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You are sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago….

Sometimes people ask us: "Do you work for the tax office or your clients?" 

And the answer is: "We work for our clients of course"

Walsh Accounting's driving purpose is to help our clients meet their business and family's goals – help build a strong  foundation for yourself and your families future.  Meeting your tax and compliance obligations is just one small part of that journey.  

'A goal without a plan is just a wish'

'Failing to plan is planning to fail'

'Forearmed is forewarned'

We have all heard these proverbs – but it does not take away that we know them to be true.  So why is it that we do not heed  their message?

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Ahead in the Cloud


Small businesses and community groups are formed because of their passion for what they do -- not to spend time managing paperwork. Taking the leap from traditional accounting practices to cloud-based accounting solutions enables you to reduce time spent managing information and improve overall operational efficiency. 

What is Cloud Accounting? Data is sent into "the cloud," (which is a remote computer) where it is processed and returned to the user. All application functions are performed off-site, not on the user's desktop. In cloud computing, users access software applications remotely through the Internet or other networks via a cloud application service provider. Using cloud accounting software frees you from having to install and maintain software on individual desktop computers.

Cloud Accounting is a wise choice and is becoming increasingly popular. Here are just some of the many benefits of Cloud Accounting:

Accessibility - information stored in the cloud can be added or accessed from anywhere; you and your team can quickly and easily complete their work no matter where they are.  Accounting data can be accessed on any device with an internet connection, rather than on a few select on-premises computers.  You can send an invoice when out of the office or check a payment on the run. 

Accuracy - financial information is updated automatically and facilitates financial reporting in real-time. Data can feed direct from your bank which mean account balances are always accurate and fewer errors occur than with manual data entry.  

Collaboration – other team members, your bookkeeper and/or accountant/auditor can, with your approval, access your file to enter transactions, fix mistakes, access information etc.  For community clubs this means transitioning from one treasurer to the next is far easier. 

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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 

 


 

Super Ready for Super Reforms

 

Are you aware of Superannuation changes 1 July 2017

The Government superannuation changes have been subject to ongoing negotiation for over a year – often quoted as the most significant reforms to superannuation in a decade.  The reforms have now been passed which means many changes to the super system will take place from 1 July 2017.  Most commonly talked about are:

  • The annual non-concessional contributions cap will reduce from the current level of $180,000 to $100,000 (and will then increase in line with the indexation of the concessional contributions cap). 

o   However, anyone fortunate enough to be able to make a significant contribution before 30 June 2017, can still contribute up to $540,000 under the 3 year bring-forward rules, provided they meet the existing conditions.

  • The new annual concessional contributions cap will be limited to $25,000 for all individuals regardless of age.

o   It is not all bad news though, as from 1 July 2019 you may increase your concessional contribution cap by carrying forward your unused concessional caps amounts if you have a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000.

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Let Them Prove It

I sometimes hear pub talk to the effect "Let them prove it". If a taxpayer takes this attitude with tax law, he or she might have a problem.

The principle "innocent until proven guilty" does not always apply when it comes to tax law.  In some cases the law is "guilty until proven innocent". This was reinforced, not for the first time, in the case of Zappia v Commissioner of Taxation in a judgment issued in the Federal Court of Australia on 19 April 2017. $2 million was deposited into the account of the taxpayer on 30 June 2010. She did not include this amount as income for the 2010 year. The Commissioner issued a default assessment to the effect that the $2 million was income. The Judge found in favour of the Commissioner. Part of the judgment contained the following words (bold emphases added by me).

"The issue is not whether the Commissioner made an error nor, perhaps a little surprisingly, even whether the $2 million is assessable income. Rather, it is whether Mrs Zappia has proven that the $2 million is not assessable income. It is implicit in that statement, which is about who bears the burden of proof, that the Commissioner is under no obligation to prove that the $2 million was income. The onus lies, rather, on Mrs Zappia to prove that it was not.

The judgment is long but interesting if you enjoy a bit of forensic detective analysis. Here is the link [2017] FCA 390

There is an important lesson here.  if you have a dispute with the ATO, try to negotiate and settle before default assessments are issued because your task is going to be so much more difficult once that happens. Hoping the issue goes away rarely leads to the most favourable result. 

 

Then and Now


On the day that I started work (3 February 1959) I wonder how I would have reacted to a man from the future explaining to me how things would work in 2017.

In 1959 an office worker's main tools of trade were paper, pen, ink and mental arithmetic. If a customer bought ten items at 3 pounds 17 shillings and 11 pence each the shopkeeper would get out his trusty pen and paper and mutter to himself as he scribbled "10 times 11 equals 110. 12 goes into 110 nine times with 2 left over. Put down the 2 and carry over the 9. 10 times 17 equals 170 plus the 9 carried over equals 179. 20 goes into 179 8 times with 19 left over. Put down the 19 and carry over the 8. 10 times 3 equals 30 plus the 8 carried over equals 38. Put down 38. Madam, that will be 38 pounds 19 shillings and tuppence".

We were thrilled when we received our first adding machine. It was correctly named. It did not subtract, multiply or divide. It just added. You punched in a number and pulled the handle. Then you punched in another number and pulled the handle again. You could do this as many times as you liked and it would still give you the correct total at the end. What a wonder.

Imagine my reaction if in 1959 the man from the future says to me "In fifty years' time the shopkeeper will merely show the item to a tiny machine which will instantly calculate the price".

Unbelievable.

 "There's more", says the man, "This tiny machine can be in two places at once because while it is serving you it is instantaneously at the bank not only depositing your money from the sale but also taking the place of the bank clerk by entering it on your bank statement". 

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