Archive for 2014

Doctors aren’t Supermen: Why Income Protection for Doctors Matters

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Fortunately, certain financial companies offer income protection for doctors as a safety net for when unfortunate circumstances happen. In essence, income protection is a type of insurance which pays out a benefit while you are unable to work. Different policies exist, but many will reimburse up to 75% of your pre-illness income till the age of 65, allowing you and your family to live comfortably as you recover from your ailment. Of course, you need to carefully choose which company to work with. Thankfully, trusted companies like MEDIQ Financial Services provide a comprehensive array of financial services, like income protection policies, loans or financing, and even lawful tax deductions for doctors. With their help, you can perform your duties as a medical professional without fear of the future.

Sound Medical Accounting Can Help Keep a Doctor’s Practice Afloat

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Given the nature of the work, however, minding these things is not always easy. After all, your primary concern is to provide top-notch care to your patients— not to crunch numbers. Without sound accounting, though, your beloved practice may soon go under. That’s why many doctors rely on medical accounting firms like MEDIQ Financial Services to help them keep tabs on their practice’s cash flow. These companies provide an array of accounting services, from tax return preparation, tax minimisation strategies, service trusts, and the like. With their help, doctors can know exactly how much they are earning and spending, allowing them to make better business decisions with regards to their practice. Indeed, being a private practitioner involves a fine balance between delivering excellent patient care and sustaining a successful business. Hence, sound financial planning for doctors— which includes accurate business accounting— is a must for a practice to thrive.

Tax Fraud and Crimes that Medical Accountants Could Help you Avoid

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As a medical doctor in Melbourne, it’s normal to find yourself stressed with trying to balance the performance of your profession and the management of your business─ especially since your practice is both. In this crisis, you should look into hiring reputable medical accountants from Melbourne firms like MEDIQ Financial; otherwise you might find yourself making mistakes that will warrant you a tax audit. In any case, you should be sure not to commit any of the following mistakes: Writing off personal expenses as business To avoid getting tangled into this mess, it’s best to list which is which before you file your returns. Your travel expenses, for instance, could be either depending on the nature of how you incurred them. So to keep yourself and the ATO from getting confused (and the latter from knocking on your doorstep to find out for sure), identify and classify each expenditure.

Accountants for Doctors: Helping New Practitioners Spend and Save

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When it comes to professions, being a doctor has got to be one of the best– even in Victoria’s most populous city, you can easily stand out amongst those being well-paid for what they do. However, being high up on the career ladder also means that you are prone to spending more than you should. For the sake of your financial wealth, here are a few helpful money tips that you might want to keep in mind: Hire an Accountant Although buying services might, on the outset, be counterintuitive to saving money, consulting firms that offer accountants for doctors from Melbourne like MEDIQ Financial can actually help you spend, save, and invest your money properly in the long run. With an accountant in check, you can efficiently manage things like your business activity statements, tax returns, and more.

Reliable Income Protection for Doctors and Other Simple Financial Tips

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"You may not realize it immediately, but your practice doubles as your own small business. Sadly, your years in medical school probably haven’t trained you how to navigate the nuances of running one. Medical accountants, like the ones from MEDIQ Financial, can help keep your financial records neat, allowing you to clearly see how well your practice is doing. These professionals can also help you find special tax deductions for doctors, increasing the amount of money you bring home."

Proper Financial Planning for Doctors Help Bridge the Gap in Wages

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"A smart financial planner can also help you achieve accurate medical accounting. This is an undoubtedly nifty service to have when tax day draws near. These professionals can also help you identify substantial tax deductions, allowing you to keep even more of your hard-earned money. In terms of finances, being smart with your money is far more important than the amount that you earn. You undoubtedly have big financial goals, and a financial planner can help you achieve them. After all the hard work you’ve put into becoming a doctor, you definitely deserve that much."

Medical Accountants in Melbourne Help Prep Doctors for Retirement

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"This is why it is better for doctors to contact reliable medical accountants to do their paperwork for them. Accountants like those associated with MEDIQ Financial Services can help doctors save time and money. They can also help the medical professional expand his reach and save up for his retirement years. As the Australian government is bound to tighten up everyone’s financial belts, it is important for doctors to start preparing for their golden years. Calling a medical accountant service is the first step to a stable life after hanging the doctor’s coat."

Making Sense of your Taxes via Accountants for Doctors in Melbourne

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"Going the superannuation fund route may result in a lighter tax liability. Bryan states that pre-tax income contributions to the super only reap a 15% rate, but a 30% tax awaits doctors reaping at least $300,000. The super itself may be convertible into a pension fund provided that the doctor retires in their 60s; any properties bought under the super up to retirement will also be tax-free. When you are getting ready for yearly duels with the Taxation Office about your numbers but have your hands full with cases, it can break you before long. Reputable accountants for doctors such as MEDIQ will take that burden off your hands."

