Now that the end of the financial year is just around the corner, it's time to put some real focus into your tax minimisation strategies. It's also a time to start thinking ahead to the new financial year and to get your thoughts clear on what you'd like that to look like. 



Listed below are some ideas for you to implement, but just make sure you've got them covered before June 30:
Pay & Delay if You Can

Now is a perfect opportunity to pre-pay some expenses that you'll likely carry through with you into the next financial year. For example, see if you can pay for subscriptions, the cost of your income protection policy, conferences and membership fees all before June 30. Also, ask your lender if you're able to pre-pay any of your interest for the next financial year. Then if the opportunity arises, see if you can put off receiving income before the June 30 deadline. This might be achieved by holding off on issuing invoices or even reviewing your term deposit maturity dates.

Mortgage Offset Account

This is more often viewed as a strategy to cut interest costs and the length of the loan on a ­mortgage. The other side of the equation is a tax saving on money that would otherwise have been parked in a savings account and earning interest, on which you would be taxed at your marginal tax rate. Say you've accumulated some cash or sold some assets and you're not sure what to do with the proceeds. If you've got a home loan, putting this extra cash into an offset account can not only reduce the amount of interest payable on the loan but it will also stop you paying tax on the interest you would otherwise have earned.

Discretionary Family Trust

An effective way to hold investments, a trust is a separate investment structure where assets are controlled by one or more persons (the trustee/s) on behalf of a group of other persons (the beneficiaries). A discretionary trust allows the trustee to decide who gets the income and capital the trust owns. These can suit someone on higher tax brackets with family members listed as beneficiaries who are on lower rates. For example, rental income from an investment property owned by the trust could go to members of the trust on lower incomes. The trust does not pay tax, but the beneficiary does, with income and capital gains derived by a trust generally assessed at the tax rates of the beneficiary.

Reduce Capital Gains 

If you're sitting on capital losses on some of your smaller share investments and you don't have a long term plan to continue holding these, it may be a good time to sell these shares and use the losses to offset against any gains you've made earlier in the year.

Top Up Your Super & Salary Sacrifice 

Topping up your super can be one of the best deductions around, as you're still the holder of the money, minus the 15% contribution tax. This is different from claiming a deduction on paying bank interest as once that expense is paid, the bank has the money rather than you. Concessional contributions are allowed for up to $25,000 per person under 75, so make use of these limits. For a couple, that's up to $50,000 between them that can be set aside to accumulate in a lower tax environment. Don't forget that if your employer is making contributions for you, you're only able to salary sacrifice by the difference to take you up to the $25,000 limit.

Small Business Immediate Asset Write Off of Up to $30,000
If you're a small business, this is definitely something you want to make use if you need new capital items. If you buy an asset and it costs less than $30,000, you can immediately deduct the business portion in your tax return.
You are eligible to use simplified depreciation rules and claim the immediate deduction for the business portion of each asset (new or second hand) costing less than $30,000 if:
you have a turnover less than $50 million (increased from $10 million), and
the asset was first used or installed ready for use in the income year you are claiming it in.

Charitable Gifts 

If you're thinking of making a charitable donation it's best to do so before June 30 as you'll most likely be able to claim the full donation amount.

The New Financial Year Done Right

If you've got your house in order in the lead up to June 30, now is a perfect time to cast your mind ahead to the beginning of July. Many people make the mistake of not using this time wisely to plan the year ahead, and to get clear on what you'd like your finances to look like. Here are some of our tips to get you started:

1. Time for a budget
Regardless of whether you're in business yourself or working for wages, use the start of the financial year as a time to refresh that household or business budget. This means mapping out all of the income you're likely to receive over the year, next to all of the expenses you're likely to incur. If there's a surplus, this is your most important number, because it's what you do with this surplus that will play a big part in determining your year ahead. You may decide it's time to accelerate your debt reduction, or make an investment with what's left over.

2. Superannuation contributions done early
If you make top-up contributions to super during the year, there's no reason why you can't accelerate that in July, which really just gives your superannuation that little bit extra time with a larger amount invested.

3. Get your kids investing
If saving and investing is good enough for you, it's also good enough for your kids. This might be in the form of encouragement towards that house deposit, or a small investment portfolio for them to use in the years ahead. Getting your kids involved with some education around their finances is a great gift you'll be giving them.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you need any help with any of these points, please don't hesitate to contact us on 5482 2855.

