P. 07 5536 2111 | F. 07 5536 3933
sullivan rees logo
E.

Firm News

Using A Corporate Trustee Instead Of Individuals For A Family Trust

Posted on 19 July, 2021 by admin

A family trust is a great structure.  It provides tax flexibility whilst giving you asset separation in two directions.  But what does asset separation in two directions mean? And why might we suggest it to you as a recommendation? First of all, why do you want asset separation? If there are multiple assets, you want to make sure that if someone makes a claim against the owner of a particular asset that your other assets can be quarantined from that claim. This isolation will mean that they can’t gain access to the assets that are yours and separate from the claim. If you own a business and have a successful financial claim made against your business where the claim is for an amount that is more than the assets of the business, you will first need to use the business to cover the claim, and then find something additional to supplement the shortfall. In this case, if you also own your own home, and its worth is enough to cover that shortfall, it may be used to meet the claim by combining the business assets’ worth and the family home’s value. You could lose your family home! However, if we […]

Keep Reading...


Receive A Relief Or Support Payment? Here’s What You Need To Watch Out For This Tax Season

Posted on 12 July, 2021 by admin

Have you, over the course of the past financial year, received a government assistance payment, support payment or disaster relief supplement? There have been a number of cases where people who received financial assistance from the government were hit with additional owed tax to the ATO, due to their payments increasing their income threshold. When lodging your individual income tax return this year, you will need to declare certain Australian Government payments, pensions and allowances in your tax return. If you did not elect to pay tax on those payments, this could affect the payment received from your return (or mean that you actually owe money to the ATO). Some of the taxable payments that you may need to include in your tax return include: the age pension carer payment Austudy payment JobSeeker payment Youth allowance Defence Force income support allowance (DFISA) where the pension, payment or allowance to which it relates is taxable veteran payment invalidity service pension, if you have reached age-pension age disability support pension, if you have reached age-pension age income support supplement sickness allowance parenting payment (partnered) disaster recovery allowance (but not in relation to 2019–20 bushfires) Most of these pensions, payments and allowances will […]

Keep Reading...


Choosing A Structure For Your Business: The Co-Operative Explained.

Posted on 5 July, 2021 by admin

Sometimes you might want to set up a structure where you will share in the spoils with everyone that deals with that structure.  There is a specific type of structure for this and it is known as a Co-Operative. A co-operative business structure (or co-op) is a legally incorporated business entity that is designed to serve the interests of its members. Co-operatives may be profit-sharing enterprises or not-for-profit organisations. A cooperative business serves members by providing goods and services that may be unavailable or too costly to access as individuals. There are two types of cooperatives that businesses can be set up as. Distributing cooperatives are able to distribute any annual profits to members of the cooperative. They are required to share the capital that they make, and members of this type of cooperative must own the minimum number of shares specified in the co-op’s rules. Non-distributing cooperatives cannot share their profits with members of the cooperative. All profits must further the cooperative’s purpose, and the cooperative may or may not issue shares to the members. Members may be charged a subscription fee if there is no share capital Some popular cooperatives business structures include: Consumer co-operatives, which buy and […]

Keep Reading...


ATO Says Different Payments Will Have Different Tax Treatments.

Posted on 30 June, 2021 by admin

The ATO is looking to make tax season a little bit easier this year, particularly in light of the unique but significant challenges that Australians have been facing over the last year, and are continuing to face. If you received a financial assistance payment, grant or scheme package during the 2020 financial year, you need to be aware of your taxable requirements. There are different tax treatments for different payments that you may have received.    Jobkeeper Payments that were received from Jobkeeper as an employee will be automatically included in your income statement as either salary and wages, or as an allowance. Sole traders who have received a Jobkeeper payment on behalf of their business will need to include the payment as assessable income for the business.   Jobseeker All information will be included in your tax return (in the Government Payments & Allowances question) when ready. Lodging your return prior to the information being available will require you to add it yourself. Leaving out income will slow your return, so it is important to ensure that you have all of the information when lodging.   Stand Down Payments If you were the recipient of a one-off or regular […]

Keep Reading...


