Current COVID Travel Restrictions

With a surge in COVID-19 cases in Victoria and New South Wales, and changes being made to border crossings, it is hard to stay up to date with the latest restrictions on travelling. If you are planning on travelling, please check these before you hit the road as many borders have now closed (either completely, or to travellers from particular States), and most States require you to get a proper authorisation prior to entering. Before travelling, make sure you check the information in relation to where you want to travel below: Australian Capital Territory New South Wales Victoria Tasmania South Australia Western Australia Northern Territory Queensland

How Do you Deal with Mail on the Road?

One thing we are often asked about is how to deal with your mail while travelling (particularly if you are on the road for a longer period of time). There are a number of options, including diversion of your mail to a mail forwarding service before you leave. A number of organisations provide mail forwarding services, but we have received good feedback from Club Members on the following: SOS Mail Solutions – www.sosmail.com.au Landbase Australia – www.landbase.com.au Post Haste Australia – www.posthasteaustralia.com.au Some things you need to think about whether a mail forwarding service is right for you are: How do you want your mail to be handled? Some services will receive your mail on your behalf then forward it to you when you let them know you have settled for a period of time. Others will open your mail for you, scan anything that you have received, and send it to you via a secure electronic link. How long do you need your mail forwarded? Cost Does the mail forwarding service have a minimum term? How easy is it to change your details when you move from one place to another? Other options for dealing with mail when on the road are: Getting friends or family to collect your mail and forward it to wherever you might happen to be. If you are going to be in one place for any length of time, you can set up a redirection with Australia Post. You can also have your mail sent as “Care Of” your local post office and just pick it up from there.

Finding it hard to get quality short term staff?

Finding seasonal, short term and casual workers can be a real headache, particularly if you have little experience in hiring, or are under the pump trying to run your business on a day-to-day basis.

Many of our Workbout Australia Employers also find that, as remote or regional businesses, the ‘tyranny of distance’ can be big factor when looking for a helping hand.  Not only do you run the risk of your ‘perfect’ applicant being potentially on the other side of the country, but it also makes the recruitment process much more complex.

How do you get the quality people applying in the first place, then make sure they are the right fit for your business and the position you have available?

Then there’s the logistics of the interview and recruitment process to take into account…how do you interview someone in another state when your technology or internet might not allow for all the ‘bells and whistles’?

These are our top tips to make the process easier for you:

  • advertise well in advance
  • the more details you include in your vacancy ad, the better
  • include a photo of your business or region
  • ask for references upfront in your ad
  • don’t be afraid to hire multiple times throughout the season
  • make sure you outline all the benefits you are prepared to offer to potential applicants
  • make use of what technology you have available (eg, phone, video calling, email etc) to communicate clearly during the recruitment process

For more detail, you can download our Tips for Hiring Travelling Workers guide by clicking here!

Helpful Resources for Tax Time

In my last post, I touched on getting your records together for your accoutant at tax time. One organisation, BAN TACS Accountants, have a number of resources and booklets on their website that you might find useful.

In particular:

  • Travel Records Schedule – www.bantacs.com.au/docs/t1.pdf
  • Receipt diary – www.bantacs.com.au/docs/t4.pdf.  This is particularly useful for smaller expenses (under $10) or if a receipt is not issued (for example, for purchases from a vending machine, automatic toll booth, or washing machines in caravan parks).

You can also download the booklet “Claim Your Trip Around Australia as a Tax Deduction” that is produced by BAN TACS Accountants in conjunction with No Boundaries – just click here for the download.

Tips for Tax Time

There are a few things that you can do  to prepare and make it easier for yourself (and your accountant!) once tax time rolls around:

  1. contact your tax accountant to make an appointment early in the new financial year
  2. get your travel records in order, including your vehicle log book
  3. make sure you have accurate records of any deductible expenses and locate any receipts that you may have been issued
  4. if you have had a number of employers during the year as you have travelled, they will each be required to send you a Group Certificate at the end of the financial year. If you make a list now you can tick them off as you receive each one, making sure that you receive them all before you meet with your accountant.
  5. if you have changed any of your contact details in the last 12 months, now is the time to contact any employers you have worked for to ensure they have the correct details for you to send out your Group Certificate.

If you are on the road or don’t have your own tax accountant, you can contact BAN TACS Accountants (www.bantacs.com.au), who specialise in tax for traveling workers. BAN TACS Accountants also have a number of resources and booklets on their website that you might find useful. In particular:

  • Travel Records Schedule – www.bantacs.com.au/docs/t1.pdf
  • Receipt diary – www.bantacs.com.au/docs/t4.pdf. This is particularly useful for smaller expenses (under $10) or if a receipt is not issued (for example, for purchases from a vending machine, automatic toll booth, or washing machines in caravan parks).

You can also download the booklet “Claim Your Trip Around Australia as a Tax Deduction” that is produced by BAN TACS Accountants in conjunction with No Boundaries – just click here for the download.

An Outline of Tax Ruling TR95/34

One of our most popular items in our seminar presentations is the information on tax ruling TR 95/34.  The ruling deals with taxation for itinerant workers…ie YOU!

According to the ruling, to be classed as an itinerant worker:

  • travel must be a fundamental part of your work or;
  • you have a ‘web’ of work places in your regular employment, (that is, you have no fixed place of work) or;
  • you continually travel from one work site to another, regularly working at more than one work site before returning to your usual place of residence.

With planning and proper record keeping, under TR 95/34, you may be able to claim a number of tax deductions (as an itinerant worker) for certain expenses such as motor vehicle expenses, meals and accommodation.

For more information on Tax Ruling TR 95/34, you can:

  • visit the ATO website by clicking here, or
  • download free information, documents and checklists from BAN TACS Accountants, by clicking here.

And remember you should always get professional advice on your individual situation from your tax accountant as everyone’s circumstances are different!