Healing the Healers: Finding the Right Income Protection for Doctors

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"When doctors get sick or injured from such work related incidents as needle stick injuries, bone dust inhalation, or even work-acquired HIV, their capacity to earn can greatly diminish. In some cases, this can render years of studies and training practically without value. Unfortunately, the nature of a doctor’s work and income is such that a regular life insurance policy may not be sufficient to cover the specific nature of their incapacitation or loss of income. What is needed is a comprehensive income protection for doctors that will give these professionals and their families adequate financial protection. Finding the right insurance policy for doctors is not an easy job, and these physicians could easily fall into the trap of settling for a standard life insurance policy. Medical finance specialists, like those at MEDIQ Financial Services, can help find excellent income protection insurance for doctors. These financial professionals have trained and laboured to identify the sp

Medical Accounting: Providing Adept Financial Management for Doctors

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"New York Times blog columnist and editor Ron Lieber even says that among all professionals, doctors are some of the most vulnerable to the effects of financial blunders. While they may commit the same mistakes as the rest of the population, the amount of money they make can magnify the effects of these mistakes a few times over. Several factors can lead to the mismanagement of a doctor’s finances, and Lieber cites three of these. First, doctors tend to be impatient with regard to investments, given that they often start late on a flourishing career. Second, Lieber cites doctors’ trusting nature, something nurtured by the openness of the medical profession in general."

Coping with the Changes: Doctors Need Medical Accountants in Melbourne

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"Doctors have to review and compare past and present policies to ensure they apply the correct coverage when billing for the services they offer. Otherwise insurance companies may refuse to cover expenses in relation to the new rules. This then can lead to financial issues on the doctors’ part, which may take considerable time and effort to unravel. Situations like this highlight the need for the services of medical accountants in Melbourne. Not only can a qualified medical accountant, like those from MEDIQ Financial Services, perform accounting tasks fundamental to the smooth operations of a practice, he can also be expected to be informed of any changes in the legal subsidy systems. This professional’s awareness of such possible changes can help him and the doctor lay down plans or strategies geared to cope with these changes. A medical accountant may be able to create multiple options to protect the medical practice from any issues with insurers and the ATO."

Skilled Accountants for Doctors in Melbourne Help Streamline Services

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"Large public hospitals are typically highly-organised institutions, staffed by different professionals who perform specific functions. In contrast, small to average-sized private practices are run by fewer people, sometimes no more than the doctor himself, and perhaps a nurse or an assistant. It is not often that the doctor is an accounting expert himself– something which has led to accounting woes among many practices. To address this situation, the services of accountants for doctors in Melbourne are needed. Fortunately, there are companies like MEDIQ Financial that provide accounting services for medical practices. The pros in these services can perform various related jobs, such as taxation and bookkeeping. They can even design financial strategies that can streamline the transactions in a medical office. With the help of a skilled accountant for doctors, physicians can go about their roles of keeping others healthy without having to worry about the state of their books."

Some Important but Commonly-Overlooked Tax Deductions for Doctors

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"Common tax-deductible items may include medical supplies necessary for the medical practitioner’s professional practice (rubber gloves, precision surgical instruments and the like), office space (if the individual is self-employed), uniforms (if the individual works for an employer), continuing education (this can either be required by an employer or solely the personal choice of the individual), and travel expenses (miles travelled for official business). All of these items and services are subject to various state-specific tax laws under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). Financial issues, such as complex tax deductions for doctors, can be too confounding for the fiscally challenged or naïve, and the risks of having to confront the IRS for overlooked income declarations can be daunting. Doctors also miss out on sizeable tax refunds if they fail to itemize their deductibles. Fortunately, help is available and companies like MEDIQ, which specializes in financial management

Dissecting Tax Deduction Concerns with Medical Accounting Experts

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"Conversely, there are expenses that may be work-related but cannot be claimed, such as daily accommodation and meals, work-to-home travels, and debt repayment through HECS-HELP or other loan schemes. Some expenses, especially tools or assets like desks and computers may be subject to value depreciation or reduction, which can be computed by expert medical accountants for tax deductions, as well. Calculating tax deductions from your business expenses can be rather complex. Declared income, offsets against personal health insurance, superannuation, and other issues, also play into doctors’ comprehensive audits. How these factor into annual financial planning for doctors can be analyzed and simplified by consulting with chartered accountants and financial planning advisers, such as MEDIQ. With medical accounting as its specialty, MEDIQ offers doctors a range of financial services, including accounting and tax planning solutions, to help protect their clients’ business and make life le

Medical Accountants Can Help Doctors Run a Financially Tight Ship

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"Fortunately, medical accountants from Melbourne firms like MEDIQ Medical Financial Services can help you keep track of your money so you can focus on treating patients instead. Aside from the accounting services mentioned above, they can also do expense claim and controls, government or employer record keeping, and process your payments for BAS, GST, PAYG and superannuation contributions. They provide tax minimisation strategies too, so you won’t have to pay more taxes than you absolutely have to. When you operate a private practice, you are the captain of the ship. Unfortunately, the financial mistakes that doctors commit are like holes that will slowly but surely sink the vessel. Medical accountants help you keep track of where your money goes to maximize your practice’s profitability and as well as your income."

