top of page

Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Update 1 November 2022


Refurbishments to our office are progressing well. See below for an update.


In this month's market update Tony provides insight into the impacts on inflation in the US and an overview of current interest rates in the US and RBA rate rises. What is the future looking like? Market speculation is based around these questions;

  1. How high will interest rates rise?

  2. When will inflation start to fall?

  3. Most importantly are we heading toward a global recession, and how bad will it be?

The Budget for 2022-23 has been released with the Government allocating $15.1 million to extend the tailored small business mental health and financial counselling programs.


Energy grants for small and medium-sized businesses will see $62.6 million be available in grants over the next 3 years to support small and medium-sized businesses in improving their energy efficiency and reducing energy use. There is good news for Employers with Workplace relations support for small businesses. An upgrade to electricity grids will support the transformation to a clean energy future and a reduction in transport emissions. Rural Australia will gain more access to NBN with further developments expected. Disaster relief will be available for government payments to individuals and help support state efforts to alleviate the immediate hardship being experienced by communities and businesses.


Recent data breaches show how important personal information is. This Cyber Security Awareness Month, take the time to check if your cyber security practices need a spring clean with some simple steps.


Planning your staff Christmas gathering? Have you considered FBT implications of your celebration?


The WD Nicholls Team


After the recent devastating floods, the office is receiving a much-needed refurbishment.


Office renovations are underway and we are making good progress.


The phones will still be on and the administration team will be on-site, however, the professional team will continue to work from home for the moment.


We are available for phone appointments. The office will have limited access so we ask that you call reception on 02 6684 2502 prior to your visit for directions to the temporary entrance.


We look forward to greeting everyone in our new look offices. We expect that it will be three more weeks of disruption.


For investors, the current market has not shown much improvement. Inflation in the US has at least stopped rising but as of October we haven’t seen it falling which is what everyone is waiting to see.


As a result, the US has continued to increase interest rates. The US interest rate is now at 3% - 3.25%%. The same story in Australia except for one difference. Earlier this month the RBA Board made the decision to shift from their 0.50% monthly increases and begin increasing the rate at 0.25%.


The official rate now in Australia is 2.60%. The market was very happy with this decision as it shows a fundamental change in their monetary policy.

As mentioned above, not a lot has changed over the three months and therefore markets are continuing to speculate on;

  1. How high will interest rates rise?

  2. When will inflation start to fall?

  3. Most importantly are we heading toward a global recession, and how bad will it be?

With all these questions yet to be answered, you will see markets have been volatile.

Here is a chart of the ASX 200 and you can see the rally from July to Aug with the market expecting interest rates not to rise as high as initially thought. Then in September, that view changed:

With regard to markets across the globe you will see the ASX 200 has provided some shelter from the volatility (up to the end of September):

However, the other big mover in financial markets is the US Dollar. Many times in these potential recessionary times, investors move to “safer” investments and with the US still being the largest economy in the world, the US Dollar has strengthened considerably. Therefore, when you look to convert your USD investments back into Australian Dollars you will note the S&P 500 return has improved by 13%.

Looking forward, we need to see the end of the rate hiking cycles and/or inflation settling at a faster pace before we gain greater comfort. What is providing comfort is that the world is mostly going into this period from a position of strength – ie. household and corporate balance sheets appear to be in excellent shape, with two years of significant asset price growth and tight labour markets, which provides a buffer or floor leading into this weaker period.

Mental health and well-being support


The Government is providing $15.1 million to extend the tailored small business mental health and financial counselling programs, NewAccess for Small Business Owners and the Small Business Debt Helpline. These programs have assisted many small businesses through the challenges of COVID-19 and recent natural disasters.


Energy grants for small and medium-sized businesses


$62.6 million will be available in grants over the next 3 years to support small and medium-sized businesses in improving their energy efficiency and reducing energy use.

These grants will empower small and medium-sized businesses to invest in cost-saving, energy-efficient upgrades that will put downward pressure on power bills.


Employers


Workplace relations support for small businesses


The Government will work with small business, unions, workers and industry to deliver a simpler, more accessible, and fairer workplace relations system. This includes:

  • making it easier for small businesses to reach agreements with their employees

  • providing bargaining support for small businesses.

Paid domestic and family violence leave


The Government has introduced legislation to provide 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave and is providing $3.4 million for the Fair Work Ombudsman to provide support and advice to small business on these entitlements.


Paid Parental Leave


An additional two weeks will be added each year from July 2024 to July 2026, increasing the overall length of Paid Parental Leave (PPL) by six weeks.


Gender pay gap


The Government will require large companies to publicly report their gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to improve transparency and encourage change.

There will also be changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 which will make it easier for women in low-paid sectors to make pay equity claims.


Apprentices


Skills for energy sector

$100 million has been committed to the New Energy Apprenticeships and New Energy Skills programs. The programs will help apprentices gain necessary skills by developing a new mentoring program and providing up to $10,000 for each apprentice in a clean energy role.


Future workforce planning

The Government will establish Jobs and Skills Australia to strengthen the nation's workforce planning, help address workforce shortages and build long-term capacity in priority sectors.

The Government will develop an Australian Skills Guarantee to ensure apprentices have access to the opportunities they need.


Skilled migration


The Government is committed to ensuring Australia has the right skills to support the economy and drive future growth. This includes responsibly using migration to ease current critical skill and labour shortages.

