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What should the accountants do to reduce the stress of COVID

What should the accountants do to reduce the stress of COVID

COVID-19 has affected financial activities around the world tremendously. As a lot of businesses and other institutions are a facing cash crunch. A large number of people are looking for ways to reduce their taxes, minimize their expenses. This is quite an exhausting situation and the accountants are in the center of this situation.

As most of the businesses are struggling, the accountants are going through a tough period because most of the clients are needing help. The need for an accountant has increased a lot and that is why the accountants have to provide support to almost every client.

If you are an accountant then, here are some tips to help you minimize your stress:

  1. Connect to your colleagues:
  • No one can know about your situation better than an accountant. So, you should talk to your colleagues to solve this problem. You can talk to them via the Zoom app during the break time of your working hour. You can also consult your boss to advise some ways in reducing the amount of stress.
  1. Your family would be a great help:
  • If your family is aware of the situation that you are going through, they can help you a lot in coping with the stress. While you get back from your office, your family members would create a favorable environment to amuse you. In hard times, the family is the most effective thing that helps you to get out of the situation.
  • Avoid extra works that you used to do on weekends. Instead, you should be spending this time with your family.
  1. Make a spot for you:
  • Whether you are in the office or working from home, you should have a place where you can relax in your breaks. This is a great way to enhance mental peace and increase your enthusiasm when you get back to your work. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step, this is a rather effective process.
  1. Maintain some gap between your client and you:
  • Working in such a tough situation, it is very necessary to understand the difficulties of your clients but save yourself from having too much stress. If your emotional stability is being compromised due to this situation, you can work efficiently. So, try to have a clear mind so that you can understand your clients in a better way.

We have suggested many ways to deal with this situation. But one thing that you should keep in mind that you know yourself better than anyone. You can take the steps as per your situation that may benefit you and others.

What business owners look for when choosing Accountant?

Selecting a good accountant for your business is very crucial. You should not consider your accountant any less than your business partner. There are a lot of things in your business that is solely dependent on the accountant. So, if you choose a good accountant, you are going to have several benefits and if you fail to do so you have a lot of things to lose. To help people make the right selection of accountants, we decided to write this blog. Here are some points that you should consider in this process.

  1. Where to look at?
  • This is the first question that comes in anyone’s mind while looking for a good accountant. No matter where you are going to find an accountant, one thing that you should always keep in mind that you have to try a few accountants before making your final decision. Avoid choosing the right accountant in the first attempt.
  • So, at first, you should go to someone whom you know better and you are aware of their knowledge in this field. Based on their recommendation, approach the accountant and then interview the accountant to check whether he suits your requirements.
  • After you are unable to find one with the help of them or you are trying to look at some other options, you should use social media. Social media will be a great help to you if you want to do it.
  • You can also find a good accountant with the help of many professional bodies that are present in Australia. Going to one of those professional bodies can also help you get a good accountant:
  • CPA Australia (Certified Practicing Accountants)
  • IPA (Institute of Public Accountants)
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  1. What are the services offered by an accountant?
  • There are different accountants for varied services. While making selection via any method, you should make sure that the accountant delivers the same service that you desire. Here are some of the major services provided by the accountants:
  • Advisory: these accountants provide every kind of advice to their clients. They can advise you in managing your business properly to maximize benefits. They can also help you with forecasting your business activities.
  • Accounting: This is the fundamental job of an accountant. Accounting is often termed as Bookkeeping. Accountants who are for beekeeping just keep a record of every transaction taking place in your business.
  • Tax: There are two things that are done with taxes. One if tax compliance and the other is tax planning. Tax planning helps to reduce the overall tax that the client has to pay while compliance is all about obeying the laws related to tax.
  1. What are the qualifications that your accountant should possess?
  • Qualification is the most important thing while choosing your accountant. There are only two professional bodies that regulate professional accountants. These two bodies are Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA), and Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ).
  • The accountant that you prefer should belong to one of these professional bodies. And the second thing that you should consider is that your accountant should have a degree level study and he must not be a fresher.
  • And, if you wish your accountant to prepare and lodge your tax returns, you should look for a registered tax agent.
  1. Should you care about the location of the accountant or his office?
  • In earlier days, people used to have accountants close to their homes. But now time has changed. With the help of cloud accounting, an accountant can work from anywhere. There can’t be any problem as there is software that makes you able to see the same data as your accountant in real-time.
  • But while choosing an accountant of this type, you should make sure that your accountant is aware of working remotely.
  1. What about the fees of your accountant?
  • Fees of the accountant vary based on their expertise and the work that they deliver. In the beginning, you should request written information about the fees of your accountant and the works that he will cover. It would help you a lot in comparing that accountant with the others. That written information should also include information about how you are going to pay your accountant (monthly, yearly, or any other parameter).