What to Consider Before Buying a Business

Have you ever fancied the idea of buying a business and being your own boss? Or perhaps you're already in business and you're considering buying another to add to your existing operation? Listed below are some of the key points we feel you need to consider before taking this step:


1. Be really clear on your understanding of the industry you're getting in to. Consider, do you have any prior knowledge of this industry other through observation? Is it the kind of industry that can be learned about quickly or, is it really "generational"? If you have limited prior knowledge, be prepared for a very steep learning curve and also consider where you'll get your learning from.

2. Also, understand how easy or difficult the industry is for people and other competitors to enter. For example, a lawn mowing business is relatively easy for participants to come and go from because it requires a relatively low amount of capital to get started. On the other hand, farming requires a large amount of investment, which means it may be harder for real competitors to enter.

3. It will pay to be very clear on who your market place (customers) are and then how you intend to reach them. For example, are you a specialty store owner or service provider and who are your customers? Where are you then most likely to get more of those customers?

4. Is the market place you're entering already saturated? Setting up another coffee shop in an area that already has many coffee shops may just be a recipe for disaster unless you have a very significant point of difference that people are willing to pay for.

5. In that vein, does the business you're buying already have a unique proposition? If so, will that unique proposition leave when the previous owner also leaves? Or, is it the staff that really set the business apart and will they stay on when there is a change in ownership?

6. How easy or difficult will it be for you to get finance for the business you'd like to buy? This can depend on your existing level of borrowing as well as on the nature of the business you're buying. For example, if there's a heavy reliance on the goodwill component of the business, a bank may look less favourably on this, when compared to something that can easily be valued such as machinery.

7. Is all the infrastructure of the business already in place or is this something that will need further investment in during the years ahead? In this sense, you'll need to check the length of any leases in place, as well as the age of the machinery that's already there.

8. Finally, we suggest you do a forward projection for 3 years time – one where everything goes to plan and then another that allows for significant contingencies of less growth. How does the business look if there's an economic recession?

If you're weighing up any of these options or if you'd like more of our input on these ideas, support you in working through due diligence or look at a potential opportunity please don't hesitate to contact us.
Single Touch Payroll (STP) commenced on July 1, 2018 for large employers (with 20 or more employees), however, from 1 July 2019 small employers (with less than 20 employees) are required to report details of employees' tax withholding and superannuation information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at the time they process their payroll using Single Touch Payroll (STP) software.



Single Touch Payroll is also called 'real-time payroll reporting' because it means every time a business pays their staff, all the salary information is sent to the ATO. This includes wages, deductions and superannuation information, eliminating the need for Pay As You Go Withholding Activity Statements throughout the year.

Businesses still doing payroll manually will be forced to adopt a digital system over the next 12 months now that employers with fewer than 19 workers are caught under the Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting regime. It has been described as the 'biggest compliance undertaking since the GST', with more than 700,000 employers technically required to become compliant with the new system by 1 July 2019.

Employers may need to choose new payroll software if their current software does not offer Single Touch Payroll Reporting and the ATO recommends employers speak with their registered Tax Agent or Accountant to establish which software product best suits their needs.

The ATO requested software developers to build a low-cost Single Touch Payroll solution at or below $10 per month for micro employers. A register of more than 30 suppliers of these low-cost STP solutions are on the ATO's website and we understand the Tax Office has been discussing a possible digital banking solution with the major banks over the last 12 months.

Why STP?
Single Touch Payroll is designed to streamline business reporting and help the ATO monitor whether employers are complying with their Superannuation Guarantee and PAYG Withholding obligations. By reporting through Single Touch Payroll, employers need not complete Pay-As-You-Go Withholding Activity Statements throughout the year and Payment Summaries will be available to employees through MyGov.

Implementing Single Touch Payroll and lodging reports may pose some concerns for business owners. The extension of the STP reporting requirements to smaller employers raises the worry that they may not be aware of the changes and micro employers (four or fewer staff) may not have digital payroll software or access to a reliable internet connection. To assist, the ATO will:

1. Offer Micro Employers (with 1 to 4 employees) help to transition to STP and other alternative options (for example, allowing those who rely on a registered Tax Agent or BAS Agent to report quarterly for the first two years, rather than each time payroll is run);

2. Allow small employers to start reporting any time from the 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019 and granting deferrals to small employers who request additional time to start STP reporting;

3. Not apply penalties for mistakes and missed or late reports for the first year; and

4. Provide exemptions from Single Touch Payroll reporting for employers experiencing hardship, or in areas with intermittent or no internet connection.

If you need any help with your payroll, withholding tax or superannuation obligations, please contact us today.

Are You Structured Best for You?

