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Australians at risk of missing out on estimated $1.1B in eligible working from home deductions

working from home deductionsTaxFox, a new personal finance app that helps users maximise tax refunds, reveals Australians are at risk of missing out on working from home deductions.

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Australia’s first tax refund maximiser app, TaxFox, launches to help Australia’s 14.3 million taxpayers get savvy with their tax refunds in the shift to flexible working.

TaxFox, a new Australian-based personal finance app that helps users maximise tax refunds, has revealed Australians are at risk of missing out on an estimated $1.1B in working from home deductions this year (on top of the reported $10B in unclaimed expenses on a normal year) in the big shift to remote arrangements. The app, which officially launched in July, is the first platform in the Australian market dedicated to helping individuals maximise their refunds, with the ability to record expenses, store receipts, log working from home hours, and calculate tax refund estimates in real-time as users add new deductions.

Unlike other tax tools, TaxFox shows users how much they are claiming in comparison to their industry peers with tailored insights on common occupation deductions, average amounts claimed on these deductions, average incomes for their postcode and more, to ensure every possible cent is claimed.

Maz Zaman, co-founder and CEO of TaxFox said on average Australians were claiming $2,576 in deductions each tax season pre-COVID, but this figure was predicted to grow this year due to more people claiming working from home expenses. 

“Nearly half of Australian workers have worked from home this year, many of whom will have spent money on setting up home offices and managing ongoing expenses such as internet and electricity. There’s a lot of different, and some less obvious, expenses in these new working conditions that Australians can claim on. However, to claim on a lot of these deductions, accurate records and logs are required by the ATO, which many people will not have on file,” said Mr Zaman.

“Currently, there are no full solution platforms on the market to help individuals track, log, manage and maximise their refunds in real-time. TaxFox is the first app dedicated to managing all of these steps in one place so that when it comes to lodging, everything is prepared and ready to go well in-advance. It gives users full control over their tax returns and sets them up for the highest refund possible, and quickly,” he concluded.

TaxFox is developing applied machine learning to give users smart suggestions and personalised tips for their claims. The app uses historical taxpayer claims data to help users find more tax deduction opportunities as well as warn of potential audits if they are claiming more than the average. It also looks at anonymised TaxFox user data and ATO demographic data to give users tips on deductions compared with others in similar occupations and industry. 

For example, on the TaxFox dashboard, users can find tailored insights on regular expenses claimed for their current occupation, as well as total average refunds for their industries. In Australia, the highest claiming occupations for deductions (on average) nationally are:

  1. Surgeon: $17,729

  2. Anaesthetist: $16,678

  3. Internal medicine specialist: $15,155

  4. Other medical practitioners: $13,401

  5. Legislator: $12,821

  6. Psychiatrist: $11,483

  7. General medical practitioner: $9,101

  8. Air transport professionals: $8,660

  9. Land economist or valuer: $8,625

  10. Dental practitioner: $8,551

It also details common deductions for working from home, including some lesser known ones such as plants, anti-glare reading glasses for looking at computer screens, and various home office consumables such as printer ink. 

TaxFox keeps a user’s data organised and easy to navigate so that when it comes to tax time, all of a user’s information and receipts can be easily exported for lodging and for any potential follow ups with ATO audits. The smart app is also in the process of developing  automatic categorisation of receipts and smart links for bank account transactions, matching transactions with receipts. This feature will automatically check a user’s receipts and suggest whether it is deductible or not. 

The TaxFox app is available on iOS and Android on a free version (which limits receipt uploads to 12 per year) or premium plans at an affordable annual fee of only $47.99 (~$4 /mo). In particular, it will help the more than four million Australians who self-lodge every year, and who are at greater risk of missing out on eligible deductions. 

In addition to the consumer app, TaxFox also offers an Accountant’s Portal, a web-based solution to help Australian accountants operate a more efficient and profitable business by providing their clients with superior customer service. It gives them the ability to digitally send and receive tax information, streamline business workflows with different bookkeeping softwares, send push notifications to clients via the app for information requests, and keep audit trails within the TaxFox system. 

Founded in 2019 by Maz Zaman and Sri Seshadri, TaxFox aims to become a household name for Australians taxpayers, becoming the smarter way to do tax. 

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/australians-risk-missing-eligible-working-from-home-deductions/

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New study reveals the struggles many businesses face in getting paid during the COVID-19 pandemic

getting paidA new report from Forrester and payments unicorn GoCardless highlights the struggles businesses have faced in getting paid during the pandemic.

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96 per cent of businesses have had outstanding payments for 10+ days over the last year, according to a new Forrester Consulting study commissioned by GoCardless, a leading fintech for recurring payments. The study, ‘Rethink Your Payment Strategy To Save Your Customers And Bottom Line’, examines how companies can use recurring payments solutions to boost their payments strategy, shorten DSO (Days Sales Outstanding), and protect their bottom line.