We have provided all the essential information about how you can choose your accountant. One thing you should make sure that your accountant should do your work. There are several institutions where they will talk to you but most of your work will be transferred to someone else. So, this is not the kind of work you should expect from your accountant.

Tax office to punish people engaged in fraudulent activities to save tax

In a recent press release, the taxation office of Australia said that it will punish the people doing super withdrawals to minimize the payable tax.

The taxation office said that there is a certain loophole that enables people to avoid the payment of personal income taxes. And the office is about to punish all such people who give false information to get benefits from this scheme.

As per the statement of ATO, the people of Australia are withdrawing money from their account using financial hardship measure tax-free and then top up their super account through salary sacrifice at a rate of 15 percent.

With the help of this scheme, $10,000 is free of tax for a person having a salary of $100,000 but if he sacrifices $10,000 into his super account, now only 15% tax is being imposed on this $10,000 of the account holder but the right amount of tax should be 37%.

The taxation office has been noticing the people who are managing their wages in such a way that can make them eligible for this scheme. This scheme called Super was introduced by the Federal Government to help the Australians who have lost their jobs or who are getting low wages.

ATO has said the following about this situation, “In earlier days of COVID-19, we saw some cases where people were doing such things to get benefits of this scheme which they did not deserve. In certain cases, we prevented them from applying and did not release the super money.”

ATO can easily fine all those who claim the early access of superannuation payments by manipulating information. This fine could reach up to $12,600.

Sally Tindall (the director of RateCity research) said it is completely certain that ATO will punish all those engaged in such activities. She also said “This particular initiative was taken to help the ones who needed this money the most. We intended to help those who can’t pay their bills or get meals, and the ATO is completely determined to find those who want to exploit this scheme.”

Karen Foat (Assistant Commissioner) has the same viewpoint about the people who are engaged in this type of fraud activity. When asked about this situation, she said the following:

“There is no need to rejoice after seeing that the graph for work from home like jobs is going up because there are a lot of things for which is graph has gone down. Industries like tours and travels and many such others have suffered very big losses. And what we are seeing day by day is that the activities like it to cheat the system is increasing day by day.

There is always a way to work out the simple mistakes that are unintentional but for those who are doing it on a purpose is very bad.”

The Australian Taxation Office said that all such people who are engaged in such activities will have to repay the tax and there is an additional penalty up to 75% of the money that they have not paid. People who have manipulated their documents to be eligible for this scheme will face criminal persecution.

Bernie Dean (chief executive of Industry Super Australia) said “Those who are manipulating their information for getting this scheme are actually making it harder for the ones who are in desperate need of this scheme.”

ISA has also welcomed this decision by the ATO and they said that all those will be punished who are misusing this scheme.

ATO doesn’t consider the JobKeeper payments as a part of aggregated turnover

JobKeeper payments have been considered as assessable income. But there are certain concerns regarding the status of JobKeeper payments as whether they fall under ordinary income or statutory income.

For those who don’t know about it, under this scheme, the business which has been affected the most due to the outbreak of Corona COVID-19 will get money from the government (in the form of subsidy). This assistance is being given to all such businesses so that the employees of all such businesses will get the wages.

