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Day to Day Accounting & Payroll

Planning Your Way to Financial Freedom: Expert Insights OR From Financial Planning to Freedom: Your Journey Starts Here

Financial planning is the process of setting and achieving specific financial goals through a structured approach to managing one’s finances.The benefits of financial planning are multifaceted. Firstly, it provides a clear sense of direction by helping individuals and businesses define their financial goals and create a roadmap to attain them. Moreover, it promotes better financial decision-making by enabling people to prioritise expenses, save for emergencies, and invest wisely. Financial planning also helps in reducing financial stress and anxiety by ensuring a sense of control over one’s financial future.

What Pain Does Financial Planning Remove from Our life? 

Financial Planning helps remove various pain points from our lives, including:

  1. Financial planning helps alleviate the stress of not knowing where your money is going or how you’ll meet your financial obligations.
  2. It provides a structured approach to manage and reduce debt, reducing the constant worry of mounting loans.
  3. Financial planning removes the uncertainty about your financial future by setting clear goals and strategies to achieve them.
  4. Financial planning helps build an emergency fund, easing concerns about unexpected expenses or emergencies disrupting financial stability.
What Opportunities does Financial Planning create in life? 

Financial Planning creates various opportunities in life, including:

  1. Financial planning provides opportunities to build wealth over time through strategic investments and savings.
  2. Financial planning can help secure the necessary capital and resources to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and business opportunities.
  3. Through estate planning and wealth preservation, financial planning allows for the creation of a lasting legacy for future generations.
  4. Financial planning creates opportunities for greater financial security, reducing the risk of unexpected financial setbacks and providing peace of mind for you and your family.
What are the KPIs to measure
  1. Financial
    1. Return on Investment
    2. Net worth
    3. Stock Portfolio Performance
    4. Retirement fund Adequacy
  2. Non Financial
    1. Financial Freedom
    2. Quality of Life
    3. Reduction in Fear of Financial Setbacks
    4. Sense of Control
What are the key areas of Financial Planning

Financial planning encompasses several key areas, each of which plays a crucial role in achieving overall financial well-being. These key areas of financial planning include:

  1. Budgeting and Cash Flow Management
  2. Savings and Emergency Fund
  3. Debt Management
  4. Investment Planning
  5. Retirement Planning
  6. Tax Planning
  7. Insurance and Risk Management
  8. Estate Planning
  9. Education Planning
  10. Charitable Giving
  11. Specialized Financial Planning
  12. Cash Flow and Debt Management for Businesses

What are the positive impacts of Financial Planning? 

Financial Planning can have many positive impacts on our life, including:

  1. Financial planning helps individuals and organisations build a safety net, ensuring they have resources to handle unexpected expenses and financial emergencies.
  2. Effective financial planning facilitates saving and investing, leading to wealth accumulation over time and the ability to achieve financial goals.
  3. Financial planning enables individuals and organisations to set and achieve specific financial objectives, such as homeownership, education funding, or retirement.
  4. A well-thought-out financial plan provides peace of mind by giving individuals and organisations a sense of control over their financial future and reducing financial stress and anxiety
What are the negative impacts of Not doing Financial Planning?

Not doing Financial Planning can have a number of negative impacts on our life, including:

  1. Without a plan, individuals may experience heightened financial stress and anxiety, as they lack clarity on managing their finances effectively.
  2. Without a strategy for debt management, individuals can easily accumulate high-interest debt, leading to a cycle of financial strain.
  3. Without financial planning, individuals may miss out on investment opportunities and potential tax savings, limiting their financial growth.
  4. Overall, not engaging in financial planning can result in a lack of financial security, leaving individuals and organisations exposed to financial risks and uncertainties.
Process of Hiring an efficient outsourcing Accounting Firm

The process of financial planning is as follows:

