11 May

You’re paying to much tax, we’ll prove it!

Ever thought you deserved a better deal?

That’s what we’re offering here at Stafford Accounting: think of it as a second chance.

So, what do we mean by this?

If you’ve ever felt like you’re paying too much tax, there’s every possibility that you are.

Our client Simon thought the same. He had been thinking for a while that his current accountant wasn’t doing enough for his business, and it turned out that he wasn’t. Within minutes of reviewing his financials, Stafford Accounting found a simple trick that saved him around $6,000 in tax.

Isn’t it time you got proactive and contacted Stafford Accounting for a review of your financials? We guarantee it’s a chat you won’t regret.

A Stafford Accounting review costs $750 plus GST: let’s look at what you get.

  • An in-depth review of your current tax position by Stafford Accounting’s qualified team
  • A one-on-one consult answering any questions you may have
  • Stafford Accounting Guarantee: if we can’t save you a minimum $750 in tax, then the bill is on us!

That last point is important, because no matter the outcome, you’re saving and saving big time.

So, if your business turns over more than $400,000, you’re unsatisfied with your current tax bill, or just curious to see how much more you can save, then give Stafford Accounting a call today.

Because everyone deserves a chance to save money.

*** Only available for business’s who are not current Stafford Accounting Clients.

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

13 Apr

An Eye for Now, an Eye for the Future

Let tax planning be more than just getting a bigger refund

 

It’s the last quarter of the financial year. It’s the best time to review your profits, estimate your tax bill and determine what you can do to get your tax bill as low as possible (or your refund as high as possible).

While we all love spending money on what we need now, tax planning season is also an opportunity to claim a tax deduction for growing your wealth. With the right planning, you will not only be getting money back, but you’ll be getting a return on the money you claim as a deduction.

Here’s 2 key areas for you to look at:

 

Making Contributions to your Super Fund

If you haven’t maximized your contributions to superannuation this year, make sure you do. By putting your money into super not only are you getting a tax deduction now but you are growing your retirement nest egg.

There is a limit to how much you can contribute to receive a deduction ($30,000 if you are less than 49 years old, $35,000 if you are older) so please come and see us to make sure you don’t exceed the cap.

 

Prepaying Interest on Investments

An important part of growing your wealth is leverage – borrowing money to invest in an asset of higher value. If you have a leveraged asset, consider pre-paying the interest for the next financial year.

If you have the cash available and you have had unusually high income for the year, a one-off prepayment might be what you need for some tax relief. Remember – if you prepay the interest this year, you can’t claim it next year.

Please come and see us first so we can go through the impact of prepaying your interest with you. Contact Stafford Accounting today to book in your tax planning meeting.

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

11 Apr

How to get the most from your accountant- Tax time

The best accountants add value to your business – here’s how to make sure your accountant is ticking all the boxes.

1. An accountant that understands personal wealth

Your accountant should advise your business on its needs, ranging from start-up costs to business succession planning. However, here at Stafford Accounting we can offer more! You see behind every business is a person and a family. This creates opportunities to put in place structures to save you and your business tax, time and stress.

 

2. Gives proactive advice

If you’re finding your current accountant is telling you about the problem after the fact, then your accountant is not doing his job. At Stafford Accounting we strive to achieve proactive advice through three fundamental factors. These include getting Stafford Accounting to do your monthly bookkeeping, access to data through Xero and scheduling for either monthly or quarterly meetings that include tax planning discussions. Sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make money.

 

3. They understand the vital role technology plays in a modern business

Accounting software has changed; products like Xero work exceptionally well for your business accounting needs. They enable your business to connect with a multitude of other cloud based add-ons that can help your business – from inventory management to time management.

 

4. Ask twice if you don’t understand

Business and tax advisory is not easy to comprehend. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you understand the situation. We at Stafford Accounting can simplify the situation along with providing a plan that clearly sets out your path moving forward. It’s your future. Your money. Your outcomes.

