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  • 31-Mar-2015 17:10 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Tuesday, 31 March 2015 marks the end of another Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year.


    Recent reforms mean some items may require your special attention this year.



    Change of FBT & Gross-Up Rates


    From 1 April 2014, the FBT rate increased from 46.5% to 47%, to align with the maximum personal income tax rate inclusive of Medicare Levy.


    From 1 April 2015, the FBT rate will further increase to 49% resulting from the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.


    This means the gross-up rates that apply to different types of benefits are as follows:


    Date fringe benefit provided

    FBT rate

    Gross-Up rate – Type 1 Benefits

    Gross-Up rate – Type 2 Benefits

    1/4/2014 – 31/3/2015

    47%

    2.0802

    1.8868

    1/4/2015 – 31/3/2016

    49%

    2.1463

    1.9608



    The gross-up rates are used to determine the taxable value of fringe benefits provided.


    Type 1 Benefits include those where the employer is entitled to a GST input tax credit for the benefit provided. Type 2 Benefits include those remaining benefits.


    LAFHA Benefits


    Transitional rules that applied to Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) benefits where agreements were entered into prior to 7.30 pm on 8 May 2012, ceased to apply from 1 July 2014.


    If you had any such agreements in place for employees required to live away from their usual place of residence, then you will need to consider the new rules to determine whether the food and accommodation components of the allowance are exempt from FBT for the year ending 31 March 2015 and beyond.


    The new rules only allow the exemption for employees who owned or leased a home in Australia personally, or whose spouse did, throughout the assignment period during which the employee was required to live away from home. The use of that residence must have continued to be available to them during the period of their assignment. That residence must reasonably be expected to remain at their home at the assignment’s conclusion.


    Even where the above conditions are satisfied, the new rules only allow the exemption to apply for a 12-month period, commencing from the start of the assignment.


    For employees subject to the transitional rules, the 12-month period was deemed to have commenced on 1 October 2012.


    In practice, that means no exemption may apply for your employees who had already been on assignment during the transitional period.


    Car benefits


    For employers using the statutory formula method to calculate car benefits, the taxable value of the benefit will be 20% of the base value of the car for benefits provided from 1 April 2014, regardless of the number of kilometres travelled. (Less any contribution the recipient made.)


    The only exception applies to cars provided under a pre-existing commitment entered into prior to 7.30 pm, 10 May 2011. The old statutory fractions may continue to be applied in those circumstances, meaning your employees should take odometer readings at 31 March.


    The base value of the car should exclude fleet discounts and manufacturer rebates. It is reduced by one-third if the car was held by the employer for more than four years as at the start of the FBT year.


    For employers using the operating cost method to calculate car benefits, remember that employees need to keep a log-book to record business vs private usage during a twelve week period. An updated log book is required where usage substantially changes or every five years.


    Note that the business use status of cars reported to state/territory government registration authorities is now shared with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You should check whether benefits have been provided for those vehicles registered, as the ATO may investigate where no benefits are reported.


    Car parking benefits


    If you provide parking for your employees on your premises or in the vicinity, remember to obtain details of the lowest daily rate at commercial parking facilities located within one kilometre.


    In-house benefits


    Transitional rules applying to salary packaging arrangements entered into before 22 October 2012 ceased to apply after 1 April 2014. All in-house benefits provided under salary packaging arrangements are now valued at their notional value.


    Due Dates


    FBT returns for the year ending 31 March 2015 are generally due for lodgement on 21 May 2015 with any tax payable by 28 May 2015. A lodgement extension to 25 June 2015 may be available, so contact your Moore Stephens representative for more details.



  • 31-Mar-2015 16:58 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Last week the Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, announced the remaining two Chairs for the five the Industry Growth Centres, which will strengthen industry-led collaboration and drive opportunities for growth.


    The $188.5 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative will establish five Growth Centres, led by eminent industry experienced Chairs, in key growth sectors. Chairs will use their expertise to work with business, researchers and government on practical ways to grow these sectors, boost productivity and create jobs.


