February 2021 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Transfer Balance Cap set to rise to $1.7m
  • Minimum Wage Increase from 1 February
  • Employees could be forced to vaccinate
  • Small Business Insolvency Reforms now in place
  • What is a good credit score?
  • Wills vs Trust which is best for you?
  • Announcements

Transfer Balance Cap set to rise to $1.7m

With the All Groups CPI figure for the December quarter at 117.2, indexation of the general transfer balance cap is set to occur on 1 July, which may lead to increased complexity where clients have already commenced pensions.
 
“Every individual will have their own personal transfer balance cap of between $1.6 million and $1.7 million, depending on their circumstances,” the Tax Office said.
 

Minimum Wage Increase from 1 February

From the first full pay period on or after 1 February 2021, new minimum wages for the retail, hospitality, food services and other industries come into effect.
The Fair Work Commission announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages. This applies to all award wages.
The Fair Work Commission has updated the casual and overtime clauses in most awards. The updates start from the first full pay period on or after 20 November 2020. 

Employees could be forced to vaccinate

Employees are being warned that they may need to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine or face possible termination, a lawyer has explained.
 
“Employees have an obligation to obey the lawful and reasonable direction of their employer, and in most cases it will be lawful and reasonable for employers to direct or require their employees to be vaccinated,” Mr Neil said.
 

Small Business Insolvency Reforms now in place

Changes to Australia’s insolvency framework have been in effect since 1 January, allowing eligible businesses experiencing financial distress to access a new, simplified debt restructuring process, or enter into a new simplified liquidation pathway to allow for a faster and lower-cost liquidation process.

 The new processes will be available to incorporated businesses with liabilities of less than $1 million.

What is a good credit score?

Do you want to know if you’re financially secure to purchase a house or a car? Or do you want to just take a closer look at your financial wellness? A good place to start would be to know your credit score. 

Credit scores are an important aspect of your financial health. A good credit standing can open up plenty of financial opportunities such as access to credit cards or loans with favorable terms.

 

Wills vs Trust which is best for you?

Do you need to create a trust or a will? Deciding which one will work best for you is a decision that should not be taken lightly when doing your estate planning. 

The right choice depends on your individual circumstances. For some, a will is the most practical tool. For others, a trust might be a more appropriate choice. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks that you will need to consider. But first, it’s important to understand what they each are and how they function.

 

Announcements:

This month we wish a very happy birthday to Jenny. Richard (14 years) and Laurie (13 years) celebrate significant anniversaries, congratulations guys!
Jenny Klowss    
Richard Kemp Laurie Liston  

Important ATO Dates


Lodgement Program Due Date
January monthly activity statements 21/02/2021
Quarter 2 (October–December) activity statements 28/02/2021
Quarter 2 (October–December) GST instalment notices (forms S and T) 28/02/2021
Quarter 2 (October–December) PAYG instalment notices (forms R and T) 28/02/2021
February monthly activity statements 21/03/2021
 

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program

Any business interested in creating an online presence should consider this grant. The grant can be used for more than one of the options listed below so for a retailer looking to launch an e-Commerce platform to sell from you could package Shopify and Xero together and get the first 12 months subscriptions for free. This would give you access to point of sale, a website, a cart (receiving credit card payments), inventory management and your bookkeeping needs all taken care of!
 
The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program will allow eligible businesses to trial and then receive access to digital products, tools and training they can use to build digital capability in their day-to-day operations.
Once businesses have purchased a product, they can apply for a rebate of $1,200 to access the product for 12 months.
The Victorian Government is currently partnering with six digital product suppliers for this program. These include:
  • Mr Yum — food and beverage
  • MYOB — business management
  • Xero — business management
  • Shopify — end-to-end retail
  • Square — end-to-end retail
  • Squarespace — website creation
 

 

Appointment Procedures Due to COVID

As you are all well aware, there have been a number changes over the last month due to changes in the number of COVID cases reported in the State. As it stands at time of writing, Watts Price Accountants and Knights Accounting are open and able to facilitate face to face appointments again.

For the health & safety of everyone please note the following requirements when attending our office(s):

  • Social distancing rules are still in place and we are all required to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres
  • Face masks are no longer compulsory (optional)
  • If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms –
    • cough, cold, sore throat, fever or
  • Been to a known hotspot or been in contact with someone that has in the last 2 weeks – please do not enter our office(s). Phone our office to discuss your options!

For your safety and convenience, we are:

  1. Still very happy to conduct phone or video conferencing (Zoom) appointments
  2. We are staggering our appointment times to minimise contact with other clients
  3. The Watts Price front meeting room will be used as an extra reception area
  4. We will be placing hand sanitiser in appropriate locations
  5. Meeting areas are being wiped down after each appointment

These measures are necessary under the current restrictions to protect you and our team. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and look forward to seeing you again soon! If you need assistance please contact us on:

Watts Price Accountants
P: 03 5382 3001
E: mail@wattsprice.com.au
M: PO Box 118, Horsham VIC 3402
 
Knights Accounting
P: 03 5385 5330
E: info@knightsaccounting.com.au
M: 16 Cromie Street, Rupanyup VIC 3388
 
All the best from the Watts Price Team!