One question we often get asked by our clients is what structure they should be operating out of, whether this is for business or investment purposes. This week we'll look at what the main structures are and the pros and cons of each.



Company
What is it? A company is a popular structure for business operations and it stands as its own separate entity.
Pros:

1. The company tax rate is what applies to this entity rather than an individual tax rate which may be higher. The current company tax rate is 27.5% for small businesses and this may reduce further in the years ahead, depending on government legislation.
2. A company offers a layer of protection for assets.
3. Lenders like dealing with companies as they generally find them simple and easy to understand.
4. The shares in a company can be bequeathed in a Will as part of your estate planning, giving the structure longevity through generations. 

Cons:

1.There is no capital gains tax discount in a company if assets are sold in this structure.
2. Companies can be difficult to take money out of without triggering excessive tax consequences.

Trust
What is it? Trusts are widely used for investment and business purposes. A trust is really an obligation imposed on a person or another entity to hold assets for the benefit of beneficiaries.
Pros:

1. The nominated beneficiaries of a trust can be quite wide-reaching or also quite narrow, giving a lot of flexibility for trustees.
2. As with a company, a trust will allow a good level of asset protection
3. Estate planning can be factored into the longevity of a trust and multiple generations involved.

Cons:

1. All income a trust makes must be paid out (distributed) to the beneficiaries each year.
2. These are less attractive structures for a lender
3. Money cannot be borrowed from a trust without it needing to be paid back at some stage.
4. Significant changes need to align with the governing document of the trust, known as the trust deed.

In some cases, clients will have the "best of both worlds" where they will use a company structure with a separate trust as the shareholder in the company. That way any income earned in the trust can be paid out to beneficiaries as a distribution. The bottom line though is that the structures you apply need to be the right ones for you, and if you're seeking any advice in this area, please don't hesitate to contact us.

This week's topic is an often overlooked component of any small business, but it can sometimes be the difference between success and failure. Bookkeeping refers to the keeping of records of the financial affairs of a business but it is also a legal requirement for businesses to have records that are up to date.



Below are some of the reasons why good bookkeeping is essential for running a good business:

1. Tax obligations can be fulfilled - When tax time approaches, accurate and up to date bookkeeping allows you to easily meet your tax obligations and report accurately.

2. Improved financial management and analysis - Even though you are busy and hardly have enough time, it is important you focus on managing the cash flow of the business. In a situation where invoices are delayed, customers are allowed to delay payments because if there is no follow-up then the business could fail. With good bookkeeping, all these can be taken care of as it helps to create an organised system that can easily be followed and ensures that the business runs smoothly. In short, you can keep better track of your inflows and outflows.

3. Better business planning - With proper bookkeeping, you are able to know how much progress the business has made over time. This goes a long way in making it much easier to plan for the future of the business. You can compare previous years and months to the current period of business, know the areas of the business that are making a profit and decide on areas to cut back on or invest in.

4. DIY Bookkeeping versus Outsourcing - There are lots of great electronic platforms these days that help make bookkeeping easier, but when it comes to outsourcing, we'd suggest taking this option if you're time poor or if you don't have the right skill set. At the end of the day, everyone will have their own favourite electronic platform for bookkeeping, but as long as you're comfortable using it and the information is delivered accurately and in a timely manner, we'd suggest you use what's best for you and your particular business.

Number One Bookkeeping Rule

If you take nothing else from this article, we'd suggest you always try to keep your bookkeeping up to date and don't let it get on top of you. Catching up over a number of months becomes too difficult to complete in one go, so stay on top of this job. If you'd like to discuss how your bookkeeping can be improved for your business, just remember we're only a phone call or email away.

Schuh Group Business Planning
& Wealth Creation Seminar

We will be hosting a business planning and wealth creation seminar on the 31st of October, to be conducted by our accountants Cos Schuh and Danielle Maudsley, along with our financial planner Dominque Schuh.
Do you have an interest in learning about working on your business not just in your business? What does that picture look like? How do I build assets outsides of my business? If these questions are relevant to you we warmly invite you to join us. The following topics will be covered :

1. What are you building? Something to sell or a cash cow?
2. Business and Tax planning - when to do it and what to consider
3. Timely considerations throughout the year
4. Reliable Investment Strategies for building assets outside of the business

Refreshments will be served after the seminar presentation If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Marie at Schuh Group on 4162 1422 by Friday 26th October. Please bring along friends and family who may be interested in this topic we look forward to seeing you there!

The details for the seminar are:
Date: Wednesday 31st October 2018
Time: 6.00pm
Venue: "White Room" Kingaroy RSL, 126 Kingaroy Street, Kingaroy.

