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Business Tax. You will not be taxed on your income as employees are, you will instead be allowed to deduct business expenses and be taxed on the profit you have made. Business innovation encompasses improvements to goods and services, processes and marketing. Benefits can include productivity enhancements, firm growth, job creation and higher living standards.
The research and development tax incentive and employee share schemes are two ways that the tax system supports business innovation. Australian small businesses are numerous, diverse, and make an important contribution to the Australian economy. These businesses adopt different legal and management structures, and may be driven by different preferences and profit motives than larger businesses.
Navigating a complex tax system is disproportionately burdensome for small businesses, especially as certain features of the system can encourage them to adopt particular legal structures that are costly to establish and maintain.
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The tax law provides a number of concessions intended to benefit small businesses, but these may add to the complexity and compliance burden for small businesses. The not for profit NFP sector is large and diverse and provides important benefits for the Australian community. Governments provide a number of tax concessions to support the NFP sector. While these tax concessions help increase the level of activity in the NFP sector, the value of revenue forgone from the concessions is significant and growing steadily.
Tax concessions for the sector can also increase complexity, in part because they vary according to the type and purpose of NFP organisations. As with most federations around the world, State and Territory governments in Australia including local governments spend more than they raise in revenue. The difference is made up by grants from the Australian Government.
The GST is relatively efficient compared to some other taxes because it has a much broader base than many other taxes.
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However, exemptions reduce its efficiency and introduce significant complexity. Legislation requires that changes to the GST base or rate require unanimous agreement by all State and Territory governments, as well as both houses of the Australian Parliament. The Australian Government will not support changes to the GST without a broad political consensus for change, including agreement by all State and Territory governments. The major sources of state tax revenue are payroll taxes and stamp duties. State governments also impose taxes on land, gambling and motor vehicles.
Municipal rates are the sole source of local government tax revenue. Some studies suggest significant economic gains from state tax reform, particularly reduced stamp duties and greater use of payroll and land taxes. Indirect taxes on specific goods and services can be an efficient way to raise revenue. Taxation of alcohol has two separate regimes, a value based tax for wine products and a volume based excise tax for other alcoholic beverages, with 16 different excise categories.
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The complexity of the Australian tax system reduces integrity and transparency, and imposes unnecessary compliance costs on taxpayers, as well as other costs on the Australian economy. The complexity largely reflects the historical foundations of the tax system and the way changes to the system have been implemented in the past. This makes it difficult to address without broad community support. Tax administration is increasingly important to minimise the impact of tax system complexity and to make it easier for taxpayers to comply with their obligations.
Establishing a metric to measure tax complexity could assist in managing the complexity of the tax system. Governance institutions and arrangements apply across the tax system, including at the policy design, legislative, administrative, and appeals stages. In Australia, decisions on tax policy are made by the Government and the Parliament, with formal policy advice provided by the Treasury, in consultation with the ATO.
Further advice is provided by many different groups, including tax practitioners, industry groups, think tanks, the public and the media. A range of possible reforms to tax system governance could be considered to increase certainty, improve consultation processes and enhance public understanding of tax policy and administration. Includes Medicare levy and low-income tax offset.
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Business tax Tax is increasingly important as competition for foreign investment intensifies and businesses become more mobile. Small business Australian small businesses are numerous, diverse, and make an important contribution to the Australian economy. Not-for-profit sector The not for profit NFP sector is large and diverse and provides important benefits for the Australian community.
The GST and state taxes As with most federations around the world, State and Territory governments in Australia including local governments spend more than they raise in revenue.
Indirect taxes Indirect taxes on specific goods and services can be an efficient way to raise revenue. Fuel taxes are the largest source of revenue from a specific good or service. Complexity The complexity of the Australian tax system reduces integrity and transparency, and imposes unnecessary compliance costs on taxpayers, as well as other costs on the Australian economy.
Governance Governance institutions and arrangements apply across the tax system, including at the policy design, legislative, administrative, and appeals stages.