A complete Depreciation Checklist for Commercial Property Owners

With the end of financial year upon us, commercial property owners are encouraged to arrange a tax depreciation schedule and claim what could be thousands of dollars in depreciation deductions.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) legislation allows the owner of any income producing property to claim depreciation in two ways, as capital works deductions or depreciation for plant and equipment assets.

Capital works deductions

Capital works deductions apply to the structural elements of a building such as:

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These deductions are based on the historical costs of the building and with the exception of traveller accommodation can only be claimed on commercial buildings in which construction commenced after the 20th of July 1982. Capital works deductions for traveller accommodation can be claimed on buildings in which construction commenced after the 21st of August 1979.

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How Your Entrepneurial Journey Can Empower Your Children From an Early Stage

Setting on this start-up journey after the birth of second child meant dealing with constant worries about my parenting commitment, business challenges like any other parent. There are many articles written about how parenthood can help you with entreprenuership or make you an efficient employee, but there wasn’t much satisfactory information about reverse effect on our kids.

Guess, I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Recently I met with few mothers who run their own business and got the opportunity to discuss the impact of their business journey on their family / children. So this article is a summary of these conversations and my personal experience with my little ones.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 6 – Anti-Spam Compliance

Anti-spam rules apply to telephone messaging as well as emails. Anti-spam is not just about bulk messaging. It only takes one text message or one email to be found liable for breaches of anti-spam legislation.

If you have a new business and you don’t use one of the common auto-responder or CRM services like Aweber or SalesForce then you might not be complying with anti-spam laws. If you are non-compliant and there are enough complaints made against you, your text or email system can be blocked or cancelled and your whole method of communication disrupted.  Do you want to be blacklisted and lose the trust of your newest customers before you even get a chance to show them what you’ve got?

Being anti-spam compliant is so EASY I am constantly surprised at the businesses that don’t get it right.

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Claim depreciation for older commercial investment properties

One of the main reasons commercial investors continually fail to take advantage of the depreciation deductions available from their property, is because they believe their property is too old to warrant making a claim.

According to Bradley Beer, the Managing Director of BMT Tax Depreciation, this myth needs to be dispelled.

“Often investors make the mistake of thinking they will not receive deductions for an older property due to the date restrictions the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) place on claiming the available capital works allowance. The reality is that any property, no matter how old the building is, will entitle its owner to valuable deductions in the form of depreciation. This is because the owner is also entitled to claim depreciation for the plant and equipment assets contained within the property,” said Brad.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 5 – Website Terms and Conditions

If you’ve been following this series of articles you’ll be aware that terms and conditions have been mentioned a couple of times in different contexts, and there is good reason for that. Creating an online business allows you to interact with people all over the world. You no longer have the relative security of watching someone walk through the front door of your store and being able to make a judgment about how you want to behave with them, and how you might expect them to behave.

In an online environment the space is open and accessible 24/7 and you don’t necessarily get to check out your customers before they go to buy. The beauty of being online is that you get to set your own rules, within the context of the laws you chose to apply to your website.  How does this work in practice?

If your business is here in Australia you don’t really want to get involved in a dispute somewhere the other side of the world. You particularly don’t want to get dragged into a court proceeding that is in America, where ridiculous damages claims appear to be the norm. As an aside, did you know that New South Wales is the second most litigious state in the World, behind California?

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Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

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Time is money, as they say in business circles. How you spend your time in order to be as productive as possible will determine, in part at least, how successful your business is going to be. If your business is mismanaged, on the other hand, you run the risk of failing entirely.

That’s how important time management is. After all, how can you expect to manage a bigger business when you cannot even handle the rigors of overseeing a small-sized enterprise? In any case, here are some excellent tips that you can use in managing your time with your business properly.

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Tomorrow Starts Today (And Three Other Time Saving Tips)

At one time I was running four successful businesses. At once.  I get a lot of business questions: how much should I charge (as much as you can), is SEO worth it (of course) and will this ever get easier (I hope so!)  But easily the most frequently asked question was “how do you have so much more time than I do?”

To be hyper-efficient takes time and dedication. However, below are a few of my top tips to get you started on your path to more productive work.

 1. Tomorrow Starts Today

Tomorrow’s productivity is highly dependent on how you finish today.  The last 30 minutes of your day should always be spent preparing for tomorrow and the rest of the week.  What work is outstanding? What are the three most important things for you to get done tomorrow? What can you knock off early in the morning when you first walk in?

We all know the lesson about putting the big rocks in the jar first so that the rest fit, right? Don’t forget it. Every day should start with the biggest project you need to work on or finish.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 4 – Consumer Protection Online

First rule of online business: Do Not Piss Customers Off – They Will Tell the Whole World!

Ok, so some people agree with the idea that any publicity is good publicity and if you’re in that camp, do what you will! For those of you who are concerned about the viability of your business and would rather see no comments on social media rather than negative comments, listen up.

Consumer law (trade practices/ fair trading) was consolidated and made consistent around Australia in 2012 and is now overseen by the ACCC rather than your local consumer affairs or fair trading office. Those offices still exist and continue to manage a raft of local legislation as well as investigating consumer complaints. This consolidation saw an increase in what was covered by consumer laws.

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Emergency Tips for Mumpreneurs

It would be hard to find anyone better at multitasking than someone who is both a businesswoman and mother. As many of us appreciate, working from home can be stressful at the best of times and adding children to that equation can make things very hectic! The last thing you need when you’re in this situation is getting caught short in an emergency and that’s why knowledge of first aid can be a great tool for any mother working from home. A little bit of know-how and preparation can save you a lot of time and worry in the long run.

First up, it’s important to be up to speed with relevant contact numbers to call in an emergency. If you’re at home and hurt yourself, but the injury isn’t serious enough to classify as an ambulance emergency, it’s a good idea to contact Healthdirect. This number will get you in touch with nurses who are on call 24/7 and can assist with any concerns or inquiries. Healthdirect can be reached on 1800 022 222.

It’s also very smart to teach your children emergency contact information. Often in a first aid emergency, children can be a mother’s best chance of getting help. So, make sure your children know how to recite their home address, phone number and dial 000 – even a toddler can use the phone! It’s a great idea to leave this information within easy reach near the phone, on the fridge or even on the back of the toilet door. By preparing your kids with this information, you can save valuable time in an emergency.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 3 – Online comments

For some reason a lot of people say things on social media and blog posts that they would never say in a letter to the editor in the traditional newspaper format. It’s an interesting phenomenon and one that will no doubt fuel all sorts of legal disputes for years to come.  With the fast pace of online interactions you might forget that your comments remain accessible online indefinitely for those who want to look, and if legal proceedings are involved, someone will be looking!

Did you hear the one about the woman in Western Australia who posted some unflattering comments about her ex-husband on Facebook? The comments were posted in December 2012 and taken down in January 2013. In the meantime a bunch of mutual acquaintances, including the man’s brother, saw the post. Court proceedings were filed and it wasn’t heard by a judge until 2015. Don’t assume that because you’ve forgotten about it, everyone else has too! The Judge decided in favour of the ex-husband and the woman was ordered to pay $12,500 in compensation as well as legal costs.

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