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  • 18-Dec-2014 13:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is expected to data match over 640 million transactions to tax returns this year.  


    With increased ATO scrutiny, private businesses could be in danger of triggering an ATO audit, regardless of whether they have done anything wrong. And while ATO audits are a necessary part of an effective tax system, they can be expensive and disruptive for your business.  

    We’ve outlined the 10 most common ways in which a private business may trigger an ATO audit.
    1. Have financial performance that is out of kilter with your industry

    As a matter of course the ATO will statistically analyse your tax returns. If your performance is inconsistent with your industry peers, this can be an indicator of tax issues such as unreported (cash) income, transfer pricing and other issues.  

    2. Don’t pay the right amount of superannuation to your employees

    If employees complain to the ATO that their employer has not paid them the right amount of superannuation, or not paid it on time, this is a sure fire way to get a review or audit from the ATO.  Often these types of audits can begin as a review of superannuation guarantee obligations, but quickly escalate to include income tax, GST and fringe benefits tax audits if the process isn’t appropriately managed. 

    3. Variances between tax returns and business activity statements

    Reconciling the information reported on business activity statements to the tax returns is a crucial part of tax risk management.  Large variances between the information reported in a tax return compared to the activity statements for the corresponding period is likely to trigger an ATO review or audit.

    4. Have a poor record of lodging returns on time

    Lodging annual income tax returns by the due date is not enough.  You should aim to meet all compliance obligations (including activity statements, employee related reporting, fringe benefits tax etc.) and the on-time payment of any tax liabilities.  A good compliance history can be invaluable in improving the ATO’s perception of a business.  

    5. Consistently show operating losses

    The ATO regards three loss years out of five as indicative of a problem.  There may be genuine reasons, but the ATO is likely to want to investigate these.

    6. Own motor vehicles, but don’t lodge Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) return

    The ATO receives data from the state and territory motor vehicle registries regarding individuals or businesses that have purchased vehicles (generally those with a value of $10,000 or more).  

    The ATO then matches these purchases with information reported in tax returns, activity statements and FBT returns, with an expectation that there will be at least some private use.  If a business fails to lodge an FBT return showing private usage, or doesn’t include a ‘fringe benefit employee contribution’ in the income section of the tax return, an ATO review or audit is likely to be just around the corner.

    7. Get the disclosure items wrong in your tax return

    Making mistakes in the disclosure items on your tax return can inadvertently cause you to be flagged for a review.  There are internal checks in the returns and disclosures which are easily verifiable against publically available or other information collated by the ATO. Get these disclosures wrong and the ATO could call.

    8. Show big fluctuations between years

    Big fluctuations in financial position or particular line items in the tax return can trigger an inquiry from the ATO.

    9. Have international transactions

    International transactions are a key area of focus for the ATO.  Transactions with international related parties, transactions with tax havens, and material funds transfers in and out of Australia are all examples of things that can raise a red flag at the ATO.  Defensive strategies, such as transfer pricing documentation, can often be the best way to manage this risk.

    10. Be in the papers

    A major transaction or dispute that is reported in the media will undoubtedly be seen by the ATO.  Many business owners are selected for an ATO review after the sale of a high value asset (often the family home) is reported in the paper.

    What these triggers show is that tax compliance – in particular annual income tax returns – should be treated as far more than a routine process.  Many of the issues outlined above can be easily managed with a proactive tax risk management process.  

    To develop a tax risk management strategy for your business, contact your local William Buck advisor.

  • 16-Dec-2014 16:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    According to several press reports quoting respected global ICT industry analyst IDC, worldwide ICT spending is predicted to grow to more than US$3.8 trillion in 2015, an increase of 3.8 per cent over 2014 (see for example

    Some of the more interesting of IDC's top tech predictions for the coming year include:

    • most spending growth will be on so called '3rd  Platform' technologies, that is 'as a service' technologies;
    • the uptake of cloud based 'infrastructure as a service' will grow by 36%;
    • the analysis of video, audio and images will emerge as a driver of 'big data' products;
    • 'big data' supply chains (i.e. data as a service) will emerge as a cloud service to offer customers value-added data from raw commercial and open data sets;
    • IDC predicts that there will be two or three major mergers, acquisitions, or restructurings among the top-tier IT vendors, and consolidation generally; 
    • a new category of 'data as a service' will emerge providing organisations with 'threat intelligence' as a service – threat information specifically related to that organisation; and
    • China will become a major influence on the worldwide ICT market, accounting for 43% of worldwide ICT industry growth.

