Author: Greg Taylor


This week’s blog combines the themes of Government assistance, tax and technology that have run through my last few blogs. I have come across a couple of pieces of technology that may help you to better manage your finances and your business

The first item is the Australian Government’s new iPad and tablet apps MyBizPlan and MarketMyBiz.  I had a call from a helpful fellow at the Department of Industry (he had read my previous column on Government assistance) who pointed out the free, new tools.  They provide interactive templates to help businesses to develop business plans and marketing plans. He said the existing app, MyBizShield, has also been updated to improve usability and enable cloud storage. 

Video is something that many businesses are using to improve communication and sales. The Tax Office has produced four short videos to help demystify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and provide tips on completing a Business Activity Statement (BAS). Businesses with turnover of more than $75,000 per annum ($150,000 for non profit organisations) and all taxi drivers must register for GST, issue tax invoices for their taxable sales and include 10% GST where applicable.  

There were a couple of key tips in the videos. Only claim GST credits from suppliers who are registered for GST. You must have a valid tax invoice to claim GST credits for all purchases over $82.50. Do not claim GST on private expenses such as food or entertainment. You must keep your tax invoices and other GST records for five years. If you lodge your BAS electronically you may qualify for an extra two weeks to lodge and pay. If you're having trouble paying your tax debt on time you must lodge your BAS on time, even if you can't pay, and call the ATO to make arrangements. 

You can view the ATO videos at and the iPad apps at 

Greg Taylor is Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer for the Hunter-based Greater Building Society. This article appeared in the Newcastle Post October 24.