Sep 06, 2017 / News

Business Consulting / Taxation

Top Tax Tips - 6 Sept 2017

How can an export market development grant (EMDG) help your business?

The EMDG scheme is a Government program which provides Australian businesses with significant cash rebates (e.g. a rebate of up to $150,000 and/or reimbursement of up to 50% of eligible expenditure incurred) for aspiring and current exporters.  The scheme supports a wide range of industry sectors and products for the export including intellectual property and know-how outside Australia. 

If you are thinking of expanding your business overseas, please talk to your Nexia representative so that we can identify the most relevant EMDG opportunities for you, prepare and lodge the application forms, and calculate your potential benefit.

Pensioner concession card to be reinstated from 9 October 2017

The pensioner concession card scheme (i.e. a scheme allowing pensioners to access various state and territory-based discounts and concessions such as cheaper medicine, bulk-billed doctor visits, help with hearing services, discounted energy bills and discounted public transport fares) will be reinstated from 9 October 2017.

The reinstatement of the pensioner concession card is good news for pensioner recipients that had their access to such discounts cancelled on 1 January 2017 because of prior changes made to the assets test (i.e. when the asset test limit dropped from $793,750 to $542,500 for singles and from about $1.1 million to $816,000 for couples).

Unfortunately, only the concession card will be reinstated – affected pensioners will not win back the reductions in their pensions.

Be careful when claiming car expenses up to the receipt-free threshold

Taxpayers can use the cents per kilometre method, to calculate their work-related motor vehicle expense deductions if they travel less than 5,000 business kilometres a year.

Although there is no need to lodge written records with the ATO to claim the deduction in a tax return, we would recommend that a travel diary be kept to evidence the amount of business kilometres travelled (i.e. to be able to show that the amount of business travel was actually done in case of an ATO audit).

Also, double-dipping of travel expenses is not allowed – so taxpayers cannot claim expenses that have already been salary sacrificed (e.g. through a novated car lease).

Issues that attract the ATO’s attention 

The ATO has warned that they will publicly target family businesses that do not do the “right thing” such as businesses that have:

  • Kept improper and inconsistent records to explain business transactions;
  • Described personal expenses (e.g. family car, family holidays or school fees) as business expenses;
  • Incorrectly used loan accounts to borrow money from the business without ever paying the loan back;
  • Used very complex trust structures for simple businesses;
  • Mismatched information between business activity statements (BAS) and income tax returns;
  • Continued to trade while insolvent; and
  • Been operating in the cash economy.

We can perform a tax and financial health check on your business to ensure your business is in top shape.

How can Nexia Edwards Marshall help you?

For any questions or to discuss any of the above in relation to your personal situation, please contact Grantley Stevens or your Nexia Edwards Marshall Advisor.

The material contained in this publication is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice or recommendation from Nexia Edwards Marshall. Regarding any situation or circumstance, specific professional advice should be sought on any particular matter by contacting your Nexia Edwards Marshall Advisor.