 

Protecting Your Business Now, & in the Future

This week's article is directed towards small business owners, and specifically around protection for the business asset. There's a saying that a "business is the length and breadth of the shadow cast by the business owner," and we feel this is completely true. We also feel that most business owners don't understand the inherent risks in their businesses, namely the risks around themselves and their key people. What happens to the continuity of the business if something happens to the business owner or a key person? As with any business, we feel it is a prudent strategy to try to reduce risk where possible.



The risks inherent in a small business can be classified into three categories: Debt risks, key person risk, and ownership risk.

Debt Risk:

This occurs when a life event, either death or disability happens to a business owner and the value of the business drops, leaving an existing debt position exposed. This is further compounded by most business owners giving personal guarantees to lenders for finance needed in the business. For example, if a Mum and Dad business is worth $700,000 as a going concern, and there's a $300,000 business debt, the risk to that business being able to continue in the event of death or disability is extremely high.

Key Person Risk:

This occurs when the success of a business is closely reliant on a small number of people. If something happens to one of those people, there is an inevitable drop in the profitability of the business. For example, if a business is being run by a managing director who knows the ins and outs of the business extremely well, the cost to the business can be huge if something happens to that person and the business is forced to find a replacement, and then train that replacement into the role. The cost is far greater than the outgoing salary expense.

Ownership Risk:

Let's assume the business is being run through a partnership model, and there are two partners involved. Let's also assume each partner has a spouse who isn't involved in the business. In this case, if one of the partners died suddenly or was disabled, the remaining partner is then in business with that person's spouse. This is not always the desired outcome! The continuity of the business and the provision for two families is then completely at stake.

For all of these risks, we'd suggest a strategic amount of life and disability insurance is the best course of action, and a prudent measure to take. The business can fund the premiums and in many cases these can be tax deductible, making them even more worthwhile. As with any insurance, there is a cost to having the policies in place but there's also a cost to not having them, which is always much more severe.

The Latest Legislative Changes for Business

If you're in business or find yourself in a decision making role in someone else's business, then this week's content is for you. There's an old saying that "the more things change, the more they stay the same," and while that's partly true, there are some important changes that have come into play for businesses with the beginning of the new financial year. Here are a few that may be having an impact on you and are worth knowing.


National Minimum Wages Increase
From 1 July 2018, the national minimum wage has increased in Australia by 3.5% - the new national minimum wage is $719.20 per week, for a 38-hour week, or $18.93 per hour. The increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2018, for employees on the national minimum wage or a modern award. So, if you're paying your employees minimum award rates, you need to have made an adjustment upwards.

Single Touch Payroll
From 1 July 2018, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has introduced the Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you employ 20 or more employees, you will need to report to the ATO each time you pay your employees. The information you need to send to the ATO includes your employees' salaries and wages, allowances, deductions (for example, workplace giving) and other payments, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation.

Updates to the National Privacy Act – Data Breach Changes
From 22 February 2018, businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million are required to comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme under the Privacy Act 1988. A data breach occurs when unauthorized personal information is accessed or released. If the breach is likely to cause serious harm to an individual, businesses are obligated to notify both the individual involved, and the Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Changes to Gift Card Expiry Dates and Fees for NSW
And finally some good news for shoppers! You may like to buy your gift cards when you're visiting NSW in future, as gift cards and gift vouchers purchased in NSW will have a three-year expiry date as of 31 March 2018. NSW businesses that issue gift cards or gift vouchers will need to honour the purchase if it's within that period. Businesses issuing gift cards or gift vouchers prior to this date are not affected by the changes. We're not actually sure whether those gift cards can be used interstate with the same three-year conditions, but it's worth a try!

If any of the above changes affect your business and you'd like to know more, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're only a phone call or email away.

Reduce Your Tax Bill Today!

Has your small business made a profit this year? Are you worried about a looming tax bill? When you work hard for your money, you want to take advantage of all the tax deductions available to you. As we fast approach the end of financial year with continued low-interest rates and same day approvals, it is time to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a new vehicle or piece of equipment to help set your business up for the next financial year. 

Did you know that small businesses can claim back purchases of up to $20,000 as full tax deduction?  We are happy to work with your accountant to achieve the best outcome possible for your business. These offers come with quick turnarounds and fast settlements, so there is no worry that you won't make the June 30 deadline. Take advantage of the opportunities available now and contact our vehicle and equipment finance specialist Jo Bennett on 07 5480 4859 or contact David directly on 0400 224 615.

