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July Mid-Month WD Bulletin
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There are a few changes this year that have implications for the preparation of your personal income tax return.
These changes include income from JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments, termination or redundancy payments and deductions for work related expenses such as home office expenses, car expenses, uniform/protective clothing claims, changes to phone and WiFi usage, depreciation deductions and claims for super contributions using the catchup-up opportunity et cetera.
Whilst some of these issues, such as making superannuation contributions and claiming home office expenses, have been covered in earlier editions of my column, you may find preparing your own tax return this year more challenging than in prior years.
Furthermore, the ATO has warned of increased audit activity particularly in the areas of claims for concessional super contributions and work related expenses, given the significant impact of COVID-19 on employment and working from home.
It may therefore be an appropriate time to consider using the services of a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your 2020 income tax return and relieve you of the challenge of coping with these changes.
A further benefit of using a tax agent is that you may delay lodgement of your return as late as May 15, 2021.
If you expect to have a tax liability and are struggling financially, payment can be delayed until your assessment issues, or even later if your tax agent negotiates a payment plan for you.
You should of course engage a tax agent’s services prior to October 31, 2020 to take advantage of the agent’s later lodgement date.
Accessing your Income Statement or Payment Summary
If your employer is reporting payroll information each payday using Single Touch Payroll (STP), they are no longer required to give you a payment summary.
You will instead receive an Income Statement which you can access through the ATO online services via myGov, once it has been marked as “Tax ready”.
Most employers with 19 or more employees have until July 14, 2020 to finalise their payroll data whilst those with less than 19 employees have until July 31.
The tax office will send a notification to your myGov inbox when all of your income statements are “Tax ready”.
If you have earned interest on bank accounts or investments or have shares that are paying dividends or received distributions from trusts you should delay lodging your tax return until all information needed to complete your tax return available through the ATO Online services has been accessed.
Likewise, if you are using the services of a tax agent, they also will not be able to complete your tax return until all pre-filling information is available from their software or online services for agents.
Although you may be eager to lodge your tax return or have it completed and lodged by your tax agent, it may cause you further inconvenience and cost if subsequently additional information becomes available necessitating the preparation and lodgement of an amended return.
COVID-19 income support reporting
If you are self-employed and operating as a sole trader, eligible JobKeeper payments you have received will be included in your Business Income at Item P8 of your individual tax return.
If you were in receipt of JobSeeker payments this is assessable income and will be included in the information available from the ATO Online services through myGov and must be included in your tax return at Item 5 — Australian Government Allowances and Payments.
If you are a sole trader with employees and were fortunate enough to be eligible for the cash flow boost, these payments are classified as non-assessable non-exempt income and are not included in your tax return.
Yes, that is true!
If you missed out on buying depreciable assets over $30,000 and less than $150,000 by June 30, 2020, the good news is that the Government has extended this generous allowance until December 31, 2020.
The ATO has increased its focus on the tax gap of $8.4 billion between what individuals not in business are paying compared with what they should be paying if they fully complied with the tax laws.
Yes, that is correct!
As a result, the ATO has implemented several key initiatives to reduce the estimated tax gap for this taxpayer group, many of whom prepare and lodge their own tax returns.
These include amongst others:
The content of this article is not intended to be used as professional advice and should not be used as such.
Brian Spurrell FCPA, CTA, Registered Tax Agent, is Director of Personalised Taxation & Accounting Services Pty Ltd. PO Box 143 Warrandyte 3113. Mobile: 0412 011 946
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ptasaccountants.com.au
SOPHIE DAY’S cricketing journey has taken her from Warrandyte cricketer, talented Premier League all-rounder and now to a place among the game’s elite as a squad member of the Victorian Women’s Cricket team.
Day’s transition to state cricketer was confirmed on June 24 when Victoria released their 2020/2021 squad, and the former Warrandyte star will take her place at the state’s top level, after several good seasons for the Plenty Valley Cricket Club in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition.
Day will be linking up with multiple Australian superstars such as skipper Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry in a talented Vic squad.
In recent Premier Cricket seasons, Day has cemented herself as a key batsman for the Plenty Valley Bats with 1,070 runs in four seasons but her talents as a spin bowler yielded 42 wickets at an average of 24, confirming her status as reliable all-rounder.
Before her time in Premier Cricket, Day, the daughter of Warrandyte Cricket Club legend Cameron Day, took the field for the club on numerous occasions, from Under 16s through to the clubs 3rd XI.
