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Government Grants For SMEs

Creative Industries Can Obtain Grants Of Up To $20,000

The Australian Government's Enterprise Connect Program has grant funds available for eligible businesses operating in creative industries, which can include:
  • Design
  • Publishing
  • Writing
  • Architecture
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts
  • Television/Radio Advertising
  • Film
  • Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Games and Interactive Content
Grants can help creative industry businesses improve their operations, productivity and competitiveness by funding professional business advisory and development services.  To be eligible, businesses must be operating in the creative industry area and have filed Business Activity Statements (BAS) for at least three consecutive years.  Applicants must also have a turnover of a minimum of $1M and a maximum of $100M.  The first step in the process is a free business review undertaken by a contracted Enterprise Connect Business Advisor.  From this review, a decision is made on the type of services that Enterprise Connect will financially support.  An eligible entity can obtain funding on a 50/50 basis.

If you are interested in obtaining more details on the operations of Enterprise Connect, please contact us.

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Australian Taxation Office "Hit List"

Every financial year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) releases its "hit list" or yearly compliance program.  This year is no exception.  Some interesting observations can be drawn from the "hit list" in regards to all levels of businesses.  One of the big focuses of the program across all levels of taxpayers is the increase in 3rd party data matching for work and business related deductions, omission of income both from Australian sources and foreign sources, Fringe Benefits Tax reporting and GST treatment of property transactions.

The ATO are also increasingly conducting more site visits to Small/Medium Enterprise Operators for the review of:
  • GST Transactions
  • Superannuation Registration
  • Compliance with Taxation Laws
  • Taxation Payments
The ATO are also checking:
  • Companies with loans to shareholders
  • Trustees' compliance with the requirements for written agreements and trust minutes for trustee resolutions made prior to 30th June 2012
  • Comparing these minutes with the trust income tax returns lodged, along with the income tax returns of all beneficiaries of the trust
All in all, this updated program seems to be focusing on ensuring people are complying with more areas of the law rather than simply Income Tax and GST, which has been a focus of the ATO for some time.

If you have any concerns about any aspect of your business relating to the ATO, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Export Market Development Grant Application

If you have exported product during 2011/2012 and have expenditure in excess of $20,000 on export market development activities, then you could be eligible to lodge an Export Market Development Grant Application.  The application needs to be lodged with Austrade by no later than 30th November 2012.  There are no extensions available.  Businesses with turnovers under $50M in the 2011/2012 financial year and who have spent in excess of $20,000 on eligible export expenses, can apply.
In the first year, a business is able to combine eligible export expenses for two years to achieve the $20,000 minimum expenditure requirement.

If you have exported product or have commenced export market activities and have incurred in excess of $20,000 on export related expenses, we'll be happy to assist you in the preparation of an Export Market Development Grant Claim.  If you would like a list of the eligible expenses for Export Market Development Grants (Form 014-030a), please contact us.

Article provided by - Paper 014-030 - Export Market Development Grant and Form 014-030a - Eligible Export Expenses Checklist.
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