Posted in: money
Personal loans have become a fast-growing financing option for consumers, with payday apps and websites gaining popularity. For aid between paychecks, payday loans can be very helpful for the pay cycle lull. Taking out a loan is not something to enter into lightly though, there are many variables that should go into your decision-making process. Here are a few pros and cons you should consider before taking out a payday loan
Payday loans are named as such because they are basically instant. Once applied, your loan is usually processed and paid out on the same day. This is very helpful if you are in need of money urgently between pay, like a fine or surprise bill for example. For this reason, the loan amounts can often be quite high. Like any other loan provider, the quicker you pay the amount back, the more likely you are to receive a higher loan the next time around. These services track your repayments and can increase funds based on your credit history. Application for payday loans is extremely easy as they are based online. The process is very quick and many payday loan services have app options so you can apply on the go.
Any loan you take out will affect your credit rating so it is important to really think about why you need the loan before applying. Frivolous loans can greatly harm your credit score which could make life difficult down the track. With the loan process on these sites, if you are unable to make a full repayment by the agreed deadline, further fees may be charged to you but will not be revealed until you are required to pay. These payday loans often have a high-interest rate due to their instant nature and repayment period.
Posted in: tax
The Australian government has launched the Better Tax campaign in order to help inform the public of tax reforms coming into effect. Designed to “better Australia”, here is a look at what this plan means for you.
- New low to middle-income tax offset: Offering immediate relief of up to $530 after an individual lodges their tax return for each income year from 2018-19 until 2021-22.
- Increase to income tax rate thresholds: Changing over the next seven years so less tax is paid by Australian taxpayers. The first change took effect on 1 July 2018 with future changes in 2022-23 and 2024-25.
- Reduction in the number of tax brackets: In order to simplify the system, in 2024-25 the tax system will move from five tax brackets to four.
- Tax cuts for incorporated small and medium businesses, with a turnover of less than $50 million per annum. These companies will move to a 25 per cent tax rate by 2021-22.
- The small business income tax offset; increasing the rate of the tax discount for unincorporated small businesses with a turnover below $5 million
- Increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $20,000 to $25,000 and extending it until 30 June 2020. The increased threshold will apply from 29 January 2019, with legislation to be introduced.
- Increasing the small business entity turnover threshold from $2 million to $10 million per annum, extending access to a range of tax concessions.
Posted in: business
Business culture is a reflection of what your company stands for, it’s your voice. Employee relations are what establishes this voice and can always be improved. A work environment that everyone enjoys can help to improve performance and productivity. Here are some ways you can help better the culture of your business
For a business culture to be established, as the employer you must first decide what that voice will be. Having a clear direction for your business practices is common but for community in the office, a vision for your business culture will help the process. It is your job to help guide your company toward your vision in every aspect of the business.
Lead by example:
Often business owners can be separated from the general culture of the workplace. It is important to show you adopt the values and productivity levels you are expecting of your employees. Integration on this level helps to establish what you expect out of the business and its everyday processes.
One of the most obvious points is communication, it is essential in running a business. Good communication is not only needed for basic tasks and management but also key to creating your business culture. If your vision for the business is not effectively communicated then the culture will reflect that.
If you foster an environment that encourages feedback, you get an everyday look into how the culture of your business is or has formed. Feedback to employees is important for their personal growth in the company and practices but when there is a mutual level of communication and trust, their feedback to you can help better your own idea of your business culture.
Posted in: super
A 2018 study revealed that almost 40% of Australians think they won’t have enough money to retire on – and that number is on the rise. Managing your superannuation fund can be confusing but it was found that 50% of us do not consult a financial planner. As we face different financial challenges at different points in our lives, how do you ensure you have enough to retire on?
20s to 30s:
It is not uncommon for many people in their 20s and 30s to have multiple superannuation fund accounts accumulated through years of youth part-time work or otherwise. Now is the time to chase up on lost super. With one superannuation account, you not only can save on fees but it may also give you better investment returns. When combining and comparing your active accounts, be mindful of any termination fees, insurance policies, investment options, and ongoing service fees.
