The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-03-23T07:48:41Z US Global Tax (AUS) List Due Dates For the Year For Individual Tax Return Filings 2020-03-23T07:48:41Z us-global-tax-aus-list-due-dates-for-the-year-for-individual-tax-return-filings Last month we talked about the First Quarter. The Second Quarter of a Calendar Year is made up of April, May and June.   April 10 Employees who work for Tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during March, re- port them to your employer.   April 15 Individuals. File a 2019 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868 and pay what you estimate you owe in tax to avoid penal- ties and interest. For more information, see Form 4868. If you’re not paying your 2020 income tax through withholding (or won't pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first instalment of your 2020 estimated tax. Use Form 1040-ES. For more information, see Pub. 505. Household employers. If you paid cash wages of $2,100 or more in 2019 to a house- hold employee, you must file Schedule H (Form 1040 or 1040–SR), Household Employment Taxes. If you’re required to file a federal income tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR), file Schedule H (Form 1040 or 1040-SR) with the return and report any household employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H (Form 1040 or 1040-SR) if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2018 or 2019 to household employees. Also, report any income tax you withheld for your household employees. For more information, see Pub. 926. May 11 Employees Who Work for Tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during April, report them to your employer.   June 10 Employees Who work for Tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during May, report them to your employer.   June 15 Individuals. If you’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due. Otherwise, see April 15, earlier. If you want additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain 4 additional months to file and pay what you estimate you owe in tax to avoid penalties and interest. However, if you’re a participant in a combat zone, you may be able to further extend the filing deadline. See Pub. 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. Individuals. Make a payment of your 2020 estimated tax if you’re not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or won't pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the second instalment date for estimated tax in 2020. For more in- formation, see Pub. 505. For more information on US citizenship renunciation tax, 401k Australia and US tax return filing please go to https://usglobaltax.com.au . Arctic Intelligence announced as the Australian Founded RegTech of the Year and RegTech Exporter of the Year 2020. 2020-03-19T00:33:11Z arctic-intelligence-announced-as-the-australian-founded-regtech-of-the-year-and-regtech-exporter-of-the-year-2020 Arctic Intelligence was a finalist in three out of six categories and won out against a strong field of other RegTech contenders to be crowned the Australian Founded RegTech of the Year and RegTech Exporter of the Year 2020.   Anthony Quinn, Arctic Intelligence’s founder and CEO was delighted to receive both of these awards, which came shortly after being recognised as a Rising Star in Deloitte’s Technology Fast50 late last year.   Quinn said, “On behalf of the whole team we are honoured that Arctic Intelligence has been recognised for our financial crime risk and compliance management solutions and to have won the Australian Founded RegTech of the Year 2020, is a real achievement against some very worthy contenders and I am incredibly proud of our team who made this happen”.   Quinn added, “I would also like to acknowledge both our clients and partners who have championed the adoption of our financial crime risk and compliance solutions that are now used by hundreds of clients across 18 industry sectors and 9 different countries.    And finally, I would like to acknowledge the role of regulators in encouraging regulated businesses to consider regulatory technology, as well as, the RegTech Association itself for building a thriving community to shine a light on the RegTech sector and the value these solutions can deliver”.   WizWealth Finance has a Focus on Helping Clients Build Wealth Pathways 2020-03-18T02:16:37Z wizwealth-finance-has-a-focus-on-helping-clients-build-wealth-pathways There’s more than one way to build wealth for the immediate and far future. WizWealth Finance specializes in helping clients build their own pathway to financial security through an extensive variety of loans and funding opportunities. Home loans offer a proven way to diversify portfolios, create passive income, and accrue assets. It can be a confusing process full of unknowns, particularly if the individual isn’t familiar with the system, it’s their first home loan, or their first foray into purchasing property. WizWealth Finance can help with an Indian mortgage broker Melbourne that can assist and guide clients through every step of the complex process. Equally bewildering is the procedure for individuals purchasing their dream home. Owning a home is a form of wealth that shouldn’t be taken for granted. WizWealth Finance can help with a first home loan Melbourne to ensure clients obtain the funding that best meets their individual circumstances in regard to the loan term, interest rate, and repayment structure. The specialists can explain every facet of the First Home Owners Grant. WizWealth Finance can also assist with self-managed super fund (SMSF) loans. There superannuation accounts offer the means to grow wealth for retirement and there are very specific requirements governing the loans. One of the attractions is that SMSF loans Melbourne are exempt from taxation in the U.S., making them highly desirable for pursuing a variety of goals, investments, and lifestyles. Whether it’s a new car, commercial investment property, business opportunity, or a home loan, WizWealth Finance is focused on assisting clients realize their dreams. They work closely with each client to ensure they understand every facet of the loan process and the firm works with a variety of lenders to provide individuals with the best options. The experts at the financial institution understand that there are many roads to success and wealth. The services offered at WizWealth Finance are designed to assist clients understand their options, opportunities, and obtain the loans and services that best fit their needs at every stage of their life. About WizWealth Finance Once you decide to embark on the journey to create personal wealth, consider us your personal guides and friends who will assist you at every step in your journey. So you’re a remote worker now? 2020-03-17T02:31:31Z so-you-re-a-remote-worker-now As businesses around Australia respond to the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak, more and more are taking a safety-first approach and moving some or all of their staff to working remotely. For people who are used to working 100% at their workplace, they may not be aware of the possible tax deductions they could be entitled at tax time. What can you claim on your tax return if you work from home? 1. Office Equipment: If you have to buy any office items out of your own pocket (and you’re not reimbursed), you can usually claim a deduction for these items. This could include, an office chair, desk, computer, printer, monitor etc.  2. Internet and phone expenses: If you’re using your personal phone and internet track of your usage as you’ll be able to claim a proportion of your monthly bill as a deduction. 3. Home Office Expenses (two methods): a. Running Costs: This is the easiest way method where you claim at a rate of $0.45 per hour worked from home b. Occupancy Costs: More complicated…This method involves you calculating a specific amount for each expense you have based on the size of your home office vs the rest of your house.  