Welcome to the Morse Group blog

The following articles are published under the Morse Group company. Ideas and beliefs are expressed as those of the individuals, and in no way are to be taken as financial, business or any other form of advice.

We recommend speaking to one of our Advisors at Morse Group before acting on any of this information.

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The Dowd Report: October 2017



As we leave behind the Central West's cold weather of Winter, it is time to turn our minds to the major issues that arise every Spring and early Summer. These include picking the winner of the Melbourne Cup, cheering for the Australian cricket team as they attempt to win the Ashes and planning for the end of year holiday season.

Notwithstanding those potential distractions, my focus remains with the Tax World where the Government continues with patching up the system whilst ignoring the fact that the system, as such, requires fundamental reform in numerous areas. Despite the recent bad publicity about certain administrative issues faced by the ATO in the context of their IT systems and activities of certain personnel, I am of the opinion that the current Commissioner and his top echelon of staff are doing a relatively good job.

One area that is the focus of this Dowd Report is that part of the system whereby taxpayers can obtain a degree of certainty about the tax outcome for transactions where there exists the likelihood of a difference of opinion between the Commissioner and the taxpayer. I will also highlight an instance where he "got it wrong" according to the
interpretation of the law that was subject to a recent Court decision.

Click here to view the full report 

The Dowd Report: August 2017


This is the first Dowd Report distributed to our clients, colleagues and others since the last quarter of 2016 and for very good reasons. 

The first half of this year was taken up in the political to-ing and fro-ing in the lead up to the Federal Budget presented to the Parliament in May 2017. Until then, there was little to report on. Now however, we have a comprehensive overview of the year to date and the latest news.
This is the first Dowd Report distributed to our clients, colleagues and others since the last quarter of
2016 and for very good reasons.
The first half of this year was taken up in the political to-ing and fro-ing in the lead up to the Federal
Budget presented to the Parliament in May 2017. Until then, there was little to report.

Click here to view the full report 




Bathurst NSW (August 1, 2017)- Paul Dowd, Tax Counsel at  Morse Group Accountants and Advisors, has a warning to the citizens of Bathurst about the potential for "tax scammers" to be active at this time of the year. 

Dowd says "at this time of the year, that we tax practitioners refer to as 'tax time', people need to be aware of the security of their personal information". He adds "personal information such as TFNs, bank account number or date of birth can be used by scammers and such information should be treated like a bank PIN and carefully protected".

Dowd quotes from a recent press release from the ATO where an Assistant Commissioner said that more than 1,000 taxpayers reported that their personal information had been compromised in June 2017; up by 20% from May noting that the issue is a real problem at this time of year.

Dowd says "it is critical to understand that the ATO will NOT:


· Be abusive, threatening or offensive to taxpayers;

· Threaten taxpayers with immediate arrest;

· Ask taxpayers to transfer money into an account with a BSB that is not 092009 or 993003 (i.e. the Reserve Bank);

· Request payment via unusual methods such as iTunes gift cards or other prepaid cards;

· Request personal security information such as a TFN or bank details via email or SMS or social media sites;

· Ask taxpayers for money up front in order to receive a refund or other payment;

· Direct taxpayers to download files from the internet".

"Any person who is, in any way suspicious about a contact that seeks to obtain personal information should immediately refer to their tax agent" says Dowd.

Pay Morse Group Accounts Anytime


Morse Group has partnered with QuickFee to offer you new ways to pay your account more easily.


A recent VISA survey reports that 72% of customers pay their bills online; thus, we have made an investment in our online presence to better suit the way you transact.

Morse Group has engaged QuickFee to build a payment portal and starting today, you will be able to pay your invoices on our website via EFT or credit card up front or in monthly instalments through QuickFee. The choice is yours.

We respect your privacy and ensure this is an entirely secure online payment platform. No information is stored by QuickFee throughout the process.

For those clients already on pre-existing arrangements, e.g. direct debit, these remain unaffected and you need to take no action.

Please do not hesitate to contact our Administration Manager Margaret Gibson at Bathurst Office on      02 63 399200 should you have any questions or require assistance.

We look forward to working with you again!


CEO Sleepout

On Thursday 22 June I will be spending a night in the cold as part of the 2017 Vinnies CEO Sleepout, I will experience for one night what is a daily reality for over 105,000 Australians.

My experience however will come without the despair, sadness, violence and isolation, things that are often tied to the experience of homelessness.

I would be grateful for any donation you can make in support of my participation – all donations will support Vinnies homelessness services.

These statistics shocked and distressed me and prompted me to sign up for the 2017 Vinnies CEO Sleepout:

• 60% of the homeless population is under the age of 35.

• More than 17,000 Australian children under the age of 12 have no permanent home.

• Women and girls make up about 59% of all clients who access specialist homelessness services.

• Between 2006 and 2011 Australia experienced a 17% increase in people experiencing homelessness.