Planning Out Succession For Your Family-Run Business

Posted on 29 June, 2021 by admin

Family-run businesses form an essential part of the economy. Tradition, success and history along with their unique dynamic can create a thriving business that many may wish to see continue.    However, as with any business, the conversation about succession and how to continue the business into the future needs to be had.    With only 1 in 4 family-operated businesses considering their approach to succession formally, succession in a family business is one of the greatest viability risks to the actual business and needs to be addressed accordingly.   Every family and family-run business is unique, and every transfer or succession of a family business will also be executed differently. If you are thinking about what your family business’s plan is for succession, you may want to consider keeping these critical factors in mind:   Where is your business going? What do you want for your family and business? What are your goals and your time frames for achieving those goals? Is the vision you have for your business shared by your family? It is important to consider this for the succession of your business, as a mutually shared vision will ensure that the business continues on the projected […]

Keep Reading...


Recent Changes To Your Superannuation That You Need To Know

Posted on 28 June, 2021 by admin

  There were a few changes to superannuation that were passed by the Senate recently.   You can now use the bring-forward rule to make three years’ worth of non-concessional contributions (where you don’t claim a tax deduction) up until the age of 67.     Last year the rules had changed to permit a person to make non-concessional contributions up to the age of 67 but the use of the bring forward rule had stayed at an age limit of 65 years old, as it required a full Bill to be passed by both Houses of Parliament.     This new age limit will apply to contributions made on or after the 1st July 2020.  This is particularly good news for people that turned 67 during the year and utilised the three year bring forward rule in anticipation of the law being passed.   From the first quarter after receiving royal assent (most likely to occur from 1st July), Self Managed Superannuation Funds will be allowed to have up to six members.  The limit is currently four members. For larger families, this will be of particular use and relevance, as the parents involved in the fund may wish to include more […]

Keep Reading...


Boosting The Business With A Free Resource: Your Customers

Posted on 23 June, 2021 by admin

More and more Australians bought local products during the past year and rallied behind smaller businesses, which buoyed many shops that may have otherwise struggled to stay afloat.  To create this kind of loyalty and support it’s crucial to develop and maintain a strong connection with your customers.  If you are a small business, this is a vital aspect of business management that you will want to have occurred to strengthen customer relationships.  Make The Customer Feel Special Customers want to feel special – you can achieve this by approaching each customer as an individual rather than as a customer per se. Making the user interactions tailored to suit each customer’s specific needs/usage of your products will enhance the relevance and improve the authenticity of the interaction. Your customers will feel heard by your business and seen. Let Your Customer Feel Heard Always ensure that the customer feels heard – if the customer has a complaint, treat it the same way that you treat a good review, and respond accordingly. This builds trust with the customer and future customers that you will hear them out, and act the best you can to assist.  Reward Customer Loyalty & Strengthen Connections Go […]

Keep Reading...


What Is Ethical Investing?

Posted on 22 June, 2021 by admin

Ethical investing is gaining traction, with more and more investors selecting where their money will go based on their personal principles. This style of socially conscious investment holds companies accountable for their negative impacts and is driving many investors to select their investments dependent on their mutual shared values. Ethical investing can align with moral, social, political, religious and environmental values, and takes them into account prior to making investment decisions. The primary objective of ethical investments is to create a positive impact by investing in companies that take environmental, social governance (ESG) and ethical issues into consideration and make an effort to address or prevent the business from contributing to the issues. Rather than only receive a financial return on their investment, investors also receive a social conscious return that has an overall impact on them and the planet.  There are two ways that ethical investing can be done.  Personal Screening An investor chooses to invest in industries/sectors/companies whose values align with their own values. As an example, they may look towards companies who are environmentally and socially conscious, who treat their workers fairly, have high governance standards and carry out environmentally sustainable practices. Negative Screening This is when […]

Keep Reading...


The ATO Warns Gig Economy Workers To Declare Their Income, Or Face Severe Penalties

Posted on 21 June, 2021 by admin

The inexpensive and profitable side hustle is under the ATO’s watchful eye when it comes to declaring income this tax season. With many gig economy workers often earning their income as independent contractors, the ATO warns that a failure to report all income from all of the work that they carry out could land them with severe penalties.    The ATO is expected to employ advanced data-matching from platforms that play host to large proportions of Australia’s gig economy to ensure that tax is declared and paid on the income from workers of the gig economy. Those workers may include Uber workers, Doordash, Lyft, Airbnb and many more similar side hustle income earners.   There is a silver lining for gig workers this tax time. Many gig economy workers may find themselves more eligible for tax deductions – but are warned against claiming more than they are allowed to.   Gig workers are eligible to claim deductions for most costs incurred while earning their income (such as travel or vehicle expenses, financing and marketing). These deductions, however, can only be claimed for the work-related proportion of the claim. You won’t be able to claim the whole amount for the deduction […]

Keep Reading...


