Monthly Archives: July 2015

What are you going to do?

During the week, I read PWC’s 2015 Stem report (aka Future-proofing Australia’s workforce by growing skills in science, technology, engineering and maths {STEM}/April 2015).

The headline finding was that 44% of all jobs performed in Australia are at risk from digital disruption. That’s 5,100,000 jobs! And accountants top PWC’s list with 97.5% of all existing jobs at risk of automation.

So whilst this raises some series questions for myself and my colleagues, what does it mean for you and your business?

Will your existing business model be economical in the not too distant future? Will your competitors find new and better ways to provide your good and service at much lesser cost? Will your competitors be able to provide a superior product or service? Or both?

And then there’s the one fundamental hurdle raised upon the report’s release made by PWC’s Chief Executive Luke Sayers is that “business is already struggling to find the right skilled talent for their workforce.”

So how much time to you take out of working in your business to work on your business? The world is changing at an unprecedented rate and most businesses need to change with it to survive. Are you setting time out of every week or month to address these issues?

In writing this, I’m reminded by what I once heard John Bertrand state as the secret to the success of the 1983 America’s Cup campaign. As you will remember, the key to their success was the technological approach that was taken and which was manifested in the famous winged keel. Underpinning this approach was the initial framework of working within the mantra of what it would take to win the cup in 20 years’ time from then.

What will your industry look like in 5, 10 and 20 year’s time? Hard to say. But even if you don’t get it right, you will be heading in the right direction and ahead of most of your competitors. For some, this will mean cleaning up; for others this mean getting out of a dying industry before it is too late.

We can help you address these issues, whether that be from using our collective years of experience from clients in your industry or just general experiences from all of your clients (and our own).

At MRS, we will spend today planning for your success tomorrow.

Employer reporting obligations for June 2015

For those of you who are employers, Tuesday 28th July is the end date for satisfying your SGC super obligation for the June 2015 quarter.  Late payments will attract substantial interest and penalties which effectively doubles or triples the cost.  Even if your cash flow is tight, this commitment should be paid before anything else.

The final day for payments and reporting of Victorian Pay-roll Tax is Tuesday 21st July.

For those who lodge a quarterly BAS or IAS, your June quarter activity statement is due to be lodged by Tuesday 28th July (but 25th August for activity statements if you have registered your business as a user of the Taxpayer Portal and are not paying only fixed $ instalments).

Please note that lodgement of an activity statement (even if it is nil statement) and payment are two separate requirements.  Late lodgement attracts a minimum non-deductible fine of $170 for every 28 days that a form is lodged late whereas as late payment results in an interest levy (which is often remitted).  A fine is not tax deductible, interest is.  Not that we encourage it, but should you not be able to pay an activity statement in full, do not defer lodgement as the possible fines are significant.  The ATO will of course in time identify that an activity statement liability has not been paid and follow it up; but by this time though the liability should be paid in full anyway and at worst, incur a deductible interest charge far less than any non-lodgement penalty.

I remind you that under the Director Penalty Regime which came into effect in July 2012, PAYG Withholding (WH) and SGC super which remains unreported and unpaid after 3 months now results in the unpaid amounts becoming a personal liability of any directors.  Placing a company into liquidation doesn’t avoid or extinguish this liability.  For further information, please refer to our September 2012 Tips and Traps newsletter.

WorkCover finally saw sense a few years ago and now issue staggered lodgement dates for the annual Certificate of Rateable Remuneration.  This Certificate advises WorkCover of the exact remuneration for the prior year which triggers a reconciliation process against premiums paid during the 2014/15 year.  The Certificate also serves to advise the expected remuneration for the forthcoming 2015/16 year.  Non-lodgement may result in an excess assessment as their default assessment may increase remuneration by some 20%.  Employers with a March 2016 lodgement date who expect to have lower remuneration in 2015/16 will need to lodge their 2015 Certificate before the end of August to ensure that are not levied an excessive premium in 2015/16.  Please contact us should you have any queries or require assistance.

The government had previously scheduled the introduction of the Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting for all employers on an progressive basis from July 2016 (with all employers required to adhere to electronic notification by July 2018).  They have deferred the first introduction date of July 2016 as they now (finally) understand that businesses are largely unprepared for such a system and the associated costs.  Under this system, each payment to each employee will be reported to the ATO at the time of payment (including super thereon).  We had been developing  package to our clients who would have been unable or not willing to attend to this real time reporting but will now defer any further action until we have a concrete start date.