Claim back Christmas this year

Claim back Christmas this year

Claim back Christmas this year

We can’t do much about the “no dancing” this year, but we can help you negotiate the rules around Christmas parties, gifts and deductibility.

what can you claim this christmas?

We can’t do much about the “no dancing” this year, but we can help you negotiate the rules around Christmas parties, gifts and deductibility.

Each Christmas business owners big and small ask us what they can deduct from work Christmas parties and gifts. Sound like a question you have? We thought so, keep reading!

So, here’s what you need to know.

What is FBT, and what does it have to do with Christmas?

FBT stands for Fringe Benefits Tax and it’s important to understand that there is no independent fringe benefits tax (FBT) category for Christmas parties. However, certain aspects of your Christmas party may be exempt from FBT if they can pass as a minor and infrequent benefit.

A minor benefit is defined by the ATO as a benefit that is ‘less than $300 in notional taxable value’ and ‘unreasonable to treat as a fringe benefit’. Under this definition, you may be eligible for relief from FBT as long as the cost per head does not exceed $300. To calculate this simply divide the total cost of the party by the number of attendees.

“Always remember that if an item is exempt from FBT, then it is not tax deductible, nor can you claim the GST credits.”

Can I claim my Christmas gifts?

The $300 limit also applies to Christmas gifts you provide to your staff however the deductibility and GST treatment is based on whether the gift is “entertainment” or “non-entertainment”. To get the best outcome we recommend providing “non-entertainment” gifts (see below) costing less than $300 and you will be able to claim a tax deduction plus claim the GST.

Examples of non-entertainment gifts:

  • Skincare and beauty products
  • Flowers
  • Wine
  • Perfumes
  • Gift vouchers
  • Hampers.

Did you know?

Did you know if you serve alcohol at your Christmas party – the entire event’s expenses become non-deductible?

The ins and outs of deductibility

For the entire cost of a Christmas party to be a deductible expense, the Christmas party must meet the following criteria:

  • Held on your business premises

  • Held on a working day

  • Held for current employees, volunteers, customers, and suppliers only

  • No alcohol

  • Only finger food or a light meal provided

  • No employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) present

If a Christmas party includes any of the following elements, the entire cost is non-deductible:

  • Alcohol is served
  • Employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) attending
  • Held at a location other than your business premises

The Christmas deduction wrap-up

In summary, you can avoid FBT during the festive season by keeping the per head costs below $300, but the expenditure will be non-deductible entertainment.

Some may argue that ensuring your Christmas party is tax deductible by complying with the above criteria is not in the best interests of staff moral and certainly not inductive to building strong relationships and fostering a positive work culture within your business.

Lisa Hooton
Who would you want to be stranded on a desert island with? Someone with a boat. Something you may not know about me? Before studying Accounting, I was studying a Bachelor of Music in performance. Oh, and I love golf.

Still have questions?

Perhaps you’d like to know more about this blog’s topic? Or perhaps we impressed you so much with our know-how on this topic, that you’d like to ask us about another accounting related topic?

Either way, feel free to drop us a line – we really are as friendly as we seem to be 🙂

Nurture Accounting XERO GOLD Partner – what does it mean for my business?

Nurture Accounting XERO GOLD Partner – what does it mean for my business?

GOLD GOLD GOLD!!

We’ve got some great news

Now here’s some great news you’re going to want to stay tuned for, because it could mean money back in your pocket, thanks to, well – us. Hot off the press, it’s official – Nurture Accounting has just been awarded GOLD Partner status by Xero.

We’re confident that the Xero brand needs no introduction to savvy small business people such as yourselves. However, just in case you’ve been living under a rock, they boast that “online accounting with Xero opens up a world of opportunities to increase efficiency, streamline the way you manage your business, and add moments of beauty into your working day”.

Now, it’s no secret that the Nurture Team are Xero junkies. We fell head over heels, it was love at first reconciliation – and the relationship is still going strong 7 years later. And now, Xero has finally proposed to us – with our shiny new GOLD status.