THE Queensland Government has introduced a Regional Employment Package to boost employment throughout our region. Long-term unemployed jobseekers are the main beneficiaries of the $100 million Back to Work job program. The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines "long-term unemployed jobseeker" as someone out of work for 52 weeks or more. All eligible employees attract a government payment of $10,000.00 paid to the employer for businesses who take on an unemployed worker. This value increases to $15,000.00 for employees who are classified as "long term unemployed".


Further, a $20,000.00 "Youth Boost" is available for eligible employers who hire unemployed youth aged between 15 and 24 (between 1 December 2016 and 28 February 2017). You can apply for an Employer Support Payment just four weeks after an eligible employee starts working with you. An eligible employee is a person who meets the following criteria

1. Is a resident of Queensland;
2. Was unemployed for at least four weeks directly prior to commencing employment;
3. Was not previously employed by same company in the previous 12 months;
4. Commenced work after 1 July 2016 and has worked for at least four weeks
5. Work an average of at least 20 hours per week (eight hours for a person with a disability);
6. Be paid to work full time or part time (casual employees excluded);

All employers who hire an eligible employee in a regional Queensland job are qualified for the incentive except for government entities including local, state and federal government, government owned corporations and statutory bodies. Visit Back To Work Initiatives for more information on how to apply.

Contact our office today if you have any questions about your personal and unique situation on 07 5482 2855.
Regardless of your financial position, the approach of June 30 brings some "housekeeping financial issues". This annual deadline is fast approaching, so please take some time to consider the following so that the end of financial year is as good for you as it can be:


1. Review your Depreciation Schedule to delete any obsolete items and add any items,
not on the Schedule.
2. Check your insurance schedule to ensure you have equipment adequately insured and that you are not covering valueless equipment.
3. Visit your utility suppliers to negotiate fresh contracts e.g. electricity/insurance providers.
4. Visit your banking arrangements to ensure you are getting the best loan or interest rate deal. Remember, with banks "if you do not ask, you will not receive"
5. Ensure employees are being paid correctly and that superannuation and wage records are up-to-date so employee pay records can be finalised promptly after June 30.
6. How long has it been since you reviewed your Will – does it adequately reflect your intentions when considering your current assets or debt levels and family situation?
7. Review your bookkeeping processes – are they accurate, timely and cost or time efficient
8. Review your trading to consider profitability. Are you comfortable with your profit level or return on investment?
9. Consider superannuation or savings plans. Statistics tell us we will live longer so we need to provide better and more stable retirement income streams. Make sure that you are up to date with the new changes and any contribution opportunities that may support you.

At Schuh Group we have a team of experienced, committed people to help guide and plan your financial future. We are a second generation business with firsthand experience in wealth creation. So, if you feel you need assistance in any of these areas, please don't hesitate to contact us on 07 5482 2855.

Strong gains by resources companies including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have lifted the share market, despite falls by the banks. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 0.2 per cent, after earlier being close to 0.5 per cent higher. U.S. stocks slipped to session lows, before recovering ground, on Wednesday as drug stocks took a beating after Donald Trump's comments on drug pricing in his first formal news conference after his election victory. The Australian dollar has slipped a touch on the back of firming market bets on a US interest rate rise. The local currency was trading at 73.68 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Wednesday, down from 73.74 US cents on Tuesday.


What does this mean for you?

It's still early enough in the new year to do a business plan if you're in a small business. This can include a sole operator, a partnership or a business with a number of shareholders. Before the year gets away from you, think about what your long-term vision is, what your competitors are offering and how you're different, and then how you're going to market that difference. If you're a small business operator, that business is potentially your greatest cash cow, so take the time to plan for it being on track.

Have you checked your superannuation beneficiary nominations recently? Your superannuation balance doesn't automatically get paid into your estate, so make sure you've nominated where you'd like this to end up. There can be tax consequences for the people who receive it, so make sure you get some advice if you're unsure.
If you would like to review your current structures, contact us today on 5482 2855

2016 is proving to be advantageous for many business owners, with continued growth and strong returns. However, as the year rounds out into what is typically known as Australia's downtime - January - business owners (especially those in the Agricultural industry) should be assessing their risks and options now, to guarantee a smooth run into the new year.