Day is one of five new signings for the Victorian squad and with no word yet from Cricket Victoria on whether the start of the WNCL will be affected by Coronavirus, she is expected to begin training shortly in preparation.
Day on her way to a match winning 40, Dec 2018 Plenty Valley vs Box Hill
Photo: ARJ GIESE
Crashes question road safety
By SANDI MILLER
LOCAL TRUCK driver, Stephen Goldsworthy says “enough is enough” after being forced to swerve his delivery truck into a ditch to avoid head on collision on Brysons Road in late June.
“My truck is a write off,” he said.
He told the Diary he was driving along Brysons Road, when he saw another truck come towards him in the middle of the road
“It was speeding towards me as I came around the bend I had nowhere to go — I hit the wall and wrote off the truck.”
He said the other driver stopped briefly before driving off.
“If I had not driven my van into the [ditch], the van coming the other way would have hit me head on, it was on the wrong side of the road, and I suspect speeding.
“He would have known what had happened, and then he drove off.”
While he managed to walk away from the accident, he said he is disgusted with the state of Brysons Road.
“Brysons Road is a mess, a total mess,” he said.
He said with no footpath on Brysons Road, people have to walk on the road, there is nowhere for kids to ride their bikes on the way to school.
He also says the drains are more than half a metre deep in places,
“They have not been managed at all, the road often floods, because the drains are full of debris,” he said.
He also says that with trees only 30–40cm away from the road, the speed limits are inappropriate.
“I would be lucky to be doing 40 safely [given the condition of the road],” he said.
However, he is appalled that the road carries a Federal Black Spot sign only 150 metres from where the crash occurred, despite not having any substantial work done on it for the 12 years he has lived on that road, particularly as the road is currently carrying additional traffic as the Jumping Creek Road traffic is being detoured along that road.
He said that funding is given to projects in more populated areas but is not going where is it needed.
“Someone will die on that road before Christmas,” he said.
Stephen is calling for a public meeting to discuss what should be done, saying that “Council, State and Federal Government, along with VicRoads are not taking the safety of our local residents seriously”.
“Federal Government, VicRoads, Council, we don’t care who is responsible, we just want it fixed.
Taking care, taking responsibility
Meanwhile a woman who was seriously injured in a crash in January at Warrandyte Bridge is calling for changes on Research Road.
Ana Quine was trapped in her vehicle for several hours, broke several bones and received lacerations, when a truck collided with her car when its brakes failed coming down Research Road toward the bridge.
“I would like to see signs telling trucks to check their brakes, warning about the steep incline,” she said.
Her mother, Benita Quine says there has got to be more accountability and more policing, to get the message through, that it is not just road deaths that leave a lasting legacy on families.
“Ana’s life was saved, and we are very grateful.
“But they don’t see the result, she has a lifetime of injury because of someone not thinking, ‘oh should I check my brakes’; the police officer said the driver knew his brakes were failing, and he could have pulled over at some point,” Benita said.
Ana said she understands that change happens gradually.
“I would like to see small changes that would add up to something better, like warning signs on the road.”
She implored people to be aware while driving “not driving for yourself but for everyone around you”.
“You can’t predict when an animal is going to run out in front of you, but you can help yourself be able to react, by doing the speed limit and leaving your phone in the back seat — none of these things contributed to my accident, but there are just so many things people could be doing every single day, simple things that won’t be as inconvenient as you think, but something that could save someone’s life.
“I think a lot of people who drive by [an accident] are hoping that the person survives, but then the person surviving has to deal with surviving afterwards.
“Coming so close to not surviving is something that makes you feel very, very mortal,” Ana said.
Warrandyte son: hero of Kokoda
“I SAT WITH him for six hours — he was quite conscious at times — we talked about Mum and Dad, our good times and bad times, what we did as kids.
“I sat with him until about 4am, when he finally left us.
“We buried him beside the track.”
As Butch Bisset lay dying in his younger brother Stan’s arms, the battle to protect Australia along the track was intense.
Grossly outnumbered, the Australians needed every ounce of courage, luck and tenacity to slow — and then stop — the relentless thrust of a determined enemy.
Stan Bisset was born in Balaclava in 1912; he and his brother Butch spent their formative years in Warrandyte, an adventurous life of hunting, rafting and sporting pursuits.
Stan was a natural athlete, who just blossomed as a youngster in the bush around Warrandyte.