You then claim a portion of items such as electricity, water, heating, rent, mortgage interest. Etc.  Important notes and tips: There are some very important points you need to be aware of before making any claim: • First and foremost, if possible have your employer cover the costs for you. That way you get 100% of any expense back in your pocket rather than your marginal tax rate which for most people equals about 20-35%. • Don’t go overboard here! If your employer would not be willing to confirm to the ATO that an item is a requirement for you to do your job, then you probably can’t claim it. (e.g: An office worker might need to buy an office chair to work from home, but it’s not an excuse to go out and buy a new coffee machine to keep you caffeinated throughout the day.) • Any item that you will use for both work and personal use need to be apportioned. • Any item over $300 needs to be depreciated; you can’t claim the costs in full. • Each person’s circumstances are different. If you’re not sure whether you fit the criteria for a certain work from home deduction, always ask your tax agent for advice. • If you are provided any equipment by your employer to work from home (e.g a laptop, or monitor etc) those items cannot be claimed on your return. -ENDS- ABOUT ETAX ACCOUNTANTS: Etax.com.au is Australia’s number one online tax return service. Etax has been specialising in online taxes since 1998 and enables most individuals to complete their tax returns in under 15 minutes. Each tax return is checked by qualified accountants for accuracy and extra deductions prior to lodgment, offering a higher level of support and expertise than at most tax agents plus the time-saving convenience of a 100% online service. COVID-19 - the single word that tells IT vendors why they need cost-effective PR 2020-03-12T21:33:10Z covid-19-the-single-word-that-tells-it-vendors-why-they-need-cost-effective-pr By David Frost, CEO, PR Deadlines In recent years our Sydney-based PR agency has lost long term technology clients’ business even though we were achieving excellent results. Why? Simply because someone at head office, 12,000km distant, chose to run with a multinational agency. Their decisions overruled the preferences of clients’ Australian executives and their regional teams. Subsequently our former contacts (still friends) told us their media and social media exposure had plummeted - by more than 50 percent in two cases. With the World Health Organisation announcing a coronavirus pandemic, economies are teetering on the brink of recession. So why pay more for less in the public relations sector? An uncertain future is prompting IT organisations to assess their marcomms results and possibly seek better value from PR. They are learning that less is more. We hear rumours that some of the multinational agencies may be at risk. Our experience of interacting with the big PR agencies used by some of our IT clients is mixed. Some are highly professional: others less so. We wrote case studies for one high profile vendor about their customers’ experiences in Europe, Mid-East and elsewhere, while a high profile global agency looked after their Australian account. We were copied in on certain local emails, one of which announced that the Sydney Morning Herald had not published case study X. Two glaring errors there: first the newspaper does not publish IT case studies; secondly, it was a Brisbane case study. At 450 miles (725km) distant, a Sydney daily newspaper would never have published. Recently we were contacted out of the blue by Australia’s leading marketing publication, seeking a quote from a client that quit PR Deadlines two years ago, preferring a ‘major’ agency. We find it interesting that their new ‘bigger, marketing-focused’ agency has not managed to get on the radar of the industry’s foremost Australian publication. These experiences support our belief that certain agencies tend to send in the A-team when pitching for new business, then have less experienced people running the account. Certainly many of the multinationals we know have high staff turnovers. A PR friend who runs a mid-sized agency from Silicon Valley describes certain larger agencies as ‘bureaucratic’. We discovered what he means on seeing a client’s US agency’s plan for issuing a news release. This comprised a complex document outlining in great detail each individual media person targeted. It would have taken hours to compile, all billable time equating to zero productivity. Instead, we focus on achieving results. Surprisingly often, we see news releases and byline articles from agencies that bear no resemblance to the writing style of their media targets. Few journalists have time to read a 200-plus word intro, with twin deck headlines almost half as long. From time to time we suggest tactfully to a client’s communications chief that he/she should advise their home country agency to study the way their target media write, and emulate that style. We work on knowing journalists personally, write news releases that conform with their style, and simply send clients the results rather than inundating them with expensive and unnecessary bureaucracy. For IT companies looking for the right PR agency, we offer this advice: 1. Make sure an agency understands your company and its technology. Recently a client explained why we won their account. After Marketing narrowed the vetting process down to two agencies, their final request was ‘describe our technology to me’. Our rival agency couldn’t. 2. Don’t pay for your agency's posh address. It is no guarantee of better results or increased media coverage. 3. Agencies like to drop names of their media contacts, but these may not be appropriate reporters, editors or analysts for a specific company. Experienced professionals develop new relationships as required. 4. Check an agency’s clips book, but beware of results for high profile clients which are relatively easy to achieve. See what they score for clients your own size and budget. 5. A client’s needs and budget may vary from month to month, so an agency must be prepared to work with a flexible budget. 6. At an initial meeting, does the agency listen, or are they in ‘sell’ mode? If they don't listen, can they really understand and meet your needs? For vendors seeking a street-smart Aussie-based agency that can coordinate campaigns anywhere, or work seamlessly with a vendor’s agencies worldwide, we can help. PR Deadlines forms part of the GlobalCom network of PR and marketing communications agencies which has 80-plus offices serving over 100 countries worldwide. We can work closely with them all. #Sydney PR #Australia PR #APAC PR #COVID-19 #Coronavirus VERIMOTO SETS SAIL WITH FINANCING VERIFICATION FOR MARINE ASSETS 2020-03-10T04:57:38Z verimoto-sets-sail-with-financing-verification-for-marine-assets 10 March 2020 – Verimoto, Australia’s only automated second-hand asset finance verifier, has announced the integration of marine assets into its asset finance verification platform. The new update enables brokers and lenders to speed up and automate the process of verifying the credentials necessary for financing marine assets. An update to Verimoto’s solution to verify the identity and ownership of assets, it enables vendors, brokers and lenders to drastically cut down the document processing time and cost of financing marine assets. It provides automated verification of the sellers’ banking details via a single click. Whilst sellers can instantaneously upload the required documentation through the Verimoto app, to meet the lending criteria for marine assets – such as HIN, trailer registration and engine serial number(s). This removes the need for physical inspections and digitises the entire process, creating unparalleled efficiencies for marine financing. The updated platform has already garnered praise