January 2024 Newsletter


  • Annual tax on commercial and industrial property from 01/07/24
  • $392 million Industry Growth Program open for business
  • My trustee has lost capacity – now what?
  • Tough times hit regional businesses
  • ACCC lays down 8 principles for green claims by business
  • How to increase productivity during the Christmas downtime
  • El Niño, commodity prices depress farm confidence
  • Save on tax with Education Bonds
  • Announcements

Annual tax on commercial and industrial property from 01/07/24

To encourage Victorian businesses to invest, expand and create more jobs, the Victorian Government is abolishing Stamp Duty and transitioning to an annual property tax for commercial and industrial properties.
The transition will occur after the next sale, following which the purchaser will become liable for the annual property tax after 10 years.

$392 million Industry Growth Program open for business

The Albanese Government has officially opened the $392 million Industry Growth Program to help start-ups and small businesses commercialise and grow their companies. 

The opening of the program takes place as a new report finds that businesses in Australia often face barriers in scaling up.


My trustee has lost capacity – now what?

Latest ATO figures show that over 30% of SMSF trustees are over 70. Inevitably, as we age, we all face an increasing likelihood of mental impairment (for example dementia) which might impact our ability to fulfil our responsibilities as trustees.

So what will that mean for the future of the SMSF?
There won’t necessarily be a clear moment when someone loses capacity.

Tough times hit regional businesses

Small regional businesses are doing it tough with a third rating their overall business health as poor, according to new research.
SME non-bank lender Prospa revealed findings from the latest SME Sentiment Report, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Prospa, which surveyed around 500 small business owners across Australia.


ACCC lays down 8 principles for green claims by business

Environmental benefits must be evidence-based, accurate and expressed in clear language, the regulator says.

The ACCC has finalised its guidance on green claims by businesses with a set of eight principles to ensure advertising about environmental benefits is clear and accurate.


How to increase productivity during the Christmas downtime

Keeping your team motivated in the run to the end of the year can be challenging as a feeling of fatigue starts to sweep through the organisation. Everyone is either laser-focused on cleaning up projects and hitting targets or, with festive season decorations already in all the stores, their brains switch into holiday mode way too early. It’s not unusual to see a drop in productivity well before the office closes for the holidays.


El Niño, commodity prices depress farm confidence

A mix of price movements and seasonal conditions mean most farmers expect incomes to decrease and the economy to get worse, Rabobank survey reports.

Softer commodity prices and the threat of drought has taken the edge of farm confidence according to the latest Rabobank agribusiness survey, with more producers expecting conditions to get worse and incomes to fall this year.


Save on tax with Education Bonds

Education bonds appeal to a human desire to do the best by your children. They also appeal to the human desire to reduce the tax that you pay on your investments. So how do they work, and are they worth it?

Education is expensive. The total estimated cost of education for a child starting school in 2023 is around $87,000 as a national metro average for government schools, and $300,000 for independent schools.



This month we congratulate a number of team members for completing work anniversaries!
We congratulate Grant (22), Katrina (4), Xavier (3), Lee (23) and Paula (31) who all celebrate work anniversaries in January!
We also wish a very Happy Birthday to Andrew, Gabi & Kelly!

Paula Toll  

Andrew Price

Gabi Freijah


Important ATO Dates

Lodgement Program  Date
December monthly activity statements 21/01/2024
Quarter 2 (October–December) PAYG instalment activity statement 21/01/2024
Quarter 2 (October–December) – super guarantee contributions 28/01/2024
TBAR (Transfer Balance Account Report) 28/01/2024


Other News

Victorian Flood Grant Support Extended

For existing applicant(s), please be advised in relation to the Victorian and Commonwealth Government’s Flood Support Package, the final date to submit eligible claims for re-imbursement has been extended from 13 January 2024 to 31 May 2024. Please note with the passage of time, some eligible claims immediately following the flood event are unlikely to be eligible claims if purchased now (e.g. fodder purchase). This extension applies to successful applicants of the:
  • Primary Producer Flood Recovery Grant,
  • Rural Landholder Grant, and
  • Transport Support Program.
For any questions regarding your application please call 1800 260 425 or contact us via email at admin@ruralfinance.com.au

ATO Data Matching of Unpaid Employee Super

Employers should already be aware that the ATO is shriving to reduce the amount of unpaid employee super. One initiative from 1 July 2026 is payday superannuation, employers will be required to pay their employees’ super at the same time as their salary and wages.
In the meantime we are starting to see a number of cases where the ATO is using their data matching capabilities to catch employers that have fallen behind in the payment of their employee’s super. In a number of these cases the Super Guarantee Charge penalties can be greater than the unpaid super amounts.
If you need assistance in keeping on top of your employer payroll obligations please contact our office to discuss how we can help!

Recent ATO announcement

Bigpond Email Addresses

It has come to our attention that a few clients have been moving from their existing Bigpond email to an alternative of late as they are concerned that Bigpond email addresses are being phased out.

What we have ascertained:

  • Telstra stopped providing new Bigpond email address several years ago (2016), new clients are issued with a Telstra email instead
  • The hosting of Bigpond email addresses were migrated to a Microsoft server and are not ‘hosted’ by Telstra anymore
  • Any Telstra customer leaving Telstra and wanting to retain their Bigpond email would need to pay a $79 annual subscription fee
  • TPG recently ceased providing certain email services due to the cost and resources it tied up, this has led to speculation that Telstra may also
  • However it seems unlikely that Telstra would just shutoff Bigpond email without providing a viable alternative due to the huge number of customers this might encourage to go elsewhere
  • Those considering a change of email need to consider how this will affect logging into the various cloud services they may use where their username is their email address

For those clients that have already changed or are considering changing their Bigpond email address please remember to inform us so we can keep you up to date with any relevant tax information.

Quarterly SMSF Reporting (TBAR)

This is a reminder to all Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) Trustees that you may be required to provide quarterly ‘Transfer Balance Account Reporting’ (TBAR) reports if certain events have occurred over the last quarter. These events include:
  1. Starting a new retirement phase and/or death benefit income stream
  2. If you paid yourself a lump sum amount from your retirement phase income streams (in addition to your regular pension payment)
  3. Made payments under a limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) where the payment results in an increase in the value of the member’s interest that supports their retirement phase income stream
  4. Complied with a commutation authority issued by the Commissioner
  5. Received a personal injury (structured settlement) contribution
 * Please note that regular pension payments do not need to be reported – see point 2 above!
If you are unsure if any of these events have occurred, please contact your financial adviser for clarification.  If none of these events have occurred no action is required at this time but you may be affected in future quarters. Please contact our office at your earliest convenience if anyone of the above events has occurred as we will lodge the TBAR report on your behalf by the lodgement date. Alternatively, please let us know if you would like to undertake this compliance requirement yourself.
If you have any further queries please contact our office!

Christmas Office Hours

All the best from the Watts Price Team!