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Easier GST reporting for food retailers

Many small food retailers buy and sell products that are both taxable and GST-free. Depending on the point-of-sale equipment used, identifying and recording these sales can be difficult for business owners.

The ATO has introduced a series of simplified accounting methods (SAMs) to make it easier to account for GST and work out the amount of GST that is liable at the end of each tax period.

There are five SAMs to choose from. The SAM you choose will depend on your business’ turnover, the nature of your business and the nature of your point-of-sale equipment (except for the purchases snapshot method).

These methods help you work out the information you need to correctly complete the GST section of your activity statement. However, they can only be applied to sales and purchases of trading stock.

Here is a summary of the five SAMs you can choose from:

  1. Business norms

Turnover threshold: SAM turnover of $2 million or less.
How you estimate your GST-free sales and/or purchases: You apply the standard percentages to your sales and purchases.

  1. Stock purchases

Turnover threshold: SAM turnover of $2 million or less.
How you estimate your GST-free sales and/or purchases: You take a sample of purchases and use this sample.

  1. Snapshot

Turnover threshold: SAM turnover of $2 million or less.
How you estimate your GST-free sales and/or purchases: You take a snapshot of your sales and purchases and use this.

  1. Sales percentage

Turnover threshold: GST turnover of $2 million or less.
How you estimate your GST-free sales and/or purchases: You work out what percentage of GST-free sales you made in a tax period and apply this to your purchases.

  1. Purchases snapshot

Turnover threshold: GST turnover of $2 million or less.
How you estimate your GST-free sales and/or purchases: You take a snapshot of your purchases and use this to calculate your GST credits.

After electing to use a SAM, you cannot change your method of GST accounting in the first 12 months.

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Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.