Your Income is Insured: The Need for Income Protection for Doctors

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"For doctors, this is good news. Who knows about the human vulnerability towards sickness and death better than they do? Surely, doctors – being the humans they are – are equally susceptible to illnesses like their patients. As with other types of insurances, there are policies and processes that can make income protection for doctors complicated to claim. Here’s where reliable financial advisers come in. They may be able to assist in and educate you about strategies in approaching the risks and issues that you may encounter upon claiming the insurance. The truly competent advisers are those who display efficiency and professionalism from years of dealing with people from your industry."

How to Know the Right People to Trust Your Medical Accounting with

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"Medical accounting is a type of accounting practice that specifically caters to individuals and businesses in the medical field. It is a booming industry that thrives on medical practitioners’ or medical practice operators’ reliance on external accounting services. Jane Porter of the Entrepreneur gives some tips on how to find the competent accountants most suitable for your needs. She emphasises that one must make sure that the accountants or the medical financial service company “understands your type of business.” This ensures that not only do they have a clear sense of the practice; they also know the services needed to survive the unpredictable industry and economic climates."

Medical Accountants in Melbourne Promote Tax Fairness for Doctors

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"The reminder comes with new research from the ATO that suggests that small businesses agree that paying goods and services tax is important and is the right thing to do. The same research found that around two thirds of businesses would report anyone they knew evading paying tax to the ATO. It also found that majority of businesses didn’t think that tweaking numbers on their business activity statements would help them financially. As a significant segment of the small business sector, it wouldn’t be incorrect to assume that a large portion of doctors feel the same way about paying their taxes as the ATO’s research suggests. It is in this regard that hiring a professional medical accountant from a respected firm, like MEDIQ Financial, is important to any upright doctor’s business."

Why a Medical Practice Needs Accountants

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The key to running a successful private medical practice is to manage the financial aspects properly without losing track of quality health care services. The reality, though, is that not all medical professionals can gain sufficient mastery of General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). As such, they rely on medical accountants to handle complex accounting and bookkeeping tasks so they can concentrate on providing their core services.

These certified accountants are primarily responsible for monitoring a medical practice’s cash flow. As such, they have a duty to ensure that the practice does not spend inordinate amounts on medical supplies and equipment. Consequently, accountants see to it that the practice as a whole buys products in accordance with the most cost-effective purchase methods. They may also be in charge of administrating payroll salary systems.

Finally, medical accountants can identify opportunities that may lead to a reduction of the practice’s tax obligations. They will look for opportunities for tax deductions and credits and find ways to take advantages of it. For example, they may suggest that some of the doctor’s family members be employed in the practice and be paid fairly within a lower income bracket. This will accordingly reduce regular tax obligations.

Accountants for Doctors in Melbourne Can Help Doctors Maximize Funds

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"The move made by the newly sworn minister is sure to give some breathing room for medical professionals and accountants for doctors in Melbourne who are working hard to effectively meet the harsh requirements of the ATO. Doctors working beyond the walls of a hospital, like other self-employed professionals, have a lot of financial issues to handle. They have to handle taxation, retirement savings, and income management all by themselves. Such tasks can become daunting for a professional who deals with the lives of his/her patients."

Avoid Financial Setbacks with Reliable Income Protection for Doctors

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"Medical financial service providers allow you to create a contingency plan in the unfortunate event that disallows you from providing for your family. Entrusting your income protection claims to financial advisers with services that are dedicated to medical professionals is different from typical workers’ compensation claims. Because they have a deep understanding of your line of work, they can represent you better so you can receive rightful compensation for your financial protection. More importantly, you can take advantage of their services in your other financial endeavours. Whether it be your investment portfolio, personal expenses, or particular tax deductions for doctors, their specialisation in the medical field allows for customized services that suit your income stream. In turn, you will not have to deal with unexpected financial setbacks, knowing that somebody is working to strengthen your financial capabilities."

Manage Medical Accounting Effectively to Sustain Your Private Practice

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"You have already invested time, effort, and money into your private practice. As much as possible, you should try to keep it sustainable for the benefit of your patients, especially since most Australians rely on their family doctors for up to four generations. If you are having trouble with your medical accounting obligations, consider hiring a medical financial services provider such as MEDIQ so you focus on treating your patients. By turning to experienced financial advisers who specialise in the medical field, you can explore options that will work for you as a medical practitioner. You can manage your financial well-being as a doctor and as a sole proprietor of your practice successfully with the help of seasoned professionals. As a result, you can manage your private wealth better, specifically your loans, investments, and insurance strategies."

How Can Reliable Medical Accounting Help You Out?

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If you’ve been operating a private medical practice for some time, then you know how stressful it can be to worry about earning money and managing costs. Indeed, Dr. Danielle Clode (2004) said that these concerns are two of the most severe stressors general practitioners in Australia grapple with today. Rather than shoulder most of the bookkeeping, why not work with reliable medical accountants to lend you a hand?

