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Update 1 August 2023


In this month's market update for the June quarter, markets defied economic logic as data indicated an imminent recession both locally and globally, yet most asset classes experienced positive returns. Central banks turned more hawkish due to persistently high inflation in many countries, and though headline inflation declined due to eased energy and food prices, core inflation remained slow to fall and even reaccelerated in some regions. Economic indicators continued to show signs of an impending recession, with Australia's government bond yield curve finally inverting. The US dealt with a debt ceiling crisis, China's growth disappointed, and Europe faced challenges from rising living costs and inflation. Japan showed promise with sustainable inflation and economic growth. Australia experienced a surprise budget surplus and rising property prices amid fears of missing out on the rate hiking cycle. Geopolitical risks increased, and US equities outperformed with technology stocks leading the way. Despite short-term caution due to central bank actions, a constructive medium-term outlook remains with opportunities for active investing through diversification and selective, valuation-focused behavior.

Did you know that from 1 July, the sharing economy reporting requires individuals and businesses engaged in sharing economy activities to report their income and comply with tax obligations? The ATO oversees this, ensuring that platforms facilitating sharing economy transactions, such as ride-sharing, short-term accommodation rentals, and other peer-to-peer services, provide data on payments made to providers. Sharing economy participants are required to declare their income from these activities in their tax returns, and deductions related to these services may also be claimed where applicable. The reporting regime aims to promote tax compliance and transparency within the growing sharing economy sector in Australia.

What is PSI? If more than half of your contract income stems from your personal efforts or skills, it can significantly impact your tax return and allowable deductions. This type of income is referred to as "personal services income" (PSI) and can be earned directly as a sole trader or through various entities like companies, partnerships, or trusts. To determine what deductions you're eligible for, you (as a sole trader) or the entity earning PSI must assess whether you're conducting a "personal services business" (PSB) using specific PSB tests. If a PSB is confirmed, you can claim the usual business deductions related to your PSI. However, if you're not conducting a PSB, the PSI rules will apply, limiting the deductions you can claim against your PSI.

Fee-Free Traineeships in NSW offer businesses the opportunity to access fee-free training for new trainees they employ, resulting in potential savings of up to $1000 per trainee in training costs. This program benefits NSW businesses by facilitating on-the-job learning for trainees, up-skilling existing staff, and ensuring employees possess the necessary skills for business growth and success. The courses provided can be customized to meet the specific needs of each business. Closing date is 31 December 2023.

The Northern Rivers holds regular Community Events. See what's on and keep up to date on all the fantastic opportunities available and help to support local.

A reminder, there are some important lodgement dates to note this month.

The WD Nicholls Team

Welcome to the 2023/2024 Financial year!


The June quarter was a stark reminder that markets can defy economic logic in the short term with data all but confirming looming recession locally and globally whilst most asset classes saw reasonable to strong positive returns.


Central banks grew more hawkish as the quarter went on as inflation remained persistently high in most countries. Whilst headline inflation has peaked and continues to fall due to easing energy and food prices and repaired supply chains, core or underlying inflation is falling at a much slower pace and reaccelerated higher in some countries during the quarter. Demand remains more resilient than most expected given the extraordinary amount of stimulus provided during covid still providing consumers with spending capacity whilst labour markets remain very tight with unemployment still extremely low and wage growth remaining elevated. As such, central banks have brought back their tough talking on the fight against inflation to ensure that the inflation trajectory continues on a downward path and does not reaccelerate higher as it has in some jurisdictions.


In contrast, leading economic indicators continued to flash red pointing to looming recessions, with Australia joining the party in the quarter as the government bond yield curve finally inverted (ie. shorter-dated bond yields higher than longer-dated yields). Retail sales data continued to weaken. Manufacturing production and services remained in contractionary territory and weakened further. Consumer and business confidence and sentiment remain well below their covid peaks, whilst continuing to weaken in some countries. Bad debts are beginning to rise but are off a very low base. Economic growth continues to contract globally with Germany and NZ entering technical recessions in the quarter, and others expected to follow over the next 6-9 months.


Around the grounds, the US finally patched over their US debt ceiling debacle with a last minute and very odd agreement to extend the ceiling until after the 2024 elections with no upper limit. US banking system stress seemed to stabilise during the quarter, but regional banks are not out of the woods just yet.


China growth continued to disappoint with weak export data, elevated levels of youth unemployment, soft manufacturing data, with consumers and domestic investors remaining overly cautious. Foreign investors grew more impatient with the China reopening efforts, wanting to see significantly more stimulus from Chinese authorities with only minor stimulus provided in the quarter.

Europe remained under pressure from a cost-of-living perspective as energy and food costs remained high given the ongoing impacts of the Russia/Ukraine conflict and central banks obliged on the inflation-fighting front with more rate rises. China’s slow reopening also heavily impacted Europe given demand and export/import headwinds.


Japan performed well in the quarter with the country finally having what looks to be a more sustainable inflation and economic growth outlook.