from the broker industry, thanks to its ability to significantly reduce the labour intensive and manual process of chasing documents to complete the sale of a marine asset. “A report delivered within 30 minutes, once the inspection is processed. We are happy to recommend Verimoto to anyone looking to improve efficiencies.”,” says Marty Bear, National Manager Australia and New Zealand, Broker – Australian Motorcycle & Marine Finance. Verimoto saves brokers an average of 10 days per loan application because there is no longer a need to send a third party to inspect the Asset. The integration of marine certificates also ensures that every broker has every detail to hand to process a finance application easily, efficiently and competitively. “Boats differ from cars in more ways than just floating vs. sinking, with all those variations now verified by Verimoto – enabling lenders to speed up their marine loan fulfilments, while broadening brokers’ lending portfolios," says Peter Hewett, CEO of Verimoto. For more information visit www.verimoto.com. Commonwealth Bank and others cut savings rates 2020-03-10T02:03:36Z commonwealth-bank-and-others-cut-savings-rates   MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 10 March 2020   ·      Commonwealth Bank cuts 0.25% from savings accounts and term deposits, effective immediately. ·      ING, UBank and Judo Bank slice savings accounts and term deposit rates   Today, Tuesday 10 March 2020, 13.00pm AEDT Rate % pa CPI Inflation as reported by the ABS/RBA 1.8% pa Top big four bank at-call savings account rate 1.65% pa for 4 months Top big four bank term deposit rate 1.60% pa 8 months (ANZ Bank) Top at-call savings account rates* 2.65%pa for 4 months 3.15% pa for under 24s Top ongoing maximum bonus at-call savings account rate 2.35% pa Top term deposit rate 2.35% pa, 5 years (Judo Bank) Top 12-month term deposit rate 1.95% pa (Judo Bank) * as listed today on InfoChoice.com.au Commonwealth Bank has cut the maximum bonus rate on Australia’s most popular savings account, the Commbank GoalSaver account by 0.25% pa. Commbank has also cut the maximum bonus rate on the popular YouthSaver account by 0.25% pa. The new rates are effective from Monday 9 March 2020. “The new maximum rate on GoalSaver for balances under $50K is 0.64% pa,” said Vadim Taube, chief executive of InfoChoice.com.au, Australia’s leading financial comparison service since 1993. “You only get that rate if you deposit $200 per month and make no withdrawals, otherwise you get the base rate of 0.01% pa. “The current rate of inflation is 1.80% pa, so if you are making less than that, your money is effectively losing value over time,” said Vadim Taube. “There are plenty of savings accounts now paying over 1.80% pa.” Commonwealth Bank has also sliced term deposit rates. The top CBA term deposit rate is now 1.20% pa for 6-month terms. New Commonwealth Bank savings account rates Commonwealth Bank Goalsaver interest rates 10 March 2020, InfoChoice.   Balance Old rate New Change Standard Rate 0.01% 0.01% - Bonus < $50k 0.89% 0.64% -0.25% Bonus $50k < $250k 1.24% 0.99% -0.25% Bonus $250k < 1m 1.59% 1.34% -0.25% Headline Rate ( $250k < $1m) 1.60% 1.35% -0.25%   Commonwealth Bank Youthsaver interest rates 10 March 2020, InfoChoice.   Rate Old rate New Change Standard Rate 0.10% 0.05% -0.05% Bonus Rate Up to $50,000 1.75% 1.50% -0.25% Headline Rate up to $50,000 1.85% 1.55% -0.30%   Go direct to Commonwealth Bank interest rate and fees information at InfoChoice. Savings market leaders ING and UBank cut savings rates ING and UBank have announced cuts to their savings account rates in the wake of the RBA’s 0.25 percentage point cut last Tuesday. New ING Savings account rates: SAVINGS ACCELERATOR   The maximum rate on balances under $50K in an ING Savings Accelerator account is now 0.25% pa. The max rate for Savings Accelerator (balances over >$150k) has been cut to 1.25% p.a.  from 1.50% while the maximum bonus rate for balances between $50 and $150K has been cut to 0.75% p.a. from  1.00%. )   Go direct to ING savings account interest rate and rules information at InfoChoice.   UBank cuts savings account rates   Popular online bank for savers, UBank has announced rate cuts on at-call savings accounts and term deposits following the RBA’s 0.25% rate cut last Tuesday. UBank has matched the RBA’s cut and sliced 0.25% pa off USaver Reach and USaver with Ultra Bonus account rates.   The new maximum bonus rate on a USaver with Ultra bonus is 1.85% cent pa. Go direct to UBank savings account interest rate and rules information at InfoChoice.   Judo Bank still the TD market leader Term deposit market leader Judo Bank announced rate cuts last week. Judo Bank sliced 0.05 percentage points from their 12-month rate from 2.0 per cent pa to 1.95 per cent pa. Go directly to Judo Bank term deposit interest rate information at InfoChoice. Savers with cash in the bank need to act FAST to lock in rates above inflation said Vadim Taube. “More banks, credit unions and neobanks are expected to announce various rate cuts to their savings accounts and term deposits soon.” “The leading at-call savings account rates are now over 2.0% pa and the top term deposit rates are 2.35% pa.” Compare savings account rates at InfoChoice now. Compare term deposit rates at InfoChoice. Direct to Commonwealth Bank interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to Westpac Bank interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to ANZ Bank interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to NAB interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from individual banks and other institutions here.     For more information on home loan rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727 jason.bryce@infochoice.com.au   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794     InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Home Loan Comparison Rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years.   WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings. New national research shows SME average payment times are double what Ombudsman is seeking: smaller businesses hit hardest 2020-03-05T02:14:39Z new-national-research-shows-sme-average-payment-times-are-double-what-ombudsman-is-seeking-with-smaller-businesses-hit-hardest MARCH 5, 2020 - Independent research conducted by on behalf of national SME funder Scottish Pacific found a huge disparity in how long it takes businesses in the $1-20 million revenue bracket to get money in the door. More than 1200 SME owners or senior finance staff, across a representative selection of industries and all states, were surveyed by market analysts East & Partners*. Their range of payment times (debtor days) varied from 7 days to an extremely challenging 134 days. Scottish Pacific CEO Peter Langham said while the overall SME average is 56 days the strain is more marked at the smaller end of the sector, with businesses of $1-10 million revenue waiting on average 66 debtor days. Their larger $10-20 million revenue counterparts have a more manageable 40 day wait. “Money that could be used to expand revenue and invest in growth is being tied up for too long, as SMEs struggle to be paid within a reasonable timeframe,” Mr Langham said. “This is a significant burden to bear and reinforces the importance of reducing payment times, in particular for SMEs struggling to source new funding or to refinance their existing borrowings. “There is a great disparity and we see as businesses become larger they get paid more quickly. Average SME has a third of revenue tied up in outstanding invoices On average, the Scottish Pacific research found that SMEs have almost a third of their revenue (29%) tied up in outstanding invoices, with 16% of revenue locked into overdue invoices (outstanding beyond 90 days). This was consistent for SMEs in the $1-10 million and $10-20 million revenue ranges. Given East & Partners calculates