Victoria Park cenotaph
Movie promo

A Long Walk to Treatment

In October 2018, as part of the Fair Treatment campaign, 100 supporters walked the 500,000 steps from Dubbo to Sydney to highlight the distance a person in regional NSW may have to travel to reach the drug treatment they need. This Long Walk to Treatment has been made into a powerful documentary, Half a Million Steps, highlighting the personal stories behind the movement for a reform on drugs and the fair treatment of all people.

A premiere screening of Half a Million Steps will be held on Friday 14 June 2019 (6pm arrival for 7pm screening) at the Dubbo RSL 178 Brisbane Street Dubbo. Bookings can be made at: tinyurl.com/DubboPremiere

Money bag $Tax time is coming up - work related expenses & data matching

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) says that many employees are entitled to claim deductions in their tax returns for work related expenses but there are some common misconceptions about exactly what can be claimed.

To claim work related expenses employees must: have spent the money themselves and not been reimbursed; ensure the expense is directly related to earning their income; and have a record to prove their claim. The ATO closely monitors claims for unusual patterns related to specific employment.

The ATO matches data from banks and other government agencies against it's own information to identify where people and businesses may not be reporting all their income. The ATO looks for: interest and dividend income; employment income; government payments; the disposal of shares and property; government grants and payment; payments made to contactors; and distributions from partnerships, trusts and managed funds.

(For more information on work related deductions see ATO site)

Disappointing survey of lawyers

An international survey has revealed extensive bullying and harassment in the legal profession. Unfortunately, it seems that much of it goes unreported.

Michael Tidball CEO of the Law Society of NSW says, "This is a clarion wake-up call for the legal profession, about a problem we need to address."

(See article in Law Society Journal by Kate Allman 15 May 2019)

NRW logo

National Reconciliation Week 2019

Next week, 27 May - 3 June 2019, is National Reconciliation Week

The theme for the week is: Grounded in truth walk together with courage

Utopia castLook out!!! Managers can be liable too

After Royal Commissions and different enquiries we may notice a few resignations by managers or officeholders of corporations.

Various legislation can make management liable for breaches of the law by their organisation or those employed by the organisation.

(See article about accessorial liability by Mark Cox & Renae Harg of MDC Legal)

Business image

Starting your own business guide

If you are considering starting a business a good guide is the Starting a business guide on the business.gov site.

(See Starting a business guide)

What's the problem?

Drawing

(Opinion by Cathy Wilcox Sydney Morning Herald 26 April 2019

Flag of Sri LankaCondolences for the people of Sri Lanka

The Lion flag of Sri Lanka is symbolic of a long heritage and the many values of Sinhala society.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families we know and the peoples of Sri Lanka in this time of tragedy, loss and mourning.

Tax deductions for rental propertiesOld hut LVV

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has said that it will make rental deductions a top priority this year and increase the number of its audits. Taxpayers can no longer claim travel expenses to inspect, maintain or collect rent for residential rental property.

(See the ATO website for more information)

Sexting presents criminal as well as other issues

We know that we have a digital history. What is it with young people sending sexually explicit photos of themselves to each other? As well as the psychological and social issues this raises there can be criminal consequences.

Send buttonIt is an offence for an adult to use a carriage service to have communications with a person the sender believes to be a child under the age of 16 (whether they are or not) intending to engage in sexual activity with the child. The maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment (s. 474.26 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)).

It is also an offence to use a carriage service to transmit an indecent communication to a person the sender believes to be a child under the age of 16. The maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment (s. 474.27A Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)). A carriage service includes a mobile phone or the internet.

As well as in the Commonwealth legislation, there are also offences relating to recording and distributing intimate images in the NSW Crimes Act 1900 (Div. 15C).

eStatements & digital assets on deathLocked laptop

In the news recently there was the story of the cryptocurrency lost because the administrator who died in India did not leave his widow the password access to his computer.

Most of us have digital assets such as social networking presences, photos, music, websites, domain names, geneology, research and various collections stored on the internet. These are all things that might have to be administered in a deceased estate and sometimes during our lives if we lose capacity.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to track down the details of the assets of some deceased persons because so many bank and other statements that would previously been mailed out are now sent out electronically. Even when in possession of the deceased's devices and computers access to email, MyGov and tax returns is likely to be restricted by logins and passwords.

Give thought to how you make logins and passwords available to executors and attorneys appointed by your power of attorney. Think about how to safely leave those instructions for them to be able to access your bank, super and dividend statements and tax returns if need be.

SVPartners Commercial Risk Outlook Report March 2019

Risk graphs

SVPartners, specialist accountants & advisors, have release their regular report analysing industries and regions in Australia which they predict will face financial distress.

(Click here to see the report)

New Zealand 15 March 2019 - when words elude us

NZ silver fern prayer

(Pat Campbell The Canberra Times artist 18 March 2019)

Woman sadWith the shocking news of the conviction of George Pell -

It is important that victims of trauma look after themselves

See article by Kim Feimingham

Chair of Clinical Psychology, University of Melbourne

28 February 2019

Owner-builders & home warranty insuranceBuilding site

A home owner doing work under an owner-builder permit is not required to have insurance under the Home Building Act 1989 but contractors doing work for the owner-builder worth more than $20,000 must have insurance.

If an owner-builder decides to sell their home within seven years and six months after an owner-builder permit was issued, the contract for sale must include a warning to purchasers that an owner-builder permit was issued in relation to the property and the date it was issued.

An owner-builder still guarantees to a purchaser of their house the quality of the work they undertook. The purchaser of the property is entitled to the benefit the statutory warranties in the Home Building Act 1989 subject to the limitations set out in that legislation.

(See the Fair Trading website for further information)

Is a SMSF right for you? More tax scams & a tax survey

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) often sends out useful information via its small business newsletter (see ATO newsroom online).

Is a self-managed super fund (SMSF) right for you? (Read more)

New ATO scams and old ones continue (25,473 phone scams reported in December 2018 alone) (Read more)

Gift vouchers for doing a tax survey (Read more)Piggy bank

FarmHub launchedFarmHub poster

FarmHub kicked off on 31 January 2019 as part of the Federal government's response to drought. The site is meant to be a one-stop shop and is hosted by the National Farmer's Federation.

Keeping women safe - "Ask for Angela"Ad posters

I am told that quite a few hotels are now displaying posters for the "Ask for Angela" initiative.

"The program, which was born two years ago in England's Lincolnshire, encourages patrons to approach any staff member at participating venues and "ask for Angela" if they feel unsafe or have been put in a compromising situation. The sentence acts as a code to discreetly alert staff, who then escort the affected person to safety or contact authorities for further assistance." (In broadsheet.com.au by Amanda Valmorbida and Julia Wallace)

Not everyone supports the campaign (see article in news.com.au). It is a shame if such an initiative is needed. Isn't it the responsibility of all of us to ensure each other are safe?