The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-03-22T22:00:40Z Financial Wealth Management Property Acquisition Accountant Kingsgrove Reveals Renovation ATO Tax Benefit 2019-03-22T22:00:40Z financial-wealth-management-property-acquisition-accountant-kingsgrove-reveals-renovation-ato-tax-benefit Renovations Help you Up the Rent Says TLK Partners Property Expert Matthew Mousa Well-kept properties can result in better rent, but owners shouldn’t over-spend on renovations. Property Acquisition specialist Matthew Mousa of TLK Partners advises on improvements that will be both easy on the budget, and show extra return on investment. Some rental property investors might be unsure of where and how to invest renovation dollars for maximum return. “As a property investor myself, it’s easy to spend a fortune and over-capitalise on the property,” warns Matthew. “Rather invest in cost-effective upgrades on key areas, known to attract tenants. Not only will you draw people who are prepared to pay a little extra, but they are also more likely to care for it during their stay.” Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the major areas – one represents the heart of the home, because it is where food and nourishment originate, while the other is a haven for relaxation and de-stressing. These two rooms could easily become a ‘wow’ factor. However, most importantly, they should be spotless, and leave a squeaky-clean impression. Sprucing Up The Kitchen Representing the heart of the home, a tatty kitchen will turn away potential tenants. It should be spotless, and leave a squeaky-clean impression. A full-blown kitchen renovation is a costly exercise, but there are ways of improving the space and creating a ‘wow’ factor without blowing the bank. Matthew recommends looking at and changing the small details. Add a splash back behind the stove or sink or replace the existing ones with fresh tiles. Splash backs serve a double function in protecting the wall from damage, but can also be a striking feature with clever tiling choice. Do the counter-tops and cabinet doors look tired? A granite top will make an impressive feature, while new doors with fresh hinges and modern handles will transform old cupboards. Another practical improvement is the addition of clever lighting, to brighten the space and improve its function. Cleaning Up The Bathroom “Keep good design and classic style in mind when you consider renovating the bathroom of the rental property,” advises Matthew. He warns against overly-modern or trendy fittings as they can easily date in a few years’ time. Owners could, however, add contemporary touches with modern towel bars and vanity shelves. Once again, the importance of a brilliantly clean look cannot be overemphasised. Light Up With Flair Dark and dingy is a definite no-no if you are looking for a higher rent. Apart from lights being an expression of style, it is most important that your rental property is well lit. “Remember to open blinds and switch the lights on where necessary when you’re showing the property, as light and airy looking properties hold much more appeal,” says Matthew. Lighting and light fittings can create ambiance in any room, and the variety of styles of lighting available is infinite. It can be used to create any look and feel of your choice, from rustic to industrial. Just be careful not to go too way out there – tenants want to add their own personal touches to make the rental property their home, and they don’t necessarily have the same taste in décor as the owner does. So choose something functional, classy, tasteful and fairly neutral. When faced with dark corners or rooms, skylights or installed windows are a wonderful source of light and sun, and can often make all the difference in bathrooms and kitchens by lighting them naturally. Choose energy efficient long-lasting lighting, not only to reduce tenant’s electricity bills but also to care about the environment. Happy Tenants Stay Longer Renovating rental properties from time to time not only holds the bonus of collecting more rent each month during the tenant’s lease period, but could save other costs in the long run. "Remember, if tenants love their home, they will stay longer, so investors will save on advertising and screening costs. It really is best to show it off the property its best light," Matthew concludes. TLK Partners are real people just like you with hobbies like property investment; Wealth Management Companies Kingsgrove, Beverly Hills | Tax Accountant & Agent | Property Adviser are wealth advisers serving enterprises and private individuals who hope to take care of their future through sound financial management. Visit their website or contact them at (02) 8090 4324 for an appointment to discuss your financial management and investment needs. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published. Syndicated by Baxton Media. Sydney Investors Aged Care Financial Income Protection Tax Expert and Wealth Planner Matthew Mousa From TLK Partners 2019-03-22T21:00:07Z sydney-investors-aged-care-financial-income-protection-tax-expert-and-wealth-planner-matthew-mousa-from-tlk-partners Part-Year Rentals Affect Property Investors Tax Claims Says TLK Partners Expert Matthew Mousa Tax rental income statements record every dollar received on investment properties, but it doesn’t reflect how many dollars an investor actually takes home. Rental property investors, will have had to settle a lot of bills in order to receive the dollar bills listed as income – without doing so, they would have received a lot less. But what happens if an investment property is only rented out for part of the year? TLK Partners’ property specialist, Mr Matthew Mousa, looks at the tax implications. Sam and Jane were looking for tenants, but made it way too difficult for anyone to rent their property. They asked for references even for short term tenants, and barred children and pets. And they also demanded final approval, despite advertising their premises through an agent. To top it all, not one prospective tenant earned that approval. In Steven and Sally’s case, they advertised their “rental” through an agent, but restricted it to being only available outside school holidays, when there was no demand for renting a property in a remote location with difficult access. They also had no tenants during that year. Both couples had their expenses claims rejected immediately by the tax office. “If the Australian Tax Office has cause to believe the property was not truly ‘available to rent’, it will not sanction expenses claims, because owners made it too difficult for tenants to rent their property,” Mousa warns. “While it is sometimes hard to believe it, the tax authorities are trying to play fair – they only want their share of the rental money you have actually pocketed.” But they want investors to play fair, too, by claiming deductions only on expenses directly related to earning it. So expenses that investors incurred for personal use of the house don’t cut it as far they are concerned. Every homeowner has expenses running their properties and they can’t claim them against tax. The overall principle is that investors can only claim expenses with regard to costs while your property was actually rented out, or while real intention was being shown to make an income out of the property, which is when, as tax authorities term it, it was genuinely “available to rent”. Stating entire income and then claiming the costs of earning it, changes the gross income to a nett income, giving a far more valid picture of what