Stepping Stone to 482 Visa – The Subclass 407 Training Visa

On-the-job training is a valuable opportunity for visiting workers to Australia. Australia gives workers from overseas this possibility of on-the-job training by opening up Australian workplaces for the pursuit of enhanced professional skills.

What is the appropriate Australian visa?

The Training and Research Visa (Subclass 407) enables overseas academic and professional workers to improve their chosen career with professional competence gained from working in their field or relevant industry within an Australian company on a temporary basis.

This visa allows a visa holder to live and work in Australia for up to two (2) years as an occupational trainee or as a participant in a professional development training programme.

There are three (3) application streams:

Occupational Training to Develop Skills: Applicants who are recently tertiary-qualified or who are in a skilled occupation and intending to undertake workplace-based training to develop their skills and proficiencies

Occupational Training for Career Capacity Building: Applicants who require professional development training to build their overseas management-level career and/or students who require an internship or traineeship to complete their course

Occupational Training for Registration/Licensing: Applicants who are required by their overseas occupation to seek and complete on-the-job training for registration and/or licencing purposes

What else does an Applicant need to know?

If your sole intention is to work in Australia, then this visa is not suitable for you. Please solicit advice from YML Migration on your individual visa requirements.

You must be at least 18 years of age and have worked or studied for a minimum of 12 months out of the last 24 months in an eligible skilled occupation.

You must be nominated by an Australian employer or invited by an Australian government agency.

You may only work for your Australian sponsor and you must work a minimum of 30 hours a week.

Your training programme must be in place prior to your application for approval.

Please discuss all application requirements with YML Migration.

What do I do if my company wants to sponsor an overseas trainee?

As an employer, your organisation must be operating lawfully in Australia. Your organisation must be the entity directly providing the workplace-based training. And your organisation is required to be approved as a business sponsor, compliant with all sponsorship obligations.

If the Training and Research Visa (Subclass 407) seems right for you, talk to YML Migration about your opportunity to enrich your career through on-the-job training.

Let YML Migration manage the process, including any bridging visa you might need whilst in Australia awaiting your 407 visa application outcome.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Migration Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your visa options. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400, or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.

Employees : Time and Attendance Platforms

Managing a workforce as an owner and/or manager of any sized business has usually entailed an abundance of administrative tasks, an endless stream of minutiae to achieve the end result of timely and accurate payroll to your workforce. Well, not anymore.

In today’s era of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), software options exist for managers of workforces, large and small, to manage their staff’s time and attendance on the job.

Companies specialising in time and attendance platforms are able to deliver on the promise of automation of manual administration, such as rostering, scheduling, deployment of employees; shift planning; tracking of time spent on a job and attendance in the workplace. All these automated administrative tasks may result in increased cost savings through this ability to reliably measure and manage human labour costs.

Live data and the capability for all employees to have access to a time and attendance platform means a manager can optimise staff on a day-to-day, weekly or monthly basis, making strategic, cost-saving decisions at the touch of a button.

A manager can adjust staffing levels and activity times readily. There is less time spent on contacting individual workers, less time lost chasing absentees and more time for managing the workforce on-the-job.

Employees generally want to work productively and with an automated time and attendance platform, they can be the right employee put in to the right shift and/or on to the right task corresponding to their natural aptitude. This may help to reduce costs as previously, less control was able to be exercised over staffing strategy due to the lack of real-time information.

Human Resources (HR) and Payroll can be linked to a platform, enabling the export of relevant data for those functions to operate smoothly, compliantly and with correct payment of wages and overtime. Meeting a company’s obligations to the ATO becomes far easier with automation of employees’ time and attendance.

Furthermore, growing a business by expansion, opening in another location, is a walk-in-the-park when the administration of doing so doesn’t take double or triple the time.

Managers can instead focus their time and energy on managing the business and their employees, paying more attention to relationships within an organisation for optimal yields.

So stop imagining a brighter future for your business and its employees and start investing in their future – a time and attendance platform, such as Deputy (www.deputy.com) and Tanda (www.tanda.co), is what you need now.

 

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Innovation Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your SaaS platforms. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400, or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.

Small Business Instant Asset Write-Off : NOW up to $25,000

As a small business every opportunity to minimise tax is a significant one, so an increase of the instant asset write-off threshold is welcomed and may be taken up by small businesses to decrease tax payments.

Until recently, the instant asset write-off threshold was $20,000 and was due to revert to $1,000 as of 1 July 2019.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a speech on 29 January 2019 declaring that the Australian Government would extend the instant asset write-off for another 12 months until 30 June 2020 and he also stated that the threshold would increase (to $25,000) for tax returns lodged from financial year end 2019.