He was a fine baritone singer, tennis player, boxer and rower.
But it was with the ball he excelled; Stan was asked to try out for St Kilda in the VFL, however his preferred code was Rugby Union, in which he represented Australia.
Stan’s career as an international rugby player was, unfortunately, cut short.
After his Victorian debut against the touring Springboks in 1937, alongside fellow war-hero-to-be Edward “Weary” Dunlop, Stan was selected to join the national team, and head abroad with the Wallabies.
Stan described the events to Kokoda historian, Dave Howell:
“I was selected to go to England with the Australian Rugby Union team in September, 1939.
We met the King and Queen, but we never played in England because we arrived there the day before World War Two was declared.
The tour was called off.
We played one game — against the British army in Bombay, India on the way back to Australia.
We won comfortably.”
The tour was abandoned, and the team returned to Australia, many signing up with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).
Half a century later, Special Forces soldier (Afghanistan) and Kokoda expedition guide, Andrew James, walked the track with Stan, who recounted his war experiences.
His terrific book, Kokoda Wallaby, is a lasting testimony to our heroic Warrandyte sons:
“Stan Bisset was a real hero, both in battle, on the rugby pitch and in desperate armed combat against the Japanese during the Second World War.
As a member of the ill-fated 1939 Wallaby touring team to England, he was a rugby legend.
In the Middle East and on the Kokoda Track, he was one of Australia’s most distinguished and heroic combatants.
But above all else, he personified so many attributes of the Australian soldier: moral and physical courage, compassion, selflessness, independence, loyalty, resourcefulness, devotion and humour.”
Growing up during the Great Depression, and a frolicking childhood in the bush around the Yarra, Stan enlisted as a Private in the 2/14th Battalion along with his brother Hal (Butch) in 1940.
Stan was rapidly promoted to Sergeant, and Butch to Warrant Officer.
Both were selected for Officer Training in the Middle East and graduated as Lieutenants.
Both brothers ended up defending Australia on the Kokoda Track.
Stan survived the war — but lost his brother and many friends.
Despite returning home with the honours of a Mentioned in Dispatches (MID), Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Cross (MC), he returned home a changed man.
Local resident Ken Crooks, who volunteers at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance, is a passionate advocate of the great legacy the Stan Bisset story brings to Warrandyte.
Secretary of the Warrandyte Historical society, Valarie Polley said Ken has organised a number of exhibitions highlighting the Bisset brothers.
Captain Stan Bisset MC, DCM, MID was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queens Birthday Honours, 2000.
He passed away on October 5, 2010.
FOLLOWING our coverage last month of the Lions Park development, the Diary has now received detailed explanation from Angelo Kourambas, Director City Planning and Community, Manningham Council, on our requests for clarification.
Stage One of the Lions Park upgrade in the Warrandyte River Reserve includes construction of a new car park and new pedestrian paths, along with ramps and stairs, an upgrade of the existing shelter area and construction of a new picnic shelter area with a barbecue, drinking fountain and picnic table.
This stage will also include water sensitive urban design treatment garden beds, new open picnic and grassed areas, an animal rope crossing bridge over the road and the installation of new exercise equipment.
Budget and timing
During 2019/20, Manningham Council has completed the detailed design, soil and geotechnical testing and a cultural heritage management plan for Stage One of the upgrade to Lions Park.
While Council initially hoped works would commence earlier in April 2020, this was delayed to June following an extended tender process.
As part of Council’s planning for this project and following initial works estimates, $410,000 was allocated in Council’s 2019/20 budget for the construction of Stage One with remaining funding to be allocated in 2020/21.
Following the detailed design and tender process, it was determined that the initial estimates for the construction of Stage One were under-priced according to current market values and the construction costs for this project were revalued.
Funding of $625,000 has been allocated in Council’s draft 2020/21 Annual Budget for the completion of Stage One, bringing the total funding allocated for Stage One to $1.035 million.
As we go to press, Council has finally released the minutes of the closed May meeting to decide the tender, and we can now see that JMAC Constructions Pty Ltd has now been awarded the contract for the Stage One works at a cost of $1.1M.
The minutes also reveal that the total cost of Stage One is $1.324M after including income from other sources.
The Lions Club of Warrandyte initially approached Council to offer a contribution for exercise equipment in Warrandyte.
After careful review and consideration, Lions Park was chosen as the location and was approved as part of the endorsed masterplan.