As per s328-120, if the JobKeeper payments would become a part of the aggregated turnover, it would decide whether some entity is eligible for different concessions and other measures, instant asset write-offs, base rate entity tax rate, and the refundable R&D tax offset.

Now ATO has made it very clear that the JobKeeper payments are ordinary income but are not derived in the ordinary course of business. So, they are not included in aggregated turnover.

There were certain confusions about whether the JobKeeper payments fall under the category of ordinary income or not in order to calculate the aggregated turnover as said by Tracey Dunn. When asked about this situation, she said the following, “After including the JobKeeper payments in aggregates turnover, there would be some major consequences. Things like CGT concessions of small businesses, the income tax concessions of small businesses, other R&D involvements can push many businesses to threshold after this decision.”

Here are some changes that have taken place in this scheme:

  1. The JobKeeper scheme has been extended until March 28, 2021.
  2. A detailed test of the turnover of the applicant’s firm will determine his eligibility.

Some of the factors that determine the eligibility for this scheme include:

  1. For the businesses having a turnover of at least $1 billion or more and the latest turnover has been reduced by no less than 50%.
  2. The businesses which have turnover less than $1 billion then their turnover of this period should be reduced by 30% or more.

To get the benefits of this scheme, the businesses should apply to the concerned department of the government along with the documents showing a downfall in the turnover. They also have to show the total number of employees working in their firm. But the name of the employees should be mentioned in the book of that business from March and that employee must be active in the same business at present.

It was known to the RSM and they asked about it to the experts. “The ATO has responded very quickly and they modified this information. So, it is clear that they consider JobKeeper payments as an ordinary one and assessable to the employer. But it can’t be included while calculating the aggregated turnover.”

The way to get jobs for the future accountants in the changing environment of COVID-19

The lifestyles of people around the world have changed a lot due to the spread of Corona COVID-19. There are various things that have changed or you can say almost every sector has experienced some changes in this period of time.

Some experts of recruiting people from Hay surveyed about this situation and came up a few things that matter if you are an accountant and planning to get a job. It is always advised to have a certificate of accounting internship for getting a good job.

There were around 1100 employees in this survey and about 51% of those people insisted that 3 things matter the most in getting a job in this diverse environment. Those are:

  1. Industrial experience
  2. Cultural fit
  3. Well-designed CV

Nick Deligiannis (managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand) said, “In such a state where their companies have suffered severe losses, the employers are in no mood to take any risk. SO, they are looking for the best quality employees. So the aspirants need to have all the essential information highlighted in their CV.”

The type of experience you will have depends a lot on your accounting training and the organizations where you have worked in the past.

Any employer wants you to prove that you can do a job better than others. So, if you present an accounting internship program, it will add a lot to your abilities. You have to prove your competence at this point. One way you can do it is by showing your capabilities for the growth of the organization and relevant facts in your CV to fit in that job.

Here cultural fit means your compatibility with the work culture of an industry. You need to be fully aware of the working environment in the organization you are going to work. If you do proper research on this topic before your interview, your answers will be more aligned to the expectations of the employer. And that would be a fantastic characteristic of yours.

While making your CV, you have to make sure that you should include the facts/things in your CV that are easily quantifiable. Start by mentioning the tasks that you have completed in your accounting internship. Quantifiable things are very important in proving your abilities for a specific job. And one thing you have to keep in mind that your CV should have an acceptable format.

Most of the aspirants fail to quantify the things mentioned in the CV because they have no idea about how to make it. Here are some tips about that:

Mentioning only the growth of the organization that you were working in is not enough. You have to mention the percentage of growth. The number of team members that you have managed in a project is also an important thing to mention. When given a time frame, what is the quantity of work that you can deliver is a very relevant point to mention in your experience. This is the way you should design your CV for the maximum chance of getting a job.

Soft skills are also very important for being shortlisted for interview in an organization.

As the work culture has suddenly changed due to the spread of Corona COVID-19, there are a lot of individuals who have no idea about how to make their CV more suitable for a job. This is only because the demands of the employers have also got changed.

