How long should I keep my tax records?

How long am I required to keep my tax records?

What is the time limit to amend my tax return?

Small Businesses – You are required to keep your records for five years from when the return was prepared.  And you have two years to amend those returns.

Individuals – You are required to keep your records for five years from when you lodged your return and two years to amend.

All other tax payers – You are required to keep records for 5 years from when they were prepared and four years to amend.

Sourced from ABN Business Bulletin Autumn 2014

Bookkeeping – Port Macquarie area – the importance of professional 
bookkeeping and accounting to small businesses.

How can the bookkeeping and accounting services of AccountsBiz Plus help your small business grow and be more profitable?

  • Plan ahead for your business as bookkeeping and accounting will make it easier to forecast your business needs ahead and plan for purchases and other business miscellaneous
.
  • Make a forecast on the future of your small business, set projections and goals for the business
.
  • Make comparisons on your forecasts with supporting actual monthly figures enabling you to evaluate your business’s financial health
.
  • Make an analysis of your expenses so that you will be able to determine how to operate your business more cost-effectively
Evaluate the performance of your business accurately and easily as well as know if your business is stagnant, depreciating or growing; thus, enabling you to strategize and make certain adjustments on your business
.
  • Discover your most profitable customers and/or products as well as find ways to increase your profit per customer
Receive an early warning in times when you might be straying into cash flow difficulties; thus, alerting you to act decisively to avert a crisis
.
  • Monitor the financial status, your successes or failures of your business
  • Make future business decisions as having the precise data and financial information of your business will enable you to predict the impact of any given action as well as understand the transactions which are all profitable and the unwanted operating expenses.
  • File the income tax records accurately as this is required by law
.
  • Have on hand older transactions which would help you plan the budget for the forthcoming year.
  • Having a budget would keep you on the safer side and help you to avoid the unwanted expenditure
Help you to prepare payroll tax returns and sales tax without any hassles
Help your business meet deadlines as well as make timely payments of loans, rents, bills, taxes and general business expenses.
  • Determine when it’s time to bring in extra help or increase your employee base as well as help you determine if your business can afford the extra expenses that will be incurred by bringing in new employees.

Bookkeeping accounting may look like a great time waster to most small business owners but it is a silent factor that can either make or break your business. If you really want to grow from a small business owner to a bigger business owner, then you better start taking bookkeeping accounting very serious. Though we do try and make it easy.
Contact AccountsBiz Plus today and receive a hour’s worth of FREE advice. We offer a mobile service and are happy to come to you.

Accounting & bookkeeping – Port Macquarie – benefits of hiring a professional bookkeeper

Benefits of hiring a professional bookkeeper

With the extra burden of BAS (Business Activity Statements) on small business owners, demand for bookkeeping has grown enormously but there’s been an influx of inexperienced practitioners offering their services. The Federal Government responded by passing the Tax Agents Services ACT 2009  requiring registration to prepare BAS statements. This has meant that more than ever, you need a qualified bookkeeper to take care of your day-to-day financial needs. Here are seven benefits to hiring a professional bookkeeper.

Common do it yourself mistakes are:

  • late lodgement of BAS and PAYG;
  • paying incorrect superannuation contributions;
  • invoicing incorrectly;
  • incorrect GST coding usually resulting in under-claiming or over claiming GST credits;
  • failure to keep back-up records.

These mistakes are due to lack of training, inappropriate education or lack of experience leading to the risk of high fines and penalties from the ATO or an accountant having to amend the books at a much higher hourly rate than a professional bookkeeper would charge.

 

An onsite bookkeeper gets to know your business
As your business relationship develops with your bookkeeper, they will start to understand your business and the key performance indicators. So many businesses fall into the trap that when an in-house bookkeeper leaves taking their knowledge of the business with them. With an outsourced bookkeeping company you can be confident that the bookkeeping service will retain all the information about your business and keep good backup records with off-site storage facilities.

Get access to specialised skills
The title bookkeeper can range from data entry clerks to qualified accountants but still perform the responsibilities of a bookkeeper. A professional bookkeeper will have years of experience under their bookkeeping belt, be well versed in bookkeeping practices and legislation, experienced in different types of bookkeeping packages and provide a management and boutique level of accounting. A professional bookkeeper will also be adequately insured which is important as they have a duty of care over the professional advice they provide to clients.

Reduced labour costs
By outsourcing your bookkeeping services on a needs only basis rather than employing a full time bookkeeper, you only have to pay them when you use their services. As reduced labour costs, if a bookkeeping company is outsourced, an outside provider’s cost structure and economy of scale can give their the bookkeeping company an important competitive cost advantage as well. Companies that do their own bookkeeping have higher labour, training and capital expenditure costs, all of which must be passed on to customers.