    A few examples from 2014 illustrate the explosive change in the tech industry that underpin IDC's predictions:

    Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for US$19B. WhatsApp's value was in the personal data it held on its (at the time) 450m users (WhatsApp had few employees, almost no physical assets and its technology was unremarkable and freely available). Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, commented at the time: 'I may be wrong, but WhatsApp may be the first company with 1B+ users that is not worth anything';

    • Uber – the 'share' taxi service – explosive growth and valuation this year at US$40B;
    • Apple Pay - more than 500 banks and all major credit card companies working with Apple;
    • Bitcoin - the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, Tokyo based Mt Gox, suffered a hack that cost the company around 750,000 bitcoins worth about US$474 million.  New York has proposed Bitcoin regulations that may establish a legal framework for the digital currency;
    • The EU Court of Justice's so-called 'right to be forgotten' ruling in May; and
    • Net Neutrality - In January, a U.S. appeals court struck down the FCC's 2011 regulations requiring Internet providers to treat all traffic equally. In response, the FCC proposed in April this year to allow broadband providers to engage in 'commercially reasonable' traffic management. Last month President Obama called for the retention of the net neutrality proposition, urging the FCC to reclassify broadband as a regulated utility, imposing telephone-style regulations.

    From a legal perspective, it is becoming critical for business to understand the risk and compliance framework that underpins the data economy. As the local and international requirements for due diligence become ever more stringent and company officers are held to account for their actions, the coming few years are likely to see an increased requirement for an understanding of the legal risks inherent in the commercial exploitation of data. Well understood risks including privacy, confidentiality and sovereignty are likely to be joined by new risks including:

    • Net neutrality – towards an environment where networking is provided as a service, the regulation of net neutrality seems a likely possibility;
    • Digital currencies and pay wars are likely to lead to the introduction of regulation to safeguard against the kind of loss suffered by the Mt Gox exchange;
    • Disruption to regulated industries – Both Uber and other so called 'sharing' services (example, Lyft, Sidecar, Airbnb) face battles with regulators in highly regulated established industries; and
    • The right to be forgotten means that Google and other search engines are required to edit history – leading to disputes over what should or should not be deleted.

    Please contact one of our IP, Technology & Media partners if you require advice on how laws surrounding new technology may affect your business.

    Luke Dale  

    Partner | Adelaide

    P +61 8 8205 0580


    Peter Campbell   

    Partner | Adelaide

    P +61 8 8205 0836


    Bill Singleton   

    Partner | Brisbane

    P +61 7 3002 6738


    Angela Summersby   

    Partner | Canberra

    P +61 2 6151 2181


    Stuart Imrie    
    Partner | Canberra

    P +61 2 6151 2186


    Megan Knight

    Partner | Canberra

    P +61 2 6151 2187


    Nicholas Pullen   

    Partner | Melbourne

    P +61 3 8644 3408


    Ashley Holland

    Partner | Sydney & Norwest

    P +61 2 9334 8477


    Brendon Noney

    Partner | Sydney & Norwest

    P +61 2 9334 8481


    Craig Powell

    Partner | Sydney & Norwest

    P +61 2 9334 8465


    John Gray   

    Partner | Sydney

    P +61 2 9334 8538


    Veronica Jumeaux  

    Partner | Perth

    P +61 8 9420 1514


    For further information on our Intellectual Property and Trade Marks Group click here.

  • 16-Dec-2014 16:43 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Last week WSBC held the first of a new series of WSBC Breakfasts and launched a new initiative, the WSBC Charity Program.