“Online accounting with Xero opens up a world of opportunities to increase efficiency, streamline the way you manage your business, and add moments of beauty into your working day”

GOLD status doesn’t just mean discounts for you

Yes, we know, a 25% discount is AWESOME. But you should also know that it’s pretty much the same as saying that as far as accountants go – we’re the bees’ knees. GOLD status basically means we can get you set up and running with Xero easily and efficiently. It also means we can help you with learning the software, as well as support you if you come across any issues along the way.

We can also help with advice about implementing and integrating the incredible range of add-on software apps available to Xero users. In short; we can help take your business to the next level and beyond.

“The reason emailing can take us so long is because we need two different mindsets – processing & thinking”

Hurry up and tell me how this benefits ME?!

The main benefit is as a Xero Gold Partner, we have access to a 25% discount on the Xero subscriptions we control (Xero Business Plans). What’s more – we’ll be passing on 100% of this discount to ALL our clients new and old.

We decided it’s about time we put Xero’s money where our mouth is – and show you that we really do care about you guys.

Oh yeh, so what’s the catch?

No catch, no up-sell, no special fine print. Our only requirement is that fees are set-up to be paid monthly OR your subscription is paid 3 months in advance. That’s it!!

Existing business edition clients will be receiving communication from our office later this month about how this will impact them.

Existing partner edition clients (Xero Cashbook) will also receive communication from our office on if upgrading to a Business Edition plan with the discount may be of benefit to them.

How did Nurture become a Xero GOLD Partner?

Through blood, sweat and tears. Ok, but seriously, Xero GOLD status basically reflects our level of experience with Xero, and the success we have achieved for our clients. It’s an achievement we are not too shy to boast about, because we have been intensely working towards this goal as a team for quite some time.

At Nurture, we have not just one, but an entire team of Xero certified advisors. This means there is always a team member available to guide you in how to use the functions in Xero, to better understand how your business is performing.

A 25% discount still hasn’t convinced you to switch to Xero?

As I always say, real-time figures are your secret weapon – your best friend. Xero delivers on this and more. So why don’t we share with you just a few of the reasons why we think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Main pro’s to Xero:

  • Run your business anytime, from any internet-connected device – phone, tablet or computer
  • Understand your real-time cash position
  • Collaborate with your accountant, bookkeeper and team in real-time
  • Get paid faster for better cash flow
  • Protect your business data

“Real-time figures are your secret weapon – your best friend”

Not using Xero and want to know more? Using Xero but not getting the love and support you are seeking? New to business and need help?

Your inbox – who manages who?

Your inbox – who manages who?

Imagine going to check your home letterbox, only to find 300 unread items of mail sitting there, waiting for your attention. This may send a shiver down your spine, however, having 300 unread emails seems to have become the norm.

Most of the research on email efficiency suggests batching and checking emails 2-3 times a day at most. Scheduling in a regular email management time, instead of letting it take priority over your to-do list is vital.

The following is the most common methodology for getting emails under control:

WHEN EMAIL TAKES OVER

  1. Turn off your email notifications
  2. Have calendar/task list on a second screen
  3. Close your inbox (however hard this may be)

You may like to take advantage of some technology apps and programs which can help alleviate your email-to-task-list nightmares. A fan favourite for turning emails to tasks is Trello. The beauty of Trello is its ability to sync with Outlook, G-mail and most of other popular emailing systems. This means importing the entire email into your task list – without taking up valuable space.

MORE MAIL = MORE STRESS

Whether you’ve worked out a way to sift through your emails efficiently or not – it’s clear we’ve become email junkies. From checking several times per hour, to late night emailing. It’s become an issue which is taking over our lives. We become too used to butterflying with our emails, checking one without actioning it. Only to then butterflying to another – without doing much on that either.
Poor email management creates stress, wastes time and reduces our performance. An important email which could have been done quite easily can become a big crisis if left undone. Deadlines can be missed, delays can be created and stress builds up.

