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The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is utilising data provided by the Australian Investments and Security Commission (ASIC) to data match share trades.

The ATO is accessing more than 500 million records detailing price, quantity and time of individual trades dating back to 2014. The information complements information that the ATO already holds from brokers, share registries and exchanges.

Utilising this wealth of information, the ATO will explore what has been reported on tax returns, specifically, capital gains on the sale or transfer of shares and the losses claimed.

Given that more than 5 million Australians now own shares, the ATO is keen to ensure that errors are minimised.

"Almost one third of all Australian adults own shares, and there is evidence that some taxpayers are getting it wrong when it comes to reporting their capital gains or losses from the sale of shares. In particular, we tend to see higher rates of error among those who don't regularly trade in shares and who are not aware of the tax implications," Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson said.

With penalties as high as 75% of the tax shortfall, it is important to ensure that you have your documentation in place for share trades and transfers including records of share purchase and sale prices, as well as costs like brokerage fees. If you sold part of your share holdings, you need to keep records of the parcel you sold and the parcel you are still holding.

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.  If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.  

Article by Knowledge Shop

The daily processes and transactions involved in operating a business can mean long hours of repetitive tasks and occasional oversights due to human nature. Automating these tasks can result in significant savings in resources and eliminate mistakes caused by human error.

The key is to know which tasks should be automated and which ones warrant staff intervention and guidance.

Here are 6 activities that you should definitely be automating for your business.

Abandoned online carts

Not following up with visitors who've abandoned shopping carts on your site is just leaving money lying on the table. They've already expressed interest in your products. Automated engagement touch-points can create the perfect follow up to prompt them to finish their purchase. Exit pop-ups and follow-up emails are great devices to use when reaching out to visitors who've abandoned carts on your site. 

Lead capturing, nurturing, and scoring

Automating your lead development process can do wonders for your company's conversion rates. Both hot and cold leads require attention and targeted engagement in order to convert into paying customers. Using automation software can help to strategically guide prospects to end of the sales cycle, and it can also direct you towards the leads that will convert the fastest.

Engaging new contacts

Entrepreneurs meet new contacts all the time. Whether it's a potential business partner or prospective customer, automating your engagement with them can help you forge a solid rapport after your initial contact. There are several CRM options that'll allow you to group contacts by event, type, company, and location, amongst other settings to ensure that your business card collections don't go to waste. 

Personal direct mail 

Outreach efforts with a personal touch tend to gather higher engagement rates, which explains why businesses send out birthday cards, calendars, seasonal greetings, and other materials to customers. With the right software, you can set up automated, sequenced events to gather customer personal data and incorporate it into specific marketing activities.

Hiring processes

Automating your hiring process is one of the best things that you can do for your business. Everything from receiving applications and interviewing to setting up drug tests and completing new-hire paperwork can easily be done with automation. First, outline what your hiring process looks like. Next, determine staff member roles and duties within your process. And lastly, establish time frames that each activity should fall within. There are tons of HR software programs that can make automating your hiring process a breeze.

Word-of-mouth marketing 

Numerous marketing studies show that consumers are more likely to buy from companies if they've been referred by a friend. Encourage customers to give referrals about your products by simply asking for them.  There are several ways to automate this, including adding referral mentions to order confirmations, discount offerings, and email outreach campaigns. 

Set aside a week or two to take a look at any processes that can be automated within your business. Automating repetitive and tedious tasks can aid you in uncovering hidden cost-savers and potential sales opportunities for your business.

In Australia, around 34 million gift cards are sold each year with an estimated value of $2.5 billion. On average, an estimated $70 million is lost because of expiry dates.

Until recently, there was no national regulation for the minimum length of time a gift card should last. In late 2017, New South Wales introduced laws* requiring a minimum three year expiry period for gift cards sold in that state and South Australia was in the process of enacting laws, but no uniform standard applied across Australia.

Applying from 1 November 2019, new laws are in effect that introduce a regime for the regulation of gift cards including:

  • A minimum 3 year expiry period
  • Bolstering disclosure requirements, and
  • Banning post-supply fees.

What business needs to do

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How to Value Stocks and Shares

Being able to accurately value a share price will enable you to make more informed investment decisions. If you can identify a stock that is offered for a price lower than it's worth, you could make a significant profit from investing at the right time. Conversely, if you calculate a stock to be worth less than the offered price, you could avoid making a serious loss. These four elements of stock valuation might help you assess the true value of stocks and shares.

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10 Tips to Get Paid on Time

Steady, reliable cash flow is crucial for the survival of any small business – so taking steps to ensure your customers pay promptly should be a top priority.

When your clients consistently pay on time, you'll avoid the dreaded "feast or famine" cycle. You'll be able to pay your vendors, suppliers, and employees on time – and not least of all, yourself.

Implement these ten tips now to start getting paid without delay.

Check out the 10 tips  Read more…

How to Find a Good Niche

In business, finding a niche that can supply enough revenue is important. More entrepreneurs than ever are realising the importance of finding a narrow set of customers and catering their product or service to them. This allows you to focus your efforts on being great at a few things, rather than mediocre at many. But how do you find your ideal target market? This article will get you started by telling you how to find a good niche.