There are three primary financial hurdles that often present themselves in the months October - February:

1. Cyclical Cash Flow

2. Weather

3. Movements in the Beef Price

Cyclical Cash Flow

Cash is the lifeblood of a successful business. Without cash, any business will struggle and suffer. And because of the type of business they operate seasonal business owners need to be even more vigilant when it comes to managing cash. The biggest mistake business owners make when it comes to cash flow really is very simple...they don't manage it. They don't predict out into the future. Organizations-no matter if they're very large or very small-the ones that have the best control over their cash are the ones that are able to succeed.
The reasons small businesses don't manage their cash flow vary. Some, simply don't understand cash flow. It's not unusual for business owners to think if they're making a lot of sales they must have positive cash flow. Profits and cash flow are not the same thing, you can have a profitable business on paper and not have a dollar in the bank. It is important to plan ahead for any downturn in cash flow now, while cash flow is good.

Weather

The weather is unpredictable and out of anyone's control. And it can have a significant impact on the bottom line of any business. As with most patterns of this type, bad times are usually balanced out with good times. But in order to "weather the storm" during those bad times, business owners need to be prepared for it. And this doesn't just go for seasonal businesses, either. Businesses of all kinds can be affected, even if indirectly, by both good and bad weather. The key is to know:

1. Customers: What are your consumer's behaviors during certain weather conditions and/or times of the year?
2. Products: Demand aside, a number of products are subject to price fluctuations based on weather conditions. Agriculture is an obvious one as the weather has a direct effect on yield.
3. Property: Don't underestimate the destructive power of weather. Floods and water damage, fire and all the other ancillary hazards associated with weather are a major concern of business (as well as residential) property. Assessing risk and protecting property that can be affected by weather is as important as anything else.
4. Movements in Prices: With shifting supply and demand issues, the cost of goods will shift too, meaning that business owners - especially suppliers - cannot guarantee their product will retain the same value, in turn, shifting forecasts and potentially reducing cash flow. It is important to ensure that regardless of movements in the market you have the resources needed to survive any fluctuations.

We understand the nature of your business and we have the skills, tools, and relationships to ensure that no matter what happens in "Australia's downtime," your position remains strong. To secure your cash flow and take advantage of current economic advantages we have three options:
1. Flexible lines of credit
2. Reduced banking costs
3. 6 monthly interest repayments

Right now is the time to review your Christmas cash flow forecasts, and secure yourself so that you are protected against the unknown. The risk of not taking the time to review your position could equate to huge financial loss and hardship. Remember it is tougher in bad times to resource your business for growth! Right now there is an opportunity to use the current "good times" we are seeing to get set and take advantage of low-interest rates and flexible lending. The other advantage is that any commercial lending and machinery finance secured between now and the end of the year will allow business owners to take advantage of full refunds at the end of the October - December BAS quarter.

If you would like to take advantage of an obligation-free independent review of your commercial, machinery, and cash flow needs please contact the office on 07 5482 2855 or
contact David directly at david.schuh@schuhgroup.com.au or on 0400 224 615

"I guarantee you I will find a way to save you money and leave you financially stronger" - David Schuh

Wine & Jazz a Win For Our Local Children's Ward.

Schuh Group was proud to be the major sponsor of Wishlist's inaugural Jazz and Wine Festival held in Gympie last Saturday night. The event was the first of many to come and raised an incredible $25,000 for Gympie Hospital. Almost 250 people converged on Gunabul Homestead on Saturday afternoon to enjoy the talents of celebrated jazz and blues artists, indulge in gourmet food and savour Amadio wines whilst giving back to our community and investing in its future. 

Wishlist Marketing Manager Megan Harkin said, a number of local business and community groups came together to create an opportunity to raise much-needed funds and prior to the event, an additional $12,000 was raised through the Zinc 96.1 Family Picnic Race Day and significant donations from Bidvest, Quota, Rotary Club of Gympie and Cooloola, and Gympie South Lions Ladies Auxiliary. "We are proud to announce that we can now purchase the $36,946 BiPAP Non-Invasive Ventilator for Gympie Hospital," Ms Harkin said.

Gympie Hospital Acting Director of Nursing/Facility Manager Nicole White said thanks to community spirit, the Emergency Department would be the grateful recipient of the ventilator. "This machine can be life-saving for those with breathing difficulties, or presenting in respiratory distress," Ms White said. "This will enhance our emergency service immensely and these patients will be able to stay in Gympie for treatment."

The Festival was the first of its type in Gympie and was a "success on all fronts", Ms Harkin added. "The event was so well supported by the community as a whole. The business community provided much-needed support in the lead-up to the event, the quality of the entertainment and wine was second-to-none, and the weather on the day could not have been more perfect. The most asked question on the day from guests was 'can you do it again next year?'. Absolutely we will! We will aim to make it bigger and better, but we have set that bar high, based on how Saturday went."