40s to 50s:
You may find yourself earning more than you’ve ever earned before, but it is also a time where you may be juggling more living costs – from your mortgage to your growing family’s fees. Experts advise against decreasing your mortgage payments and encourage voluntary payments to your superannuation fund. If you have a partner, he or she may be able to help grow your super by making a ‘Spouse Contribution’ to your super account or consider if contribution splitting is viable for you. You may also be thinking about your retirement plan at this stage, and now is a good time to review your superannuation’s insurance and beneficiary policies.
This is the time many consider leaving the workforce but this decision doesn’t have to be as daunting or finite as it may seem. An alternative to this is the Transition to Retirement (TTR) income stream, where you can concurrently decrease your working hours while withdrawing money from your super once you reach your preservation age. There are a few regulations on how you can access your super and how you will be taxed so it is best to seek financial advice for your situation. In your 60s, you may be eligible to apply for a government age pension or withdraw a tax-free lump sum from your super fund. Your 60s might also be a period where you can consider your estate planning strategies.
Posted in: tax
On the occasion that you are required to travel overnight for work, you may be eligible to receive a travel allowance from your employer for accommodation, food, drink or incidental expenses. The reasonable amount of travel expenses is updated yearly and is based on job type and salary. From this allowance, tax deductions are to be withheld unless specified otherwise. Exceptions are:
- you’re expected to spend all of the travel allowance paid
- the amount and nature of the travel allowance is kept separately in accounting records
- the travel allowance is not for overseas accommodation
- the amount of travel allowance paid is less than, or equal to the reasonable travel allowance rate.
Where the exceptions apply, your employer won’t withhold tax and will include the allowance on your payslip.
It is important to keep detailed records of your travel expenses, length of trips and if it was overseas or domestic travel. If you need to claim anything from these trips in the future, you will need the appropriate documentation that covers all expenses, not just excess amounts. Vehicle, food, accommodation and incidental expenses need to be documented on a case by case basis:
- With travel allowance
- Written evidence need to be supplied for overseas accommodation
- Travel diary need to be supplied on overseas trips of 6 nights or more in a row
- Without travel allowance
- Written evidence need to be supplied on all domestic and overseas travel
- Travel diary need to be supplied on domestic and overseas trips of 6 nights or more in a row
Posted in: business
Most of us fall somewhere in between the introvert-extrovert spectrum but our concept of a great leader often looks to someone who exudes characteristics we often associate with ‘extroverts’ – including being charismatic, confident, and courageous. While these traits are indeed admirable and can be essential to motivate and drive your team, recent research surprisingly suggests ‘introverts’ tend to be better CEOs. In light of this research, we look at some often overlooked traits to expand your concept of great business leadership.
Taking the time to be introspective:
Ensure you don’t underestimate the value of taking the time to self-reflect on certain issues, looking inward for inspiration and judiciously asking in-depth questions to better understand your organisation.
Forming and maintaining deeper connections:
In the age of Linkedin and the increase of networking events, growing your professional network is often a focus of many business professionals. When taking into consideration the notion that humans can only maintain about 150 stable relationships at any given time (Dunbar’s Number), you can consider the value of holding more small-scale events or arranging more one-on-one engagements to better utilise your professional network.
Identifying and accommodating for ‘introverted’ behaviour in the workplace:
While it often ‘takes one to know one’, it doesn’t take much effort to recognise and accommodate introverted behaviour. An effective leader takes advice from all people in the room – not just the ones who happen to speak out. For example, it doesn’t hurt to give a little heads up on issues that are going to be addressed at a meeting. This is so all employees, including ‘introverts’, have the time to process their thinking and prepare talking points.
Posted in: super
How to reduce the hassle of missing your employee’s super payment.
