Business Advisors & Tax Accountants Melbourne


Our Government has released its first Budget on 13 May 2014. The Budget will deliver a deficit of $29.8bn for 2014/15 with a myriad of spending cuts and increased taxes/levies designed to reduce it over the coming years.

The key elements that have changed in taxation are:


1. Temporary Budget Repair Levy – the big news, which we already knew about, is that the Government will introduce a three-year levy, called the Temporary Budget Repair Levy from 1 July 2014.

The Temporary Budget Repair Levy will apply at a rate of 2% on individuals’ taxable income in excess of $180,000. This effectively means the highest marginal tax rate will go from 47% to 49% (remember that the Medicare Levy goes from 1.5% to 2% on 1 July 2014 so the highest marginal tax rate goes to 47%).

Therefore, for these high wealth individuals, if they can bring income into this year, or push deductions to the following year they can save 2% of the amount. Year-end tax planning this year will be interesting.

2.  A number of other tax rates that are currently based on calculations that include the top personal tax rate will also be increased. For example, the FBT rate will be increased from 47%to 49%from 1 April 2015 until 31 March 2017. There will also be changes to the FBT rebate and other concessions, like the PBI exemptions as a result of the change to the FBT rate.
3. Other changes – most of the other changes to the tax system are minor and include the following: •Both the Dependent Spouse Tax Offset and the Mature Age Worker Tax Offset, which have been limited over the last years, will not be available for anyone from 1 July 2014.
•The income thresholds for the private health insurance offset and the Medicare Levy surcharge will be frozen for three years from 1 July 2015.
•The Research and Development Tax Incentive will see its rates reduced by 1.5%, effective from 1 July 2014. This will mean the rate for the refundable offset will be 43.5%.
•The Seafarer Tax Offset will be abolished from 1 July 2015.

4. Family Tax Benefit – while not exactly a tax announcement, there will be lots of changes to the Family Tax Benefit (FTB). The FTB Part B income limit will reduce from $150,000 to $100,000 from 1 July 2015. The income threshold for the Dependent (Invalid and Carer) Tax Offset will also be reduced to $100,000. Family Tax Benefit Part B will also be limited to families with children under six years of age from 1 July 2015. And finally, the rates of family tax benefits will be frozen for two years.

1. Hootsuite

Trying to keep track of all your social media? Need to push a post to multiple platforms such as Facebook and twitter? Want to post when user engagement is at its highest. Hootsuite can also schedule your posts.

- Free for 5 Social Profiles
– $9.99 USD a month for Unlimited Social Profiles

2. Shoeboxed

Outsource your sorting of paperwork and receipts. If you have paper documents cluttering your garage, office or car, Shoeboxed can scan, digitise and organise everything in a few days.

Place everything into an old shoe box and send it off to your Accountant or for your own personal use with one of these plans
– Forever free plan with 5 docs/month
– Other plans start $19.95 a month

3. Mention

Your Google Alerts seemlessly sync with Mention to help monitor your brand’s presence on the web. It includes mentions of your brand or selected keywords that you want to monitor on all social networks, forums, blogs, etc. It also has integrated social media features to let you respond to mentions of your business or share industry news that you find.

- There is a free option for 1 user and 1 alert with 100 mentions per month
– Permium starts at $9.99 USD per month

4. Bitrix24

Not that common as some of the others, Bitrix24 combines a social intranet system with CRM tools that include team management, contact tracking, messaging, project planning that your team can access from the single location.

- FREE for teams with up to 12 employees
– Starts from $99 USD per month for unlimited users

5. Voxer

As more and more workers become location independent working in large teams and employees all over the world can become a problem. Voxer is an app that is like a walkie-talkie. Allowing you to talk to anyone in world with live voice, text, photos and location sharing. Everything is saved and you will never miss a message.

- PRO version starts from $2.99 USD a month

What are some of your favourite Productivity tools that we have missed?

‎From the 12th of March 2014, the Australian laws for credit reporting is being changed.

Currently a credit report about an individual that can be shared by lenders or any other service provider is limited to credit applications and credit defaults, hence only “negative credit reporting”. Meaning the primary focus of the report was to gauge any denied credit enquiries in your history. Every time you have requested credit and denied for credit products such as a credit card or mortgage, they are recorded. The downside being multiple loan enquiries and increasingly large amounts are an easier way to rack up more crosses against your name.

Despite its importance, credit reporting is said to be poorly understood by most Australians. Veda the dominant credit reporting provider in Australia has found that up to 80% of consumers did not know such a report about them even existed.

What’s Changing?

The Australian credit reporting practices are changing in line with the rest of the OECD. Essentially now all credit reports will also display “positive reporting”. The report will also include the assessment of whether you have paid your bills on time. This can show lenders that you are a “worthy” customer however there is a flip side to the coin.

Now every time you are late in paying a bill, essentially a cross will placed against your name.

What can be done?

To minimise your risk of getting a bad credit rating would be to pay your bills on time from March. This can be done by setting your self reminders with the calendar function on your phone, setting up direct debit for bills, use mobile banking to pay on the go and try PocketBook’s app that detect bills automatically, forecasts and notifies you that a bill is due. Finally if you already have a bad credit rating, drop us a line at Balci & Associates were we can eliminate credit defaults.

In 2012, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received 26,000 reports of scam emails in relation to tax refunds. During the first quarter of 2013 this number was 11000 that is triple as many as this time last year.

The ATO will never send you an email. These tax scams are designed for identity theft, victims are conned into submitting their personal details that can be used by a 3rd party.

Following the advice from ATO please delete these emails or forward the email to the the ATO’s report a fraud email address at

Source: ATO – Online Scams On The Rise

The new legislation that passed through parliament has changed the period for declaring a bank account as inactive. Previously a bank account could be deemed as inactive at 7 years. This is has now been reduced to just 3 years from 1 July 2013. Any savings account or term deposit funds that have not been touched by the owner for more than 3 years could be claimed by ASIC.

We encourage you all to make a minimum withdrawal or deposit in any savings account that you may not have accessed for the last 3 years. Further information can be found at ASIC here Changes to the Commonwealth unclaimed money laws

We have updated our website!

The Australian Taxation Office will never send taxpayers any emails asking for their details.

If you receive any emails in that fashion delete them or contact your accountant.