  1. Establish Financial Goals: Identify your short-term and long-term financial objectives. These could include saving for retirement, buying a home, paying off debt, funding education, or starting a business.
  2. Assess Current Financial Situation: Gather information about your current financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and investments. Analyse cash flow to understand how money comes in and goes out each month.
  3. Create a Budget: Develop a detailed budget that outlines your income and expenses. This helps you understand where your money is going and identify areas for potential savings.
  4. Emergency Fund: Ensure you have an emergency fund in place to cover  unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. Financial planning should include building and maintaining this fund.
  5. Debt Management: Evaluate your outstanding debts and create a strategy to pay them down. Prioritise high-interest debts while making minimum payments on others.
  6. Risk Assessment: Assess your risk tolerance and insurance coverage. Ensure that you have adequate health, life, disability, and property insurance to protect against unforeseen events.
  7. Investment Strategy: Determine your investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Develop an investment strategy and asset allocation plan that aligns with your objectives.
  8. Retirement Planning: Calculate how much you need to save for retirement to maintain your desired lifestyle. Consider retirement accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, or pensions to fund your retirement goals.
  9. Tax Planning: Optimize your tax strategy by taking advantage of tax-efficient investment vehicles and deductions.
  10. Estate Planning: Establish or update your estate plan, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to ensure the smooth transfer of assets to your heirs.
  11. Implementation: Put your financial plan into action by opening accounts, making investments, and adjusting your budget accordingly.
  12. Regular Monitoring and Review: Periodically review your financial plan to track progress toward your goals.
  13. Professional Advice: Consider seeking guidance from a certified financial planner (CFP) or a financial advisor to help you develop and implement your financial plan.
  14. Adaptation and Flexibility: Be flexible and willing to adapt your financial plan as circumstances change, such as career advancements, family changes, or economic shifts.
Case Study

David (not real name) is a 40-year-old entrepreneur who owns a small but growing NDIS Support work business. His business has been profitable, but he recognizes the need for more comprehensive financial planning to ensure long-term success and achieve specific business and personal goals.

He had outlined the following goals:

  1. Business Growth: David aims to expand his IT consulting firm by increasing the client base and offering additional services.
  2. Retirement Planning: He wants to create a retirement plan that provides for a comfortable retirement.
  3. Tax Efficiency: David seeks strategies to minimise his business and personal tax liabilities.
  4. Emergency Fund: Establish an emergency fund to protect the business during unexpected downturns.
  5. Debt Management: Manage and reduce business debt to improve financial stability.

David recognized the need of financial planning to achieve these goals. He followed the above mentioned process with the help of a professional Financial Planner. He was able to achieve the following results:

  1. David’s business expands successfully, increasing its client base and profitability. With a well-structured retirement plan, he starts saving for his retirement systematically, ensuring financial security in the future.
  2. Effective tax planning results in reduced tax liabilities for both his business and personal finances.
  3. The business’s emergency fund provides a financial safety net during a period of unexpected economic downturn, preventing major disruptions.
  4. David manages and significantly reduces business debt, improving the company’s financial stability and creditworthiness.

Through diligent financial planning, David achieved his business and personal financial goals, ensured the stability of his company, and secured a prosperous retirement. His commitment to financial planning helped him navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship and achieve long-term financial success.

Remember, this is just a general guide and each organisation is different, so it’s important to properly review your finances with a cost-benefit analysis before making any big decisions. Our NexZen tax experts can provide personalised advice and can help you find out what you can claim as a small business. Get in touch to book a discovery call

Until then, thanks for reading and if you liked this or you know someone who would also find this helpful please feel free to reply and share. See you next time. Can’t wait.

Categories
Business Value Creation

Designing Your Financial Freedom: The Crucial Role of the Right Business Structure

Choosing the right structure for your business is a critical decision that can significantly impact its success and longevity. Whether you’re starting a new venture or considering restructuring an existing one, the structure you select will determine how your business operates, how it is taxed, and how it is legally protected.

What Pain Does having a right business structure remove from Our life?

Having a right  business structure helps remove various pain points from our lives, including:

 

  1.  Personal liability protection for your personal assets. 
  2.  Tax optimization and reduced tax burdens.
  3.  Simplified compliance with regulatory requirements.
  4.  Improved access to financing and investment opportunities
What Opportunities does having a right business structure create in life?

Having a right business structure creates various opportunities in life, including:

  1. Optimises tax position, minimising tax burdens and ensuring compliance.
  2. Facilitates partnerships and joint ventures with other businesses.
  3. Access to government grants and incentives specific to certain business    structures.
  4. Provides a solid foundation for succession planning and business continuity.
What are the KPIs to measure
  1. Financial
    1. Tax Saving
    2. Cash flow
    3. Revenue Growth
  2. Non Financial
    1. Perpetuity in business
    2. Ease of Business expansion
    3. Personal Assets protection
What are the different business structures available for small businesses

The common business structures available for small businesses in Australia include:

  1. Sole Proprietorship
  2. Partnership
  3. Company 
  4. Trust
  5. Incorporates Associations
  6. & more
What are the positive impacts of having a right business structure in place?

