FAQs for Individuals and Businesses

How long should I keep my tax records?

According to the Australian Taxation Office website, receipts and records for individuals should be retained for a minimum of five (5) years. Businesses need to retain records for a minimum of five years as well, however these records must include receipts, GST documents, tax invoices and wages as well as all records pertaining to tax returns.

What are the differences between a CPA, an accountant, and a bookkeeper?

A great article dealing with this question can be found on the “Business News Daily” website. In summary, a bookkeeper merely records a company’s day-to-day transactions, whereas an accountant verifies the transactions and delves further into the company’s financial situation. A CPA designation is a higher certification level, recognised globally. Whilst all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs.

Useful Websites

ATO Small Business Website

The ATO website has a wealth of information regarding setting up a business, business and individual tax return advice, and tax rule changes. A great starting point.

Creative + Business Website

Creative + Business is designed for the creative – photography, art, media, music – all to help you build a business around your passion. From resources to workshops, this website has a wealth of information and networking possibilities for the creatively minded.

Arts Law Centre of Australia

Copyrights, trademarks, patents, legal documents and signatories – all of these will need to be done now and again when you start a business. They can steer you in the right direction, especially for the creative industry.

Entrepreneur Magazine

Whether it’s tips and advice about marketing or team leadership, this is a perfect website for the startup business. When you’re doing it all, you need all the help you can get and this is a great free site for it.

Smart Company Magazine

Geared towards the Australian small and medium sized businesses, this site has stacks of information regarding marketing, taxation, business news, and technology. Another great resource for your retinue.

The Pen Accounting Templates

Individual Return Questionnaire

Checklist for Employment-Related Tax Reductions

This list is a general guideline for the most typical areas of deductions and their basic deductibility or non-deductibility, with reasoning or areas of exceptions.

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