Back pain is never fun. But chronic back pain can eat away at your mental health, especially when painkiller medication isn’t effective anymore. Many people who experience recurring back pain have developed coping mechanisms such as making an appointment for physiotherapy and staying away from potentially harmful activities. 

Unfortunately, when you’re doing everything to prevent pain, it can be disheartening to struggle with chronic soreness. If you are a chronic pain victim, you want to make sure that your condition isn’t linked to a medical diagnosis. Indeed, some medical conditions can facilitate back pain. The good news is that your doctor can’t see any underlying condition. The bad news is that the back pain is still haunting you. Where does it come from?  You’d be surprised to know that back pain can be the result of everyday activities. 

Gardening with the right equipment

Anybody who loves gardening would tell you: You need to take care of your back. Therefore, whether you are using a push lawn mower or a fertilizer such as the Earthway 2170 commercial broadcast push spreader, you want to make sure that you don’t have to bend to use it. The push handles should be high enough for you to stand up.  Similarly, other guilty culprits in the garden include short-handled lawn edger, root fork, and rake. If you have to bend for a long period of time, you’re going to hurt yourself. 

 

Cooking and back pain

Could your kitchen be a source of back pain? The answer is yes. An inadequate layout where appliances at not at the right height for you can facilitate soreness. A low countertop will see you bent forward throughout the preparation, cooking, and even washing-up stages. It’s a good idea to check for appliance height when you buy a property with a fully functional kitchen. Many homeowners think they are saving themselves a lot of hassle when they found a pre-installed kitchen. However, the wring height installation can lead to severe back pain. 

Netflix and chill and sink

Ah, can there be anything more relaxing in the evening than sitting on the sofa and watching your favorite TV show on Netflix? Netflix is an integral part of our day-to-day life, especially since the pandemic. Truth be told, it can be a fantastic way to wind down at the end of the day. However, if your sofa doesn’t give you any support, you might end up sitting in an uncomfortable position for a prolonged period. 

When strength training causes pain

If you have been told that you have weak back muscles, you may be tempted to improve your overall strength. Strength training offers a fantastic solution to tackle back pain. However, it doesn’t mean you can hit the gym and lift heavy weights from day one. In fact, it’s best to stay away from weights unless you know what you are doing. Poor lifting form is the number one cause of back injuries at the gym. While the injury may not be handicapping, it can lead to chronic back pain if you’re not careful. 

Are you experiencing frequent back pain? It can be a good idea to keep a journal of your activities. You’d be surprised to find a causal correlation between some of your hobbies and your condition. 

 

Once you experience a headache, neck pain or even back pain, you would generally go to the pharmacist for over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin or paracetamol. While in most cases, these types of painkillers will help reduce and numb the pain until it eventually goes away. However, sometimes, the pain doesn’t just go away. In fact, it increases and constantly recurs.

If this sounds all too familiar, then consider booking an appointment for Physiotherapy.

The usual treatment for headaches and migraines would be to drink ample water and rest in a dark and quiet room with your eyes closed, pumped full of prescribed or over the counter pain medication and wait it out.

Neck and back treatment would usually be to apply ice to the inflamed area, to pay attention to your posture and of course, to take pain medication to numb and ease the sensation and wait it out.

While the above treatments do help for a short period, numerous health risks can present themselves. Your body can create a powerful immune system towards the pain medication. Therefore, the effects of the medication will not be as intense as it was when you started taking it. Sooner or later, you will need even stronger pain medication which can be dangerous for your health and well being.

A great alternative to pain medication and you having to ”wait it out” is Physiotherapy.

In general, when hearing the term Physiotherapy, one automatically thinks this type of therapy is mostly for elite athletes, professional sports players or individuals who have to recover from an injury. However, this is not the case at all. Everyone of all ages can benefit from booking an appointment for Physiotherapy.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a treatment that restores, maintains, and makes the most of an individual’s mobility, function, and physical well-being. It helps through physical restoration, injury prevention, fitness and health. In addition, with the help of a highly trained and certified physiotherapist, you get to be directly involved in your own recovery.

How Does Physiotherapy Help?

Severe Migraines And Headaches

Physiotherapists are trained in various arts of massage therapy specifically designed to release tension, relieve muscle spasms and improve blood flow and circulation.

Research shows that therapeutic massages can decrease pain, tension, frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines.

Chronic Back Pain

Exercise is considered to be the foundation of chronic back pain. However, no individual has or is experiencing the same type of back pain in the same area. Therefore, your Physiotherapist will guide you every step of the way. They will design a specific exercise routine tailored to your particular needs to ensure that your back pain is treated accordingly.

Acute Neck Pain

Even with today’s advanced technology, the exact causes of neck pain remains a mystery. It could be caused by injury, trauma, fractures, poor muscle tone, infection; the list is endless.

Fortunately, it is treatable. With the help of professional Physiotherapists, they will start applying treatment to reduce the stiffness and pain in your neck, then move on to an exercise program to strengthen and stretch your neck and relieve the pressure and tension.

 

You’ve made a decision to start living a healthier life and to begin taking better care of yourself. Naturally, this means you have to start exercising regularly. If this is something you haven’t done before, it’s easy to think you can just jump straight into things. As eager as you might be, you need to stop and prepare yourself for your new exercise regime. This begins by running a few tests that will help you identify any potential issues that could impact your workouts. Likewise, the tests should help you figure out if it is safe for you to exercise or not.

Here are the essential tests to conduct:

Fitness Tests

Technically, this includes lots of different tests under the same banner. Fitness tests are exactly as they sound; tests to see how fit you are. They can come in different varieties but are mostly split into two categories:

  • Strength tests
  • Cardiovascular endurance tests

A strength test can consist of a push-up test where you see how many you can do in one go. Head online to compare your results to others and it indicates how strong you might be. This helps you put realistic expectations on what you should start doing in the gym

Cardiovascular endurance tests will help you understand how fit you are aerobically. There’s a 1-mile test most people use, and the results can be found online and compared once again. If you are way below average, it shows you you need to work on improving your cardio – which will be good for your overall health. 

Flexibility Tests

Similarly, you need to conduct flexibility tests to see which muscles are the tightest in your body. This is also a good way of identifying any possible restrictions when you exercise. For instance, if stretching your shoulder causes pain, you might have an issue in the joint that should be seen before you start an exercise program. 

There are loads of stretch tests you can do, and the internet is once again a fantastic resource for you to look at. You can find loads of videos that will help you do the stretches as well. 

ECG Test

This is the most serious of all the tests as you are recording the electrical activity of the heart. As noted on dralasady.com.au, this is often referred to as an exercise stress test. In essence, you are hooked up to a device that measures your heart rate and tracks the rhythm. It will assess if your heart is beating normally and if there are any irregularities. 

The reason this is so vital is that it can detect concerns when you are exercising. It may identify that your heart is put under extreme stress when exercising and it can’t handle vigorous bouts of activity. By undergoing the test, you figure this out before something bad happens. 

Testing never sounds fun, but it’s an integral part of starting your fitness journey. Make sure you test yourself to see what needs to be addressed before you start exercising regularly. 

 

When it comes to your mental health, you need to know how to spot the key signs that you suffer from a problem. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders out there, and it can exist on its own or alongside depression. People who suffer from anxiety disorder will find that life is a big challenge. Daily tasks are hard to do, and the mental toll can impact your physical health as well. 

However, it’s often hard to figure out if you have anxiety or not. Why? Because the main symptom is a feeling of nervousness or worry, which we all experience throughout our lives! So, how do you know if you’re just at a normal level of nervousness, or you have anxiety?

When do you feel nervous?

Are you only nervous before big events or putting yourself in positions you’ve never been in before? For example, the night before an exam will usually trigger nervousness, as will the day you start a new job. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have anxiety as it’s natural to worry in these situations. If you feel worried every single day when doing fairly normal tasks that you have always done – like going to the shops or ordering coffee – it could be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder. 

Do you suffer from panic attacks?

Panic attacks are when your heart rate increases, you start to feel in a state of panic, and you begin hyperventilating. They can be horrible to experience, and may even result in you passing out. If you regularly suffer from panic attacks, it is a pretty big indication that you suffer from anxiety. Normal nervousness shouldn’t lead to something this extreme, particularly not if they keep on happening time after time. 

Are you suffering from ongoing physical pains?

Does your stomach always seem to hurt and is it hard for you to eat? Do you get constant headaches that make it hard for you to concentrate or go to sleep? If so, this could be a big sign that anxiety has reared its head on you. Typically, people with anxiety will worry so much that it ends up hurting them physically. Your digestive system gets hit the worst, which is why stomach pains in anxious people are common. 

What to do if you have anxiety?

You need to seek help if you discover that you have anxiety. Of course, it needs to be diagnosed first, which is why you should visit a psychiatrist whenever possible. Thankfully, as it shows on sunnysideclinic.com.au, you can get consultations and appointments over video calls nowadays. For someone suffering from anxiety, this can be less socially awkward or terrifying than meeting someone face-to-face. 

The bottom line is that you need to seek help to understand your condition and figure out how to treat it. Anxiety can plague your life for years, making you avoid social situations and miss out on huge opportunities. Hopefully, this short guide has helped you realise when you have anxiety, and when it’s just normal nervousness. 

 

Pain around your hips and pelvic region is incredibly common, particularly for women. If you experience constant pain in this area, there could be any number of issues presenting themselves. Nevertheless, if chronic pain is what you keep experiencing, the chances are you’re looking one of these three issues as the source of the pain:

Hip impingement

Hip impingement occurs where muscle and ligaments get trapped between the hip joint. This sounds painful, and you tend to get a sharp pinching pain that radiates around the hip joint and deep into the pelvis. A good way to know if this might be your problem is by rotating your hip and seeing if the pain increases. For a lot of people, when internally rotating the hip, you get a lot of restriction and feel the intense pinching pain. 

This can be caused by any number of other issues, but poor hip mobility and bad daily habits are the main causes. Ironically, both of these are caused by something else; sitting down. Sitting in a chair or in a car for hours on end will destroy your hips and make it highly likely you suffer from an impingement. 

Arthritis

Yes, you can have many types of arthritis in this area of your body, given how many bones and joints there are in the pelvis. Hip arthritis is shockingly common, and it can occur due to – again – poor hip mobility. A lack of hip mobility can cause restriction within the joint that means the bones move against one another, causing inflammation. 