    WSBC CEO, Michael Sugg, addressed the crowd in the fantastic setting of Careflight's helicopter hanger stating, 

    "this program is not just about raising money to support the incredible work of WSBC charity partners in the Western Sydney community. It's about connecting you, our members, with these wonderful Western Sydney organisations and adding value to you and your businesses,  

    demonstrating how you can benefit from a connection and association with any one of these six charities".


    The six charities include:



    Childrens Medical Research Institute

    Westmead Medical Research Foundation

    Parramatta Mission

    Kids West

    "Giving back is part of who we are in Western Sydney and helping those less fortunate than us is a good way to mark our success", added Sugg.


    The program will spotlight all six charities over the coming year and connect you with the work they perform and the causes they serve. WSBC and it's six partners will also provide you with a tool kit and highlight the benefits of working with a charity for the development and growth of your business.


    In return, WSBC will highlight and promote success stories of members work and further promote your brand as we all work towards the success of this new Western Sydney Charity Program.

    Special thanks go to Careflight for hosting us and providing guided tours of their operations, as well as CastleHill RSL group who provided the amazing breakfast.

    Platinum partners XVenture also got involved with their CEO Mike Conway hosting an "in conversation with" one of Careflight's pilots, Ian Smart and the GM of Castlehill RSL GRoup, David O'Neil.

  • 16-Dec-2014 15:12 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    What is WSFAM?

    Western Sydney Future Advanced Manufacturing (WSFAM) is an industry initiative established as a partnership between University of Western Sydney and Western Sydney Business Connection to support a transformation of the industry through increased productivity, growth and sustainability.

    Manufacturing in Western Sydney is vital for the regional, state and national economy. However, the industry in Western Sydney and across Australia more broadly has been in decline in recent years due to intense international competition from low cost countries and unfavourable currency rates.

    In addition to these challenges, Australia currently has comparatively low levels of innovation and productivity growth, along with higher operating-costs than other similar high-cost manufacturing countries such as the USA, Germany and Switzerland.

    In many cases in the USA and Europe, advanced manufacturing businesses and regions have regained their international competitiveness through driving business models and “end to end” value chain strategies that focus heavily on innovation, productivity improvement and stronger marketing practices.

    To help rebuild competitiveness in Western Sydney’s manufacturing industry, WSFAM integrates a series of activities including:

    • undertaking detailed research to map the future of the industry, 
    • delivery of targeted advisory services to support business enhancement 
    • establishment of a network group and Knowledge Hub to connect businesses and share information.

    The first WSFAM program.

    The first program is the WSFAM Business Innovation Program, supported by the Australian Government.

    WSBC and UWS encourage all manufacturers to get in touch with us and share their views on the program as well as the WSFAM initiative to enable us to plan future programs for future productivity, growth and sustainability.

  • 16-Dec-2014 13:05 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Artist's impression of the plan

    Penrith Lakes Parkland could be western Sydney's Barangaroo

    It has been touted as Western Sydney's answer to Barangaroo, and a NSW government plan to turn a dusty quarry into a lakeside urban wonderland may prove just as divisive, write Nicole Hasham in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    The government has revived a decades-old vision to flood what was once Australia's largest quarry near Penrith, creating the city's biggest body of water outside Sydney Harbour.

    Known as the Penrith Lakes Parkland, the scheme would likely require billions of litres of water to be pumped from the sensitive Nepean River to create a series of artificial lakes and 26 kilometres of foreshore. A new neighbourhood of up to 4900 homes could be built at the site, which sits on a floodplain, despite previous official warnings that lives could be lost if evacuation was delayed during a flood.

    Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres is seeking public and industry feedback on the project he described as "complex yet exciting". WSBC would like to hear your views too. Please comment on this news item or email us.

    Ambitious plans for Penrith Lakes stretch back to the 1980s, and have included fun parks, marinas, helipads and hotels. A regatta centre and whitewater stadium already exist at the site.

    The quarry, five times the size of Centennial Parklands, is expected to be exhausted in mid-2015. Under a long-standing agreement, land will then be transferred to the government for parkland development. Planning Minister Pru Goward has likened the site's size and potential to central Sydney's Barangaroo.

