Q. As an employer, I am wondering what the 2012/13 tax deductibility and fringe benefit tax implications are for Christmas parties?
A. The top 3 things you need to know as an employer providing these benefits to your employees are:
1. Christmas Party costs are exempt from FBT IF:
- They are provided on a working day
- They are provided on your business premises
- They are consumed by current employees only ie. not by family members or partners of employees
2. If current employees bring their spouse or another associate of theirs, these costs are not FBT exempt unless these costs satisfy what is known as the minor benefits exemption.
3. The minor benefits exemption has a $300 threshold per employee, which applies to each benefit provided. Benefits may include a gift given to each employee. In other words, as long as the cost per employee for the party is less than $300 per employee, and the cost of a gift for an employee is also less than $300, then these costs may be FBT exempt.
Please contact Juanita Sharp for further information.
Q: I own a small business with 6 team members. I’m having problems with one of the team members and nothing I do seems to make any difference. I’m a bit worried about firing them because I’m concerned they may try and take me to court. It’s affecting the morale of the rest of the team too and I’m a bit worried that some of them might end up leaving. What can I do?
A: Firstly you need to consider how you’ve been counselling the troublesome team member. Have you been fair? Have you documented everything? You should implement a formal counselling procedure.Next, you should put in place a formal performance appraisal system for all your team to prevent things like this happening in the future. Lastly, remember this morale problem is causing changes in your business. No matter what the outcome of your dealing with the troublesome team member, the team dynamics will shift. You need to manage the change process your team is going through.
Rob Douglassto find out how to implement these steps.
Q: I have heard that family trusts are a good business structure – should I have one?
A: This is not a simple answer because the circumstances of each person are different. However here are some of the advantages and disadvantages which might help you decide.
- Provides for protection of assets from outside risks/claims
- Provides most flexible splitting of income between potential beneficiaries.
- Provides access to CGT discount if asset held for more than 12 months.
- Does not allow for accumulation of profit unless a corporate benenficiary is in place.
- Trading and capital losses are trapped within the trust.
- Difficult to admit new investors.
- Administration and establishment costs are relatively high especially if combined with a corporate trustee and / or beneficiary.
Q: I want a self-managed super fund. How much will it cost to set up and run each year?
A: The basic cost for the establishment of a Superfund is $2420. This includes the cost of the superfund trust deed and statutory file, preparation of initial minutes required to commence operation of the fund, and establishment of ABN, Tax file number and GST registrations (where applicable).
Due to the extremely complex and evolving superannuation laws, self managed superannuation funds are not cheap to run and you can expect to pay a minimum of $2420 pa or $202 per month, incl. GST. This will cover accounts, audit and tax return preparation.
Many budding SMSF participants overlook the audit requirements which add significantly to the administration costs of a fund. This is why we generally recommend against establishing your own fund with less than $200,000 to invest.