However, you can also suffer from arthritis in other pelvic joints, such as the sacroiliac joints. These are where the lower spine and pelvis connect, and you can develop sacroiliitis here, which is a type of arthritic pain. Arthritis is usually characterised by constant pain that gets worse when doing certain activities. The more pressure you put on the joints, the worse the pain will be. 

Endometriosis

This is a condition that only affects women, yet it can be a hidden cause of a lot of pelvic pain. As described on dereklok.com.au, endometriosis is a disorder where tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity. It is a rare disorder, but it can cause a lot of pelvic pain. 

 

Signs that this could be the source of your pelvic pain include painful periods, pain in the lower abdomen before and during your periods, and lower back pain. If you suffer from any of these – and you only seem to get pelvic pain during or before menstruation – then this could well be the problem you’re suffering from. 

 

The problem with pelvic and hip pain is that it affects everything that you do. You use your hips for everything, so even sitting down can be painful. It’s important for the sake of your health & wellbeing to diagnose your pain and find solutions for it. Thankfully, if you suffer from any of the problems mentioned today, there are treatments for them. 

To sell Second Hand Clothes Online is not one of my side hustles. However I’ve become more experienced in this area over the last two years from selling items from my own wardrobe.

As an impulsive buyer and someone who could be careless with money, I’ve got way too many clothes and shoes. The thing is, I hardly wear most of them. When at home, I’d wear the most comfortable and daggiest clothes. While at work, I normally just rotate a few pieces that I feel comfortable wearing all the time. You see, comfortable is what I always go for nowadays. It must be part of the aging process. But I’m ok with that. Since Covid restrictions hit, I hardly went anywhere. Therefore, there’s no use of going out clothes either.

I’m working on getting better with my personal finance and eliminating impulsive purchase. In the mean time, I’ve tried a few venues to sell second hand clothes online. It’s always good to declutter from time to time.  Although I could be wasteful in spending, I’m not a hoarder. In the past, I just dumped my unused clothes and shoes in the bin because I was too lazy. Or gave them away. But since I became older and hopefully wiser, I started to sell my used clothes online. Happy to report, the result is better than I’ve expected.

Below are the different online platforms I’ve tried. I’m also sharing the processes and the best place to sell 2nd hand clothes online from my personal experience.

Online platforms to Sell Second Hand Clothes Online in Australia

eBay

Sell Second Hand Clothes OnlineA friend of mine started to use eBay since 1997 and made a small fortune. Back then, it was crazily easy to sell just anything on eBay.

eBay is the pioneer of online platform for buying and selling second hand items. I never used eBay at early stages but watched some people made it big. Back in 2005 to 2009, any old leather bag could be bid to over $100. Old, unbranded polyester dresses would be sold to over $80 each, as long as it was “vintage”.  Are you surprised that I was one of those suckers who would pay $150 a piece for damaged “vintage” clothes from eBay? It all changed dramatically since eBay started to promote brand new merchandise from mega sellers. However unit this day, eBay remains to be the oldest and biggest online market for anything used.

I’ve only started to sell more 2nd hand clothing recently because my mission of decluttering.

Customer Base

eBay is a enormous market place with hundreds of millions of users per year. Because the super high Australia Post fees, I only post to Australia buyers. Nevertheless, I still find eBay has the most serious 2nd hand clothes buyers and you can get higher selling price from eBay as well.

Listing and selling process

There are a lot of mandatory fields you need to complete before finally listing an item. As a result, many people complain it’s a bit time consuming to list on eBay. However, once you get used to it, the process becomes easier.

eBay gives an Australian selling 40 free listings per months. After this number, you’ll have to pay listing fees. Therefore, it might be beneficial to have an eBay store for more serious sellers who need to list more than 100 items a month.

It always helps your sale no matter what platform you choose to sell from. As a general guide, it’s better to have 4+ pictures per item to achieve a better result.

Overall, I found it’s still fairy easy to sell on eBay. I normally just take photos using my phone and listing through eBay app right after that.

Selling Fees

Depends on different store levels, eBays charges different fees accordingly. For casual sellers without a store, the eBay selling fee in clothing category is about 14.2% nowadays.

Payments

Instead of allowing Paypal to process the majority of the payments, eBay has implemented their payment process system. It normally takes 2 -3 days to get payment deposited to sellers’ nominated bank accounts after buys make a payment.

Returns

eBay’s allowing buys to return no matter the seller is accepting returns or not. Return normally happens when the buyer files a case to return an item “not as described”. For 2nd hand clothing and handbags, it is extremely hard to describe as accurate as a picky buyer would expect.  If a return case is filed, the seller needs to fully refund the buyer including the original postage. On top of that, the seller is also required to pay for the buyer return postage. As a result, condition is the key. It’s much safer for a seller to sell near new or excellent conditioned clothes on eBay.

Shipping

eBay has a sophisticated system in place to offer sellers different shipping options. You can choose to use different packaging, Australian Post or courier service. You can offer free shipping or allow buyers to pick up from you. It can be overwhelming for a new seller. But once you decide which options suits you the best and stick to it, you’ll find it quite straight forward.

Facebook market place

Customer base

I guess Facebook market place has a large user base as well. Whether or not all users are genuinely looking for something to buy is another question. Once again it all depends what you sell. For instance, a friend of mine’s been very successful selling brand new office furniture as they have a office furniture company. When trying to list a few 2nd hand clothes to sell on Facebook market place, I found it’s a complete waste of time. Most people just click a button to send you a default question “is this still available?”, then vanish completely after that. Others just want to chat and consume more of your time.

Listing and selling process

Listing on Facebook market place is easy. All you need to do is load a picture and add some very basic information. The whole listing process can be lightening fast. The downside is your items is hardly visible. Another annoying factor is they won’t allow you to list any designer brand, including common brand such as Ralph Lauren.

Selling fees

There’s no listing or selling fees using Facebook market place. So if you manage to sell something on Facebook market place, you get to pocket every cents you collect from selling.

Payments

No complication or long wait here. You can take cash, bank deposit or Paypal payments, depending on what you and your buyers agreed upon.

Returns

This is between you and you buyer. Most buyers pick up so they’ll decide if they want to buy or not on the spot. Therefore, no returns involved in most cases.

Shipping

Occasionally there will be interstate buyers. Shipping options and costs depends on seller and buyer’s mutual agreement.

Gumtree

Customer base

Gumtree.com.au has a bit over 7 million users in Australia. Most users are genuine sellers or true bargain hunters. In order to sell, the selling price has to be very low. The good news is, 2nd clothes are the most popular category.

Listing and selling process

It’s very easy to list and sell on Gumtree as the process is very simple. Bear it in mind though, it’s better to list using a PC or a laptop because it can be slow to list using a smart phone.

Selling fees

There can be no listing or selling fees selling through Gumtree. Hence the reason it’s so popular in Australia. The catch is you’ll have to keep updating or relisting after every few days. Otherwise your listings won’t be visible to users, unless you pay a fee to stay visible.

Payments & shipping

From my experience, buyers mostly come to pick up from you. They’ll either pay by cash on pick up or transfer you the money instantly.

Poshmark

Poshmark is the latest online social marketing place in Australia. I first heard of Poshmark a few years ago from a story about someone in the US quitting her job and became a full time Poshmark seller. Since then I was curious if one day Poshmark will become available in Australia. It really happened. Back in May a Poshmark Australis ad popped up in my Instagram feed. It turned out, Poshmark app expanded to Australia market since 16th Feb 2021.

Unless my usual self, waiting for years and years to join eBay or any social media, this time I set up an Poshmark account fairy quickly. I’ve started to list a few things on Poshmark for more than 1.5 months now. Below is the what I learned from my experience.

Customer base

Obviously Poshmark has much fewer users being fairly new. I don’t know what Poshmark US is like but it certainly feels that there are more sellers than buyers on Poshmark app in Australia.

As it is marketed as a social marketing place, Poshmark is operating very much like Instagram. You get likes and followers every time you list an item for sale by a popular brand. But I suspect a lot of those likes and followers are robots. They are tools from sellers to get your attentions, hence hardly any of these likes or followers are genuine.

Poshmark market place is specialising in clothing and accessories, so hopefully the Australian customer base will build up gradually.

Listing and selling process

Compared to eBay, listing and selling process is only slightly less complicated. I don’t like the fact every time you list something for sale, you have put the original price in. Otherwise, you can’t list it. To make it easier, I just put “0” in that field to save some time.

You also gets way too many messages from Poshmark everyday and it can be quite distracting.

Selling fees

Poshmark generally charges a 20% flat fee, plus GST. So it works out to be 22%, which is the highest amongst all. Also, for items below $20, the fee is flat a flat AUD4.35 (including GST). So if you sell something for $10, your fee will be 43.5%. (4.35/10).

Payments

You only get paid either when the buyer’s received your item and accepted it in Poshmark, or 3 days after your items is delivered. As you can see, depending your shipping destiny, it can be a long time before you get your payment.

Returns

Poshmark doesn’t generally accept a return unless buyer file a case because the item you sold is grossly mispresented.

Shipping

Shipping in Australia is all done by a courier company Sendle. Buyers pay a flat $9.5 shipping fee. Once your item is sold and paid, you’ll be able to print a shipping label. Poshmark Shipping labels don’t support packages over 5kgs. In other words, if you sell an item of more than 5kgs, you buyer still only needs to pay $9.5. You as a seller, need to pay the additional shipping fee charged by Sendle out of your own pocket.

There’s no other shipping option available at the moment.

The best place to Sell Second Hand Clothes Online in Australia

I’ve tried to sell on all those online platforms so far. And if you ask me now what’s the best to place to sell 2nd clothes online in Australia? I’d say eBay yields the best result so far. Fair enough, the listing process can be lengthy. People complain the selling fee is getting too high. And you can be in a vulnerable position being an eBay seller at times. But you get the most buyers from eBay and the selling price is the highest compared to other platforms.

Nothing was sold on Facebook market place in a month so I stopped listing on Facebook market place after a while.

I’ve sold a few items on Gumtree in 2 weeks time. Because it’s not always convenient for me to have people coming over picking up things, I stopped listing on gumtree. In the last 2 months,  I’ve only sold 6 items sold through Poshmark. Though it doesn’t sound a lot, I guess it’s still better than nothing. Since Poshmark is the newest addition to Australian online market place, I’ll be a little more patient and see how it goes.

In the past 3 months, I  recouped $3,500 from selling my clothes online, which is not bad. There are not as many options to sell second hand clothes online in Australia but still enough to choose from.