This legislation was introduced in to Parliament on 12 February 2019. It is not yet law.

Is your business eligible to claim this tax benefit?

Small businesses – with an annual turnover of up to $10 million – who have purchased and installed or put in to use an asset that cost up to $25,000 between 29 January 2019 and 30 June 2019 may claim an instant write-off of the business portion of that asset’s purchase cost.

The business portion write-off must be claimed in the business’s tax return for the relevant income year, so claiming an asset purchased for up to $25,000 may be done both this financial year end 2019 and next financial year end 2020.

What happens if the asset cost more than $25,000?

If an asset is purchased at a cost greater than $25,000, it may still be deducted but not immediately; rather, its depreciation cost may be deducted over time, over more than one tax return.

YML Group can help you determine eligibility and assist you with making your tax-deductible claims.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Chartered Accountants Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your tax deductions. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400, or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.

Working from home: What deductions can you claim?

Technology in the 21st century has broadened the work space for many people. Where an employee puts in additional working hours in their home or where a home office has been set up, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is of the view that not all expense claims made are legitimate deductions.

As an employee performing extra work at home like emailing in the evening, spending a day at home working on a presentation or a few hours at home making phone calls, you may not claim a deduction for occupancy of your home. Items such as rent, property rates and insurance are non-deductible, as are costs related to a mortgage.

However, if you run a home office as your primary place of business, then those occupancy costs may be claimed and you are encouraged to heed professional financial advice about which costs in your particular live/work situation are valid.

Any work conducted at home incurs running costs and running costs such as electricity, cleaning, stationary, office equipment and/or depreciation thereof, as well as phone/internet usage are all deductible expenses. Now, it is highly likely that not all the cost incurred may be claimed. Where there is personal and professional use of an item, only the work-related portion of the total cost is allowed to be claimed.

Expenses Home is principal workplace with dedicated work area Home not principal workplace but has dedicated work area You work at home but no dedicated work area
Running expenses Yes Yes No
Work-related phone & internet expenses Yes Yes Yes
Decline in value of a computer (work related portion) Yes Yes Yes
Decline in value of office equipment Yes Yes No
Occupancy expenses Yes No No
Source: Australian Taxation Office


Determining work-related expenses can be done using the ATO’s home office expenses calculator at https://www.ato.gov.au/calculators-and-tools/home-office-expenses-calculator/

Remember – Keep evidence of your work-from-home expenditure

Potential tax deductions are only claimable with the relevant and accurate proof of usage. Consider keeping such evidence as a detailed phone bill, purchase receipts and/or a diary of actual periods of an item’s usage within the home.

Being aware of what you may and may not claim as a deductible expense is especially prudent, given the ATO’s grasp on the 21st century worker’s flexible working life.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Chartered Accountants Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your work-from-home expense claims. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400 or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.

BUY / SELL Insurance – What is it and how can it help your business?

It’s important to remember that protecting your business from the ups and downs in the market place isn’t the only protection you need to consider for the long-term health of your business. Your business needs a ‘will’ in place for the times when an owner of the business exits due to death, permanent injury or illness. In this case, a ‘will’ is Buy / Sell insurance, a policy that helps to cover the cost of transferring ownership if such an event occurs.

In the event of one of the owners of a multi-owner business dying or being permanently injured, a business would have lump sum funds available from a Buy / Sell insurance policy to ensure that the exiting owner’s shares might be bought by the remaining owner/s by compensating the family of the exiting owner.

Buy / Sell insurance proceeds could alleviate unpleasant disruptions to the business such as:

Ideally, coupled with Buy / Sell insurance would be a prior written agreement between business owners to determine a fair and equitable payment and that fair and equitable payment be made accessible for a buyout of a family’s shares. Such an agreement could mitigate any quarrelling among the parties and, simultaneously, could avoid any concerns about new ownership entering the business.

Therefore, in the likelihood of a sudden and unexpected departure of a business owner – through death, permanent injury or illness, it is advisable to consider transferring the financial risk associated with extraordinary circumstances to an insurer.

You will need to decide on the ownership structure of the policy, the payment of premiums and how to manage the tax payable on insurance proceeds should you make a claim. Where tax is applicable on premium payments and proceeds received, it is paramount that you seek advice from a professional financial advisor.

YML Group can readily and expertly assist you with preparing a bespoke Buy / Sell insurance package for your business.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Financial Advisory Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with Buy / Sell insurance. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400, or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.

