More Help for Small Business

COVID-19 is continuing to have an enormous social and business cost in Australia and governments both State and Federal have been doing their best to provide assistance.

Currently many small businesses are relying upon government wage subsidies for ongoing viability. A leading economics research firm has projected that almost 1/4 of a million small businesses are at risk of failure.

The Federal Government recently announced new insolvency laws aimed at assisting small businesses to regain viability. These laws are modelled on legislation that has been in place in the US for many years commonly known as “Chapter 11”. The objective is to provide a process that potentially allows stressed businesses to take action to restructure before it becomes too late to save the business.… Read More

What is land tax?

Land tax is levied by NSW Government on 31 December each year on all property you own that is above the land tax threshold.

Generally, you don’t pay land tax on your home, known as your principal place of residence or your farm, known as primary production land. There are further exemptions which cannot be dealt with in this article.

You pay tax based on the combined value of all taxable land you own, not on each individual property. If the combined value of your land does not exceed the threshold, no land tax is payable.

For 2020 tax year, the general threshold is $734,000.… Read More

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

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

Special tax considerations needed if any of your beneficiaries are non-Australian residents

When making a Will you need to be aware of special rules that apply to gifts to non-resident beneficiaries. These rules can even apply to gifts to Australian citizens who have lived overseas for a long period.
The general rule is that the beneficiary is taken to have acquired the assets on the day the testator died, and any capital gain or loss relating to a Capital Gain Tax (CGT) asset owned by the deceased is disregarded. That means-
• no CGT is payable from the estate
• no CGT is potentially payable by the beneficiary until he or she actually sells it; and
• the beneficiary will usually have access to a range of CGT concessions when he or she actually sells.… Read More

You attended an auction – or did you?

As many of you would know, there is a 5 business day cooling off period which applies to the sale and purchase of residential real estate.
The intent of the legislation which created the cooling off period was to encourage potential purchasers to exchange quickly to avoid being gazumped whilst retaining the ability to pull out of the sale at minimal cost if anything untoward was discovered.
There are a number of situations in which the cooling off period does not apply. One of those situations is where the property is sold at auction or is sold on the same day after a failed auction.… Read More

What if a foreign person wants to buy your agricultural land?

Before answering this question, we should first understand what agricultural land is. Under the foreign investment framework, agricultural land means land in Australia that is used, or could reasonably be used, for a primary production business. The meaning and scope of a primary production business can be found in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. It includes, for example, cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts, maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, or manufacturing dairy produce from raw material that you produced.
If your land falls into the category of agricultural land, then the foreign buyer must get approval for the proposed acquisition from the Treasurer if the threshold of $15 million is exceeded.… Read More

Businesses Need to Get Paid

Bad debts can cripple any business.

Some businesses are lucky enough to operate in industries where payment is made before goods or services are supplied but most don’t have that luxury. For most businesses, getting paid after goods or services have been supplied is a daily issue.

Self-evidently, people don’t pay their debts for 2 reasons –

  • They don’t have the money to do so; or
  • They choose not to.

The first category brings the “can’t get blood out of a stone” cliché to mind. Usually after spending quite a bit of money to get there, bankruptcy (if the debtor is a natural person) or liquidation (if the debtor is a company) is the end result.… Read More

Introducing Ya Zhang

Its my great pleasure to introduce Ya Zhang, who recently joined the team at Everingham Solomons with a most impressive and unique experience.

Ya completed her undergraduate qualifications in law in China.  She was then admitted to practice as a lawyer in 2007.

For many years she worked from the Beijing and Shanghai offices of one of world’s largest law firms, primarily in their corporate and commercial law teams.

Ya then moved to the US where she obtained a masters degree in law from the Cornell Law School and shortly thereafter fulfilled the rigorous requirements entitling her to practice at the prestigious New York Bar.… Read More

Insolvent trading

A company is its own legal entity. While it doesn’t have a pulse, just like a person, a company can enter into contracts, incur debts, sue and be sued in its own name.

The directors of a company however must be living, breathing people.  They are the people that control the company.  Although the company is able to do things in its own name, it does so at the will of the directors.

Because a company is a separate entity from the directors that guide it, normally a company’s debts are repaid only from the company’s assets. The company’s creditors do not have access to the directors’ personal assets to repay the company’s debts. … Read More