What you can't claim as working from home tax deductions

Since Covid hit, more and more employees started to work from home. As a result, working from home tax deductions have become hot topics.

It’s widely broadcasted that ATO’s introduced the 80cents per hour shortcut method to claim your working from home running costs. However there’s a catch to the 80 cents short cut method. Because that method is all inclusive, once you claim 80cents per hours, you can’t claim anything else as your working from home tax deductions. In most cases, you’d be better off to claim 52 cents per hour plus any other expenses you incurred for working from home.

There are countless articles online talking about what you can claim as working from home tax deductions in general. But today I really want to touch upon another maybe not so popular topic on what you can’t claim as working from home tax deductions. Because there are so many examples of inappropriate and sometimes funny claims, I think it’s important to know what we can and what we can’t claim.

Before we start, I’d like to quickly mention two common misunderstandings about the relationship between tax deductions and tax refund.

Common misunderstandings about the relationship between tax deductions and tax refund

First of all,  we need to be clear that to claim tax deductions doesn’t mean that we’ll get 100% of the money spent from your tax return.

I did have people come to me for tax advise on the returns they’ve lodged themselves. They’ve claimed $3000+ tax deductions but only got $1000 something as tax return. Therefore, they believe the tax assessment was wrong. They claimed $3000 tax deductions, so they should get $3000 back as a tax refund right?

Unfortunately, whatever you spend and claim as a tax deduction, you’ll only get a percentage back. That percentage is your marginal tax rate. For example, if your marginal tax rate is 37%, you’ll only get 37% of your spending back as a tax refund. So be mindful for what you want to buy and claim as a tax deduction. Ask yourself, is it really necessary to buy it? If it’s something that you really need and helpful, by all means go ahead and buy it. If you want to buy it just for the purpose to reduce your tax, think twice. Because whatever you spend, you’ll only get a percentage back, not the full amount.

Another misunderstanding I’ve often encountered is that sometimes people think the more tax deductions they claim, the more refund they’ll get.

It can be true in most cases. However, for low income tax payers, excessive spending on tax deductions can be somewhat wasteful. I’ve seen many people only need a few hundreds of dollars worth of deductions to go below the tax free threshold. Instead, they’ve spent way more than what they need in hope of getting more tax refund. Sadly, a lot of expenditure incurred were not necessary because once you touch down the tax free threshold and you get all your tax paid back, there isn’t going to be anything more money coming to your tax return.

Now that I’ve got that bit out of the way, let’s get back to today’s topic.

What you can't claim as working from home tax deductions

What you can’t claim as working from home tax deductions

Rent for your home

Many people got very excited about working from home tax deductions. Because they’ve spent so much time working from home, instead of in the office, surely the rent paid on housing should be deductible, right? At lease part of it?

Unfortunate for PAYG (pay as you go) and PSI (personal service income) income earners, you can’t claim rent for you home as tax deductions. Even when you have to work from home due to lock downs.

Mortgage interest, rates and strata levy

Same concept as rent mentioned above, home owners can’t claim mortgage interest, rates and strata levies for their home because they’ve been working from home.

Toilet paper, tea and coffee

Toilet paper became hot property a few times due to Covid. And I’ve had a couple of clients who wanted to claim toilet paper as one of their tax deductions. Although those supplies are generally available when in the office, employees can’t claim costs for toilet paper together with tea and coffee while working from home.

Most household electronic appliances

Just yesterday, someone wanted to claim cost of buying their washing machine as a tax deduction. I’ve also had clients who sent me the invoices of their fridge, air conditioning and sofa etc to be included in their tax deduction. It’s understandable people want to minimize their taxes and get as much as refund as possible. But everything has to be done according to tax regulations. According to ATO tax payers can claim anything deemed to be personal. There are some cases personal items can be used for work purpose as well and only the work related percentage can be claimed as tax deduction. The work related percentage has be justifiable and substantiated by documentation and reasonable calculations.

Unreasonable high percentage of utility costs without substantiation

Just because we work from home a lot, it doesn’t mean that we can just 70-100% of electricity bills without any detailed calculation. You’ll need have backup calculation to support the percentage you used to claim utility costs deductions. Bear it in mind, if you’ve claimed 52cents or 80cents per hour running cost, you can’t claim utility costs as tax deductions on top of it. Like wise, if you claim the actual utility costs in your tax return, you can’t also use the cents per hour method to claim working from home tax deductions.

Pure personal expenditures

Taxpayers can’t claim pure personal expenditures such as massages as tax deductions. The fact you have to get massage because sitting on uncomfortable dining chair working from home caused you backpain doesn’t provide enough ground to claim the cost of massage sessions as a tax deduction. By the way, this example is based on a true story.

Expenses have been reimbursed by employers

Consider this, you bought something for work purpose and subsequently your employer reimbursed you the full amount. Can you still claim this expenditure as your tax deduction in your tax return. Common sense told me no. Not surprisingly the answers is also NO by ATO. But in reality a number of people do claim expenses reimbursed by employers. Some are innocently not knowing, some knew but claim it nevertheless.

Full amount of work equipment costs over $300

For anything under $300 we bought out of our own pocket for work purpose, we can claim immediate deduction. Some examples are printers, keyboards and monitors under $300. For all work equipment costs over $300, we have to put them in the depreciation schedule. And claim the work related depreciation costs for the relevant period. For example, you bought a laptop on 20 June for $2000. You bought this one especially for work from home purpose. It happens that you hear from the radio ad, now is a good time to buy it because you can claim this as your tax deduction. Therefore, you can claim the whole $2000 in your tax return right? Wrong.

I’m so surprised to see so many people buying expensive computer gears for work right by the end of each financial year. The truth is, you can only claim the depreciation cost from the date of purchase. As a result, your tax deduction in that financial year is very minimal. Far less than the few thousand dollars you spent.

Working from home also prompt a lot people go out buying expensive custom made desks that costs thousands. Similarly, you can only claim the deprecation cost from the date it’s fully installed for working from home purpose. Even worse, if you claim the desk depreciation, you can’t claim the cents per hour running cost any more. In most cases, people end up getting less tax deductions claiming the desk depreciation.

In conclusion

Tax time can be exciting or daunting for us. One thing to remember is that working from home doesn’t guarantee that you can get a lot more tax deductions.

There are however, wise ways to save tax for everyone or as property investors specifically. Whatever you do, it’s better to try to understand tax regulations and avoid getting tax penalties because of some innocent mistakes.

“What else I can claim as investment property tax deductions?” I hear this question all the time.

The end of financial year is upon us. In a few weeks time, you can pull out all your records and prepare your tax return again. Hopefully you’ll get a tax refund, because I’m yet to meet someone who’s happy to pay more tax on top of what’s been paid during the year. Understandably, there are more people than usual in June, seeking tax advise on what to do to minimise tax.

We talked about how to contribute to your Super fund to claim tax deduction before. In this post, I’m going to focus on what can be done to claim more investment property tax deductions. You might think it’s too late in June but there are still a few last minutes steps you can take to boost your tax refund or minimise your tax payable.

First of all, get a check list of what you can claim as investment property tax deductions.

Expenses for immediate tax deduction

Advertising fees to look for tenants

If you are engaging a real estate agent to manage your property, this cost will be listed on your yearly income and expense report. If you are managing the property yourself and found your tenants through newspaper or online ads, make sure to keep a record of advertisement fees.

Rates

This includes Council rates and water rates. Though it sounded basic, but trust me, plenty property investors don’t know those are part of investment property tax deductions. So make sure to keep all the records of your rate payments during the financial year.

Strata levies

Also know as body corporate fees, are getting higher and higher each year. Remember, you can claim immediate deduction on payments to body corporate administration funds and general purpose sinking funds. They form a big part of investment property tax deductions, so don’t miss this category. However please be mindful, payments to a special purpose fund to pay for particular capital expenditure are not deductible.

Utility costs

Tenants usually pay their own electricity, gas and water usage costs. However in some cases, landlords agree to paid all of it or a percentage of these costs. As a property investor, make sure to claim the utility costs you paid as part of your investment property tax deductions.

Gardening and yard work

This includes dump fess, labor costs you paid for tree lopping and lawn mowing. You can also claim costs of replacement of garden tools, fertiliser, sprays and replacement of plants.

Cleaning

This category of expenses include internal, for example, carpet cleaning and external cleaning, for example, house cleaning. Therefore, you can claim payment to cleaners and cost of cleaning materials for your rental property as investment property tax deductions.

Insurance

There are many types of insurance you can get for your rental property. As a result, you can claim building insurance, contents insurance, public liability insurance and landlord’s insurance 9covers rental defaults) as investment property tax deductions.

However, please be mindful that you can’t claim mortgage insurance as your rean tax deduction as it forms part of your borrowing cost.

Interest

You can claim tax deduction for interest paid on loan to purchase, build, repair and improve your investment properties. For example, interest on your investment property mortgage is tax deductible. Like wise, you can claim interest on loan taken out to build your investment property, providing the property is rented or available for rental during the year you are claiming a tax deduction.

On top of the above, you may also claim interest charged on loans taken out:

  • to purchase depreciating assets,
  • for renovations, or
  • for repairs to the property.

Note, from 1 July 2019, you can’t claim tax deduction on interest or other holding cost of vacant land with no permanent structure on it in general.

Land tax

A big percentage of property investors miss claiming land tax deductions because very often, land tax incorporate their main residence as well. But you can certainly claim the land tax paid in proportion to your rental property as a tax deduction.

Agent management and admin fees

Most property investors engage real estate agents to manage their investment properties. Of course, this serve doesn’t come free of charge. Typical agent fees includes, property manage fees, admin fees, sundry fees such as postage etc, annual report fees.

Legal expenses

As a property investor, you can’t claim legal expenses are capital in nature, such as costs of:

  • purchasing or selling the property
  • resisting land resumption
  • defending the title to the property

However, you can claim legal costs in order to evict non-paying tenants.

Office supplies

Property investors can claim stationery, rent books, postage and business use percentage of a computer etc in relation to managing their rental property. As a result, those costs are tax deductible

Telephone

As a property investor, you can certainly calls made to a tenant, agent or tradesman to arrange repairs etc.  Bear it in mind, in case of a tax audit, you’ll need to provide a diary detailing this expense.

Repairs and maintenance

This is a more complicated area. In general, you can claim repairs and maintenance costs while your rental property is rented.

