• By Willard Lloyd / March 7, 2019

    Australian expatriates have been offered some relief after a Full Federal Court decision against the ATO in a tax residency case clarified the definition of “permanent place of abode”.
    Harding v Commissioner of Taxation, ruling that the taxpayer’s “temporary” apartment qualified as a “permanent place of abode” under the tax residency test and was not liable for tax in Australia.

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / February 12, 2019

    Whether it be a job opportunity or change of scenery, any Australian looking to gain employment overseas should seek strategic financial advice before their departure in order to understand, and potentially avoid, any lasting financial impact that may be difficult to unwind as a result of different rules and regulations impacting their status. 

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / January 21, 2019

    The Commonwealth Bank and the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne, released a new benchmark measure of financial wellbeing of it stating weighing on the minds of a large number of Australians is their challenges of managing personal finances and putting enough money aside to ensure their financial futures. 

    What is the CBA-MI financial scale? 

    The scale combines banking data and peoples’ perceptions about financial outcomes.  The unique concentration of the individuals perception with the banking data reveals the barriers, drivers and behaviours that are linked to positive financial well being across both ‘self-reported and ‘observed’ scales. 

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / January 16, 2019

    From how the dollar will perform, to whether we should invest in property or shares, despite the past record of forecasters often ‘getting it wrong’, or playing it safe, consumers will continue to seek market predictions, almost as if they are searching to find that one person with the crystal ball.

    Using last year as an example, many experts, including Mike Wilson from Morgan Stanley, predicted tech stocks would continue to head the market, allowing it to remain strong.  What happened? The likes of Apple and Facebook fell over 40% from their highs. Even the S&P 500 ended the year well below the predicted 2840 with a concluding result of 2500.

    So why are the experts so often wrong? To put it simply, it’s because they generally fall into two categories, and either way, they are playing it safe.

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / December 12, 2018

    For around 12 months we have believed that Australian and Global equity markets have been extremely overpriced and riding on the strength of euphoria as we couldn’t find many opportunities for growth.

    We had always been saying that the Australian and US equity markets have been overvalued and thus very early on had little exposure to both asset classes. Most Australian investors who aren’t our clients have a love affair with domestic and US shares thus seeing very large declines in their portfolios over the past 3 months {-12% to -22%}

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / December 5, 2018

    An announcement by Congress, concerning the current status of the E3 Visa, left a vicarious feeling amongst Australians planning on making the move to the USA.  As it stood, the E3 visa came as a part of a 2005 Australian-US fair trade agreement under the Bush administration.  It had become the envy of many nations as, unlike many other visas, it allows its recipients, and their spouse, to work within the US unrestricted and has unlimited renewals.  The Visa is relatively cheap and allows Australians to by-pass many other applicants attempting to gain entry in the US.  To qualify applicants must be employed in a specialty occupation, have a legitimate offer of employment in the US, and possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials. 

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / December 5, 2018

    Attractive advertising, paired with an individual desperation, is what helps to fuel the seduction of Payday (short-term) loans, and they are quickly becoming a menace to our society; more often than not leading people into a worse financial situation than where they began. 

    Payday loans in Australia are part of the small loans market.  Statistics show that many people who apply for such a loan are already in financial hardship. They may have even already tried to apply for a small personal loan through a banking institution and been denied a loan.  The national consumer credit protection act mandates that all lenders ensure that the person applying for a loan can afford to repay the loan without substantial financial hardship.  Payday companies are not required to make such assurances for their clients and have made access to small loans of under $2000 increasingly easier with their online presence.

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / October 31, 2018

    It turns out it is not just a taboo amongst Australians.  It has been revealed that people would rather speak about religion, politics and even sex, than they would about their finances, especially when talking to family and friends. 

    Talking finances is seen as something the majority of Australians are uneasy with, a staggering 50% will never discuss their finances with family or friends, while a further 14% still consider the topic taboo.  Why do we find it so difficult to mention the ‘F’ word? Perhaps because money symbolizes different things to different people; power, control, security or ego. 

    Money is seen as an emotive topic, more so than religion or politics.  Many people view their financial situation as a reflection of their personal success.   

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / October 16, 2018

    As from November 19, the first sizable industry fund, Australian super, will be making some significant changes to their fund, that may cause some concern for investors, especially if they were coming close to retirement.  These changes come as amid fears of a potential property market plunge.  Amongst the changes, property funds will be frozen for up to two years in the event of a crisis. Furthermore, the fund will prevent members from investing more than 70% of their savings in its property portfolio option.  

    According to Kofkin Bond and Co, one of the most challenging changes will be the rule that states that, for up to two years, the fund has the right to freeze any attempts at withdrawing savings from the property option, as well as prohibiting funds out of, as well as any new contributions into, the options.  

  • By Kofkin Bond & Co / October 9, 2018

    Capital Gains Tax changes will mean that Australian expats will be denied the capital gains tax (CGT) main residence concession if they sell their former main residence while living abroad.  To date, this stands to affect over 100,000 Australians who currently live and work overseas whilst owning property back home. 

    The GST tax advisers acknowledge that the Senate committee believes the CGT exemption may provide improved housing outcomes for Australians. However, they believe that there may actually be a counterintuitive reaction from expats as they decide not to sell properties until they return to Australia, creating a ‘lock-in’ effect rather than improving the quantity of housing inventory for sale. In other words; to avoid losing their ‘retirement plan’ to taxes, they will hold onto their property, potentially not selling it for decades, contributing to a lack of housing stock for sale. 

    In Hong Kong, expatriates have come together in an attempt to create a campaign that would influence the Senate Committee to overturn the proposal. They believe that such a policy will make it difficult for firms, both Australian and international, to employ Australians to work offshore if they have the potential to have life savings wiped as a result of selling their home while not residing in Australia. 

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