    The government's 20-year draft Penrith Lakes plan, released this month, outlined a recreational water park similar in surface area to Sydney Harbour east of the bridge, where people can "walk, cycle, swim, paddle and play".

    Quarry pits would be filled by pumping water from the nearby Nepean River, where water extraction has long stressed the river system.

    A 2007 plan by the former Labor government said 30 billion litres of water would be required to create the lakes. Refills would also be needed as water evaporates.

    University of Western Sydney environmental scientist Ian Wright warned that such large-scale extraction could reduce the river's flow, affecting fish movements and risking weed and algal outbreaks.

    A Planning Department spokesman said water extraction would be subject to conditions, including limits on daily pumping, and the approved project "will be consistent with the overall water-sharing plan for the whole catchment". A new residential neighbourhood would help fund the public infrastructure, and it is understood the government is open to overtures from developers for other commercial development.

    However in 2006, the State Emergency Service warned the flood risk was so great that even a forecast of very heavy rain could trigger an evacuation and  "hundreds, if not thousands of lives could be lost" if this was delayed.

    NSW Greens MP John Kaye said the development would "add to pressure to raise the Warragamba dam wall, despite the huge economic and environmental impacts". 

    The plan says any urban land to be developed will "take into account flood evacuation requirements". The SES is updating evacuation arrangements for the floodplain.

    Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres is seeking public and industry feedback on the project he described as "complex yet exciting". WSBC would like to hear your views too. Please comment on this news item or email us.

  • 16-Dec-2014 11:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Northcott’s 19th Annual Cricket Legends Lunch will be held on Friday 6 February 2015 in the brand new Noble Bradman Stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground  just days before the start of the Cricket World Cup.

    Proudly supported by our charity partner Cricket NSW, this annual Lunch has raised more than $1 million for children and adults with disabilities – this simply couldn’t have been possible without our wonderful supporters!

    All proceeds raised from the event will go towards Northcott’s Recreation service, which gives hundreds of children and adults living with disabilities, the chance to take part in sporting and social activities.

    Since Northcott’s inaugural Cricket Legends Lunch in 1997, cricketing greats that have attended include Richie Benaud OBE; Allan Border AO; Ian Healy; Geoff Lawson OAM; Greg Matthews, Glenn McGrath, Frank Misson; Stephen O’Keefe, Mark Taylor AO; Doug Walters MBE; Mike Whitney and the Chappell and Waugh brothers to name a few.

    We hope you can join us for what is sure to be an amazing afternoon.

    Kerry Stubbs

    Northcott Chief Executive Officer


    Friday 6 February 2015


    Sydney Cricket Ground


    12pm – Pre-‘Match’ Drinks

    (Noble Bradman Stand)

    1pm – Lunch

    (Noble Bradman Stand)

    4pm – ‘Stumps’


    Individual – $260 inc. GST


    Table of 10 – $2,600 inc. GST

    Table Benefits:

    Acknowledgment as a Supporter in

    the Program and on the large AV

    screens at the Lunch.


    Smart Casual


    Priscilla Leong

    02 9890 0536

  • 15-Dec-2014 17:30 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a business owner, do you dream of spending more time growing your business than working in your business? 


    Today WSBC launches the latest series of articles from Deloitte Private focusing on a new way of looking at accounting. A new way of looking at your business, the world around it and your opportunities ahead. 


    Giving you real business in real-time highlighting how they’re with YOU, the businesses of Western Sydney.


    Every business owner dreams of spending less time in the business and more time on the business. Less time on day-to-day transactions, paying staff and suppliers and scrambling to balance the books. More time on the bigger picture and the things that helped you succeed in the first place.


    Until now, that’s been easier said than done. Deloitte Private Connect is changing all that and providing ‘A better way of working’.


    We’re redefining the way we work with you through a shared ledger that puts us both, literally, on the same page. Using cloud technologies to take traditional accounting and tax advice to new levels, we’ve streamlined and automated the admin that eats your time away.


    No more waiting until after year-end to know where you stood at year-end. Real-time, online bookkeeping makes everything faster and much simpler. Our live dashboard gives you an up-to-the-moment view of your business’ performance whenever you want it, from anywhere and on any device.