“Poor email management creates stress, wastes time and reduces our performance”

If you feel like you can identify with more than one of the above sentiments, it may be time for an email detox. When starting your email cleanse, why not consider the following items:

  1. Don’t spend too much time on non-value adding emails. Set a timer for 5 minutes to make sure you’re not wasting your precious time, and delegate wherever possible
  2. Unsubscribe from mailing lists, they will only waste your time
  3. Create a rule to ensure any emails you are CC’d in, go to a separate folder.

TIME FOR A DETOX

Creating a rule to automatically move all emails you are CC’d in to a specific folder. This means you are then able to prioritise other emails, and come back to check CC’d emails all at once. Alternatively, have a conversation with the people who tend to CC you in a little too often. Take the opportunity to discuss curbing their habit to only those items you really want to see.

When the time comes to check your inbox, be sure to caffeinate prior. Aim to process as many emails as possible during a set amount of time. The reason emailing can take us so long is because we need two different mindsets – processing & thinking. With your inbox, add any emails which will take more than 5 minutes to action to your task list.

Also make sure your task title includes enough information for you to be able to prioritise it accordingly. An example of this may be “Email Lydia about her new accounting software purchase”.

“The reason emailing can take us so long is because we need two different mindsets – processing & thinking”

Once you have sifted through the emails which need to go on your task list, go back and reply to all the quick 5-minute emails, ensuring you keep an eye on the time. Once those are done, you now can return to your task list, make sure the emails you’ve added are ordered alongside your current to-dos, and then get cracking on the most important item next.

Last but definitely not least – if you are finished with an email – be sure to delete it or move it to an appropriate folder. This is so that you can get the dopamine release related to completing a task, and perhaps even one day soon, the beautiful reward of an empty inbox.

REMEMBER, YOUR INBOX SHOULD NOT BE:

  • A filing system
  • A task management system
  • A contact management system
  • A bin

OUR FINAL ADVICE ON EMAIL COMPOSITION:

  1. Emails should be short and to the point, otherwise you’re just perpetuating the system
  2. Leave the subject line until you have completed your email, and be sure to label it with the most accurate subject title
  3. Leave white space so that your recipient can easily scan to the items which they are most interested in
  4. Be clear on the purpose of the email, and what you are expecting in return (if anything)
  5. Avoid CC-ing the whole world, keep it on a need to know basis only
  6. Proof-read your email before sending, including checking you’ve attached everything and labelled it with the right recipient.

    Sick of wasting time emailing your accountant – only for them to ignore you? Why not experience the Nurture difference, with support you can access when it suits you.

    Employer Guide to Christmas – Part 2

    Employer Guide to Christmas – Part 2

    Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is deductions!

    Okay, so we don’t have to be Santa to know what’s on every business owners list this year – deductions.

    Each Christmas business owners big and small ask us what they can deduct from work Christmas parties and gifts. Sound like a question you have? We thought so, keep reading!

    So here’s what you need to know.

    FBT

    FBT stands for Fringe Benefits Tax and it’s important to understand that there is no independent fringe benefits tax (FBT) category for Christmas parties. However, certain aspects of your Christmas party may be exempt from FBT if they can pass as a minor and infrequent benefit.

    A minor benefit is defined by the ATO as a benefit that is ‘less than $300 in notional taxable value’ and ‘unreasonable to treat as a fringe benefit’. Under this definition, you may be eligible for relief from FBT as long as the cost per head does not exceed $300. To calculate this simply divide the total cost of the party by the number of attendees.

    “Always remember that if an item is exempt from FBT then it is not tax deductible nor can you claim the GST credits.”

    Gifts

    The $300 limit also applies to Christmas gifts you provide to your staff however the deductibility and GST treatment is based on whether the gift is “entertainment” or “non-entertainment”. To get the best outcome we recommend providing “non-entertainment” gifts (e.g. skincare & beauty products, flowers, wine, perfumes, gift vouchers and hampers) costing less than $300 and you will be able to claim a tax deduction plus claim the GST.

