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Tax traps for boat owners

With the current economic uncertainty and the high price of fuel, many boat owners may consider hiring or chartering out their boats for part of the year as a way to reduce the costs of what can be an expensive recreational activity.

However, while creating a sideline business and claiming tax deductions for boat expenses is attractive, owners won’t be able to claim deductions if they fail to qualify as a bona fide business under the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) rules governing boat charter.

In order to claim deductions for boat expenses, you need to tick all the boxes required by the ATO. The tax office has well-defined rules for determining whether or not a boat owner is carrying on a bona fide business. These include the prospect for profit, the availability of the boat for hire, and repetition and regularity of conduct.

If you needĀ furtherĀ information, please contact our office.

Posted on 3 August '12 by , under Business.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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