So What’s the Deal with Sydney Property?

 

Cutting through the white noise of the Sydney property market is tough right now with every media source both nationally and in Sydney talking about how we currently have the lowest auction clearance rate since T-Rex roamed the earth and how the RBA is “watching closely” at the levels of pain and gain in the market to monitor macroeconomic policy.

Put simply, its credit crunch 2.0.

Access to credit has dropped off a cliff and serviceability criteria of mortgages has all but reduced the borrowing capacity of mature local Sydney residents and investors to first home buyer status.

I hear my expat clients say “well now you know how I feel!” as expats have been left behind in the mortgage stakes for a few years now by the big four Aussie banks. Sydney locals now a feeling the expat credit frustrations that we all have been dealing with for some time.

So what’s the deal with Sydney property? Well, its pretty simple. Locals are finding it very hard to buy property now. So let’s strike while the iron’s cold.

Most of my savvy clients that have made their highest returns from Sydney property in a down turn. Parts of Sydney that have experienced strong annual growth over the last 2-4 years in some cases are down in value by double digits. That has just happened this year but this window won’t last forever.

Now is the time to buy in Sydney for the highest returns. As a buyers agent, I am being swamped with great deals at the moment from agents that are finding it hard to move properties and do not want to tell the broader market that the owners have to sell. Its the perfect time in the cycle to get a great deal.

By: Michael Radovnikovic

Changes on the Horizon – Employment Relations Amendment Bill

 

Business may be aware that change is in the air as the coalition Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill (“ERAB”) makes its way through Parliament.

The Education and Workforce Select Committee have recently completed their analysis of the Bill and have recommended it be passed into law, with a few tweaks made.

Here are ten key points you should be aware of.

To read more click here.

Award-winning accountancy firm Kingston Smith joins Expatland’s London E-Team

 

Top 20 accountancy firm Kingston Smith LLP has joined Expatland’s London E-Team.

The firm will provide tax and accountancy services to the London E-Team’s clients.

Kingston Smith is a founding member of Morison KSi. This international association provides consultancy in cross-border accounting, auditing and tax from over 85 partner offices. With deep insight into the issues facing expats, Kingston Smith is a name that inspires confidence.

The Expatland Global Network is assembling E-Teams in major expat destinations. Each team brings together vetted professionals who offer essential services to expats. Through one point of contact, they can access expert advice and local insight on all aspects of moving to, and living in, a specific location.

John Marcarian, founder of the Expatland Global Network, says, “Kingston Smith has shown unfaltering confidence in the E-Team concept. As a renowned accountancy firm with global outreach, it will be a great asset to our fast-growing London E-Team.”

Mike Scoltock, partner at Kingston Smith, comments, “This is an excellent opportunity for us and represents a natural fit for our highly experienced team of advisers. Expatland is building a reputation as a trusted community of expat service providers.

We are looking forward to supporting E-Team’s clients through our dedicated range of tax, accountancy and advisory services. We are also eager to begin working with partners, to provide holistic expat support.”

Richard Feakins, Expatland London E-Team leader, says, “Bringing Kingston Smith onboard is a reflection of the quality of the Expatland offering. We are delighted to welcome Mike and his team and look forward to working together to assist expats moving to London.”

‘Expatland’ origins

Expatland began as a best-selling book by John Marcarian, written in 2015.

Advice within the book is based of John’s experience of travelling extensively between international offices of his business CST Tax Advisors, enjoying multiple expat experiences, and working with vast numbers of expat clients.

With a deep understanding of both the challenges and rewards of expat life, John wrote the book as an ‘expat survival guide’, packed with advice, statistics and a step-by-step plan for smooth expat integration.

E-Teams around the globe

Expanding on ideas in his book, John launched the Expatland Global Network in 2018. His aim was to support people all over the world who are looking to join the vast, dynamic expat community. E-Teams in major expat destinations will deliver vital expat services, alongside destination-specific insight.

E-Team members are non-competitive and share leads, fostering business growth. Each member contributes to city-specific editions of the Expatland book. These are free-to-download and packed with locally-focused advice, tips and case studies.

The Expatland Global Network is expanding rapidly. There are now E-Teams in Sydney, Melbourne, LA, Singapore, Auckland and London. With best-in-practice members recognising the importance of this service, many more will follow.

Businesses interested in joining an E-Team in their city can get in touch with Expatland: http://www.expatland.com/contact/

Goods and Services Tax – Registration Requirements

 

This month, we look at the Singapore system for Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) which was introduced in Singapore in 1994 and has a current rate of 7%.

In Singapore, GST is levied on the supply of goods and services in Singapore, and on the importation of goods into Singapore.  In the case of a supply of goods and services, the applicable GST is collected by the supplier / seller and remitted to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”).   Where goods are imported into Singapore, the GST is collected by Singapore Customs at the point of importation.

GST can only be levied and collected if your business is registered for GST. GST registration is mandatory if your business has a taxable turnover of SGD1M and above for the next 12 months.

Taxable turnover refers to the supply of goods or services which are subject to GST. If you can show that the taxable turnover over the next 12 months for your business will be less than SGD1M, then you will not need to register for GST.  If the turnover for the next 12 months is expected to exceed SGD1M, then you have 30 days to register for GST from the end of the month in which the SGD1M threshold has been exceeded.

Failure to register for GST when your business meets the threshold turnover amount may result in a fine and penalty.  Where you are late with the registration, you will also have the registration commencement date backdated to the point in time that the business did exceed the SGD1M threshold. If this is the case, you will then be assessed GST during the reporting period commencing from the backdated commencement date.