    The Chairs of the five Industry Growth Centres are:

    • Mr Andrew Stevens, Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre
    • Mr Peter Schutz, Chair of the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre
    • Dr Bronwyn Evans,Chair of the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre
    • Ms Elizabeth Lewis-Gray, Chair of the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services Growth Centre
    • Mr Reg Nelson, Chair of the Oil,Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre

    These Chairs, in consultation with their sectors, will lead the development of a Growth Centre proposal for the government’s consideration. During this phase, Chairs will focus on the strategic intent of the Growth Centre, initial activities, the expected governance arrangements and locations of the Growth Centre, and generating momentum.


    Growth Centres are expected to be up and running by the middle of the year. The Advanced Manufacturing; Food and Agribusiness; and Mining Equipment, Technology and Services Growth Centres are expected to be operational first.


    More information on the Industry Growth Centres is available at www.business.gov.au/IndustryGrowthCentres.


  • 31-Mar-2015 16:53 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    A new pilot programme is now open for applications under the Youth Stream of the Industry Skills Fund to help businesses hire young employees.

    The Training for Employment Scholarships programme aims to help deliver skilled young employees to businesses in regions where unemployment is high.

    If you have a business in one of the selected regions, have less than 200 staff and hire an unemployed person aged 18-24 years after 1 March 2015, then you may be eligible for funding of up to $7,500 to help your young employee gain new skills or qualifications.
    Businesses and community service organisations in the selected regions have until 29 February 2016 to apply through the online application form.

    The Industry Skills Fund was launched on 1 January 2015 and forms a key part of the Australian Government’s ambitious VET reform that will lift the quality of training providers and courses to improve the employment prospects of students and the competitiveness of Australia’s economy.

    Visit the Industry Skills - Youth Stream page today to find out whether your business is eligible or call 13 28 46.


  • 31-Mar-2015 16:45 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Businesses and individuals are encouraged to submit their comments on the Australian Government’s tax discussion paper, as part of consultations that will lead to a comprehensive Tax White Paper.


    The tax discussion paper, released by the Treasurer on 30 March 2015, begins a dialogue on creating a tax system that supports higher economic growth and living standards, improves Australia’s international competitiveness and adjusts to a changing economy and new opportunities.


    The community’s responses will inform the Government’s tax options Green Paper, due to be released in the second half of 2015. The Government will seek further feedback on those options before putting forward policy proposals for consideration by the Australian people in before the next election.


    Submissions and suggestions on the discussion paper can be made at the website bettertax.gov.au. Submissions on the discussion paper can be made through the website until 1 June 2015.


    WSBC would like to hear from its members on this subject too. Let us know by contacting our CEO, Michael Sugg or responding to this news item below.



  • 26-Mar-2015 16:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Sydney Royal Easter Show is Australia’s largest annual event, attracting close to 900,000 people each year. It is a celebration of Australian culture, from our rural traditions to our modern day lifestyles, providing unique experiences for everyone. 


    Each year the country and city join together to enjoy agricultural competitions, animal experiences, entertainment, carnival fun, shopping and much more. 


    The Show was first held in 1823 and is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS), a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and rewards agricultural excellence. Revenue generated through the Show allows the RAS to invest in agricultural programs, competitions, education, youth and rural NSW. Each year the RAS invests nearly $7 million in activities designed to promote agricultural excellence and keep our rural communities strong. 


    There is so much to see and do at this year’s Show, including animal experiences, food and wine, entertainment carnival fun, shopping and much more. 


    Show dates

    Thursday 26 March - Wednesday 8 April 2015


    Opening times

    Show opens at 9am. Pavilions open at 9.30am.

    If you are coming to see judging and competition events that start earlier you'll be allowed entry. 


    Closing times

    Evening entertainment concludes at 9pm. Showbag Pavilion closes at 9.30pm. Coca-Cola Carnival stays open until late.

     

    Click here for more information on 2015 Sydney Royal Easter Show. 