The final result of this survey revealed that 39% of the persons who are seeking a job are completely unaware of the ways of getting to an interview, 33% of the aspirants are a little bit aware of this situation while there are 28% jobseekers who know about how to land a job in this changed scenario.

Conclusion:

If you are unable to find a true source for getting information about what is going on in the financial sector around you, Accounts NextGen is the best option for you.

How the accountants should advise the SMEs in providing loan

The spread of the Coronavirus has impacted the world so much that a large number of small and medium scale industries are under a state of pressure because they are on the lowest state of cash flow in history.

This situation can’t be eradicated so easily as the businesses across Australia are not completely aware if the plans that the government has made available for assisting the businesses across the country.

The Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) in Australia has helped and still helping in a lot of such troubles. To make such a large group of people aware of this situation more and more people are needed by the government having completed at least an accounting internship. Then only they will be able to transfer the authentic information in simple words. They are removing all the obstacles that an employer would face. CPA has worked very effectively in making the business owners aware of the way to get funds from JobKeeper if the business is eligible for that.

As per the statement of CPA, the banks of Australia have played a major role in making the SMEs aware of this situation. Having a large number of people with accounting training in an organization is necessary for coping with such situations. A large number of SMEs have cleared their doubts regarding bank loans with the help of banks. But if you take a look at this situation broadly, it has been found that there is a large number of people who are not getting any help from anywhere. The simple reason behind it is they don’t know where to go for the help that they are seeking.

As per Ana Marinkovic from National Australian Bank, this situation has become so challenging only because most of the businessmen are reducing their expenses and they are also trying shift to the online platforms for sales. After we get the virus under control, there are some doubts about the way consumers start spending their money. It is uncertain how much time it would take for the common people to get back to their old habits of spending money.

“In the later phase when we all will get rid of this virus there are major roles that accountants will play in reshaping the business of our country (especially the small and medium-sized businesses)” said Joe Formichella (Head of Small Businesses at Bendigo Bank).

According to Joe Formichella, most of the problems of the businesses that have been affected so far can be resolved if the business owners consult the concerned accountants very early. It will give the business owners enough time to think and know about how much money they are going to get and where to go for the fund. Other things like the time required to repay that money and other things can also be made clear very easily. The demand of the time at present is to fund the small business owners until the time when the situation becomes normal.

The National Australian Bank has launched a new program called the Small Business Hub. It will primarily focus on supporting the small and middle-sized businesses that have been affected by this pandemic. It will help in the process of digitizing, and making the businesses able to sustain the loss that they have suffered so far. No matter which kind of business you have, if you have someone who has completed even a basic accounting internship program, you can easily project the situation of your business for the upcoming 6-7 months. And that would solve a lot of your problems.

The Basis for providing financial support:

There are some factors that decide whether the lender would fund some business or not. At first place, the lender needs to know about the history of that business. The cash flow statements, balance sheets, profit and loss statements like things tell a lot about the potential of the business.

Based on this information, the lender will know about the ability of the customer and the expected time that the customer would take to repay the amount. These are the foremost essentials that matter the most for providing loans to someone.

After analyzing all these things, the lenders will see the complete forecast/projection of the business for the upcoming 12 months.

After gathering all the information mentioned above, people at the banks try to figure out whether the business owners have a genuine reason to get support or not.

Threatening situation of cash flow in the future:

According to Formichella, there are about 30% of owners of SME who are preferring not to pay their loans in the upcoming 6 months. This is only because nobody wants to take any risk and the situation that they are in has not been caused by them.

Most of such people are in a state of panic as they are seeing that most of the schemes run by the government will last till the end of September.

After we get through all these situations, there is a fear of whether the small and middle scale industries will meet the requirements of cash flow in the future.

Conclusion:

If you are having difficulties in finding a good source of information regarding these matters, Accounts NextGen is the perfect spot for you. We are in this business for a long time to provide you authentic information about finance.

How the businesses can adapt to the new normal

The spread of the Coronavirus around the world has caused so many troubles that a lot of businesses whether big or small had to change their business model to sustain the changing demands.

