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The Rules around Gifting & Donations

As we have been fundraising for the RSPCA this month, we thought it timely to touch on the rules around gifts & donations, as well as how you can track these items for tax time.
 
Read on to find out more & access the ATO App to track your deductions!

What Retirement Living Looks like in 2018

Aussie retirees' tastes have shifted to lifestyle accommodation featuring onsite chefs and family- and pet-friendly spaces, the founder of a village comparison site has said.

Given Australia's rapidly increasing retiree population, a transparent and easily navigable retirement living sector is critical, the founder of Compare Villages, Jessica Kinnear, told Nest Egg.  Read on...

Last Minute Tax Tips for Small Business

Up-to-date records and a range of tax concessions are some of the major items the Tax Office has advised small businesses to consider ahead of tax time.  

In a tax tips guide for small business, ATO assistant commissioner Mathew Umina said keeping good records will help small businesses to complete and lodge their tax returns, manage cash flow, meet their tax obligations and understand how their business is doing.

Keys to De-Stressing a Mortgage

"Don't sail out farther than you can row back." This Danish saying is sound advice for anyone thinking of borrowing to buy a home.

According to a paper1 for the Centre of Policy Development and University of Canberra, Australians have a tendency to be over-confident in our ability to repay loans. We also underestimate the likelihood of things potentially going wrong in our lives.

Have you ever heard yourself or someone else say "I'll be able to repay my loan, provided I keep my job, don't get sick and I'm not hit with any large unexpected bills"? Chances are you probably have. But things can and often do go wrong.

 

It's Tax Time

It is time to do your 2017/18 tax return.  We are your experts for any queries you may have regarding tax & for preparation of your annual Tax Return.

Checklist for Business
Checklist for Individuals
Fees for 2017/18 Tax Returns

Contact us on 08-8364 5555 today!
 

What are the minimum pension payment rules?

When you start a superannuation account-based pension, you must withdraw a minimum amount each financial year to secure a tax exemption for the investment earnings on the fund assets financing your super pension.

The minimum pension payment amount, payable for the financial year, is based on your age and the size of your account balance. The annual minimum payment is calculated on 1 July each year using the percentage linked to your age and your pension's account balance (see percentage factor table later in the article).

https://www.superguide.com.au/accessing-superannuation/minimum-pension-payments-reduced

 

Substantial changes to the superannuation rules took effect from 1 July 2017: have you investigated how the super changes will affect your superannuation and retirement plans for the 2017/2018 year, and for future financial years?  It is also very important to ensure that you make the correct super contributions.

At the same time, many of the super rules in place have not changed from previous years, for example, the rate of compulsory employer super contributions that must be paid remains at 9.5%, and tax-free super for over-60s is still available (up to a limit, and excluding many retired public servants).

A summary of the latest superannuation changes, which took effect from the start of the 2017/2018 year, is set out below. You can read more detail on each super change by clicking through to supporting articles.

https://www.superguide.com.au/retirement-planning/july-2017-super-changes

First Home Buyer Super Scheme

Super Opportunity for First Home Buyers

 

Legislation has passed that will enable eligible first home buyers to save for the deposit in the concessionally taxed superannuation system, using the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS or scheme).

This scheme may help participants to accumulate a larger deposit when compared to saving outside super.

The Government has produced an online estimator to illustrate the potential benefits of using the FHSSS. It compares making pre-tax super contributions with saving the same amount (less tax at personal rates) in a standard deposit account.

The estimator can be found at www.budget.gov.au/estimator/

Key Dates

Contributions can be made to the scheme from 1 July 2017 and withdrawn from 1 July 2018.

What & how much can you contribute?

Only voluntary contributions you make to super will count towards your FHSSS balance.

Voluntary contributions include personal, salary sacrifice and additional employer contributions, but not compulsory employer contributions (such as Superannuation Guarantee) and certain other amounts.

Voluntary contributions are limited to $15,000 per year and a total of $30,000. These contributions also count towards the existing contribution caps.

How much & when can you withdraw?

Withdrawals are capped at $30,000 plus associated earnings. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate the associated earnings based on a formula, not the actual earning rate. They will also determine the amount that can be released after allowing for applicable taxes.

You can withdraw from the scheme before you have found a place to buy, but you'll need to buy within 12 months of withdrawing. If not, the ATO may grant a 12 month extension.

Who can participate?

To participate in the scheme, you generally need to be aged 18 or over, have not used the scheme before and have never owned real property in Australia. You may still be eligible if you plan to purchase a home with a partner who doesn't meet the criteria.

What can you buy?

You must buy a 'residential premises' with any amount withdrawn using the FHSSS. This includes vacant land if you're planning to build. The premises has to become your home (not an investment property) and you need to occupy it for at least 6 months after you buy or build it.

What happens if you don't buy?

If you don't buy within the required timeframe, you can contribute the released amount back into super or keep the money and pay tax equal to 20% of the assessable amount. Could you benefit from the FHSSS?

We can help determine whether saving for a home deposit using the FHSSS is a suitable option for you and assess other options.

Get professional advice

A skilled financial adviser can help you make the most of your money and achieve your lifestyle goals.

If you would like expert advice, contact

 Cathy Greven on 08  8364 5555.