  • 26-Mar-2015 14:34 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We received some great news last year when our valued customer GNS Wholesale Stationers named us the winner of their inaugural “Outstanding Business Partner Award” for 2014.


    At St.George Bank we take pride in providing exceptional service that exceeds expectations every time and we love it when this gets recognised.


    Alex Stewart, GNS Wholesale Stationers CEO presented the award to St.George at their annual Supplier Awards function in late November 2014.


    GNS has been recognising outstanding suppliers for products that are sold from their business for many years. In 2014 these awards were extended to include business partners such as creative agencies, finance organisations, transport providers, printers, accounting business and consultants to GNS.


    In commenting about the award and St.George, Alex stated; “We felt that the relationship and outcomes that we mutually achieved in a short space of time were a testament to the customer service ethic and high standards held by St.George.”

    “Our previous and long standing banking partners did not treat us like customers; St George took the time and effort to understand our business and structured a solution that allows us to focus on our core competencies.”

    This coveted award was received on St.George’s behalf by Matthew Kelly, Executive Manager, in front of 100 other GNS suppliers and business partners.


    “Our relationship with GNS is still quite new, which makes this win even more special,” Matthew said. “We’re now focussed on a workplace banking package for the company’s employees, and developing a SME offer for some of their clients.”


    If you would like to find out how St.George can help your business, please contact Matthew Kelly.


    Matthew Kelly
    Head of Manufacturing & Wholesale NSW & Executive Manager Western Sydney
    Corporate and Business


    St.George Bank
    Level 1, 60 Phillip St, Parramatta NSW 2150
    t   
    +61 2 9893 6090
    m
      0412 265 197
    e
    .. kellyma@stgeorge.com.au
    w
    . www.stgeorge.com.au


  • 26-Mar-2015 12:57 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Studies show that a quarter of people are more likely to engage your business for this reason. And no, it’s not your clever marketing strategy.

     

    In such a crowded market, business are always looking for a way to stand out from their competitors.

     

    And it’s not easy. There are so many businesses operating in the market, doing what you do and in some cases, doing it on a much larger scale with a much bigger budget.

     

    So, how do you differentiate yourself from the others? The answer may be simpler than you think.

     

    Many savvy small businesses are affiliating themselves with charities as part of a shrewd marketing strategy that is far cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing. Rather than simply handing over a cheque, companies are increasingly establishing mutually beneficial partnerships that provide a more holistic approach to delivering outcomes that benefit both the business and the charity.

     

     

    Studies have shown that a quarter of consumers would change brands or suppliers to a business that is supporting a charity. One. Quarter. That is 25% of the market share that you could be attracting by showing clear corporate social responsibility. 

     

     

    Here are 10 benefits you gain from partnering with a charity:

     

    1.       Enhance public perception of your brand

    2.       Increase sales

    3.       Leverage the partnership to gain positive media coverage

    4.       Create a unique selling point over your competitors

    5.       Gives consumers a strong incentive to switch to your brand

    6.       Increase long-term customer loyalty

    7.       Improve relationships with supply chain and retailers

    8.       Improve employee morale and loyalty

    9.       Gain credibility - consumers trust charities and people who

              partner with them

    10.     Reach an audience you may otherwise be unable to access

     

    But not all charity partnerships are created equally. In order to be successful, the partnership needs to tick the following boxes:

     

    1.       Choose a charity that shares your target market and gives you meaningful exposure.

     

    For example, if you are providing childcare services, you will not get the best business outcome by partnering with an animal shelter. Instead, find a children’s charity that appeals to the same people you are trying to reach. Charities often have a huge database of supporters which opens up an audience that you otherwise may never reach.

     

    2.       Look for staff engagement opportunities.

     

    We all agree that the happier and more satisfied staff are, the better their commercial outcomes will be. And yet, less than 30% of Australian businesses have a strategy for keeping their staff motivated and engaged. Charity partnerships provide a great avenue for team building and involve your staff on a different level. Staff volunteering opportunities or team challenge events are an excellent way to facilitate engagement.

