Tax

ASK NOEL

Dipping a toe in the investment water

Noel Whittaker   I'm 31 and nervous of investing my hard-earned savings in shares. What should I do?

YOUR QUESTIONS

Managing mother's spare money

Investments need to be made with an eye to the future.

George Cochane   Should my mum put half her savings into the share market?

YOUR QUESTIONS

What's my super plan?

Thinking of retiring? 
It pays to do your homework first.

George Cochrane   I intend to retire this year and have to decide what to do with my superannuation that will complement my part aged pension.

ASK NOEL

What's a girl to do?

Noel Whittaker.

Noel Whittaker   Many older women with low super balances would be better off putting their money elsewhere. What are the options?

YOUR QUESTIONS

What's the tax position on my property?

What is the tax position on my property?

George Cochrane   My SMSF owns a commercial property. Can I transition to retirement and pay zero tax on the rent from the property while the property has a mortgage/loan on it?

TIP OF THE WEEK

Trust me - this is how the rich get richer

Make the money go round with a family trust.

Olivia Maragna   By minimising your tax, you can create wealth quicker in a family trust.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Beware tax traps of employee share schemes

Don't get trapped: Seek advice before investing in employee share schemes.

Catherine Robson   Share schemes can make you feel like you belong – but watch out for pitfalls.

ASK NOEL

How can I help pay for grandson's school?

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Noel Whittaker   I want to help my son out while minimising any costs or tax implications for all parties.

ASK NOEL

Can I use my super to help mum retire?

Noel Whittaker   I want my mum to be able to retire but do not have the resources to buy a house with her. Can I convert my super into an SMSF and buy a property with her that way?

TIP OF THE WEEK

Don't let the tax tail wag the investment dog

Barking up the wrong tree?: Most of us are guilty of letting tax efficiency override our investment judgement from time to time.

Catherine Robson   Tax can have a disproportionate influence on investment decision-making.

Parliamentary inquiry told of ATO's unequal treatment of small business

ATO

Nassim Khadem   Small business taxpayers have been intimidated, made bankrupt and some suffered mental breakdowns and contemplated suicide after drawn-out disputes with the Tax Office, according to evidence given to a parliamentary inquiry.

ASK NOEL

Where should we stash property sale cash?

Rollercoaster ride: There are peaks and troughs wherever you invest your cash.

Noel Whittaker   Investment properties present lots of questions as well as opportunities.

G20 leaders in the mood to act on tax avoidance after Luxembourg leaks

IKEA.

Tom Allard   Ahead of next weekend's G20 summit, the release of leaked documents showing Luxembourg's facilitation of industrial scale tax avoidance by multinational corporations could not have been better timed.

YOUR QUESTIONS

Can I trade in dad's car and give son the new one?

All wrapped up.

George Cochrane   Is it possible to buy a new car as a once-only gift without incurring gift tax?

ASK NOEL

What can I claim when I rent out old home?

Illustration: Michael Mucci

Noel Whittaker   I plan to rent my home out, how can I keep my tax liabilities low?

ASK NOEL

How can I get my home dream to fly?

Dreams of a home

Noel Whittaker   I'm 23 and want to own my own home. What's my best long-term strategy?

YOUR QUESTIONS

What's the best investment strategy for mother's inheritance?

Do your research: Some ethical investment funds have done very well, but your elderly mother may not likely the volatility, so you might look around for ethical balanced funds, preferably with a large, safe institution.

George Cochrane   She wants a safe investment that can be liquidated quickly should she need money to go into a nursing home.

ASK NOEL

Is our borrowing to invest plan a wise one?

 

Noel Whittaker   Should a couple put money into managed funds and use the income to pay down their mortgage?

ASK NOEL

Be older and wiser with your super

Mucci illo for Money   BindingNomination.jpg

Noel Whittaker   When a member of a superannuation fund dies, the trustee of the super fund has the responsibility of deciding who the money will be paid to, so it's best to get it right.

SHORT CHANGE

Small-business creditors set up name, shame and bill site

Pursuing debtors with a flurry of invoices and statements may be a thing of the past.

David Potts   Small businesses are turning to a website to collect money they’re owed.

Time to encourage productive investment

Nothing in it: Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens recently spoke at the Melbourne Economic forum.

Daryl Dixon   Behind closed doors, bureaucrats in both Treasury and the Reserve Bank have recognised the mis-allocation of resources resulting from the generosity of taxation arrangements.

ASK NOEL

We're separated, should investment property go?

Balancing the property portfolio can be tricky.

Noel Whittaker   Sometimes with more than one property it's hard to see which is best to rent out and which is best to live in.

OECD declares end to bank secrecy

Treasurer Joe Hockey holds up a report with OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria (L) at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Cairns.

Georgia Wilkins   The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has declared the end of bank secrecy, saying key measures agreed upon at the G20 meetings in Cairns will close loopholes that allow companies to hide profits overseas.

YOUR QUESTIONS

Let off on property's capital gains tax

Home owner: Not every home owner will get hit for capital gains tax when they sell.

George Cochrane   When it comes to capital gains tax on property, a house bought before September 20, 1985, is exempt.

ASK NOEL

Can we pull off our granny flat plans?

Serious note: The granny flat will start out life as a separate dwelling from your home.

Noel Whittaker   We want to take out a loan to build a granny flat in our backyard – what tax deductions are available?

ASK NOEL

Offsetting tax on shares bought for children

The inheritance: Dividing the pie.

Noel Whittaker   We've been slugged pretty hard for investments intended to help with our children's education. What can we do now?

Why the ATO is losing the battle against the 'transnationals'

The Australian Tax Office says multinational companies are cashing in on their inability to make them pay their fair share of taxes.

Noel Towell   Google, Starbucks and Ikea are cashing in on a reduced ATO ability to make them pay.

SUPER & FUNDS

Salary sacrifice difficult for most people

Retiring well: Planning to salary sacrifice early on can make your later years much more comfortable.

John Collett   Taxpayers’ money in the form of superannuation tax concessions is being wasted on high-income earners who have already saved more than enough for a comfortable retirement.

WELL HEELED

It's not that taxing, so get to work

No excuses: The winning formula at this time of year is time plus effort equals money.

Melissa Browne   This time of year is when accountants feel like the popular kids as many people scurry to make appointments to complete their annual tax return.

TAX TIME

Bringing it all back home

Katie Angelides is putting her refund back into her investments.

Christine Long   What will you do with your tax refund? Spend it on something fun? Or use it like a financial firestarter to build something bigger for the future?