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2020  EOFY Tax Planning Checklist        

With the end of the 2020 financial year approaching, we would like to draw your attention to some things worth considering as part of your year-end tax planning.

As always, we are here to assist you. If you have questions about any of the strategies mentioned in this email, or you would like to explore new opportunities that might be appropriate for your situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Click here to read our full EOFY tax planning checklist here.


The Australian Government Economic Response to Covid-19

April updates to economic response,  20 April 2020

Since the JobKeeper payment was first introduced at the end of March 2020, there have been a number of updates and further announcements made in support of the Government economic response to COVID-19.

These latest updates include:

  • JobKeeper payment – Since first introduced, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has provided extra details including a step by step guide on the process and action required by employers being to enrol for the payment from April 20 onwards.
  • Land tax relief for landlords – States and territories have introduced additional packages to support residential and commercial landlords and tenants impacted by COVID-19. While each jurisdiction is different, many states will provide temporary land tax relief for landlords that offer their tenants, who are facing financial stress, a discount on rent.
  • National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME Commercial Leasing Principles during COVID-19 – A nationwide “Code” has been released to govern commercial, industrial and retail tenancies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Code will be separately legislated and administered by each state and territory.

Read the full summary of the above updates here.

 

Further Government economic response – The JobKeeper Payment,  30 March 2020

On 30 March 2020, the Australian Government announced a 3rd set of economic response to COVID-19 in addition to the initial two stimulus packages announced earlier in March 2020. The latest stimulus package to COVID-19 introduces a JobKeeper Payment which sees to benefit affected workers, businesses and the broader community. Read the JobKeeper payment summary here.

 

Initial Government economic stimulas package in response to COVID-19,  22 March 2020

Further to the Government’s initial economic stimulus package announced on the 12 March 2020, the Government has further announced a second set of measures on 22 March 2020 to help the economy withstand the impacts of Covid-19. This response will see financial support to areas such as individuals and households, businesses, flow of credit as well as state based incentives. Read our full communication to clients here.


Prepare For Life Autumn Winter

 

DO YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND?

by Peter Kelly, Retirement Strategies and Solutions (Centrepoint Alliance)

When COVID-19 first impacted Australia and the country went into lockdown, one of the first casualties were our jobs.

Many businesses simply closed down overnight with employees retrenched, stood down, or simply told not to bother showing up for work. For others, working hours were reduced with their wages following suit.

The news from that period featured stories of endless streams of people lined up outside their local Centrelink office, waiting to apply for the JobSeeker Payment.

I vividly remember the news reporters interviewing those who had lined up, with many admitting that they only had minimal savings in the bank and needed a Centrelink benefit in order to survive.

Then we saw an explosion of Australians lining up at food banks and charities to get access to basic food items.

And these were not young people that might have been studying and only working part-time – these were adults.

What are the steps we must take to ensure we are never faced with having to line up outside Centrelink on the day we lose our job? Continue reading here….

 

LIFE PROTECTION WITH COVID-19

By David Spiteri, Life Insurance Specialist (Centrepoint Alliance)

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus we have seen an enormous
amount of change in how we go about our day to day living.
Some have been unfortunate to have temporarily lost their job, or have taken a reduction of their normal working hours; others have been fortunate to have kept their job, having altered their working arrangements by working from home.

COVID-19 has had more than an effect on many people’s financial situation. In a time of crisis we generally tend to assess our spending habits and look to see where and how costs can be minimised. More importantly, the coronavirus is having a detrimental effect on people’s health and, at the time of writing this, the coronavirus has led to more than 270,000 deaths around the world which has prompted many people to either check their life insurance policies to see if they are covered for the coronavirus or, due to their financial situation, look at options to reduce or suspend their premiums.

Those who received financial advice from a financial planner when implementing their life insurance plan may find they have more options available to assist in funding your life insurance premiums. For others, there may be confusion about how coronavirus has impacted life insurance premiums and what is covered and can be claimed. Continue reading here ……

 

ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?

Mark Teale, Retirement Strategies and Solutions (Centrepoint Allliance)

Several years ago, a good friend was visiting her mum who lived interstate. After the visit she spoke to me regarding her mum’s health. She had not seen her mum for a few months and was shocked at how quickly her health had declined in such a short period of time.
Not only was her mum not eating properly, she was no longer cleaning her home or able to drive her car after an unfortunate accident. She had also stopped paying her bills.

This diminished mental capacity had been noticed not just by my friend, but also by her mum’s doctor.

My friend arranged home care, which solved some of the issues. However, my friend’s mum did not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and it was too late for her to be appointed. This is because her mum’s diminished mental capacity took away that option.
In this case, the Public Trustee was appointed the administrator of her financial affairs and my friend was appointed her guardian, answerable to the administrator – the Public Trustee.

This arrangement was not completely satisfactory and came at a cost.

All major financial decisions had to be approved by the Public Trustee – the sale of her home, entry into a nursing home, and the execution of her will. Plus, every year a complete audit by the Public Trustee (at a cost) was conducted on all income and expenses.
How could this situation have been avoided? By having an Enduring Power of Attorney appointed before the mental capacity of a person become diminished.

So, what is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA)? And how is it different to a General Power of Attorney (POA)?  Continue reading here…..

 

 

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information only. The information contained in this article is not designed to be a substitute for professional advice as such a brief guide cannot consider and cover all individual needs, objectives, circumstances and conditions applying to the law as it relates to these items mentioned in this article. No responsibility can be accepted for errors, omissions or possible misleading statements or for any decisions or actions taken as a result of any material in this communication. Appropriate expert advice should always be considered from a professional financial adviser prior to making any financial decisions.