    Deductibility

    For the entire cost of a Christmas party to be a deductible expense the Christmas party must meet the following criteria:

    • Held on your business premises
    • Held on a working day
    • Held for current employees, volunteers, customers, and suppliers only
    • No alcohol
    • Only finger food or a light meal provided
    • No employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) present

    If a Christmas party includes any of the following elements, the entire cost in non-deductible:

    • Alcohol is served
    • Employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) attending
    • Held at a location other than your business premises

    The Christmas Deduction Wrap-up

    In summary, you can avoid FBT during the festive season by keeping the per head costs below $300 but the expenditure will be non-deductible entertainment.

    Some may argue that ensuring your Christmas party is tax deductible by complying with the above criteria is not in the best interests of staff moral and certainly not inductive to building strong relationships and fostering a positive work culture within your business.

    Wanting Jingle Bells to sound more like Jingle Coins? Sounds like you need a good accountant! Speak to Nurture about Christmas Deductions Today!

    Small Business winter is coming

    Small Business winter is coming

    The cold weather may be making its way (finally) out of our lives, but the fact of the matter is that this time of year can be one of the hardest for small businesses to survive. Just when we thought there wasn’t enough to deal with as a small business, here comes the after mid-year slump. It’s important to realise that our ability as small business owners to increase profit doesn’t simply rely upon the quantity of sales or price of sales. It is also greatly dependant on your expenses and the spending you’re left with at the end of the month. Of course, there are plenty of ways to cut corners, but let’s focus on the ways you can do so without affecting your business’ efficacy or productivity. Here’s a few tips to warm your business soul as you suffer through this spring slump.

    TIME TO GO BUSH WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR EMPLOYEES

    When trying to decrease operating costs, the first thing you may wish to do is start hiring remote workers. Sure, the stigma may be that only ‘digital’ businesses can do this. However, it may be surprising how many tasks can be achieved by someone only a few towns over, or perhaps even ‘out bush’. Combine this with not having to rent a large office space or pay for things like electricity and someone’s morning tea. You’ll quickly find a hidden stash of money you’re not having to spend. It also means you have the ability to search within a much larger talent pool for the best workers.

    IF YOU’RE NOT PAYING ONLINE, YOU’RE LIVING IN THE DARK AGES

    It may seem simple in today’s digital world to suggest you pay your bills online instead of in line. Did you know that it costs a small business between $12 and $30 in costs to pay for a single bill? In contrast to this, paying online means fewer missed bills and more time saved. If you have the ability to automate a whole heap of your bills as well with direct debit – why not take advantage of this. The amount of time you save not having to pay bills will also save you money – winning!

    GET YOUR BARTER ON

    Sometimes it’s very tempting to not make the situation awkward, by not asking any of your suppliers, or even your landlord, if they can do you a better deal. Well it’s time to get down and dirty so that your business can be more sustainable in the long run. Think about the fact that if your supplier is doing an average of 10 hours a week work for you. If they’re willing to lower their rate by just $10, that’s already $5,200 a year you’re saving.

    BULK BUY LIKE IT’S ARMAGEDDON

    Well we did say that winter was coming. So why not stock up on all of the items you’re always going to need more of. This could be your most sold products, most used tools, or perhaps is as simple as toilet paper and tissues. There’s a lot to be said for buying items when there is money to spare and therefore making a saving. Versus leaving it until the last minute and having to buy the more expensive version.

    LISTS ARE FOR LOOSE CHANGE

    Yes, this step is the most boring, and the least often task a small business embarks upon. When it comes to stretching every dollar to its maximum capacity, it’s important to write down all your business costs. This may be something as simple as the amount spent on coffees out of the office. You may think it’s not going to save you very much, but then be pleasantly surprised when the process leads to finding a subscription you’d completely forgotten about – leaving more money for the essentials. If you’re not sure about cancelling a service – best to attempt going without and see if you miss it.

    Hopefully these few tips can act as your winter woollies against the iciness of the coming business dip. Be sure to also stock up on comfort food and caffeine to make the long nights at work more bearable. Alternately, if you’re sick of barely surviving month to month, why not book in for a business advice session with one of our awesome team? We’re accountants who just happen to know a bunch about business, and we’d love to help you grow. Call me for a chat any time!

     

    LISA – 07 3491 3458 – LISA@NURTUREACCOUNTING.COM.AU