only get it, but this year we are actually embracing it by making a way to do your tax without actually coming in. This year we have introduced a new way of doing tax. From your couch. Yep you heard that right. It's…
Business books: what are we reading right now? - Optimised Accounting, Werribee VIC

Business books: what are we reading right now?

Shaun has an entrepreneur mindset that is always seeking out information. Always looking for something better, self improvement, business improvement: more success all round. He encourages his team and clients to do the same, and we thought…
30 days of june tax tips

June tax tips

Throughout June we will be sharing some tax tips for businesses this coming tax time. These will be short and sweet and we hope you will learn something for this upcoming tax season. 1. Working from home  If you don’t have a dedicated…
Optimised budget wrap-up 2019
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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…

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…
business structuring confused

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…

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.
Single Touch Payroll

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.
Make the move to self employment

The essential things you need to do to move to self employment - a podcast

Shaun recently sat down with Paul Benson to talk about making the move to self employment. Have a business idea, think you can do things better than your boss, or ready to take your side-hustle to the next level? Have a listen to this…

The challenges of investing for children – an article by Paul Benson

With the cost of housing continuing to climb, in addition to the rising cost of tertiary education, many parents and grandparents are worried about what the future holds for the young people in their lives.

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…
Long Service Leave changes in Victoria

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…

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…

Offset vs Redraw

Shaun Farrugia recently created this video to explain a question that was on a few of our clients lips. Watch below to hear the difference between an offset and a redraw account on your home loan. This is a question we do get very often,…

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…

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:…

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…
Credit card traps

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…
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What to do if you and your partner aren’t on the same page with your finances

Things start out so rosy. You both like the same movies, sports teams and pistachio-flavoured gelato. Then one day you realise you manage your finances in completely different ways. Well, here’s how to get on the same page. Relationships,…

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…

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…
Salary sacrificing Australian tax

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…

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…

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…

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:…

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?…
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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…
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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…

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…