Applying For A Mortgage Is No ‘Walk in the Park’

The Banking Royal Commission commenced in 2017 and APRA’s crackdown on sub-standard lending practices have seen to new lending criteria being used since 1 July 2018, meaning applying for a home loan can feel like too much work for an applicant.

The new rules mean lenders now apply financial checks beyond what has been applied in the past. An applicant can feel scrutinised and even hounded for the depth of information being requested by banks and other lenders.

A lender is required to make sure that an applicant has the debt-servicing capacity to repay a loan at its interest rate within the specified loan term.

In order to have this assurance, applicants may be asked to provide extensive credit history data, including but not limited to: late bill payments, credit card balances, rental payment transaction lists, life and other insurance policy details, as well as disposable income capacity with detailed household budgets.

If a lender can satisfy itself that an applicant has the ability to service a principle + interest loan over the duration of the mortgage period, then a loan may be approved.

What can you do to improve your application?

Mind Your Credit History – As third-party verification of existing assets and liabilities is often required, keeping a record of your credit history is an important action you can take to improve your chances of receiving a loan.

Allow Time – Although many loans are approved relatively quickly and easily, expect to factor in more time for the application process. Allowing enough time to answer questions from a lender and enough time to supply supporting documentation will help to reduce any anxiety about a longer wait for an approval.

Plan Ahead – Realize you need to consider your financial transactions more carefully these days to best avoid impairing your future borrowing plans.

Seek Advice – It can be a long and intrusive process, requiring large amounts of financial information from you. We can help you weather the application process and can help you better understand what it is you need to do.

Everyone is treated equally

Whether you are buying your first home with a small deposit or buying yet another property for a portfolio with millions of dollars at hand, the process of determining a strong application is the same: evidence of financial capacity to repay a loan – taking in to account an applicant’s reasonable and true living expenditure and disposable income.

Stricter Lending, Safer Borrowing

Banks might be a lot stricter about providing a home loan, but ultimately it can lead to a safer path for many home owners. As the interest-only era of home loans phases out, being able to comfortably repay a home loan will be a ‘walk in the park’.

And that’s home sweet home.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Finance Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your mortgage application. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400, or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.

Taxable Payments – New Compliance for Couriers and Cleaners

The Australian Government has reviewed areas of the ‘Black Economy’ – the market of people working outside of the tax regulation system – and found that payments made to certain workers, namely contractual couriers and cleaners, must now be included in a company’s Taxable Payments Annual Report (TPAR).

So if you’re running an Australian company with an ABN whose core or auxiliary service offering includes couriers and/or cleaning, then you will need to fulfil your tax payment reporting obligation to the ATO for these payments.

Contractors can be sole traders (individuals), companies or other entities invoicing your company for their services. You only need to report payments you make to contractors for courier and/or cleaning services.

Reporting Contractor Payments

Here are two examples:

Lodging your TPAR 2018-2019

A company using contract courier and/or cleaning services will be required to collect the relevant information from 1 July 2018 and to report it in their 2018-2019 TPAR by 28 August 2019. You need to know that if an invoice from a contractor includes labour and materials, the total amount of the invoice must be reported as the payment. However, an invoice from a contractor for ‘materials only’ will not be included in the report.

The reportable information from an invoice you receive includes but is not limited to:

  • ✔ ABN
  • ✔ Name of Contractor
  • ✔ Contractor’s Address
  • ✔ Gross Amount Paid to Contractor (within FY 2018-2019)
  • ✔ Total GST included in Gross Amount Paid to Contractor

You do not need to report:

  • ▪ Payments for ‘materials only’
  • ▪ Invoices unpaid as at FYE 30 June
  • ▪ PAYG withholding amounts

Seek Advice

Throughout this current financial year, you will need to be garnering data from your courier/cleaner contractor invoices. YML Group can guide you in the process and assist you with your TPAR lodgement.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Chartered Accountants Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your TPAR. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400 or by visiting the . Contact us on (02) 8383 4400 or by visiting the Contact Us page page on our website.

Government announces Changes to the Working Holiday Maker Programme

The Australian Government undertook a review of its Working Holiday Maker (WHM) programme and made changes to the criteria for overseas travellers wishing to work in Australia. These changes are now law and will hugely benefit Australian farmers and regional Australia’s workforce.

The WHM programme has two visa types: Visa Subclass 417 – known as Working Holiday Visa and Visa Subclass 462 known as Work and Holiday Visa. Which visa is issued to a travelling worker will depend on their country of residence.