profit was made, not just your bank account balance. It is from this final clean figure that the tax authorities slice their share of the pie in the form of taxes, Mr Mousa explains. However, the final figure changes, because the claimable expenses do, if a rental property does not operate all year through. The taxman also accepts that there are good years and bad years for rental property owners, when they simply don’t have many tenants. Yet, as an owner, investors go on having expenses involved in trying to attract tenants, so some expenses involved are still claimable even when rental income is low. Apportion Expenses If either of the above couples had indeed managed to land a tenant, even for a short period, they would fall into the category of those rental property owners who have to apportion expenses according to how much of the year the premises were rented out, or were honestly available for rent. Joining them are owners who openly rent out their houses for a short period of the year, using it themselves the rest of the year, and those who do the opposite, using it themselves for a short holiday, and making it available for rent the rest of the year. Any expenses that come up while used personally or by friends are enjoying the property privately, can’t be claimed. So these taxpayers will also have to do apportionment claims. Apportionment means that those costs directly tied to rental income can only be claimed in proportion to how much of the year tenants helped you generate it. If tenants rented your property for 35 weeks of the year, the expenses would be multiplied by 35/52 to determine the claimable share of the year’s expenses. Some Exceptions To The Rule Exceptions are those expenses brought about during the course of the rental process. These include estate agents’ commission, advertising for tenants, phone calls to fix damage tenants caused, and the cost of removing any rubbish they left behind. Matthew Mousa is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals. TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published. Syndicated by Baxton Media. Cashwerkz adds ADI and wealth management partners to its online cash investment marketplace, reaches new $2 billion funds milestone and launches At Call account offering 2019-03-21T22:00:00Z cashwerkz-adds-adi-and-wealth-management-partners-to-its-online-cash-investment-marketplace-reaches-new-2-billion-funds-milestone-and-launches-at-call-account-offering Cashwerkz, the leading online platform in Australia uniquely designed for cash investing and wholly-owned by Trustees Australia Limited (ASX: TAU), has announced new ADI partners including Auswide Bank, Bank of us and new financial adviser partner, MartinCo Financial Advisers. These new partners join an online cash marketplace offering a range of cash investment solutions from 41 Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) and easy access for a growing number of wealth management specialists. Cashwerkz recently hit a new milestone for funds passed through the platform, now reaching $2 billion, as well as a new milestone for cash accounts that remain active on the platform. Cashwerkz today has over $1 billion funds on the platform waiting to mature. Active and pass thru funds on platform as at 18th of March 2019. Adding new partners has helped Cashwerkz generate sound growth in its ADI partner network numbers over a six month period, with a corresponding 67% increase in funds utilising Cashwerkz platform technology. Hector Ortiz, CEO for Cashwerkz commented, “It’s fantastic to see new partners recognise the benefits of the Cashwerkz platform. Our continued growth in funds on the platform signals investors trust our secure and innovative marketplace.” “We do not have access to investor’s funds, and this makes Cashwerkz an extremely secure, transparent and efficient solution for cash investing. Our unique automated and streamlined identification process means the Cashwerkz platform is delivering a compelling level of cost-efficiency for our ADI partners, resulting in better returns for the investor, particularly professional investors such as fund managers and custodians,” he concluded. What our partners are saying: “Cashwerkz assists Auswide Bank to extend its reach and diversification to clients across Australia, via competitive digital platform.” Dale Hancock, Group Treasurer at Auswide Bank. “Cashwerkz provides more transparent cash investing options for our clients and it ensures we are accessing the most competitive market rates possible. This has not only made a positive impact on our client’s returns, it has streamlined our reporting and administration.” Todd Martin, Financial Adviser, MartinCo Financial Services. “Bank of us is pleased to partner with Cashwerkz. As a small Tasmanian customer owned bank, the platform provides us with a cost effective way to compete for short term investments on a national basis – a source of funding that, without the platform, we have not had effective access to before.” Paul Ranson, CEO, Bank of us. Launch of At Call Account Cashwerkz has separately announced the launch of a powerful new At Call account option offering up to 2.3% interest for investors. At Call accounts are designed to offer significantly higher market-competitive interest rates. Making an At Call facility available allows investors to continuously benefit from Cashwerkz streamlined automated processes and its unique identity and verification technology. Initially Cashwerkz will offer an At Call account option from AMP Bank, Auswide Bank, and ME Bank with an additional five ADIs joining the platform in the near future, offering investors even more choice with market competitive At Call offerings. The Australian-developed Cashwerkz platform provides self-managed super funds, financial advisers, fund managers, the wholesale market, custodians, and industry superannuation funds with the ability to source market competitive interest rates in real-time and then to transact and manage cash on an end-to-end secure platform. The platform does not receive, handle or direct investor’s money: it facilitates the transfer of cash parcels between accounts held and controlled by the investor, their appointed adviser or custodian, via secure automated instructions to relevant parties. There is no fee payable by the investor. Cashwerkz receives a fee from the issuing ADI. These latest partners join recently announced ADI and wealth providers, Gateway Bank and the Elders Financial Planning Group. A full list of daily competitive market rates from a wide range of Australia’s leading banks is available on www.cashwerkz.com.au. Aged Care Property Investors and Financial Wealth Acquisition Tax Expert Mathew Mousa From TLK Partners Kingsgrove 2019-03-20T21:00:18Z aged-care-property-investors-and-financial-wealth-acquisition-tax-expert-mathew-mousa-from-tlk-partners-kingsgrove Private Investors Property Income Has Tax Implications Whether in money or in kind, anything investors are given that’s linked to their rental property, is considered to be income, and the Australian Taxation Office wants to know about it. Property and tax expert TLK Partners’ Matthew Mousa runs through some of the less well-known forms of “rental income” from the Australian Taxation Office. So for tax purposes, rental income only refers to a tenant’s weekly or monthly cheque, right? Wrong, says Matthew. “If investors are renting out a property to earn a return on their investment, any payment received is considered part of their income, whether cash or in kind. And what comes in, must go