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Week in brief July 3 2012
Sydney-based accounting and finance experts – and SME Association of Australia member – Callaughan Partners has just launched a free Tax Calculator App that allows users to get an indication of their tax liability for the tax calendar years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. Here at My Business HQ, we’ve had a play with the App and have found it as easy as A-B-C to use. Simply key in your income and expenses and the Callaughan Partners Tax Calculator will calculate your Taxable Income, Medicare Levy, Medicare Levy Surcharge, and Low Income Tax Offsets. Based on this information the Callaughan Partners Tax Calculator will also display whether you may be eligible for a tax refund, or if you are liable for extra tax. The App also provides useful tax tips that can help you determine what deductions you may be eligible for in your industry, and an expense tracker to keep track of your expenses as you incur them throughout the year. The calculator is only intended to be used for personal income tax returns; the Apple version for iPhones can be downloaded here, and the Android version here.
The ATO has released a new advanced guide to capital gains tax concessions for small business 2011-12, which applies to capital gains tax (CGT) events that happened in the 2011-12 income year. The guide explains the CGT concessions available for small business that are contained in Division 152 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997). The guide can be download by clicking here. And seeing as though it's that time of year, the ATO has also released a new GST for Small Business Guide, which you can download here.
With the Carbon Tax now in play, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has launched a new energy price comparison website, www.energymadeeasy.gov.au, which it says is a first for small energy customers in the ACT. AER chairman Andrew Reeves says the website can benefit consumers (SMEs and residential) who are looking for a new electricity or gas connection, or who just want to check how their current energy retailer compares. And while we’re on the topic, the new National Energy Retail Law came into effect on July 1 2012, providing small energy customers with strong protections including flexible payment options, specific rules for energy marketing and responsibilities for energy retailers to help customers experiencing financial hardship.
The Telegraph in the UK reports that Britain’s four big banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland – have admitted to mis-selling interest rate hedges to SME business customers and have agreed to compensate them and to stop selling the most complex products, after the Financial Services Authority “serious failings” in the way they marketed to some customers. The paper reports that as a result of this mis-selling some firms were left with hundreds of thousands and even millions in costs they say they were never warned about. And you thought our Big Four were bad…
The NSW Government has released, for final consultation, draft Industry Action Plans for the State’s manufacturing, professional services, international education and research, and digital economy sectors. The plans include more than 50 draft recommendations that the O’Farrell government says will position key sectors of the NSW economy for strong growth, resilience, improved innovation and productivity, global competitiveness, and new investment opportunities over the next decade. The government is accepting submissions for the consultation up until July 30; click here for more info.
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