The 2015 financial year has started with some great additions to the team at Signum. Ashneal Lal and Nathan Loo originally joined us through an internship program with University of Western Sydney and at the conclusion of the program stayed on as permanent employees. Phil Baitch has returned to us after living in England for 10 years. With these new team members we are convinced we will be able to provide even more dedicated support to you and meet the challenges and opportunities in the coming years. Sadly we farewell Donna Dang who is returning to full time study. We wish her all the best and thank her for her dedication over the last 18 months.
Reflecting on the 2014 year, the community spirit of Signum shines through. Over the year we supported charities such as Careflight, Ronald McDonald House and Save the Bears campaign. The team braved the cold weather and participated in The Hills Cancer Council's Relay For Life. Thank you to those that supported our team generously. David volunteers a lot of time to the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal and we had a great turn out from the team to help door knock. We look forward to participating in both of these events again and continuing our community support. This quarter we are raising funds for Beyond Blue who work towards reducing the impact of depression and anxiety in the community.
- A reminder that the superannuation guarantee rate applicable to all employees has increased from 9.25% to 9.5% from 1 July 2014. Please ensure that your payroll software system has been updated accordingly and is calculating super correctly.
- The maximum concessional super contributions cap is $30,000 for those aged under 49 years at 30 June 2014. The maximum concessional super contributions cap is now $35,000 for those aged 49 years or over at 30 June 2014.
Transitioning Activity Statements - Register for the ATO Business Portal
The Tax Office are slowly moving people across to the Business Portal. To do this they have decided that when an activity statement has been lodged electronically by us or you they will no longer issue paper activity statements. This means that if we lodge your June BAS electronically, in order to lodge your monthly PAYG withholding you will need to register for an AUSkey and then the ATO Business Portal.
The Business Portal can be used to:
- view, prepare, lodge and revise activity statements
- view your statement of account and payment options
- transfer funds between your accounts
- view and request refunds from income tax accounts, fringe benefits tax accounts, excise accounts and some superannuation accounts
- update your details
- test, lodge and download selected files
- communicate with the ATO through a secure mailbox.
Other benefits of the Business Portal include a two week extension for the lodgement of your quarterly BAS and the fact that you no longer have to worry about your BAS getting lost in the mail.
The portal ensures the security of your online transactions through AUSkeys. Each user must have their own AUSkey to log in and use the portal. Where there are multiple user accounts in a business, use the access manager (AM) system to control access to functions. To register for an AUSkey click here.
If you require any assistance with registering for an AUSkey please feel free to give us a call.
Individual Trustees of SMSF's
Changes effective 1 July 2014 make it even more important for individual trustees of a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) to consider changing to a corporate trustee. Now the ATO will have the ability to impose financial penalties on trustees of SMSF's who breach the SIS (Superannuation Industry Supervision) Act. Importantly it has been revealed that where the ATO does impose a fine it will be imposed on each trustee. For example, if the ATO imposes a penalty of $5,000, where there are two individual trustees then each trustee will have to pay leading to a total of $10,000 in penalties whereas if there is a single corporate trustee with the members as directors there will only be a single $5,000 penalty.
Other benefits of a corporate trustee include:
- Individuals acting as trustee of an SMSF are jointly and severally liable for any actions taken against the Fund, as they hold the assets of the Fund in their individual names. Should litigation against the Fund exceed the assets held in the name of the trustees as trustees for the Fund, the personal assets of the individuals personally may be at risk. Companies on the other hand have limited liability ensuring litigation against the Fund is limited to the assets held in the name of the company and do not stretch to the directors of the company.
- There are advantages for estate and succession planning purposes for a Fund to have a corporate trustee. In particular having a corporate trustee can reduce the administration burden that would arise if an individual trustee passed away as there would be no requirement to change the name of the trustee for all of the investments held.
SuperStream aims to improve the efficiency of Australia's superannuation system and provides a new standard for employers when making super contributions. It requires an employer to send contributions electronically in a standard format with linked data and payments.
SuperStream for medium to large employers (20 or more employees) started on 1 July 2014. Small employers (19 or fewer employees) have another year to get ready, but can start at any time. The ATO, which administers the super system, is urging employers to get started and get ready now by talking to their service provider and having a plan in place for how they will implement the changes before 30 June 2015. They have issued an employer checklist which contains a step-by-step guide to what employers need to do.
Employers will have to comply with 2 things under SuperStream.
1. The payment must be made electronically to the nominated Fund.
2. Details of the payment transaction, such as employee name, Tax File Number, and Super Fund number are also sent to the Super Fund at an 'electronic address'.
Detailed below are what the various accounting software providers have done to assist you to become SuperStream compliant.
MYOB has released a Pay Super feature in AccountRight. It is free for customers with a subscription, there are no limits with the number of employees paid or transactions, and will be SuperStream compliant as and when required by the ATO. To include this feature on MYOB click here.
Xero has released auto super payments across all subscriptions. Their video on how to use this service can be found here.
Saasu have also included a feature that is SuperStream compliant. For setup on Saasu, click here.
We suggest looking into SuperStream now and giving yourself plenty of time to transition across so you are ready by 30 June 2015.