Greven & Co

3a, 15 Fullarton Rd, Kent Town SA 5067

Phone +61 8 8364 5555

E greven@greven-co.com.au

W www.greven-co.com.au

 

This document has been published by Cathrine Greven and Pecaz Pty Ltd ABN 94 060 805 683 Trading as Greven Financial Services is an Authorised Representatives of GWM Adviser Services Limited ABN 96 002 071 749 Australian Financial Services Licensee Registered Office at 105-153 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on the information contained in this document as the basis for making any financial investment, insurance or other decision. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

While it is believed the information in this publication is accurate and reliable, the accuracy of that information is not guaranteed in any way. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither the Licensee nor any member of the NAB Group, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.

Any general tax information provided in this publication is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.

The products and services offered by Greven Accounting Services are not authorised by GWM Adviser Services Limited and GWM Adviser Services Limited is not responsible for the advice and services provided by Greven Accounting Services

Vehicle Logs

Do you need to re-do your vehicle log book?

If not, we need your Odometer reading as at 31st March 2018, so please email greven@greven-co.com.au with your name and your odometer reading so we can update your data and vehicle log.

What are the rules for a Vehicle Log Book?

You must prepare a full 12 weeks worth of journeys (which includes both private and business trips). 

Once done, your log is valid for 5 years and you can change your car in that time without having to do another log book.

However, you must keep your odometer readings each 31st March (which we collect and retain as part our service to you). 


The only time you need to do a log book is

  1. If your 5 years has expired
  2. If your travel for business changes significantly.

What are your options for recording a vehicle log?

  1. The old fashioned way.  Purchase a Logbook at your newsagent or office supplies outlet.  You need to record every journey for either business or pleasure, including the date, purpose, odometer readings (beginning & end of each journey) and the details of the car you used.
  2. There are plenty of APPS online to download and use.  Cliock on the link-this website has reviewed the best tools for this purpose.
    https://www.penguinaccounts.com.au/best-logbook-apps/

In the above site, there is an APP named LogbookMe, at a cost of $248+GST per vehicle (for 12 weeks-that's how long you need) or you can get a 52 week subscription for $480+GST.  It is an amazing tool.

If you have any queries, please contact us on 08-8364 5555.  Alternatively, please email greven@greven-co.com.au with your name and your odometer reading as at 31st March, so we can update your data and vehicle log.

Legislation has passed that will enable people aged 65 or over to make additional super contributions of up to $300,000 per person from the proceeds of the sale of their home from 1 July 2018.

These are known as 'downsizer contributions' and they can be made on top of the existing contribution caps, without having to meet certain contribution rules and restrictions.

 

The opportunity

The downsizer contribution rules remove some of the barriers that prevent or restrict the ability to make super contributions at age 65 or over.

Provided certain other conditions are met (see below) eligible people will be able to contribute up to $300,000 per person (or $600,000 per couple) from the proceeds of selling their home on or after 1 July 2018.

The contributions won't count towards the concessional (pre-tax) or non-concessional (after-tax) contribution caps and there is no maximum age limit. Also, the 'work test' (for people aged 65 to 74) and the 'total super balance' test won't apply. 

 

 

Key requirements

There are a number of conditions that will need to be met to be eligible to make downsizer contributions, including:

·         The individual must be aged 65 or over at the time the contribution is made.

·         The property must have been owned by the individual or their spouse (but not necessarily both) for at least 10 years prior to the disposal.

·         The contract for sale must be entered into on or after 1 July 2018.

·         The property must qualify for the main residence capital gains tax exemption in whole or part, so properties held purely for investment purposes won't qualify.

·         The contribution must be made within 90 days of the change of ownership.

·         An election needs to be made to treat the contribution as a downsizer contribution.

·         No tax deduction can be claimed for the contribution.

Other conditions may also apply. For more information, please visit the ATO website at

www.ato.gov.au

Key considerations

There are some key issues that should be considered when assessing whether making downsizer contributions could be a suitable strategy, including:

·         The property being sold to fund the contributions doesn't have to be the current home. It can be a former home which meets the requirements. Also, a new home doesn't need to be purchased.

·         Once contributed, downsizer contributions will count towards the 'total super balance' which could impact capacity to make future contributions.

·         Downsizer contributions can't be transferred into a tax-free 'retirement phase income stream' if the 'transfer balance cap' has been used up. The transfer balance cap is $1.6 million in 2017/18.

·         If the transfer balance cap has already been used up, the contribution must remain in the 'accumulation phase' of super, where investment earnings are taxed at a maximum rate of 15%.

·         Money held in the accumulation or retirement phase of super is assessed for both social security and aged care purposes.

Could you benefit from downsizer contributions?

If you are thinking about selling your home after 1 July 2018, we can help you decide whether making downsizer super contributions is a suitable strategy for you and assess other options.

Get professional advice

A skilled financial adviser can help you make the most of your money and achieve your lifestyle goals.

 

   

 

This document has been published by Cathrine Greven and Pecaz Pty Ltd ABN 94 060 805 683 Trading as Greven Financial Services is an Authorised Representatives of GWM Adviser Services Limited ABN 96 002 071 749 Australian Financial Services Licensee Registered Office at 105-153 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on the information contained in this document as the basis for making any financial investment, insurance or other decision. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

While it is believed the information in this publication is accurate and reliable, the accuracy of that information is not guaranteed in any way. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither the Licensee nor any member of the NAB Group, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.

Any general tax information provided in this publication is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.

The products and services offered by Greven Accounting Services are not authorised by GWM Adviser Services Limited and GWM Adviser Services Limited is not responsible for the advice and services provided by Greven Accounting Services

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