1 July 2021 Will See Super Guarantee Rate Rise

Posted on by admin

Many years ago Julia Gillard’s government announced increases in the Superannuation Guarantee rate from 9% at the time, up to 12%.  The impact of the Global Financial Crisis has led subsequent governments to continually postpone these increases. So far, Australia has only received two increases, back in 2013 and 2014, when the superannuation rate went up to 9.5% over two years.  It has remained at 9.5% since 2014.   Now it is time for the next increase. This will happen on 1 July 2021 when the rate of superannuation that you have to pay for most of your employees will be 10% of their salary or wage instead of the current 9.5%.   For most employers that are using payroll software, this change will happen automatically. You should however confirm with your software provider (either directly or through someone like us) that this will happen to ensure that you remain compliant without needing further action.   For most employees, this will mean an extra 0.5% added to their current salary plus super.  But where an employee is on a contract where their salary is superannuation inclusive it could be that they will receive a corresponding reduction in their salary to […]

Keep Reading...


Accounting
services

In the constantly changing business environment, you can rely on our business services team to be expert, up-to-date and ready at hand to assist you with your business matters...

Business
services

Thinking strategically about future changes in the marketplace can be the key to running a sustainable business...

company
secretarial

Communication and effective administration are essential elements of a successful organisation. Regardless of the size of your business, we are ready to support you...

finance
services

We can help you to secure the essential finance for you and your business....

managing your wealth

We can help ensure that your personal wealth is managed as tax-efficiently as possible. ...

tax services

We regularly deal with a broad range of personal and corporate taxation issues and make a point of understanding the individual needs of every client. Whether you need advice on company tax, personal tax effectiveness or indirect taxation....

specialist services

In addition to our normal services, we have a developed specialist knowledge and expertise in Self-Managed Superannuation Funds....

firm news

Using A Corporate Trustee Instead Of Individuals For A Family Trust

Posted on July 19, 2021 by admin

A family trust is a great structure.  It provides tax flexibility whilst giving you asset separation in two directions.  But what does asset separation in two directions mean? And why might we suggest it to you as a recommendation?

First of all, why do you want asset separation? If there are multiple assets, you want to make sure that if someone makes a claim against the owner of a particular asset that your other assets can be quarantined from that claim. This isolation will mean that they can’t gain access to the assets that are yours and separate from the claim.

If you own a business and have a successful financial claim made against your business where the claim is for an amount that is more than the assets of the business, you will first need to use the business to cover the claim, and then find something additional to supplement the shortfall. In this case, if you also own your own home, and its worth is enough to cover that shortfall, it may be used to meet the claim by combining the business assets’ worth and the family home’s value. You could lose your family home!

However, if we structure your business in a particular way then the person making that claim will only have access to the assets in the business and you will be able to keep your family home.

This is what is called asset separation. Generally, it’s a good thing to employ, but it does have one flaw – it usually only goes one way.

If someone claims on your business, they won’t get the house but if they successfully make a financial claim against you, they will successfully get all of the assets that you own, including those of your business.  This is a risk that you must be willing to take if you own a business.

When you operate a business through a family trust instead of owning that business, you will merely “control” it, and have but a “mere expectancy” of being considered in the distribution of any profits or capital from that business.

The good part here is that although you only have a mere expectancy to be considered, we would set it up so it is YOU that “considers” who gets the money.  This means that if someone makes a claim against you then they can’t get access to assets in the family trust. What this does is give you two-way asset protection.

There is a bit of an issue with family trusts though – although you will see the debts of the trust as debts of the trust at law, they are in actual fact the debts of the trustee. If you are the trustee, all of the debts of the trust are your personal debts. You can use the trust assets to pay down those debts, but if the trust assets are insufficient to pay the debts, it will be up to you to pay off the rest.

When you’re an individual trustee of a trust, you lose the perk of asset separation, which is why a company may be used as a trustee, as the company does nothing other than act as the trustee of the trust. If there are insufficient funds in the trust to cover the debts of the trust, then those debts fall on the trustee and the creditors have no access to your personal assets because you have no individual debts owing.

Want to know more about asset separation? Interested in trusts? We’re here to help.

sullivan rees