the average turnover of survey respondents at $9.8 million, they estimate each SME in the cohort is trying to deal with, on average, $2.82 million in outstanding accounts receivable. It equates to the Australian SME sector (with $1-20m revenue) having up to $A776 billion annually in outstanding total invoices and prompts the question – how much of this multi-billion dollar outstanding income has to be funded outside an SME’s normal working capital? “Each SME has to manage while having, on average, $1.55 million in invoices that are not just outstanding but overdue (defined as beyond the 90-day mark),” Mr Langham said. “At the extreme, some small businesses are waiting up to four months to be paid and almost one in 10 SMEs can’t state their average debtor days, with some struggling to calculate the figure because invoice payments are too variable to reliably report,” he said. “This payment lag is one of the reasons some of our clients use Scottish Pacific to assist in their sales ledger management, to reduce the number of days invoices remain outstanding.” Mr Langham said the findings highlight the importance of businesses finding the right funding to unlock working capital, and this was the reason Scottish Pacific partnered with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to create a free downloadable Business Funding Guide for business owners and their advisors. Ombudsman Kate Carnell has said it is imperative small businesses are paid on time, and all businesses of any size should be paid within 30 days. This year, major businesses including Telstra and Rio Tinto have committed to shorter (20 day) payment times. Few SMEs offer early payment discounts Despite the burden slow payment times is creating for the sector, only one in five small businesses offers discounted payment terms, with the discount ranging from 5 to 15%. In Scottish Pacific’s H2 2019 SME Growth Index, SMEs were already flagging that it was becoming increasingly hard to meet tax payments on time and many were unable to take on new work due to cash flow constrictions (only one in 10 SMEs felt they were on top of cash flow). “Given these existing indications, along with the payment times and accounts receivable data in our latest research, it really highlights that poor cash flow will remain a pressing challenge for SMEs throughout 2020,” Mr Langham said. “Poor cash flow is costing businesses time and resources to settle invoices that for some enterprises stretch out over an entire financial quarter, when it would be of more benefit for the SME sector, and the economy in general, if they could use these resources to expand revenue and invest in growth.” Scottish Pacific’s H1 2020 SME Growth Index research will be released later this month. Sign up to receive a free copy of the research at https://www.scottishpacific.com/news/research.   *NB – the research is conducted independently by East & Partners and polls a representative sample of Australian SMEs with $1-20m revenue, who use all types of methods to fund their businesses (ie it is not Scottish Pacific’s client database that is polled). Scottish Pacific is Australasia’s largest specialist working capital provider, helping thousands of business owners with the working capital they need to succeed. Scottish Pacific lends to small, medium and large businesses from start-ups to SMEs with revenues of more than $1 billion. www.scottishpacific.com   First savings rate cuts announced, effective immediately 2020-03-04T02:21:10Z first-savings-rate-cuts-announced-effective-immediately MEDIA RELEASE – SAVERS ALERT – ACT NOW TO LOCK IN RATES Wednesday 4 March 2020   ·       First savings rate cuts announced ·       Effective 1pm 4 March: Market leader Judo Bank cuts TD rates ·       InfoChoice names the banks that are beating inflation ·       Lock in up to 2.35% pa (for 5 years) NOW   Today, 4 March 2020, 13.00pm AEDT Rate % pa CPI Inflation as reported by the ABS/RBA 1.8% pa Top big four bank at-call savings account rate 1.65% pa for 4 months Top big four bank term deposit rate 1.60% pa 8 months (ANZ Bank) Top at-call savings account rates* 2.65%pa for 4 months 3.15% pa for under 24s Top ongoing maximum bonus at-call savings account rate 2.35% pa Top term deposit rate 2.35% pa, 5 years (Judo Bank) Top 12-month term deposit rate 1.95% pa (Judo Bank) * as listed today on InfoChoice.com.au Term deposit market leader Judo Bank is the first institution to announce cuts to savings rates following the RBA’s cut to official interest rates yesterday. Judo Bank’s term deposit rate cuts are effective immediately, 1pm 4 March 2020. Judo Bank has sliced 0.05 percentage points from their 12-month rate from 2.0 per cent pa to 1.95 per cent pa. Judo Bank has also sliced 0.05% pa from other terms, including the popular 6-month term deposit, which is now paying 1.90% pa. The top term deposit rate is still 2.35% pa for five years from Judo Bank. These Judo Bank term deposit rates are effective 1pm MEL TIME today (4th March 2020):   New Judo Bank term deposit rates   90 180 270 1yr 2yr 3yr 4yr 5yr Judo 1.80% 1.90% 1.85% 1.95% 2.05% 2.15% 2.25% 2.35%   Go directly to Judo Bank term deposit interest rate information at InfoChoice. Savers who want to keep their cash in the bank need to act FAST to lock in rates above inflation said Vadim Taube, chief executive of InfoChoice, one of Australia’s leading financial comparison websites. “More banks, credit unions and neobanks are expected to announce various rate cuts to their savings accounts and term deposits soon.” “The leading at-call savings account rates are now 2.25% pa but are expected to fall in coming weeks. “The highest big bank savings account rates are already below the rate of CPI inflation in Australia (1.8% pa).” InfoChoice names banks that are beating inflation: “But savers can lock in ongoing rates well above 2.0% pa if they move their cash now to a long term deposit from neobank Judo Bank,” said Vadim Taube “Judo Bank is still the clear market leader in the term deposit market,” said Vadim Taube. “In the at-call savings account market, savers need to look at the rules and conditions for getting the maximum rate,” said Mr Taube. “A savings account like ME’s high interest account or UBank’s USaver Ultra has a good maximum bonus rate above inflation with relatively easy rules for savers to meet.” Highest term deposit rates The highest term deposit rate listed on InfoChoice is now 2.35% pa (for five years) from Judo Bank, For 12-month terms Judo is paying a market-leading rate of 1.95% pa, RACQ Bank is at 1.80% pa with Bank of Sydney and Australian Military Bank at 1.65% pa. For 6-month terms Judo is paying 1.90    % pa, AMP Bank is paying 1.85% pa and citi is paying 1.80% pa. “Not all banks will cut rates by the same amount,” said Vadim Taube. InfoChoice’s top 12-month term deposit rates today 4 March 2020       Rate - 1 Year Institution Title Product Title Minimum Tier  Paid Annually Judo Bank Judo Bank Personal Term Deposits 1000 1.95 CUA Term Deposit 5000 1.8 MyLife MyFinance Term Deposit 5000 1.45 AMP Term Deposit 25000 1.7 Australian Military Bank Investment Plus Term Deposit 50000 1.7 ME ME Bank Term Deposit 5000 1.7 RACQ Bank Term Deposit 1000 1.7 Arab Bank Term Deposit 50000 1.65 Australian Military Bank Investment Plus Term Deposit 1000 1.65 Bank of Sydney Online Only Term Deposit 1000 1.65   InfoChoice’s top at-call savings account rates 4 March 2020:     Base Rate Max Rate - Intro period Institution Title Product Title  <$1,000 <$1000 (months) Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 years old) 0.35 3.15   Macquarie Bank Macquarie Savings Account 0.35 2.65 4 Heritage Bank Online Saver 1.1 2.5 4 Rabobank Rabobank Online High Interest Savings 1.05 2.5 4 AMP AMP Saver Account 1.4 2.36 4 Greater Bank Limited Life Saver 2.35 2.35   HSBC HSBC Serious Saver 0.45 2.35 4 Citi Citi Online Saver 0.85 2.3 4 Up Up Saver Account 0.5 2.25   Xinja Bank Xinja Stash Account 2.25 2.25   Illawarra Credit Union Wildlife Saver 0.05 2.2   Bank of Queensland Fast Track Saver Account 0.35 2.15   UBank USaver Ultra 1.04 2.1   ME ME Online Savings Account 0.35 2.05   Bankwest TeleNet Saver (4 month intro rate) 0.25 2 4 Community First Credit Union Matrimoney 2 2   CUA eSaver Reward 0.05 2   IMB IMB Reward Saver Account 0 2 4 Move Bank Bonus Saver 0.8 2   MyState Bank Bonus Saver 0.3 2     Compare savings account rates at InfoChoice now. Compare term deposit rates at InfoChoice. Direct to Commonwealth Bank interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to Westpac Bank interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to ANZ Bank interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to NAB interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from individual banks and other institutions here.   