There were several businesses that failed terribly in this everyday changing environment while there are others who made it through this hard time only because they modified their business model. In such a hard time the importance of people who have completed even an accounting internship has increased significantly.

Many companies have shifted their production plans a little bit. Some car manufacturers were seen making ventilators, and many other small scale industries are making sanitizers, masks, and other things that they have never done in the past. They did it because the things mentioned above are in high demand right now. Even the small businesses which have some employee who has good accounting training, they can take such strategic decisions.

And other institutions like gymnasium and dance classes moved to online platforms using the latest applications like Zoom and Google Meet. These cloud-based platforms have helped them a lot in staying connected to their potential customers.

An extraordinary step:

Porter Davis is a big name in the home building industry of Australia. After the lockdown was imposed in Australia, his business shifted to an online model overnight. Using applications like Zoom and other technologies, he provided a 3-D virtual tour of the home to be sold, and then the customers would choose whether to buy it or not.

These types of businesses are done with clients sitting face-to-face. But Davis managed to change it in one night. Shawn Patterson (the general manager at marketing and sales of this company) said that what the people are seeing right now is an effect of a long-term vision. This company has invested millions of money in digitizing the day to day tasks four years ago.

Davis has performed more than 40,000 virtual tours and a large number of contracts have been signed based on those tours. All these efforts were made possible because Davis was successful in promoting his business using digital media.

In an interview, Davis has made it very clear that even the lockdown is eased, his business will never return to a complete offline mode like the earlier days.

Importance of Digital Media in this time of pandemic:

According to PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) said in 2018 that the private sector output can be enhanced by an additional amount of 49.2 billion Australian dollars if they shift to digital media for the day to day transactions.

But nobody was caring about it till the lockdown was imposed due to COVID-19.

Sean Leong (an expert in Digital transformations) says that most of the businesses had no idea about what to do for starting the digitization of their product, but the pandemic has forced them to do so.

There is an education design company based in New Zealand which has also moved to a completely digital model in a short span of time. They created a team to make this effort successful and developed a model that has a full production studio. By doing so, they were able to see a growth of 52 percent by having their subscribers in about 75 countries of which customers from 69 countries were new customers. Nanogirl has also reduced the cost of 1 lesson and they are also providing. For each new subscriber, they are also giving these chapters for free to someone who can’t afford it.

According to Leong, any businessman who is running his business successfully, it is not recommended to stick to the traditional model. Instead, they should always try to find some new ways that may help them evolve their business plan.

As you can see in the case of Nanogirl, they tried to go online for sustaining the change in the market but the result that they got was more than they expected from this decision.

New working model for restaurant and other such businesses:

A popular family company in Australia called Winning Appliances has also shifted to an online model to cope with this situation and they have been successful in doing so. All they did was to start video conferencing that enables their customers to choose their products online. The online support and assistance via telephone were enhanced to make the process of virtual cooking very easy.

COO of the winning group has said that they have used modern technology for making their business even better. This positive effect of this decision is very much visible as the number of deliveries in the month of April was 69000.

The case with a restaurant called Italian and Sons is almost the same. During the lockdown when all the restaurants were shut down, the owners of this restaurant started a pick-up and delivery system for the materials that they are engaged in selling. The customers can place an order using an application and the restaurant will deliver that product to your location.

The turnover at the end has not improved so far but the business owners have been benefitted from these decisions so much that they are thinking in implement this online model even when the lockdown is lifted.

If you have employees in your company who have completed some basic accounting internship program, the chances of your company to land in a stressful situation like this is very low.

Evolution of the medical facilities around the world:

There are many doctors who have moved to online platforms for checking up the situation of their patients. Many journals and reports have mentioned that there were some physicians in China and some other countries who were checking up to 100 hundreds of patients daily.