Improved efficiency of work
Improved efficiency of work is a major benefit of hiring a professional bookkeeper. A company bookkeeper may have additional roles in the company which may take up their time, valuable resources and focus but a professional bookkeeper works in a specialised role where bookkeeping is all they do and it’s done to a very high standard. In the case of a full time bookkeeper going on an extended holiday or leave, a replacement needs to be found who may not be familiar with your bookkeeping procedures at considerable cost to the business.

Bigger picture mentality
The cost of an in-house bookkeeper compared to hiring a professional bookkeeping service is higher when you factor in costs like superannuation, office space, annual leave, sick leave and other benefits. You also have to weigh up the long term costs and have a bigger picture mentality in hiring a professional bookkeeping service in regards to reduced tax liabilities, no penalties in regards to late lodgement fees and the updated and accurate reports can be used to better forecasting of your business.

Stricter ATO regulations for BAS preparers
The Tax Agent Services Act 2009 requires people who offer BAS services to be registered by the Tax Practitioners Board and meet the requirements of the board. There are penalties of up to $22k for unqualified bookkeepers that perform BAS related work. This means that if you have an unqualified bookkeeper, you will have to pay your tax accountant to review any BAS work and will be paying the tax accountant rate instead of paying a qualified bookkeeper at a lower bookkeeping rate.

A professional bookkeeping service should be a natural extension of your business and act as a business partner without taking up valuable office space. With the new laws that came into effect on March 1 2010, it is far more cost effective over the long run to hire a bookkeeper  who is professional, qualified and experienced to reduce your tax liabilities, reduced accounting costs in reworking the bookkeeping and avoid unnecessary fines and penalties from the ATO for poorly prepared tax returns.

We offer you the perfect range of bookkeeping and accounting services to business throughout the greater Port Macquarie area.  All our clients have significantly benefited from low bookkeeping fees and the accounting experience and expertise. We can visit you in the Port Macquarie area to solve your bookkeeping and accounting problems and to be your partner in growing your business …call today on 0403 596 920 or make an online enquiry  . Browse through our complete list of bookkeeping and accounting services. We are here to help you…

 

Accounting & bookkeeping – Port Macquarie – The importance of bookkeeping

According to CPA Australia, 32% of businesses fail due to financial mismanagement and out of failed businesses 12% have poor or no records/books. If you do not have the expertise, please do not hesitate to pay at least a bookkeeper to be involved in your business. The importance of bookkeeping cannot be stressed enough.
Six reasons for good bookkeeping:

  • Better financial analysis and management.
  • Tax returns made easier.
  • Asking for funding/ loans from a bank requires financial statements.
  • Well-kept books makes business planning so much easier.
  • Not separating personal and business funds causes a lot many businesses to be penalised by the ATO or even fail.
  • Record-keeping required by law for 5 years after the transaction occurs or they are prepared (as per the ATO ).

In every business – small, medium or large – having a clear, comprehensible and transparent record keeping systems is what makes a difference nowadays that could mean your business’ survival.
Bookkeeping accounting is an essential factor that can either make or break your business, whether it’s a small, medium or big business.

The tax benefits of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF)

SMSFs have a few great tax advantages worth thinking about.  One is a capital gains tax benefit.  Upon retiring with a public super your funds might need to be liquidated in order to pay the capital gains tax, but with a SMSF you can move to the pension phase without triggering a capital gain tax event.

Did you know you can claim insurance and special deductions from your SMSF under the Future Service Benefits Deduction?  SMSFs are able to claim deductions for insurance premiums paid out of the fund.  But in the case of death or permanent disability, it might be better claiming the deduction for the cost of paying out the benefit.

Another benefit of an SMSF is their size.  Being smaller allows more mobility with their tax management.  If there are capital losses from, it may be advantageous to realise those against gains.  SMSFs can also manage the transition between accumulating wealth and the retirement phase for the best tax outcome.  Read more…

http://www.itbdigital.com/opinion/2013/03/15/the-tax-benefits-of-smsfs/

 

ATO hit list for Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF)

The ATO will be focusing on SMSF to ensure we’re all satisfying our tax obligations.  They’ve noticed an increase in reporting errors.  Their main focus will be on exempt pension income and non-arm’s length transactions.  The ATO would like to:

1) inform new trustees of their obligations and what will be expected of them;

2) have lodgement of annual returns on time (this is required even though there may be no assets or income;

3) correct re-reporting and compliance of excess contributions tax (the ATO would like to get the right information the first time);

4) stop breaches of obligations by trustees;

5) analyse the top 200 SMSFs which are known to have millions of dollars in each of them.

Read more by clicking the link   http://www.itbdigital.com/opinion/2013/03/25/ato-hit-list-for-smsfs/

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