Ms Harkin said while raising funds for essential medical equipment locally was the priority on the day; the event also raised awareness in the community about the great work Wishlist does for the Gympie community.

Schuh Group, is a proud and avid supporter, and active investor in our community. This event exceeded our expectations both as a social event, and as a fundraiser for Wishlist and its endeavours to provide much-needed equipment for the Gympie Hospital. And we cannot wait to put our hand up to sponsor this very worthwhile function next year. We would like to thank our clients for their continued loyalty and support. Without you, we would not be in a position to support vital events such as these. Other sponsors of the event include The Gympie Times, Sutton Building Solutions, GJ Gardner Homes and Zinc 96.1. 

If you fall into the small business category, up until June 30, 2017 you can obtain an immediate deduction for assets costing LESS than $20,000. This is not restricted to only one asset. You may purchase multiple items as long as they all cost less than $20,000 (GST exclusive figure if you are GST registered). 

In-house software and horticultural plants are excluded from these rules. If you fall into the category of being a small business who previously ceased accessing SBE concessions – the five year period applied to you that would not have allowed you to access the SBE concessions, including the $20,000 immediate deduction concessions.  

However, the good news is that this five year rule has been relaxed and until 30-6-17 these businesses may re-enter the SBE regime without waiting 5 years to access the additional concessions. All Primary Producers may claim the following: 

  • An immediate deduction is allowed for capital expenditure on fencing and water facilities. 
  • Fodder storage assets can be depreciated over 3 years, e.g. silos, above ground bunkers, liquid feed storage tanks & sheds.
It is a common misconception that engaging the services of a labour contractor does not require you to have WorkCover. Due to the confusion in this area, many people simply do nothing about the situation. Fortunately, some decision tools are available on both the ATO and WorkCover websites, and if you're looking at these, just remember a couple of additional points:

  • The decision tool does not apply when you engage a contractor working through a company, partnership or trust
  • If you engage a sole trader individual who is principally being used for labour, then you are required to cover them for superannuation and normally for WorkCover as well.

  • A "General Summary" that will usually apply to most situations is:


    As always, if you are in any doubt as to your particular situation, play it safe and speak to your preferred contact at our office on 5482 2855.

    Farm Management Deposit Changes Ahead

    Australian farmers have more money stashed away in special savings accounts designed exclusively for farmers, than ever before.

    Farm Management Deposits (FMD's) are cash reserves that serve as an important buffer against drought, failed crops and other bad times. They are also a crucial savings base for farmers with plans to expand or invest in new infrastructure, machinery or stock.

    The June figure of $4.6 billion, held between 48,487 farmers, is almost $500 million higher than the same time 12 months ago. This increase can largely be attributed to those farmers who were able to capitalise on the surge in commodity prices.

    Changes to the scheme, which come into effect in July 2016, could lure more money into FMDs.The changes include an increase in the cap on funds allowed to be held in an individual account, which will double to $800,000, and legislative changes that will allow FMD account funds to be used to offset a loan.

    Brent Finlay, president of the National Farmers Federation, said farm management deposits were "such an important instrument" for "They're putting it away for the day when it doesn't rain ... or a day when they need access to funds, whether that's changing their production systems or modifying production systems," he said. "So it's
    all the things that farmers need large amounts of capital for, it could be for when times are tough.

    The FMD scheme was introduced in 1999 by the then Howard government. Under the scheme's rules, farmers can bank pre-tax farm income in seasons when returns are strong. These savings can be called upon in years when earnings are weaker.

    Income deposited into one of these accounts is tax deductible in the financial year the deposit is made; it is treated as taxable income in the financial year it is pulled out.

    If you would like more information on how FMD's may be of benefit to you, please contact Cos Schuh at cos@schuhgroup.com.au.

    (Article published in the Sydney Morning Herald 30 June 2015).
    For many primary producers, the bumper cattle prices are a welcome relief after years of suppressed cattle markets. If prices continue to rise or remain at current levels we expect the increase in prices to flow through to the bottom lines of producers.

    If you are in a position where you can reinvest some of the profits back into your farm, it may be important to consider the recent changes to the timing of tax deductions of assets purchased by Primary producers. 

    Primary produces will now be able to:

    1. Immediately deduct the cost of fencing and water facilities such as dams, tanks, bores, irrigation channels, pumps, water towers and windmills.

    2. Depreciate over three years the cost of fodder storage assets such as silos and tanks used to store grain and other animal feed.

