What GST means for your business

To those who are just starting out their business, congratulations on taking that first step. The commercial environment can be a complicated one and you will need to have a firmer grip on the regulations businesses as your business continues to grow. Once you have registered your Tax File Number (TFN), and Australian Business Number (or Australian Company Number (ACN)), you will need to check out the taxes you may be liable to pay. For most businesses, this would include the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

It is highly likely that your business would require to be registered for GST, which is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia. It is levied on most transactions in the production process and however, registered businesses in the production chain are entitled to a credit for any GST paid for the business’s expenditures on these goods and services as well as capital purchases.

You will need to register for GST if your GST turnover is over $75,000 or more. The GST turnover is the gross business income, not profit, which excludes GST you included in sales to your customers, sales are not for payment and are not taxable, sales not connected with an enterprise you run, input-taxed sales you make, and sales not connect with Australia. If your projected GST turnover, your total turnover for the current month and the next 11 months, is likely to be $75,000 or more, your business will also need to registered for GST. For not-for-profit organisations, the GST turnover threshold is $150,000 instead of $75,000.

Additionally, if your business provides taxi travel services in exchange for a fare, you are also required to register for GST, regardless of your GST turnover. Thus, taxi owner-drivers and people who rent taxis are subject to the GST.

If you are registered for GST, you will have to collect one-eleventh of the sale price, of your GST product or service, from your customers to pay the GST. This additional collection needs to be paid by you business to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) when it is due.

If you do not register for GST, you would not have to include a GST component in your prices and this needs to be shown in any invoices you distribute. You will also be unable to claim GST credits for your business purchases. You will also be unable to claim potential Fuel Tax Credits (FTC), which your business may be eligible for.

The Australian Taxation System can be quite complicated for you as you are just starting out your business. There are both liabilities and benefits from the ATO that your business is exposed to which can be difficult to identity. If you need reliable tax advice for your business, whether big, medium or small, our dependable Tax Accountants in Melbourne will be able to provide sound guidance. 

Wedding Venue in Mornington Peninsula

It’s nearly six months till our wedding and the stress is really starting to set in. My fiancé’s mother has some seriously strong opinions about it, especially about the venue of all things! As most of you already know I have wanted a beach wedding since I was a little girl, but his mother is quite the traditionalist, and had started to insist a few weeks ago that we pick a church, saying that there was no other place we could possibly get married in. She even went so far as to say that a beach wedding would be crass and inelegant! Of course, that hurt, but what can I do, she’s my fiancé’s mum. Well, I’ll tell you what I did; I compromised.

It’s the best piece of advice I have ever received; compromise is key to a smooth and happy wedding. In this case, it was about finding the middle ground between a beach wedding and a church one. In the end, we decided on a Mornington Peninsula winery wedding venue. Somehow, this toed the line of traditional enough for my soon to be mother in law as well as having the slightly more casual aspect of being an alternative to a church. In all honesty I’m just ecstatic that one more thing is ticked off the to do list, and that for now at least, my fiancé’s mother is satisfied.

When I started looking into vineyard wedding locations, it was important to me that they were along the Mornington Peninsula, with my grandmother having lived there for nearly her whole life, and my mum growing up there, I really had that family connection to the area, and I knew it would be perfect for my wedding, if only I could find an available venue!

So I called and called down the list of Mornington Peninsula wedding venues, and it was not until I reached the list of red hill wedding venues that I had any luck. As it turns out, six months out from a wedding is a little too late to start booking things such as venues! From what I heard, and what I researched, our venue will be beyond perfect, with gorgeous decorations, and super convenient location and plenty of space. I truly don’t know why we didn’t consider a Mornington Peninsula winery wedding to begin with!

Honestly, the biggest relief is that my future mother in law is happy, because goodness knows if this had dragged out any longer I might not even  have a wedding venue to speak of!

Dry Fortified Wine

We can all become pretty stuck in our views. Our minds can stay closed off to anything that challenges these views and we ourselves deny even the idea that these views could change. I always knew this was true in theory, but in reality, like many people, I simply thought my opinions were the right ones. But the truth of the matter is that until you yourself challenge the opinions and views that you’re stuck with, absolutely nothing is going to change.

This is of course true when it comes to political or social views and values, but it can also be applied to minor or inconsequential things. In fact, sometimes the way you realize the ease with which opinions and views change is quite trivial. This was certainly the case for me.

You see, I had always thought that dry fortified wine was gross. I thought it tasted like dirt and smelled like the vegetable crisper after a power outage on a 40-degree day. All in all, it was not something I ever wanted to drink. Until the day I had to drink it. I don’t want to be so dramatic; it wasn’t a life and death situation. But I was offered it in a professional setting, one where asking instead for a cranberry vodka would have caused a wholly different outcome.

So I took the glass and drank the fortified wine. I was determined to keep a straight face, desperate not to show how much I hated it. I wanted the respect of those whose company I was in, and this seemed like best way to keep it. But when I tasted the wine, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. In fact, it was almost pleasant. It tasted like brandy (unsurprisingly) but I could also just taste the fruity and oak flavours they always talk about in movies.

I never thought I would enjoy a fortified wine. It certainly wasn’t calling out to me as something delicious, or something I should drink. I always thought of it as something my grandparents drank. The smell alone reminded me of Friday night dinners when the adults would gather round for a port.

Look, I’m not going to go out and start ordering port at a club, or even a bar. But, now I know that while it may not be the most delicious drink out there, it is something I can drink. It just goes to show; even when you think you will hate something, your mind can be opened to something new, as long as you let it be.


Writing A Eulogy For A Funeral

Saying the last goodbye to a loved one is never an easy task – and now you have the responsibility of sharing a eulogy with other surviving family and friends. You can spend up to a lifetime knowing a person and whether you lived with the person or saw them occasionally; he or she would have had a major impact on your life. By no means are you expected to detail every aspect of your relationship with the deceased. But if you have difficulty getting started on writing the eulogy, here are a couple of theme ideas you can try.

The Nature of Life and Death

If delving into the details of your relationship and memories with the deceased overwhelms you, take a more objective perspective on death. It may be that the deceased or yourself may have a particular belief on the significance of life and the nature of death that may bring you and the audience closure. Whether that belief is of the soul resting in the heavens, or reincarnating into a new lifetime, you have the option of taking a spiritual or philosophical approach in your eulogy.

Thank You for the Memories

When you are in the thick of it, life can distract you from what is really important. And understandably, some people feel they take things for granted – including relationships. This is what makes the passing of a loved one more painful for a surviving family member or friend. But rather than trying to apologise for wrongs in the past with the eulogy, take a more progressive approach. Be grateful for having had the person in your life and cherish the times and memories you have. Having regrets for things that cannot be changed is no way to move forward in your life. So forgive, appreciate and make a determined effort to be a better, and take the opportunity of life that you do have.

You Were Unique and Special

Celebrate the individual that the deceased was. No person is the same, so take the opportunity to get personal. Your eulogy does not have to be all doom and gloom either. Enjoy the freedom of sharing a funny story or a secret quirk that the deceased person had. A little laugh or two can take the edge off the atmosphere and make saying goodbye a lighter on the shoulders.

While a eulogy is presented to the wider audience, do not be afraid to make it a personal expression of love and respect for your deceased loved one. But at the same time, you do not have to force yourself to share memoires that are too personal or secret.

If you are still unsure, you can always ask a trusted funeral director for advice – especially ones with experience in the various cultures around Melbourne. But at the end of the day, it is not about writing the greatest eulogy of all time. You will feel the best about it when you writing what is true to heart – and that is the most important thing.