out – in the form of information on your tax return.” Disclosing straight-up rental payments is par for the course, but what are the other forms of income associated with a rental property? These equally relevant, but less obvious forms of rental income are the ones to be mindful of, he cautions. Payments in kind If an investor let young Joe live on their rental property for free, as long as he keeps the garden looking good and the swimming pool clean, as well as doing small maintenance jobs, their tax situation could be complicated, Matthew explains. The same applies when someone like Chloe, who has parents on a farm, agrees to pay part of her rent in fresh potatoes. Or perhaps Sam, who’s in the premier league, gives the investor season tickets for rugby, in return for accommodation. According to the Australian Tax Office this "income" must be disclosed in these instances. “Investors will have to put a market value on any of these, from the rental value of Joe’s accommodation, to what the spuds or season ticket would have cost and add it to the rental income. Investors may be entitled to deduct some of the young man’s “rent” in terms of the legally deductible parts of the services he performs. But as far as income goes, his “rental” does need to be included to balance the tax books.” Bond monies and tenant insurance pay-outs If investors keep part of a tenant’s security bond because they didn’t pay the rent, or because you have had to repair damage after a tenant moved out, it classifies as income. The same applies if insurance company pays out for rental lost because a tenant left. Reimbursements There are times when the investor receives money in lieu of damage to get repair work done to their property. "If a tenant gives money towards the cost of the repair, again that money must be recorded as income," Matthew says. "This is especially important if the investor wants to claim the repair cost as a deduction," Matthew continued. Government rebates The same principle applies for rebates as it does for reimbursements. If the investor installs a solar system to supply hot water, for instance, the government may provide a rebate. “As the solar system is a depreciating asset for which the investor will want to claim tax relief over a period of some years, they can’t claim for the entire value, if they didn’t actually pay the full amount because of the rebate received,” Matthew says. When the amount claimed exceeds the amount spent In some more complicated cases, as with limited recourse debt arrangements, financing, refinancing and notional loans, investors may not end up paying the full cost of the initial capital expenditure either. However, they may well want to claim deductions for this expenditure on a depreciating asset. In a similar way to the rebate situation, they could end up claiming for money they have not spent. The unpaid section has to be recorded as income, in order to balance a claim for the full expenditure. TLK Partners Wealth Management Companies Kingsgrove, Beverly Hills | Tax Accountant & Agent | Property Adviser are wealth advisers serving enterprises and private individuals who hope to take care of their future through sound financial management. Visit their website or contact them at (02) 8090 4324 for an appointment to discuss your financial management and investment needs. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published. Syndicated by Baxton Media. Superannuation Tax Estate Planning Private Wealth Financial Planning Sydney TLK Partners 2019-03-06T22:00:26Z superannuation-tax-estate-planning-private-wealth-financial-planning-sydney-tlk-partners Tax hikes and changes and an ever-rising cost of living paint a gloomy financial picture for all Australians. But it’s even more dismal for current retirees, and those looking at leaving the workforce soon. TLK Partners financial planner, Len Elias, says finding ways for them to keep financially afloat for the rest of their lives is becoming increasingly difficult. And it seems like Superannuation can’t do it alone. How Superannuation Works Australian Superannuation is often considered one of the best government retirement programs globally. Since 1992, it has entitled Australians who earn over $450 a month (before tax) to a mandatory Superfund contribution from their employers for their retirement. The current contribution rate is 9.5% is calculated according to ordinary time earnings, and employees are encouraged to boost it with their own salary sacrifice. Superannuation funds are accessible at 60 (the Commonwealth preservation age) for those who retire permanently, or at 65 for those who still want to work. The funds can be accessed as a lump sum or as an annual pension payout, but many Australians are not rushing to do so. Financial concerns have led to increasing numbers of Australians over the age of 45 are putting off retirement till 70 or later. How Super is the Annuation Fund? ASFA, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia claim that, on average, during the 2013/14 financial year, men had a balance of a little under $300,000 in their fund at retirement age. Women had less than $150,000, and households averaged around $355,000. Since then stock markets have been both bearish and bullish, inflation has risen and not come down, and there have been changes in the tax situation. By the 2015/2016 year those average balances had dropped to $270,710 for men and risen to $157,049 for women. These averages fall far short of the 2018 figures AFSA suggests as reasonable starting balances for retirement when, and only when, retirees own their homes. The association puts the amount a single person would need to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle at $545,000 , and couples at $640, 000. And it claims $70,000 should provide a so-called modest retirement assuming that the state’s Age Pension and other supplements take care of most of the usual expenditures. But for how long? How Long Will Your Super Last? AFSA’s calculations set couples’ living costs at just under $61,000 a year, and singles at a little over $43,317, for what AFSA dubs a “comfortable” lifestyle. This allows for some extras like home maintenance and small improvements, as well as an occasional holiday, and it takes into account that retirees’ lifestyles change as they age, and expenses shift from activities and vacations to medical and caring needs. But with that annual budget, the balance AFSA recommends for retirement will see a single retiree’s funds run dry after about 12 years, and that of couples after just over 10 years, if not bolstered by partial Age Pensions or other investments. Len Elias pointed out covering the 22 years between retirement at 60 and the Australian average life expectancy of 82 years, it would appear opening balances would therefore have to sit at over $1,28 million for couples, and about a million for singles. In the so-called modest category, which allows for basics only, the recommended starting capital of $70 000 will only fund the calculated singles’ budget of $27,648 for 2,5 years, and the couple’s $39,775 for less than two. Fortunately, a full Age Pension (just under $24,000 a year for singles, and a combined $36 000 for a couple) would stretch the balances, should the retiree be eligible for it. Clearly, while it provides a base which could support a tightly-budgeted retirement in the short term, planning and saving is needed to stretch that funding over what could be a long retirement. Len Elias is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals. TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published. Syndicated