Repairs generally involve a replacement or renewal of a worn out or broken part. For example, replacing some guttering damaged in a storm. Similarly, replacing part of a fence is a repair job. If you replace the entire fence, the cost will become capital in nature. As a result, you can’t claim the total cost immediately as a repair cost. You can however, claim the cost of replacing the entire fence over a number of years as part of deprecation.

According to ATO, initial repairs include costs you incur to remedy defects, damage or deterioration that existed at the time you acquired the property. Therefore, those costs are considered to be
capital in nature, not immediate tax deductions.

Depreciating assets costing $300 or less

You can claim immediate tax deduction for your rental property depreciating assets costing $300 or less. For example, if you bought a microwave for your rental property for $299 last month, you can claim the entire amount in this financial year.

Even better, you can claim immediate tax deduction if you hold an asset jointly with others and the cost of your interest in the asset is $300 or less. This is the case even though the total cost was more than $300.

Expenses as tax deduction over a number of years

Borrowing costs

You might incur certain costs when borrow from a bank. Typical borrowing costs are as below:

  • procurement and establishment fees
  • legal expenses for mortgage
  • stamp duty on mortgage (Many states have abolished mortgage stamp duty)
  • valuation for loan approval
  • survey and search fees
  • mortgage broker’s commission
  • lenders’ mortgage protection insurance

You can claim those expenses as tax deductions over the period of your loan or 5 years, whichever is shorter. If the total cost is less than $100, you can claim the whole amount in the relevant financial year.

Depreciation on assets

You can claim tax deductions on depreciation of assets such as air conditioners, stoves etc costing over $300 (your share) over their effective lives.

Tax Ruling Taxation Ruling TR 2020/03 – Income tax: depreciation effective life is very helpful guide in this regards. If you decide to make an estimate of effective life, you need to use a similar methodology the Tax Commissioner used.

Capital works/building write off

You can claim investment property deductions on certain kinds of construction expenditure. In the case of residential rental properties, you can generally claim the cost over 25 -40 years.

These are referred to as capital works (special building write-off) deductions. The deduction is limited to 100 per cent of the construction expenditure.

Deductions based on construction expenditure apply to capital works such as:

  • a building or an extension (for example, adding a room or garage),
  • alterations such as removing or adding an internal wall, or
  • improvements to the property – for example, erecting a pergola, patio or carport.

Deductions can be claimed only for the period the property is rented or is available for rent.

What you can do now in June to claim more deductions as a landlord?

We’ve covered a long list of expenditures that you could claim as tax deductions for your incoming tax return. Now, you might ask what you can do now in June to get more tax benefit. Is it too late?

Of course not. Here are a few last minutes steps you can take to boost your tax return:

Seek tax advise if you need help

Always ask for professional advise if you need help to improve your tax position. The fees you paid to professionals for tax advise is tax deductible. So don’t forget to ask for a tax invoice to include it your tax return.

Carry on minor repairs

Does your investment property need some minor repairs and maintenance? It’s time to get it done now. Need a new lick of paint? A few new light bulbs?  Another set of keys and swipe card? Why not get them organised now. Any R&M expenditure paid in June for your existing rental property will be 100% tax deductible.

Conduct a pest control

There has been a lot of rain in the past year. Consequently there have been a lot of spiders and other pests around. June is the perfect time to conduct a pest control to protect your investment property. Your tenants will thank you for that and potentially stay longer.

Prepay some expenses

Have some bills in relation to your rental property floating around but not yet due? You can pay them now to claim an immediate tax deduction and boost your tax refund.

You can claim immediate deduction if you prepay expenses such as insurance or interest on mortgage if  either:

  • the amount if less than $1000,

    OR

    • the payment covers a period of 12 months or less and the period ends on or before 30 June of the next income year.

    Replace/Purchase assets for under $300 (your share)

    As mentioned before, you can claim immediate tax deductions on assets costing less than $300. So think hard, what do you need for your rental property that will cost $300 or less before the financial year ends.

    If you own a property jointly with others, as long as your share of the asses is $300 or less, you can still claim an immediate tax deduction.

    For instance, you own a rental property jointly as a couple. Your rental property in great need of a new air-conditioning costing $600. By all means, go and get it now. You can claim the whole amount this year instead of claiming the depreciation costs over a number of years.

    Get a depreciation schedule

    If your rental property is a lot less than 40 years old and you don’t have a depreciation schedule, get one done. Now.

    Depreciation schedule is especially important for brand new rental properties because the tax benefit will be thousands of dollars. The cost of getting depreciation schedule is usually a few hundreds of dollars and it’s totally worthwhile. Besides, the cost of depreciation schedule is tax deductible too.

    In conclusion, there’s still plenty time to be prepared and claim more tax deductions come July. It’s all about research and planning.

     

     

     

    Government Super Co Contribution

    The Government Super co contribution applies to personal contributions made by low-income earners from 1 July 2003 onwards. Back then it was $1,000 co contribution for $1,000 eligible contributions. Just so you know, back then I wasn’t even slightly interested in it because my employment income was high. As mentioned in the previous post about personal Super contributions to save tax and build wealth, I quit my corporate job in 2009 and started being self employed.

    If you’ve ever been self employed, you know your income can vary from year to year. Some years, your income could fall within the “low income” threshold. I always knew about the government Super co contribution but thought the amount was too little to be bothered. But small amounts do accumulate and they could grew to a much bigger amount staying in your super fund.

    For Australian tax payers whose income was less than $53, 564 ($54,837 for the 2021 year), the government will make co- contribution into a tax payer’s superannuation account where eligible non-concessional contributions up to $1,000 have been made by qualifying low income earners. Fifty cents in every dollar of contributions, up to a maximum superannuation co – contribution of $500 a year will be paid into the taxpayer’s superannuation account for the income year.

    You may be eligible the Government Super co contribution if you:

    • made personal contributions to obtain superannuation benefits for themselves (or a dependent in the event of their death) to a complying superannuation fund or Retirement Savings Account (RSA) on or after 1 July 2005 (provided the contributions were not salary sacrifice contributions and they will not claim a tax deduction for the contributions)

    • have lodged an income tax return for the relevant financial year

    • total income was less than $53,564 (for the 2020 financial year$54,837 for the 2021 year). 

    • have not been the holder of a temporary resident visa at any time during the year unless they are a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a prescribed visa

    • are less than 71 years old at the end of the financial year during which the contribution was made

    • have at least 10% of their total income for the income year attributable to carrying on a business (i.e.  self-employed) or to activities that result in the person being treated as an ‘employee’ for superannuation guarantee purposes. Those who earn less than $450 per month or are part-time workers under 18 (i.e. not covered by the superannuation guarantee regime) will still qualify for the government co-contribution as they are still regarded as ‘employees’ for SGAA purposes

    • have a Total Superannuation Balance of less than $1.6m on 30 June of the previous financial year

    • have not exceeded their non-concessional contribution cap in the relevant financial year

    Total income for the purposes of the Super co contribution includes:
    • assessable income
    • reportable fringe benefits amounts
    • reportable superannuation contributions

    less

    • any assessable First home super saver released amount, and
    • any allowable business deductions

    Also, there are two income tests applied in determining the government Super co contribution.

    10% Total income test

    In order to satisfy this test, 10% or more of the taxpayer’s total income must come from either:

    • employment related activities
    • carrying on a business, or
    • a combination of both

    Amounts from these sources are referred to as eligible income amounts.

    The total income amount is not reduced by allowable business deduction amounts for this test.

    Examples of eligible income:

    • salary and wages
    • business earned as a sole trader (the assessable income: turnover – allowable business deductions is used)
    • business earned in partnership (the partnership distribution is not reduced by deductions claimed on the individual tax return in earning the income)
    • directors fees

    Note if you are carrying on a business, you may have a high turnover but still be eligible for the super co-contribution due to your allowable business deductions.

    The following amounts are not eligible income

    • non-business partnership distributions

    • distributions from a trust

    • income from individually or jointly held assets, such as interest, rent and dividends

    • income related to another year of employment, such as employment termination payments and lump sum payments

    Be aware, where you have a partnership distribution, the ATO will treat it as ineligible income. If you have business partnership income, make sure that you complete Item A3.

    Total income threshold

    To determine your assessable income for calculating the amount of the co-contribution:

    • Total income is reduced by amounts which the taxpayer is entitled to a deduction for carrying on a business. That is, it is net income rather than assessable income for business income.

    • Net partnership income is included. Partnership income includes joint rental and investment income. If the net partnership or joint income is a loss, the amount is 0. This means that, where a person has a rental property in their own name, assessable income is included for the total income threshold test. However, where you have a rental property in joint names, you only need to inclue the net rental income (or 0 if it is a loss).

    The ATO will treat joint rental and investment income as solely earned income unless you complete Item A3 correctly.

    Government co contribution calculation

    The taxpayer’s co-contribution is reduced by 3.333 cents for each $1 of total income over the lower threshold.  The lower threshold for the 2020 year is $38,564. And the government Super co contribution phases out completed where the total assessable income, reportable employer superannuation contribution and reportable fringe benefit amount reaches the upper threshold of $53,564.  

    For the 2021 year, the lower threshold is $39,837 and the upper threshold is $54,837.

    Provided the taxpayer is entitled to receive the co-contribution, the minimum amount payable is $20. The co-contribution will be paid directly into the taxpayer’s superannuation account or RSA (Retirement Savings Account).

    The formula for calculating the maximum co-contribution amount is:

    =  $500 – {[(total assessable income – allowable deductions from running a business + RFB + RESC) – lower threshold amount] x 3.333%}

    The ATO has a SUPER CO-CONTRIBUTION CALCULATOR on their website

    The co-contribution payable is the lesser of:

    • the maximum co-contribution amount; or
    • 50 cents for every dollar of personal superannuation contributions.

    The ATO will automatically calculate the amount of co-contribution, based on the information on the tax return, including the adjustment amounts included at Labels F, G and H at Item A3.

    Also for your reference, the ATO has a worksheet available to calculate the amounts.

    GOVERNMENT SUPER CONTRIBUTIONS WORKBOOK

    How to make personal super contributions for government super co contribution purpose

    Firstly, you do not need to make your personal contributions as a single lump sum. You can make payments throughout the financial year. The ATO uses the total amount you have contributed for the year to calculate the co-contribution.

    Your super fund can tell you how to make personal contributions. Most funds offer you a number of options including:

    • BPAY®
    • direct debit
    • through your bank account.