Whilst an initial quotation for fitness equipment, in the region of $15,000, was obtained by the Lions Club, Council advise that it unfortunately did not meet or comply with safety standards; therefore alternative equipment has been sourced, as there are a range of safety standards and requirements for outdoor fitness equipment installed in open space areas.
The total cost of the exercise equipment including supply, installation and rubber surfacing is $52,000, of which $45,000 will be funded by the Lions Club and the remaining amount will be funded by Council.
Concern has been expressed in the community regarding the loss of the tennis courts, in that the static fitness equipment is not really a substitute for the courts in terms of provision for active facilities for the community.
It has been suggested that some sort of social sporting facility such as perhaps a bocce or petanque pitch is needed at this part of town.
Mr. Kourambas advises that the endorsed masterplan for Lions Park also includes open space areas suitable for outdoor exercise and has been designed following community consultation.
Whilst Council has not received any requests for bocce or petanque pitches or similar, this could be considered in the future.
The masterplan for Lions Park has a total of six barbecue burners across the space that are complemented by picnic facilities.
As part of Stage One of the upgrade, the existing shelter area will include a new accessible and Disability Discrimination Act compliant two burner barbecue and picnic facilities.
We are told that as well as retaining the existing shelter it is intended to repurpose parts of the existing four burner barbecue currently in this space.
We believe the intention is to reuse the surround bricks, which are engraved with the names of donors to the original bicentennial project, in the immediate area.
Stage Two budget and timing
Stage Two of the Lions Park upgrade will include the playspace as well as an additional shelter, barbecue and picnic facilities.
Funded separately in 2021/22, Council has provisionally allocated $700,000 in its four-year capital works program for Stage Two of the Lions Park upgrade.
This allocation will be reviewed and reassessed once the final detailed design is developed.
THE AUSTRALIAN Coronavirus battleground is squarely located in Melbourne.
June 22 was meant to bring everyone closer to a state where we can go down to the local for a pot and a parma, but a steady increase in the number of new cases in Victoria — and specifically in Melbourne — saw new cases hit triple figures on the first weekend in July with 108 new cases reported on Saturday.
The State Government has now enforced Stage 3 restrictions (the same as we all lived under through April/May) in 10 metro-Melbourne postcodes in the north and west of Melbourne and has instigated full lockdowns in nine public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne.
At Saturday’s press conference, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews likened the spread, and the authorities’ response to COVID-19, to bushfire.
“The close confines and the shared community spaces within these large apartment blocks means this virus can spread like wildfire.
“And just like fire, we need to put a perimeter around it to stop it from spreading.”
As we go to press, the reality of these new lockdowns for affected Melbournians is only just coming to light.
Manningham and Nillumbik are a long way away from the threat of similar lockdowns being imposed, however, there are a very small number of active cases in Manningham and surrounding municipalities so the situation in the north and the west is a glimpse into what could be if we become complacent.
The uptick in cases and the Government’s response also falls during the school break and will mean, for many, yet another school holiday period spent at home.
The national response to Victoria’s COVID-19 resurgence has been to close the borders.
In an early morning conference call on July 6, the Victorian and NSW Premiers and the Prime Minister agreed that the border between NSW and Victoria is to be closed for the first time in 100 years, which now means that as of midnight July 7 there is no travel in either direction across the Murray.
South Australia’s border has remained closed since March, which has seen tension in cross-border communities.
Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory are also closed to Victorians, unless granted an exception or spending 14 days in quarantine.
Queensland has stated that Victorians from COVID-19 hotspots are unable to travel to that state, but as of July 3, Queensland considers all 79 Local Government Areas within Victoria as hotspots.
For communities outside the hotspots, the restrictions reintroduced on June 22 are in place until at least July 12 and restrict the number of people you can have in your home and the size of social groups in public places.
Under the current restrictions, in a home, excepting the people who usually reside there, a household is allowed up to five additional guests.
This includes both indoor and outdoor spaces on the property and whilst guests can stay the night, the limit of five people needs to be adhered to.
In public spaces, groups are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
Businesses such as cafes and restaurants remain open but are currently limited to a maximum of 20 people, in compliance with the four-square-metre (4m2) rule, and gyms and yoga studios have also reopened, although classes are limited to a maximum of 10 participants, plus the instructor and any other required support staff.