The core of a medical accountant’s duty is to gather and analyse financial information from your practice, which they will then use to create accurate financial reports and help you make business decisions. This information isn’t easy to come by, considering that different practices have different methods of earning income and different expenses, which in turn means different financial reports. For example, some practices charge per session, while others require a fixed facility fee from their patients.

Your method will give medical accountants an idea of whatever tax credits, rebates, etc. you may be qualified for. It is also their duty to ensure that your financial documents are correct and up to current industry standards. This will protect you from unforeseen tax liabilities, which can also stress you out, and instead allow you to focus more on making money and managing overhead costs.

Medical Accountants in Melbourne Assist with Accounting and Taxation

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"Healthcare professionals in Melbourne, Victoria, have reason to be concerned. Australia’s cultural capital has a robust medical industry, which suits various disciplines. Healthcare institutions include the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital; St Vincent’s Private Hospital; and the Royal Women’s Hospital—plus a number of cancer research centres. Whether this proposal is approved by the federal government or not, medical practitioners should continue to rely on the services of trusted medical accountants in Melbourne, like the chartered accountants of MEDIQ Financial. These chartered accountants can meet their clients’ accounting and bookkeeping needs; expense claims and controls; patient and Medicare billing; and government/employer record keeping. They can also assist their clients with their PAYG, BAS, GST, and Superannuation contributions."

Accountants for Doctors: More Needed in the Face of Medical Advances?

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"Scientists are also looking into developing bionic devices to help treat Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, among other conditions that involve tremors. Moreover, they are working on a “bionic spinal cord” that can have paraplegics controlling robotic arms in five years. Even if a number of the studies are expected to be completed within the decade, none of the treatments, vaccines, and technologies can be expected to be available in the near future for all medical facilities and hospitals, much less private practices. Availability might be influenced by factors as simple as distribution, or by ones as decisive as cost. Nonetheless, having all these cutting-edge resources should not remain a pipe dream for both patients and medical practitioners alike."

When Should Doctors Seek Personal Financial Advice?

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Many high-income doctors need personal advice to wisely manage their finances. There are three general situations when personal financial advice should be sought. See which one fits your situation:

When you have specific issues
If you are an independent doctor who has a good grasp of financial planning, you may need help from time to time to resolve complex issues. You may become interested in an investment opportunity, perhaps a tax reduction strategy for the year, or other aspects relevant to your income. Straightforward and once-off advice on the concern can be provided by an advisor.

When you want to form a comprehensive plan
If you need guidance on your overall financial situation and wish to take control once a plan is set, an accounting and financial planning professional can use his/her expertise to create a detailed financial plan for you. The expert helps you set your goals and devise ways on how to accomplish those objectives. Diversifying your investments, fulfilling your retirement plan, and accomplishing other strategies will be your responsibility.

When you need long-term guidance

If you require hands-on or ongoing advice for your financial affairs, medical accountants can assist you every step of the way. You can reach agreements as to the professional’s level or length of involvement and the certain services you need. Your accountant can also handle aspects of your tax filing, investments, income protection, etc. and keep you informed or updated throughout the partnership.

Superannuation: Swelling Over Time

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Superannuation or simply "super" is Australia's version of America's 401(k). One of the many differences, however, is that the super rate increases over time. According to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, the rate is expected to increase from 9.25 percent at present to 12 percent by the year 2019.

Is this increase a bad thing? Hardly, because the "super" fund shows just how serious the government is about retirement benefits. The rate may be increasing, but the increase in contributions allows professionals such as doctors to retire early. Employers, in turn, are obliged to contribute the correct amount to their workers' super funds. Workers themselves can, however, choose to contribute to the fund.

Super contributions can continue up to age 70, but workers can withdraw from their Supers as early as age 55 to 60. This is possible by creating a "transition to retirement" (TTR) account. Designed for people planning on working beyond the preservation age of 55, a TTR can allow them to withdraw up to 10 percent of their super savings without tax infractions.

The math may appear simple, but superannuation is just the tip of the tax iceberg. There are other taxes that must be accounted for to mitigate confusion. 

Simple Income Protection Methods for Doctors

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Income protection is a usual concern for doctors who seek to sort their finances – personally or with professional help. Here are some common income protection methods:

1.       Set up an emergency fund. Emergency funds are separate accounts from your savings and expenditures. These represent at least six months of your salary and are placed on near-cash or easily-converted-to-cash instruments like time deposits.

2.      Purchase an insurance policy. This is a regular way of protecting one's income earning capabilities. Policies are designed to make payments to you or your beneficiaries in case of unemployment, incapacity, or death.

3.      Invest in mutual funds. Unlike insurance policies that have fixed returns, mutual funds can offer higher payout as these rely on the funds' performance. A fund can be managed to invest in bonds, equity, both bonds and equity, or even commodities and foreign exchange (Forex).

