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ATO’s micro focus

This year the Australian Taxation office will continue its focus on the cash economy operated by many small or micro businesses.

In 2010 the ATO received legal powers to investigate micro businesses (with a turnover of less than $2 million), and show no signs of slowing down its pursuit of offenders.

The major area of concern is the use of cash transactions to hide income and help some businesses evade tax obligations. Key areas include:

paying cash-in-hand wages to employees
not including all of the cash takings, or skimming
running part of normal business activities off the books
not reporting the exchange of GST on all goods and services
avoiding tax obligations by not registering or not lodging returns

Posted on 25 May '12 by , under Business.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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