Aquilla Informer: Issue 2010/48
What is this newsletter about:
This Weekly publication is issued by Aquilla Advisors cc (Specialising in Business Solutions to SMME's in all the various aspects of business) and Aquilla Financial Solutions cc (Specialising in Financial Services Advice and Intermediary Services).
It contains information useful to business owners, business advisors and managers, NGO's, Schools, Churches etc. We have a volunteer NGO network with affiliation benefits for professionals, students and organisations. To learn more about the network or to join and enjoy the benefits the network provides, visit Inter Trauma Nexus at www.itn.org.za.
So far the Springboks did not impress at all on their grand slam tour. They appear flat footed and without any energy. It seems like the Southern Hemisphere players are tired after the Super 14 and Tri-Nations season. The only question that remains is, why can the All Blacks still perform on tour?
I think it might be the same problem most business people experience around this time of the year. They did not pace themselves during the year and they are trying to play catchup before the end of the year. But whatever the case may be, you can still inspire change in your organisation through constantly changing small things during the coarse of the year, rather than wanting to make big changes before the end of the year.
Many businesses are now preparing their strategies for next year. As part of that strategy please have a look how the new legislations like Consumer Protection Act, Companies Act, and Protection of Private Information will impact on your business in future.
A number of things is happening this month again, with the final date for SARS efiling looming for many individuals. Due date is the end of November. Every one is scrambling to get the final documents to submit before the deadline to prevent any penalties accumulate against their name.
We discuss a small but powerful free open source program called KeePass. Today you need to remember many passwords. That is where KeePass comes in very handy. I have personally been using this for many years. It is a gem in your software portfolio. You can even sync it with your smart phone or Windows mobile phone.
Under the financial section We have a look at more online products that's available at highly discounted rates.
This week we discuss:
1. Are you ready for the new Consumer Protection Act?
Are you aware of the impact on your business or trading name?
2. TAX Q&A's
3. Should you multi task?
3. Free Open Source Software - KeePass
4. Occupational Health Care & Online Life Insurance
Have a great week, and may all your plans materialise and make you lots of money.
This Consumer Protection Act was suppose to come into force in October 2010, but was postponed to come into force on 1 April 2011. The question is are you ready for the impact of this new piece of legislation on your business.
Consumer Protection Act 2008, and the Registration of Business (Trading) Names
This act will prohibit the use of unregistered business names unless a person trades under his/her own full name as recorded in an identity document. This would imply that a person who wants to trade under a business or trading name (being a name that is not registered as a company or CC name or registered otherwise under some law) would have to register that business name under the new Consumer Protection Act.
The criteria for business names are dealt with in the act and the process for application for registration would be prescribed in regulations which are currently in the process of being drafted. Such registrations would be the responsibility of Companies and Intellectual Property Commission as envisaged in the new Companies Act 2008.
Item 5 of Schedule 2 to the Consumer Protection Act, however, contains important transitional provisions relating to the date on which the new requirements would become effective as well as their application to existing business or trading names.
This in effect means:
We would certainly advise clients to eventually register business names that are in use, as such registration would afford the necessary protection to its proprietor. Alternatively business names could be registered under the Companies Act (Both existing and new act) as defensive names. The latter registration would however have to be renewed every second year.
The new provisions requiring registration of business names could only come effective a minimum of one year after the act comes into operation, and
The prohibition on the use of unregistered business names would not apply to businesses or trading names that have been in use for more than a year from the date on which those provisions came into force.
Are you complying with the Department of Labour?
Whether you employ 1 person or 100, you MUST display summaries of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Employment Equity Act. In recent amendments to the General Administrative Regulations, 2003, every employer with 5 or more persons in his employ shall have a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 and the relevant regulations readily available at the work place.
26 November 2010:
Non-provisional: Individuals and Trusts
31 January 2011:
Provisional: Individuals and Trusts
Deadline for Postal submissions/SARS Drop box
If you receive a travel allowance but it's just a strategy to reduce overall tax burden and you don't actually do much business travel, then now is the time to request your employer to remove the allowance from your remuneration structure. If you let things slide and don't take action, you may find that you owe the taxman a hefty sum in additional tax, penalties and interest, if your return is audited and the discrepancies are detected.
If you are a legitimate travel allowance candidate and do substantial business travel, then our best advice for you regarding the new tax year and the new travel allowance rules is to take the time and effort to keep an accurate logbook. This logbook should distinguish between business and private travel on a daily basis and include mileage to and from all your destinations.
Here are some of the key issues readers have raised over the past few weeks:
1. Donations Tax:
What exactly is donations tax? Who is liable to pay the tax - the person who makes the donation, or the person who receives it? And what are the donations tax consequences in the following situation?
I earn a salary. If I donate R30 000 to my wife, who benefits? The money I get in my pocket is already taxed before I get it. If I donate money and the amount is above the maximum amount allowable, who is liable for that tax and why?
And finally, is money given to my church monthly and annually seen as a donation?
Donations tax is a tax levied at a rate of 20%. The tax is levied on the balance of the amount that is donated, that exceeds the exempt portion allowed.
