How to enhance your financial future - 5 steps for medical registrars.

Posted by Neal Durling on 24 March 2015

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FOFA: standing up for consumer rights

Posted by Sean O'Kane on 9 December 2014

If you are not someone involved directly in the Financial Planning industry, you would be forgiven for wondering what has been going on with the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA).  Before I go on I should 'nail our colours to the mast' and say we liked the FOFA legislation passed under the previous government, but may stop short of wearing the cap in the picture.

I for one was very confused that the new government decided to spend time and money on watering down the proposals, particularly as they seemed to have a broad spread of public opinion on their side.  Reading between the lines I think there were some powerful vested interests at work behind the scenes, including the big banks. Why else would you take a backward step in protecting the consumer?

So whilst I find some of what our Senate is doing slightly bizarre, I whole heartedly supported the dissolution motion passed through the senate with the help of Senators Jacqui  Lambie and Ricky Muir. The dissolution overturned the watered down regulations passed by the Coalition in July of this year.

So what are we back to? The key components of the original legislation, which now remain in place, are as follows:

 

  • the original definition of retail client has been restored so that fee disclosure statements need to be given to all clients and advisers are required to obtain consent from their clients every two years for ongoing fee arrangements
  • the original best interests duty provisions have been restored
  • the exemption for a monetary benefit given to a person who gives general advice to a retail client on behalf of a financial services licensee from the conflicted remuneration prohibition has been removed

Looking at the first and most contentious issue, every two years an adviser has to provide their client with a disclosure of what they have been paid and gain consent for continued engagement. I hear some of you say what only every 2 years! And you are also probably wondering what has been happening up until now.

As a business that has from the start, in 2008, had annual re-engagement with its clients, we dont think that 2 years goes far enough. We are also think that the grandfathering arrangements that allow existing clients in certain circumstances to fall outside of the new rules should not be there. And as for best interests duty provisions, come on, why would that be something that would be taken away?

If you think that we are humming to a different tune, then you would be right.

Posted in: News Wealth Creation   0 Comments

Get help with paying your tax debt

Posted by Laura Hann on 17 November 2014

Did you know if you owe money to the Tax Office and do not have the capacity to make payment in full by the due date you can apply for a payment arrangement?
These arrangements can be made on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment cycle and for up to 18 months.
These arrangements are granted at the discretion of the Tax Office, however, in our experience it is unlikely that these would be rejected.

The conditions of these payment arrangements are as follows:

"Interest will accrue on the unpaid debt from the original due date until the debt is paid in full"

"It is important to enter an arrangement that you can continue to pay while also paying your ongoing liabilities (such as quarterly activity statements or annual income tax). You should also make sure any outstanding tax obligations are lodged and, if necessary, included in your payment scenario. You should aim to create a payment scenario that is both within your means and pays off your debt in the shortest possible time frame. Once you have come up with a suitable payment scenario, you are ready to propose an arrangement to the ATO."


You can contact your Tax Agent if you need to organise a payment arrangement with the Tax Office.

Posted in: Tax   0 Comments

Easy extensions for overdue tax returns

Posted by Mary Young on 12 November 2014

We have received a few enquiries these last few weeks from people in a panic 31 October has come and gone and my tax is overdue! HELP!!!!!

If you haven't engaged a tax agent to prepare and submit your tax in the past this would be the case, but when you do have a tax agent, and you don't have any other overdue tax lodgements, your due date is generally 11 months after year end, in other words May of the following year.

The same goes for quarterly BAS if you operate a business and lodge your own BAS, you have 28 days to do it from the end of the Quarter. When you have a Tax Agent lodging on your behalf, you have an additional 4 weeks.

If you are struggling to get your tax compliance dealt with on time, talk to a tax agent who can automate the process and take the stress away.

Posted in: Tax   0 Comments

The one lottery you don't want to win

Posted by Neal Durling on 7 November 2014

When one reflects, we can all look back on significant events in our life. Many have filled us with joy, some sadness and others provide lessons and perhaps change the way we view ourselves, reassess our limitations and better understand the challenges faced by others.

For me, three of the later spring to mind.

A football injury that left me in need of a wheel chair and significant rehabilitation, being hit from behind by a car whilst cycling on a busy Brisbane road and more recently the disk bulge and facet joint lock which left me unable to move and slightly concerned for a while.

What they have in common is I didn't see any of them coming. Perhaps there were some warning signs with the back problem but the others where a complete surprise. One minute I was doing my thing and the next I wasn't.

The wheel chair experience taught me to look people in the eye, whatever their height. The cycling accident that I didn't "bounce" like I used to and should reassess my insurances needs and my recent back injury, that insurance is the lottery I really don't want to win!


It's surprising how debilitating a back injury can be. It gave me a small insight into what friends and clients, some of which are on Income Protection claim as I write, have to deal with. I now understand how one's entire day can revolve around the management of pain, mobility and rehabilitation.

The lesson I learned from this is when my insurance renewal comes in this year I will gladly pay it. I will be grateful that this year my numbers didn't come up and be happy that my premium is helping pay others who have not been as fortunate.

Posted in: Wealth Creation   0 Comments

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