Having a right business structure can have many positive impacts on our life, including:

  1. A proper business structure separates personal and business liabilities, safeguarding personal assets from business-related risks.
  2. The right structure limits personal liability, protecting business owners from being personally responsible for business debts or legal issues.
  3. An appropriate business structure can offer tax benefits, such as deductions, exemptions, or lower tax rates, optimising the business’s financial position.
  4. A well-structured business increases credibility, making it easier to secure financing, attract investors, or qualify for government grants or funding programs.
What are the negative impacts of Not having the right business structure?

Not having a right structure for business can have a number of negative impacts on our life, including:

  1. Without the right business structure, business owners can be personally liable for business debts and legal obligations, putting personal assets at risk.
  2. Inadequate structuring may result in missed tax deductions, limited access to tax incentives, or higher tax rates, leading to increased tax liabilities for the business.
  3. Not having the right structure may result in non-compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, leading to penalties, fines, or legal consequences.
  4.  Ineffective structuring can lead to confusion, inefficiencies, and conflicts within the business, hindering decision-making, coordination, and overall operational effectiveness. regulations, potentially resulting in penalties, audits, and legal issues.
High Level Roadmap
  1. Assess Your Business Needs and Goals
  2. Seek Professional Advice to understand the options available
  3. Evaluate Different Business Structures
  4. Consider Legal and Compliance Requirements:
  5. Assess Tax Implications
  6. Analyze Liability and Risk Factors
  7. Long-Term Planning and Flexibility
  8. Make an Informed Decision
  9. Seek Professional Assistance for Implementation
Case Study

Mr Richarson(not real name) is an NDIS support provider. He was earlier operating his business under sole trader & never truly dedicated his time or attention to choosing a business structure.

After a few years of high taxes and poor cash flow management that threatened his personal home, Mr Richardson decided it was time for action. 

He learned from his mistakes and wanted to grow his business while ensuring he was in full legal compliance. We advised him a Pty Ltd Company after careful consideration on the following points: 

  1. liability protection for the stakeholders
  2. A flat rate tax as opposed to marginal tax rate for sole traders
  3. Professional image and credibility of the business
  4. Separate legal entity, distinct from its shareholders.
  5. Business expansion & Succession Planning
  6. & More

Mr. Richardson experienced financial freedom for perhaps the first time. Though his business was always successful, taxes and other liabilities limited his personal income over the years. With his new structure, he saved money on taxes and had a plan for increasing his cash flow in the future. Perhaps more importantly, he increased the value of his business.

Remember, this is just a general guide and each organisation is different, so it’s important to properly review your finances with a cost-benefit analysis before making any big decisions. Our NexZen tax experts can provide personalised advice and can help you find out what you can claim as a small business. Get in touch to book a discovery call. 

Until then, thanks for reading and if you liked this or you know someone who would also find this helpful please feel free to reply and share. See you next time. Can’t wait.

This is a loser that most people are probably pretty happy about — the government is extending a task force that targets tax avoidance by multinationals, large public and private groups, trusts and wealthy individuals.

It is giving the Australian Tax Office (ATO) more than $600 million over the next three years to keep the scrutiny on those groups.

The budget forecasts the extension of the task force will make the government $2.1 billion in revenue from tax over the next four years.

In bad news for people’s pay packets, real wages are not forecast to grow until later this year at the earliest thanks to higher-than-expected inflation.

At the end of last year, Treasury predicted the inflation rate would be 2.75 per cent. The reality has ended up being around 4.25 per cent.

The budget is predicting wages will only be just higher than inflation in the next couple of years, meaning cost of living pressures are unlikely to ease any time soon.

Despite current price hikes, the budget is forecasting inflation will taper off and wages will grow faster by the middle of the decade.

Buried under the wildly exciting headline of Commonwealth’s Deregulation Agenda, is the $19.9 million spend by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to develop a new reporting application to enable businesses to submit surveys on business indicators directly through their accounting software. Excellent. Real time reporting utilising verified data on the state of Australian business. Guarantee of Origin scheme, and the development of a Biodiversity Stewardship Trading Platform to support farmers to undertake biodiversity activities ahead of the introduction of a voluntary biodiversity stewardship market.

Another $148.6m is for the development of community microgrids and just over $50m to develop gas infrastructure projects.

An additional $652.6m has been set aside to extend the ATO’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce by 2 years to 30 June 2025.
In that time, the taskforce is expected to increase receipts by $2.1bn and increase payments by $652.6m.

Just prior to the Federal Budget, the Government announced the extension of the:

  • Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy, and
  • Completing Apprenticeship Commencement wage subsidy.

    Any employer (or Group Training Organisation) who takes on an apprentice or trainee up until 30 June 2022 can gain access to:
  • 50% of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the first year, capped at a maximum payment value of $7,000 per quarter per Australian Apprentice,
  • 10% of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the second year, capped at a maximum payment value of $1,500 per quarter per Australian Apprentice, and
  • 5% of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the third year, capped at a maximum payment value of $750 per quarter per Australian Apprentice.