 

Stafford Accounting- your business advisor, accountant and bookkeeper all rolled into one. Get ready for real advice, not just accountancy.

 

Stafford Accounting puts you in control. You choose the services that you need, and we’ll deliver them all at a price you can afford, with a clear mutually agreed service and action plan. If your accountant is not fulfilling your needs, it’s time to have a chat to us.

 

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

06 Apr

Give your superannuation a boost

An alternative way of building up your retirement savings

While most of us will hopefully accumulate enough superannuation throughout our working lives to have a comfortable retirement, many of us simply won’t have the funds there to splurge on something nice every now and then.

What if we could tell you there’s a way to boost your superannuation earnings that reduces the amount of tax you have to pay on your contributions at the same time – would you be interested?

Consider purchasing an investment property within a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF). The interest on the Investment property loan is 100% tax deductible which means not only will you be making more money; you’ll be saving tax at the same time!

The other benefit of investing in property through your SMSF is diversification. Some people are tired of the share market’s ever volatile state and prefer property as an investment. Investing in property in additional to shares will mean you won’t have all your eggs in one basket. This gives you peace of mind knowing a sharp downturn in shares one day won’t be the end of your retirement savings.

Sounds good? Absolutely, but it isn’t something you should rush into without discussing your situation with your Accountant or Wealth Advisor first. Investing in property through an SMSF can be complex and will require some expert external knowledge to get you started

Make an appointment with Stafford Accounting today to discuss your situation and see if property within an SMSF is right for you.

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

04 Apr

The two biggest expenses you will ever have, and you’ll want to make one bigger…

In your lifetime you will encounter many, many expenses. Doctors and dentists, cars and houses, repairs and replacements but there are two expenses that dwarf them all.

 

Tax & Retirement

Retirement

Think about it, when you retire you stop working, that doesn’t mean your expenses stop rolling in. How much will you really need in retirement?

 

The average life expectancy for Australian males is approximately 80 years of age and 84 for females.

 

So when did you say you wanted to retire?

 

It doesn’t matter how old or young you are its time to start taking your retirement seriously. Who knows, if you get quality advice now you may even be able to retire early! Or follow your passion and do what you love without having to worry about your pay packet.

 

Along the way you’ll have another HUGE expense…

 

Tax

This is the one you do NOT want to get bigger. Legally reducing tax is one of the best strategies for improving your financial position. Which, in-turn can help with that retirement fund.

 

If you currently pay in tax $20,000 (which is the approximate amount of total taxes you would pay if you earned $82,500 in this financial year) and you speak to a skilled tax accountant (say for instance Stafford Accounting), with some quality tax planning and depending on your circumstances they could help save you $1,100 after their fees. If this happened each year, and each yearly $1,100 was invested each year at 6.5% p.a., it would return more than $100,000 over 30 years, and that’s when you start from scratch (i.e. zero savings). That’s an extra $100,000 for doing NOTHING.

 

So how long can you afford to wait to get this sorted?

 

Now is the time to get started! Call Stafford Accounting today for a FREE discussion on your Tax and Retirement strategies to ensure yourself a better financial future.

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

30 Mar

Start NOW to beat the Taxman

Not only are these legal ways to cut your tax bill, they’ll give you more money to build your wealth.

 

While the taxman is targeting investors hiding assets overseas, there are much less complicated ways to cut your tax bill. Here are 6 legal tax-minimising strategies that you can easily use – and they can make a significant difference to your overall wealth creation.

  1. Mortgage Offset Account

Have you accumulated some cash and you’re not sure about what to do with it? If you have a home loan, putting the extra cash into an offset account can not only reduce the amount of interest payable on the loan, but it will also stop you paying tax on the interest you would otherwise have earned.

  1. After-Tax Super Contributions

Using some of your after-tax earnings to contribute into super may make sense for you. The thing to focus on is the environment that your money is invested within. Compared with investing after-tax money in an investment in your own name, investing via super is taxed at a maximum of 15% on earnings and 10% on capital gains, and for those eligible for transition to retirement their money grows in a zero tax environment.

