Archive for February 2014

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.

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