For more information on home loan rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727 jason.bryce@infochoice.com.au   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794     InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Home Loan Comparison Rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years.   WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings. Reserve Bank cuts interest rates to new historic low of 0.50% 2020-03-03T03:33:09Z reserve-bank-cuts-interest-rates-to-new-historic-low-of-0-50 The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the official overnight cash rate (OCR) in Australia by 0.25 percentage points to a new historic low of 0.50 percentage points. “Not all banks and lenders will pass on this rate cut in full to all their home loan customers,” said Vadim Taube, chief executive of InfoChoice, one of Australia’s leading financial comparison websites. “Rates are getting so low that banks are weighing up the impact of more rate cuts on savers and borrowers.” Variable HL rates: BEFORE this cut, the lowest variable rate (OO, P&I) is from Reduce Home Loans’ Rate Slasher home loan at 2.69 per cent per annum (comparison rate 2.70 per cent per annum). “The leading variable home loan rates for owner occupiers will fall to less than 2.5% pa while, unfortunately some borrowers are still on rates around 4%,” said Vadim Taube. Fixed HL rates: BEFORE this cut, the lowest fixed rate home loan rate on InfoChoice is from Bank Australia’s Clean Energy Home Loan for LVRs under 70% with a current 3-year rate of 2.44% pa (comparison rate 3.43% pa). Investor HL rates: BEFORE this cut, the lowest rate for investors was from UBank’s UHomeLoan Fixed Rate with a fixed rate of 2.84% pa (comparison rate 3.59% pa) for three years. The lowest home loan rates will now fall The RBA governor, Dr Philip Lowe reportedly met with the treasurer and the prime minister over the weekend to discuss policy options to respond to the growing threat of the coronavirus. First lender to pass on full 0.25% cut to borrowers is Athena Non-bank Athena Home Loans, a specialist in refinancer mortgages has already announced it will pass on the full 0.25% rate cut to its retail home loan borrowers. Athena says “as quickly as we can” they will cut their home loan rates for new and existing customers. The new Athena rates are as follows: Athena Home Loans new rates:   OO P&I - 2.59% (2.55% CR) OO IO - 3.09% (2.74% CR) INV P&I - 2.99% (2.95% CR) INV IO - 3.09% (2.99% CR) Check out Athena Home Loans rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Savings rates: “We expect banks to cut savings rates in the coming weeks so that makes comparing rates and account rules even more important,” said Vadim Taube. “Banks will shield savers as best they can from the full weight of this cut because term deposit and at-call savings account rates from many banks and credit unions are already under the rate of inflation “Savers can still get rates above inflation, which is currently 1.8% pa, by shopping around.” “Judo Bank has market leading term deposit rates across the range of terms from under 12 moths to five years.” “ME, UBank and some of the neobanks have easy rules for savers and high rates.” InfoChoice’s RBA rates analysis, update and outlook page. Compare 1800 home loans at InfoChoice now. Direct to Commonwealth Bank home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to Westpac Bank home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to ANZ Bank home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to NAB home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from 145 individual banks and other institutions here.     For more information on home loan rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727 jason.bryce@infochoice.com.au   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794     InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Home Loan Comparison Rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years.   WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings. Govt in denial re industry challenges including unaffordable advice & need for financial literacy education 2020-03-03T03:08:03Z govt-in-denial-re-industry-challenges-including-unaffordable-advice-amp-need-for-financial-literacy-education A year after the Hayne Royal Commission, advice industry commentators continue to debate what the advisory sector will look like going forward.  As the debate rages surveys such as Adviser Ratings, reveal a downward spiral with adviser numbers falling to a four-year low in 2019 and approximately 1133 practitioners exiting industry in the 4th quarter of last year.   The fall out to me is crystal clear – advice is now only affordable to a small minority of Australians and retail advice is not scalable in the current regulatory environment.  Advice is becoming an elitist service.   The big end of town (major banks, AMP and private banks) are moving away from retail advice as red tape and over regulation smothers the advice process.    In addition, advisers are also leaving the industry due to personal circumstances (age, education, health etc.) leaving the remaining practitioners no option but to restructure their business models and only service clients who can afford advice.   ASIC and FASEA shouldn’t get too comfortable as their self-funding models will come under pressure as institutions that unpin their operations are leaving retail advice.   Graduates seeking a career as advisers are being confronted with a multitude of barriers to entry – whilst the challenges facing existing financial planning practices are acting as disincentives to business owners employing new entrants.   The end result being new advisers entering the industry over the next decade will be a scarce commodity and planning practices seeking to grow will struggle to attract new talent.   A recent article in an industry publication with a HR specialist highlighted this issue.  The recruiter revealed that new jobs are only attracting between two and eight applicants, while advice in remediation are attracting up to 300 candidates.  This reflects planners preferring institutional jobs and not self-employment filled with over regulation.   All this is occurring as Baby Boomers transition into retirement.  The impact during this period of transition for the advice industry will be to force individuals, families and mature age business owners to seek unqualified advice from family members or friends.   The other structural failing is that the current education system places no focus on basic financial life skills within the learning curriculum.    The Government Services in Education Report stated that in 2018, Canberra spent $2387 per student a year in government schools.  As well as this, the state Governments also provide funding further supplemented by parents supporting schools through fees.  In this environment, Australian outcome scores in maths, science and reading are worse than they were in 2009.   