4.      Invest in stocks. New players in the stock market can use a method called dollar cost averaging where you would need to invest a certain amount on regular intervals in a stock you think would perform well in the long run. This method helps reduce the impact of volatility on your investment purchases.

5.      Invest in a business. You can also set aside cash you can use to start a business that would bring in extra income for your family's use.

There are more available strategies to protect your income. Qualified financial planners can present you with varied or even combination of options tailored to your needs.

When Can Doctors Claim GST Credits?

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Running a medical practice has a lot in common with operating other businesses. For example, you have to hire a staff and prepare their payroll. You also have to deal with overhead costs, such as office space rental, utility bills, inventory supply costs, and the like.
Of course, one can’t forget about taxes, which all doctors are obligated to pay. Fortunately, they can claim goods and sales tax (GST) credits when they purchase items that will be used in the conduct of their business. The following conditions must be met though:

You Must Be Registered
You can’t claim GST credits if you are not GST-registered. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has made this easier though; aside from the standard pen-and-paper method, you can now also register online, over the phone, or through a registered agent.

Purchase Price is GST Inclusive
If the item you purchased already includes GST in its price, you can claim the GST as a credit. Note, however, that you need a tax invoice as proof of this, and the invoice must explicitly state that the price is GST inclusive. Fortunately, suppliers are required to provide tax invoices for most purchases worth $82.50 and above.

You’re Paying for It

You can’t claim GST credits for something you didn’t buy. For example, you can’t claim a credit for a PC someone else bought and gifted to you even (though it will be used as an office computer).

Making Small Dents to Tax Expenses

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With a marginal tax rate of up to 46.5 per cent, doctors commit a large portion of their income to tax. To deal with this, doctors use different strategies to lessen their tax burdens. The largest cuts are made by making concessional superannuation contributions, engaging in tax-friendly investment opportunities, and altering their business structure. However, there are other ways to make small dents to tax expenses.

These include:
  • Claiming a deduction on the expenses to launder lab coats and uniforms, as covered under Taxation Ruling TR 98/5. Doctors may provide written documentation of their actual laundry expenses, or use the Commissioner’s estimate, which pegs the price of washing work clothes at one dollar per wash, if the work clothes are laundered on their own, or 50 cents per wash, if the work clothes are laundered with private clothing.
  • Claiming a deduction on the purchase of lab coats and uniforms, as covered under Taxation Ruling TR 97/12. Lab coats and uniforms are deductible if they are not capital in nature (such as the initial purchase of judges’ ceremonial robes), private or domestic in nature, or incurred in earning tax-exempt income.
  • Claiming a deduction on the purchase of low-cost work-related items amounting to $100 or less, such as prescription pads, notepads, etc., as covered in Law Administration Practice Statement PS LA 2003/8.

The examples above are just a short sampling of deductions doctors can claim. Physicians are encouraged to consult with medical accountants in their area to learn more about tax deductions.

Superannuation Tax Minimisation Strategies

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Contributing to superannuation in order to claim deductions on income tax is one of the most effective ways that doctors can slash their tax liability. Using a practice called salary sacrificing, doctors can contribute to the super using pre-tax income. This allows them to claim a deduction on their taxes and attract a 15 per cent rate, a significant reduction from their marginal tax rate of up to 46.5 per cent.

Doctors should be wary about contributing too much to superannuation, however. Concessional contributions, or contributions made before tax, are capped at a limit predetermined for each year by the Australian Taxation Office. When going above this limit, doctors may be charged an excess concessional contributions charge that would add a further 5.6 or 5.8 per cent to their tax liabilities.

Upon reaching the age of 60, doctors also have another superannuation tax minimisation strategy at their disposal: transition to retirement. This allows them to withdraw up to 10 per cent of their super account balance each year. This pension, which is tax-free, can then be used as an additional source of income.

When dealing with superannuation tax minimisation strategies, doctors should work with experienced accountants to ensure that these are correctly put into place. This will help them avoid any problems that they might otherwise be unaware of, as well as keep their tax minimisation efforts on track with the latest changes to caps and excess concessional contribution charges released by the ATO.

Doctors Need to Be Kept Safe from Diseases, Too

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Many may think that doctors are immune to getting sick. However, this is not exactly true, considering how often doctors are exposed to a variety of disease-causing organisms and other health hazards in their day-to-day work. Some medical professionals may be able to afford some sick days, but what about those who need to put in extra hours at the clinic or hospital to pay the bills? This is where income protection comes in.

Income protection policies are a popular way to assure that a person’s quality of life will be maintained while suffering from a sickness or injury. Most policies can cover a person until retirement age and the compensation that a policyholder will receive is usually dependent on the amount of salary he wants to insure. Note that income protection for doctors should ideally cover up to 65% of income in case of an illness or accident.