From

7:30pm AEDT, 29 March 2022 until 30 June 2024

The Government intends to provide a 120% tax deduction for expenditure incurred by small businesses on external training courses provided to employees. The deduction will be available to small business with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million. External training courses will need to be provided to employees in Australia or online, and delivered by entities registered in Australia.
Some exclusions will apply, such as for in-house or on-the-job training and expenditure on external training courses for persons other than employees.
We assume there will need to be a nexus between the employee’s employment and the training program undertaken for the boost, although we are waiting on further details of this initiative to be released. 
The boost for eligible expenditure incurred by 30 June 2022 will be claimed in the tax return for the following income year (that is, the 2023 tax return). The boost for eligible expenditure incurred between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2024, will be included in the income year in which the expenditure is incurred.

From

1 July 2021

As previously announced, workrelated COVID19 test expenses incurred by individuals will be made tax deductible. 
Changes will also be made to ensure that FBT will not be payable by employers if they provide fringe benefits relating to COVID19 testing to their employees for workrelated purposes.
The changes for deductions will be effective from 1 July 2021, with the FBT changes to apply from 1 April 2021.
At this stage it is not entirely clear whether the deduction rules will cover expenses incurred where the employee is able to work from home. The initial media release indicates that the measure will cover situations where the individual has the option of working remotely, while the Budget only refers to costs of taking a COVID-19 test to attend a place of work but doesn’t specifically refer to employees who can work from home.

From

1 July 2022

Back in the 2019-20 Budget, the Government announced that Australian Business Number (ABN) holders would be stripped of their ABNs if they failed to lodge their income tax return. In addition, ABN holders would be required to annually confirm the accuracy of their details on the Australian Business Register.


This measure has been deferred for 12 months, which means that the tax return lodgement obligation is due to commence from 1 July 2022 with the annual confirmation of ABN details to commence from 1 July 2023.

As announced prior to the Budget, the Government will commit $6.6 million for the development of IT infrastructure that will enable the ATO to share Single Touch Payroll (STP) data with State and Territory Revenue Offices on an ongoing basis. 

The funding will be deployed following further consideration of which states and territories are able and willing to make investments in their own systems and administrative processes to pre-fill payroll tax returns with STP data in order to reduce compliance costs for businesses.

The measure that enables payments from certain state and territory COVID-19 business support programs to be treated as non-assessable non-exempt (NANE) income has already been extended until 30 June 2022. 
The Government has announced that the following state and territory grant programs have been made eligible for this treatment since the 2021-22 MYEFO, although it is not clear whether the relevant legislative instruments have been issued as yet:

  • New South Wales Accommodation Support Grant 
  • New South Wales Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant 
  • New South Wales Performing Arts Relaunch Package 
  • New South Wales Festival Relaunch Package 
  • New South Wales 2022 Small Business Support Program 
  • Queensland 2021 COVID 19 Business Support Grant 
  • South Australia COVID 19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant 
  • South Australia COVID 19 Business Hardship Grant.

    This builds on the list of existing grants paid by New South Wales and Victoria that can already qualify for NANE income treatment. 

From

1 January 2024

As announced prior to the Budget, businesses will be able to report Taxable Payments Reporting System data via their accounting software on the same lodgment cycle as their activity statements.
The measure is expected to reduce the costs of complying with the system and increase transparency.

From

1 January 2024

As announced prior to the Budget, companies will be able to choose to have their pay as you go (PAYG) instalments calculated using current financial performance, extracted from business accounting software, with some tax adjustments. 
The move is intended to ensure that instalment liabilities are aligned to the businesses cashflow. In addition, the digitisation of PAYG instalments will improve transparency and provide more accurate data on performance. 

From

2022-23 income year

Normally, GST and PAYG instalment amounts are adjusted using a GDP adjustment or uplift. For the 2022-23 income year, the Government is setting this uplift factor at 2% instead of the 10% that would have applied. 

The 2% uplift rate will apply to small to medium enterprises eligible to use the relevant instalment methods for instalments for the 2022-23 income year and are due after the amending legislation comes into effect:

  • Up to $10 million annual aggregated turnover for GST instalments and 
  • $50 million annual aggregated turnover for PAYG instalments 
From 7:30pm AEDT, 29 March 2022 until 30 June 2023
The Government intends to provide a 120% tax deduction for expenditure incurred by small businesses on business expenses and depreciating assets that support their digital adoption, such as portable payment devices, cyber security systems or subscriptions to cloud based services. The technology boost will be available to small business with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million.An annual expenditure cap of $100,000 will apply to the boost. The boost for eligible expenditure incurred by 30 June 2022 will be claimed in tax returns for the following income year. The boost for eligible expenditure incurred between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 will be included in the income year in which the expenditure is incurred. That is, the additional deduction available under this measure is expected to be claimed in the 2023 tax return.  