    In some cases, you can make regular super contributions into your super account directly from your after-tax pay. If the contributions come from your before-tax pay, they are generally referred to as salary-sacrificed contributions and will not qualify for the super co-contribution.

    Your super fund needs your TFN before it can accept your personal contributions.

    Above all, your personal contributions must reach your super fund by 30 June each year for you to receive a government co-contribution for that financial year.

    Completing Item A3 On Individual Tax Return

    In some circumstances, the ATO may be able to calculate the correct co-contribution without Item A3 being completed. The ATO will match the information on the tax return with information from superannuation funds and pay you the co-contribution automatically. However, often the completion of this item is crucial or the taxpayer may not get the correct amount of co-contribution, or may miss out altogether on the benefit.

    LABEL F – Income from Investment, Partnership and Other Sources

    You should complete the box if you

    • showed income from a partnership at Item 13 of the tax return or
    • were in a joint income group and they have deductions for the following joint income:
      • interest and dividends (Items 10 and 11)
      • trust distributions (Item 13 labels L, U or C)
      • foreign entities income (Item 19 labels K and B)
      • foreign income (Item 20 labels E and F)
      • rental income (Item 21 label P)
      • bonuses from life insurance companies and friendly societies (Item 22 label W)

    The amount = the assessable income from each of the above income types in the taxpayer’s name only, plus the net amount (or 0 if that amount is a loss) of each of the above income types in joint names

    If this amount is NIL then enter code C in the box.

    LABEL G – Income from Employment and Business

    The ATO will automatically treat certain amounts as employment or business income. Label G includes the amount of any adjustments to this automatic calculation. For example, assessable income from foreign employment income and partnership distributions where the partnership is carrying on a business will need to be added. Deduct some amounts from employment or business income on the tax return. For example, if you received parental leave pay or Dad and Partner pay after employment ceased, deduct this amount. Other examples are employment or business income that relates to an earlier income year, such as back payments of wages or a lump sum paid on termination. To clarify, Label  G includes the below:

    • total employment income NOT SHOWN at Items 1, 2, 3, 4 (excluding death benefits), Item 12B, IT1 or IT2 plus
    • business income NOT SHOWN on the Business and professional items schedule of the tax return

    less

    • Items 1, 2, 3, 4 (excluding death benefits), Item 12B, IT1 or IT2 – total income that was not from employment
    • any parental leave pay that has been received AFTER the taxpayer CEASED employment (not the amount received during the time the taxpayer is on leave from their job)
    • non-business income on the Business and professional items schedule of the tax return

    If this amount is NEGATIVE then enter code L in the box.

    LABEL H – Other Deductions from Business Income

    Business deductions that are not at Item P8 on the Business and professional items schedule for individuals of the tax return. This may include, for example

    • the business portion of a distributed partnership loss included in calculating the amount at N or O at item 13 (as long as the partnership carries on a business)
    • deductions at X or Y at item 13 which relate to the business income portion of a partnership distribution
    • personal service income deductions at item P1 on the Business and professional item schedule for individuals which relate to carrying on the business
    • deductions shown at D10 for costs involved in managing the business tax affairs as a sole trader or partnership business

    Government Co-Contribution for Superannuation Contributions – Temporary Residents

    Finally, temporary residents are not eligible for the government co-contribution for any personal superannuation contributions that they may have made during the year. It is not available to anyone who has been the holder of a temporary visa at any time during the year. As a result, any temporary resident who becomes a permanent resident during the income year will not be eligible for this benefit either.

    From 1 July 2009, New Zealand residents who are living temporarily in Australia have been eligible to receive this payment, irrespective of whether or not they are classed as temporary residents.

     

    weight lifting

    When we consider breaking into weight lifting, most of us look at the physical benefits without really considering anything else. After all, muscle tone and strength gain are the most notable results on the table and, without them, we probably wouldn’t even think about breaching the weight section in the gym.

    It’s certainly for these goals that we develop weight lifting targets alongside the best amino acids and protein powders to help get the job done. But, as with so many things in life, weight lifting has a great deal more benefits for our lifestyles than just what we can see on the surface. In fact, a healthy weight lifting habit could well provide you with everything you need to not only lift physical weights but to also keep on top of the daily lifestyle pressures that have sat on your shoulders for too long. Keep reading to find out just three of the reasons why that is, and how you can embrace these additional benefits with open, newly muscled, arms. 

    weight lifting

    Pushing you out of your comfort zone

    The best exercise regimes will always push you far from your comfort zone, with weightlifting, especially, always focusing on higher weight classes and larger lifts. If you achieve your weight lifting goals for the month, then this mindset could well give you a boost to push yourself more often, whether that be with regards to going in for promotion or moving into a new family home. Either way; weight lifting will provide you with both the physical and mental muscle that you need to make it happen. 

    Boosting your self-confidence

    Weight lifting can also have a huge positive impact on self-confidence that’s running on empty, especially if you’re able to lift a set that once seemed out of reach. In some way this ties in with the point above, but it uniquely ensures that you’ll be able to face those new challenges without the pressure of self-doubt forever on your shoulders. This is invaluable for ensuring that you give yourself the credit you deserve when you deserve it, and also that you use this foundation to build a life that, pre-weight lifting, you never would have believed you deserved.

    Putting you in the driver’s seat

    In weight lifting, even if you have a personal trainer egging you on, no one but you will ever be in control, and this is our last and perhaps most importantly lifestyle lesson. After all, taking the helm in this one aspect of your life could prove the benefit of sitting in the driver’s seat for once, making you way more likely to stand up for yourself, recognise when suggestions aren’t helpful, and generally work harder to keep the pressure of other people’s expectations off your shoulders at long last.

    Of course, with notable health benefits already on the table, weight lifting didn’t exactly need an extra selling point. Still, if you’ve been holding back because you don’t see the appeal of lifting weights for their own sake, then consider whether lifting these lifestyle pressures is worth diving in for instead. 

     

    There are a lot articles offering generic side hustle ideas but how many good side hustles out there that might help you to make money real fast? We certainly don’t just want to hustle for nothing or very little reward for the work we do.

    A lot people suggest doing online survey for extra income in those articles. But seriously? Do you know how much they pay for doing online surveys? You get a few cents for hours laboring online.

    Blogging can be a good side hustle if you are persistent; have a lot good content to share and have large based audience. The thing is, you certainly can’t make money from blogging at early stages. Most people tried blogging but never managed to make any money out of it.

    Being a part time cleaner will help bring extra income but how many of you out there would like to clean other people’s dirty toilet?

    Good side hustles are the ones that bring you enjoy. They are flexible and will  pay you well for your effort fast.

    I’ve personally had some good side hustles that I didn’t even consider them “hustles”.  Most of them are derived from my hobbies and personal interest. I do them so well and people are willing to pay for my expertise in that field. Some are accidental because one opportunity leads to another and things just happen naturally.  Many of these hustles could be built into a full time business/career. I know that not everyone wants to change career paths so often (it’s probably not a good idea financially any way). Hopefully those can draw some inspiration if you are looking for side hustle ideas to make good income fast.

    Below are some good side hustles I’ve had that make money fast:

    Resell online

    You don’t have to buy and resell. Start with your own closet first.

    Before even think of selling, I surly did more than enough buying. Being an impulsive person and someone who didn’t value money much, I splurged on clothes and accessories. Until one day, I sold a set of Louis Vuitton bracelets for what I paid for buying it brand new. That was an incidental good investment I’d say, considering I’ve had it for 10 years.

    It also clicked that maybe preowned luxury designer items are highly sought after. So I started to look around the house and collect the ones that were not in use for sale. My sister gave me some of her designer bags and Louis Vuitton wallets to off load. All of them were sold out like hot cakes.

    After all the personal collection were sold, I started to buy preowned Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories for resale on online auction site. I studied intensively on how to to tell which ones are real  and which ones are fake. Later I’ve written an article about how to buy authentic pre owned Louis Vuitton together with  a lot of designer handbag guide articles on this website to help people buy the real deal and save a lot of money.

    Progressed to an online store

    Back in 2009 when I started to sell preowned Louis Vuitton handbags online, there wasn’t any real competitors at all in Australia. It soon became a necessity to have my own e-commerce store. Eventually I had an online store to sell preowned designer handbags and accessories. There were a lot work evolved being an online store owner. My stock photography skills became better and better so many people thought those photos on my website were not taken by me of the real items I had. They thought they were stock photos from some other professional websites. I had to learn how to operate an online store by installing and using the applications, as well as optimizing SEO so there will be more visitors to the online store.

     

    good side hustles

    Some of the handbags sold online

    good Side hastles - resell online

    Designer accessories sold online

    good side hussles

    2012 -talking about my online store

    There was so much to learn and it seemed never ending. The good news is that all the skills I’ve learned from this helped me to land other good side hustles.

    Personally I’ve never had the aspiration (or perhaps the ability) to be a great entrepreneur and be super rich and famous. I’m just this introvert person who suffers from anemia and often lacks the energy that’s required.

    When an opportunity came to sell the online business for a decent profit, I did. That was a great life experience and many great lessons were learned that will serve me for life.

    One important lesson I’ve learned is: When you try to do something, do it really well – even just for a side hustle.

    Photography Service

    Photography is definitely an expensive hobby. Before smart phones came into play, you’d have to buy heavy and sophisticated cameras to take decent photos. You’d have to learn about the exposure triangle and all the different buttons and dials on the camera.

    I’d always had an great interest in photography. One year of professional training at university taking photos was just a start. My online store taught me how to do stock photography really well. But I was too shy and awkward to deal with people directly. Photography changed that.

    I started to take photos for friends and really studied how to interact and photograph people. Back in 2013, after I sold my online store, people were still willing to pay well for good photos taken for them. Within a year, I got another good side hustle that developed into a business. That lasted a good couple of years. At the peak, it brought close to $10K in one month, not too shabby.

    But soon I realised carrying heavy photography gears and running after my objects are not my thing. So I scaled all the way back. But I’m forever grateful for what running a photography business’s taught me. Portrait photography is a very personal thing. You’ll have gain people’s trust before they can show their true personality. I became a people person and could make people feel at easy in front of my camera.

    Private tutoring

    There are a few other good side hustles led from professional photography service. One of them is private photography tutoring. I’ve got some good clients from photography and some of them offered to pay me to learn how to take photos for their travel. This is much less physically demanding than having a photography session and people do pay well for knowledge and experience.