    The Deloitte Private Connect difference … Your dedicated Deloitte Private advisor works side-by-side with you throughout the year to help you overcome challenges and capitalise on opportunities as they arise.



    If you’ve ever dreamed of getting above the day-to-day stuff to spending more time on what really matters, Deloitte Private Connect helps you make it real and keep it real.


    Putting you back in the driver’s seat!




    Next month we will share with you screen grabs of the product and show you how this amazing tool can add real value to your business.


    If you can’t wait till then, please get in touch with us on the details below or, take a look at the website and brochure for more information. Or you can contact Mandy Tsang, Partner, Deloitte Private in Western Sydney directly on (02) 9840 7373.





  • 15-Dec-2014 16:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ‘Contractor Management’ is a term which is thrown around a lot, but do people really know the meaning or benefits? Contractor Management quite literally means the managing of contractors business affairs on behalf of the contractor/the organisation which they are contracting to.  There are specific companies, like Pendragon, that specialise in this area and act as a surrogate employer for a contractor.


    Contractor Management Companies are useful for both independent contractors and companies alike.

    With independent contractors, freelancers or consultants, it allows them to solely focus on their current contract and core skills while all their administration and office management gets taken care of. Independent contractors usually have to run their own ABN, which comes with a number of other responsibilities and additional hassles. Usually Contractor Management Firms can offer an alternative solution to working through their own ABN whilst still allowing them the benefits of being self-employed. Without the ABN, contractors are free from GST/BAS reporting hassles, giving them piece of mind and saving them quite a bit of time.

    Contractor Management Companies also eliminate the need for the contractors to raise and chase invoices themselves from the entity they are providing their services to, plus under most contractor management companies it eliminates the 80/20 PSI ruling.

    For companies, it alleviates some of the liabilities and costs associated with running contractors and allows for a more controllable and flexible workforce.  Contractor Management Companies also provide workers compensation, professional indemnity and public liability insurances which is a bonus for both the companies and the independent contractors.

    Some Contractor Management companies also offer Salary Packaging options – meaning the independent contractor usually gets more net pay at the end of each pay cycle through legitimate tax minimisation.

    In the end, Contractor Management Companies eliminate the need for the contractors to do much paperwork, usually resulting in more free time for the contractors, as well as the money they will save from not having to pay for the relevant insurances. From the companies point of view it saves time/money processing individual contractors pays and adds value to their operation or clients as they can upscale or downscale when appropriate making them competitive in the marketplace.

    If any further explanation or understanding is required please do not hesitate to talk to us

  • 15-Dec-2014 15:12 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Everyone’s always talking about innovation. But it can be challenging to find the right approach to generate, harness and benefit from innovative thinking. For mid-sized companies, with time and resource constraints, the will to overcome these challenges and find a workable paradigm for innovation can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to understand what real innovation is and have a clear and relevant framework for your business.


    The first step is to understand what innovation is not. “It’s not confined to technology and it’s not just about efficiency,” comments David Pring, Partner at KPMG. “While technology is an important enabler, and efficiency one important outcome, innovation is actually far broader.”


    There are different types of innovation: incremental, evolutionary and revolutionary. Depending on what your objectives are, the approach, risks and resource requirements will differ. 


    Changing your mind


    Innovation should be described as new thinking – finding ways to create growth and differentiation through new products, services, operating models and processes. It encapsulates speed to market, finding funding and a willingness to fail and learn fast. “We use the term ‘pragmation’ – pragmatic innovation – to describe a philosophy that is all about dynamic action working within the constraints of a business,” notes Pring. 


    Central to the concept of innovation is actual business and revenue growth.  “Making your business operate more efficiently is great, but real innovation moves your business forward.” And central to that outcome is one key reality: innovation is as much about the execution (and ways to execute) as it is about the idea. “Ideas are easy, but consistent execution is hard,” says Pring. “Once you have the idea, you then need the commercial nous to sell your concept, get the resources you need and push through the natural barriers you’ll encounter.” 


