Paying tax is something you’re likely to see as a necessary (but not hugely enjoyable) part of running your business. But are you doing enough to plan your own personal tax liabilities?

As a director, you’ll pay your income tax annually on a self-assessment basis. But there are plenty of ways to make this a less costly and onerous task to complete.

Planning ahead when it comes to tax

By taking a forward-looking approach to your own personal finances, and working with an experienced advisor, you can start to minimise your tax costs and maximise the value you enjoy from your own earnings and company profits.

Working closely with us helps you:

  • Know your future tax liabilities – by looking at factors like expected dividend payments, pension provision and additional income to determine what you will owe.
  • Set up an annual tax plan – with provision for when payments should be made and when to set aside the funds needed to pay your income tax bill.
  • Make use of any tax reliefs – so you can claim the relevant reliefs and tax initiatives that are available, to bring down the amount of your overall tax bill
  • Maximise your earnings – by taking your earnings in the most efficient ways and managing your own personal wealth in a proactive manner.

Talk to us about your personal tax planning

If you’re a director looking to achieve the best results from your earnings, come and talk to us. We can review your tax situation, create a robust tax plan and make sure you’re getting the maximum value from your business earnings.

Contact us

Starting your own business is a BIG leap of faith. Will you find any customers? Will you make enough income? These are questions that any founder will ask themselves.

But with the right planning, preparation and support, you can set the best possible foundations for your new enterprise, and take some of the guesswork out of becoming a business owner.

Building the right foundations

So, if you’ve got a great business idea and you’re eager to get your company off the ground, what are the key foundational elements you need in place?

To get your new company trading smoothly:

  • Define your vision and goals – so you know WHY you’re in business, what success will look like and who your target customers will be. If you’re clear about the ‘why’ from the outset, every decision will be easier. Think about who your product or service is aimed at, what their needs are and how your solution solves this.
  • Have a robust business plan – providing you with a clear route map for achieving your goals, with budgets, targets and pre-agreed timelines to meet. This doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking but it will need some thought. A good business plan will evaluate the idea and feasibility, as well as identifying opportunities and obstacles.
  • Get the finance you need – so you have the capital required to start trading, with enough in the bank to cover operational overheads and start generating income. A solid business plan will help you gain buy-in by proving the idea for investors.
  • Measure your performance – once you’re up and running, record and track all financial and non-financial data, so you can measure how well you’re performing and identify, early on, the areas that need attention.

Talk to us about setting up your new business

If you’ve got a world-beating business idea and the ambition to become a business owner, come and talk to us. We’ll help you flesh out your vision, write a workable plan and get your finances in shape for the next stage of the startup journey.

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Once you start reporting under Single Touch Payroll, you will no longer be required to issue a Payment Summary. Your final payment summary to employees is due 14th July. After this date your employees can access their income statement through the ATO via myGov.

You’ll have two weeks from the end of the payroll year to issue your payment summary so it’s worthwhile preparing now to make the process easy.

Here’s what you will need:

Payroll Checklist

  • Make sure you have all the necessary details for all employees, both current and any who have terminated throughout the year. The essential information is full name, date of birth, address, tax file number, and an email address if you are sending payment summaries electronically.
  • Review any terminated employees. Is the correct termination date recorded in your software? Are there any Employment Termination Payments (ETPs)?
  • Review allowances paid to employees and check which ones are required to be reported separately.
  • Review salary sacrifice payments to superannuation for Reportable Employer Superannuation Contributions (RESC) amounts.
  • Check any Reportable Fringe Benefit Tax (RFBT) amounts that should be included.

Do you plan to email payment summaries to employees? If so, advise employees of your intention to provide electronic versions and make sure the email address is secure and private. The electronic version must be non-editable and preferably generated directly from your payroll software.

Verify Your Payroll Numbers

It’s important to verify payroll figures before issuing payment summaries, in order to minimise the chance of errors and having to re-issue at a later date.

Once the payroll year is finalised at 30 June, you can then focus on analysing the payroll amounts for each employee and cross-checking against the numbers in your profit and loss accounts.