Financial life skills should be taught from year 7 to 12 to equip students with an understanding of financial services that in turn will support them for their working futures and beyond.   The education system should prepare students with a basic grounding in financial life skills:  - How does the Australian tax system work? - When is a tax file number needed and how is it obtained? - How does the super system work? - Budgeting (financial maths) - Credit cards, loans and mortgages - Starting your own business…what’s a BAS statement? - How does the Centrelink system work? - Savings vs Debt - Investment markets (more than just property) - Diversification in asset allocation   The majority of Australians have very poor knowledge in financial life skills and are living in a debt prism.   Australia has the second highest personal debt levels in the world starting with HECS after completing university studies.  This is then compounded following marriage with debt in the property market on acquisition of the family home before the cycle shifts into higher gear with the cost of raising children – including their education.   Instead of a retirement of financial certainty, mature age Australians in growing numbers exit the workforce still in debt as they have drawn down equity on the family home to fund their children’s education or assist them into the property market.   In the present employment climate, those with 9.5% superannuation have a base for retirement.  However, the current debate between competing political interests about increasing super to 12% is again another example of legislators missing the point.   The only savings that most Australians will have at retirement will be their super.  Super provides them with some compulsory savings within their debt prism.  However, for the self-employed, it’s their business they rely on as the saleable asset to fund retirement.   The future financial viability in retirement is dependent upon not losing your job; not getting divorced; leaving the workforce to raise children, staying in good health, not being made redundant or becoming bankrupt.   This is a snapshot of the debt rollercoaster that the majority of Australians will face – and why financial life skills are now even more important.    The Government hopes that the FinTech industry will develop Robo-advice to help provide advice to the masses.  However, recently several high profile fintech companies have given us a reality check and affirmation that technology-based advice still has a long way to go before its scalable and acceptable to mainstream Australia.   The public and economy will be the big losers in this new advice world, however, politicians and Mr Hayne will be insulated as their retirements are paid by the Australian taxpayer.   Not a bad outcome and thank you for contributing to a fair and affordable advice industry.   Advice is unfordable, but Australia cannot afford to not get advice.   Issued by Connect Financial Service Brokers          www.connectfsb.com.au             Media enquiries:        Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mob:     +61 412 112 545  Email:     jperri@joeperri.com.au Home Loan and Savings Update 2 March 2020 2020-03-02T05:56:58Z home-loan-and-savings-update-2-march-2020 MEDIA RELEASE Monday 2 March 2020 ·       Interest rates update – all the lenders under 3% pa ·         RBA meeting tomorrow – rates could be cut to 0.5%   There are now more than 30 variable rate owner occupier (P&I) home loans with rates under three per cent (listed on InfoChoice’s database of 1800 home loans from 99 banks and other institutions). The lowest home loan rates are under 2.5% pa (fixed), before any possible 2020 rate cuts from the RBA. Lowest variable rate: The lowest variable rate (OO, P&I) is from reduce Home Loans’ Rate Slasher home loan at 2.69 per cent per annum (comparison rate 2.70 per cent per annum). Reduce Home Loans interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Lowest fixed rate: The lowest fixed rate home loan rate on InfoChoice is from Bank Australia’s Clean Energy Home Loan for LVRs under 70% with a current 3-year rate of 2.44% pa (comparison rate 3.43% pa). Go directly to Bank Australia home loan interest rate and fees information at InfoChoice. Lowest rate for investors: UBank’s UHomeLoan Fixed Rate has a fixed rate of 2.84% pa (comparison rate 3.59% pa) for three years. Go directly to UBank’s home loan interest rate and fees information at InfoChoice. “Borrowers can lock in sub-2.5% pa home loan rates until 2023,” said vadim Taube, Chief Executive of InfoChice.com.au, one of Australia’s leading financial comparison sites since 1993. “But most borrowers are still choosing variable rates and it’s easy to see why. “The RBA is expected to ease rates further, lenders are competing hard for business and variable rates are already amazingly low,” said Vadim Taube.   “Savers need to compare their rate and their account rules to make sure they are staying ahead of inflation,” said Vadim Taube. “The big banks are currently not offering any savings account rates that meet the inflation rate of 1.8%. Tables, PR images and disclaimers follow below:   Home loans under 3 per cent pa (variable, OO, P&I), InfoChoice, 2 March 2020:   Institution Title Product Title % Rate - Variable % Rate - Comparison Reduce Home Loans Rate Slasher 2.69 2.7 Reduce Home Loans Low Rider Variable 2.69 2.71 HomeStar Star Essentials Owner Occupied 2.74 2.77 Reduce Home Loans Rate Lovers 2.77 2.79 Reduce Home Loans Rate Buster 2.77 2.78 loans.com.au Smart Home Loan 2.78 2.8 Freedom Lend Owner Occupied Variable P&I 80% 2.79 2.79 G&C Mutual Bank First Home Premium Package 2.79 2.81 HomeStar Owner Occupied Loan (P&I) 2.79 2.82 Mortgage House The Essentials Low Rate Home Loan 2.79 2.96 TicToc Variable Home Loan P&I OO 2.79 2.8 Athena Home Loans Owner Occupier Principal & Interest 2.84 2.8 UBank Discount Offer 2.84 2.84 loans.com.au Smart Home Loan 2.88 2.9 Credit Union SA Package LVR 80% or less - Special offer 2.89 3.31 Well Home Loans Well Balanced - LVR up to 90% 2.92 2.96 Move Bank First Home Loan - Special Intro Rate 2.94 3.52 Bank of Sydney BOSBasic Home Loan - Owner Occupier 2.96 3.01 The Mutual Bank First Home Buyer Package Home Loan OO 2.98 3.4 Aussie Aussie Select Standard Variable (LVR <=70%) 2.99 3.2 Australian Unity Kick Starter Home Loan 2.99 3.02 HomeStar Owner Occupied Loan (I/O) 2.99 3.02 ING Mortgage Simplifier $1m+ where LVR <=80% 2.99 3.02 Morgan Brooks Special Variable Rate 2.99 3.03 Mortgage Port First Home Loan Deposit Scheme 2.99 3.05 UBank Discount Offer (<$200,000) 2.99 2.99 Virgin Money Reward Me - 10,000 points for every $100k borrowed 2.99 3.16 Arab Bank Essentials Home Loan 100% Offset - Special Offer 3 3.17     At-call savings rates of 2% pa or higher, InfoChoice, 2 March 2020:       Base Rate Max Rate - Intro period Institution Title Product Title  <$1,000 <$1000 (months) Bank of Queensland Fast Track Starter Account (for 14-24 years old) 0.35 3.15   Macquarie Bank Macquarie Savings Account 0.35 2.65 4 Heritage Bank Online Saver 1.1 2.5 4 Rabobank Rabobank Online High Interest Savings 1.05 2.5 4 AMP AMP Saver Account 1.4 2.36 4 Greater Bank Limited Life Saver 2.35 2.35   HSBC HSBC Serious Saver 0.45 2.35 4 Citi Citi Online Saver 0.85 2.3 4 Up Up Saver Account 0.5 2.25   Xinja Bank Xinja Stash Account 2.25 2.25   Illawarra Credit Union Wildlife Saver 0.05 2.2   Bank of Queensland Fast Track Saver Account 0.35 2.15   UBank USaver Ultra 1.04 2.1   ME ME Online Savings Account 0.35 2.05   Bankwest TeleNet Saver (4 month intro rate) 0.25 2 4 Community First Credit Union Matrimoney 2 2   CUA eSaver Reward 0.05 2   IMB IMB Reward Saver Account 0 2 4 Move Bank Bonus Saver 0.8 2   MyState Bank Bonus Saver 0.3 2     Compare 1800 home loans at InfoChoice now. Direct to Commonwealth Bank home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to Westpac Bank home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to ANZ Bank home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. Direct to NAB home loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice.   