It sounds like a great idea and often is. A doctor cannot predict what injuries or unfortunate incidents he might encounter while out in the field, so it’s best to be prepared with a financial “plan B”. However, getting a policy can be complicated. This is because plans can differ in terms of when you can start to collect payment, how long a period it covers, and what the insurer considers as legitimate claims. Fortunately, doctors seeking to protect themselves from the vagaries of misfortune via income protection insurance can count on the services of professional financial planners.

Types of Accounting Help for the Medical Field

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Medical establishments, like any other business entity, need sound accounting practices to keep them running. Fulfilling this need is considered a top priority for large hospitals, most of which possess enough resources for an in-house accounting department. Sadly, this isn’t the case for smaller-scale clinics, which turn to outsourcing accounting services. Here are some of their most common forms, along with brief descriptions.

Private accountants. These professionals often have multiple clients, and are trained on special accounting considerations concerning the medical profession. One such factor is detailed cost accounting, which typically deal with keeping patient bills constant with the rising costs of acquiring and maintaining medical equipment.

Accounting firms. They practically serve as a small clinic’s accounting department, and provide specific services tailored to meet their clients’ needs. These may include billing, payables, receivables, and the production of cash flow statements or monthly/annual financial reports.

Part-time accountants. Clinics can also hire accountants on an hourly basis, who work within the premises at frequencies ranging from a day or two per week. Their services typically don’t differ with the first two, only the work shift does.

Tax consultants. These professionals specialise in the preparation of annual tax returns, and giving out tax advices. As the saying goes, taxes are one of the most certain things in this world, and medical establishments are not exempted from taxation, regardless of their valuable services to people.

Three Useful Marketing Tips for Your Practice

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A medical practice needs a successful marketing strategy for profit, growth, and patient retention. With the proliferation of online advertising and social media, it’s easy for physicians to lose focus when trying to market their practices. The tips below can help you develop a sound marketing plan and keep help you choose the most efficient methods.

Implement a website content marketing plan.

Website content provides a unique opportunity for physicians. As an experienced professional, the knowledge you have acquired through the years can be invaluable to the patients you serve. This means that your website’s blog can prove to be an important resource for them.

Consider both online and offline marketing opportunities.

The Internet offers plenty of great opportunities for inexpensive (even free) marketing, but traditional marketing strategies also has its own rewards. Put simply, learn to harness these two marketing options well. A diverse marketing strategy that uses both online and offline opportunities will reach a wide variety of customers.

Turn loyal patients into passionate advocates.

Your current patients may very well be your best form of advertisement. Providing consistent, high-quality medical care, along with establishing client rapport, is the best way to turn patients into walking endorsers.

Once you have these marketing strategies in place, it is important for you to monitor the results. Hiring a reliable medical accountancy firm will be of great help to you in this regard.

An Accountant’s Role in Business Industries

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In a nutshell, an accountant’s job is to maintain and inspects his clients’ finances, and while most of the time those clients range from small businesses to huge corporations, even individuals (particularly those with a vast array of assets) may need the help of an accountant too. Basically, anyone who’s conscious about their wealth could benefit from the services of a dependable accountant.

Multiple Industries

Just about any industry can take advantage of accounting services. Take the medical profession for example. If you own a hospital or even a medical office, then you’d surely understand how even doctors need accountants to help with everything from managing business taxes to facilitating payment from your patients. This is of course because, in essence, medical services, like all fields of practice, also cannot thrive without an efficient flow of incoming and outgoing financial resources.

Publicly Traded Companies

Another benefit of having accountants on hand is for publicly traded companies. These public companies are limited (Ltd.) liability companies that offer its stocks/shares, bonds, and securities for acquisition by members of the general public, so just about anybody can buy a portion of these firms. Typically, such companies are required by local law to hire reputable accountants to conduct external audits.

Information on Taxable Items for Medical Doctors

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The medical profession is a specialized field that requires specialized processes, especially concerning taxation and accounting. Aside from the common income tax, there are a few more job-related items and services that are taxable for a practicing M.D. Here are some of them:

  • Supplies. Items necessary for medical practice are taxable, provided that they are not reimbursable by the employer (if individual is not self-employed).
  • Communication. Local phone line service costs are not taxable unless they’re used for official business-related calls.
  • Uniforms. If the individual is required to wear a uniform, both the cost and upkeep can also be considered taxable under specific employer terms. These are taxable if they are either required by the employer, or not adaptable to ordinary street clothes.
  • Continuing education. These are deductible if the employer requires it in order for the individual to keep his job or rate of pay, or if the education maintains/improves the individual’s skill set as a medical professional.
  • Auto travel. Expenses for official business travels are also deductible (this excludes commuting expenses since these are considered personal expenses). Business miles should be documented in a record book, indicating the date, purpose of trip, venue, and odometer reading.

These are just some of the main taxable items and services for a practicing medical professional. Managing expenses and keeping track of these elements can be difficult, which is why specialized accounting help is necessary. 

Tips for a Successful Medical Practice

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People assume that a medical degree guarantees a big income for doctors. In reality though, doctors—like everyone who earns a living—must work hard to earn money.