This stage is probably the most important and most overlooked part of finding a good niche. Many entrepreneurs try to take a shortcut by spending very little time on this part of the process. Some don't do any research at all. Don't make the same mistake. Instead, use the amazing (and free) tools available to conduct market research. For example, Google's Keyword Planner allows you to enter a set of keywords and see the search volume for those terms. By analysing traffic and then searching the web for competitors, you can see if a given keyword is worth pursuing. Instead of wandering around in the dark, save yourself countless hours by conducting great research upfront.

Track Behavior

Once you've found a niche that looks attractive and created a website and brand for your product or service, you will hopefully get your first customers. It's important to be prepared for visitors and customers by installing tracking software on your website. Luckily, Google has a free service for this as well called Google Analytics. It only takes a few clicks to set up, and it allows you to see where visitors are from, how much time they spent on your site, and at what point they left your site. With this newfound information, you can tweak your product or service to align with the behavior of your visitors. This way, you can adapt to new sub-niches that may be more profitable than your original idea.

Evolve Your Idea

Now that you've done research upfront, created a site for your product, and analysed the behavior of the visitors, you're ready to pivot. You can now evolve your original niche into a better niche based on what your customers click on, read, and buy. Using the above-mentioned tools, you can craft a customised experience for an even more specific set of customers. This is where the real success is. Improving on your first idea allows you to use its strengths without any of the weaknesses. With your new product serving your newfound niche, you'll be ready to turn on the thrusters and watch the sales come flooding in.

Gone are the days of trying to appeal to everybody. By focusing on these principles and taking action, you can find the perfect niche and create all the income you need to be successful in your online business.

Advantages of Digital Signing

Electronic signature software offers small business a number of time and cost-saving benefits. If you've considered going paperless but haven't yet made the plunge, here are 6 excellent reasons to start using digital signatures today.

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Xero Two-Step Authentication

We have had many clients calling about Xero's implementation of Two-Step Authentication (2SA), so we have created this guide with links to all the information you need to set it up.

2SA is two factor authentication. This has been introduced to add an extra layer of security for Xero account users to protect your account from being compromised by phishing and malware.

How to setup 2SA

Xero have developed comprehensive instructions and videos on how to set up 2SA on your iPhone, Android and PC as well as links to the recommended authenticator apps.

How does 2SA work?

When you have Two-Step Authentication enabled you need to use a second method to login to Xero, e.g. your smart phone. In addition to your standard Xero username and password, you also have to enter a six-digit code provided by a separate app on your smartphone, Google Authenticator .

If you don't have your mobile device available when you need to login to Xero, you will be able to fall back to answering questions you set up when you enabled Two-Step Authentication in order to gain access to Xero.  The fallback questions should only be used when necessary and not as a regular alternative to the authenticator app.

In addition, Xero's Two-step authentication will have trusted device recognition. You'll be able to select "Remember me for 30 days" as an optional setting. If you select "Remember me for 30 days" you won't need to perform the second authentication step on that device for 30 days.

To find out more about Two-Step Authentication, please review Xero's Help Center.

Security is a constantly-evolving issue for the tech industry and we strongly encourage all Xero users – and technology users in general – to remain vigilant about the online solutions they use. If you have any questions about this area, please check Xero's Security Page.

Legislation passed by Parliament late last month introduces a new test that will restrict some companies from accessing the lower company tax rate from the 2017-18 financial year.

Across a 3 year period, the company tax and franking rate changed, then the definition of what is a small business entity changed (from a $2 million to $10 million turnover) along with how the franking rates apply, and now we have a whole new set of definitions and rates that have come into play. Complicating the change is the issue of timing; the legislation was passed by Parliament after the end of the 2018 financial year and could impact on not only the tax rate that applies for the year ended 30 June 2018 but also the franking rate on dividends paid since 1 July 2017.

For the 2017-18 income year, the lower company tax rate of 27.5% is available to 'base rate entities'. This means a company that had an aggregated turnover of less than $25 million and no more than 80% of its assessable income for the year was classified as "base rate passive income" (which includes things like rental income, interest and some dividends). While the new $25 million turnover threshold is good news for many companies, the new passive income test will create a problem for others and potentially move them from the reduced rate to the higher general 30% company tax rate. This also has an impact on the maximum franking rate that applies to dividends paid by companies in the 2018 income year onwards.

For the 2018-19 financial year onwards, the turnover threshold has been increased to $50 million.

The problem with the new passive income test is that it is not just a gross turnover test but a test that requires an analysis of the components of that turnover. The new test adds another layer of complexity going forward.

Read more…

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced a new data-matching program targeting taxpayers earning income from the exploding popularity of short-term rentals available on platforms like AirBNB and Stayz. 

Utilising information from online platform sharing sites matched to information from financial institutions, the ATO is targeting 190,000 individuals to make sure they have not failed to declare or under declared rental income or have overclaimed deductions. In effect, whatever data your sharing platform holds on you will need to match what you have declared in your tax return. And yes, the ATO can potentially check what is coming in and out of your bank account.

Read more…


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