    Photojournalism

    Another exciting hustle derived from my photography is photojournalism. Because of my ability to take good photos, a friend of mine introduced me to an agent for celebrity event photography. I got invitations to different red carpet events in Sydney and saw some most famous people in real life close by. For me, it was pure excitement. I got to take photos Matt Damon! Brat Pitt! Cate Blanchett! …

     

     

    I got to meet the stars of my favorite TV shows at the time: Game of Thrones! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau took this photo with me using my Cannon DSL because I didn’t know how to take selfies properly, haha.

    Nikolaj-Coster-Waldau-with-Yvonne

    March 2014 In Sydney

    I was also lucky enough to be invited to be the official photographer for a few red carpet events (meaning no other photographer was present).

    But I soon got over it. Side hustles means side hustles to me. The agent moved to LA for bigger ponds. I didn’t put enough effort to pursuit it any further. After the excitement worn off, I stopped doing it.

    Good side hustles photographer

    THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB premiere & party 2014

    Be a personal shopper/stylist

    This one comes from my photography business too. I developed a niche of providing online dating portrait photography years ago. Many people need help with styling during the photoshoot. Quite a few clients want to pay for someone to go shopping with them and pick the best suited outfits. As shopaholic and a photographer who always help clients styling during photoshoots, it’s only nature that I picked up the gig of being a personal shopper/stylist.

    Consulting Service

    Having had a couple of businesses and knowing a great deal of photography, plus a thing or two of e-commerce, I landed a contract gig offering marketing consulting service. That nearly led into another full time employment but decided not going ahead. It could be more financially beneficial and secure to be full time employed with a big company. But it just felt that marketing is not my long term career. Maybe I’m more suitable jumping from one gig to another and not used to full time employment any more. Or, I just feel too old to keep up with 20 something  kids who are always full of energy. That was a hard decision but I’ve since moved on.

    I’m still offering consulting service but it’s in an area that I’ve always been passionate about – tax consulting. The saying is: there are only two things are certain – death and tax. I guess in the tax consulting business, the older you are, the more experience you’ll have. And the more desirable you’ll be.

    My point is, pick something you enjoy doing and be really good at.

    Teaching

    Because I know so much about tax and have helped thousand of people a year doing their taxes, I was offered a side gig to teach at tax school.

    The idea of teaching a class was a bit scary for me because as mentioned early, I’m naturally shy and low in confident. But eventually I took this opportunity to train myself to be more confident and it’s really been great journey. I’ve had so much fun teaching. In order to prepare the tax course and be prepared for all kinds of questions from student, I’ve learned even more about tax. It never hurts to learn more, right?

    Attend marketing focus group

    I wasn’t looking out for it but a client from my photography service put me into one of those market focus group meetings. All you need to do is to show up and offer your opinion.

    That group meeting went for around 1 hour. A meal was offered and cash of $120 was paid. Not bad at all.

    In conclusion

    I’ve really enjoyed all the good side hustles mentioned above. And they all provided decent income immediately over the years. For various reasons I’m only still doing a couple of them.

    Perhaps there are a lot of side hustles, some would list hundreds. But it’s not a numbers game. If you want to achieve a financial goal, be it making extra income or pay off your mortgage, choose a few good side hustles to invest your time in. Time is precious. No matter what you do, don’t waste your time. You want to enjoy whatever you choose to do and make money along the way.

     

    personal super contributions saving for retirement

    Are you making any personal Super contributions into your Super fund? If not, you need to seriously consider it.

    I never wanted to make any personal Super contributions until later in life after becoming a tax consultant. It’s never late than ever. I finally learned how important it is to have Superannuation strategies to save tax and build wealth.

    In case you don’t know, I’m naturally not good with handling my own money.

    I always thought personal super contributions were not necessary until now

    Along time ago, more than 10 years from now, I quit my corporate job and stopped contributing to my Superannuation altogether. Up until then, all my Superannuation balance was made up of compulsory employer contribution and earnings from that. Salary sacrifice to Super has been a thing for a long time but I was remarkably (also stupidly) confident on my own ability to invest and build wealth. During the 10 years being self employed, I never made any personal super contributions. It turns out, my Super performed much, much better than my personal investments outside Super. A decade is long enough to teach a money fool like me to finally learn to stop wasting my hard earned cash and my precious time. I’ll just concentrate on the most simple and effective way to build a next egg – through personal super contributions.

    Understand the Tax advantage of Superannuation

    First of all, tax on your Super investment income earning is 15 per cent. There’s no tax on investment income on the first $1.6 million of Super funds for people over age of 60.

    We could save a lot of tax by using Superannuation to our advantage, considering most people’s average tax rate is higher than 15%.

    Fair enough, you can’t access your super money until later in life. But paying less tax on your super investments means you’ll be able to keep more in your Super fund and grow personal wealth faster.

    There are a few ways to to save tax and build your wealth at the same time. The Australian government allows Australians to contribute up to $25,000 from your after tax money now ( $27,500 from Financial Year 2022). This is your concessional Super contribution cap.

    Concessional Contributions Cap

    You can claim a deduction providing you don’t go over your concessional contributions cap. This concessional cap includes super guarantee payments made by your employer, as well as any salary sacrificed contributions.  The difference between those other contributions and you concessional cap is the max amount you could contribute personally and claim a tax deduction. The concessional cap for the 2020 and the 2021 years is $25,000. However this may be increased by unused concessional contributions brought forward from previous years (from 1 July 2019.)

    You can claim a tax deduction on personal super contributions, which can save you a lot of tax dollars every year.

    Most likely, you’ll be able to claim a tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions. Prior to 01 July 2017, only those who earned less than 10% of total income as an employee could claim this deduction. This 10% rule doesn’t exit any more. As a result, many Australians under 75 years of age can claim an income tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions made into an eligible superannuation fund. There are certain eligibility requirements.

    Personal super contributions are amounts that you’ve paid from after-tax income to an eligible superannuation fund or retirement savings account (RSA). You can’t claim Salary-sacrificed contributions as tax deductions.

    Most superannuation funds are eligible complying superannuation funds but this should be checked if a deduction is to be claimed.

    Any deduction claimed can only reduce your taxable income to nil. It cannot add to or create a loss.

    You must have done the following before claiming a personal super contributions as a tax deduction:

    The following additional conditions must be satisfied:
    • the age-related conditions
    • the fund must not be a
      • commonwealth public sector superannuation scheme with a defined benefit interest
      • constitutionally protected fund or other untaxed fund that would not include the contributions in their assessable income, or
      • super fund that notified the Commissioner before the start of the income year that they elected to treat all member contributions to the
        • super fund as non-deductible, or
        • defined benefit interest within the fund as non-deductible.
    Age Related Conditions
    • Aged 75 years old or older. You can only claim contributions made before the 28th day of the month following the month in which you turned 75 as a deduction. You must satisfy the work test.
    • 18 years old at the end of the year. You can only claim a deduction if you earned income as an employee or a business operator during the year.
    • Aged 67 – 74 years of age. You must satisfy the work test or meet the work test exemption criteria for the fund to accept your contribution.
    Work Test

    From 1 July 2020, there’s some change for a fund to accept personal superannuation contributions if you are over 67. You must satisfy the work test or meet the work test exemption. To satisfy the work test, you must have worked at least 40 hours during a consecutive 30-day period in the financial year. Otherwise, the superannuation fund won’t accept the contributions.  Prior to 1 July 2020, you needed to satisfy the work test. Or meet the work test exemption if you were over 65 years of age when the contribution was made.

    The work test exemption applies from 1 July 2019. To meet the work test exemption criteria, the taxpayer must have:

    • Satisfied the work test in the financial year preceding the year in which the contributions were made
    • Have a total superannuation balance of less than $300,000 at the end of the previous financial year, and
    • Not previously used the work test exemption.

    Australian 2021 federal budge has some update on the work test, as mentioned in this post.

    Note: You Super will deduct a 15% contributions tax from any superannuation contribution that you intend to claim as a tax deduction.

    If your average tax rate is below 15%, it won’t be a tax effective strategy. Low income earners could benefit from government super co contribution, which I’ll cover in another blog post.

    From 1 July 2018, a tax payer like me with a total superannuation balance (TSB) of less than $500,000 on 30 June the previous financial year may be entitled to contribute more than the concessional contributions cap. We can make additional concessional contributions for any unused concessional cap amounts from previous years. The first year of entitlement to carry forward unused amounts is the 2019/20 year. Unused amounts are available for a maximum of 5 years.

    So in 2019/2020 tax year, I made larger than ever personal super contributions based on unused concessional cap amounts from 2 years, to my Super fund. And claimed the whole amount as a tax deduction.

    personal super contributions saving for retirement

    Take advantage of carry-forward unused Superannuation concessional contributions

    From 2019–20, carry-forward rules allow you to make extra concessional contributions. You can contribute above the general concessional contributions cap, without having to pay extra tax.

    The carry-forward arrangements involve accessing unused concessional cap amounts from previous years. An unused cap amount occurs when the concessional contributions you made in a financial year were less than your general concessional contributions cap.

    To use your unused cap amounts you need to meet two conditions:
    • Your total super balance at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year is less than $500,000.
    • You made concessional contributions in the financial year that exceeded your general concessional contributions cap.

    The amount of unused cap amounts you will be able to carry-forward will depend on the amount you have contributed in previous years, starting from 2018–19. You can use caps from up to five previous financial years.

    ATO will apply the oldest available unused cap amounts first. For example, unused cap amounts from 2018–19 would be applied to increase your cap first before unused cap amounts from 2019–20.

    Unused cap amounts are available for a maximum of five years and will expire after this. For example, a 2018–19 unused cap amount which is not used by the end of 2023–24 will expire.

    If, after applying all your available unused cap amounts, you still have excess concessional contributions, you may need to pay extra tax – divisional 293 tax. So be very mindful not to exceed your accumulated cap amount.

    How to view your carry-forward concessional contributions

    You can view and manage your concessional contributions and carry-forward concessional contributions using ATO online services through myGov.

    Log in to ATO online services, select Super, then navigate to Carry-forward concessional contributions.

    Be aware that due to the reporting timeframes of funds, the latest information may not be available in ATO online services. I would say the best way is to contact your super fund for the most up to date information. Your online super account should have all the information about your contribution history so you can easily keep track yourself too.

    Dis I say It’s better late than ever? My super balance is still embarrassingly low compared to what it should have been now. But I’m finally playing catch-up and learning to use Superannuation as a financial vehicle to save tax and save for retirement.

