Chartered Accountants are members of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand. As a member we are required to adhere to certain standards, and to undergo regular training and reviews. You are also able to lay a complaint with Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand if our performance has been remiss, but we do ask that you raise this with us first.
Anyone who owns a business or has income from investments and who wants to succeed. Chartered Accountants are skilled not only in minimising your tax obligations, but also in ensuring that your assets are protected, in knowing the systems that can make your business more efficient, and in knowing what is happening in the economy.
You must register for GST if you carry out a taxable activity your turnover was $60,000 or more in the last 12 months (or will be $60,000 or more in the next 12 months), or if GST is included in your prices.
Most businesses fall into this category; the notable exception being residential rental property.
You can only charge GST on your sales and income and claim it back on purchases and expenses if you're GST registered.
If your turnover is less than $60,000, then registration is voluntary. Whether you do so depends on a variety of factors, some of these can include whether you have a lot of expenses or capital expenditure on which you pay GST, the time and effort involved in preparing your returns, and if you deal business to business. We recommend you contact us if you're unsure.
The benefits include an Extension of Time (EOT) to file tax return. If you don’t have an EOT then you have to file your tax return by 7 July of that year. However, if you have an EOT then you have until 31 March the following year to file your tax return. An EOT is automatically granted if you are with a tax agent and you are up-to-date with filing your tax returns.
Another advantage is safe harbour, if you are on a tax agent’s tax agency list then this means you can base your provisional tax payments on your two prior years’ tax. This is not possible if you are not linked with a tax agent. The advantage of being able to do this is that you avoid interest and penalties if you have paid less tax (as long as you based it on the prior years’ tax paid).
With a tax agent, you are often allowed extra time to pay. If you have an extension of time, you get an extra two months to pay your terminal tax, 7 April instead of 7 February.
A private recreational pursuit or hobby is not a taxable activity.
Here is an indication of IRD's policy on what is a hobby:
- The reason for conducting the activity is predominantly leisure
- The time put into the activity is occasional, or part-time
- Structure of the activity is that you acquire infrequent supplies, is non-business like, with no real structure or organisation and an “unreasonable” level of financial investment
- A hobby put under a company structure does not always make it a taxable activity