Saturday, 31 August 2013

August 2013 in review

Looking back at my goals for August I was meant to have:
  • Completed my tax return
  • Sorted out the packaging for my new bricks-and-mortar/online business
  • Started at least one of my planned renovation activities
  • Closed my unnecessary bank accounts
  • Removed the winter jungle from my backyard
Well, I’ve managed to tackle the backyard jungle and to research the packaging more thoroughly.  I’m actually quite pleased with how the design is going to look.  Now I just need to get quotes from the designers and various packaging companies to work out the unit cost per pack, and then get some samples printed to ensure everything looks as good in real life as it does in my mind.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Tax tips, part 12: cost of managing tax affairs

Costs related to managing your tax affairs are understandably tax deductible.  You can also claim costs in complying with your legal obligations relating to another person's tax affairs (which are even more understandably deductible!).  These deductions get claimed at section D10 of your tax return.

What you can claim

Four general types of costs can be claimed in section D10:
  1. Expenses you incurred in managing your tax affairs
  2. Expenses for complying with your legal obligations relating to another person's tax affairs
  3. Any interest charge the ATO has imposed on you
  4. Any amounts the ATO charged to you for underestimating a varied GST or PAYG instalment 
Expenses you incurred in managing your tax affairs can include:
  • The preparation and lodgment of your tax return and activity statements
  • Travel to obtain tax advice from a recognised tax advisor
  • Appeals made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or courts about your tax affairs
  • Obtaining a valuation needed for a deductible donation of property or for a deduction for entering into a conservation covenant

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Tax tips, part 11: gifts or donations

Many gifts and donations are tax deductible.  Your claims for these go into section D9 of your tax return.

What you can claim

You can claim a deduction for:
  • Voluntary gifts of $2 or more made to an approved organisation – an organisation that has the status of deductible gift recipient (DGR)
  • A net contribution of more than $150 to an approved organisation for a fund-raising event
  • Contributions of $2 or more to
- A registered political party
- An independent candidate in an election for parliament
- An individual who was an independent member of parliament or in limited circumstances was an independent member
  • A donation to an approved organisation of shares listed on an approved stock exchange valued at $5,000 or less
  • Making an approved cultural bequest
  • A donation to a private ancillary fund
  • Entering into a conservation covenant

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Book review: Manager's Guide to Social Media

Manager’s Guide to Social Media by Scott Klososky
Manager’s Guide to Social Media
Source: Booktopia - Australia's # 1 Online Bookstore. Choose from over 4 million titles all discounted. Flat rate shipping Australia wide.

I picked up the Manager’s Guide to Social Media by Scott Klososky by chance at my local library.  At first, it piqued my interest purely for my bricks-and-mortar job, as social media is becoming an increasingly more important vehicle for communication in my workplace.  

But as I started reading the book, I began to see its relevance to the MoH.  Back in March, I looked at the importance of publishing, promotion, and branding in successfully starting and growing a business:

This book really emphasises how important social media is, and provides a practical plan to build your online presence.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Tax tips, part 10: dividend deductions

You can claim a deduction for the expenses you incurred in earning any dividend and similar investment income you declared at item 11 on your tax return.  Dividend deductions get recorded at item D8 on your return (except for expenses incurred in earning foreign source dividends, which go in item 20 or D15 on your return).

What you can claim

Dividend expenses can include:
  • Management fees and fees for investment advice relating to changes in the mix of your investments
  • Interest charged on money borrowed to purchase shares or similar investments
  • Travel expenses related to the investment
  • The cost of specialist investment journals and subscriptions
  • Borrowing costs related to the investment
  • The cost of internet access for investment purposes
  • The decline in value of your computer related to the investment

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tax tips, part 9: interest deductions

You are able to claim a deduction for any expenses you incurred in earning the interest you declared at item 10 on your tax return.  Interest deductions get recorded at item D7 on your return (except for expenses incurred in earning foreign source interest, which go in item 20 or D15 on your return).

What you can claim

Interest deductions can include:
  • Bank or other financial institution account-keeping fees for accounts held for investment purposes
  • Management fees and fees for investment advice relating to changes in the mix of your investments
  • Travel expenses related to the investment
  • The cost of specialist investment journals and subscriptions
  • Borrowing costs related to the investment
  • The cost of internet access for investment purposes
  • The decline in value of your computer related to the investment

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The millionaire next door … is out in the garden

The MOH is sitting with a cup of coffee on a glorious nearly spring day in Sydney surveying the back garden.

It is by no means the neatly manicured, verdant garden of my dreams with wandering paths and neat flower beds.  But the jungle that surrounded the garden shed and pool shed at the back until this morning is now gone.  And the inside of the pool shed is, dare I say it, actually clean.

This was a task I had planned to complete for a while now, but it truly became a necessity when I rang the pool shop yesterday for a contact to assist me with my salt water chlorinator, which is no longer producing chlorine.  I was only expecting a name and phone number, but they surprised me by saying they’d send someone out on Monday.  I was over the moon, as this was a chore I’d been procrastinating about for some time now.  But then I remembered the state of the backyard …


Friday, 9 August 2013

Tax tips, part 8: low-value pool deduction

As I discussed earlier in the week, when you use assets such as tools and equipment or professional libraries in the course of producing income, you are able to claim an immediate deduction for any item that cost $300 or less, or a deduction for the decline in value of an item over its effective life.  One way to claim your deduction for the decline in value of low-cost and low-value assets is by allocating them to what is called a low-value pool.  This is reported in section D6 of your tax return.

What you can claim

A low-value pool can include:
  • Low-cost assets – depreciating assets that cost less than $1,000
  • Low-value assets – depreciating assets that are not low-cost assets but which, at the start of the tax year, had been written off to less than $1,000 under the diminishing value method

Monday, 5 August 2013

Tax tips, part 7: other work-related expenses

Section D5 of the tax return is a businesswoman’s best friend.  Here is where you can claim a number of work-related expenses that can add up to a significant deduction – assuming of course that you actually incurred them and have kept appropriate records.

What you can claim

Other work-related expenses can include:
  • Union fees and subscriptions to trade, business, or professional associations
  • Overtime meal expenses
  • Professional seminars, courses, conferences, and workshops
  • Reference books, technical journals, and trade magazines
  • Tools and equipment and professional libraries (you can claim an immediate deduction for an item that cost $300 or less; otherwise, you can claim a deduction for the decline in value of an item over its effective life)
  • Items that protect you from the risk of injury or illness posed by your work or your work environment – e.g., hard hats, safety glasses, and sunscreens 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Upcoming August posts


The MoH didn’t make it through my tax return in July … or my full set of planned tax posts.  So I’ll keep plugging away on them in August.

My other goals for August include:

  • Getting the packaging sorted out for my new bricks-and-mortar/online business
  • Getting at least one of my planned renovation activities underway
  • Closing out my unnecessary bank accounts
And from a complete non-financial standpoint, I need to sort out the tangle of undergrowth that’s been allowed to take over my backyard during the winter.

It will be a busy month.