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ATO Plans to Audit Bechtel's Curtis Island Employees

Bechtel Workers on Curtis Island to be Audited by the Tax Office

It is sometimes nice for the Australian Tax Office to tell us what they are planning in terms of their audit program. This time they seem to be targeting Bechtel employee's who have worked on Curtis Island over the last couple of years.

If you have worked for Bechtel on Curtis Island in the last 2 years you need to read and understand this message.

The ATO have released a Fact Sheet summarising the very limited deductions they consider are allowable for Bechtel employees working on Curtis Island. A copy of that Fact Sheet is available at the bottom of this post. Unsurprisingly the ATO advise there are very few deductions allowed because in many examples Bechtel pay for or reimburse the costs.

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QBCC Licensing Can Be A Nightmare

QBCC Licensing can be a Nightmare but it is Getting Easier

The QBCC regulates the building industry in Queensland with the objective of maintaining proper building standards throughout the state. Part of their role is to administer the licensing regime. Depending on turnover licensee's had a range of licensing obligations including legal deed's of covenant and accounting formalities. The good news is that the QBCC has recognised this burden was often costly and added little protection to the regime so they have introduced what is essentially a "self certification" process. The self certification process replaces the need to provide financial information at the annual review. We think this is a good development and should reduce the burden of your annual license renewal.

If your livelihood relies on you keeping your QBCC license compliant then this is important information and there are some important things to understand about the new regime.

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Home Office Costs - The Rules Make it Difficult to Claim

Claiming Your Home Office Costs – The Spare Bedroom Myth!

I always get asked about the myth of home office deductions and "told" by the bbq experts that they pay for their rent or mortgage from their business and get a bigger tax refund because of those costs. The reality is quite different and being able to put the cost on your tax return or financial statements does not mean the ATO will allow the deduction.

The answer to this question is always guided by your specific circumstances - But, as a general rule, expenses associated with renting or owning your own home (that is, occupancy expenses) are of a private or domestic nature and do not qualify as a tax deduction.

The good news is this is not always the case and even if a home office claim is not allowed you should still be entitled to claim running expenses such as stationery, ink, home internet and all the other costs associated with your home office. If you think you are entitled to an office claim then give us a call and we will work with you to legally maximise your deductions. We may even be able to structure a claim for your home mortgage interest!!

If however, you think your expenses are tax deductible because your mate at the weekend BBQ has told you he claims 19% of his house costs as a tax deduction for his computer in his spare bedroom, then you should read the information provided through the link below on what the tax law actually allows. This is an area the tax office can identify electronically and they will in all likelihood disallow a claim if it is not compliant with the law.

For more information on legally reducing your tax CLICK HERE to make and appointment or give our office a call on 5493 1600 to speak to one of our qualified experts and let us help you reduce your tax without the audit risk.

Fuel Tax Credit Rates Have Increased

Fuel Tax Credit Rates Have Increased - This is Good News

Fuel tax credit rates have increased for fuel acquired from 1 August 2015, due to a rise in the consumer price index (CPI). This is good news because it means you may get a bigger refund if you lodge your claim correctly.

Fuel tax credit rates will continue to be indexed twice a year so make sure you keep in touch with our facebook page and this blog to ensure you receive the latest information.

What you need to do

Rates change regularly and we have the following information and tools to assist you to claim the correct amount of fuel tax credits:

For information about fuel tax credits go to ato.gov.au/fuelschemes

 

Claiming Vehicle Costs

Motor Vehicle Deductions - Maximise Your Claim; Legitimately!

From July 2015 the ATO is making life a little bit simpler (a bit like Ford with their new Mustang). There will only be two methods for claiming your car expenses as a tax deduction. You can claim using either the Log Book or cents per kilometre method. We think this is a good thing because there are few people who claim the 1/3 of actual expenses or the 12% of original value so we will focus on the two the ATO are keeping. If you were claiming either of the two discontinued methods then you can still make a claim on that basis for the 2015 tax year.

When can you claim?

Firstly you must have used your car for a legitimate work related purpose. This means travel such as visiting clients or using your car to carry bulky tools that you use in your work. It does not generally include travel between your home and your workplace.

Your claim will be dependent not only on your travel but also on your records to substantiate your deduction. If you don't have adequate records the ATO can simply deny your claim, and believe us, they will. The records you need to keep will depend on the method you choose:

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