The way to make your business secure for the future:

There are many ways that would help you to make the future of your business secure if something like this happens in the future. These are some crucial points that you should consider:

  • Try to understand where exactly the human work is needed. If anything is not so typical, you can make it automated.
  • Always provide training for your employees to make them able to adapt to the changing environment.
  • Consider the importance of Digital media. Don’t always rely on physical media.
  • Make the processes simple and clear which are performed on a daily basis.
  • While taking any decision, you should focus on the fact that whether your decision is based on some personal interest or the demands of your customers.

Some admirable evolutions of the business models around the world:

There are several examples that will make you believe that it is not that hard to cope with situations like Corona COVID-19 if you understand the problems clearly. Take a look at these companies who made most out of this situation:

  • com is a Chinese company that was selling its products online using the college forums and chat groups on social media. They were doing so because they were completely unprepared for this situation. But now they have become one of the largest ones in this field.
  • Deliveroo is a UK based firm that delivers the essentials like cereals and other tinned goods. Now the Australian customers of this company can get the products on their doorsteps by ordering the products online.

Conclusion:

There are many sources that provide you the information about many things. But for the amateurs, it becomes quite hard to decide the authentic source. Accounts NextGen is in this business for a long time. Feel free to visit our official site for more information like this.

Business Update – August 2020

Now the period of unlocking is going to start to bring the economy back on the track. COVID-19 has hurt the business economy all over the world. No country is there which did not suffer from the economic crisis in this pandemic situation.

But this is the high time to start the businesses and keep them on track again. The latest business updates in August 2020 are going to re-establish the companies back.

Several Government Extended Loans Due to COVID-19

The governments will extend the loan schemes until June 2021 for small, medium, and large businesses. The second phase will initiate from October 1, 2020, by implementing the following changes:

  • The loans will be provided for business purposes other than the working capital loans
  • The loan sizes will be increased up to four folds from $250,000 to $ 1 million.
  • In addition to the unsecured loans, secured loans are implemented.
  • Maximum loan terms will be provided to the business individuals.

Business Optimism

Mckinsey & company research proves that the process of business optimism will be increased now. Where most organizations receive downfall in the business and face uncertainty, there are still many sectors that are flourishing and demand consumer return.

In the meantime, the entrepreneurs need to be more optimistic and take some risk to open the gateway of new cashflow and manage business success. But small businesses don’t have that profit margin as large companies have to deal with the economic crisis.

Thus, in that situation, they need to adapt better business strategies and manage the problems and adapt according to the changing conditions.

The JobKeeper Changes in September

The previous week, the Australian Prime Minister announced some changes in the JobKeeper subsidy scheme and extended till March 2021. JobKeeper 2.0 will be the next phase of this scheme and start in September end with a reduced rate of wages.

The full-time workers will get $1200 fortnight instead of $1500, and those who work part-time will receive a $ 750-fortnight payment. Wherein JobKeeper 3.0 that will start from January 4, 2021, will further get reduced wages rate. The full-time worker will receive $1000, and part-timers will receive $650.

Reassessments Would Be Done in October and January

The reassessment will be done for the organizations from September 28, 2020, who are seeking to avail of the benefit of the JobKeeper scheme. To benefit from this extension, the companies and business organizations need to show their eligibility and turnover that they receive during June and September 2020.

If they can demonstrate that they met with a business crisis and face a decline in the turnover, then they are eligible to get the benefit of the JobKeeper scheme.

Technological Tools Advancements to Work from Home

In this COVID-19 pandemic situation, technological tools play a significant role in the business landscape. These tools bring flexibility to work in home zones. The companies have been transiting their employees to work from their remote sites. The future offices are likely to shift in the homes.

The essential digital tools play a crucial role in keeping the workflow and overcoming business challenges. These tools help in boosting the productivity and working efficiency of the employees.

Following are the tools recommended for business purposes:

Video Conferencing Apps

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • GoToMeeting
  • Google Hangouts

Chat Apps

  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • Signals

Other Productivity Apps

  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Basecamp Business
  • Dropbox business
  • com

COVID-19 Scams Alert

Scammers are active in this COVID-19 pandemic situation. People are giving money to these scammers blindly for the sake of COVID-19 charities and other needs. Where the fraud is new, some also scam people by saying to invest in new businesses to have a handsome profit.

