10 Posts

GeersSullivan Audit Protection Service

Posted on April 18, 2018 by Patricia Nicole

What is the GeersSullivan Audit Protection Service?

The GeersSullivan Audit Protection Service provides for the payment of the professional fees otherwise payable by you when incurred as a result of GeersSullivan being required to respond on your behalf, to an Audit, Review or investigation by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or the Office of State Revenue.   The ATO now has unprecedented access to data matching that makes it simpler and far more likely that they will audit or review previously untargeted taxpayers

It provides our clients with a fixed, cost effective solution to guard against unbudgeted professional fees, which may be incurred as a result of such an audit review or investigation. The costs of these additional audit fees can be considerable depending on the time involved to properly attend to the matter ranging from several thousand dollars up to tens of thousands.

What is the benefit of the GeersSullivan Audit Protection Service?

The benefit to participate in the Audit Protection Service is that fees incurred by you which are directly related to us attending to an audit, review or investigation will be covered (up to the annual limit specified).  The cost you pay for participation is tax deductible.

We have carefully designed our Audit Protection Service to provide the widest possible coverage for our clients however such items or circumstances as listed below are not covered:

  • Audits, Reviews or Investigations where notification was given prior to the inception of cover;
  • Punitive costs such as penalty tax, costs, interest or any fine if the ATO auditor imposes final culpability/shortfall penalties of 75% or more, and/or the return is deemed to have been fraudulently lodged;
  • Costs for work incurred which should have been done prior to the Audit, Review or Investigation taken place;
  • Marketed, mass Marketed, or Tax Exploitation Scheme or arrangements without a product ruling;
  • Any matter in relation to Child Support or Child Support Agency;
  • Actions in regards to letters from any authority that are educational or advisory in nature: or merely suggest, invite or propose actions to be taken by you; or act as a warning to you may be selected for an audit at a future time; or do not compel you to take any action.

Recently a small business client received an audit notice from the ATO regarding their 2016 Trust Income Tax Return and Business Activity Statements. This was a full audit which covered GST, income tax, salaries and PAYG withholding, superannuation and matters of trust law. The business owners have always maintained their own books but by their own admission were completely out of their depth in answering the auditor’s questions.

Our Audit Protection Service fully covered our clients’ costs incurred and our involvement ensured the client understood exactly what was being asked of them, what matters of law were involved and that all information provided to the auditor went in a concise and logical format.

Our Audit Protection Service starts on the 30th April each year and is valid for a year.

Please contact Andrew Sullivan, Chris Grieve or Ashley Dawson on 9316 7000 if you wish to discuss our Audit Protection Service.

Potential Seniors Entitlements

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Helen Cooper

We have received a number of enquiries from clients seeking information on whether they qualify for a WA Seniors Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card and how to apply for them. We have summarised the key points for each entitlement and trust you may find this information useful.

On 1 July 2015 the criteria to apply for a WA Seniors Card changed, details are provided below. The Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card is available to self funded retirees who have reached Age Pension age and who are not eligible to receive the Government Age Pension.  Legislation introduced from 1 January 2015 means that deemed income is now included in the income test associated with Account Based Pensions; details on eligibility and the changes are also summarised below.

WA Seniors Card – Department of Local Government and Communities

Seniors Card Holders are entitled to a range of government concessions and discounts of 10% to 50% off the price of goods & services:

  • Entitled to receive a rebate of up to 25% on  Water & Council Rate charges;
  • A directory from over 500 businesses is posted to all Seniors Card holders every 2 years and can be sourced online.

To qualify:

  • Aged 61 years or more as at 1 July 2015. The age eligibility will increase by one year every two years rising to 65 years of age by 2023-24;
  • Working less than 25 hours per week (averaged over 12 month period);
  • Permanent Resident of Australia.

The WA Seniors Card is a lifelong card that does not need to be renewed as long as the eligibility criteria are met.

The application Form is available on the Department of Communities website: www.seniorscard.wa.gov.au

Telephone 6551 8800 or 1800 671 233 (country free call)

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card – Centrelink

To qualify for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you:

  • Have reached Pension Age – currently 65 years or older
    • From 1 July 2017 the qualifying age for Age Pension increases from 65 years to 65 years and 6 months, it will increase by 6 months every 2 years reaching 67 years by 1 July 2023
  • Do not qualify for the Age Pension or Veteran Affairs benefits
  • Are an Australian Resident
  • Have an annual adjusted taxable income of less than:
    • $51,500 singles
    • $82,400 couples
    • $103,000 couples separated due to ill health or respite care

Note – Adjusted Taxable income is the sum of:

  • Taxable income as per your personal Australian Taxation Office Notice of Assessment
    • Add total net investment loss – eg. rental property and financial investment losses
    • Add any foreign income received that wasn’t taxable
    • Add the value of any employer provided benefits above $1,000 – eg. Car, Health Insurance
    • Add reportable superannuation contributions
    • Plus deemed income from an Account Based Pension entitlement that was commenced on or after 1 January 2015 or if you were granted a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card on or after 1 January 2015. It includes income deemed from an Account Based Pension owned by a card holder’s partner who is aged 60 years or more.

The deeming rate applicable to an Account Based Pension entitlement from 20 March 2015 is as follows:

  • For singles – 1.75% is applied to the first $48,000 of the Account Based Pension entitlement and 3.25% over and above $48,000;
  • For couples – 1.75% will apply to the first $79,600 of the combined value of the Account Based Pensions and 3.25% over and above $79,600.

Based on the above rates, if you have no other Taxable income, you can qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors card if you’re Account Based Pension entitlement/s are below the following amounts:

  • Single $1,606,770 Account Based Pension entitlement = deemed income of $51,500
  • Couples $2,572,124 combined Account Based Pension entitlements = deemed income of $82,400
  • Couple separated by illness $3,205,970 combined Account Based Pension entitlements = deemed income of $103,000

There is no asset test applicable to the Commonwealth Seniors Card.

The benefits are:

  • If you hold a Seniors Card AND a Seniors Health Card you are entitled to receive up to a 50% rebate on annual Water and Council rate charges.
  • Discounts on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines
  • Government provides financial incentives for GPs to bulk-bill concession card holders
  • Reduction in the cost of out of hospital medical expenses through Medicare Safety Net
  • Concessional travel on Great Southern Rail services (The Ghan, Indian Pacific and The Overland)

Apply for Seniors Health Card via Centrelink – Claim form and ‘Information you need to know about your claim’ via the Centrelink website www.centrelink.gov.au or contact Centrelink on 13 2300.

Cost of Living Rebate – Department of Communities

Annual payment to eligible Seniors Card Holder:

  • Singles – $83.85
  • Couples – $125.78 (both members must hold a Seniors Card and live together)

To claim a Cost of Living Rebate contact the Seniors Card Centre for the Application Form:

Email – seniorscard@dlgc.wa.gov.au

Phone (08) 6551 8800 or 1800 671 233 Toll free Weekdays 9am to 3pm.

Applications must be lodged by 31st May to be eligible for that year’s rebate payment.

Energy supplement

Paid quarterly in arrears on the basis you qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and are in receipt of the Seniors Supplement. You do not need to make a separate claim for the supplement.

The amount will vary depending on your circumstances:

  • Single – Up to $91.65 approximately per quarter
  • Partnered – Up to $68.90 each approximately per quarter

If you would like us to email you the relevant application form for the WA Seniors Card or the Centrelink ‘Claim for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card’ please contact our Superannuation Manager, Helen Cooper on 9316 7000 or email helen@gscpa.com.au.

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