by Baxton Media. Mortgage Broking Industry Findings Effect On Investors Aged Care Financial Income Tax And Wealth Planning By Financial Expert Len Elias of TLK Partners Sydney 2019-03-01T22:00:06Z mortgage-broking-industry-findings-effect-on-investors-aged-care-financial-income-tax-and-wealth-planning-by-financial-expert-len-elias-of-tlk-partners-sydney Mortgage brokers have been accused of using scare tactics after the industry warned the banking inquiry’s sweeping ban on commissions would lead to higher costs for borrowers, and big rewards for the culprits in this story, the banks. In the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry’s report, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC took aim at “trail commissions”, a form of ongoing payment made by the lender to the mortgage broker for the life of the loan, describing it as “money for nothing”. One of the fundamental rules he set for the entire system is to get rid of commissions, starting with the mortgage broking industry. Trail commissions will be banned from mid-2020 but the government stopped short of accepting Mr Hayne’s recommendation for a ban on upfront commissions as well. It believes banning the up-front fees will drive people away from brokers, and this in turn will erode competition and strengthen the hand of the big banks. Labor says it will act on every recommendation if it wins the upcoming election. Australian financial expert, Len Elias of TLK Partners explains that mortgage brokers receive an average up-front commission from lenders of about 0.65 per cent of the loan value and a trailing commission of just under 0.11 per cent of the loan outstanding per year for the life of the loan. This amounts to about $4,100 for the mortgage of an average loan of about $357,000, he says. Those applauding the industry changes point out that current arrangements create incentives towards recommendations not necessarily in the consumer’s best interest. Brokers should offer advice on how to compare loans and help clients make sound decisions, but that’s not what many consumers get, industry watchdogs argue. It’s also been pointed out that loans through mortgage brokers, which make up around 60 per cent of the total, typically involve higher leverage, are more often interest-only and are more likely to slip into default. The entire $2.1 billion industry will ultimately be forced to move to a fee-for-service revenue model, where the borrower pays the commission to the broker instead of the bank. The Finance Brokers Association of Australia responded strongly to the outcome, saying it would lead to huge unintended consequences for home loan borrowers and would simply put more power in the hands of the banks. The markets echoed this sentiment: while shares in CommBank, NAB, ANZ and Westpac surged at the news, shares in Mortgage Choice plummeted more than 25 per cent. The concern is that that the proposed changes will drive buyers back to the major banks, cut access to smaller lenders and reduce consumer choice. It is estimated to save major banks about $1.6 billion in annual commission payments, but could also cost thousands of brokers their jobs. As it is, they’re bracing for the biggest shake-up since the Campbell Report 30 years ago. Brokers account for about 59 per cent of deals and make more than $2.2 billion in annual commissions. There are currently about 25,000 small businesses and people working within the mortgage broking industry. Consumers, on the other hand, will have to pay an up-front fee, although a recent survey of 5800 borrowers indicates 96.5 per cent of customers are not willing to pay a broker a fee of $2000. In fact, most are unwilling to pay anything at all. Even so, 96 per cent indicated that they were happy with their broker’s service. “It puts the whole industry under a cloud,” says Mr Elias. “And astonishingly, the banks, who were the biggest culprits at the Royal Commission, are the winners in this scenario.” Len Elias is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals. TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Companywebsite, or call (02) 8090 4324. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published. Syndicated by Baxton Media. Impact Of ALP Tax Change Proposals By Aged Care, Estate Planning and Private Wealth Management Accountant Financial Expert Thomas Mousa of TLK Partners In Sydney 2019-02-24T22:00:01Z impact-of-alp-tax-change-proposals-by-aged-care-estate-planning-and-private-wealth-management-accountant-financial-expert-thomas-mousa-of-tlk-partners-in-sydney Impact ALP Tax Change Proposals The impact on retirees of Labor’s proposed removal of franking credits for superannuation funds, reduction in capital gains tax discount and the removal of negative gearing In a crackdown on what it views as an unsustainable advantage for high-income earners, the Australian Labor Party will introduce reforms to tax laws on 1 July 2019 if wins the next federal election. These reforms, which include the removal of franking credits and a reduction in the capital gains tax discount, will affect about 8% of taxpayers and about 200 000 self-managed super funds. It is already sparking protest from groups disproportionally affected by the changes, most notably wealthy retirees and the super lobby. Removing franking credits Australia’s dividend imputation system allows investors to claim a tax benefit, a much-valued and relied-upon boost to their total return. This is particularly relevant for retirees, as it supports retirement spending increases of up to 6% or the equivalent of a higher balance at retirement by 8%-9%. Allowed to transfer their superannuation into a retirement savings account, tax-free up to a balance of $1.6 million, imputation credits increase the after-tax value of a fully-franked dividend by 42.8%. The proposed Labor reforms could potentially end, or at least limit, access to imputation credits for Australian retirees. Dividend imputation has existed since 1987, but refunds on excess franking credits only started in 2001, at a cost of $550 million. It has subsequently increased to more than $5 billion a year, an amount the ALP believes is excessive and detrimental to the average Australian. Introduced by Keating in 1987, dividend imputation prevents investors being double taxed, once at the company level and again at the individual level. The Howard government then enhanced the scheme by allowing individuals and super funds to claim cash refunds for any excess imputation credits not used to offset their tax liabilities. Labor intends to return to the system introduced by Paul Keating. Critics view the dividend imputation system as favouring domestic companies and shareholders and as too generous compared to other countries. However, tinkering with the taxation of super yet again after 2017’s tax reforms, could be having a negative impact on client confidence and the stability of the system. It could also impact Australian businesses, according to Thomas Mousa, Business Services Partner at TLK Partners, as these cash refunds incentivise people to invest locally. “Ending them could see super and self-managed super funds pulling their investment from Aussie companies in favour of better returns elsewhere.” The impact that restricting access to franking credits would have on retirees is probably underestimated, Mr Mousa adds. “It is likely some people will have to re-prioritise their retirement goals or accept a lower quality of life in retirement due to lower income from their investment