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Welcome to Twomey Talk where you can take advantage of the specialist knowledge of our team & learn their thoughts on various issues that may
impact YOU!

TRANSPORT OF DONATED FODDER

100% of the cost of transporting donated fodder is available to transport providers acting in conjunction with community groups taking donated fodder to drought affected properties within NSW - up to a maximum of $5 per kilometre and a maximum eligible distance of 1500km. Pre-approval is required.

www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/rebate-on-road-transport

DROUGHT TRANSPORT SUBSIDY

Transport subsidy of 50% of the cost of transporting fodder, water, stock to and from agistment and stock to sale or slaughter. Subsidy of up to $20,000 per business per year equating to up to $30,000 for the 18 month period from

1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019. The subsidy is back-dated for freight expenses incurred since 1 January 2018.

www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/emergency-drought-relief

DROUGHT ASSISTANCE FUND

A one-off $50,000 interest free loan to transport stock, fodder and water; genetic banking of breeding herds and fodder and water infrastructure. Seven year interest free repayment terms. No repayment required in first two years.

www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/drought-assistance-fund

FARM INVESTMENT LOAN/DROUGHT LOAN

A loan of up to $2 million at a 3.58% variable interest rate to prepare farm businesses for drought, refinance existing debt, prepare for, manage and recover from drought and access new debt for operating expenses and capital.

At least 50% of total debt must stay with existing lenders. The loan term is a maximum of 10 years, with the first 5 years interest only.

http://www.ric.gov.au/farmers

FARM INNOVATION FUND

A low interest loan scheme for capital works (eg sheds, silos, water storage) to a value of $250,000 per project (maximum $500,000 per enterprise) for infrastructure works to prepare for dry conditions, to be more resilient and improve on-farm efficiency. Interest rate is fixed at 2.5% and loan is for a maximum 20 year period.

All existing Farm Innovation Fund customers, and all applicants who submitted an application on or before 30 July 2018, will have applicable interest charges for the 2017/18 financial year and 2018/19 financial year refunded and waived.

www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/farm-innovation-fund

Changes to Youth Allowance for students from rural and remote areas came into effect on 1 January 2018.

Previously students had to work for 18 months before they could be considered independent. Students from a rural and remote area now only have to work for 14 months since leaving school and earn 75% of wage level A (75% is $24,836) to be classified as independent. Parental income must be less than $150,000.

NB: Students not from rural or remote areas or students whose parental income exceeds $150,000 still need to work full-time (average 30 hours per week) for at least 18 months within a 2 year period to be considered independent.

AUDIT SHIELD

The recent Federal budget allocated an additional $130.8 million in funding for ATO to increase compliance activities targeting individual taxpayers and their tax agents.

Twomeys is pleased to be able to offer our clients Audit Shield insurance which covers professional fees (up to prescribed limits) in the event that you receive one of the following audits: income tax, record keeping, capital gains, fringe benefits, workers compensation, payroll tax, GST/BAS, SMSF and employer obligations.

If you would like to participate in the Audit Shield service, please contact your local Twomeys office.

The Australian Business Register (ABR) is phasing out Trading Names and from November 2018, the ABR will only list Business Names that are registered with ASIC.

If you conduct business under a name other than your own, you need to register a Business Name. You don't need to register a business name if you trade under your own name (eg John Smith), but you'll need to have a business name if it's anything else (eg John Smith Plumbing).

You cannot apply for a business name that is identical to one already on the register. Before you apply, you can check the Business Name availability on the ASIC website. The fees for registering a business name are $35 for one year and $82 for three years.

Further information is available at https://asic.gov.au/forbusiness/registering-a-business-name/

From mid-2018, the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will require that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain does all that is reasonably practicable to eliminate or minimise potential harm or risk.

If you consign, pack, load or receive goods as part of your business, you could be held legally liable for breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) even though you have no direct role in driving or operating a heavy vehicle. This includes farmers who contract a heavy vehicle operator to collect or receive produce or livestock to their farms.

CoR could apply when:

• heavy vehicle driver breaches fatigue management requirements or speed limits

• heavy vehicle driver breaches mass, dimension, or loading requirements

• where any instructions, actions or demands to parties in the supply chain causes or contributes to an offence under the HVNL. That includes anything done, or not done (directly or indirectly) that has an impact on compliance, for example:

> schedulers whose business practices place unrealistic timeframes on drivers which cause them to exceed their work rest options

> loading managers whose business practices, including loading/unloading times, cause the driver to exceed the speed limit.

Parties in the chain must also make sure the terms of consignment or work/employment contracts will not result in, encourage, reward or provide an incentive for the driver or other party in the supply chain (e.g. a scheduler) to break the HVNL.

Further information is available at www.nhvr.gov.au/safetyaccreditation-compliance/chain-of-responsibility/about

The HECS-HELP repayment thresholds have been reduced substantially from 1 July 2018, with people now required to start repaying their HECS-HELP debts once their repayment income reaches $45,000 (previously this limit was $55,874).

The new repayment income thresholds range from 1% for people with repayment incomes between $45,000 - $51,956, up to 10% for people with incomes over $131,989.