General multi-use areas, such as the gym floor are limited to 20 people, in compliance with the 1.5 metre and the 4m2 rules.
There is good news for junior sport, the 2020 Junior grassroots footy season is scheduled to begin on July 12.
For community sport and recreation that takes place outside of a sporting facility (such as bush walking and mountain biking on local trails), groups are limited to 10 people who do not normally reside together and it is prohibited for a group to organise to have two (or more) parties of 10 to meet for a common purpose.
Basketball may also make a late return this year, Warrandyte Basketball Association (WBA) spoke to the Diary about the measures the club is taking to make a return to play possible.
“Warrandyte Basketball is excited about the return of basketball.
“We are working with Basketball Victoria, YMCA and local government to ensure the health and safety of our basketball community is prioritised whilst getting players back on the court.
“To help us implement return to basketball health and safety protocols we are actively recruiting Biosafety Officers.
“We are waiting for confirmed dates for the return of competition from EDJBA and Basketball Victoria.”
Since mid-May, The Grand Warrandyte has been closed, preparing for a return to business and finishing work on its new beer garden.
The Diary spoke with Manager Peter Appleby about the mechanics of the proposed re-opening on July 16.
“We will open the public bar first, utilising the old and new area and the outdoor area once completed.
“Table service is defined as consuming a drink and meal at a table with no vertical drinking — guests can order at the bar but must return to their table.
“However, there is no requirement to order food anymore.
“Guests are most welcome to treat the public bar as a public bar, and come in for a cold beer without a meal,” he said.
Unlike other venues across Australia which introduced mandatory booking post-COVID, Peter says booking is not required to enjoy The Grand, once it reopens.
“With opening the public bar in Stage One, this will be on a first in best dressed basis as a continuation of what we have done in the past,” he said.
The new outdoor beer garden is nearing completion and with concrete pouring taking place in early July, Peter and the team are looking forward to welcoming patrons back into The Grand.
“We look forward to seeing our loyal customers returning and meeting new customers too.
“We have the safety of our staff and customers as our priority and we ask for patience from our customers as we adhere to the new rules and patron limits.
“With the inclusion of our new outdoor space, we welcome everybody to come in and check it out and tell their friends and family.
“We have had an overwhelming amount of support over the past three months with emails and messages and we look forward to reconnecting with everybody once we are permitted to open our doors,” he said.
Bramleigh Estate owner, Mary-Anne Lowe has also been awaiting some much-needed good news from the government.
At the moment weddings are still limited to 20 guests, plus the couple, plus the celebrant, which is having a huge financial impact on the wedding industry.
Ms Lowe recently contacted Member for Croydon David Hodgett about the distress the Wedding industry is facing about a lack of a road-map for the wedding industry to reach a state of COVID-Normal.
The local arts community is also taking the first tentative steps to a return to normal.
After closing in March, The Stonehouse Gallery on Yarra Street reopened its doors to the public on July 1.
Beatrix Mol, a member of the artist collective who run the space, spoke to the Diary about their decision to reopen.
“The 18 Stonehouse member artists have been busy behind the scenes in their studios creating exciting new artworks ready for the reopening.
“We have a large community of artists and makers who also have their work in the gallery and they have been bringing in their new work the past few weeks.
“It was decided six weeks ago that we would reopen on July 1 and the gallery will be showcasing the fabulous new work of our makers that has been created during the COVID-19 closure.
“We are so grateful to have had wonderful support on our social media and from our local community.
“Our following has increased even though the gallery has been closed this past three months.
“We are very thankful to our wonderful landlords who have been incredibly supportive and made this transition much easier,” she said.
The gallery has hand sanitisation stations, directional arrows (similar to Quinton’s IGA) and are stating a preference for contactless payment.
The gallery is open Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–4pm.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and it is imperative that we work together, as a community, to make sure we all get through 2020 with our health and our local businesses intact.
The Premier has made it explicitly clear when he told the media half the numbers are being transmitted during family get-togethers where attendees are not following the advice around distancing and hygiene.
“You can see how this could happen — people feeling relaxed at home, letting their guard down, letting old habits creep back.
“But we are still in a pandemic — and people’s lives are still at risk,” said Mr Andrews.
The latest developments demonstrate how contagious this virus is and the consequences of complacency.
The roadmap to COVID-Normal means finding a path to something resembling life before COVID-19 but we may never be COVID-Free which means the intimacy and proximity we used to practice openly may, very well, be a thing of the past.