Go straight to the latest rates information from individual banks and other institutions here.   Take the InfoChoice Rate Dare now! You could walk away with a lower home loan rate or $1,000!! For full terms and conditions for this offer click here. For InfoChoice’s privacy policy click here.   For more information on the Rate Dare offer, home loan rates, data and commentary, please contact:   Jason Bryce, Media Manager on 0428 777 727 jason.bryce@infochoice.com.au   For more comments, please contact: Vadim Taube, Chief Executive on 0403 580 794   InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions, authorised deposit-taking institutions, non-bank lenders and other financial product providers in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.   Home Loan Comparison Rate is based on a secured loan of $150,000 over the term of 25 years.   WARNING: These comparison rates apply only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and costs savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan   InfoChoice is a leading Australian comparison website for retail banking and personal finance products. We’ve been helping Aussies find great offers on credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits, personal loans and car loans for over 25 years. Our mission is to help consumers make an informed purchasing by bringing together the most comprehensive list of financial products on the market today.   At InfoChoice, we strive to be: •           Comprehensive. We compare more than 3500 individual products from 145 providers within Australia to offer you the best value. •           Informative. We know how important it is for you to crunch the numbers before buying. Our calculators help you understand the cost of different products over the long term and show you the potential savings.   How accountants & planners manage the Five R’s will define business success beyond 2020 2020-03-02T03:04:55Z how-accountants-amp-planners-manage-the-five-r-s-will-define-business-success-beyond-2020 Far too many accountants and financial planners have entered the new decade failing to recognise and appreciate that the future of their advisory businesses is dependent on how well they manage and navigate the Five Rs – Risk Renewal Regulation Relationships and Reputation.   For those that failed to master them effectively, the ramifications have been devasting.   Not enough advisory businesses took the time in past years to scan the horizon and acknowledge not only the looming storm clouds – but emerging trends and opportunities that could enhance and improve their businesses i.e. the Five Rs.   Firstly, managing the Five R’s is not a task that can be delegated to the EA or underutilised clerk.  It demands the principal’s leadership, coordination and management as no one understands and appreciates a business better than its owner.   Risk: Accounting and financial planning advisory businesses operate under a cloud of internal and external challenges that includes increasing costs, downward pressure on margins, attracting and retaining staff, constant legislation / regulatory changes and heightened client expectations.   Those businesses that stood still and failed to adapt found themselves swimming against a tsunami of challenges that drowned their operations.   Renewal: Amongst the carnage, there were also those that chose to renew and reinvent themselves and their businesses.  Seizing the opportunity to explore new markets, harness alliances and implement operational efficiencies, pricing / service models relevant to the needs of the modern-day client.    Regulation: Constant regulatory changes and resultant compliance demands has become a key function and cornerstone for businesses.  The overwhelming need to get it right are enormous with the variety and complexity of regulations, directives, and laws shaping an advisory business’s everyday internal and external operations.   Because compliance violations can quickly lead to penalties, reputational damage, oreven media coverage, there is a lot at stake.   With regulations only becoming more numerous and tighter, advice businesses need to plan longer-term strategies in order to deal with regulatory agendas.   Relationships: The best practitioners have treated and leveraged all their relationships as strategic assets.   The building blocks of any successful business relationship are the same as a personal relationship: respect, commitment, and trust.  Once established, the relationship transcends into clients being ambassadors for the business measured in referrals, testimonials and profits.   Reputation: Business reputation is more important than ever.  Although positive reputations are created over time from many interpersonal actions.  Negative reputations can result from a single action with catastrophic consequences.   The best advice businesses understand the link between building a great reputation and the client experience.  Every touch point reaffirms and reassures the client that the practice values them as a client and is dedicated to their financial well-being and attainment of their wealth creation goals.   Recently, the power of Australian Wealth Solution’s (AWS) reputation was demonstrated to me by the addition of Robert Taylor to our team.    It came about as the result of a combination of industry contacts referring Robert to AWS when his university lecturer Peter Moran sought an employment opportunity for his student.  Without hesitation, AWS was regarded as the employer of choice for the new industry entrant.   As advice businesses grapple with the new decade and beyond, it’s clear a more strategic approach that embraces the Five R’s is needed.  By doing so, it demonstrates the creation of value for clients; acts as beacon to attract highly talented, motivated employees; and positions the business for long-term growth and financial success.   Issued by Australian Wealth Solutions     www.wealth-solutions.com.au             Media enquiries:     Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mob: +61 412 112 545       Email: jperri@joeperri.com.au Fire & Water – Bartercard Launches An Australia Wide Appeal 2020-02-27T09:52:31Z fire-amp-water-bartercard-launches-an-australia-wide-appeal All funds raised will go towards clean drinking water and to registered charities that are directly supporting those affected by the terrible fires. With the weather yet to turn helpful Bartercard has stepped in to help the country that needs water for fires, the people and the animals. Clients can make a trade dollar contribution or drop off water to the local Bartercard Office. “Many people and animals urgently need water. We have seen over the past few weeks an absolutely astonishing set of bushfires still burning around Australia. Surreal images like those of evacuees fleeing to beaches or boats for safety. The situation has been particularly dangerous in Victoria and New South Wales, where fires have surrounded Sydney, choking the air with smoke. Bartercard Australia, in partnership with One Light Charity Foundation, will be taking donations of water and other means so that we may donate to scorched and drought-ravaged parts of Australia,” the company announced in a statement recently. Australia’s devastating and prolonged bushfire season has killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals since September. About 2,500 homes have been destroyed and more than 11.7 million hectares (2.8 million acres) of tinder-dry bushland have been razed. Bartercard provides an immense online marketplace for companies to barter their products and services with other companies. It is the world's largest cashless business networking platform and is designed for business expansion and increased profits. They provide the opportunity to network with other brands and open up Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Perth business to a whole other market of potential customers around the world.   