Author Archives: Taadmin

Work out how much tax to withhold


Tax tables are an easy way to work out how much tax you need to withhold when paying your employees. You can:

  • view these tables online and in most cases, download them
  • also use the ATO online tax withheld calculators.

The online tax tables and calculators are kept up-to-date by the ATO so you can always withhold the right amounts for each of your employees. However, if you use payroll software, contact your payroll software provider for the relevant updates.

Watch the ATO webinar to help you understand your end of financial year tax responsibilities as an employer.

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Casual employees may be entitled to super

Employing casual workers provides businesses with an increased level of flexibility. However, it’s important to remember that casual employees may be entitled to super.

Here’s the basics:

  • You may need to pay super guarantee (SG) regardless of whether your employee is full-time, part-time or casual.
  • If you pay your employee $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month, you have to pay SG on top of their wages.
  • If your employee is under 18 they must also work for more than 30 hours per week to qualify for SG.

Super guarantee is currently calculated at 9.5% of a casual employee’s ordinary time earnings. This includes their wage plus any casual or shift loadings for ordinary hours of work. It also includes commissions and some allowances, but it doesn’t include overtime payments.

Use our SG eligibility tool to work out if your casual workers are eligible for super.


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Simple steps to getting super right

Getting super right is an important part of being an employer. To help, listed are five simple steps to check you’re getting it right:
1. Check you’re paying for the right people. You need to pay super for all of your eligible employees. Most employees and some contractors are eligible for super.
2. Check you’re paying the right amount. Currently you need to pay 9.5% of your employee’s ordinary time earnings.
3. Check you’re paying on time. You need to pay super at least quarterly. Some super funds, awards or agreements may require more frequent payments.
4. Check you’re paying to the right place. You must pay super into a complying super fund or Retirement Savings Account. Most employees can choose their own fund.
5. Check you’re paying the right way. All employers must use SuperStream when paying super. This means you pay your employees’ super and send all their information electronically though one channel. It’s easier and will save you time.


And of course, you need to keep records to show how much you’ve paid, when you paid, and that you offered a choice of fund.
The Australian Tax Office has a range of online tools and calculators to help you with super.
Use the links below to Find out about: Super for employers Ordinary time earnings


See also:

Are you ready to use the SBSCH?

The super guarantee quarterly due date is fast approaching, and the way you access the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) to make super payments has changed.

If your business has an ABN, you’ll need to access the SBSCH in the Business Portal with an authentication credential that securely identifies you to act on behalf of your business.

You have a choice of these credentials:

  • AUSkey
  • Manage ABN Connections via myGov.

Getting a credential is a one-off task. We recommend you organise this well before the 28 April due date to avoid any delays.

Check out The ATOs help and support tools that have been recently updated with feedback from businesses already using the new SBSCH.


Next steps:


See also:

Single Touch Payroll. All Australian employers

On the 1st April 2018 will you have 20 employees on the Australian payroll?

If the answer is Yes. You will have new ATO payroll reporting obligations using payroll software which is Single Touch Payroll STP enabled from 1 July 2018.

If you employ up to 19 people on the 1st April 2018 compulsory reporting obligations will apply from 1July 2019
Employers need to prepare for this change in reporting obligations. The action date is either 1 July 2018 or 1 July 2019

  • the ATO has considerable information available at As a start review the ATO checklist available on the above link
  • those with payroll software will receive information from their software provider. Information from many of these providers in currently being released
  • Employers not using payroll software will need to source a product that suits their business needs


Verify or report a scam explains how to spot and report a scam. If you are in doubt about contact from someone claiming to be from the ATO, you can phone the ATO on 1800 008 540, 8.00am–6.00pm Monday to Friday to check.
Keep informed on new Scam alerts by subscribing to general email updates. Subscribers will receive updates on all new general content on the ATO website, including the latest scam alerts.

Latest alerts:

  • March 2018 Phone scam – voicemail
  • February 2018 Email scam – tax refund form
  • February 2018 Email scam – tax refund notification
  • January 2018 Phone scam – fake debts
  • January 2018 Email scam – tax form
  • December 2017 Phone scam – fake debts
  • September 2017 Email scam – refund
  • August 2017 Scam – tax return form
  • July 2017 Email scam – tax repayment
  • March 2017 Email Scam – online activity statement

Tips for keeping good records as a small business.

Do you find business record-keeping complicated? The ATO provides a range of introductory resources to develop good record-keeping practices and keep correct and complete tax records.

ATO tips to keeping good records:

  1. obtain valid tax invoices for all purchases that include GST
  2. keep accurate records of all sales and purchases
  3. store a copy of all records electronically, including a system backup in case of damage to hard copies
  4. keep records that contain enough information to calculate and support the amounts claimed on their BAS
  5. retain all tax invoices and other GST records for five years.


Keep good records, it will assist reducing time spent fixing common reporting errors. You can then spend more time running a more effective business (and/or providing some time away from the business). Keeping and maintaining good records will also help facilitate faster processing of assessments and potential refunds.


Have a look at the ATO’s record-keeping evaluation tool to evaluate how well your business records are being kept.

Other useful ATO links :

Templates and tools

Based on link

Planning should always be the first step in developing a business. A plan gives your business direction and helps you prepare for a lot of what you may need to overcome in the future. After consultation with business intermediaries, has developed a suite of free planning templates, checklists and business apps to help guide your business.

Read about Developing your business plans for more information on the importance of planning and what to do before writing your business or marketing plans.

Watch their business videos to find out more about tools to help you start or grow your business.

View Business apps page to download their suite of apps.