     

    Australian Federal Budget 2021  

    The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, delivered the Federal Budget for 2021 tonight (11th May). It’s good to know the update of the key tax and superannuation measures for individual tax, business tax and superannuation. 

    Individual tax

    Low Income Offsets LMITO retained for 2021-22  

    The low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) will continue to apply for the 2021-22 income year.  Otherwise, the LMITO was legislated to only apply until the end of the 2020-21 income year, with  the result that low-to-middle income earners would have seen their tax refunds in 2022 cut by  between $255 and $1,080 (for incomes up to $90,000 but phasing out up to $126,000).  

    Taxable income (TI) Amount of offset
    $0 $37,000 $255
    $37,001 – $48,000 $255 + ([TI – 37000] x 7.5%)
    $48,001 – $90,000 $1,080
    $90,001 – 126,000 $1,080 ([TI  -90,000] x 3%)
    $126,001 + N

    The amount of the LMITO is $255 for taxpayers with a taxable income of $37,000 or less. Between  $37,000 and $48,000, the value of LMITO increases at a rate of 7.5 cents per dollar to the maximum  amount of $1,080. Taxpayers with taxable incomes from $48,000 to $90,000 are eligible for the  maximum LMITO of $1,080. From $90,001 to $126,000, LMITO phases out at a rate of 3 cents per  dollar.  

    Consistent with current arrangements, the LMITO will be received on assessment after individuals lodge their tax returns for the 2021-22 income year.  

    The low income tax offset (LITO) will also continue to apply for 2021-22 income year.

    The LITO was  intended to replace the former low income and low and middle income tax offsets from 2022-23,  but the new LITO was brought forward in the 2020 Budget to apply from the 2020-21 income year. 

    Taxable income (TI) Amount of offset
    $0 $37,500 $700
    $37,501 – $45,000 $700 – ([TI – $37,500] x 5%)
    $45,001 – $66,667 $325 – ([TI – $45,000] x 1.5%)
    $66,668 + Nil

    The maximum amount of the LITO is $700. The LITO will be withdrawn at a rate of 5 cents per dollar  between taxable incomes of $37,500 and $45,000 and then at a rate of 1.5 cents per dollar between  taxable incomes of $45,000 and $66,667.  

    Personal Tax Rates unchanged for 2021-22; Stage 3 start from 2024-25 unchanged  

    In the Budget, the Government did not announce any personal tax rates changes, having already  brought forward the Stage 2 tax rates to 1 July 2020 in the October 2020 Budget. The Stage 3 tax  changes commence from 1 July 2024, as previously legislated.  

    The 2021-22 tax rates and income thresholds for residents (unchanged from 2020-21) are:

    Taxable income ($) Tax payable ($)
    0 – 18,200 Nil
    18,201 – 45,000 Nil + 19% of excess over 18,200
    45,001 – 120,000 5,092 + 32.5% of excess over 45,000
    120,001 – 180,000 29,467 + 37% of excess over 120,000
    180,001+ 51,667 + 45% of excess over 180,000

    The Stage 3 tax changes commence from 1 July 2024, as previously legislated. From 1 July 2024, the  32.5% marginal tax rate will be cut to 30% for one big tax bracket between $45,000 and $200,000.  The 37% tax bracket will be entirely abolished at this time.  

    Therefore, from 1 July 2024, there will only be 3 personal income tax rates – 19%, 30% and 45%.  From 1 July 2024, taxpayers earning between $45,000 and $200,000 will face a marginal tax rate of  30%.  

    The tax rates and income thresholds from the 2024-25 for residents (as already legislated) are:  

    Taxable income ($) Tax payable ($)
    0 – 18,200 Nil
    18,201 – 45,000 Nil + 19% of excess over 18,200
    45,001 – 200,000 5,092 + 30% of excess over 45,000
    200,001+ 51,592 + 45% of excess over 200,000

    Tax rates and income thresholds 

    Rate 2020-21 2021-22 to 2023-24  From 1.7.2024  (unchanged) 
    Nil  $0 – $18,200 $0 – $18,200 $0 – $18,200
    19% $18,201 – $45,000 $18,201 – $45,000 $18,201 – $45,000
    30%   $45,001 – $200,000
    32.5% $45,001 – $120,000  $45,001 – $120,000  N/A

      

    37% $120,001 –$180,000  $120,001 – $180,000  N/A

      

    45% $180,001 + $180,001 + $200,001 +
    Low and middle income tax offset (LMITO)  Up to $1,080 Up to $1,080 N/A
    Low income tax offset (LITO) Up to $700 Up to $700 Up to $700

    Foreign residents tax rates

    For 2021-22, the tax rates for foreign residents (unchanged from 2020-21) are:  

    $0 – $120,000 – 32.5%;  

    $120,001 – $180,000 – 37%;  

    $180,001+ – 45%.  

    For 2024-25 and later income years, the tax rates for foreign residents are:  

    $0 – 200,000 30%;  

    $200,001+ – 45%.  

    Working holidaymakers  

    For 2021-22, the rates of tax for working holiday makers (unchanged from 2020-21) are:  

    $0 – $45,000 15%;  

    $45,001 – $120,000 – 32.5%;  

    $120,001 – $180,000 – 37%;  

    $180,001+ – 45%.  

    For 2024-25 and later income years, the rates of tax for working holiday makers are:  

    $0 – $45,000 – 15%;  

    $45,001 – $200,000 – 30%; 

    $200,001+ – 45%.  

    Self-education expenses: $250 threshold be removed  

    The Government will remove the exclusion for the first $250 of deductions for prescribed courses of  education. The first $250 of a prescribed course of education is currently not deductible  

    A limitation on deductibility exists under s 82A of ITAA 1936 in respect of deductions that would  otherwise be allowable under s 8-1 if the self-education expenses are necessarily incurred in  connection with a course of education provided by a place of education (eg school, univeraity, college etc)  and undertaken by the taxpayer for the purpose of gaining qualifications for use in the carrying on of  a profession, business or trade or in the course of any employment. In those circumstances,  currently only the excess over $250 may be deductible.  

    Primary 183-day test for individual tax residency  

    The Government will replace the existing tests for the tax residency of individuals with a primary  “bright line” test under which a person who is physically present in Australia for 183 days or more in  any income year will be an Australian tax resident.  

    Individuals who do not meet the primary test will be subject to secondary tests that depend on a  combination of physical presence and measurable, objective criteria.  

    The new residency rules are based on recommendations made by the Board of Taxation in its 2019  report Reforming individual tax residency rules a model for modernisation. 

    Medicare low income thresholds for 2020-21  

    For the 2020-21 income year, the Medicare levy low-income threshold for singles will be increased  to $23,226 (up from $22,801 for 2019-20).  

    For couples with no children, the family income threshold will be increased to $39,167 (up from  $38,474 for 2019-20). The additional amount of threshold for each dependent child or student will  be increased to $3,597 (up from $3,533).  

    For single seniors and pensioners eligible for the SAPTO, the Medicare levy low-income threshold  will be increased to $36,705 (up from $36,056 for 2019-20).  

    The family threshold for seniors and pensioners will be increased to $51,094 (up from $50,191), plus  $3,597 for each dependent child or student.  

    Income Tax exemption for ADF personnel deployed to Operation Paladin  

    The Australian Government will provide a full income tax exemption for the pay and allowances of  Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed to Operation Paladin from 1 July 2020.  Operation Paladin is Australia’s contribution to the UN’s Truce Supervision Organisation, with ADF  personnel deployed in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. 

    Business Tax  

    Temporary full expensing extended by one year  

    The Government will extend the temporary full expensing measure until 30 June 2023. It was  otherwise due to finish on 30 June 2022. Other than the extended date, all other elements of  temporary full expensing will remain unchanged.  

    Currently, temporary full expensing allows eligible businesses to deduct the full cost of eligible  depreciating assets. A business qualifies for temporary full expensing if it has an annual aggregated  turnover under $5 billion. Annual aggregated turnover is generally worked out on the same basis as  for small businesses, except the threshold is $5 billion instead of $10 million.  

    Loss carry-back extended by one year  

    Under the loss carry back measures, an eligible company (aggregated annual turnover of up to $5  billion) could carry back a tax loss for the 2019-20, 2020-21 or 2021-22 income years to offset tax  paid in the 2018-19 or later income years.  

    The Government will extend the eligible tax loss years to include the 2022-23 income year. Tax  refunds resulting from loss carry back will be available to companies when they lodge their 2020-21,  2021-22 and 2022-23 tax returns.

    Temporary loss carry-back also complements the temporary full expensing measure by allowing  more companies to take advantage of expensing, while it is available.  

    Employee share schemes: cessation of employment removed as a taxing point  

    The Government will remove the cessation of employment as a taxing point for tax-deferred  employee share schemes. Currently, under a tax-deferred ESS, where certain criteria are met  employees may defer tax until a later tax year (the deferred taxing point). In such cases, the deferred  taxing point is the earliest of:  

    • Cessation of employment;
    • In the case of shares, when there is no risk of forfeiture and no restrictions on disposal; 
    • In the case of options, when the employee exercises the option and there is no risk of  forfeiting the resulting share and no restriction on disposal;  
    • The maximum period of deferral of 15 years.

    The change announced in the Budget will result in tax being deferred until the earliest of the  remaining taxing points.  

    30% Digital games tax offset from 1 July 2022  

    A 30% Digital Games Tax Offset will apply from 1 July 2022 for eligible businesses that spend a  minimum of $500,000 on qualifying Australian games expenditure.  

    Games with gambling elements, or that cannot obtain a classification rating, will not be eligible.

    Intangible assets depreciation: Option to self-assess effective life  

    The income tax law will be amended to allow taxpayers to self-assess the effective life of certain  intangible assets (such as intellectual property and in-house software), rather than being required to  use the effective life currently prescribed in the table in s 40-95(7) of the ITAA 1997. 

    This amendment will apply to patents, registered designs, copyrights and in-house software.  Taxpayers will be able to bring deductions forward if they self-assess the assets as having a shorter  effective life to the statutory life.  

    The self-assessment of effective lives will apply to eligible assets acquired following the completion  of temporary full expensing, ie to assets acquired from 1 July 2023.  

    Tax Exemption for grants made to businesses affected by storm and floods  

    The Government will provide an income tax exemption for qualifying grants made to primary  producers and small businesses affected by the storms and floods in Australia.  