Closer to home, we saw a surprise Federal Budget surplus, higher than expected increase in award and minimum wages, and Australian residential property prices moving higher yet again as “fear of missing out” crept back in following the RBA’s April rate pause and the misguided talk early in the quarter that the rate hiking cycle may be done.


Geopolitical risks rose as China and the West continued with trade and economic sanctions / restrictions whilst Taiwan, semiconductors (chips), and military exercises in the South China Sea risked further escalation in tensions. The Russia / Ukraine conflict continued with still no end in sight, whilst social unrest in France worsened with violent street protests.


US equities were the highlight in the quarter, as technology stocks performed exceptionally well with a very narrow seven stocks doing all the heavy lifting. This came after US March quarter company reporting season was better than expected and US headline inflation fell faster than expected providing a boost that the US central bank may be close on the rate hiking front. In contrast, bonds struggled in the quarter as yields rose strongly (prices fell) with investors turning their attention to a “higher for longer” mantra on rates.


Outlook

Whilst we remain cautious on the short-term outlook given central bank action clearly aimed at crushing excess demand, we remain constructive on the medium-term outlook as higher interest rates punish speculative behaviour whilst rewarding patient, selective, and valuation-focused behaviour. Tougher economic backdrops do bring about both risks and opportunities, with the latter usually playing out through the demise of weaker companies and the strengthening of quality companies.


Diversification is pleasingly working again and correlations (relationship) between individual stocks are falling at a rapid pace presenting great opportunities for active investing yet again.


Finally, the returns for July are:

Source: Chris Lioutas - Independent Investment Consultant

From 1 July, electronic distribution platforms that provide short-term accommodation or taxi travel, including ride-sourcing, are required to collect and report seller transactions to the ATO as part of the new Sharing Economy Reporting Regime (SERR).


If you operate an Electronic Distribution Platform (EDP) you must report transactions made through your platform.


Under SERR, an EDP is a service that:

  • allows sellers to make supplies available to buyers (for example, guests booking accommodation or passengers booking car rides)

  • is delivered via electronic communication.

A seller is an entity that makes supplies via an EDP. A buyer is the end user of the supplies.

An EDP can be, but is not limited to:

  • a website

  • internet portal

  • gateway

  • application

  • online store

  • marketplace.

Platforms are not considered an EDP if they only provide:

  • carriage services that transmit electronic communications

  • access to payment systems or payment processing services

  • advertising that makes customers aware of products and links them to a merchant's website.

Transactions reportable under SERR


EDP operators must report transactions:

  • when a seller uses their platform to make a supply that is connected with Australia (including its external territories)

  • that are available to end users and receive payment or other consideration for the supply.

This includes ride-sourcing, short-term accommodation, hiring (not selling) of assets and services made available through the platform. Assets hired could include personal assets, storage or business space. Services could include food delivery, professional, performing tasks and activities.

EDP operators do not need to report:

  • transactions where an amount of the payment must be withheld under Division 12 in Schedule 1 to the Tax Administration Act 1953, for example, for salary and wages

  • transactions where the operator and seller are members of the same tax-consolidated or multiple-entry consolidated group

  • transactions where only the title or ownership of goods or real property is exchanged

  • transactions involving financial supplies, such as financial securities trading

  • where exemptions apply as provided by the ATO.

The platforms through which you provide sharing economy services may ask you for more information to meet their obligations under the SERR including:

  • ABN and business trading name

  • first, middle and family name

  • date of birth

  • residential or business address

  • email address and telephone numbers

  • bank account details.

Check with your platform for more information on their privacy policy. There are laws protecting the privacy of information held by the ATO.


Source and credit: ATO.gov.au

Did you know that if more than half the income you receive from a contract is for your personal efforts or skills, it can affect how you complete your tax return and the deductions you can claim? This income is called personal services income (PSI). You can earn it in almost any industry either directly as a sole trader or through another entity such as a company, partnership or trust.

To understand what you can and can’t claim, you (if you're a sole trader), or the entity you're earning PSI through, need to work out if you’re conducting a personal services business (PSB) by using the PSB tests.

If you establish that you’re conducting a PSB, you can claim the same business deductions you normally would in relation to your PSI. However, if you aren’t conducting a PSB, then PSI rules apply and will limit the deductions you can claim against your PSI.

This means you can’t claim deductions for:

  • rent, mortgage interest, rates and land tax

  • payments made to associates (for example spouse, child or other relative) for administrative work, such as bookkeeping and answering phones

  • expenses that you generally wouldn’t be able to claim if you were an employee.

For example, if you provide marketing services and employ your spouse to issue invoices and bank receipts, you can’t claim a deduction on the wages you pay them or the super contributions you make as their employer.

When completing your tax return, you need to report your PSI even if you’re a PSB and the PSI rules don’t apply to you. How you report your PSI will depend on whether you operate as a sole trader, company, partnership, or trust. In each case there are specific labels on your tax return that you need to complete.

