Are your contractor payments subject to payroll tax?

Your payments to contractors may be subject to payroll tax if the worker is considered as an employee. The NSW Revenue considers a wide range of factors to determine whether a worker is an employee or contractor for payroll tax purposes. Even if a worker is identified as a contractor rather than an employee, your payments to the contractor may still be taxable for payroll tax purposes if a ‘relevant contract’ exists.

According to the Payroll Tax Act 2007 (“Act”), a ‘relevant contract’ is any kind of arrangement where you:
– supply services;
– are supplied with services; or
– give out goods for re-supply after work has been performed in relation to goods.… Read More

Coronavirus – can you claim Workers Compensation?

Coronavirus is the hot topic on everyone’s mind but what happens if you contract Coronavirus as a result of your employment, can you claim workers compensation?

For every Workers Compensation Claim there needs to be an injury and contracting Coronavirus would certainly qualify as an injury. Coronavirus as we have been made aware, currently requires at least a two week quarantine following the end of symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus. Therefore there is an incapacity to work not only while you are sick with the virus but also two weeks following the end of the symptoms.

Some people may simply choose to take personal leave and will have that amount of accrued leave available, while some employers may also pay to have the worker remain in quarantine to prevent other workers being infected.… Read More

Special Disability Trusts

Planning ahead for individuals can be challenging but that task can seem harder for family members of individuals affected by severe disability and will often involve more than making a standard Will and appointing a Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian.

In 2006, the Government introduced Special Disability Trusts into social security legislation with the aim to encourage the private funding of accommodation and care needs for people with disabilities. A Special Disability Trust allows family members to leave assets in trust for an individual with a ‘severe disability’ which can be used to fund that person’s ongoing care, medical expenses, accommodation, and some discretionary expenditure for that person into the future without adversely affecting their entitlement to a disability support pension.… Read More

New responsibilities for Company Directors

The tension between business risk and responsibility dates from ancient times.
Plato said –
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly
while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

It’s a bit broad brush to categorise as “bad” people who structure their affairs to avoid personal liability however it’s fair to say that the catalyst for the creation of the Company business structure was to shelter individual controllers from personal responsibility when things didn’t go as planned and sometimes even when they went exactly as planned.

The fundamental concept behind structuring a business through a Company is “limited liability”.… Read More

Family Trust– Surcharge Taxes Now In Place

If you own a Family Trust that owns residential land in NSW or intend to purchase residential land and/or premises using your Family Trust, please note that Revenue NSW considers a Family Trust to be automatically subject to the foreign person surcharge on stamp duty and Land Tax.

The surcharge for land tax is 2% above the usual charge of 1.6%.

The surcharge for a foreign Person purchasing land is 8% of the purchase value.

Land Tax is charged every year so it is a particularly penal and unfair provision. It takes the annual land tax charge to 3.6% per year.… Read More

The Timeliness Of Surgery

One of the disputes workers compensation clients will encounter with insurance companies is whether treatment is reasonably necessary following a workplace injury. The relevant section of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 NSW is section 60. If the dispute is before an Arbitrator in the Workers Compensation Commission they will need to consider the following before deciding on whether treatment is reasonably necessary or not, as noted in Rose v Health Commission (NSW) (1986) 2 NSWCCR 32:

a) The appropriateness of the particular treatment;
b) The availability of alternative treatment, and its potential effectiveness;
c) The cost of the treatment;
d) The actual or potential effectiveness of the treatment; and
e) The acceptance by medical experts of the treatment as being appropriate and likely to be effective.… Read More

Restraint Of Trade

Employment Contracts can contain Restraint of Trade clauses which affect the post-employment obligations of employees to their former employer.

Employees who are contemplating new employment in a similar area either for a competitor or related industry should first review the status of their post-employment obligations.

Often new employers require that an incoming employee warrant that they are not bound by any restraints.

When reviewing whether or not a restraint is valid the starting point is Section 4(1) of the Restraint of Trade Act 1976 which provides:

“A restraint of trade is valid to the extent to which it is not against public policy, whether it is several terms or not”.Read More

Where the bloody hell…. did my money go?

It is widely known that Australia is in the midst of a terrifying Bushfire season which have had a devastating effect on our residents, wildlife and fire services and others, physically, mentally and financially. The old Australian adage about how when times are tough, mateship prevails has proven to be true and in typical fashion the people of Australia have rallied. We have seen unprecedented levels of donations well into the hundreds of millions of dollars, to assist the victims, fire services, charities and wildlife agencies.

While many of these organisations are legitimately accepting donations to assist those in need, we have also seen an increase of scammers defrauding people by claiming to be assisting those affected by the bushfire disaster.… Read More

Residential Off-the-plan Contracts

It is said, “The only constant in life is change”. How true, particularly in law where legislation seems to be constantly changing.

For those of you who are looking to develop residential property or purchase new residential property you need to be aware of the new requirements which came into effect on 1 December 2019.

A developer is now required to provide a Disclosure Statement which should be attached to the Contract.

The Disclosure Statement needs to include:-

• A draft plan of the property prepared by a Registered Surveyor showing the lot number, location and area;
• A draft floor plan and location plan of the property;
• Any proposed bylaws, development Contract (including strata development contract) and management statement; and
• Schedule of finishes to be included in the property.… Read More

Where’s the Fire?

With the devastating bush fires Australia has faced in recent times, it is a timely reminder to check and ensure that your smoke alarms are installed in accordance with the legislation and more importantly that they are in good working order. The Law in relation to smoke alarms in New South Wales is pretty clear. There is a requirement for all buildings in which people sleep to have working smoke alarms installed. Firstly, how do you make sure they are working? NSW Fire and Rescue recommend testing smoke alarms once a month (press and hold the test button) and changing the batteries every 12 months.… Read More