portfolio. Professional advice on how to minimise potential income loss is critical.” Reduction in capital gains tax and negative gearing Claiming current concessions are stacked in favour of the wealthy and not supportive of investment in new housing, the Labor Party has updated its policy on negative gearing and capital gains concessions. The key components of the ALP’s policy are a proposal to limit negative gearing to new housing and reduce the capital gains tax discount from its current 50% rate down to 25%. Investments made before the implementation date or by superannuation funds, and assets of small business owners, are exempt from this change. As it stands, capital gains can be offset against previously incurred but unused capital losses and against losses incurred in a particular fiscal year. Individuals and trusts are also entitled to a 50% discount on the capital gain amount providing they have held the asset for more than year. Negative gearing is when an investment property’s net rental income (after deducting expenses) is less than the interest on the borrowed funds. While common for property investing, negative gearing can also be used for other financial instruments such as shares and bonds. The loss is claimed as a tax deduction against other income. On face value, the policy seems advantageous to mature investors who may have a combination of positively and negatively geared properties, whereas most working Australians with one negative geared property will miss out. Surveys indicate that about half of Australians are worried about their finances, yet the vast majority has never received any professional advice. “If you are concerned about the impact changing tax laws might have on your investments and retirement income, seek help,” Mousa urges. “Understanding what you’re up against is the first step in making the right financial decisions.” Thomas Mousa is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals. TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published. Syndicated by Baxton Media. Cashwerkz appoints Peter Whitfield as Chief Technology Officer 2019-02-20T23:00:00Z cashwerkz-appoints-peter-whitfield-as-chief-technology-officer Cashwerkz has named Peter Whitfield to the role of chief technology officer (CTO) for the company. As CTO, Peter will be responsible for strategic technology initiatives to ensure the Cashwerkz platform remains at the forefront of innovation as it delivers an easy and secure online marketplace for retail, middle market and institutional investors. Whitfield joins this role from his most recent position as Head of Special Projects for Cashwerkz. He joins the Senior Leadership team and will continue to report directly to Hector Ortiz, CEO, Cashwerkz. “Having Peter lead this role means we continue to benefit from his in-depth and unique expertise developing cloud-based platforms and services in both the B2B and B2C spaces,” said Hector Ortiz, CEO, Cashwerkz. “Peter is now responsible for a series of unique technology initiatives designed to enhance the investment sector. Our goal is to continue to streamline online investing. He has already played a leading hand in the current product road-map and is the ideal person to head the team to continue to build out our professional platform capabilities and efficiencies.” Whitfield will continue to focus on ongoing development of the Cashwerkz platform and its workflow efficiencies, rolling out dynamic technology solutions to better support the needs of retail, middle market and institutional investors. “I am driven to find new ways to solve existing problems and coupled with my drive in leading teams, I feel by combining my strengths with Cashwerkz innovation can continue to deliver a transformational offering for investing in Australia,” Whitfield said. Whitfield’s career includes CTO for LawPath, Director for nVision, Director of Engineering at both Bigcommerce and Community Engine, plus Director IT at University of Sydney and Development Manager for Commonwealth Bank. His 20-year career spans software development, platform engineering, two-sided marketplace creation and the establishment of cloud-based platforms suitable for global scale. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering and various post-graduate certifications in management, innovation and entrepreneurship. /Ends Commission a chance to review options says Regional Australia Bank CEO 2019-02-14T00:32:27Z commission-a-chance-to-review-options-says-regional-australia-bank-ceo Commission findings a chance to review options, says Regional Australia Bank CEO Regional Australia Bank CEO Kevin Dupé has today applauded the findings of the Royal Commission, saying he encourages consumers to take this as a chance to explore alternatives. "This is landmark day for the face of banking in Australia. We will see the major banks (and others that will follow) forced into changes that start to put the customer first, but it would be remiss of me to not to remind consumers that a strong alternative is available that has always put the customer first." Mr Dupé is referring to the customer-owned banking model that returns 100% of profits back to its customers and community – not to financial shareholders, as is the model for the major banks. "Where you have a model that primarily gauges success on the financial returns to its shareholders, you can see how customer interest may be compromised in decision making." "In stark contrast, the customer-owned model positions the customer at the centre of decision-making – ensuring value is added to them at each turn through fairer fees, competitive rates and quality services. It really does put people before profit." The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) - the peak body for Credit Unions, Building Societies and Mutual Banks - has come out in support of the stronger governance from the regulatory authorities (recommendation 6.14) saying, "COBA strongly supports the Royal Commission’s recommendations for stronger regulator accountability. Mr Dupe mirrored these sentiments saying "if the Royal Commission has taught us anything, it has unearthed that it is the adherence to regulation, not the amount of regulation that is the problem. Simply introducing more regulation risks "using a hammer to crack a nut" because it assumes the problems are systemic to the entire industry when they are not. This recommendation will make everyone more accountable." In recognising the need for greater customer accountability, Mr Dupé says that it is hard to look past the customer owned banking model. "If you bank with the majors and don’t feel you are getting value, my advice is to join a bank where the shareholder and the customer are one and the same." - Ends - Media contact: Victoria Brown, Brand and Communications Manager, 0432 538 746. It is requested that Regional Australia Bank is not shortened to an acronym and always referred to in full as Regional Australia Bank. Aged Care, Estate Planning and Private Wealth Management Tax Accountant Financial Expert of TLK Partners Sydney Explains Credit Card Debt Problems 2019-02-06T02:57:53Z aged-care-estate-planning-and-private-wealth-management-tax-accountant-financial-expert-of-tlk-partners-sydney-explains-credit-card-debt-problems Credit card debt in Australia is a serious challenge as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found in July this year. But although ASIC is working to tighten up credit card lending practices after its investigation found several questionable sales tactics at work among lenders, the problem won’t just go away says Thomas Mousa, CEO of TLK Partners.