Source and credit: ATO.gov.au

Fee-Free Traineeships provide NSW businesses with access to fee-free traineeships when they employ a new trainee. CLOSING DATE IS 31 DECEMBER 2023.


Application detail:


What do you get?

A saving of up to $1000 for training costs per trainee.


Who is this for?

NSW businesses.


Overview

Through Fee-free traineeships NSW, businesses can benefit from free qualification training for their trainees. Making it easier for NSW businesses to get the skilled staff they require.


Businesses will benefit by:

  • having trainees learn on the job

  • up-skilling existing staff

  • having employees with the necessary skills required for a thriving and expanding business

  • access to courses that can be tailored to meet the needs of their business.

Check if you can apply

To be eligible, your employee must:

  • have commenced their training on or after 1 January 2020

  • be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen, living or working in NSW

  • be undertaking a course funded under the Smart and Skilled program.

Contact information

Source and credit: Business.gov.au


We always like to support our locals! Here are some community events happening this month (in date order).


Workshop series for Creating Climate Resilient Landscapes next date is Friday 4 August 2023 | 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM


Plan C and Brunswick Valley Landcare are delivering four workshops, located in and around Byron Shire, to help guide you to build a wildlife habitat garden, suited to your local area.


Presenters will showcase local native plants that are drought-resistant, fire-retardant, and flood-tolerant, and which provide food and habitat for native wildlife.


Workshops include a morning of theory and discussion, with an afternoon site visit. Each workshop will focus on the types of plants that grow in that particular area, so visit the event website to find out which workshop best suits your local environment.

  • Coastal & Heathland - Friday, August 4th (Marvel Hall, Byron Bay)

  • Rainforest - Friday, August 11th (Pearces Creek Hall, between Lismore and Bangalow)

  • Riverine & Creek - Sunday, August 20th (Shearwater Steiner School, Mullumbimby)

  • Hinterland - Friday, August 25th (Uki Hall, Uki)

The workshops are free to attend, please register to reserve a spot.


Location: Marvel Hall, 37 Marvell St, Byron Bay


Byron Community Market next date is Sunday, 6 August 2023 | 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

The Byron Bay Community Market hosts an eclectic collection of market stalls that showcase what Byron has to offer.


The market is held from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on the 1st Sunday of every month.


Location: in the Byron Bay CBD, spreads along the rail corridor, Railway Park, and onto Jonson Street.


Council planning meeting next date is Thursday, 10 August 2023 | 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Council meetings are usually held in the Chambers. As these were damaged in the 2022 floods, Council meetings are being held in the Conference Room, Mullumbimby Council Administration Building.

Location: Council Administration Building, 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby


Byron Writers Festival date is Friday 11 August - Sunday 13 August

The annual Byron Writers Festival is Australia’s largest and leading regional celebration of storytelling, literature and ideas.


Each year they present more than 150 sessions during Festival Week and attract an audience of approximately 12,000 people (or 70,000 individual attendances) in the stunning surrounds of the Byron Shire.


The new festival site is located Bangalow Showground, Market Street, Bangalow (approx 15min drive from Byron Bay).


For more information and tickets visit, Byron Writers Festival.


A free festival shuttle bus will be operating from Byron Bay. For more information, visit Byron Writers Festival - Travel


On-site car parking is by donation (EFTPOS facilities available) and opens at 7.30am each day. Carpooling is encouraged!


Location: Bangalow Show Grounds, Market Street, Bangalow


Mullumbimby Community Market next date is Saturday, 19 August 2023 | 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

The Mullumbimby Community Market is held on the third Saturday of each month from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.


Location: Corner of Stuarts and Myocum Streets, Mullumbimby


If you want to know more about what is going on in your local community, click the link below.


Source and credit: Byron.nsw.gov.au


If you wish to arrange a telephone appointment or zoom meeting with one of our team please contact our office either by telephone or email.


Key lodgement and payment dates for business


11 August Activity statements

  • Quarter 4 (April–June) activity statements lodged electronically – final date for lodgment and payment

    • refer to Lodging your activity statements online for information on your eligibility for this later due date

    • finalising all your PAYG instalments before you lodge your tax return will ensure you receive the correct amount of credit in your income tax assessment

14 August PAYG withholding

  • PAYG withholding payment summary annual report – final date for lodgment

    • use this to summarise all payments to your employees and other payees and the amounts withheld from salary and wages and other payments

    • these amounts should have been reported at labels W1 and W2 on previous financial year activity statements.

Employee Share Scheme (ESS) annual report

  • ESS annual report – final day for lodgment.

21 August Activity statements

  • July monthly activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment.

GST

  • Final date for eligible monthly GST reporters to elect to report GST annually.

28 August Taxable payments annual report

Superannuation

  • Lodge and pay quarter 4 (1 April–30 June) Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly if you did not pay your contributions on time.

  • You can choose to offset contributions you've paid late to a fund for each employee against the super guarantee charge for the quarter for those employees.

  • You cannot claim an income tax deduction for the super guarantee charge.

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