    Qualifying grants are Category D grants provided under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements  2018, where those grants relate to the storms and floods in Australia that occurred due to rainfall  events between 19 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. These include small business recovery grants  of up to $50,000 and primary producer recovery grants of up to $75,000. The grants will be made  non-assessable non-exempt income for tax purposes.  

    Small business to be able to pause ATO debt recovery  

    The Government will introduce legislation to allow small businesses to pause or modify ATO debt  recovery action where the debt is being disputed in the AAT.  

    Specifically, the changes will allow the Small Business Taxation Division of the AAT to pause or  modify any ATO debt recovery actions such as garnishee notices and the recovery of GIC or related  penalties until the underlying dispute is resolved by the AAT. This measure is intended to provide  an “avenue” for small businesses to ensure they are not required to start paying a disputed debt  until the matter has been determined by the AAT.  

    Small business entities (including individuals carrying on a business) with an aggregated turnover of  less than $10 million per year will be eligible to use the option.  

    Superannuation  

    Superannuation contributions work test to be repealed from 1 July 2022 

    The superannuation contributions work test exemption will be repealed for voluntary non – concessional and salary sacrificed contributions for those aged 67 to 74 from 1 July 2022.  

    As a result, individuals under age 75 will be allowed to make or receive non-concessional or salary sacrifice contributions from 1 July 2022 without meeting the work test, subject to existing
    contribution caps. However, individuals aged 67 to 74 years will still have to meet the work test to make personal deductible contributions.
    Currently, individuals aged 67 to 74 years (ie under 75) can only make voluntary contributions (both concessional and non-concessional), or receive contributions from their spouse, if they work at least 40 hours in any 30-day period in the financial year in which the contributions are made.


    Super guarantee $450 per month to be repealed


    The Superannuation Guarantee $450 per month eligibility threshold will be removed from 1 July 2022. As a result, employers will be required to make quarterly Super Guarantee contributions
    on behalf of low-income employees earning less than $450 per month (unless another Super Guarantee exemption applies).


    Downsizer contributions eligibility reduced to 60


    The minimum eligibility age to make downsizer contributions into superannuation will be lowered to age 60 (down from age 65) from 1 July 2022.
    The proposed reduction in the eligibility age will mean that individuals aged 60 or over can make an additional non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home. Either the individual or their spouse must have owned the home for 10 years.
    The maximum downsizer contribution is $300,000 per contributor (ie $600,000 for a couple), although the entire contribution must come from the capital proceeds of the sale price. As under the current rules, a downsizer contribution must be made within 90 days after the home changes ownership (generally the date of settlement).


    First Home Super Saver Scheme to be extended for withdrawals up to $50,000


    The mTaximum amount of voluntary superannuation contributions that can be released under the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme will be increased from $30,000 to $50,000 with effect from the start of the first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation, expected to be 1 July 2022.
    Voluntary contributions made from 1 July 2017 up to the existing limit of $15,000 per year will count towards the total amount able to be released (which includes voluntary concessional and non – concessional contributions).
    Currently, the FHSS scheme allows for future voluntary contributions up to $15,000 per year (and $30,000 in total) to be withdrawn for a first home purchase. To be eligible, a person must be 18 years or over, have not used the FHSS scheme before and have never owned real property in Australia. Withdrawals of eligible FHSS contributions (and associated earnings) are taxed at the
    individual’s marginal rate less a 30% tax offset.

    For your interest, there’s an ABC news commentary that summarised the winners and losers in simple terms.

    There’s nothing to say that extra curly and wavy hair can’t be beautiful. In fact, we know that to be true. However, some people simply don’t want to invest all the time necessary to keep unruly hair looking kept together. To that end, here we’re going to look at the steps you can take to bring it under control, both short-term and long-term.

    Cut it shorter

    One of the easiest ways to deal with hair that’s a little wilder is to have less of it to deal with in the first place. Getting your hair cut might not be the most ideal solution for those who want to keep their hair long, but it’s definitely one way to freshen up your look. It’s then also much easier to take care of frizzy hair. What’s more, it can help you get rid of the dry, dead ends that might’ve started cropping up.

    Protect it from the heat

    For a lot of women, their hair might be manageable enough until the summer rolls around, then it can be a minefield of messy tangles. Aside from avoiding things like hot showers and using curling irons, you can also make use of heat-protectant sprays that can reduce damage to your hair overall. These need to be applied on a regular basis.

    Taking the irons to it

    Of course, one way to make your hair much easier to deal with is to get rid of any of the frizz in the first place. Hair straighteners are a tried and true method, but it’s also well known that it’s not the healthiest approach for your hair, either. To that end, you should look up methods of straightening your hair safely. Aside from using the sprays mentioned above, it’s recommended you use the right smoothing conditioners to prepare your hair.

    Take a longer-lasting approach

    If you don’t want to spend every day sitting down with a pair of straighteners, then there are treatments that can help you make your hair easier to keep straight for a longer time. A keratin treatment is one of the most effective options available. It usually lasts around two to two and a half months and smooths over your hair to make it both more manageable and also to give it a glossy, healthy look.

    Style with care

    If you don’t want to take as long-lasting an approach as the treatments mentioned above, then you should look at what styling products you use to care for your hair. Hair oils and waxes, especially those that contain argan oil, can make unruly and thick hair much easier to manage and style, while also offering the hydration and nutrition that can help you avoid frizziness and dead ends in the first place.

    If you love having hair that’s more natural, then, by all means, rock it. However, if you would rather settle things down a little, then hopefully the tips above can help you. It’s all about what makes you feel confident about your own look.

    Australia taxation can be quite complicated. Very often, clients ask me: do I need to lodge a tax return at all? Their situations are different. Sometimes, it’s a pensioner who doesn’t any income other then their pension.  It could be someone who’s under 18 years old, only works part time earning a few thousands a year and a few dollars bank interest. Or, it’s some who’s new to the country, worked part of the financial year and also received some rental income from overseas.

    Most people are genuinely not sure what to do with their unique situation. Occasionally there would be someone who wants to try their luck with ATO.

    “I made some money from this side gig. Do I REALLY need to report this in the tax return? Very likely tax office won’t know this.”

    “If I lodge a tax return, I’d have to pay more tax. Do you think if I don’t lodge a tax return, the tax office will just let it go?”

    Taxpayers who must lodge a tax return include:

    1. Most resident individuals whose total assessable income exceeds $18,200 for the 2020 income year. However:
      1. Persons who received certain Australian Government allowances will not need to lodge a tax return if they only had income from this source or if their taxable income was not more than $20,542.
      2.  Persons who received certain Australian Government pensions or who are entitled to an aged pension will not be required to lodge a tax return unless their rebate income is more than:
        1. $32,279 if at any time during the year they were single, widowed or separated
        2. $31,279 if at any time during the year the person and their spouse had to live apart due to illness or the person or their spouse was in a nursing home
        3. $28,974 if at any time during the income year the person and their spouse lived together
      3. A person who was an Australian resident for only part of the year will be required to lodge a tax return if their taxable income exceeds their adjusted tax-free threshold ($13,464 plus ($4,736/12) x number of months or part month the person was an Australian resident)
    2. Every person who, during the year, was not an Australian resident for tax purposes and derived income (including capital gains) that is taxable in Australia, other than franked dividends, interest and royalty income subject to withholding payments
    3. Every person carrying on a business or profession regardless of profit or loss.
    4. A person who has had tax withheld under the PAYG withholding system other than amounts withheld from:
      1. franked or partially franked dividends where the amount of the dividends or distributions received and any franking credits totalled less than $18,200

      2. dividend, interest and royalty payments received by foreign residents
      3. Departing Australia Superannuation Payments
      4. payments made to persons participating in the Seasonal Labour Mobility Program
      5. certain superannuation lump sum payments made to a person with a terminal medical condition
    5. A person who has a Reportable Fringe Benefits Amount (RFBA) or a Reportable Employer Superannuation Contribution (RESC) shown on their PAYG Payment Summary or Income Statement, regardless of income.
    6. A person who paid Pay As You Go Instalment Tax during the income year, irrespective of income.
    7. A person who has made a loss (including a capital loss) during the income year or has a carried forward loss (including a capital loss), which they can claim in the current year .
    8. A person who was entitled to the private health insurance rebate but did not claim the correct entitlement as a premium reduction, and their spouse (if they had one) is not claiming the rebate for them in their income tax return.
    9. A person, 60 years old or older, who received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to a non-dependant
    10. A person, under 60 years old, who received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included a taxed element or an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to a non-dependant.
    11. A person who is liable to pay or is receiving child support through the Child Support Agency (CSA) unless their adjusted taxable income is below $25,575 (for the 2020 income year) and they have received a government pension, allowance or payment for the whole period.
    12. A person who has made personal contributions to a complying superannuation fund or retirement savings account (RSA) and is eligible to receive a super co-contribution.
    13. A person who has made concessional superannuation contributions exceeding their concessional (pre-tax) contributions cap.
    14. A person who has made personal superannuation contributions exceeding their non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap.
    15. A person who was entitled to a distribution from a trust or had an interest in a partnership and the trust or partnership carried on a business of primary production.
    16. A person who is a special professional covered by the income averaging provisions. These provisions apply to authors of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, inventors, performing artists and active sportspeople.
    17. A person who was an Australian resident for tax purposes and had exempt foreign employment income and $1 or more of other income (Module 10).
    18. A person who derived assessable income from dividends and distributions and franking credits that was more than $18,200 (or $416 if aged under 18 at 30 June 2020).
    19. A person who has been asked to submit a return by the Commissioner. A full tax return is required even if there is no assessable income to report.
    20. A person who is a minor (under 18 years old on 30 June) and whose income was more than $416 (excluding salary and wages or other payments for work that was personally performed) or whose income from dividends or distributions and franking credits was more than $416. A minor whose unearned income is less than $416 will still be required to lodge a tax return if they have had tax withheld.
    21. Foreign residents with an accumulated Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debt, VET Student Loan or an accumulated Trade Support Loan (TSL) (as of 1 June immediately preceding the income year) if their repayment income, and any foreign-sourced income, was more than $11,470 for 2019-20. The return must also be lodged electronically.
    22. A person who derived Australian sourced taxable income (excluding any superannuation remainder or employment termination remainder) of $37,001 or more whilst they were on a working holiday visa (417 or 462).

    Hope this long list helps! With Australian end of financial year fast approaching, it’s best to get your head around and be prepared for any financial implications.