But people need to be on alert mode and defend themselves from these kinds of activities. Make sure not to share your personal business-related information and other details that may threaten your bank account and give you a jerk of debts.

Boost the Digital Capabilities

In Australia, small businesses can access business support to accelerate their digital capabilities. The Australian Small Business Advisory Services Digital Solutions provide small businesses better and advance digital solutions to deal with their business crisis. The sole traders with 20 employees can also use these digital solutions to grow their business.

 

Managing tax time in 2020 Critical tips for CPAs

Tax agents have begun scheduling their meetings with the client and discussing income generated from stimulus measures. During Covid-19, the economic stimulus support given to the businesses has proved to be a great support to numerous companies. Many clients have rearranged their business affairs to avail of the benefits of Covid-19 stimulus measures. We bring some critical tips for CPAs in case you come across such a client.

With the execution of economic stimulus measures by the Government of Australia, the ATO has tightened its seat belt to review claims and check the eligibility criteria to ensure the integrity of the superannuation system and tax. As expected, many businesses are reported for their flawed payment to Jobkeepers, and many have been warned for filing early superannuation without being eligible.

With the tax time on the edge, tax agents are on the job of computing income from stimulus measures under income tax return 2020. In many cases, tax agents may detect intentional fraud, concealment of information, or any action hampering the rule’s uprightness.

In some instances, tax agents may come across information that suggests potential fraud or behaviors of concern or the client may disclose actions that contradict the integrity of rules. For instance-

  • Creating unnatural restructure or fraudulent arrangement in the business to fulfill eligibility standards
  • Making false enhancement in wages of any month to maximize amounts
  • Changes in the classification of payments
  • Reschedule supplies
  • Releasing untrue statements or deceptive effort to establish a claim

Taxpayers are found guilty of repayments, interest charges, penalties, and conviction for breach of law under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and the Criminal Code Act 1995 along with sanctions under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. Job keeper legislation has also levied many joint liabilities for members of staff and company for the repayment of Jobkeeper amounts.

Outcomes of non-compliance

In the case of non-compliance, tax agents should make sure to acquaint the clients with all certain and possible entitlements and the penalty for the fraudulent act. On suspecting fraud, it is wise to investigate the matter from distinct aspects for better opinions of the case.

Members of CPA, Australia, will run in the need to follow the APES110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountant (Code of Ethics) having regulations regarding the liabilities according to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations. It caters structure for the members to execute NOCLAR having laws regarding the financial statement of a business to its ability to continue its business or to avoid penalties.

It is highly significant for the members to remain versed with the fact that informing authority under NOCLAR is suitable only in a few cases and is applied only after unsuccessful attempts to correct the NIOCLAR charged with Governance. NOCLAR doesn’t lay any compulsion over its members to reveal any non-compliance or doubtful non-compliance when there is no responsibility to do so. Members must fulfill the applicable NOCLAR requirements and regard it as mandatory under the circumstances. It varies from case to case.

A tax agent may communicate with the clients to minimize the warnings of NOCLAR to a bearable level.

 Operation of Tax whistleblower protections

The tax whistleblower protections came into effect From 1 July 2019. It permits whistleblowers, like a tax agent, to reveal secluded disclosures to the ATO.

These disclosures are made where-

  •  There are rational reasons to believe the information implying misconduct or inappropriate affairs or situation concerning an entity or individual’s tax affairs.
  • The details may aid the entitled recipient in carrying out duties linked to those tax affairs.
  • When a whistleblower declares any form of logically supposed indecency, like making untrue statements or misrepresenting business documents to procure tax benefit via massive tax fraud, they are potentially entitled to guard.

Qualified whistleblowers enjoy protection from civil, criminal, and governmental responsibility.  Few clearly stated protections, too, are offered against contractual actions taken in answer to the revelation. The tax whistleblower laws give a tax agent a choice to disclose or not subject to their liability as per Code of Ethics. As the revelation in front of legal practitioners for lawful advice is protected, a tax agent may consider a legal professional’s disclosure as communication with the legal expert to find a suitable plan of action.

