Time to rest, reflect, plan and improve

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Chartered accountant Gail Freeman encourages you to think about how you can improve your business and your personal finances in the coming year. This is a sponsored post.

Gail Freeman.

THIS has been a year like no other. As we move into 2021, I hope you get a chance to relax and use the opportunity to think about how you can improve your business and your personal finances in the coming year.

Here are some ideas for you which might help:

Is your technology up to date? Do you need to upgrade? Is your security adequate? Remember, a cyberattack can be really expensive. Do you have cyber insurance just in case?

Your business is probably using single-touch payroll. Changes are scheduled to start on July 1 that will result in more information being provided to the Australian Taxation Office. In addition, closely held companies that may only have one or two employees will have to report payroll using single-touch payroll. You may need to change your processes and programs so that you comply.

Do you have a budget for your business and your personal affairs? You could prepare these over the break. In this abnormal year, anything you did previously will probably not apply in the future. So it’s time to review where you are now and how to move forward.

Do you know how much super you need to retire? Are you going to have enough? Maybe it’s time to put together a plan for your future. Did you take an early release of super during COVID-19 and realise that you shouldn’t have done this. You might need help to sort it out.

If you received JobKeeper 1… but were not eligible for JobKeeper during the December quarter, you may be eligible to re-enter JobKeeper from January 1. So it’s time to double check your eligibility for the final three months of the JobKeeper scheme.

If you’re creating additional jobs (after October 6)… there’s a new subsidy called Job Maker Hiring Credit that may assist in putting on additional staff and get some government funding to assist.

The tax rates changed after the Budget… so many people will be getting a refund next year because they’ve paid too much tax for the period from July to October, 2020. Have you thought about what you could do with this amount to make it work for you effectively? For example, you could get a tax deduction for making a contribution to super if you are eligible. Is it better to put it into super than to pay off your mortgage? Get some advice to check.

Do you have too much stuff? I know I do. So what I’ve done for presents is to make a donation in the name of the person that I’m making the gift for. They can then claim the tax deduction for the donation in their next tax return. I feel so much better about this because I’m not giving people stuff they don’t need, nor am I receiving it just through taking advantage of the tax system. Yes, I don’t get the benefit of the donation but my friend or relation does.

I’d like to wish you a happy and prosperous 2021 and my best wishes for the Christmas break. I hope you’ll have time to relax and I thank you for reading my tax and finance musings this year. I hope that they have helped you.

If there’s anything in this article you’d like to know more about, please call me on 6295 2844 or visit gailfreeman.com.au for further information.

Disclaimer

This column contains general advice, please do not rely on it. If you require specific advice on this topic please contact Gail Freeman or your professional adviser.

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