  • The permanent Migration Program will be expanded to 195,000 in 2022–23 with more than 90% of new places for skilled migrants and targeted to regional areas.

  • Additional funding of $42.2 million will be provided to accelerate visa processing to help reduce the visa backlog and raise awareness of opportunities for high‑skilled migrants in permanent Migration Program.

  • Student and secondary training visa holders will have their work restrictions relaxed until 30 June 2023 to allow them to work additional hours in any sector.

Upgrading electricity grids


The electricity grids will be modernised to help put downward pressure on power prices and support the transformation to a clean energy future. Rewiring the Nation will use $20 billion of low-cost finance to make upgrades to the outdated electricity grid. This will create construction jobs in regional areas.


Transport emissions


Driving the Nation Fund

$500 million will be invested into the Driving the Nation Fund to help reduce transport emissions, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure at 117 highway sites and hydrogen highways for key freight routes.


Taxes will be on electric cars to encourage uptake

The $345 million Electric Car Discount will exempt eligible electric cars from fringe benefits tax (FBT) and the 5% import tariff.


Boosting the NBN and connecting regional and rural Australia


Fast and reliable internet and mobile coverage is essential to remain connected, access services and support businesses.

  • $2.4 billion will be invested in NBN Co to extend fibre access to 1.5 million more premises, including over 660,000 homes in regional Australia.

  • A further $1.2 billion in the Better Connectivity for Regional and Rural Australia Plan will enhance connectivity.

Disaster relief


There is $3 billion in the contingency reserve to meet the disaster recovery costs from the flooding events this year. Funding will go towards government payments to individuals and help support state efforts to alleviate the immediate hardship being experienced by communities and businesses.


Boosting industries


National Reconstruction Fund

The National Reconstruction Fund will be established to provide $15 billion of capital to transform and strengthen 7 priority industries to support employment growth, drive regional development, support the transition to net zero emissions and help build a future made in Australia.

The National Reconstruction Fund will provide loans, guarantees and equity, partnering with the private sector to unlock further investment.


Construction industry

The Government is bringing states and territories, the Australian Local Government Association, investors, and representatives from the construction sector together under a new national Housing Accord. $350 million will be provided over 5 years, with ongoing availability payments over the longer term, to deliver an additional 10,000 affordable dwellings. States and territories will also support up to an additional 10,000 affordable homes, increasing the dwellings that can be delivered under the Accord to 20,000.


Increasing and safeguarding farm output

$1.2 billion to help Australian farmers realise their goal of increasing annual output to $100 billion by 2030.


There is a growing risks posed by pests and diseases such as foot‑and‑mouth disease, $134.1 million will be invested to bolster Australia's biosecurity system. This includes $46.7 million to enable contact tracing of livestock from paddock to plate across the entire nation. More detector dogs will intercept biosecurity threats coming through mail, cargo and air passengers.


For more information on the budget, click the link below.


Source and credit: Business.gov.au


Recent data breaches show how important personal information is. This Cyber Security Awareness Month, take the time to check if your cyber security practices need a spring clean with some simple steps.

1. Update your devices and applications. Regular updates are critical to maintaining secure systems. Cybercriminals hack devices by using known weaknesses in systems or apps.

Check your devices for updates and turn on automatic updates to apply future updates straight away when charging and connected to Wi-Fi.

2. Turn on multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security measure that requires at least 2 proofs of identity to grant access, such as a physical token, random PIN or fingerprint.

Turning on MFA will boost your protection against criminals. While they might steal one proof of identity, such as your password, they will be locked out of your account without the other.

3. Back up your files. Backing up your data saves copies of your files to an external storage device, or an online server like the cloud. Setting up automatic backups means you can recover your important information if something goes wrong.

Once you've followed these tips you might like to check out the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s

Small Business Cyber Security Guide which gives more advice to help smaller organisations build their cyber security resilience.

Source and credit: ATO.gov.au

With Christmas just around the corner, you may be planning a gathering with your employees.


Before you do make sure you consider the fringe benefits tax (FBT) implications of your celebration.

While there is no specific 'entertainment fringe benefit' category as such, a fringe benefit may arise from providing employees or their associates with:

  • entertainment by way of food, drink or recreation

  • accommodation or travel in connection with such entertainment.

Entertainment includes, for example:

  • meals and drinks including staff social functions such as Christmas parties and farewells

  • sporting or theatrical events, sightseeing tours and holidays

  • entertaining employees and non-employees (such as clients) over a weekend at a tourist resort or providing them with a holiday.

Recreation includes amusement, sport and similar leisure pursuits (such as a game of golf, theatre or movie tickets, a joy flight or a harbour cruise).


For tax and reporting purposes, providing entertainment may amount to specific types of fringe benefits. For example:

You can generally claim an income tax deduction and GST credits for the cost of providing entertainment that is a fringe benefit. If you can claim GST credits, you claim the GST-exclusive amount as an income tax deduction.


Note that exempt benefits are not fringe benefits. Employers generally can't claim an income tax deduction or GST credits for the cost of providing exempt benefits.


Entertainment benefits provided to people other than employees or their associates (to clients for example) are not subject to FBT and are generally not income tax deductible for employers.


Find out about:

Source and credit: ATO.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.







Comments


bottom of page