Forrester surveyed 700 payment decision-makers in organisations that serve a mix of businesses and consumers, or business customers only. The results highlight the extent to which lengthy DSOs and failed payments can impact customer churn and bad debt.

The study found that having a high DSO is a key operational challenge for many businesses. While only 4 per cent of businesses have a DSO of less than 10 days, the research shows four out of five Australian businesses have wait times of 20-30 days to receive payments. In addition to this, almost half (47 per cent) of businesses say that the time taken to collect their accounts receivables has increased in the last 12 months – this demonstrates the struggle for many businesses to get paid in the current challenging environment of COVID-19.

Another key finding is that failed payments continue to impact customer churn. In Australia, on average, failed payments result in churn 11 -15 per cent of the time. A Forrester Consulting study found that 50 per cent of firms experienced payment failures for 7 per cent or more of their payments in the last 12 months, and two in three businesses surveyed are seeing failed payments turn into churn more than 10 per cent of the time. This can negatively impact customer relationships, with over half (54 per cent) of decision-makers surveyed saying that payment failures lead to an increase in customer dissatisfaction.

Payment failures are also costly and labour-intensive for businesses to collect, with the average B2B business spending 16 – 20 per cent of the payment value to recover it. Half (51 per cent) of the businesses surveyed said that failed payments led to an increased cost of recovery, while 45 per cent of businesses say that payment failures turn into bad debt.

Hiroki Takeuchi, CEO, GoCardless said, “Forrester consulting findings demonstrate exactly why payments are high leverage. There are clear connections between failed payments and negative business impacts such as bad debt, churn and customer dissatisfaction. In this environment in particular, firms recognise the importance of recurring payment solutions that optimise their payment strategy and prevent failure, to avoid increased costs and damaging customer relationships. That’s why we developed Success+, which helps businesses efficiently recover an average of 76 per cent of failed payments.”

Further findings include:

  • 86 per cent of enterprise companies have more than 20 full-time employees to handle recurring payments, primarily relying on CRM, billing, and accounting systems

  • 59 per cent of businesses say that higher churn rates result in increased chargeback rates, whilst 57 per cent of businesses say that higher churn rates result in an increase in customer service contact

  • On average, B2B businesses spend 16 – 20 per cent of the payment value to recover the payment. If a business has $100m in annual revenue, with a 7 per cent payment failure rate, and it costs 16 per cent of that value to attempt to recover, that’s >$1m.

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/new-study-reveals-struggles-businesses-getting-paid-during-covid-19/

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A digital revolution: Australian Fintech secures first crypto IPO

crypto IPOThe crypto IPO by STAX is the first in Australia to raise IPO funding via cryptocurrency, meeting tight Australian regulatory standards.

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Australian Fintech STAX has completed a A$5million IPO fundraise for West Coast Aquaculture (WCA), an international fisheries company with a strong Asia Pacific presence. WCA is expected to commence trading on the Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX) on Tuesday 24th November 2020.

Of the amount raised, 89.07% or A$4,478,591 was USDT, otherwise known as Tether, a stable cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar. The remainder of the funds were raised in AUD.

This is the first company in Australia to raise IPO funding via cryptocurrency, meeting tight Australian regulatory standards.

Kenny Lee, CEO of STAX says that the acceptance of cryptocurrency in an IPO is a significant and transformative step forward for investment in Australia.

“The successful WCA capital raise and IPO, paves the way for the future of capital markets in Australia”, says Lee. “We are allowing access to a market which has been hard for overseas investors to get into, and it will only benefit Australian businesses longer term.” Lee adds.

The STAX platform is Australia’s first capital raising platform to accept both AUD and cryptocurrencies. STAX have partnered with the SSX to be able to offer a faster, reliable method for companies wishing to go public.

Following its IPO, WCA plans to use funds for expansion. This will include the purchase of hatchery and nursery facilities to allow further control of the supply chain.

Neo Ching Hoe, CEO and Founder of WCA, says: “WCA has always been an innovative organisation and we are proud to be part of this historic moment in Australian investment history. We hope this bold initiative helps open the door to more global investment for local companies.”

WCA’s IPO has been managed by Agile Legal and STAX to ensure all legal and regulatory compliance has been met in accordance with Australian law.

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/a-digital-revolution-australian-fintech-secures-first-crypto-ipo/

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The Tech Industry’s Diaspora: The Information’s Tech Briefing

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The stock market is acting like the Covid vaccines have already been administered. Meanwhile, in the real world, what could be a long-term consequence of the pandemic is unfolding: there are signs the San Francisco Bay Area is losing its iron grip on the tech industry.

We ran a story today on high-profile tech CEOs such as Dropbox’s Drew Houston and Splunk’s Douglas Merritt relocating to Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal ran a complementary story about smaller tech firms scattered around the country getting more applications from employees with big-tech experience in places like San Francisco and New York.

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/the-tech-industrys-diaspora-the-informations-tech-briefing

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