If you do not exceed the taxable income threshold, you can still register voluntarily for GST if you can show that 90% of your business supplies are zero-rated.  A zero-rated supply is an export of goods from Singapore or the provision of international services.

In this situation, your business will be allowed to register for GST and then claim the GST incurred on expenses in relation to the exported goods – in this situation you are typically expected to be paid a refund from IRAS as your GST collected on sales will be less than any GST paid on paid on purchases.

In Singapore, GST is customarily reported and remitted to IRAS on an invoice basis.  This means that GST is payable even though the GST may not have been paid by the customer . Notwithstanding the above, if your business is registered for GST voluntarily (i.e., taxable turnover is less than SGD1M), you can apply the Cash Accounting Scheme – this Scheme allows you to report GST on a cash basis.

GST reporting is done electronically on a quarterly on monthly period, with the GST quarter determined by the financial year end for your business. The GST report is due for lodgement with IRAS within one month of the end of the reporting period.

In the return, you report all the GST collected, and GST spent in the business.   The net GST is what is payable or due to you as a refund.  The amount owed is taken via direct debit by IRAS from your business bank account on the 15th day after the due date for the lodgement of the GST report. Refunds are processed by IRAS and paid directly into your nominate business bank account with 7 days after the lodgement of the GST report.

 

XE Joins Expatland’s Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland E-Teams as Foreign Exchange Partner

 

XE, part of Euronet Worldwide, Inc., the world’s most trusted currency authority has joined Expatland’s Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland E-Teams to provide foreign exchange services. The Expatland Global Network is assembling ‘E-Teams’ in major expat destinations, bringing together vetted professionals who offer essential services to expats. Through one point of contact, would-be expats can access expert advice and local insight on all aspects of moving to, and setting up life in, that specific location.

John Marcarian, founder of the Expatland Global Network, says, “XE is one of the most recognised currency brands in the world and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our E-Teams.  We’re delighted that Expatland can offer such a prestigious foreign exchange partner for expats heading to Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.”

Stuart Talman, Director of Sales Australia, XE, comments: “XE is the go-to authority for all Foreign Exchange related enquires. By working with Expatland we can open another point of contact to the expat market, which is an important sector for us. We look forward to working with our fellow E-Team members and directly with expats coming to Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.”

Geraldine Collett, General Manager, Immigration Industry Association comments: “We’re delighted to see two of our Immigration Industry Association members working together to assist expats heading to the most popular destination cities in Australia and New Zealand. Anyone looking to move to Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland will get the best service available working with Expatland and XE.”

‘Expatland’ origins

Expatland began as a best-selling book by John Marcarian, written in 2015. Advice within the book is based of John’s experience of travelling extensively between international offices of his business CST Tax Advisors, enjoying multiple expat experiences, and working with vast numbers of expat clients. With a deep understanding of both the challenges and rewards of expat life, John wrote the book as an ‘expat survival guide’, packed with advice, statistics and a step-by-step plan for smooth expat integration.

E-Teams around the globe

Expanding on ideas in his book, John launched the Expatland Global Network in 2018, with the aim of supporting people all over the world who are embarking on an expat journey, joining a vast, dynamic community.

In addition to offering one-to-one advice, members of each E-Team also lend their specialist knowledge to writing chapters of a city-specific editions of the Expatland book, which are free-to-download and packed with locally-focused advice, tips and case studies.

Expatland is quickly spreading across the world with E-Teams in Sydney, Melbourne, LA, London, Singapore and Auckland, with more cities to follow.

Businesses interested in joining an E-Team in a city near them should get in touch with Expatland: http://www.expatland.com/contact/

Personal Insurances for Expatriates – What You Need to Know

 

Personal insurance relates to the insurances which protect you against sickness or injury to cover your costs of living and lump sums. Coming from another country to Australia, you are then exposed to a whole lot of new risks, issues, costs and lifestyle.

One of the key things you should be protecting is your personal well-being.

As you are in a new country, you don’t want to be put in a position where you have moved (and your family) and you can’t fund or support yourself.

In Australia, the rules are quite different and the insurances you may have had from another country could be invalid.  This is the first thing you should check preferably before you leave the country of origin. Our biggest asset is usually the least insured, that is our ability to earn an income.

Our guide on personal insurances, written by Scott Douglas from IMFG will equip you with all the information you need to make informed decisions regarding your insurances.

It’s very important to seek appropriate advice by a fully licensed Adviser who can provide you with what is necessary. The adviser will do a full needs analysis and make a recommendation on the products that are appropriate to you and your needs. With this guide, you can familiarise yourself with all your options and get a clear understanding as soon as you get to Sydney.

To read our guide please click here

The New Zealand Legal System

The New Zealand legal system is based on English law. New Zealand was a British colony before becoming an independent country. It recognises the Queen as its head of state – represented by the Governor-General.

The New Zealand’s Parliament has 120 members (MPs) who are elected under a democratic mixed-member proportional system every three years. The party (or coalition) with the largest majority forms the government. The New Zealand Parliament has authority to pass statutory laws by majority vote subject to certain procedural requirements.

Our guide to the NZ Legal written by Israel Vaealiki from Jackson Russell Lawyers is an essential read for anyone making a move to Auckland. This guide will provide you with a general understanding of all the issues you need to consider – from ensuring your will is effective in New Zealand to setting up a company.

To read our guide click here.