Showing posts with label Tax. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tax. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

ACT Budget 2014-15: Investing in Canberra

On 3 June 2014, ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr handed down the 2014-15 ACT Budget, a budget about investing in Canberra to maintain growth in our economy and support local jobs.

This includes $2.5 billion investment over four years in a capital program - the largest ever by an ACT Government – which will help progress transformational projects such as Capital Metro, Australia Forum, City to the Lake and new court facilities. It also includes investment in the tourism and events, education, health and community sectors.

The ACT Government recognises local businesses as the lifeblood of the economy and it is hoped these investments will deliver the transformative infrastructure needed to support businesses for the long term. As part of the budget there is also a range of new and continuing initiatives aimed specifically at helping businesses to grow and create jobs.

This includes the acceleration of payroll tax reform which will see the threshold rise from $1.75 million to $1.85 million in 2014-15. For businesses with a payroll of $2 million this will mean a saving of $6,850 per year.

Combined with the 2012 payroll tax cuts, this means Canberra businesses, on average, are each paying $25,000 less payroll tax annually than before the reforms.

In his Budget speech, Minister Barr said “Businesses in Canberra continue to benefit from our tax reform agenda. Stamp duty continues to come down and insurance taxes will be fully abolished in 2016.”

The ACT Government recognises the burden government regulation imposes on business and so this Budget brings red tape reduction to the fore, with specific actions right across government.

During 2014-15, the ACT Government will set up a new forum to give business a direct voice in regulatory reform prioritisation.

Businesses will also be able to interact with government easier, with funding commencing for the digital project, iConnect. When fully developed, iConnect will give access to many government services and payment transactions through a single sign on.

As part of its commitment to making Canberra a digital city, the ACT Government will also introduce electronic tendering which will modernise the process for businesses seeking to work with the Government and reduce the administrative burden on small business.

The 2014-15 ACT Budget also provides continuing support for Canberra’s entrepreneurs.

To help those affected by Commonwealth Government job cuts stay in Canberra and build a new future, a specially tailored program will be implemented to provide them with support to start their own business.

Young entrepreneurs will also benefit from the budget through the new Young Business Connect program. The $300,000 program will provide assistance to young entrepreneurs, helping them to develop their ideas and establish new local businesses. This will include business planning and market development advice, connections to specialist advisors and business mentors and assistance in attracting start up funding.

The recently announced CBR Innovation Network, which will provide a more joined up approach to the delivery business services and advice, will have an important role to play in shaping the delivery arrangements for these new programs.

ACT businesses are the heart of our economy and community and this package of measures aims to invest in our city and our economy in partnership with the business community.

View the full ACT Budget 2014-15 External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Tax Incentives for your Research and Development


Is your business innovating and experimenting? It could mean that you are eligible to claim the R&D Tax Incentive.

Administered jointly by AusIndustry and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the R&D Tax incentive aims to encourage companies to engage in R&D, in turn boosting competitiveness and improving productivity across the Australian economy.

If your business is eligible, the R&D Tax Incentive can be used to offset expenses incurred on R&D activities, the decline in value of depreciating assets used in R&D activities and more. Find out more about the eligible deductions External Link - opens in new window.

Canberra business, eWAY is just one example of a local business taking advantage of the program. The business has been accessing the incentive for a number of years now with eWAY CEO and founder, Matt Bullock saying the benefits the program have given them have been invaluable.

“Our global operations centre runs out of Canberra, which also houses the R&D team. Without R&D Tax assistance we would not have been able to develop our world-class payment solutions.”

“At eWAY, we’re always looking to improve and innovate. Our every success leads to additional resources, which can be used to drive further wins. The R&D program has not only given us access to tax benefits, it has also helped guide us in project management best practice and ensuring R&D effort is focused on driving innovation within the business” Mr Bullock continued. Read more about eWAY’s and other R&D tax incentive business stories External Link - opens in new window.

So is your business entitled to the R&D Tax Incentive? There are a number of criteria your business and your R&D activities will need to meet. To find out more about these criteria and see if you are eligible check out StartUp Smart’s article How to determine whether you quality for the R&D tax incentive External Link - opens in new window.

If you are planning to claim under the R&D Tax Incentive you must register your eligible R&D activities with AusIndustry. You are required to complete this registration process each year you plan to claim.