This is especially true for those who open their own practices. While they enjoy perks like being their own boss and deciding how many patients to see each day, they also don’t have the fixed salary that doctors working in hospitals have.

If you’re planning to open your own practice, you’re probably aware of the challenges mentioned above. To help your business thrive, below are a few tips to consider:

Start as a “Micropractice”
If you open a practice, chances are you’ll be hiring a support staff too. Before doing so, however, ask yourself how many people you really need. Remember, the more employees you have, the more salaries and benefits you have to pay—and the less income you get to take home. Consider starting a Micropractice instead, which operates with a bare-minimum staff to reduce overhead costs.

Brand Yourself
It’s unlikely that you’re the only medical practice in your town or city. Therefore, decide what’s different about your practice and market your unique selling point to prospective clients.

Keep Your Books in Order
Keeping your financial records tight is vital to tracking how profitable your practice is—though you may not have the time or experience to do the number crunching yourself. Fortunately, many firms offer medical accounting services to doctors.  

The Importance of Medical Accounting for Patients

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In its general term, an accounting office serves as the backbone of several industries, dealing with the finances of a company. From keeping track of cash flow to recording the company's spending history, it is all handled by the accounting department.

This is very true also in the medical industry. Accountants are also necessary to handle the finances of a hospital and the doctors working in it. However, there are also medical accountants that cater to patients. They help patients set their cost limits, explaining to patients the process of their treatment from a financial standpoint. In a sense, they “diagnose” the costs of certain operations, medicines and treatment needed for full transparency. This process should help the patients and their families better prepare for the incoming expenses. Medical accountants also keep track of doctors' records, looking at the history of a physician and his or her capabilities in treating a certain ailment.

Spending for medical costs do not usually come cheap. When a family member falls ill, it is not only the patient’s health that is direly affected, but most likely, the entire budget of the family as well. It is burdensome as it is, and that’s why it is imperative for patients and their families to be properly informed of the available choices they have, and the corresponding amount it will most likely cost them. It is in this principle that medical accountants specifically working to help patients are necessary.

Importance of Accountants for Melbourne Doctors

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While doctors play a very important role in preserving and improving public health, the reality is that they can’t sustain themselves without money. Even then, money brings with it a number of challenges, like budgeting expenditures and following tax regulations, which doctors may be hard-pressed to handle on their own. What they need are experienced and reliable accountants who can handle the financial aspects of medical practices for them.

Medical accountants do more than just count money; they are also responsible for obtaining a suitable insurance policy for the office in order to protect the doctor, his staff, equipment and workplace from harm, theft and other unforeseen events. Accountants also have the responsibility of calculating the costs of rather expensive procedures such as bypass surgeries, especially if they have to be outsourced to a separate, more-specialized medical facility.

Perhaps, more importantly, accountants formulate a suitable financial strategy that the medical office can use to maximize profits and keep operating costs low, without sacrificing the quality of service they provide. This involves determining the proper overhead, or operating costs, that the office should adopt. A fixed overhead allows for greater control of expenses, while a variable overhead allows greater flexibility in providing multiple services.    

Income Protection Is a Must for the Self-Employed

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Many people dream of being self-employed like Australian doctors. After all, the healthcare professionals here don't have to answer to anyone but themselves and get to keep their earnings all to themselves. However, being self-employed has its share of difficulties.

One such difficulty for these health practitioners is the absence of workers’ compensation. Unlike private employees, these doctors do not have an employer who is legally required to provide compensation for medical treatment in the event the doctor becomes sick or injured.

Similarly, doctors do not have paid leave credits. If they do not work, they do not get paid. This problem is compounded by the fact that doctors are constantly exposed to dangerous diseases and other workplace hazards. 

Fortunately, such a scenario can be easily avoided by investing in income protection insurance. Just as the name implies, this insurance policy covers you for any lost income you may encounter due to either critical illness or personal injury. This policy can easily be bundled along with a life insurance policy for maximum coverage.

When choosing income protection policy, deal only with experienced and dedicated financial planners. Do not hesitate these professionals how the claim process works and what documents are required. After all, the best financial planners are the ones who can help you make a claim quickly.

The Importance of Hiring a Medical Accountant

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When most people think about the difficulties of being a doctor, they think of elaborate surgeries or complicated differential diagnoses. What many of these doctors fail to consider though when difficulties come to mind are their finances. Some doctors may be able to read medical textbooks from cover to cover, but when it comes to tax minimisation strategies or tax returns, they come up short.

Unlike most people, Aussie doctors are self-employed. This means these physicians do not have the luxury of having an accounting staff deduct their taxes from their earnings. While obtaining a full income might sound like a dream come true to most of these health practitioners, having to compute incomes and deductibles to file taxes is no walk in the park.

As such, it is important for doctors to manage their accounts properly to ensure they are paying the right amount of taxes every year. One misstep can lead to an unwarranted audit and an unwanted visit from the Australian Tax Office. In a worst-case scenario, a physician can even be charged with tax fraud.