Vinnies is actively involved in early intervention and prevention activities with at-risk groups, as well as operating as one of the leading providers of homelessness services in NSW, including crisis accommodation. This means your donations will not only provide warmth and nourishment through beds and meals, but also support the wrap-around services provided by Vinnies including education and lifeskills programs that help people break the cycle of homelessness.

I would be so grateful if you would support my participation with a donation

Each year Vinnies helps over 1.3 million people and they couldn't provide this assistance without the support of the generous public. Your support means more to someone than you will ever know. I leave you with this quote –

"This is not how I pictured my life. If it weren't for Vinnies, I would be on the streets. Alone."

PS Please hold off on any rain dancing until after 22 June! Support me –

BREAKING | Sunday Penalty Rates Cut

BREAKING: Fair Work Commission have come to a decision on penalty rates.

Key points:
(a) reduced Sunday penalty rates in the retail industry from 200% to 150% (for permanent staff) and 175% (for casuals);
(b) reduce Sunday penalty rates in the hospitality industry from 175% to 150% (for permanent staff only);
(c) reduce Sunday penalty rates in the fast food industry from 150% to 125% (for permanent staff) and 175% to 150% (for casual staff); and
(d) reduce public holiday penalty rates from 250% to 225% across the hospitality, retail fast food and pharmacy industries.

More details to come.

Employer Registration: Working Holiday Makers

Morse Groups Forensic Services Manager, Jacqueline Woods has provided information sourced from the ATO for Employer Registration: Working Holiday Makers.

ATO has announced if you are employing working holiday makers, registration has been extended to 31st January 2017 and you will not be penalised if you register by this date. Furthermore, you can still use the new withholding tax rate of 15% from 1st January 2017.

The ATO also stated that the tax rates have changed for working holiday makers for those with visa sub-classes 417 and 462.

Employers of working holiday makers must register with the ATO. Once registered, a withholding rate of 15% applies to the first $37,000 of a working holiday maker's income. Employers that do not register must withhold tax at 32.5% for the first $37,000 of a working holiday maker's income. From $37,001, normal foreign resident withholding rates apply. Penalties may apply for failing to register.

For more information about Employer Registration or to register, visit Australian Taxation Office website

Or contact Morse Group Accountants and Advisors for personalised single source expertise.
Recently, our very own HR Consultant, Tracey Holdsworth wrote a piece for Human Resources Media as the Career Tip of the Month. See below for some fascinating insight from an unusual source.

While I have some significant work and life experiences under my belt, there is nothing like a know-it-all teenage daughter to remind you of what is important. Miss L is at the age where casual work looks like a good way to support her fashion addiction. A local fast food chain was advertising casual work so I suggested them as a potential employer. I was slapped down in 0.1 seconds. Miss L does "not eat there, does not like their food. Have never! Will never!''. A roll of the eyes, conversation over. Financial reward was not enough motivation.

Take a moment to identify the type of industry, product or service that is the right fit for you and that you are passionate about. As HR professionals, we are continuously marketing and promoting our organisation to potential and existing employees. To do this really well, we must be genuinely passionate about the products or services our employer provides.

Success and progression in your current role – or success at interview – is underpinned by the genuine connection and engagement you demonstrate towards the product or service of the organisation. "Life is short – do it with passion or not at all."

View full magazine PDF here.

The Dowd Report: Q4 | 16


You may have noticed that I have not distributed a Dowd Report for some time. This has been deliberate on the basis that there has been little in the way of tax news of late and I do not believe in sending out material to readers just for the sake of doing so when there is nothing substantive to report.

That hiatus commenced when the Government went into election mode with the consequence of any legislative changes also being suspended for that (very long) period.

However, the Parliament has returned and there have been some legislative changes that are now law and there remain a significant number of tax measures that are yet to pass and you would, no doubt, be aware that the Government does not have a majority in the Senate.

To view the full Dowd Report, click here 

3 Tax Tips for Better Business

It's easy to get caught up running your business, especially during this time of year. So, Morse Group have put together these 3 easy steps to help give your business the edge in the new financial year.

Business Financial Health Checks

EOFY is always a good time to review your business's health. Looking at financial statements, working out its liquidity, solvency, profitability and return on investment, and comparing these results with previous annual figures will inevitably unveil some interesting insights into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business

Strategic Plans

Now that we know our strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities from a business perspective we can use this information to revisit our strategic plan. This should involve an analysis of the market and predictions on future developments.

It is important that your strategic plan reflects the objectives you, as the business owner, have for your business and your personal life.

Budget for the new Financial Year

It sounds simple, but you would be surprised at the number of businesses that do not do a budget, and if you're wondering where to begin with what to budget for and how much, refer back to your strategic plan. In turn, this will highlight where resources are required and assess your strategic plans viability.


Businesses that run well use this sort of planning and information during crucial financial periods in order to improve their financial outlook. If you need help improving your financial outlook for the new financial year contact Morse Group Accountants & Advisors today.



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