Covid retail leasing update

Headshot of Clint Coles - Director at Everingham Solomons TamworthWith the recent and unfortunate resurgence of retail lockdowns it’s timely to revisit landlord and tenant obligations in the retail leasing landscape.

On 13 July 2021, the Covid Retail and Other Commercial Leases (Covid 19) Regulation 2021 enacted.

In its original form, it did not require that tenants and landlords renegotiate rent as they were required to through 2020, but instead provided simply that landlords could not take ‘prescribed action’ against tenants unless they had first attempted mediation.

That situation was altered, however, on 13 August 2021 as lockdowns continued and became more widespread across the state. From that date, sections 6C & 6D were added to the regulation which, in effect re-instated the obligation of landlords to renegotiate leases under the National Code of Conduct.… Read More

How to get what you deserve – ensure you get paid

Headshot of David Southwood - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthWhen you do a job, you rightly expect to be paid. Sadly, we often see clients that are chasing money for work they have done.

However, there are many things that can be done when you initially engage a client to reduce the risk that they will not pay you in the future. Similarly, in the event you are not paid, there are early steps that can be taken that will make pursuing the debt easier. Some things to consider when engaging a new client include the following:

  • Client Details: Make sure you correctly identify who your client is and ensure you have accurate details for the client.
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Will your business be impacted by the change to the definition of “consumer” under ACL?

Recent amendments to regulations expand the applicability of the consumer guarantees regime under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Under the current definition in section 3 of the ACL, a person is a “consumer” if the person acquires:

– goods or services that are priced at $40,000 or less;
– goods or services that are of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use (regardless of the price of the goods or services); or
– a vehicle or trailer acquired for use principally in the transport of goods on public roads.

The consumer guarantees do not apply to goods acquired:

– for the purpose of re-supply;
– for using them or transforming them through processing, production or manufacture; or
– for repairing or treating other goods or fixtures on land.… Read More

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