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Common tax mistakes that businesses make

Meeting tax obligations as a business owner can be stressful and potentially expensive if done wrong. Certain mistakes warrant severe action, so you can expect the ATO to take a closer look at them if you’ve failed to identify these errors before lodging tax returns for your business. Most mistakes made with regards to tax filing often revolve around poor administrative knowledge of tax laws. Ensure that you are aware of potential mistakes you could be making that might cost you your business.

Inconsistent declarations

The ATO gathers data from numerous businesses across a particular industry to create a benchmark showing a band of percentages within which businesses in that industry should typically fall under. Businesses that fall outside this band can expect delays and a closer look from the ATO inspecting reasons for inconsistencies within your business’ declarations. However, these can also be sources of mistakes from the ATO’s part as some inconsistencies can be very real – such as demographics or personal situations – that can cause variations in data. Ensure that you are declaring all your sales, and that any inconsistency can be justified to the ATO.

Poor bookkeeping

A majority of tax mistakes committed by small businesses revolve around poor bookkeeping. Businesses are required to maintain all financial transactions made – but forgetting to put the purchase through the register or taking money out of the register for personal use without replacement of the difference can show varying cash register tapes that can be problematic when filing your tax returns. You may be missing out on valuable tax credit claims by not keeping proper records of your financial transactions.

Employee payments

Businesses may assume that superannuation payments need not be made if they are employing subcontractors. This can be an expensive mistake, as if the worker has standard hours and is expected to work consistently for your business under your direction, they need to be treated as employees. Businesses may leave superannuation guarantee payments until the end when cash flow becomes restricted – but avoid late lodgements to prevent penalties from the ATO.

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Growing your business with referrals

Posted on August 7, 2020 by admin

‘Word-of-mouth’ referrals may seem like an outdated concept in today’s digital age of online reviews, but a few credible and positive opinions can still go a long way when it comes to attracting new clients. Customer referrals are never guaranteed, but here are a few methods you can use to increase the number of people who will remember and improve the chances of a client recommending your business to another.

Remind customers you exist
Maintain high levels of brand awareness and make sure your customers can easily remember your business and products. Use a mailing list database and keep in touch with your clients regularly through email or social media. Make sure to update your clients (personally whenever possible) when you have special offers and new products to keep them engaged with your business.

Join communities
From professional organisations to online community groups, getting involved in different activities will give you new contacts, boost your business profile and increase your brand awareness. For example, using community hashtags on your social media posts when promoting a product will direct interested audiences to your business. Simply remaining active in such community spaces can go a long way in indirectly advertising your products and services.

Exhibit at industry events
Industry-relevant exhibits and events are a good way to increase your business’ brand awareness and meet a lot of new potential customers at once. Being active at these kinds of events (through sponsorships or networking) will keep your name in front of your current customers as well.

Use testimonials
Similar to reviews, testimonials from your existing customers can help improve your brand’s reliability and encourage loyalty and trust with your new customers. The fact that a client allows you to use their name adds credibility and serves as another kind of referral.

Ask customers for feedback regularly
Constant improvement and clear communication is key to impressing clients and increasing the chances of referrals. By soliciting suggestions from your existing clients, responding to them personally, and providing high-quality service, you can let customers know that you care about them and want to meet their needs. Establishing such a caring relationship with your customers will improve your business’ reputation as well.

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