    It may be wise to investigate the feasibility of possible investments earlier in the financial year, as some of these projects will have long lag times.

    Please note these special depreciation rules for primary produces are in addition to the $20,000 accelerated depreciation tax incentive for all small businesses. We are more than happy to discuss how these rules will impact on your business, and you can make an appointment to speak to one of our specialists on 07 5482 2855.
    These are a number of staff administration issues that employers need to be up to date with and make adjustments within their business accordingly.

    Wage Increase from 1 July 2015
    Please note - the national minimum wage award increased 2.5% from 1 July 2015 to apply from the first full pay period commencing on or after this date. Please adjust your wage records as required. The national minimum wage will now be $656.90 per week based on a 38 hour week for a full-time employee.

    Choice of Superannuation Fund
    Many employees have the right to choose which superannuation fund will receive their employer superannuation guarantee contributions.  Employers must give new eligible employees the Standard Choice Form.  If the employee does not choose a fund, the default employer fund should be used.
    Under the new superannuation system, an employer now has to pass the employee's tax file number (TFN) on to the employee's nominated superannuation fund within 14 days of the employee quoting it or before the next contribution is made

    Car Expense Reimbursement Levels
    The Government has announced their intention to apply a flat rate of 66c/km for business travel from 1 July, 2015.  If you reimburse your employees on a cents per kilometre basis for business travel made by them in their own vehicle, you may want to re-evaluate the rate you implement from 1 July 2015.
    If you are to continue with your higher reimbursement levels, then withholding tax on the excess over 66c/km paid to employees will be required.  The reimbursements will continue to be reportable as an allowance on your employee's group certificates.

    If you are in any doubt about what your obligations are as an employer, it is always best to seek professional advice. Far better than having to correct mistakes at a later date and potentially face penalties. You can call our office on 07 5482 2855 and make an appointment to speak with one of our accountants about how these changes affect your business.

    From 1 July 2014, the Superannuation Guarantee rate increased to 9.5% (from the 9.25% that applied for the 2013/2014 year). Superannuation Guarantee (SG) is the official term for compulsory superannuation contributions made by employers on behalf of their employees. An employer, regardless of whether they are a small or large business, must contribute the equivalent of 9.5% of an employee's salary for the 2014/2015 year. 


    Background: In May 2010, employed Australians received a pleasant surprise when the Federal Treasurer, Mr Wayne Swan, announced that compulsory employer super contributions were set to jump from the current 9% of salary to 12% by July 2019, an eventual 33% increase in Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions. On 29 March 2012, the proposed increase in SG entitlements received Royal Assent and became law. 


    The new Liberal government has promised to continue the SG rate increase, but at a slower rate. The Liberal government will be introducing amendments to slow down the increase in the SG rate. The Liberal government announced in the 2014 Federal Budget that the SG rate increase will stall for 3 years (from 1 July 2015), rising to 10% from 1 July 2018. The SG rate would then increase by 0.5% each year until it reached 12% by July 2022 (see table below).

    Financial Year

    Rate (%)


    2012/2013 - 9%

    2013/2014 - 9.25%

    2014/2015 - 9.5%

    2015/2016 - 9.5%

    2016/2017 - 9.5%

    2017/2018 - 9.5%

    2018/2019 - 10%

    2019/2020 - 10.5%

    2020/2021 - 11%

    2021/2022 - 11.5%

    2022/2023 - 12%


    What does the SG increase mean for your retirement plans?

    The SG increase has significant financial implications for anyone expecting to remain in the workforce for more than 8 years, because the full 3% increase takes affect from the start of the 2022/2023 year –in 8 years' time. According to the Federal Government, the 33% increase in the SG rate will give a 30-year-old on average full-time wages and extra $108,000 in retirement savings just by turning up for work.


    There has been, and will continue to be, some resistance from employers, especially small business employers, to this policy. The former ALP federal government argued however, that the 3-year lead time (from May 2010 through to July 2013) before the phased increases began should have given employers plenty of time to prepare for the increase. An interesting stumble in the selling of the SG increase, is that the company tax rate was eventually going to fall to 28% which the Government argued would soften some of the SG increase for employers. The promise was that from July 2013, the company tax rate would decrease to 29% (from 30%) and from July 2014, the company tax rate would decrease to 28%. During 2012, the Government announced that the company tax rates would not go ahead.


    If you are an employer, please make arrangements early in the current financial year for your employees to now be receiving a 9.5% SG payment rate. And if you would like any assistance with cash-flow budgeting for this increased expense, please contact our office on 07 5482 2855. 

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