The temporary 50% reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products has been extended to 30 June 2023. 


Minimum superannuation drawdown rates 2019-2023

Age 

Default minimum drawdown rates (%) 

Reduced rates by 50% for the 2019-20 to 2022-23 income years (%) 

Under 65 

65-74 

2.5 

75-79 

80-84 

3.5 

85-89 

4.5 

90-94 

11 

5.5 

95 or more 

14 

 

From

1 July 2024


Trust and beneficiary income reporting and processing will be digitalised with all trusts being provided with the option of lodging income tax returns electronically.

While this measure will reduce compliance costs, it will also increase transparency and provide the ATO with a greater insight into where anomalies are occurring.

From

1 July 2021

The Medicare levy low income thresholds for seniors and pensioners, families and singles will increase from 1 July 2021.

 

2020-21 

2021-22 

Singles 

$23,226 

$23,365

Family threshold 

$39,167 

$39,402

Single seniors and pensioners 

$36,705 

$36,925

Family threshold for seniors and pensioners 

$51,094 

$51,401

 
For each dependent child or student, the family income thresholds increase by a further $3,619 instead of the previous amount of $3,597. 

The Home Guarantee Scheme guarantees part of an eligible buyer’s home loan, enabling people to buy a home with a smaller deposit and without the need for lenders mortgage insurance. The Government has extended two existing guarantees and introduced a new regional scheme.

Just prior to the Budget, the Government announced:

  • First Home Guarantee – from 1 July 2022, an increase from 10,000 to 35,000 guarantees to support eligible first homebuyers to purchase a new or existing home. 
  • Single parent Family Home Guarantee – 5,000 guarantees each year from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025. The family home guarantee supports eligible single parents with children to buy their first home or to re-enter the housing market with a deposit of as little as 2%.
  • Introduction of a Regional Home Guarantee. This guarantee will support eligible citizens and permanent residents who have not owed a home for 5 years (including non-first home buyers) to purchase or construct a new home in regional areas with a minimum 5% deposit areas (subject to the passage of enabling legislation).

From

April 2022

A one-off $250 ‘cost of living payment’ will be provided to Australian resident recipients of the following payments and concession card holders:

  • Age Pension 
  • Disability Support Pension 
  • Parenting Payment 
  • Carer Payment 
  • Carer Allowance (if not in receipt of a primary income support payment) 
  • Jobseeker Payment 
  • Youth Allowance 
  • Austudy and Abstudy Living Allowance 
  • Double Orphan Pension 
  • Special Benefit 
  • Farm Household Allowance 
  • Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders 
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders 
  • Eligible Veterans’ Affairs payment recipients and Veteran Gold card holders.

    The payments are exempt from taxation and will not count as income support for the purposes of any income support payment. An individual can only receive one payment.

From

1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022

The low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) currently provides a reduction in tax of up to $1,080 for individuals with a taxable income of up to $126,000.

The tax offset is triggered when a taxpayer lodges their 2021-22 tax return.

For the 2021-22, the LMITO will be increased by $420 which means that the proposed new rates for individuals are as follows:

 

Taxable income 

Offset 

$37,000 or less 

$675

Between $37,001 and $48,000 

$675 plus 7.5 cents for every dollar above $37,000, up to a maximum of $1,500

Between $48,001 and $90,000 

$1,500

Between $90,001 and $126,000 

$1,500 minus 3 cents for every dollar of the amount above $90,000 

From12.01am 30 March 2022

There are a few jokes going around social media about the price of fuel.

As widely predicted, the Government will temporarily reduce the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rate that applies to petrol and diesel by 50% for 6 months from Budget night. That is, the current 44.2 cents per litre excise rate will reduce to 22.1 cents per litre from Budget night. However, the measure is subject to the passage of the enabling legislation so don’t expect to see a change right away. 

 The reduction extends to all other fuel and petroleum based products except aviation fuels.

At the conclusion of the 6 months on 28 September 2022, the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rates revert to previous rates including any indexation that would have applied during the 6 month period. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will monitor the price behaviour of retailers to ensure that the lower excise rate is passed on to consumers.

The measure comes at a cost of $5.6bn.

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