Are you paying more tax than you need to?

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At JH&Co Management we encourage our business clients to be proactive in regards to their financial position. We look for accuracy in financial information so we are able to provide reliable advice in regards to management of the business as well as looking at year end taxation consequences. It also gives clients the tools to make better decisions and understanding the implications on both tax and cashflow.

What can you do to reduce your tax and the tax paid by your business? It pays to undertake tax planning with JH & Co Management pre 30 June.  Here are our top tips:

Timing is everything

Accelerate deductions

For businesses, if your cashflow is good, make the purchases you need before the end of the financial year to claim the deduction, particularly those with turnover under $10 million. The $20,000 immediate deduction reduces back to $1,000 on 30 June (see Why 90,000 more businesses can access the $20k instant asset write-off this year).

For individuals, it’s a good time for charitable giving.

Delay income – One off opportunity for high-income earners

Taxpayers with assessable income above $180,000 face an additional 2% tax on every dollar above this level. The 2% ‘debt tax’ is scheduled to end on 30 June.  The difference in timing between the reduction in the FBT rate that occurred on 1 April 2017 and the removal of the 2% tax on 1 July offers a one-off opportunity to reduce your taxable income through salary packaging and other planning initiatives.

If you are likely to have a one off spike in income, for example from the sale of a business or other significant assets, it’s worth seeing if you can delay the sale until 1 July 2017 to avoid paying an additional 2% tax.  Just be aware of how the arrangement is structured. In many cases the sale is treated as having taken place for tax purposes when the parties enter into the contract, even if settlement occurs at a later point in time.

Money or debts owed to private companies

It’s common for business owners to take cash out of their business or for the business to fund some personal expenses through the year – these appear in the shareholder loan account. If this has occurred, it is important that these debts are either repaid by 30 June (you can declare dividends to pay any outstanding shareholder loan accounts) or a formal loan agreement (with specific conditions) is put in place. Without taking action, the ATO will treat any outstanding amount as a deemed dividend taxable in the hands of the shareholder at their marginal tax rate.

House-keeping for business

  • For companies, directors’ fees and employee bonuses may be deductible for the 2016-17 financial year if the directors pass a properly authorised resolution to make the payment by year-end (payment should be made as soon as practicable). Just be aware of the 2% debt tax for high income earners (see Delay income – One off opportunity for high-income earners)
  • For Trusts, it is essential that decisions to distribute pre 30 June income are documented in writing.
  • Write-off bad debts
  • Review your asset register and scrap any obsolete plant
  • Bring forward repairs, consumables, trade gifts or donations
  • Pay June quarter employee super contributions now if cashflow allows
  • Realise any capital losses and reduce gains
  • Raise inter-entity management fees by June 30

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only.  It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.  If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained

This article has been provided by the Knowledge Shop.

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