Tax season is here and, after a few surprise changes in this year's budget, our financial planners phones have been running hot with enquiries.

Some are fairly straightforward – such as "how long should I keep my receipts for?" (generally five years) and "'can I still easily claim car-related expenses after recent changes?" (yes).

But others around investment, superannuation and property, can take weeks or months of planning to execute.

Not only has the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) signalled several areas it is cracking down on, such as improper claims around rental properties, but both the federal budget and Labour reply, offered several hints about areas of change.

Smart Investor Weekend asked tax experts which questions have been coming up frequently and how investors should approach them. Here are their answers

So we hope the lead time in to the End Of Financial Year goes smoothly for you.  We are now working very closing with the VA Group who specialise in accounting, and between us both feel we can clear up many of the issues raised.

If there is anything you are unsure of, please contact our office.

Warm regards,



Top tax deductions you may have forgotten about

You may have heard recently that you can claim your handbag on your tax bill. Like many others who have called their accountants in the past month, it may have prompted you to ask "what else can I claim this year?

read more
Proposed super changes and life insurance dilemmas.

You may have notice the life insurance (including TPD and, in some cases, salary continuance) is playing an ever-increasing role in super superannuation.

read more

Understanding economy in 10 easy steps

Australia once rode on the sheep's back, but since 1971 there has been a trade deficit.

Staying abreast of the economic signals can assist you to make wise financial decisions and not get caught out.

read more

Young drivers and insuring the risks!

It’s devastating to watch the nightly news and see reports of young drivers, especially P-platers, who are fatally injured or worse, killed on Australian roads.

Unfortunately, there are no signs of this problem reducing.  
The anxiety and fear parents have about their children driving are real, and are highlighted by the figures below:
  • 45 per cent of all young Australian injury deaths are due to road traffic crashes
  • Of all hospitalisations of young Australians, almost half are drivers involved in a road traffic crash and another quarter are passengers
  • Young drivers (17 – 25 years) represent one-quarter of all Australian road deaths, but are only 10 – 15% of the licensed driver population
  • A 17 year old driver with a P1 licence is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver over 26 years
  • One-third of all speeding drivers and rider in fatal crashes are males aged 17 – 25; 6% are females aged 17 – 25
Parents of teenagers are aware of the above risks, especially as their children get closer to driving age. The emotional impact resulting from these events are immeasurable. However, the financial stress can be limited with the right strategies in place.  A lump sum benefit may assist in providing a young adult with medical help and rehabilitation. It may also allow a working parent to cease working and provide care and attention to their sick child.
Child Cover pays a lump sum benefit if the insured child suffers a specified traumatic illness or passes away. Some of the specified conditions covered in this product are consistent with conditions suffered from a car accident, such as:
  • Severe burns
  • Major head trauma
  • Loss or paralysis of limb
  • Death
Case Study:
Jennifer and Adam speak to their financial adviser regarding their wealth protection needs to protect their young family financially. They have two children, Harry and Gemma, who are 15 and 13 years old respectively. Like all typical teenagers, Harry can’t wait to get his licence and go out for drives with his mates. Jennifer and Adam understand the risks with young drivers and they admit to having concerns.  

Jennifer and Adam’s financial adviser recommend Child Cover as an added option to their risk strategy to address these concerns.  

Tragically, 3 years later, Harry was a passenger along with 3 other teenagers in a car being driven by a P plater. Harry suffers severe burns to over 40% of his body and head trauma. Jennifer and Adam’s Child Cover policy paid a lump sum benefit of $200,000. This benefit enabled them to provide their son with the appropriate medical care and rehabilitation. In addition, Jennifer used some of the funds to enable her to take 6 months off work to be by Harry’s side during this difficult time.

Unfortunately we have seen many cases like this.
Almost half of Aussie home owners have never refinanced!

The results of a new consumer survey conducted by Aussie Home Loans has shown almost half of Australian home owners have never refinanced their mortgage.

This means that almost half of Australian home owners could be paying more in interest than they have to.
The survey of more than 1,000 mortgage holders showed 45% have never refinanced their home loan. Almost one third (29%) of respondents said they have never refinanced because they think they won’t get a better deal. Almost one in five (18%) said they haven’t thought about it or don’t know where to start and 17% believe it’s too time consuming.
Recently we have seen clients who have had interest rates in excess of 6.5% and we have been able to save them literally thousands of dollars a year with minimal effort on their part and in some cases without switching banks.
Brokers are now doing more refinance home loans than any other type of home loan, and that’s because our customers want an expert who’s on their side to get it done for them.
dfp recent
Gender: Male
Age: 56
Claim made for:  Stroke
Claim amount paid:  $93,000

Gender: Female
Age: 48
Claim made for: Death 
Claim amount paid:  $1,276,742
dfp news
The Best Biscuit......

It is something many Australians take for granted - at least until they get sick or have an accident.  But having access to safe and secure blood supply could save your life. It is one of those things that we just expect to be there for us, but only a very small portion 3.5% of our potential donor population actually give blood!

Approximately 65 per cent of people with cancer will require a blood product at some time during therapy. For example, treating just one person with acute leukaemia for one month requires 45 people to give blood.

One third of blood donations help people with Cancer.  Blood is surprisingly versatile, the blood you donate can be made into 22 different medical treatments.

A big shout out to our amazing DFP team members that paid a visited our local Australian Red Cross Blood Service, donated some much needed blood and enjoyed a cup of tea and the best biscuit.
Kari doing her bit.
Prab - being brave - poor Kari needed a little lay down after.
Well done Lauren Trueman.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted!
It only takes 10 mindful minutes.....

When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking?

Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in strange positions.)

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