Recent News

Estate Executors – Know your tax obligations

Agreeing to be executor of an estate means accepting obligations to the tax office. As the executor, you are answerable to the taxpayer for all of the estate's income and take over the deceased’s responsibilities for launching tax returns. Until the estate’s assets and income have been fully distributed, you will have to work out […]

Trusts – Losing out on land tax threshold

Who pays land tax? If you own, or jointly own, any property in NSW that is not your principal place of residence (your home) and the total taxable value of your land exceeds the land tax threshold, then you may need to pay land tax. How is land tax calculated? If your total land value […]

Your will – where is it?

Where should you keep your will? Keep your will in a safe place. It is preferable not to keep the will yourself in case it is mislaid. If the will is mislaid, it may be presumed to have been revoked. Solicitors hold wills on behalf of clients, usually at no charge. You should keep a copy […]

Planning ahead – what is an Enduring Guardian?

An Enduring Guardian is someone you appoint, at a time when you have capacity, to make personal, health or lifestyle decisions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to make them for yourself. When you appoint an Enduring Guardian, you should choose which decision-making powers you want your Enduring Guardian to have. For example, you […]

Homemade wills – when the judge decides

A will prepared without legal advice may not express the deceased's intentions. There are many cases looking at ‘homemade’ or ‘DIY’ wills. In one case, the Courts had to interpret a homemade will for an estate with a gross value of about $3.6 million. The deceased had died in 2006, aged 83. He had seven […]

Planning ahead – What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document you can sign to appoint another person (your attorney) to act for you in relation to financial affairs. The document says what the attorney is authorised to do, and this can be as narrow and specific, or as general, as you wish. Any lawful action taken by the […]

Bad Advice and Willful Blindness – Personal Liability for Third Party Advisors

Accountants, payroll providers and HR consultants liable for Client’s Wages Underpayment. We found out last year that a HR manager was personally liable for unlawful employee salary deductions made by the company: see the link to the OzStaff case below. This year, an accountant was found personally liable for its client’s underpayment of its employees. […]

High Income Threshold and Compensation Cap for Unfair Dismissal Applications – 1 July 2017

Employers should be alert to changes to worker entitlements effective 1 July 2017:  Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold Compensation Cap for Unfair Dismissal Redundancy Tax Free Amount Employment Termination Payments (ETP) Lower Tax Rate Cap Superannuation Maximum Contribution Base Increases in Civil Penalties for Breaches of the Fair Work Act Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold […]

Tax Efficient or Efficiently Taxed? The Hidden Questions that Show We Might Be Too Trusting in Trusts

When establishing a testamentary trust or seeking estate planning guidance, the goal is to conserve and grow assets. Specifically, we want an instrument that will provide the flexibility to distribute assets and income to our dependants and to capitalise on tax benefits after death. But are trusts always suitable? The recent decision of Soo v […]

Invest Now or Cry Later: Stamp Duty Discounts for Investors abolished in Victoria

Investors looking to diversify into the Victorian property market should note that existing  concessions for stamp duty relief for off the plan purchases will be abolished from 1 July 2017. The Victorian Government announced that stamp duty (land transfer duty) savings for investors buying property off the plan will not apply for investors for contracts […]