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.

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.

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.

09 Mar

How to get the most from your accountant

The best accountants add value to your business, all for an affordable cost that you can control

A Growing business rapidly finds they need the services of an accountant to help them manage the finances of their business.

But which services are actually essential to business growth?

How should you pay for them? And how do you make sure you’re getting good value for money?

 

Here’s some top tips for getting the most from Stafford Accounting while managing the cost of our service.

  1. Use Fixed Fees

Agree on a fixed fee for your accountant’s services, rather than paying by the hour. This will enable you to plan ahead for the cost of the work and to control costs. Our fixed fee agreement will come with clear detail on what you’ll get in return for your money, but you’ll also have the option of commissioning additional work should it prove necessary.

 

  1. Be realistic about your budget

While it’s important to keep a tight rein on all costs, accountancy fees included, review your budget on a regular basis. Over time, the work you require from your accountant will change – you may need additional, more wide-ranging services, as your business grow. At Stafford Accounting we adapt our services to best suit your individual needs, so that your business is the best It can be.

 

  1. Timing is crucial

The frequency of the work your accountant produces can make as much difference as the work itself. If interactions with your accountant are limited, then getting timely analysis of trading and business may not be attainable. That is why here at Stafford Accounting we understand the importance of timing and understand the need for frequent communication.

 

  1. Relationships matter

It’s your accountant’s responsibility to make an important contribution to your business’s growth, but if you don’t trust them, or feel comfortable talking frankly and openly with them, you won’t be able to take full advantage. An accountant should be a trusted business partner who can provide constructive support as you run your business. If that’s not an accurate description of your relationship, it’s time to ask why.

 

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

 

It’s time make the change!

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

09 Feb

The biggest changes to superannuation in a decade

The biggest changes to super in a decade – how to capitalise now! Major changes to tax and superannuation have just been approved by the Government.

These are the biggest changes in the last 10 years. THEY ARE SIGNIFICANT! Most of these changes will take place on 1 July 2017.

That’s why we need to start planning ASAP with you. The experts at Stafford Accounting have established several cutting edge and brilliant strategies to cater for your specific needs. There are 3 key actions for you right now.

 

1. Maximise Super Contributions – Large amounts now for possibly the last time

While you may not be able to put large amounts into superannuation, Stafford Accounting believe it’s important that you’re aware of what is possible to maximise your super balance and help you reduce your tax.

We believe everyone should be aware of these changes below that come into effect on the 1st of July 2017. The tax deductible super contribution cap decreases to $25,000 per year from $30,000 per year for up to age 49 or $35,000 per year for age 50 to age 75, after passing a work test if over 65. The non-tax deductible super contribution cap decreases to $100,000 per year (provided your super balance is less than $1.6 million) from $180,000 per year.

You may have a once-off opportunity to make a non-tax deductible contribution of $540,000 before 30 June 2017 into super, depending on prior year contributions if any. By meeting the Stafford Accounting team, we can discuss and consider your overall personal and family circumstances, and then we can design for you the most tax effective super contributions you can make prior to 30 June 2017.

 

2. After you’ve maxed out your Super tax deductions – what else is there?

One of the most effective ways to reduce your tax is through super contributions. The second is to prepay interest on an investment asset. One solution is to prepay interest towards a portfolio of shares that are capital protected (meaning the value of the initial portfolio is 100% protected if the market falls).

This has the effect of getting a tax refund and then using it to help fund owning a protected share portfolio, usually for a 2-year period. This strategy doesn’t apply to everyone –here at Stafford Accounting we must pre-qualify you to ensure you will be better off from this strategy and will then provide you with a Statement of Advice which clearly outlines our strategies and advice for you

 

3. Establish a “blood descendant” Will to keep your money and assets in your family

We believe a “blood descendant” Will (or a “Lineal Descent” Will) is possibly the most important thing you can create for your family.

Rather than making gifts under your Will to individuals, you can make gifts to blood descendant Trusts set aside for those individuals. After your death, the individual you have intended to benefit will control the blood descendant Trust set aside for them and will be able to use the assets in the trust as if they owned them.

However, those assets will not be at risk should the individual divorce or have a separation.

Under the terms of a “blood descendant” Will:

⦁ the passing of the capital assets or proceeds is limited to the Will-maker’s bloodline;

⦁ assets are protected from attacks against beneficiaries, whether from personal creditors or the Family Court;

Stafford Accounting can help you by coordinating a tax effective “blood descendant” Will for you with our expert Estate Planning Lawyers.

 

This is vital – don’t delay in instructing us to set this up for you!

Other General Tax Planning Strategies Of course, we’ll consider all the usual 2017 General Tax Planning options for you at the same time. Contact Steve Black TODAY to book in your initial 2017 Tax Planning Meeting with us! Imagine what you could do with your tax saved!

⦁ Reduce your home loan

⦁ Top up your Super

⦁ Have a holiday

⦁ Deposit for an Investment Property

⦁ Upgrade your Car

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

22 Sep

2016 Federal Budget Superannuation reforms – Changes to Non Concessional Contributions into Super

With the Government abandoning its policy to introduce a $500,000 lifetime cap for non-concessional contributions are you clear on what non-concessional contributions you can make to superannuation now?

With the Government abandoning its policy to introduce a $500,000 lifetime cap for non-concessional contributions are you clear on what non-concessional contributions you can make to superannuation now?

Non-concessional contributions are contributions that are made to super from after-tax income or savings.

Instead of going forward with its proposed $500,000 lifetime cap on after-tax contributions, the Government has decided to go back to the current rules for after-tax contributions but with a lower annual limit of $100,000.

This will now allow people to:
• make non-concessional contributions of up to $100,000 per year
• have the ability to bring forward 3 years’ worth of contributions to a single year (allowing you to contribute up to $300,000 in a single year)

The ability to make non-concessional contributions will also be limited to people who have an individual superannuation balance of under $1.6 million. In addition, if you are aged 65 or over you need to pass the “work test” to contribute to your super and cannot bring forward contributions to the current year.

The new rules will apply from 1 July 2017. This means that for the current 2016-17 financial year people can still make non-concessional contributions of up to $180,000.
How can we help?
If you need assistance with any aspect of making after tax contributions to superannuation, please feel free to give me a call to arrange a time to meet so that we can discuss your particular requirements in more detail.

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