The end of the payroll year will be here sooner than you think! We can help make the process easier by reviewing and validating your payroll figures prior to issuing payment summaries.

Remember, this is the last year you will need to issue payment summaries. From 1 July, all employers must report to the ATO using Single Touch Payroll (STP). Do you need more information about STP? We can help you set up your payroll ready for STP reporting.

If you are already reporting Single Touch Payroll (STP) to the ATO, there is a different process for issuing payment summaries from now on.

Employers usually must provide payment summaries to employees by 14 July. In the STP reporting system, employers must make a finalisation declaration by this date, in order that the employee’s information will be released in their myGov account as an income statement and listed as tax ready.

The ATO is allowing additional time, up to 31 July 2019, to make the finalisation declaration for employers who have started STP during the 2019 financial year.

This replaces the need to issue payment summaries. However, for any payments not reported through STP you still need to issue payment summaries to employees by 14 July.

STP Payroll Checklist

Be efficient and prepare as much as you can now, by checking the following:
  • Check that your business details, including ABN, registered name and address and authorised contact person are correct in your software.
  • You should already have all the necessary details for all employees, both current and any who have terminated throughout the year if you are using STP. The essential information is full name, date of birth, address and tax file number.
  • Review any terminated employees. Is the correct termination date recorded in your software? Are there any Employment Termination Payments (ETPs)?
  • Review salary sacrifice payments to superannuation for Reportable Employer Superannuation Contributions (RESC) amounts.
  • Check with us for any Reportable Fringe Benefit Tax (RFBT) amounts that should be included.
  • Check that all payroll categories are assigned to the correct ATO reporting category. This includes all ordinary earnings, loadings and penalties, allowances, commissions, bonuses, leave payments and termination payments. You may have other unusual payroll categories—check that you have linked them correctly.

Finalising Single Touch Payroll

It’s important to verify payroll figures before finalising, in order to minimise the chance of errors and having to re-issue at a later date.

Once the payroll year is completed at 30 June, you can then analyse the payroll amounts for each employee and cross-check against the numbers in your profit and loss accounts.

Talk to us about making the STP end of year process easier by reviewing and validating your payroll figures prior to finalising the data and lodging with the ATO. The end of the payroll year will be here sooner than you think!

Remote working has become more and more common as developments in technology have allowed us to communicate and collaborate no matter where we are. In fact, most of us are already logging on from home or holiday already. In May 2018, Swiss serviced office provider IWG released a study that found that 70% of professionals work remotely at least once a week.

Sometimes called ‘telecommuting’, remote work is on the rise, and it’s challenging traditional ideas about where and when work should take place. Offering flexibility to your staff can be a valuable tool to both attract new talent and retain your existing team. But before deciding to offer remote work, you need to make sure you’re able to support this way of working.

Remote work has many benefits for a business. Offering this option can mean that you retain employees through a change in their circumstances, for example, becoming a parent or relocating to a different part of the country. When you’re recruiting, the ability to offer an entirely remote position can mean that you’re suddenly able to consider candidates from across the country, rather than limiting yourself to one area, or to people who are in the position to be able to relocate.

So what do you consider before introducing remote working?

When you’re working with a distributed team, communication is key, and as the employer, it’s your job to provide the resources and systems to make this happen. Typically, these might include:

  • Laptops and other tech as required
  • Compensation if an employee is using their home internet connection
  • A way to stay in touch with the team, beyond email. Platforms like Slack are great for team communication
  • Guidelines around how often and in what way the entire team will catch up
  • Project management tools that are accessible for every worker

With these essentials in place, the biggest factor in making remote work a success is workplace culture. Consider upskilling your management team to make sure they are ready to support your remote staff or even to give them the skills to allow them to do their roles remotely.

Remote working can be isolating for an individual and sometimes the meaning in email and text can be lost so it is important to factor in a regular face-to-face meeting or video conference to bring coworkers together, enable mutual understanding and to build the team culture.

If you’re planning to offer remote work to your team, make sure you have strong communication channels, and robust systems to support your flexible workers.