radford tax logo
07 5495 4100 ◆

Common GST mistakes

Posted on December 15, 2016 by admin

Despite the Australian Tax Office’s education campaign on GST reporting, many small business owners continue to make errors when claiming GST credits in their GST returns or Business Activity Statements.

The vast majority of errors are easily unavoidable and relate to the over-claiming of GST credits. Here are the top ten common GST mistakes:

Residential rental property: Incorrectly claiming GST credits on expenses relating to residential rental properties where the entity is registered for GST.

Bank fees: Generally, annual fees, monthly fees and loan establishment fees are input-taxed, and therefore, there is no GST to claim. However, GST is charged on credit card merchants’ fees and therefore can be claimed.

Private expenses: GST is not claimable on private expenses such as personal loans, director fees and drawings etc.

Interest: Interest paid on loan or chattel mortgage repayments or credit card payments does not incur GST, and cannot be claimed.

The total cost of a business insurance policy: Insurance policies usually include stamp duty (which is GST-free), however, the rest of the policy is subject to GST. A GST credit cannot be claimed on the stamp duty portion of the policy as no GST is paid.

Government fees: GST is not charged on government fees i.e. council rates, land tax, ASIC filing fees, motor vehicle registration and water rates, and therefore, GST credits cannot be claimed.

GST-free purchases: Incorrectly claiming a GST credits on purchases without GST, such as basic food items, exports and certain health services is a common mistake. Remember not all suppliers are registered for GST, so check the tax invoice before claiming a credit.

Entertainment expenses: Claiming the entire GST credits on entertainment expenses where the business has elected to use the 50/50 split method for fringe benefits tax is incorrect. Only 50 per cent of the GST credits can be claimed.

Wages and superannuation payments: Both of these do not attract GST and cannot be claimed. Wages are not an expense to be included in G11; they are to be reported in W1 in your BAS. Superannuation is not included in BAS.

Sole traders and partnerships: When claiming expenses that are used for private and business use, you must apportion the expenditure to exclude private usage.

maximise your business's value

latest news

Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

radford tax associationsradford tax associationsradford tax associations