    Building a culture of innovation  


    Culture is key, so how can businesses build a culture of innovation? The key components that we’ve discovered really work are: 


    Be pragmatic. Challenge the constraints of your business but be realistic too.  Before you go to your main market, consider launching an idea within a smaller subset.  


    Seek external perspectives. Look outside your own four walls for inspiration, assistance and feedback. For example, alliances, partnerships, co-creation and connections/collaboration with the entrepreneurial sector. 


    However, you’ll also need the following ingredients that are essential to success:


    Have a top down and bottom up approach.  You need inspiring leaders (ideally at the executive level) to endorse and drive innovation, to elevate its importance on the company agenda and provide the mechanisms to tap into your staff. Be open minded and make sure you don’t shut down ideas. If the ideas aren’t hitting the mark, provide constructive feedback and, where appropriate, the resources to back an idea. 


    Develop innovative thinking in your staff.  Spend time helping your team to develop new ways of looking at old problems. You can engage external parties to help with these sessions where needed.    


    Recruit innovative thinkers.  When you’re hiring, be on the look-out for people who can think laterally and have an entrepreneurial mindset.   


    Recognise and reward innovation.  Put an incentive program in place to reward staff who engage, put forward ideas and take the initiative to execute ideas.  


    Be prepared to ‘fail fast’.  Create a safe environment with acceptable boundaries where people can try and explore without fear of recrimination where their ideas don’t succeed.  Learn quickly from mistakes and keep the ideas flowing.  


    For companies that don’t have the luxury of a dedicated innovation team, sourcing external groups to help run innovation programs, or divide up responsibilities for fostering innovation can assist in the goal of building a culture of innovation. “With cloud based offerings you can tap into various crowds and manage ideation quite easily, you can take the first step to bring out the best ideas from your employees, customers and wider ecosystems”, comments Pring. Of course, the key to success still remains the commitment to be bold and take the best ideas to execution.


  • 15-Dec-2014 09:57 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    TAKING stores out of shopping centres and putting them back on the high street will be a central plank in the state government’s metropolitan strategy.

    Other central aims of the strategy, released by Planning Minister Pru Goward today, include building high-rise schools and elevating Parramatta to the same status as Sydney CBD.

    It includes creating 8000 new jobs, a $30 million investment in roads and a plan to revitalise more than two dozen Sydney suburbs.

    Ms Goward said the 28 “strategic centres” undefined which include Blacktown, Liverpool, Sydney Olympic Park and Hornsby undefined will see increased street malls, with the government working with councils to investigate the impediments to thriving shopping strips.

    “This is a Sydney suburb revival undefined recreating days where people lived, worked and shopped locally,” she said.

    “By working with councils and communities to make more room for offices we will create suburban shopping areas that are alive with activity.”

    Campbelltown has been elevated to a strategic centre in the plan, meaning that the state government will investigate where new jobs and housing can be added.

    “It is a well-deserved recognition of how important the area is to Sydney’s success, bringing renewed focus, jobs, homes, shops and restaurants to the areas,” Ms Goward said. “Campbelltown’s significance will grow with ongoing work in and around Badgerys Creek airport, making Campbelltown an obvious centre for jobs and homes in a growing Sydney.”

    As part of a long-term plan for growing communities, the government will also look at “the efficiency of delivering new infrastructure such as multistorey schools in dense urban communities”.

    The elevation of Parramatta to the same status as the Sydney CBD will mean the government has to plan for how to boost job numbers, transport connections, and amenities to comparable levels.

    “Parramatta will be the driving force behind Sydney’s seismic shift to the west. Parramatta’s CBD will be elevated to match Sydney’s CBD with an injection of homes, jobs and world class entertainment, restaurants and shopping,” Ms Goward said.

    “The Plan for Growing Sydney will shift the city’s centre of gravity from the East to the West, firmly establishing Parramatta as a major CBD alongside Sydney.”

    To begin with, Parramatta will be the location of the first “green grid” pilot, where parklands and open spaces are linked by cycleways and walking tracks, and the city will be separated into connected health, arts and education districts.

    The government plan includes a commitment to expanding the Westmead health precinct and encouraging higher education providers to develop Rydalmere as the key western Sydney university district.

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