Business owners these days have all kinds of technology at their fingertips, such as computerised accounting programmes purchased off-the-shelf for a few hundred dollars. It is quite amazing then, that many small business owners still turn up at their accountants at tax time with boxes of paperwork, and expect them to get enough information to lodge an accurate tax return. The sad part is that with some organisation, good software, and sound taxation planning, they could avoid the all-round stress and get a much better business result.
Taxation Planning not Properly Understood
Part of the problem is the lack of understanding about taxation planning in general. It does not mean that the business owner plans to get the boxes of paperwork to their accountant earlier next year. Taxation planning is a structured approach to managing the taxation liabilities of the business. It requires timely and accurate account keeping, regular financial and management reporting and assistance from accountants Brisbane to identify issues and recommend solutions.
Sound taxation planning starts at the very beginning of the financial year. It is not something that can be put into place as an afterthought, a few weeks before business tax returns must be lodged. It follows a process that uses legitimate taxation strategies to reduce taxable income. Depending on the type of business and its cash flow situation, some of these strategies may not be appropriate. This is why it is essential to get professional accounting advice.
Some Typical Taxation Planning Strategies
Bringing forward as many tax deductions as possible into the current financial year is a very common tax planning strategy. Every business, if they took a serious look, could find some expenses that might be paid in the current financial year. Christmas gifts for employees and clients, for example, could be purchased in June and stored to give away in November/December. Subscriptions could be paid to financial and trade journals in advance and the payment of membership fees to professional bodies could be brought forward.
If the business has a strong cash flow position, consider making prepayments for expenses such as insurance, workers’ compensation premiums, rent for the business premises, vehicle registration and other fixed costs. If the business has employees and their superannuation contributions are paid into a recognised fund prior to 30 June, this one change can save considerable amounts of tax. Bad debts that are not recoverable should be written off prior to 30 June so the business doesn’t pay tax on money it won’t ever receive.
Negative gearing of an investment property, salary sacrificing into superannuation, utilising tax offsets and rebates, placing assets into a trust or setting up a company are just some of the tactics used every day by business people as part of a taxation planning strategy. Click here for more information. Deciding exactly which strategies suit a particular business, setting them all out in a written plan and assisting the client to implement them is the role of a tax planning accountant.
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