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Improving Financial Literacy for Everyday Australians

Building financial capabilities requires a long-term commitment to lay the foundations for behavioural change over time. We all confront significant financial decisions at key points in our lives, such as leaving school, undertaking study, entry to the workforce, purchasing property, having children, or reaching retirement. To help people develop healthy financial habits and make better decisions about money, ASIC is implementing a National Strategy. The five priorities in the National Strategy are: Educate the next generation, particularly through the formal education system. Increase the use of free, impartial information, tools and resources. Provide quality guidance and support. Strengt

Christmas Parties and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)

There is no separate fringe benefits tax (FBT) category for Christmas parties and you may encounter many different circumstances when providing these events to your staff. Fringe benefits provided by you, an associate, or under an arrangement with a third party to any current employees, past and future employees and their associates (spouses and children), may attract FBT. Implications for taxpaying body If you are not a tax-exempt organisation and do not use the 50-50 split method for meal entertainment, the following explanations may help you determine whether there are FBT implications arising from a Christmas party. Exempt property benefits The costs (such as food and drink) associated w

Breast Cancer and your Protection

A diagnosis of breast cancer can be challenging emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. There is support available for all aspects of your care but for now the most important guidance we can offer is to take things one step at a time. What are the breast cancer stats? So far, in 2017, 17,586 women and 144 men have been diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 715 for men. As you can see in the *table below, breast cancer is the highest diagnosed cancer amongst Australians. *Source: https://breast-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/statistics In Australia, the overall five-year survival rate for b

Single Touch Payroll starts from 1 July 2018

From the 1st of July 2018 Single Touch Payroll (STP) will go live for employers of over 19 staff. STP will require an employer to report in 'real time' to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) each time it makes payments to employees, withholds income tax, and becomes liable to make superannuation contributions. The ATO continues to work with payroll software developers to refine specifications and test the solutions, in preparation for go-live. Our latest communication with the ATO suggests that it will take a pragmatic approach to implementation of STP, if it transpires that payroll software providers are at different stages of readiness by 1 July 2018. Employers can also expect to see th

Financial Market Update

The S&P/ASX200 Accumulation index had a flat month, quarter, and half year, with a -0.91% return since the end of March. The one year numbers still show a gain of 9.25%, quite a bit lower than the 12 months that ended 30 June. Global markets had a better month, with gains of 3.39% and a rolling 12 month return that tops the charts at 15.89%. Bond markets sold off again during September as interest rates rose. The one year figures are negative or close to it for both global and Australian bonds. This is a slow burn, and although from month to month we may see some gains when political events see a rush to the safety of long dated government bonds, the general trend appears to be to higher l