FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We can usually complete individual tax returns on the spot if you book an appointment with us. Business tax returns may take longer, but as long as information is supplied to us promptly we can normally complete returns within a few weeks.
Click here if you are an individual client or here if you are a business client to download a list of information we require to compete your tax returns.
We will allocate one of our highly qualified accountants to complete your tax return. Wherever possible the same accountant will work on your accounts year after year to build a strong working relationship with you. Each tax return is also subject to a complete review process by a senior staff member to assure our high quality standards are met.
Yes, we do offer clients the option of having their fees deducted from their refund.
Yes, we can arrange to see you at your business premises. We find that this can give us a greater understanding of your business, and we also understand that it is sometimes difficult to leave your business during normal business hours. We also provide a bookkeeping service where one of our qualified bookkeepers can visit you at your premises to complete your bookkeeping.
Yes, we are always happy to provide an up-front quote for our services. Many of our business clients also take advantage of our monthly fee arrangements. Please speak to Matthew if this option interests you.
No. All accounting work is completed by accountants employed by Business Initiatives. SMSF Audits are completed by Australian accounting firms.
The main business structures are a Company, Trust, Partnership or Sole Trader. The type you choose to run your business depends on many factors. Will it be a family-run business or will you have business partners? Do you need good asset protection or is a simpler structure sufficient? Speak to us about the best option for your business.
We recommend Xero as a user-friendly, comprehensive and affordable cloud accounting solution for our clients. We also support clients using MYOB, QuickBooks, BankLink and Cashflow Manager.

As an individual tax payer entertainment expenses are, unfortunately, generally not deductible. This includes lunches and dinners where business matters may be discussed.
If you are operating a business then claiming entertainment expenses becomes more complex and may incur fringe benefit tax. Discuss the expenses you wish to claim with your accountant.

Generally speaking, the very minimum records you are required to keep for your employees (and contractors) are as follows;

• copies of tax file number declarations or withholding declarations
• copies of any contracts you have with contractors
• records of wages, allowances and other payments made to workers
• copies of payments and reports provided to the ATO
• copies of payment summaries
• super records, including payments you made and records that show you have met your choice of super fund obligations
• records of fringe benefits provided, tax calculations, worksheets, declarations, elections and supporting details.

From 1 July 2014 the minimum Superannuation Guarantee contribution rate on salary or wage payments is 9.50%. This amount is due on the 28th day following the end of each quarter, although payments can be made more regularly if you wish. For example, if you paid a staff member $1,000 in wages from 1 July 2015 to 30 September 2015, you would need to make a payment of $95.00 to their chosen superannuation fund by the 28th of October.
How much you pay your staff depends on whether their employment is covered under an award, enterprise agreement, the national minimum wage or other registered agreement. The best resource for all employment questions is Fairwork Australia. You should always keep thorough records relating to staff payments and employment.
Individuals, partnerships and trusts who lodge their own tax return must lodge by the 31st of October following the end of the financial year. Companies lodging their own return must do so by the 28th of February the following year. If lodging through a tax agent the due date for all entities is generally extended to May the following year (with some exceptions who may be due earlier).
The ATO is entitled to issue penalties to tax payers who fail to lodge certain documents by the assigned due date. For information on how the ATO calculates penalties, please click here. If you have been issued with a penalty please talk to your accountant as these penalties can be remitted in certain circumstances.

You can claim a number of expenses against your rental property including (but not limited to) advertising, bank charges, rates, land tax, depreciation, repairs, interest expenses, travel, property management fees and capital works. Ensure you keep good records relating to your investment property as this will greatly assist you come tax time!
Sources: ATO Website (www.ato.gov.au), Fairwork Australia (www.fairwork.gov.au)

If you have any other questions or are interested in making an appointment to see one of our accountants please contact us on (08) 8431 7444.