You need to register your activities within 10 months of the end of the income year in which the activities were conducted. For example, if your business operates on a standard financial year (1 July to 30 June) you must register by 30 April 2014.

To register for the R&D Tax Incentive visit the AusIndustry website External Link - opens in new window. To find out more about the program visit the AusIndustry and Australian Taxation Office External Link - opens in new window websites.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Should your business be paying FBT?

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns are nearly due. So time to ask the question, should your business be lodging a return?

Fringe benefits are benefits that you provide to your employees or their associates, such as their family members. These are benefits in place or on top of their regular salary or wage.

Does your company provide fringe benefits to your employees? Ask yourself:
  • Do you make cars or other vehicles owned or leased by your business available to employees for private use, including a car garaged at an employee's place of residence?
  • Do you provide a house or other accommodation for your employees?
  • Do you provide entertainment such as food, drink or free tickets to your employees?
  • Do you pay the gym fees for an employee?
  • Do you provide your employees with living away from home allowances?
  • Do any of your employees have a salary package arrangement in place?
  • Have you paid for, or reimbursed, a non-business expense incurred by an employee such as school fees?
  • Have you provided your employees with goods at a lower price than they are normally sold to the public?
As an employer, you must pay fringe benefits tax (FBT) if you provide these types of benefits to your employees. It makes no difference if you are a sole trader, partnership, trust, corporation, unincorporated association or government body.

FBT is separate from income tax and is based on the taxable value of the fringe benefits provided. You may, however, claim an income tax deduction for the cost of providing fringe benefits and for the FBT you pay.

If you are liable for the tax, you must lodge a FBT return at the end of the FBT year. The FBT year is different from the standard financial year and runs from 1 April to 31 March. If this is the first year you will be lodging an FBT return, you will also need to register for FBT External Link - opens in new window.

FBT returns must be lodged with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by 21 May 2013. If a tax practitioner is preparing your annual FBT return, different lodgement arrangements may apply.
To find out more about FBT visit the Australian Taxation Office website External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tax Incentives for your Research and Development

Administered jointly by AusIndustry and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the overarching goal of the incentive program is to encourage companies to engage in R&D, in turn boosting competitiveness and improving productivity across the Australian economy.

Canberra business, eWAY is just one example of a local business taking advantage of the program. eWAY CEO and founder, Matt Bullock said “Our global operations centre runs out of Canberra, which also houses the R&D team. Without R&D Tax assistance we would not have been able to develop our world-class payment solutions.” Read more about eWAY’s and other R&D tax incentive business stories External Link - opens in new window.

Subject to eligibility criteria and exclusions, the R&D Tax Incentive can be used to offset expenditure incurred on R&D activities, the decline in value of depreciating assets used in R&D activities and more. Find out more about the eligible deductions External Link - opens in new window.

So is your business entitled to the R&D Tax Incentive? Ask yourself:
  • Are you an eligible company? Find out if you are an eligible company External Link - opens in new window.
  • Are the activities being undertaken experimental activities? Experiments can take place in a range of settings, from a separate laboratory to an otherwise normal production line.
  • Can the outcome of the experiments be known or determined in advance on the basis of publicly available knowledge, information or experience?
  • Where are the activities being undertaken – in Australia or overseas?
  • Who is conducting the activities? You are only entitled to a tax offset for R&D activities conducted for your company (there are some exceptions to this).
  • Do you have notional deductions of $20,000 or more? If not, have you contracted the activities to a registered RSP, or made a monetary contribution under the CRC program? 
  • Do you have appropriate records and evidence of conducting eligible R&D activities to substantiate your claim?
If you are planning to claim under the R&D Tax Incentive you must register your eligible R&D activities with AusIndustry. You are required to complete this registration process each year you plan to claim.

You need to register your activities within 10 months of the end of the income year in which the activities were conducted.  For example, if your business operates on a standard financial year (1 July to 30 June) you must register by 30 April 2013. If your business operated on a substituted accounting period (1 January to 31 December) you must register by 21 October 2013.

To register for the R&D Tax Incentive visit the AusIndustry website External Link - opens in new window. To find out more about the program visit the AusIndustry and Australian Taxation Office External Link - opens in new window websites.