Archive for the 'Packaging Tips' Category

To BYOD or not to – that is the question!

Scott Plunkett, Smartsalary IT Manager here – posting about the big BYOD debate.

Err, so what does BYOD stand for?

Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) is a policy whereby employees can use their own phones, tablets, laptops and so on to do their job, rather than using company supplied equipment.

Depending on what role you have in the organisation, you’re probably thinking this is either a fantastic idea or pure insanity!

Regardless of where you stand, organisations across Australia have been increasingly asking whether it’s a policy worth implementing – and the debate isn’t letting up any time soon.

At Smartsalary we say a resounding YES – BYOD is the way forward!

BYOD iPad

The nitty gritty

By year’s end, 1.2 billion new iPhones, iPads, Androids, Windows 8 and BlackBerry devices will be purchased globally (Gartner).

The “No thanks” camp (no BYOD) shivers at the thought of the complications BYOD introduces. Chief amongst them are:

– Data security
– OH&S issues
– Compliance issues
– Device ownership
– Network bandwidth

On the flip side, the “Why didn’t we think of this sooner!” camp can only see the benefits:

– Employees are using devices they’re comfortable with and are therefore highly productive,
– Employees can connect their devices anywhere, anytime
– It enables more flexible work practises and helps employees achieve greater work/life balance,
– It reduces IT expenditure because companies don’t have to buy hardware

Within 6 months of Smartsalary enabling BYOD so that team members could connect their own devices, the take-up rate was unprecedented – we had an average of 1 device for every employee connected daily, with numbers continuing to grow.

For me, the time for debate is finished!

If companies wish to retain their top performing employees, they will only do so by adopting an innovative user-centric approach to what devices people can use to perform at their best. All the arguments against BYOD have clear and simple solutions through either technology or company policies.

Don’t wait any longer – invest in BYOD and reap the rewards.

‘Tis the season to save!

Salary packaging can help you save through the holidays. Here are some tips on how:

Go shopping with your Living Expenses Card!

Remember, if you’re salary packaging your tax-free cap, you have until 31 March to spend your funds in order to maximise your savings. Use your card over the holiday period to shop for groceries or even Christmas presents!

Use your Meal Entertainment Card at Christmas

Christmas is traditionally a time of excess, with plenty of good food on the table! So if you’re packaging meal entertainment, it’s a great opportunity to save!

If you’re headed out with family, friends or colleagues for a meal over the holiday period, you can use your Meal Entertainment Card. Depending on who you work for, a catered Christmas lunch could also be packaged (check your employer’s policy on our website).

But remember – take away meals don’t qualify as meal entertainment, so you have to be eating at a restaurant with a dine-in facility to meet the criteria defined by the ATO. One more thing – you or your spouse have to incur the cost of the meal, otherwise you can’t claim the cost as meal entertainment.

Drive your Novated Lease over the holidays

If you’re headed away for Christmas or for a summer holiday, we know many of you will probably drive your packaged car.  It’s a great way to save tax on your fuel and servicing costs – and of course, we encourage you to please take care on the roads!

If you have any questions about salary packaging over the holidays, feel free to leave them in the comments section and we’ll do our best to answer.

I’d like to wish you all a very happy holiday season and prosperous New Year!  Thanks so much for your incredible loyalty . . . we really do hope to be as good to you as you’ve been to us!

Leave a comment here.

Salary Packaging and HECS/HELP – what you need to know!


Hi Blog readers – Simon Ellis here guest posting about HECS/HELP and Salary Packaging.

Our customers often ask about how salary packaging impacts outstanding HECS/HELP debts. Let’s take a closer look.

Please bear in mind that the following analysis only relates to employees of Public Hospitals and not-for-profits who are able to access the threshold/cap benefit.

So what do you need to know?

Well, the fundamental message is as simple as this: salary packaging the threshold/cap benefit will save you money overall but will also increase your HECS repayments. This is best explained by example: the impact of packaging the $9,095 threshold by Public Hospital employees who have an outstanding HECS debt is summarised in the table below:

Taxable Salary Take-home pay without salary packaging Take-home pay with salary packaging Annual savings by
salary packaging
Increase in take-home pay Additional reduction in HECS/HELP loan balance Total savings
$35,000 $30,125 $31,626 $1,501 $0 $1,501
$40,000 $33,850 $33,885 $35 $1,915 $1,950
$45,000 $37,275 $37,595 $320 $2,381 $2,701
$50,000 $38,700 $40,960 $2,260 $606 $2,865
$55,000 $41,625 $43,530 $1,905 $985 $2,890
$60,000 $44,500 $46,336 $1,836 $1,075 $2,910
$65,000 $47,325 $49,072 $1,747 $1,164 $2,910
$70,000 $50,100 $51,757 $1,657 $1,253 $2,910

The above table shows two important things:

  1. that take-home pay increases as a result of threshold packaging activities at most salary levels even after the increased HECS payments are factored in, and
  2. that even where the HECS repayments ‘use up’ most of the salary packaging savings the packaging still means that HECS debts are being paid off faster using funds that otherwise would have gone to the taxman.

It’s win-win. Money that otherwise would have gone to the ATO as tax is instead used to pay down your HECS debt, and even after this there are still extra tax savings left over for most employees.

However it’s not all smooth sailing because the additional HECS amount is generally not collected from your salary during the year but is billed by the ATO as a lump-sum at tax year-end. This can put a serious dent in your bank balance unless you have prepared for it by setting money aside during the year.

If this sounds like something you can handle then get in touch with Smartsalary ASAP because tax savings wait for no one. Also, please keep in mind that the above information is general advice only.

Leave a comment here.


Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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