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As the Coronavirus COVID-19 continues to unfold, the economic fallout is fast hitting home.  Whilst Western Queensland has (to this point in time) been insulated from the virus, it is clear we will not be protected from the potential devastating financial impacts.  For small business, now is the time to act, NOT wait.

Business in hospitality, retail, events, personal services and tourism are directly impacted now, but everyone will feel the indirect effects.  It is fairly clear at this time that the 2020 tourist season will be late at best, and non-existent at worst.  For businesses coming off a long 'off-season', you must do all you can to protect cashflow now.  

Some immediate actions you can take in your business:

  • Start revising cashflow projections now using assumptions for a reduced turnover if you think this applies to you;
  • Plan how you can reduce costs at least over the next quarter but possibly longer;
  • If you already have existing debt with ATO and banks/lenders, start talking to them now about revised cashflows and payment arrangements (the banks have today announced small business loan repayment deferrals for 6 months, but you will need to confirm this applies to you);
  • Discuss with the ATO possible delayed payment plans for the upcoming BAS lodgement;
  • If you rely on particular suppliers, ensure they are in a position to keep providing to you;
  • If you have 'business critical' owners or staff, have a plan in place if they are forced to quarantine;
  • Investigate your insurance policies to see if there is any coverage relating to this crisis.
  • Discuss with your landlord possible deferral or payment arrangements

If you are in one of the 'high-risk' industries requiring customers coming in the door, you will need to be proactive in keeping a customer base:

  • Look at how you can offer differently e.g. are you set up for web sales, can you deliver or do takeaway rather than have customers in the shop/cafe?
  • If you are able to offer a different type of service, start advertising now
  • Ensure you are following all health advisories for public safety, and advertise these regularly in shop and social media.

There have already been government incentives offered.  Some will be automatically provided, and others will be by application.  It is important to be prepared if you think you are going to apply for assistance.  For instance, if you need to apply to borrow to get through this period, it will be vital to have up to date projections and cashflows available as soon as possible.

Once details of various incentives are available, we can unpack these and publish, but information is in short-supply at present.

Hopefully, we will all support each other to stay healthy and keep our local businesses going, but as we have seen already in other areas, some businesses are going to struggle to survive.  Now is the time to do all you can to come out the other side.

As always, please consult with your Accountant for advice as it relates to your circumstances.


Amendments to Instant Asset Writeoff

The increase to the instant asset write-off is now law. From 7.30 pm on 2 April 2019 small business entities can access an immediate deduction for depreciating assets costing less than $30,000. From 1 July 2018 to 29 January 2019 the threshold is $20,000; from 29 January 2019 to 2 April 2019 it is $25,000.There are three different thresholds in the one financial year.

Medium business entities (those with turnovers between $10 million and $50 million) can now access the instant asset write-off for depreciating assets costing less than $30,000. There are some complications with medium size businesses so speak to your accountant before purchase.

The increase in these threshold s can now be taken into account for tax planning purposes but the usual caveat applies. Buy an asset because it will benefit your business and not because of the tax saving. The tax savings should be the icing on the cake. Speaking of cake you cannot have your cake and eat it too. By claiming the instant asset write-off you forego the depreciation you could otherwise have claimed in following years.

Please contact the office to make a tax planning meeting today. 

Drought Relief Assistance Scheme

The Queensland Government has announced further assistance for graziers affected by drought. At a minimum you must be a member of the grazing industry, have a property in a drought-declared area and operate in Queensland. There are other eligibility criteria.

Subsidies or rebates of between $20,000 and $40,000 per property might be available.                           

The forms of assistance eligible for funding include freight subsidies to transport fodder or  water and a rebate of part of the cost of purchasing and installing water infrastructure for animal welfare needs.

The rules regarding eligibility and funding are quite restrictive but it is worth spending a few minutes to assess whether you meet all the criteria.

You can find more details online Drought Relief Assistance Scheme QLD 

Please give us a call if we can be of any assistance.

Single Touch Payroll - Coming Ready or Not

Single Touch Payroll (STP) begins for most employers on 1 July 2019. From that date, all employers must send their payroll data electronically to the ATO  every time they pay employees.

If employers do not presently have payroll software the ATO will not force them to purchase it but this does not mean that these employers will be exempt from the reporting requirements. The ATO has not yet decided on the reporting options for these employers but it will provide more information in the near future. Some possible options might be a portal or a phone app, a payroll service or the introduction of inexpensive payroll reporting software (under $10 per month). Whatever the options it appears that they all involve the digital world. Photocopying a manual wages book and posting it to the ATO every week is not likely to cut the mustard.

Employers must report not only the current pay run but also year to date gross values of wages, allowances, deductions and PAYG withholding tax for each employee.

Employers must also report all employee superannuation liabilities. The ATO can check these with information from superannuation funds. Presently employers can fly under the radar to some extent if they do not pay super guarantee on time. It appears that from 1 July this will not be possible. The ATO net is tightening.  The ATO will also be able to identify employers who do not remit PAYG Withholding payments on time. Recent estimates indicate the about $2.5 billion per year is not remitted.

Read more…

Super Guarantee 12 month Amnesty

Superannuation guarantee 12 month amnesty

Today there is good news for stressed small business employers who have fallen behind in their superannuation guarantee obligations.

