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Workplace functions are a great way for organisations to recognise the hard work of all staff, celebrate their achievements and give colleagues the opportunity to get to know each other in a social setting. The combination of various factors, including the glee of celebration, the relaxed party atmosphere and the consumption of alcohol, can lead to questionable behaviour and impaired judgment. Employers must therefore be aware of their legal obligations and take precautions to minimise risks arising out of incidents that occur at such functions.

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Santa's Tax Crises

A light-hearted look at the complexity of Australian taxation laws.

Dear Santa,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide tax advice for your operation. We are pleased you have initiated this advice as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is looking closely at any business or individual that operates within Australia but has significant transactions or operations internationally. The fact that you run a global business that generates no profit but 'gifts' millions of toys each year produced by your offshore factory, have significant brand value in Australia across thousands of goods and services, have never lodged a tax return, or paid tax in Australia, is likely to trigger an investigation. We have identified a number of issues as a starting point for further discussions. These are:

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Why 'property flipping' is the next ATO target

The tax law does not allow you to 'flip' a property tax-free even if you are living in it. Most people think that they can move in to a property, renovate it, and then sell it without paying tax. The main residence exemption - the exemption that protects your family home from tax - does not apply if your primary purpose is to 'flip' the property for a profit. The fact that you are living in the property does not mean it's exempt from tax.

Some people reading this are probably thinking, but who is going to know? How can the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) really know what my intention is when I buy a property to live in? Generally, the ATO is looking for a pattern of behaviour or a declaration of intention. For example:

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ACCC tough on credit card surcharge!

The ACCC has issued a warning to businesses charging excessive credit card fees. One large merchant has already been issued with four infringement notices and has paid $43,200 in penalties.

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Podcast Of The Month - how to remember passwords and pin numbers?

Jim Kwik is the founder of Kwik Learning and a widely recognized world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning, Jim's cutting-edge techniques, entertaining presentation style, and impressive brainpower feats have made him a frequent and highly sought-out trainer for top organizations, with clients that include Virgin, Nike, Zappos, SpaceX, NYU, GE, Fox Studios, Harvard, and Singularity University.

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The Art of Negotation!

We recently came across this fascinating podcast from The James Altucher Show. Special guest Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator and the author of, "Never Split the Difference discusses the art of negotiation, drawing significant parallels to daily negotiations in business or a simple car purchase. Valuable techniques in language, vocal tone, respect and more are covered in this intriguing discussion.
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Tax Commissioners Hit List

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has delivered a warning via Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan as to their upcoming investigative focus citing a 6% gap between current and possible future tax revenue collected.

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Selling a property valued at $750k or more???

Every vendor selling a property needs to prove that they are a resident of Australia for tax purposes unless they are happy for the purchaser to withhold a 12.5% withholding tax. From 1 July 2017, every individual selling a property with a sale value of $750,000 or more is affected.

While these rules have been in place since 1 July 2016, on 1 July 2017 the threshold for properties reduced from $2 million to $750,000 and the withholding tax level increased from 10% to 12.5%

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Employee Vs Contractor - KNOW THE FACTS!

The difference between an employee and an independent contractor has been an issue causing much confusion amongst small business for a long time.

Some of the more common industries we find that are caught up in this confusion include building and construction, cleaning, road transport, engineering and information technology industry (IT).

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Changes to Motor Vehicle Claims

Cents per kilometre method

The cents per kilometre method is still available for use with some changes. Separate rates based on the size of the engine are no longer available from 1 July 2015. Under the revised method for 2016/17 income year

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