  1. Discretionary Family Trust

An effective way to hold investments, a trust is a separate investment structure where assets are controlled by one or more persons (the trustees) on behalf of a group of other persons (the beneficiaries). A discretionary trust allows the trustee to decide who gets the income and capital the trust owns. These can suit someone on the highest tax bracket with family members who are on lower tax rates.

  1. Transition to Retirement

If you are over 55, the combination of salary sacrificing pre-tax income into super, and drawing an income from super benefits can be very tax effective. Not only does it get more into your super fund but your cash flow remains the same. The income tax reduction comes about thanks to receiving less salary income (and therefore paying less tax) and more concessionally taxed pension income from your super fund.

  1. Investment Bonds

Earnings from an investment bond are excluded from personal income tax because the bond provider pays the tax at 30% internally, leaving you nothing to declare on your tax return. To get the full benefits, you have to leave your money in the bond for 10 years. After this, there is NO tax to pay! It is possible to get access to the money before 10 years, but then there will be some tax payable.

  1. An Investment Company

Setting up a company through which investments are bought is one way of ensuring the tax paid is never more than 30%. Income type assets are best held in a company, and growth style assets are best held by a super fund where the tax on capital gains is just 10%.

For more information contact the team at Stafford Accounting to establish any of these ideas and get ready to start saving!

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

28 Mar

Buying property through your Super?

Property is the most trusted asset class for Australians, yet only around 3.5% of all SMSF investment is in residential property.

 

Property investment can produce a range of tax benefits, for e.g. your tax can be significantly reduced or eliminated for rental income and capital gains, and the rental return can be used for loan repayments.

Do you need an SMSF to buy property through your super?

You do, that is if you want to choose which property you invest in anyway. Contact Stafford Accounting TODAY for a free SMSF consult.

 

Are you in business?

Business owners can get some significant benefits when buying their commercial premises through their super. Along with all of the tax benefits mentioned above you also avoid the tenant or landlord issues that are often associated with commercial property. This is great, as buying your own business property still satisfies the ‘sole purpose’ test which is discussed under ‘what are the rules’ that follows.

 

Can you borrow money when buying property through super?

You CAN. Often banks will lend up to 80% for a residential property and 70% for commercial property loans through your SMSF. This is an example of leveraging the bank’s money to increase your investment.

 

What are the rules?

There are significant and strict rules around property investing through your super, according to moneysmart.gov.au the property must comply with these 4 key rules:

 

  • The property must pass the ‘sole purpose test’ – contact Stafford Accounting to see if this can apply to you
  • You cannot buy or acquire the property from a family member
  • Neither you or your family members can live in the property
  • Neither you or your family members rent the property. Basically, it’s off limits to you and your family members. It is an investment property for your SMSF only.

 

Tips and Traps

Like any major financial decision jumping in means that you take on more responsibility however, there are major tax benefits available which can assist your decision. These can be utilised efficiently provided you seek the advice of qualified professionals such as the team at Stafford Accounting.

 

The bottom line

There can be some MASSIVE benefits of buying investment property through your SMSF, by borrowing money you are increasing your investment which can yield great results over time. There are also options to secure your loan to protect your other assets in the fund. These investment and asset protection strategies are things you really should spend time researching and talking through with your adviser. We specialise in SMSFs and would LOVE to talk to you about your options.

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

23 Mar

Avoid “Bad”Debt- but “Good” Debt may be OK for you!

It’s a common thought that we need to avoid debt, or pay off any debt we have as fast as possible. That is good, solid, but conservative advice.

Why conservative? Because you may be able to grow your financial assets faster by using what we call “good” debt. Let’s explain this:

From a financial planning perspective, you would like to have no debt, but if you do have debt, you really want to ensure that the interest you pay is tax deductible. Tax deductible interest (interest on loans for shares, rental properties, and other income producing assets) is good debt.