Checklists for starting and growing a business

Starting a business checklist
Growing your business checklist
Checklist companion
Taking on an employee checklist
Sole trader to a company checklist
Market research checklist
Standards and Codes of practice checklist.


Business plan templates

  • Business plan template and guide This template and guide can help you start your business, research your market, develop business goals and manage your finances.
  • MyBizPlan tablet app Download MyBizPlan – their free business planning tablet app, available for Android™ and iPad. Their suite of free apps are interactive and easy to create, update, share and store online.
  • Read How do I develop a business plan? for an alternative to the information contained within the downloadable template.
    Note: iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.


Marketing plan templates

  • Marketing plan template and guide This template can help you integrate your total marketing effort and gives you a targeted approach to developing your business’ products or services. Download this version if you want to edit and print the marketing plan template and guide.
  • MarketMyBiz tablet app Download MarketMyBiz – Their free marketing planning tablet app. Their suite of free apps are interactive and easy to create, update, share and store online.
  • Read How do I develop a marketing plan? for an alternative format to the information contained within the downloadable version.


Succession plan templates

  • Succession plan template & guide Download this template to help you plan for the day when you leave your business. Planning for this time can provide a smooth transition and lowers the risk of disruption to your operations.
  • Read How do I develop a succession plan? for an alternative version of the information within the downloadable plan, to help you start developing your own Succession plan.


Financial templates

  • Start-up costing If you’re thinking of starting a business, a start-up costing sheet can help determine how much money you need to start.
  • Cash flow statement A cash flow statement tracks all the money flowing in and out of your business and can reveal payment cycles or seasonal trends that require additional cash to cover payments.
  • Profit and loss statement A profit and loss or income statement lists your sales and expenses and helps you work out how much real profit you’re making or losing.
  • Balance sheet A balance sheet is a snapshot of your business on a particular date. It lists all of your business’ assets and liabilities and works out your net assets.
  • Financial calculators Use this template to calculate your key financial ratios and help you analyse the financial health of your business.
  • Glossary of key financial terms Find definitions for financial terms that you may come across when you are dealing with accountants and financial institutions, or while running your business.


Emergency management & recovery plan templates


Business Toolkit for Indigenous Women

The Business Toolkit for Indigenous Women is a practical guide to help female Indigenous business owners understand the requirements of running a business.
The Toolkit includes:

  • real-life case studies
  • fact sheets
  • checklists
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • information about government resources
  • tips on time management, balancing your business and asking for support.

Download the Business Toolkit for Indigenous Women now.


Australian IP Toolkit for Collaboration

The Australian IP Toolkit for Collaboration helps facilitate, simplify and improve collaborations between industry and researchers.

Download the IP Toolkit.


Digital Business Kits

The Digital Business Kits provide the tools and resources required to help businesses embrace the world of digital business.


Major Projects Help tool

The Major Projects Help tool helps major project proponents to find out what legislations can affect their new project in a simple and easy to navigate manner. The tool provides a tailored list of relevant legislation for an individual project based on the selections made within the tool. Links are provided to regulation factsheets that further explains the applicable legislation.


Other useful tools and resources


For more information view the website

Develop a business plan

Starting a new business in Australia? Before you start, save yourself time and money by being aware of what is involved in running a business.
This business planning list provides links to a range of information that will help you in starting, running and growing your business.


Business planning

Marketing and social media planning

  • Write your marketing plan and strategy, including researching your market, promotion and pricing of your products and services.
  • Find market research and statistics to better understand your market, competitors and industry.
  • Decide whether to use social media in your business and developing a social media strategy to help you connect with customers.

Environmental, water and energy management

  • Find out about environmental management, including environmental auditing systems and minimising your environmental impact.
  • Read about energy management, including how to reduce your energy usage and negotiate your energy contract.

Innovation and intellectual property

Succession planning, emergency management and recovery

For more information view the website

Trademarks and intellectual property

Trademarks and intellectual property are important parts of building “value” around your business and projecting and protecting your business within your market place. Suzanne Harrington and her team at Pinnacle TMS work with clients of Thompsons Australia providing growth direction and strategic advice on intellectual property matters, together with professional, efficient and thorough trademark registration and related compliance services.

Below is a recent client newsletter of theirs covering “the importance for small to medium businesses to recognise that business or brand identity theft is not restricted to large businesses, and legal remedies available”.


There have been many interesting cases this year which we have been highlighting and the one we have selected this month involves McDonalds having to take action, as it regularly needs to, to protect its brands.

While this is a case involving a large corporation, it is very important for small to medium businesses to know that business or brand identity theft is not restricted to large businesses.

All Trade Mark Specialists see the hard earned reputation of even a solo/small business being used by a competitor to take advantage of that reputation.

Of course, when this happens it is often more shattering for the small business owner than the larger corporation with bigger budgets.

Just consider that defending/taking action when you don’t have a trade mark registration of your brand can cost in excess of AU$15,000.

The funds invested to secure ownership of your brand via trade mark registration will not only provide you with a business asset, but make it much easier to take action to stop brand identity theft and cost much less in fees.

Another point for small to medium business owners to remember is that as your brand grows your trade mark registration enables you to licence the brand and/or use the registration as a basis to file in another country.

If you are after more information, please see our website where we have a number of short videos, like this one in which I speak about

What to do when you are ready to trademark your brand

Fast Food Giant McDonald’s Wins Trademark Dispute Case with Singapore Rival

American fast food chain McDonald’s wins their trademark dispute over the use of ‘MacCoffee’. Singapore rival Future Empire was denied their claim.

Also, for knowledge base on this specialist area, visit Pinnacle’s website