Reserve Bank Interest Rate Decision

A Grade Tax Penrith, Planning Advice

At its meeting yesterday, the Reserve Bank Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.75%.

The situation in global financial markets continues to be unsettled, with uncertainty increasing about the prospects for a solution to the sovereign debt and financial problems in Europe and the outlook for global economic growth.

The RBA release stated that it will take more time for evidence of the effects of the recent European and US financial turbulence on economic activity in other regions to emerge.

Indications are that most economic activity is continuing to expand in China and most of Asia, however forecasters have reduced their estimates for global GDP growth.  

Extract from the RBA: media release 04/10/2011.

Contact A Grade Tax Penrith on (02) 4731-1405 for all your tax accounting, bookkeeping, tax returns, superannation, tax planning and advice for Personal and Business clients.

First Home Owners Stamp Duty Concession

Penrith Accountants - Tax Advice & Planning

The NSW State Government announced on 6th September 2011 that as of 1st January 2012 stamp duty concessions will only be available to first home buyers purchasing a brand new home or vacant land intended to be used as a site for a first home. So purchasers of established properties will no longer receive a stamp duty concession as of 1st January 2012.

For further information contact A Grade Tax Accountants in Penrith on (02) 4731-1405 for tax advice, planning, accounting, bookkeeping, tax return, superannuation, SMSF advice for Personal and Business clients. 

Dependant Spouse Tax Offset Phase-out

Penrith Accountant - Dependant Spouse Phase-Out

From 1 July 2011, eligibility for the dependent spouse tax offset will be confined to taxpayers with a dependent spouse born before 1 July 1971.

Taxpayers who maintain an invalid or permanently disabled spouse, support a carer or who are eligible for the zone, overseas forces or the overseas civilian tax offsets are exempt from the new age limit and will still be able to claim the value of the dependent spouse tax offset via an expanded invalid spouse, zone, overseas forces or overseas civilian offset.

For further information ring (02) 4731-1405 A Grade Tax Accountants Penrith for all your taxation, accounting, tax return, superannuation, SMSF advice, tax planning and retirement for Personal and Individual clients.

2011 Tax Return Checklist

A Grade Tax Accountants Penrith

2011 Personal Tax Return Checklist

It will assist us to maximise your refund if you review the following checklist and bring all relevant information with you to your appointment.

Download a printable PDF version of this newsletter here


  • Payment summaries for wages.
  • Centrelink Statement in respect of:
  1. Tax-free Exempt Pension income received. (e.g., Disability Support Pension, Carer payments and Invalidity Service Pension etc.)
  2. Taxable support payments such as Newstart.

  • Payment summaries for superannuation pensions, lump sums and employment termination payments.
  • Payment summaries for govt pensions & allowances.
  • Interest received from banks etc.
  • Dividends received or reinvested (bring statements).
  • Partnership and/or Trust income.
  • Managed Funds (investments) Tax Statements.
  • Details of business income and expenses, including GST information where applicable.

Client Letter - Tax Time 2011

Tax Returns Penrith
Download a printable PDF version of this newsletter here

Dear Client,

I am pleased to advise of the appointment of Andrew Smith to our team. Andrew is a senior accountant
with over 9 years of taxation experience. 

We have also expanded our services to include Financial Planning. Justin Hyland heads up this important
area.  Please call if you would like a no obligation consultation of your personal
circumstances either at your home or our office. Justin is available on weekdays and weekends.

We provide a full range of taxation services including:

  • Advice regarding the best tax structure for the formation of new businesses. It is always best to discuss
    your new business proposal before committing to any new venture.
  • Company&Family Trust returns.
  • Formation of Self Managed Super Funds.
  • Investment property tax advice.
  • Bookkeeping.
  • Our mobile lending service offers a wide range of finance options for home&investment loans plus asset

Please review our checklist and tax tips in the following newsletter to assist with the preparation of your returns.
See you soon and thank you again for your referrals over the past year.

Kind regards,

Max Connelly


Education Tax Refund

A Grade Tax Accountants Penrith NSW

The Australian Government is helping you with the costs of educating your kids.

The Education Tax Refund provides up to 50% back on a range of children’s education expenses.

For the 2010–11 tax year refunds may be as much as $397 for every child at primary school, and up to $794 for every child at secondary school.

Am I eligible?

I care for a child.

You can claim the Education Tax Refund (ETR) if you had eligible education expenses during the financial year for a child who meets the schooling requirement, and:

  • you received Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A for the child or
  • a payment was made for the child which prevented you from receiving FTB Part A,
  • your child stopped full-time school during the year and received income over the cut-out amount which prevented you from receiving FTB Part A for the child.