“It’s good that were taking steps to clean up the credit card industry,” says Thomas, “but we still have 1.9 million consumers struggling with debt and a national total of in the region of $31.7 billion in credit card balances on which interest is being charged. I doubt that’s changed much for the better since July.”Consumers Do Not Have to Pay Credit Card Interest RatesTLK Partners specializes in wealth management, but many of its clients are only to get out of the red, says Thomas. He’s often surprised to find high interest-bearing debt in the mix when he analyses struggling families’ finances. “Credit card debt should be the first to go,” says Thomas. “Nobody should pay such high rates for credit.”Judging from his interactions with clients, he believes people don’t realize how high the cost of credit can be, especially when you’re looking at a lengthy debt repayment period. “People feel overwhelmed. They know they’re struggling to cope, but they don’t think there’s anything they can do about it, so they just try to roll with punches.”Consolidation Should Never Make More DebtThomas warns against going directly to credit providers for more credit. ASIC found that some credit card companies were offering “balance transfer” cards, and says that 30 percent of consumers who took on such offers proceeded to make even more debt.It’s better to cut up your credit cards and refinance using lower interest-bearing loans. But you do need to analyse the consequences of refinancing before simply taking the plunge, warns Thomas. “Unless calculating compound interest, and charges stemming from a possible transaction is your favourite thing, I’d advise you to get an expert to generate some refinancing scenarios for you,” he says.It’s a Current Issue, and if You’re Affected, You Should ActThe message Thomas wants to bring across is that, although there’s no quick-fix escape from the debt trap without a windfall, restructuring debt can transform an unmanageable burden into a steady but affordable route towards financial security.Many young people were taken in by clever credit card marketing strategies, and right now, Thomas says they’re struggling to recover from the mistake. “It’s stunting their ability to get the kind of start in life one would want to see – and in a lot of instances, they’re struggling much more than is necessary.”Of the debts that bring people down, credit card debt is among the most costly – and among the prime candidates for refinancing. He believes his company can help. “At TLK Partners we don’t offer loans. We don’t take commissions. We don’t promise silver bullets. But we will help you to look for responsible, long-term strategies for a sound financial future. Talk to us.”Thomas Mousa is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals. TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324.This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published.Syndicated by Baxton Media. Sydney Aged Care Estate Financial Wealth Planners and Tax Experts of TLK Partners in Kingsgrove Warn Ageing Investors in Sydney 2019-02-05T02:55:25Z sydney-aged-care-estate-financial-wealth-planners-and-tax-experts-of-tlk-partners-in-kingsgrove-warn-ageing-investors-in-sydney Australian investors would be burying their heads in the sand if they were to ignore the recent scandals involving wealth management companies, says Thomas Mousa, CEO of TLK Partners. He says that although research shows better returns for those who get expert help with structuring their financial life, individuals and businesses should be cautious about who they choose to assist them.Qualifications and Track Record a MustIt seems like a bit of a no-brainer, but the recent AMP court case uncovered that the company’s financial advisors “lacked the education” to understand that they were breaking the law with some of their charges. Needless to say, the warning signs had been there for some time, with a high rate of banned advisors in an industry where even one banning should be a shocker.Apart from understanding how the law governs their business relationship with their clients, financial advisors must understand markets and have proven their mettle in the past. If they haven’t, you’re giving them your assets to experiment with.Know Where the Loyalty LiesThomas points out that your financial advisor might have vested interests. They aren’t financial advisors as much as they are salespeople for a specific firm’s products.“There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking a financial advisor whether he has any affiliations or receives any commissions,” says Thomas. “It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if he is, but then you know that he’s selling rather than advising and that you should still get impartial advice elsewhere.”Know How the Fees WorkA financial management company should explain how fees are calculated, what fees are charged, and what fee options it offers. It is absolutely essential that you ask what the maximum fees you will be charged would amount to since there will be times when you’ll need extra consultation time. Uncapped fees could present consumers with an unpleasant surprise.Know What You’re Getting and WhyPaying an unspecified amount to a person who provides an unspecified service for opaque reasons is clearly not the way to look after your financial future. A financial advisor should be able to explain what you’re paying for, what you get, and why certain funds or fund managers are recommended.Thomas says that TLK Partners believes in educating its clients and equipping them with the knowledge they need for a clear understanding of their financial life. “I could just take a fee and impress you with a lot of jargon and my reputation as a financial expert,” he says, “but that’s not the way we work.”“At TLK, we love empowering our clients. After all, it’s their money. We’re not asking for blind faith. We’re looking for smart clients who are going to ask questions, challenge us, and make recommendations of their own. A lot of our clients don’t start from that position, but we help them to reach it.”Get Help with Financial Planning and Wealth ManagementAccording to Thomas, getting expert help with financial planning and wealth management is the smart way to grow your wealth. But expert or not, your financial advisor should be keeping you in the driver’s seat.Ideally, he or she should be the one insisting on reporting to you frequently. You should have absolute clarity on how your wealth is managed, why, and what administration and other costs you should expect to pay.“Some financial managers might prefer it if their clients don’t take an interest in wealth management matters,” says Thomas, “but at TLK, we believe absolute transparency is vital. Keeping our clients informed is part of our code of ethics at TLK. Trust is a fundamental in our business, and trust is earned.”Thomas Mousa is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals. TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324.This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published.Syndicated by Baxton Media. TLK Partners Sydney, NSW Aged Care and Financial Income Protection Expert Delivers Investors Tax Wealth Clients Warning to Australian Investors 2019-02-04T02:53:47Z tlk-partners-sydney-nsw-aged-care-and-financial-income-protection-expert-delivers-investors-tax-wealth-clients-warning-to-australian-investors Australian investors may be cushioned from many of the direct blows that have been rocking markets, but being cushioned doesn’t mean you won’t get hit hard during times of market volatility says Thomas Mousa of TLK Partners. “It’s brutal out there right now,” he says, “and how you approach that investment environment depends on your personal financial situation.”Know the RisksIn a volatile market environment, there are going to be some unexpected outcomes. Solid portfolio standbys can tumble. What was a relatively conservative investment yesterday becomes a cliff-hanger today.