William Buck Australia
As a fully integrated firm of Chartered Accountants and advisors, William Buck provides a complete solution. Putting you at the core of the business, our advisors work together to ensure that careful consideration is given to your business and personal wealth affairs.
Working closely with you and your team, our Business Advisors can help you plan and implement contemporary business strategies and practices to meet your business’s full potential.
Our commercially minded tax specialists offer clear, responsive advice to manage your tax risk, address local and international issues, and develop strategies to optimise your tax position.
Our audit team has extensive experience in a range of engagements, giving stakeholders independent and objective assurance on financial information, transactions and processes.
Our Corporate Advisory team provides objective, strategic and commercial advice across a broad range of business issues. Our work spans the breadth each engagement from the origination of ideas to managing the transaction process, valuation and structuring.
Our highly experienced team of liquidators and trustees use their extensive expertise to assist in times of financial distress, achieving the best outcome for all stakeholders.
By understanding not only what you want to achieve but why it’s important, our wealth advisors can create strategies attuned to your key priorities. The end result is a plan focused on your life goals.
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William Buck has a team of professionals with specialist experience and know-how on a range of industry sectors.
Our advisors understand the risks and opportunities unique to the agribusiness sector. Taking a strategic view of your operations they provide relevant guidance and advice.
Assisting public and private schools, vocational colleges, universities and private training providers, our education specialists provide timely and valuable assurance services together with strategic, financial and management advice.
Our Government and public sector team has substantial experience in assisting all levels of government to review their structures and develop strategies, in line with relevant legislative requirements and accounting and audit standards.
Working with over 1,600 clients in the health sector, our advisors help practitioners and health care corporates achieve their business and personal goals
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Our mining and energy team has the experience and resources to help start-ups, developing businesses and well-established companies to meet their commercial goals.
Integrity and transparency are at the heart of the best Not for Profit organisations. These values re shared by our dedicated Not for Profit team, which helps entities to establish to improve performance and develop strategies for long-term growth.
Our advisors understand the challenges and opportunities facing the professional services sector first hand. This experience together with our expertise helps to determine your strategic objectives and provide concise, relevant advice to help you achieve your goals.
Our property and construction team assist on a wide range of assignments from property development to construction and large infrastructure projects. Their diverse experience, technical expertise and commercial know-how to help you tackle the important issues.
Our retail and wholesale team works with a variety of businesses from family owned operations to franchises and larger chains, to provide advice and guidance on the issues that count.
With the skills to help tech companies grow from startup to exit – we provide tailored tech company solutions, supported by access to a range of specialists across numerous service lines and industries.
Our transport and distribution team works with businesses to review their operations, improve efficiency and productivity and ensure compliance with the latest regulatory developments.
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We work with individuals, businesses and community organisations with a particular focus on the mid-market. Drawing on our extensive experience, our advisors will challenge your thinking and re-frame problems to understand their root-cause.
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There has been a lot of talk lately about Labor’s proposal to no longer allow excess franking credits to be refunded. In our office we are very interested to see how this proposal would impact our clients and so we got out our calculators (or probably more accurate, our spreadsheet) and took a look at some different taxpayer situations.
Firstly, let’s get some tax basics out the way – and bear with me, this gets a little technical. Franking credits represent the tax that a company has previously paid on its profits. The company pays dividends to its shareholders from its retained profits after tax has been paid. If it has paid enough tax the dividends will have franking credits attached to the dividend. As the current rules are designed to avoid double taxation the shareholder can claim a credit for the tax the company has already paid to reduce their tax payable. This means that where a company has Australian resident individual shareholders the final tax is actually paid by the individual, not the company.
For example, a company pays to its shareholder a franked dividend of $7,000. This represents the shareholder’s share of $10,000 of company profits, of which the company has paid tax at 30%. The franking credit attached to the dividend is $3,000, being 30% of the original $10,000 of profits. When the shareholder completes their tax return they include the $7,000 cash received plus $3,000 franking credit as income, a total of $10,000 of taxable income. They are then taxed at their marginal tax rate and are entitled to receive a credit for the $3,000 tax paid by the company.
Currently our tax laws allow for any excess franking credits to be refunded to the taxpayer. This means that if the franking credits exceed the tax payable on their tax return for the year then they will receive a cash refund. Essentially this ensures that the end tax paid on the profits is determined by the individual’s marginal tax rate.
Labor says paying out excess franking credits to taxpayers is costing taxpayers more than $5 billion a year and wants to abolish this. But what would be the impact of this change? As no legislation has been drafted, we can’t be absolutely certain but let’s look at some examples of how we think it might work out for some different tax payers.
We have Mel, Chris and Jane who each own the same number of shares in a listed company but their other annual income differs:
Mel – has no other income
Chris – has interest income of $25,000
Jane – has wages of $70,000
They each receive a franked dividend of $7,000 from the listed company with a franking credit of $3,000 – this adds $10,000 to their taxable income.
Under the current legislation the end tax on the original $10,000 of company profits would be:
Labor’s proposed change to deny a tax refund of excess franking credits would result in the end tax being:
The proposed change results in Chris being able to apply the franking credits from the dividend to offset the tax on her interest income, reducing the overall tax on the company dividend to 21%. Mel, who would otherwise pay no tax on the income is essentially paying 30% tax on the dividend because she is denied the refund of franking credits. For Jane the proposed change makes no difference to the overall tax.
Out of interest, what would happen if the same taxpayers received $10,000 interest income instead of the franked dividend?
The overall cash position for Mel under the current and proposed changes would be:
This is of course only one way to look at the proposed reforms to the refund of franking credits – there are other aspects to consider. As a bunch of accountants we thought it was interesting that under the proposed changes the overall tax paid on dividend income earned by lower income earners could be higher than the overall tax paid on the same dividend income earned by a higher income earner.
By JENNIFER REES, BUSINESS ADVISORY MANAGER | ADELAIDE
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Having a balanced attitude to life is something that Jennifer believes enables her to always keep things in perspective. No matter what the situation, she is always mindful of keeping the ‘bigger picture’ in mind when working with clients and colleagues and thinking beyond the ‘moment’ to other things they have happening in their lives.
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