 

Interest that you pay on your home loan or personal credit cards or on personal loans is “bad” debt, because you cannot claim this interest as a tax deduction.

 

Most people have a home loan and personal credit cards, and the interest on credit cards is much higher than for your home mortgage. That’s why financial planners recommend that you use whatever surplus income you have each week to first pay off your credit cards, and then once you have done this you can start to make extra repayments towards your home loan. If your home loan has an interest rate of 6%, then you effectively earn 6% for every dollar you pay off your home loan.

 

Here’s where debt may be good for you:

 

If you feel comfortable investing in shares and you expect a 10% return for the year, you could withdraw an amount from your home loan (if you have a redraw facility) and invest this in shares. Should your home loan be at 6% interest, and this leaves you with a 4% gain for the year. So if you invested $100,000 this way, you would make an extra $4,000 per year after interest costs. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

There are always risks with any investment, hence the phrase ‘risk versus reward’ and to help minimize this ‘risk ’contact Stafford Accounting and consultants.

We can help you!

 

Our accounting firm specialises in loan structuring to ensure your wealth is maximised and your tax is minimised. Contact Stafford Accounting today and maybe some “good” debt will make a big difference for your future retirement plans!

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

16 Mar

Who will PROTECT you from your emotional decisions

We all do it, we make irrational decisions based on emotion. So how can we protect ourselves from, well, ourselves?

It is SO important to have someone watching your ‘financial back’, to look at the big picture and give you comprehensive advice. The people at Stafford Accounting are here to provide qualified advice to suit your individual needs!

Want to BOOST your net worth? Get an adviser

Long term studies show that there is a strong positive correlation between the use of a professional adviser and subsequent net worth.

Going steady with your adviser

Choosing a professional financial adviser is a big decision and should be treated as such. You should view this as a long term business relationship for your personal wealth. No one will care more about the outcome than you, however, you need a professional to bring you the facts without the emotion.

I say this should be a long term relationship as you may not see the real benefits in the first year. It may take several years for the true benefits to shine through. So it’s important to pick an adviser and stick with them.

Who’s on YOUR side?

As your business grows it will pay to have a team that you can rely on, an adviser, accountants and in some cases solicitors.

Stafford Accounting takes the approach that best suits each individual client, we also work in tandem with expert planners, lawyers and advisers all so your job can be made easier. This gives you peace of mind in knowing that there is no ‘single-point-of-failure’ you have a team of people working for you and we use the latest software to track and ensure all your projects are progressing as expected.

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

14 Mar

Most business owners dont have the answer to this question…..

Is my business on track to meet our target?

 

Why? Because they’re aiming at nothing!

Here’s the secret:

Unless you have a budget (or targets) for the financial side of your business, how do you know if you’re improving or going backwards?

Not many business owners actually prepare a budget for their yearly business activities, but this is probably one of the most important things they could do to drive their business forward.

You Must Consider this Seriously

 

Budgeting

The easiest thing you can do is budget yourself. You can say “alright this year I want to increase sales by 15%” But think about it, why did you choose that number? Was it a guess? Where you feeling confident at the time? Here at Stafford Accounting we use data analysis and experience to advise clients correctly. Together we can plan build a plan and eliminate the guess work

 

Your “On Track” Reports

With the reliability of a professionally made budget you will have exact concepts of what your business is trying to achieve each month. With a budget in place the team at Stafford Accounting can track and advise you using Online accounting software systems like Xero. (Ask us TODAY if you’d like us to set this up for you!)

Stafford Accounting can then review whether your revenues and expenses are higher or lower than forecasts, and then we can discuss what you can do to improve things, or simply celebrate having a good month. You’ll be amazed that even in tough economic conditions, aiming higher and regularly reviewing your results will lead to better business decisions throughout the year – and in most cases a higher profit each year.

 

Call Stafford Accounting today! Don’t wait, by not budgeting you’re only hurting yourself!

For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us today.