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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Personal Services Income - Busting the Myths

Personal Services Income - To be Included or Not to be Included, That is the Question?

As central to the question of existence contemplated by Shakespeare's Hamlet is the question posed by the results test with reference to personal tax obligations. In a previous blog (click here to read that blog) I discussed the myths (a polite term for rubbish) surrounding the contractor or employee discussion and this blog expands on and explains Personal Services Income in more detail.

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Engaging Contractors - The BBQ Myths Explained

BBQ Advisors Can Get You in a Lot of Trouble!

I hear so much rubbish talked about contractors not being bona-fide contractors and how you can avoid tax simply by giving your "employer" an ABN. Unfortunately most of that advice is gleaned from BBQ advisors and is just plainly uninformed. Most recently I was talking to a business coach and mentor, a self appointed title I might add, and he was adamant that if you received more than 80% of your income from a single client that, "The law prevented you from being a contractor" - WRONG!!!

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12.5 Billion Dollars in Lost Super - Is it Yours?

A Staggering $12.5 Billion Dollars is Sitting in Lost Super - Is Some of it Yours?

I regularly talk to clients about their superannuation and it amazes me that so many people have lost track of their super accounts over the years (me included!!!). In February this year the ATO advised a staggering lost super total of $12.5 billion from 1.2 million lost accounts. That's an average balance of every lost super account of nearly $10,000.

Here is a brief summary by state:

NSW - 405,079 lost accounts $4,213 million

Vic - 264,330 lost accounts for $2,736 million

Qld - 274,790 lost accounts for $2,722 million

WA - 207,075 lost accounts for $1,518 million

SA - 72,238 lost accounts for $680 million

ACT - 22,270 lost accounts for $248 million

NT - 23,819 lost accounts for $208 million

Tas -  22,160 lost accounts for $198 million

Even if you think you have all your super accounts it is worth taking 1 minute to do a check (CLICK HERE for the Quick Super Check). You will need your Tax File Number, Full Name, and Date of Birth. Simply click on the link above to go to the search page, enter your details and wait for the result.

For more information on how to better manage your super, to review your insurances, or develop a proactive superannuation strategy just give our office a call on (07) 54391600 or CLICK HERE to make an appointment with one of our friendly team.

FBT Exemption for Phones, Tablet's, Laptops...

The 2015 Budget Exempts FBT on Portable Electronic Devices - Upgrade Your Mobile Workforce Now and Apply the $20k Write Off Too!

The government will allow a Fringe Benefits Tax ("FBT") exemption from April 1, 2016 for small businesses (those with an annual turnover of less than $2 million) that provide employees with more than one qualifying work related portable electronic device.

What it Means for You

If you provide your employee's with a mobile telephone, a tablet, laptop or other portable electronic device then all of these devices will be exempt from FBT from 1 April 2016. We think this could be a great opportunity to take advantage of the increased immediate asset write off (see our previous post) to upgrade your mobile workforce and you will get a double whammy bonus from the 2015 budget.

The other thing you should seriously consider if you have a mobile workforce is how your accounting system enables their efficiency. The proliferation of cost effective mobile software solutions now means even the smallest business can have the tools once only reserved for the largest corporates. Give us a call on (07) 54391600 to find out how a mobile enabled business can save you hours of wasted time and thousands of dollars. 

Speaking of FBT, the other change to come out of the budget was the creation of a single grossed up cap of $5,000 for salary sacrificed meal entertainment and entertainment facility leasing expenses for employees.

For more information on the changes to FBT or to find out more about how FBT may affect your business give our resident expert, Damon a call on (07) 54391600 or CLICK HERE to make an appointment with one of our qualified team.


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