Employers who have not paid their superannuation guarantee (SG) in the past may now have a 12 month amnesty from penalties to make good on their compliance. The previous rules relating to SG charge denied the tax deductibility of late super payments, and applied additional penalties.

The amnesty will apply from 24 May 2018 to 24 May 2019, the date of introduction into parliament. Also, the quarters where a disclosure can be made could theoretically be from 1 July 1992 to 31 March 2018.

The main qualification for the amnesty to apply for the employer is that the ATO must not have previously declared an investigation into the financial quarter in question.

There are conditions, one of which is that the employer must voluntarily make disclosure without any prompting from the Australian Taxation Office. For this reason it would be advisable to make disclosure as soon as possible.

The Bill has not yet passed or received Royal Assent but there is no indication that it will be opposed.

If you would like more details please contact us.

Running your own business - Part 1

So you are thinking about setting up your own business? Many people do at some stage in life.  This could be a  new enterprise or buying into an established business.  Before you jump in though, it is important to consider the pros and cons.  Every small business operator expects to succeed, but sadly most do not last more than five years.

The process of setting up a business in Australia can be relatively easy.  Apply online for an ABN and have a bank account and away you go.  But is it that simple?

Being self-employed brings a lot of advantages –

You are the boss - You have control over your work output, your income goals and your working conditions.  You have freedom to choose which services and products you offer and how you will structure the business. You have the potential to gain more control over your life and your destiny.

The prospect of financial rewards  - If all goes well, you have the potential to increase your income significantly as the owner, rather than an employee, of the business.

Personal fulfilment – You have the opportunity to choose a business where you can do the work you really love. You also have potential to grow and expand, and achieve many personal goals. You can choose to have more time for yourself and your family and do the things that are really important to you.


All good reasons to move forward…

Read more…

Tax concessions for Small Business Entities & Primary Producers 

There are some very attractive tax concessions for Small Business Entities (SBEs) at present. Some of these concessions will not be available after 30 June 2018 while others will continue after that date. Some are for both primary producers and non-primary producers. Others are for primary producers only. In this blog I will try to set out which concessions are for all SBEs; which are for primary producers only; which are likely to disappear after 30 June 2018 and which will continue at the pleasure of the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Government.

These concessions are available only to SBEs. In brief, an SBE is a business which has a turnover less than $10 million (for 2016 and prior years the threshold was $2 million).

$20,000 Instant Asset Write-off

All SBEs (primary producers and non-primary producers) are entitled to an immediate deduction for the business use portion of a new or used depreciating asset costing less than $20,000 (excluding GST)  first acquired on or after 7.30 pm on 12 May 2015 and first used or installed ready for use by 30 June 2018. This concession is known as the $20,000 instant asset write-off. Unless extended it will end on 30 June 2018.

There are some conditions. There are always conditions. One of these conditions is that, if you take advantage of the instant asset write-off, you must pool all your other assets (with very few exceptions). Pooling means totaling the written down values of all depreciable assets and claiming depreciation on the total at 30% (15% in the year you acquire the asset). If you want to claim the instant asset write-off you must either be in a pool or you must establish a pool in the year that you first claim the instant asset write-off.

Read more…

How to paint a picture of success

How to paint a picture of success

Huge congratulations to our clients  Noel & Edith Usher and children, Sharlene,  Andrew and Darcy. The family first became clients on 9 November 1980. Their business has won the Inspirations Paint Franchise Group,  State and National Franchise of the Year Award. These Awards have only been  presented 3 times and the Usher Family have won all three. 

Many Barcaldine residents will have fond memories of Noel's father and mother , Eric and Dawn Usher. Eric was a trade painter who worked in our district for many years. Some may remember the Paint and Curtain shop next to the Shakespeare hotel building, which was Edith's Pet Project. 

When Noel & Edith left Barcaldine to live in Nerang, they struggled to buy a small paint shop.  In the early years it was Edith who managed the store full-time. Then she was joined by Andrew when he left school, and then Sharlene their daughter.  Noel and Darcy ran another small successful painting business (Darcy completing his Painting & Decorating Apprenticeship). They later sold this business and were then fully engaged in the paint shop business. A second shop  north of Nerang at Coomera was opened in 2005. 

Since then, Andrew & Darcy have been responsible for the successful running and management of both businesses, now employing 20 people. While understanding paint has been critical to their success, they have also had to develop boardroom skills as their empire grew from a simple partnership to a complex system of companies and trusts, each designed to address new issues at every stage in their growth. 

Read more…

Succession Planning Grants Now Available for Primary Producers

Succession planning is not a matter that business owners typically give a lot of thought to, but for all businesses, it is important.  This is especially so for primary producers because the major business asset is often a family legacy therefore succession planning is not purely a business decision – it has personal and family considerations attached.

The Queensland Government currently has grants available to assist clients to obtain succession planning advice from a professional service, on a dollar for dollar basis.  Succession planning is not limited to the retirement or death of one party but may involve restructuring of the business to include new owners/partners or the proposed exit of existing owners.

Walsh Accounting can provide professional advice regarding this succession planning. If you are interested and believe you are eligible for the grant, we would be happy to discuss.

As always, there are conditions attached to the grant.

For details refer to QRAA 




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