The exempt portion of the donation was R30 000 until 28/02/2006, but it's now been increased to R100 000 as from 1/03/2008.
Donations between spouses are exempt, no matter what the amount of the actual donation is.
For other donations, the donor is liable to pay the tax on the amount exceeding the exempt amount. However, if the donor does not pay, SARS can then hold the recipient liable to pay the donations tax.
Regarding your donations to your church, no the donations provisions will not apply to your monthly payments. However, if you donate an amount additional to the monthly contributions, then you can include that in your annual exemption.
TIP: You can use the donations tax exemption to benefit your children tax-free! The annual exemption is available per person, therefore a husband nd wife can each make donations of up to R100 000 per annum, and the R200
000 would be exempt from donations tax. For example, if you have four children and want to donate money to each of them, both parents can each give each of their children R12 500 and it will not be subject to any donations tax. (Each child can then receive a R50 000 donation and no donations tax will be payable.) This is a clever and effective way of reducing the amount of your taxable estate, benefiting your children and keeping your money in the family.
Should CEO's Multi Task
According to a new Stanford University study, which found that people who consume multiple streams of media at once -- phone calls, e-mail, and Twitter, among others -- are more easily distracted and have a harder time transitioning between tasks than people who focus on one task at a time.
While the potential downsides of multitasking have been known for years, many CEOs remain oblivious. "It still hasn't gotten into the business zeitgeist," says Stephanie Winston, an organizing professional and author of Organized for Success: Top Executives and CEOs Reveal the Organizing Principles That Helped Them Reach the Top.
While observing CEOs in preparation for her book, Winston found that many did not multitask but rather focused on a succession of tasks in order to "wring the full value from their time." But she acknowledges that with smaller companies, the CEO often plays a more hands-on role, so they might not have the option of only tackling one task at a time.
Indeed, some entrepreneurs are unabashed multitaskers. "I think multitasking is kind of a steady state for me," says Tim Westergren, founder and chief strategy officer of Pandora.
Before starting the popular Internet radio service in 2000, Westergren worked as a composer, a musician and a record producer -- a simpler time. "I didn't have a cell phone," he recalls. "I was much more [focused on] one thing at a time."
Now Westergren is constantly traveling and his iPhone is always close at hand. He says he copes by creating a distraction-free zone. "In my first two hours of the day, I try focus on things that require more sustained attention," Westergren says. "I won't turn everything off, but I won't bounce around all these different channels."
Perhaps not surprisingly, Westergren does admit to listening to music at work. "It does make me less productive," he says, "but it makes my day more enjoyable."
Helping a Discouraged or Traumatised Employee
When employees are discouraged or traumatised, they can be cancerous to the workplace. As their own production goes down, they often attempt to contaminate others around them. Discouraged and traumatised employees can be easily identified.
When you observe the signs, you should discover the source of the employee’s dissatisfaction or trauma and then find a customized a solution to the employee's situation. While the best approach is to prevent your employees from getting discouraged or traumatised in the first place, the same skills can be used to provide the treatment. Prevention is better than cure.
What is KeePass?
Today you need to remember many passwords. You need a password for the Windows network logon, your e-mail account, your website's FTP password, online passwords (like website member account), etc. etc. etc. The list is endless. Also, you should use different passwords for each account. Because if you use only one password everywhere and someone gets this password you have a problem... A serious problem. The thief would have access to your e-mail account, website, etc. Unimaginable.
KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish). For more information, see the features page.
Is it really free?
Yes, KeePass is really free, and more than that: it is open source (OSI certified). You can have a look at its full source and check whether the encryption algorithms are implemented correctly. Download it here.
This is a low cost product you can introduce as a benefit to your staff and volunteers, with tremendous benefits to your organisation.
It is an occupational health solution designed for the South African labour market to keep employees who were previously excluded from any form of private healthcare, healthy and productive.
The Gold Package:
For only R190.00 per employee per month from 1st of January 2011. It provides your employees with the option to visit any CareCross Doctor, Dentist or Optometrist without co-payments for these services. This option is available to groups of 10 or more.
The Silver Package:
For only R165.00 per employee per month from 1st of January 20111. It provides your employees with the option to visit any CareCross Doctor, without any co-payments for this service. This option is available for individuals and groups fewer than 10.
Online Life Insurance:
Like in the early days of online banking, or purchases from Kalahari.net or even Loot, it seems that consumers are resistant to buying Insurance online. Some individuals have now shed their fears and started to make decisions on Life Insurance for themselves. It is not as complicated as some would make it out to be.
Generally it could be between 25 and 50% cheaper than buying through and intermediary. You only need to decide what the level of the cover is that you need for Life, Critical Illness, Cancer Benefits, Funeral Benefits, Accidental Death Cover or Work Disability.
We have negotiated two online option for you to explore. At the end of the process when you decide to go ahead with the process, you will instantly receive your contract, and will have a 30 day period in which to cancel the policy. No waiting for months and spending hours discussing insurance. Now you have it at your fingertips.
Try these two options without any obligations:
Do Life Yourself
Thank you for sending in your questions. Please continue so, and we will answer them as best possible in our Q&A section.
Have a great week.
Aquilla Informer Team