For more information, visit https://www.bartercard.com.au/ or call 1300 227 837. Age Pension is a right – not a charitable token affirms Seniors group in submission to Government Review 2020-02-27T02:12:40Z age-pension-is-a-right-not-a-charitable-token-affirms-seniors-group-in-submission-to-government-review Australian Pensioners’ Voice (APV) President Mr Vic Guarino and Secretary Mr Gino Iannazzo have confirmed that the organisation that campaigns for the welfare and betterment of Australian seniors has forwarded a submission to the Australian Government Review into Retirement Incomes.   “It’s about time the Australian Government, its agencies, and media and other commentators recognised that the Age Pension is a right, and not a charity or ‘welfare’,” said Mr Guarino.   Unfortunately, the history of taxpayers funding the Age Pension is not widely known and APV outlined this in their submission to the Review into Retirement Incomes.   On January 1 1946, then Prime Minister Ben Chifley established the National Welfare Fund.  It involved a 7.5% levy on all taxpayers and a purpose of the extra tax was to fund Age Pensions.  Until 1950 it generated 100 million pounds.   In 1949 incoming Prime Minister Robert Menzies amended the legislation to pay the 7.5% tax directly into Consolidated Revenue.  In 1985 the Labor Government repealed the National Welfare Fund legislation.   Adding his voice, Mr Iannazzo said, “It’s important to note, that the 7.5% additional tax levied by Ben Chifley was not altered by these changes and continues to be collected to this very day!   “Working Australian taxpayers have been contributing to their own retirement for over 70 years”.   Given this background, and for other public policy reasons, APV holds the view that the Age Pension should be universal, and support the initiative of Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who in 1974/75 abolished the Income Test for all persons aged 70 years and over and paid the Age Pension to all over 70s.   “We do not support the action of the Fraser Government in repealing this initiative, or that of the Hawke Government in adding an Assets Test to the Income Test” affirmed Mr Guarino and Mr Iannazzo.  “Neither of these changes have benefited pensioners, and they have failed to take into account the contributions made by pensioners during their working lives”.   “We recognise that reversing these changes would require substantial Budgetary change, and may be beyond the capacity of this Review.    Having said that, it might not be as difficult as many would believe. The Australian Government presently puts many billions of dollars into superannuation tax concessions.  We understand that the cost of superannuation tax concessions now exceeds the entire cost of the Age Pension!   Withdrawing these concessions would free up large amounts of money which could go towards reducing and ultimately abolishing first the Assets Test, and ultimately the Income Test, and providing a universal Age Pension.   It is our view that a Universal Age Pension would be both simpler and fairer than the current complicated superannuation arrangements, which benefit high wealth Australians rather than the nation.   In APV’s submission, the organisation made three suggestions to the Review in the hope they will be recommended to the Australian Government.  These are -   1.     That there be no change to the existing exemption of the family home in the application of the Income and Assets Tests.  APV is aware of voices quietly urging that the home be included.  For example, the Productivity Commission has stated that “Retirees would have a better quality of life if they sold their homes instead of relying on the age pension”.       With the greatest of respect, this is nonsense.   Many pensioners have lived in their family home for decades.  Their community roots and friendships with neighbours are important to them.  To force them to pack up and move is both unfair and heartless.    Seniors did not ask for their land to increase in value; it has come about as a consequence of Government driven population growth.  If pensioners can no longer afford to live in the homes they have made their own and lived in often all their lives, they are not better off than they used to be, they are worse off.   Governments should be about making pensioners lives better, not worse.   APV will emphatically campaign against any proposals to include the family home in benefit calculations.   2.     The Government abolished the deeming rules on pensioner bank and other investments.   It was never fair to pensioners to calculate their pension on their imaginary income rather than their actual income, and the current climate of very low interest rates has made this policy even less fair.   Retirees are receiving next to nothing from their term deposits and the like. They should not be further disadvantaged by having the Government use “deeming” to chip away at their Pensions.   3.     The Government consider making payments to Local Governments to enable them to provide Council rate relief for pensioners.   As APV is more familiar with the Victorian history of rate relief and this was reflected in their submission that referred to the Victorian Municipalities Assistance Act 1973 provided that pensioners could get rate relief of 50% on their Council rates.   It applied to both full and part pensioners. This policy was in place throughout the 1970s and worked well.   In 1983 the concession was altered to become relief of 50% of the rates for an average house, and set at $135, based on average rates of $270.   Unfortunately for ratepayers, rates have since skyrocketed, but the relief has not.   By 2016 average rates had risen to over $2000, so if the relief had kept pace with the 50% benchmark it would have been over $1000.  In fact, it was $213, leaving pensioners over $800 per annum worse off.   The position has deteriorated still further since then.   Commenting further Mr Guarino and Mr Iannazzo said it is not fair that pensioners and retirees should be unable to live or deterred from living in their own homes in their twilight years.   “They should not be forced out through the burden of increasing rate payments, which is an onerous millstone which State and local governments over the past 40 years have allowed to rise at an excessive rate.   “Pensioners are entitled to have the original intent of the Municipalities Assistance Act 1973 honoured. Otherwise they have every right to conclude that today’s leaders and policy makers are either not as clever, or not as respectful of the elderly, as those of the 1970s.   Mr Guarino and Mr Iannazzo concluded, “We recognise that there would be a budgetary cost for such support.  However, in the APV submission we suggest the Australian Government could redirect some of the large payments it presently makes to State and local governments for infrastructure spending.  The only reason that large infrastructure spending is needed is because the Federal Government chooses to have a policy of high population growth.  This is discretionary.   “There is no reason why the Government should continue to run a high population growth policy rather than look after its pensioners and retirees”.   NOTE:  Australian Pensioners’ Voice was established over 10 years ago to campaign on behalf of pensioners.  The organisation was involved in the campaign to increase the Age Pension in 2009-10, and successfully campaigned for the capping of Council rates in Victoria.  The group continues to highlight issues that adversely impact the welfare of Australian pensioners and seniors.   ENDS   Issued by Australian Pensioners’ Voice               Media enquiries:     Mr. Joe Perri, Joe Perri & Associates Pty Ltd Mob: +61 412 112 545       Email: jperri@joeperri.com.au