Business Tax recipes
One thing you don’t want to do as a business is get offside with the Tax Department, so make sure that your business is always in complying with those tax laws relating to you. The following are a few simple tips that will help ensure that your business is always tax compliant.
Do Some Research
To ensure that your business is tax compliant it is important to do some research, because tax regulations can change quite regularly and it is your responsibility to keep up with the latest developments. The best place to research is the Australian Tax Office website, because this will give you at least a basic understanding of what is expected of your business in order for it to be considered tax compliant.
If you’re like most people, your biggest asset is your superannuation. Like most people too, you probably believe you have a good sense of ethics when it comes to issues involving environmental and social responsibility.
Well there is now a growing sector of the population who believe that you can have an influence on these important issues, not just in small personal ways, but also by deciding how the funds in your SMSF or your commercial super fund are invested.
What is ethical investment?
Ethical investment is choosing to invest your super in companies whose activities you believe will benefit the common good and make a positive difference. It is also, obviously, about investing in those which provide a competitive return on your investment.
Funds offering ethical choices
Many mainstream super funds now offer some ethical investment choices to their members, so if you are not fully committed to the concept of ethical investing, you can still make a contribution by investing in some of these companies.
If you’re committed to 100% ethical investment however, your best bet would be to go to one of the funds providing only ethical investment choices, such as Australian Ethical Super, or to change your SMSF portfolio to purely ethical investments.
Do they fit with your ethics?
Deciding whether the activities of the companies in a fund’s portfolio align with your own values involves examining those values. For example, asking yourself what your views are on uranium mining or mining in general, unsustainable timber harvesting, genetically modified food, child labour and so on.
You can then examine the fund’s web site or product disclosure statement to see what criteria they use when selecting their ethical investments.
The answer is not always clear cut either. Large corporations such as BHP cause environmental damage on the one hand, but give vast amounts of money to community groups on the other. Your sense of ethics will dictate which is the priority for you.
The bottom line is competitiveness
While you may wish to invest ethically, at the end of the day, this is your retirement fund you are talking about, so the bottom line is that an ethical investment must also be a sound investment.
As well as checking a super fund’s social and environmental philosophy, you also need to check their fees vs performance (low fees are no use if their investments under-perform) and their diversification (you need a healthy spread of income-type investments, stocks, shares and property).
Ethical investments may soon be more profitable
Ethical investment is not just about feeling good. It is also beginning to make good business sense as well.
Businesses looking to ditch the old school ledger books and notepads, or replace ageing accounting software, have quite a few excellent options. The latest in accounting software packages are filled with features that let businesses create detailed reports, view purchase histories, track monies owed, and, of course, fill in tax returns.
Besides helping business owners handle money efficiency, good accounting software should also have an intuitive, well-designed interface, and a lot of support available. If you’re in the market for new accounting software that will help you take care of your taxes painlessly, you can’t go wrong with any of the following selections.
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Preparing a tax return can be a challenge at the best of times, but when it comes to company tax returns, things get complicated quickly. Luckily, the ability for businesses of all sizes to do their taxes electronically has made filing tax returns faster, cheaper and far easier. More than ever, business owners are choosing to complete their taxes online through the ATO, and the following are just some of the online services available.
The Business Portal is a website that has been set up as a secure platform from which business owners can manage their tax affairs. With the portal, you can view your accounts and statements, update contact information, prepare and lodge reports, request refunds and credit transfers, and communicate with the ATO through a secure e-mail. Besides greater organisation and convenience, the best part about the Business Portal is the protection it offers, with security features such as AUSkey and ATO digital certificates.
Having the right software and knowing how to use it can make a huge difference to your business’s bottom line. Whether you are just starting out or already a big player in the industry, having the right tools will always include the right business planning software. When it comes to planning both the short and long-term health of your business, the following are some of the best tools currently on the market.
Business Plan Pro
This easy-to-use program makes it easy to come up with that all-important first business plan, and walks you through the basics of everything from establishing your brand to financial forecasting. If you need to come up with a business plan, make life easy on yourself and use Business Plan Pro.
If you’re in business, no matter how small, you’re under a range of legal requirements as to how to run key elements of your business, and depending on how much money your business deals with, this may mean you’re required to register for GST. The government takes taxes extremely seriously, so make sure you know exactly what your business’s obligations are, so that you can have all of your information in order.
Who should register?
Any business or enterprise which has a ‘GST turnover’ over of more than $75,000 for the year, or more than $150,000 in the case of charitable groups, is required to register for the GST. You must also register your business for GST if your business is in any way involved in driving people around in either taxis or any other type of chauffeur-style driving. In this case, regardless of your GST turnover, you’re required to register for GST.
The best way to prevent a nightmare for your small business when it comes to tax time is by preparing well beforehand and being organised. Make it as easy as possible for you and your business to keep track of all financial activity, as it will make doing your small business’s taxes no big deal. The following are some of the ways to ensure your small business is always ready for tax time, and all will come in handy if you ever get audited.
Use online banking
Using online banking for all of your business’s financial transactions will make your life much easier when tax time rolls around, as you’ll have everything already recorded for you via your bank statement. This can be extremely helpful if you have any staff, as whether you’re paying them via cheque or direct deposit, you’ll have a record of everyone’s pay. This will make life easier for your tax accountants when they need to look over everything.
Like personal budgets and tax statements, financial statements are vital for any business. They facilitate business decision making, provide a clear picture of the status of the business, and enable owners and managers to know when business goals have been reached. We look at the essential statements for businesses of all sizes, including the profit and loss statement, the balance sheet, the cash flow statement, and the statement of retained earnings.
Why Use Financial Statements?
Financial statements provide readers with a picture of the financial status of the business. In large companies and for investors, financial statement literacy is vital, as it is for small business owners. For those who need specific advice, specialists for small business accounting in Sydney and elsewhere are qualified to provide in-depth consultations about financial reports.
Small businesses form a valuable part of the Australian economy and the Australian government provides a range of tax incentives and exemptions to encourage small business owners. When tax time comes, great records, knowing about your allowable deductions, and obtaining professional advice can all help to significantly reduce your small business tax liability. These are eight easy strategies to consider.
1. Review Your Business Structure
Your business structure can significantly boost your ability to legally reduce your tax liability, whether it’s a sole trader, unit trust, company, partnership, or any other business vehicle. An accountant with expertise in small business accounting in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia may be able to save you thousands or more in tax every year.
Around 96 per cent of businesses in Australia – over 2 million – are small businesses, which in turn employ around 5 million Australians. In this article, we look at some of the ways in which small businesses can simply their tax compliance strategy to save money and to improve productivity by freeing up time for core business activities. For specific compliance advice, it’s a good idea to consult accountants in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia.
1. Outsource Compliance
Tax Compliance Cuts into Personal Time for Small Business Owners
Research has suggested that too many small business owners devote a large amount of personal time on tax compliance. A 2010 study by Galaxy Research found that 40 per cent of small business owners spend personal time to address reporting obligations, with a majority dedicating as much as an extra 60 hours every year, or around one Sunday every month on tax issues.