“That’s why we always recommend hedging your bets with investment that targets sectors across a number of leading companies and spreads capital,” says Thomas. Currently, he says that keeping a higher percentage of your assets than usual in cash could be advisable – and investments should be relatively conservative and well-diversified.But Thomas admits that to some, it’s the thrill of the risk and the promise of high rewards that makes investment exciting in the first place.“There is the chance of scoring big during a time like this. You could also lose big. If you can accept the latter, some educated risk-taking could prove profitable. However, I advise clients to limit high-risk investments to amounts they can afford to lose. Investment is always a risk. There are no exceptions. But some opportunities have a higher risk profile than others. Always consider the worst-case scenario.”When’s the Best Time to Take Risks?Thomas says it’s your personal circumstances rather than the markets that determine the best times to structure more or less risk – and the potential for higher rewards – into and out of portfolios. “When you’re young, you can risk more. There’s time to recover if you need it. And if your investments prosper, you’ll set yourself up for a secure future.”Later on, Thomas suggests reducing risk, and later yet, structuring investments around secure income production rather than value growth. “For most people, that’s the financial lifecycle. But we work one on one with our clients to determine their needs and from there to determine the best investment strategies.”How Bad is It for Australian Investors?Thomas laughs. “It’s an interesting market. And it’s crazy right now. But in my opinion, there’s opportunity in this. Things have been almost too rosy for too long. The US has been in strong recovery, China has been flourishing but with warning signs during the last couple of years – the EU has been less exciting, but nonetheless solid and relatively predictable.”“Politically and economically, the environment has changed. Economies buoyed up by low interest rates need to start covering costs and reducing indebtedness. Add a few extra variables and a trade war we hope will be reconsidered and we have the current situation. Globally, we’re slowing down, but I hope we’re only slowing down to catch our breath.”“I say it’s brutal,” he says, but you should have seen 2008. “We’re talking about the loss of over $10 trillion in wealth for the US alone. But guess what happened? The market recovered. I don’t think anything nearly as dramatic as that is about to happen. So, hold on tight! It’s going to be an interesting ride, but I’m making it my business to make sure we’re going to be OK!”If you’d like to talk to TLK about your investments and your plans for the future, they’ll be happy to help you tailor your capital investments to suit your needs. Visit TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published.Syndicated by Baxton Media. TLK Partners Kingsgrove Aged Care, Financial Assets Specialists and Wills Retirement Experts Explains Estate Planning in Sydney 2019-02-01T02:49:45Z tlk-partners-kingsgrove-aged-care-financial-assets-specialists-and-wills-retirement-experts-explains-estate-planning-in-sydney Although your will is undoubtedly an important part of the estate planning you’ll want executed after you pass away, it’s by no means the only one you should be considering says Len Elias of TLK Partners.The legacy you want to leave behind forms part of your financial planning. Thus, your journey begins with wealth management. “TLK talks to its clients about their short, medium, and long-term goals,” says Elias, “and the provisions our clients want to make for loved ones after their death forms part of that.”Grow Your Wealth, Reduce Your RiskRisk reduction is part of both your wealth management strategy and your estate planning, says Elias. A good investment manager with structure investments to reduce risk.Your retirement will also be in view even if you’re still a few decades from the time you decide to take it easy and enjoy the fruits of your labour. “And, since we’re covering all the bases,” says Len, “we’re also looking at what happens if you were to pass away earlier than expected.”Provide for Your BusinessIf you own a business, planning for its future should you pass away will be important. A lot of your assets may be tied up there, and you need to decide what should happen to it if you aren’t there anymore. Preserving value will be a priority even if you think that selling up will ultimately be the best solution.Think TaxEstate planning and tax strategies are closely related topics. Obviously, you’d like your beneficiaries to get as much as possible while your estate pays as little tax as possible. Again, it’s an area where you need professional advice. Tax strategies will certainly influence your will, but could well include extras such as the creation of a trust.Fill the GapsThere’s no denying that insurance is a grudge purchase. All the same, it’s important to have enough cover – and the right cover to fill any needs that could arise after your death or as a result of a final illness. There’s no one-size-fits-all package. What you need depends on your personal circumstances, but there’s no denying that insurance, including medical insurance, is part of your estate planning.Plan for Your RetirementEstate planning protects your interests through different life stages, but assuming that you’ll enjoy a lengthy retirement, it’s wise to consider that in your estate planning too. Thus, the investments you make towards a comfortable retirement also form part of planning for the legacy you hope to give your family.Plan for a Smooth Transfer of AssetsApart from having a valid will, you’ll also want to know that all the correct powers of attorney will come into effect – and you’ll want an effective executor to ensure that everything proceeds according to your wishes.Estate Planning is the Final Chapter of Lifetime Financial Planning. Start NowOrdinary people are amazed at what they can achieve when they approach their financial life with a plan – and the sooner we start, the more time we have to realise your financial dreams and ambitions – including having the ability to leave our loved ones with a comfortable legacy.But we can’t view estate planning in isolation – it forms part of a lifetime plan. That’s the message Len Elias wants to convey, and it’s the reason why he recommends talking to a reputable wealth management specialist like TLK Partners about your financial future.Len Elias is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals. TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Companywebsite, or call (02) 8090 4324.This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published.Syndicated by Baxton Media. Trading Cryptocurrency are Not Viable Investments Says Kingsgrove Financial Wealth Advisor of TLK Partners in Sydney 2019-01-31T02:46:19Z trading-cryptocurrency-are-not-viable-investments-says-kingsgrove-financial-wealth-advisor-of-tlk-partners-in-sydney There are times when financial