In its efforts to boost the economy, the Federal Government is considering bringing the planned income tax cuts forward. The intention behind these cuts is to boost the economy by boosting consumption.
Initially, income tax cuts were to take place in three stages, the first of which has already been rolled out. The following stages aim to facilitate a reduction in tax for individuals earning from $90,000 to $200,000 over the next 4 years at the cost of billions of dollars to the Parliamentary Budget.
There has been criticism of the government’s suggestion that these stages be moved forward because they are unlikely to have the desired effect. Rather than boosting consumption, beneficiaries of this plan are likely to keep the additional money in the bank. This is because these plans are directed at high-income earners who will not need to spend the money on necessities, that low-income earners would.
Additionally, the uncertainty of the current climate which the government is relying on to justify this change may be the very reason that people save their money rather than spend it.
Critics of this change are suggesting that focus should be placed on ‘Social Spending’. An example of this could be an increase in pension – which pensioners are a lot more likely to reinvest into the economy.
An amnesty scheme which ended earlier this month has caused around 24,000 businesses to admit to underpayment of their worker’s super. A total of 588 million dollars will be distributed to almost 400,00 individuals.
The scheme, which covered payments from the introduction of super in 1992, gave employers the opportunity to come clean without any consequences as long as they paid the unpaid super as well as 10% interest for every year the money was overdue.
The ATO will be directing its attention at any businesses that did not admit fault and these businesses will face severe penalties.
Many individuals are looking to access their superannuation early in order to have support during these times. Although there is criticism of early access to super, this facility has been helpful to many families to keep afloat.
An important decision to make before you start a business is what structure your business will run under. This will reflect into all facets of your business, so you should spend time understanding the implications of each structure.
- You have complete control of your business.
- Your business assets and liabilities are not separate from your personal assets and liabilities.
- Personally liable for debts and obligations of the business
- Low-cost structure
- Share control and management of business
- Each partner pays tax on the share of net partnership income each receives
- Minimal reporting requirements + Inexpensive to set up
- Requires more documentation
- Separate legal entity from its owners – all profit, tax, and legal liability is directly to the corporation
- Members not liable for company’s debt (only liable if you breach legal obligations)
- Complex business structure + Extensive documentation and record-keeping
- Wider access to capital
- Expensive set-up and operation
- Formal trust deed outlining operation required
- Trustee responsible for yearly administrative tasks
Businesses working from home due to social distancing restrictions can take the opportunity to learn from the experience and consider new work structures coming out of COVID-19. This could mean increased flexibility for employees when it comes to working remotely and adaptable hours. Here’s why flexible work arrangements with your employees may be beneficial for your business in the long term.
Flexible work arrangements can increase the productivity of employees by allowing them to work when they feel most motivated. Some people may naturally be more productive at night time and do their work then, which would not be possible with regular office hour restrictions. Remote work also saves time on excessive staff chatter and workplace distractions, such as ringing telephones and colleague drop-ins. Offering flexible work arrangements can show your employees that their lives are valued, which can lead to higher levels of performance and hard work to justify the flexible arrangements.
When employees are working from home more frequently, it means that your office doesn’t have to sustain as many people and you can reduce rent and utility expenses. This doesn’t mean that your employees have to pay too much more; the ATO has introduced an easier way of deducting work from home costs during the COVID-19 period called the ‘shortcut method.’ This allows employees to deduct 80c per hour they work from home to compensate for running expenses.
Businesses that exclusively depend on employees being physically present may be missing out on ideal workers who live too far or require more flexible arrangements. Modern job seekers are often on the lookout for positions that offer greater flexibility, rather than the regular 9 to 5 in the office. Highlighting workplace flexibility in your job advertisements can attract more prospective talent as physical barriers are eliminated.
Remote work can improve the overall physical and mental wellbeing of your employees. One perk is that they may be able to be better rested and eat a proper breakfast in replacement of the morning commute. Work flexibility will also enable them to work around family commitments, which can boost their quality of life and happiness. This can raise morale and improve their quality of work by reducing the risks of fatigue and burnout.
Workplaces that allow employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance are more likely to retain their employees for long terms. This can benefit businesses by reducing the frequency of hiring and training periods, which can save a lot of money and productivity while continuing to grow corporate knowledge in existing employees.