November 2018 Newsletter
- On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Grant
- Identifying the early warning signs of insolvency
- Update on the proposed Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty
- To sell more, make it easier to purchase
The Victorian Government has now established the On-Farm Drought Infrastructure Support Grants.
Grants of up to $5,000 (ex GST) are available to eligible farm businesses. Eligible farm businesses are required to provide at least dollar for dollar matching funding co-contribution.
Insolvency is the greatest fear for many business owners, especially in an uncertain or volatile economic climate. While Australia’s economy is stronger than it was during the global financial crisis, there is still a real risk of businesses becoming insolvent for any number of reasons.
Update on the proposed Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty
Under the current law, if you’ve missed a payment or haven’t paid an employees’ super on time, you are required to lodge an SG charge statement.
Until law giving effect to the proposed Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty is enacted, we will continue to apply the existing law to SG charge statements lodged by employers.
Consumers are savvier than ever, and their shopping habits are changing fast. They’re growing accustomed to new payment types such as mobile wallets, one-click payments and even paying via facial recognition. Further, they expect the same simple, easy and seamless shopping experience at whatever size business they frequent.
This month we wish Dee a happy birthday!
We would also like to extend a warm welcome to our newest team member, Brittany!
Commonly Asked Question
What is Two Step Authentication?
Two Step Authentication (2SA) provides an extra level of security to your online accounting software login, by requiring an authentication code as well as your email address and password. The authentication code is generated by an app on your mobile device or computer.That is because cyber-criminals are increasingly using phishing emails and other scams to try to get users’ login credentials and gain access to sensitive data.
One of the biggest issues is people using one password for multiple accounts. One account gets hacked and suddenly there is the possibility that hackers could gain access to other online accounts. This is where Two Step Authentication can help by adding an extra layer of security.
Xero accounting software has already implemented compulsory Two Step Authentication (2SA) and other online accounting software companies will be the end of the year e.g. MYOB, QuickBooks Online etc.
In recent news
ATO to contact clients over bank details
The Tax Office will be sending SMS text messages to clients who provided incorrect bank account details in their tax return over the next few weeks.
From 5 to 23 November 2018, the ATO will send SMS text messages to your clients if incorrect bank account details were included in their tax return and they are entitled to a refund.
Tax agents will receive an email list of clients who have been contacted for their information, with no action needed to be taken.
The text message will contain information telling clients that their refund cannot be processed due to incorrect bank account details and that they are required to phone the ATO to correct the details.
Clients who contact the Tax Office and provide correct details within seven days will be issued their refund electronically. On the flipside, clients who do not will be sent a cheque.
The ATO notice comes after increasing reports of new tax scams, including a recent scam involving fraudsters impersonating registered tax agents.
The ATO has asked that tax agents to reach out to clients to inform them that the Tax Office would never demand immediate payments; threaten them with arrest; and request payment by unusual means such as iTunes vouchers, store gift cards or Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Scams are among the core issues affecting taxpayers and small business clients in 2018, with the ACCC revealing that $2.3 million in scams were reported as of August this year.
Farm Household Allowance
There have been several significant changes to the farming Centrelink support payment, Farm Household Allowance, which considering the current seasonal conditions, is important to be aware of to ensure that farmers can potentially receive full advantage of the payment that is available.
- Firstly, in July 2018 a farmer’s ability to receive the Farm Household Allowance payment has been extended by a further year. Meaning that a farmer can now be on the payment for a cumulative total of four years. (Previously, farmers were limited to be on the payment for a maximum of three years)
- Secondly, there has been an increase in the net-farm assets test from $2.63 million to $5 million (only until 30 June 2019).
- Thirdly, there has been an announcement of a Farm Household Allowance supplement lump sum payment.
- In total, this FHA supplement is worth up to $7,200 for single famers and $12,000 for farming couples per household.
- The FHA supplement is paid as 2 lump sum payments.
It is important to note that to be eligible for the 1st Farm Household Allowance supplement lump sum payment, farmers need to be on Farm Household Allowance by 1 December 2018.
To be eligible for the 2nd Farm Household Allowance supplement lump sum payment, farmers need to be on Farm Household Allowance by 1 June 2019.
Eligibility for Farm Household Allowance is subject to both assets tests and an income test. In relation to the income test, Centrelink will consider income for the current financial year, which at the moment is income for 2018/2019 (including this up-coming harvest).
For more information please contact the Horsham office of the Rural Financial Counselling Service is (03) 5381 1646 or Watts Price Accountants 03 5382 3001.
All the best from the Watts Price Team!