expert Matthew Mousa of TLK Partners is asked about cryptocurrencies, and when he does, he shakes his head. He’s among the serious analysts who believe cryptos aren’t for the serious investor. But cryptocurrency advocates are vocal, and Mousa feels that his customers are often drawn in by the hype.Cryptocurrencies Are “Currencies” not InvestmentsThe first point that Matthew Mousa raises is the fact that currency speculation can rarely be regarded as an investment of any kind. Speculation is gambling, and although you may have a marginally better chance with currencies than with card games, there’s a heavy element of chance. It’s also short-term, and Matthew believes that “solid wealth building” and “short term” are not phrases that should be mentioned in the same sentence.So-called cryptocurrency investors can often be found using their phones to check the minute-by-minute fluctuations of their digital assets. For those who are serious about growing wealth, that alone should ring warning bells. “Investment is a longer-term position. You ride the highs, survive the lows and come out on top. It’s not something that should require constant vigilance,” says Matthew. “What we are seeing with binary options trading, currency trading, and so on is gaming, not investment.”Cryptos Aren’t as Shady as They Were, But They’re Still VolatileCryptocurrencies are going mainstream. Blockchain technology makes transactions traceable, but there’s still the shady element. Of course, the same could be said of any currency, but enough potential for anonymity remains in cryptocurrencies to make it an attractive option for illegal transactions.However, whether the business you do in cryptos is legal or illegal, you face the incredible volatility that has characterised these currencies from the outset. As Matthew points out, it’s a huge gamble from start to finish.“You can hurtle up or downwards in value,” says Matthew, “and you won’t necessarily even know the reason for the fluctuation. We certainly wouldn’t recommend that our clients regard anything this volatile as an investment.”You Can’t Strategise Around CryptocurrenciesInvestment, wealth preservation, and wealth building are all activities for the strategically-minded says Matthew. And since strategy takes planning and predictable outcomes, cryptocurrencies aren’t yet for the serious investor.“All investments have an element of risk,” says Matthew,” but with mainstream investments we have years of performance to look back on, and we can make an educated guess as to how they’ll perform moving forward. With cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, not even the insiders know what they’re going to do next, when they’ll do it, and why.”Don’t Buy YetMatthew believes that cryptocurrencies hold promise for the future and that they could ultimately become a viable global currency. But he doesn’t think they’re an investment, and he doesn’t recommend buying tokens just yet. “Yes, you’ll hear the stories of people who got a windfall, but you’ll hear that about lotteries too.”Your financial future should be based on a sound strategy with as little as possible left to chance. “If you have the money and want to chance your dollars on cryptocurrencies, go ahead. It’s your money. But if you’re thinking of doing it because you think it might be a way to secure your family’s financial future, think again. There are better, surer ways to do that.”Matthew Mousa is a partner at TLK Partners, a company that takes care of the wealth management and accounting needs of ordinary folk, small and medium businesses, and high value individuals.TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324.This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published.Syndicated by Baxton Media. ATO Tax Accountants TLK Partners in Kingsgrove Explain Business Wealth Management Superannuation Solutions 2019-01-30T02:42:22Z ato-tax-accountants-tlk-partners-in-kingsgrove-explain-business-wealth-management-superannuation-solutions Although tax officials will be gunning for those who fail to pay the tax they rightfully should, Taxation expert Thomas Mousa of TLK Partners warns that it’s the law-abiding who might stand to lose the most – and the evidence is in the ATO annual report.“People are inclined to think the ATO is correct just because it’s the ATO, and with our complex tax environment, they’re inclined to accept they’re in the wrong when they should be digging deeper,” says Mousa.The Report That Doesn’t Quite Say it All Client group Settlements (number) ATO original tax bill Settled amount Variance (per cent) Individuals 59 $17.6m $6.2m 65pc Small business 173 $60.6m $30m 51pc Private owned groups and wealthy 287 $454.6m $180.6m 60pc Public and multinationals 96 $2.8b $2.1b 26pc Super funds 59 $42.9m $28m 35pc Total 673 $3.38b $2.31b 31pc Source: ATO annual report 2018The ATO annual report for 2018 indicates a significant discrepancy between original ATO bills and settled amounts. What Thomas Mousa finds the most worrying is the fact that these figures represent settlements after appeal. He believes that most people who find themselves facing an unexpectedly high tax liability simply pay up the difference and never appeal at all.“Put yourself in their shoes,” he says. “They’re individuals or smaller organisations and they’ve done the best they can with their tax reporting. Next thing, they hear they were assessed at a higher rate. Well, they aren’t the experts, and unless the amount is disastrously high, they’ll probably just pay up.”“Look at those figures again, especially the ones for individuals and wealthy. There’s a 60 to 65 percent variance between what the ATO said they owed and what they really owed. What happened to the people with a ten, fifteen, twenty, or even fifty percent discrepancy in assessed value? Are we to assume that the ATO is either totally wrong or absolutely right with nothing in between? And look at the market sectors that bear the brunt. It’s mostly private individuals and small organisations: the two most vulnerable sectors.”The ATO Isn’t the Bad Guy – You Just Need Knowledge on Your SideThomas Mousa believes we should look at the figures on tax bills, settled amounts, and variance as a salutatory lesson in approaching taxation from an informed perspective: “As we start looking at larger entities, we see the variance percentage dropping,” he says.“By the time we’ve reached the level of multinationals and public corporations, we’re only seeing a variance of 26 percent. The figures tell their own story. It’s the organisations with knowledge-based resources that are successfully renegotiating their tax bills.”At this point, many a taxpayer will give up in despair. After all, becoming a tax accounting professional isn’t something you can do overnight, but getting the right expertise working for you needn’t be a costly business.“If you suspect you might be paying more tax than you should (and a lot of people are), you need to talk to professionals like our team at TLK Partners,” says Mousa. “We would never help people to evade tax, but we can help them to minimise unnecessary taxation.”Preparing for a solid financial future takes a team like that of TLK Partners, says Mousa, and having your accounting and tax experts under the same roof as your investment advisors, property, and legal specialists means that the team is a well-coordinated one. Visit TLK Partners, Chartered Accountants and Wealth Management Company website, or call (02) 8090 4324. This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published.Syndicated by Baxton Media.