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Power of attorney and guardianship

As people get older they need to make arrangements on how to handle their estate, and their personal interests in the event of sickness or death.

These include:

Enduring guardianship

A guardian is essentially a legally appointed substitute decision-maker. A guardian is granted powers only as is necessary to accomplish what an individual cannot do independently.

Individuals can choose to create a legal document called an ‘enduring power of guardianship’ that authorises a person to make personal, lifestyle or treatment decisions on behalf of themselves.  A guardian can also be appointed by the courts. Unlike the power of attorney, each state has a guardianship board or tribunal which supervises the guardian.

The most common functions of a guardian are making decisions on accommodation, health care and medical and dental treatment.

Enduring power of attorney (financial)

A financial ‘enduring power of attorney’ is a legal document that remains valid if the nominator becomes mentally incompetent.  The agent who is appointed can make any legal or financial decisions on the nominator’s behalf.

The appointed attorney is able to make a decision on property or financial affairs, for example, operate bank accounts, pay bills and purchase and sell property.

Enduring power of attorney (medical treatment)

An enduring power of attorney for medical treatment authorises the agent to make decisions about an individual’s medical care and treatment. This power takes effect if, and when, the nominator becomes incapacitated, whether temporarily or permanently.

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News

What Are The Consequences Of Improperly Lodged Tax Returns?

May 4, 2021

With tax return season approaching quickly this year, you may have already started looking into lodging your income tax return. Ensuring that your details are correct and that any information about your earned income from the year is lodged is the responsibility of the taxpayer and their tax agent. However, if during this income tax return process the tax obligations of the taxpayer fail to be complied with, the Australian Taxation Office has severe penalties that they can enforce.

Australian taxation laws authorise the ATO with the ability to impose administrative penalties for failing to comply with the tax obligations that taxpayers inherently possess.

As an example, taxpayers may be liable to penalties for making false or misleading statements, failing to lodge tax returns or taking a tax position that is not reasonably arguable. False or misleading statements have different consequences if the statement given results in a shortfall amount or not. In both cases, the penalty will not be imposed if the taxpayer took reasonable care in making the statement (though they may still be subject to another penalty provision) or the statement of the taxpayer is in accordance with the ATO’s advice, published statements or general administrative practices in relation to a tax law.

The penalty base rate for statements that resulted in a shortfall amount is calculated as a percentage of the tax shortfall, or in the case of no shortfall amount, as a multiple of a penalty unit. This percentage is determined by the behaviour that led to the shortfall amount or as a multiple of a penalty unit, which are as follows:

If a statement fails to be lodged at the appropriate time, you may be liable for a penalty of 75% of the tax-related liability if:

To ensure that the statements, returns and lodgements are done correctly, and avoid the risk of potential penalties, contact us today. We’re here to help.