How to handle tax stress in the COVID-19 time?

2020 was the year that every business of the world had planned for expansion, profitability, and stability. However, it gifted anxiety, fear, and challenges to individuals as well as to business houses. With Covid-19 overshadowing lives, jobs, businesses, etc., it would probably be marked as the worst year for centuries. At the individual level, safeguarding our health from the deadly virus became our priority. Simultaneously, people in businesses ran in the need to stabilize their mental health with the taxation period on the verge.

Preventive measures turned out to be the only solution for every individual, and likewise, CPAs came for the rescue of businesses. Covid-19 pandemic has increased uncertainty, and the task to maintain stability and accomplish official formalities is beyond the word called difficult. CPAs are the only clouds that could drizzle a bit and provide the pacifying cooling effect in the hot storm of dust and heat in the form of Covid-19.

Those owning an accounting practice are versed with the degree of stress involved in it. With pandemic hampering everything around, the anxiety has got deepened with financial and psychological aches. Overcoming or battling with such high intensity of stress may not be easy, but it isn’t impossible to cope with ideal tools and approaches. Ironically, clients look for their accountant as a tool for stability, control, and support.

It is noticed that many accounting businesses have undergone a handsome revenue drop up to 40 % or above. Many CPAs are devoting this phase on mere establishing relationships by providing services either at nominal prices or free of cost. It is quite evident that stress is showing an upward trend on the graph with income scaling downwards.

Dr. Grant Blashki, a renowned clinical adviser, states that people in business are strictly required to need to maintain their health, happiness, and mental wellbeing. A widespread prescription stores its solution like regular exercise, proper and fruitful intake of diet, adequate sleep, sticking to a healthy routine and socializing with friends and family. It is also essential to stay attuned with the virtual tools and use them in the best and advantageous way, establishing and allocating the time for WFH and family life. It is advised not to allow problems to elevate beyond your control.

Overruling the wheel of stress

Disrupted sleep and constant worry about lethargy and low energy are some of the alarming symptoms of stress. However, staying disconnected from colleagues, friends, and family leads to negativity and drops the performance. It is time to go for professional help if any individual quickly identifies these.

For those on a WFH or work from home mission, it is crucial to structure a routine, have the zeal to stick to it, and be in touch with colleagues. Avoid working late or staying awake late or sleeping when the sun shines in the sky. One should emphasize on refreshing and refocusing

Meditation is undoubtedly fruitful, and doing things that exhilarate you should be focussed. The main motive should be breaking the cycle of stress. Take out time from your schedule when only you and positivity rendezvous with negativity far off.  You may even try to form a gratitude list to distract yourself from problems and have a sheer focus on positive things in your life.

Few tips to drop down stress and pressure

Dr. Blashki states that his organization, Beyond Blue, has crafted a website referred to as Heads Up, which contains videos, articles, blogs, and interviews, especially targeting folks in businesses. In short, all the above content has the message and guidance of modes to stabilize business advisors’ mental health. It also offers tips on how they can aid others to come out of blues. It creates an opportunity in a way to strengthen the relationship with clients. With uncertainty all around in business, clients look for all-round support and advice from advisors. Extending support beyond fiscal issues would be valued more during this phase.

Another way out is to conduct workshops for clients to build mental peace and tips for managing the business in the rough patch. Helping others is highly effective in reducing problems and stress. You may find your problem almost negligible in front of others, and the peace obtained from helping others is incomparable. It imparts a great sense of achievement.

We all are dependent on each other, and a small effort in helping others in business or at a personal level can be a massive contribution to the community.

Some tips for tackling

  • Take time off from your business problems and drain your stress during it.
  • Be close and connected with family and friends.
  • Strike balance between work and home realms.
  • Reach out to the accessible resources for your mental stability.
  • Be aware of warning signs, such as fatigue and social withdrawal.

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