     

    3.       Choose a charity that you, and your staff, are passionate about.

     

    This will make the whole experience more enjoyable for your team and will provide a truly satisfying partnerships for you and the charity you are supporting.

     

    Of course, I haven’t covered the main reason for supporting a charity – most of us are good people who want to do our bit and make a difference in the world. Partnering with a charity allows you to make a meaningful contribution while growing your business and improving your bottom line.

     

     #winning.

      

    For information about local charity partnership opportunities, contact Nermeen Yacoub from the Children’s Medical Research Institute, Westmead, on (02) 8865 2838.

     

  • 26-Mar-2015 12:54 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lander Toyota sales consultant Eddie Attieh has been named as a national top achiever in sales across the Toyota network. Sales Top Achievers are deemed as the ‘best of the best’ in the country and we are proud to have Eddie as part of the sales team here at Lander Toyota. 

     

    To speak to one of our friendly sales consultants about your next Toyota, contact us on 02 8884 4888 or send us an enquiry at info@landertoyota.com.au

     

    Visit our website at www.landertoyota.com.au to search our range and view our current promotions.

     

    Land a better deal at Lander Toyota!

     

  • 26-Mar-2015 12:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

     

    Are you a small business? Do you want more local customers? 

     

    News Xtend is here to help you discover how you can reach more customers online. 

     

    We offer a broad range of digital advertising products including Display, Re-targeting, Video, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Facebook and other social platforms. 

     

    Whoever you need to reach we've got you covered across multiple platforms and devices. 

     

    Our job is to eliminate the guesswork and build customised local solutions that will deliver leads to your business.

     

    We know each business is truly unique, so we tailor your News Xtend package to suit your individual business requirements and specific digital marketing objectives. We design our solutions to match your needs and work with you to make sure you’re on the right track and hitting the right goals.

     

    It’s a brilliant way to connect with more of your local customers than ever before.

     

    Contact us for a free consolation today https://www.newsxtend.com.au/  

  • 26-Mar-2015 12:48 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last edition, Novotel introduced you to new Executive Chef Kiki, this month they would like you to meet, the bubbly singing individual that you hear through the Two Forks Restaurant and Bar, Food & Beverage team leader, Chrystal Kyriacou. With a great personality and kind heart, Chrystal and her team help create memorable dining experiences for all their guests.

     

    Starting as a Food & Beverage attendant in July 2013, Chrystal quickly proved herself capable of leading and directing a team to success and was promoted to team leader in September 2014. Chrystal enjoys the challenges of being a team leader across all areas including restaurant, bar and banquets helping her expand her knowledge in operations and the hotel industry. 

    Chrystal is proof of Accor’s people-ology in practice, building genuine relationships with all guests and fellow staff members, making her a worthy winner of employee of the year for 2014. Having previously worked in retail, Chrystal finds hospitality allows for more fulfilment when serving people, with everyday being different and exciting. With the assistance of Accor’s great training and leadership program, Chrystal hopes to further pursue her career within the hospitality industry. 

    When not serving guests in the restaurant, Chrystal can be found on stage singing her heart out and entertaining the crowd. For those that attended Novotel Parramatta’s conference relaunch event would have had the pleasure of hearing her perform live with band mate Dan in the newly refurbished Lennox Ballroom. Being a real crowd pleaser, Chrystal went on to win third place in Accor’s talent quest, Artzology! Using her voice as her instrument, Chrystal gets an adrenaline rush performing on stage and enjoys the excitement of engaging with the crowd. 

    Chrystal discovered her love for singing during primary school when encouraged by family to go into her school talent quest, where she won first place. She focused on her voice further in high school and worked closely with a music teacher, where she developed skills to teach other talented singers. Working with Accor, has opened many opportunities for Chrystal to perform more gigs whether it be within the hotel network or for recommended client events.   

    To meet the talented and friendly Chrystal, visit Two Forks restaurant & bar, where you can also experience Chef Kiki’s new seasonal menu and have a drink in the comfortable lounge area.

    For any bookings or enquires visit www.novotelparramatta.com.au or call 02 9630 4999.

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