Likewise, the Australian Government’s changes to the WHM programme are dependent upon the nationality of the travelling worker and, therefore, as an employer you will need to assess the visa rights of an individual working for you.

Generally, the changes for travelling workers include:

  • WHM Age Limit – May be aged 18 to 35 (no longer 18 to 30)
  • WHM Extension Period – May work with the same agricultural employer for up to 12 months (no longer up to 6 months)
  • WHM Third Year – From 1 July 2019, may opt for a third year visa after completing 6 months of regional work on their second year visa
  • WHM Work Period – May work altogether within Australia for up to 9 months a year (no longer up to 6 months for some countries)
  • Subclass 462 – May undertake regional plant and animal cultivation work in new regions within Australia for eligibility for a second visa
  • Subclass 462 – Annual caps lifted and an increase in available work places for some countries

Employers must now:

  • Validate Seasonal Labour Market Testing for 6 months (up from 3 months) prior to employing a travelling worker on an WHM visa
  • Repay their travelling seasonal workers for their out-of-pocket expenses up to $300 (no longer up to $500)

Overall, these changes are targeting genuine regional and rural workforce shortages by not only increasing the number of WHM visa holders but by giving WHM visa holders the option to extend their time in Australia. To achieve this goal, the Australian Government is allowing travelling workers to undertake longer periods of work in a broader scope of Australia’s agricultural sector.

Furthermore, the Australian Government is negotiating with yet more countries to enable an even greater number of participants in the WHM programme.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Migration Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your WHM visa nominees. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400 or by visiting the Contact Us page page on our website.

NEWS! CGT Main Residence Exemption to End for Foreign Residents

A property defined as a main or primary place of residence (PPR) for an Australian resident is exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) even when an Australian resident chooses to live offshore for up to six years.

Currently, during their time offshore, an Australian resident may sell their main place of residence in Australia and benefit from the CGT main residence exemption, resulting in significant saving on CGT at the time of sale.

CGT Changes – What are they?

Recent changes by the Australian Government will see the end of the main residence exemption from CGT for all non-resident Australians, regardless of how long they have been living and working out of the country. The termination of this particular CGT exemption is 30 June 2019 for properties held prior to 9 May 2019.

Important Dates for Foreign Residents to Know:

  • Exemption may be claimed on PPRs held prior to 7:30pm (AEST) on 9 May 2017 and disposed of up to 30 June 2019
  • Exemption NO LONGER applies to PPRs acquired after 7:30pm (AEST) on 9 May 2017

If you are an Australian resident living overseas, in possession of a main Australian residence and you sell your home after 30 June 2019, then this legislative change will affect you.

I am a foreign Australian resident with an Australian PPR – What now?

You will need to consider your intention to return to Australia to live. You will need to assess your personal situation about living in your main residence or selling it, and the possible tax consequences of both scenarios.

Your current and future tax residency status can be determined for the purpose of selling your Australian property. You might solicit professional guidance on the tax implications of living and working offshore whilst still holding your main Australian residence.

Upon returning to Australia, residents may be eligible to claim a partial – if qualified – CGT exemption upon selling their main residential property.

If you are a foreign resident and you are required to lodge a tax return for Australian-assessable income, then the ATO has the power to collect CGT via a tax return, depending on individual circumstances.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Chartered Accountants Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your PPR and CGT. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400 or by visiting the Contact Us page page on our website.

Should I ‘fix’ my home loan?

If you’re wondering whether ‘fixing’ your home loan is worthwhile and to help you decide what to do, consider the following:

The main advantage  of a fixed rate home loan is that it gives you cash-flow certainty. That is, you know exactly how much your loan repayment will be over the fixed term period. When you are a new homeowner or are setting up a business, this certainty can give you great peace of mind.

The main disadvantage of a fixed rate home loan is that fixed term loans tend to be inflexible – and can be expensive if you break the contract!

If I decide to ‘fix’ my home loan, what interest rate is on offer?

For a fixed 2-year investment home loan, where principal + interest repayments are made, you can access an interest rate from 3.98% per annum.

For a fixed 2-year home loan for a first home buyer-owner-occupier, where principal + interest repayments are made, you can access an interest rate from 3.69% per annum.

For a fixed 2-year home loan for other owner-occupiers, where principal + interest repayments are made, you can access an interest rate from 3.72% per annum.

You don’t have to answer the question alone.

At YML Group we can help you to find out more about your home loan interest rate options and decide whether ‘fixing’ your home loan is in your best interest.

How can YML help?

Talk to our YML Finance Team today to see how YML Group can assist you with your home loan. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400, or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.