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A guide to the different types of superannuation funds

Posted on September 30, 2014 by admin


There are a lot of different types of superannuation funds, and many people to not know what the differences between them are. We have compiled this guide to explain the different types of superannuation and details the advantages and disadvantages of each. MySuper MySuper accounts are a new type superannuation account that is a ‘no-frills’ superannuation option. Soon MySuper accounts will become the default superannuation option when an employee has not chosen a super fund. MySuper accounts have low fees and very simple features. Retail, industry and corporate funds can all offer MySuper accounts. Retail Funds Retail super funds are run for profit, usually by financial institutions or corporate investment firms. Membership is open to the public and people will often be referred to them by them by financial advisors, who may receive fees or commissions for the referral. For this reason you should always do your own research before taking advice to join a retail super fund. Retail super funds are known to have high fees, so you should always consider whether or not your returns will justify these costs. Industry Funds Industry funds are often restricted to employees from a specific industry, although some of the larger ones […]


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New approach to taxing employee shares welcomed by startups

Posted on September 22, 2014 by admin


A tax reform by the federal government will increase the scope of employers to issues employees with shares and stock options. Prior to 2009, employees receiving shares or stock options were able to defer paying tax, with many only paying CGT once they have disposed of the assets down the line. In order to increase budget revenue, the Labour government changed this arrangement, meaning that when an employee received shares, they incurred an immediate tax liability. These restrictions meant that many startups often had to start paying employees higher salaries in order to retain talent. However, the benefits of startups being able to issues shares and stock options go beyond freeing up valuable cash flow. When employees have a stake in the future success of a startup commitment, motivation and engagement soar. The federal government is considering a scheme modelled on a similar British approach, whereby the option to defer tax is limited to smaller companies. The Treasury is currently investigating what size thresholds will boost productivity without creating a problematic shortfall in budget revenue.


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Crackdown on cash economy

Posted on September 17, 2014 by admin


The ATO is cracking down on businesses that operate off the books in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, also known as operating within the black, underground or cash economy. Businesses are known to use a wide range of strategies to skirt their tax responsibilities. This may include underreporting takings and paying staff in cash. Several businesses have also been caught using EFTPOS terminals that are not registered to the main company. The ATO has appealed for the broader community to report any behaviour that they think is suspicious, for example, businesses that regularly conduct transactions without putting them through the cash register. Techniques such as data matching and benchmarking businesses against similar operations will also be used by the ATO in their attempt to catch out businesses who are not paying their taxes. The ATO has identified particular geographic areas, usually hospitality hotspots, and particular industries known to favour cash that will subject to particularly close monitoring.


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Crackdown on multinational corporate tax evasion

Posted on September 8, 2014 by admin


Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced that he has requested the Tax Commissioner ramp up his efforts to prevent multinational corporations from generating profits in Australia before moving them offshore to avoid tax responsibilities. Tax evasion tactics by multinational corporations have been an ongoing problem in Australia. There has recently been a renewed interest in the issue as revelations about the negligible Australian tax paid by high profile companies, such as Google and Apple, have come to the fore. The plan to tackle this issue includes reinforcing Australia’s capitalisation rules, collaborating with other countries and strengthening communication between the government and the Tax Commissioner. Multinational corporate tax evasion is not just damaging to the Australian budget. It also means that there is unfair competition for Australian businesses who are doing the right thing in meeting their tax obligations.


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Super guarantee frozen

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Over the past week, the government has confirmed its decision to freeze the compulsory superannuation guarantee at 9.5% for the next seven years. It will rise to 10% in 2021 and then increase incrementally before plateauing at 12% in 2025. Previous to this, the superannuation guarantee was planned to reach 12% by the 2019/20 financial year. In light of these changes, individuals may have to reconsider their approach to superannuation if they want to maintain their current retirement plans. If it is possible for you in your current circumstances, you may want to consider salary sacrificing into your super. This is also known as making concessional, or before tax, contributions. The advantage of salary sacrificing into superannuation is that it will be taxed at the low rate of 15% (as long as it is below the concessional contributions cap), which for most people is far less than their marginal tax rate. Even salary sacrificing as little as $10 a week into your superannuation can go a long way in counteracting the impact of the frozen superannuation guarantee.


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Potential delay for superannuation increases

Posted on September 2, 2014 by admin


Currently, there are plans to increase the level of compulsory superannuation contributions, paid by employers, from the current rate of 9.5% of salary to 12%. The increases, as currently planned, would occur in 0.5% increments over the next five years. However, due to pressure on the budget, the government wants to delay the first 0.5% increase for three years. This is because the significant tax concessions that are offered on superannuation contributions place an additional burden on government revenues. Treasurer Joe Hockey is proposing that the increases should be introduced at the discretion of the Treasurer, without the need to consult parliament. The new provision, which has yet to be presented to the senate, would not allow any scheduled increases to be delayed by over four years and would also not allow the Treasurer to decrease the rate of compulsory contributions.


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Using the CGT discount

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A capital gain is a profit made from the sale of an asset, for example, real estate investments (the family home is exempt), a business or shares. Your capital gain is calculated as the difference between what you paid for the asset and what you eventually sold it for. A capital gain is considered by the ATO as part of your assessable income and is taxed at your marginal rate. There is, however, a discount that may be applied to capital gains. If you have held the asset for over twelve months, you may be eligible for a 50% discount on the CGT. The CGT discount is also available to trusts and superannuation funds, although for superannuation funds the discount is only 33.3%. The discount is not available to companies. Of course, there are occasions where you may have to dispose of an asset for less than you originally paid for it. Unfortunately, you are unable to use ‘capital losses’ to reduce your assessable income. However, you are able to carry the loss over to the subsequent income year and use it to offset future CGT liabilities.


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How does the super guarantee charge work?

September 20, 2017

Employers who do not pay the minimum amount of super guarantee for their employee(s) by the due date may have to pay the super guarantee charge (SGC).

The charge is made up of super guarantee shortfall amounts including any choice liability calculated on your employee’s salary or wages, interest on those amounts (currently 10 per cent) and an administration fee ($20 per employee, per quarter).

Employers must report and rectify the missing payment by lodging an SGC statement by the due date and paying the SGC to the ATO. Employers may be able to use a late payment to reduce the amount of SGC, however, they must still lodge an SGC statement and pay the balance of the SGC to the ATO.

The ATO prioritises the collection of unpaid SGC debts. If an employee reports an employer for unpaid super, the ATO will investigate on their behalf.

Employers must lodge their SGC statement and pay the charge by the due date.

Quarter Period Due date
1 1 July – 30 September 28 November
2 1 October – 31 December 28 February
3 1 January – 31 March 28 May
4 1 April – 30 June 28 August

If a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, the payment can be made the next working day.

Once the statement has been lodged and the SGC is paid, the ATO will transfer the super guarantee shortfall amount and any interest to the employee’s chosen super fund.