Fortunately, such a grim scenario can be avoided by hiring a trusted medical accounting service. These accounting experts specialize in the needs of medical professionals in particular, allowing the latter to stay focused on their duties and responsibilities as doctors. Whether for your personal or your practice’s accounting needs, do not hesitate to enquire an experienced medical accountant about concerns you may have.

Set Up Your SMSF with Help from Wealth Strategists

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A self-managed superannuation fund, or SMSF, is one of the nest eggs those with a keen financial sense and strong work ethic aim for. One of the chief advantages of the SMSF is that it helps expand your investment options. It will also shepherd all the money you need for your retirement. However, while SMSFs are a growing industry among Australians, some experts stress that activating one requires a lot of homework.

You can set things going by establishing a trust deed with help of a licenced accountant and wealth specialist. The deed will outline the fund’s trustees, the governing by-laws, and contribution amounts each member should turn in. Trustees should be at least 18 years old and have no prior convictions.

At the same time, you should also apply for a tax filing number and an Australian business number, plus elect for regulation with the Tax Office under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act (SISA). Once the SMSF is regulated, work with your adviser in drafting its investment strategy, which will include factors such as asset risk, cash flow, potential liabilities, and returns.

Some experts claim that SMSFs should have no less than $200,000 in the kitty as there are administrative costs to consider. Running your own SMSF can be tricky especially if you are pressed for time to do so. As such, you can turn to wealth strategists to help maximise your investment potential.

Working out your potential expat tax deductions

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Any way you put it, Australia’s one of the best countries in terms of quality of life and career opportunities. If you’re a qualified medical or allied health professional, for instance, your job prospects Down Under can be very good indeed.

Although the government is working to increase the number of locally trained doctors, nothing replaces the value of an experienced practitioner with a wealth of knowledge to share. Meanwhile, working the rounds in a reputable healthcare facility in ‘Straya may open you up to a raft of incentives for certain types of fully documented expenses incurred during official hours.

One way to reap deductions is to invest in your skills. The government allows deductions of up to $250 if your education is related to your line of work or you were granted a taxable-bonded scholarship. Your work uniforms are also key to tax minimisation as incentives are issued for acquiring fresh uniforms and having them cleaned.

Deductions for vehicle and travel expenses are also possible provided these were incurred during work hours; general physicians making house calls or shuffling between hospitals are good examples. Meanwhile, if you wish to donate to charity, you can only reap the deductions if the beneficiary is recognised as a deductible gift recipient. Your taxation specialist can also educate you on the Living Away From Home Allowance.

Learning the incentives due an expatriate professional will enrich your working experience in Australia. All the government asks is a full accounting of each and every expense.

Income Protection Services for Doctors

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Doctors are among the list of professionals with some of the greatest risk of occupational hazards, since they are constantly exposed to communicable diseases and other harmful microorganisms. Thus, it is essential for people in the medical field to get income protection insurance, just in case the said risks take their toll on them.

As a medical practitioner, you need to secure income protection for doctors to be prepared if anything ever happens to you. Since majority of your income comes from professional fees, you should receive proper compensation from missed income opportunities that stem from occupational injuries.

Medical financial service providers allow you to create a contingency plan in the unfortunate event that may hinder you from providing for your family. Entrusting your income protection claims to financial advisers with services that are dedicated to medical professionals is different from typical workers’ compensation claims, because they have a thorough understanding of your line of work, they can represent you better so you can receive rightful compensation for your financial protection.

More importantly, you can take advantage of their services in your other financial endeavours. Whether it’s your investment portfolio, personal expenses, or particular tax deductions for doctors, their specialisation in the medical field allows for customized services that suit your financial needs. In turn, you will not have to deal with unexpected financial setbacks, knowing that somebody is working to strengthen your financial capabilities.

Benefits of Medical Accounting to Your Practice

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Regardless of what your specialization is, your medical practice is reflective of your ability not only as a professional but also as a manager and proprietor. However, since not every medical practitioner is well-versed in accounting and finance, it’s still important to hire a reliable medical accountant to help your practice.

You have already invested time, effort, and money into your private practice. As much as possible, you should try to keep it sustainable for the benefit of your patients, especially since most Australians are said to rely on their family doctors for up to four generations. If you’re having trouble with your medical accounting obligations, consider hiring a medical financial services provider so you can focus on treating your patients.

By turning to experienced financial advisers who specialise in the medical field, you can explore options that will work for you as a medical practitioner. You can manage your financial well-being as a doctor and as a sole proprietor of your practice successfully with the help of skilled professionals. As a result, you can manage your assets better, specifically your loans, investments, and insurance.

Since maintaining your practice is similar to running a business, your service provider will be able to help you conduct effective financial planning in terms of compliance, taxation, and other accounting strategies. In turn, you can enjoy financial stability while attending to the needs of your patients. This will help your practice become resilient amidst constant change within the government and the medical industry.

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