You can claim the ETR even if do not get FTB Part A. Other payments which still entitle you to receive the ETR include:

Youth Allowance
Disability Support Pension
ABSTUDY Living Allowance
the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme
Student Financial Supplement Scheme, and
the scheme to provide education and training under s258 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

You can claim the ETR even if you do not have to lodge a tax return.

You can claim the ETR if you are an Independant Student.

You can claim the ETR if you have eligible education expenses and you:

Eligible Education Tax Refund Expenses

A Grade Tax Penrith - Tax Refunds

Many types of education expenses are eligible under the Education Tax Refund (ETR). And you do need to keep your receipts.

What is an eligible education expense?

An eligible education expense is:

  • incurred by an eligible person
  • for a child or independent student’s education
  • an item specified in the legislation as an eligible education expense, and
  • incurred on a day when the child or independent student satisfied the schooling requirement.

You cannot claim the ETR for an expense if:

it is an allowable tax deduction or subject to another tax offset, or

What items can I claim?

Eligible expenses include the cost of buying, establishing, repairing and maintaining any of the following items:

  • home computers and laptops
  • computer-related equipment such as printers, USB flash drives, and disability aids to assist in the use of computer equipment for students with special needs
  • computer repairs
  • home internet connections
  • computer software for educational use
  • school textbooks and other printed learning material, including prescribed textbooks, associated learning materials, study guides and stationery, and
  • prescribed trade tools for secondary school trade courses.

What items can’t I claim?

You cannot claim:

Fringe Benefit Tax

Penrith Accountant - Fringe Benefit Tax

In April 2011, the Australian Tax Office will be writing to selected employers about exempt vehicles and car fringe benefits.

If you are an employer, who is not registered for FBT and has registered a business vehicle listed on Fringe benefits tax - exempt motor vehicles, the ATO may write to you to  remind you of the limited private use eligibility criteria for exempt vehicles. Basically vehicles with a carrying capacity of less than one tonne such as taxis, panel vans and utilities may be exempt from FBT if the private use of the vehicle is limited to:

  • travel between home&work
  • travel that is incidental to travel in the course of employment related duties
  • non-work related use that is minor, infrequent and irregular e.g. occassional use of the vehicle to remove domestic rubbish.

The ATO is also contacting some employers who have registered a new business vehicle to ensure they are aware that non-business usage of the vehicle may result in a FBT liability.

What is a car fringe benefit?

A car fringe benefit most commonly arises where you (the employer) make a car you 'hold' available for the private use of an employee (or the car is treated as being available). A car you hold generally means a car you own or lease.

The following types of vehicles (including four-wheel drive vehicles) are cars:

motor cars, station wagons, panel vans and utilities (excluding panel vans and utilities designed to carry a load of one tonne or more)
all other goods-carrying vehicles designed to carry less than one tonne, and
all other passenger-carrying vehicles designed to carry fewer than nine occupants.

You make a car available for private use by an employee on any day that:

Fringe Benefit Tax

A Grade Tax Accountants Penrith NSW - SMSF advice

The government has announced that it is committed to improving the Australian Superannuation System by introducing a range of measures from July 1, 2012.

Under the current legislation, members over the age of 50 can contribute up to $50,000 per year, up until June 30, 2012. The legislation reduces this to $25,000 from that date. Members under the age of 50 can contribute $25,000 per year for which a tax deduction can be claimed.

One of the proposals the Government wants to introduce is to permanently increase the concessional contributions cap from $25,000 to $50,000 for members who are aged 50 and over, and who have a superannuation balance of less than $500,000.

In addition to the increase in concessional contributions, the Government also aims to increase the compulsory superannuation guarantee from 9% to 12% to boost members' retirement savings.

Furthermore, individuals earning less than $37,000 per year will receive a contribution of up to $500 from the Government into their fund, effectively abolishing any tax on their other concessional superannuation contributions.

Contact A Grade Tax Accountants Penrith on (02) 4731-1405 for all your taxation, accounting, tax returns, self managed superannuation, SMSF advice and planning.

Paid Parental Leave Scheme

Penrith Accountant -  Taxation Services Penrith

Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme started on 1 January 2011. This means from 1 July 2011, employers must provide parental leave pay to their eligible long-term employees.

Employers can register at any time to provide parental leave pay to their eligible employees through the Centrelink website at

Clients may be interested to know that parental leave pay:

Will be provided to them by the Family Assistance Office in advance of their employee’s usual pay cycle;
Is subject to PAYG withholding;
Does not change an employee’s usual pay cycle;
Does not attract super contributions;
Does not increase payroll tax or workers’ compensation premium liabilities;
Should be rolled into salary and wages on an employee’s payment summary.

  For more information:

visit the Family Assistance Office website at
Employers should phone 13 11 58
Employees should phone 13 61 50.

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