The Super Guarantee Charge (SGC):
The SGC may apply to employers who do not pay the minimum super guarantee (SG) to their employee’s designated superannuation fund by the required date. The non-tax-deductible charge includes the SG shortfall amounts with interest and a $20 administration fee for each employee. You will need to lodge your SGC statement within a couple of months of the respective quarter. While employers are able to apply for an extension to lodge and pay the SGC, the nominal interest will still accumulate until the extension is lodged. From this point, the general interest charge will apply until the SGC is paid off.
What you can do to reduce your SGC:
The nominal interest and SGC shortfall can be offset or carried forward by late contributions against the SGC in certain conditions. This excludes the administration fees, certain types of interest and other penalties. The late contribution is also not tax-deductible, nor is it able to be used as a prepayment for current or future contributions. However, you are able to carry it forward if the payment is for the same employee and is for a quarter within 12 months after the payment date. It is advised to consult a professional to work with your unique situation.
The bigger picture:
Struggling to pay your employees’ super is a sign of financial insecurity for your business. While an employee’s PAYG Withholding tax and super may not be due for a while, not having the funds for them at each payday is a debt that will only accrue. You may have to consider your business’ strategy and operations or consult a financial professional if you feel it is only the symptom of a bigger issue.
Posted in: tax
As of 29 January 2019, the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme will be extended to 30 June 2020 for assets purchased under $25,000.
The Instant Asset Write-Off affects small businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million a year. It allows business owners to immediately deduct assets costing up to $25,000 which can then be claimed for tax return in that income year. The Prime Minister’s announcement on 29 January stated that “businesses who go out and invest today, whether it’s a vehicle, whether it’s a piece of plant or equipment, all of it, up to $25,000, immediate write down.” However, there are certain assets that are excluded from the scheme so it is best to check with your accountant or financial advisor.
It is important to remember that the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme reduces the tax your business has to pay, it is not a rebate. Your cash flow will still have to be sufficient enough to support the purchases.
With the ATO reporting that the average claimed amounts were at $11,000 in 2016-2017, there are concerns that the scheme is underutilised. Fewer than 350,000 small businesses have taken advantage of the scheme in the 2016-2017 year.
There is no guarantee that the Federal government will extend this scheme beyond 30 June 2020.
Posted in: money
Businesses need to access finance with ease in order to sustain and develop themselves. Is your current bank still cutting it? Here are some indicators and tips to effectively assess your business’ banking needs.
Assessing your needs:
Evaluating and reevaluating your business’ financial needs is the first step towards choosing the right institution for your business. While drawbacks on customer service, high bank fees, or an increase in interest rates are clear red flags, you can also consider if your bank supports the direction of your business as it grows. That is, how will the bank affect your business if you choose to operate online? How will your bank manage a larger line of credit in the future? Does your business benefit more with a personal relationship with a small bank or the efficiencies provided by a larger bank? Consulting a financial advisor and developing a relationship early on can reduce headaches later on.
Choosing the right bank:
After identifying your business’ needs and possible trajectory, identify the key features you are looking for in a bank and be sure to have questions ready before meeting with bankers to compare effectively. Again, consider if the bank is flexible enough to meet your needs, and reevaluate services you have been paying for previously but may no longer need. For example, would an online bank work for your business?
Posted in: business
Instagram business accounts help you reach new clients and companies that you wouldn’t be able to on other social media. It is an area of the market often overlooked due to its focus on an image but now is the time to utilize Instagram for your business and grow a profile in a fairly untapped area.
Why use Instagram?
Graphics and quotes are an easy way to engage with users and using hashtags help you to reach people who don’t follow you yet. The news feed algorithm favours active business accounts and suggests similar accounts for you to follow or see how they use the platform.
The analytics feature alone is enough to entice businesses to the platform as it gives you insights into your follower base, interactions, peak posting times and paid advertising options. You can boost a post to reach more than just your followers and find new clients based on shared likes or similar accounts followed. A business profile is completely free and all paid advertising is optional though encouraged to get the most out of the platform.
One of the benefits of Instagram advertising is that it seamlessly blends into a news feed. Many ads on social media appear very out of place and obvious that they are an ad, Instagram formats advertisements like a regular Instagram post and targets it to people similar to your audience.