Wages and tax for the dance industry factsheet #4

Wages

The award rates for performers can be found in the Performers Collective Agreement and has been set by Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA).

If you are on the MEAA's site have a look at the Information Centre (under the Main Menu) for other useful information to do with contracts, OH&S, superannuation, freelance rates etc.

The national minimum wage is set by Fair Work Australia.

For teachers in public schools check your state education departments.

The Fitness Industry Award 2010 (MA000094) includes the term ‘dance centres’ in the list of fitness industry organisations for coverage. Awards are not optional, as they are a legal baseline even if a ‘dance centre’ is paying above award rates, and even if they are legally formed as a sole trader or partnership.

The award has coverage from 1/1/2010 of Pty Ltd companies, constitutional corporations, and from 1/1/2011 of sole traders and partnerships.

You can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to discuss your particular circumstances Ph 13 13 94

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Tax

You can apply for a Tax File Number and an Australian Business Number online

The GST

Goods and services tax (GST) is a broad based tax of 10% on the sale of most goods, services and anything else consumed in Australia. GST is a tax on transactions. Where a business is registered or required to be registered for GST, the price of most sales of goods and services will include GST.

The business may be entitled to claim GST credits on the purchases it makes in carrying out its activities. If you are running a business, you must register for GST if your GST turnover is $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organisations). If your GST turnover is less than $75,000 (or $150,000 for non-profit organisations), registering for GST is optional. If you choose to register for GST you must generally stay registered for at least 12 months.

Once you are registered for GST, you will need to include GST in the price of most goods and services you sell and you will be able to claim credits for the GST included in the price of most of your business purchases. You will also need to report these transactions by completing an activity statement every month or quarter, or an annual GST return. Go to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information for business owners.

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Employer obligations

Running a business or a non-profit organisation gets more complex when you have employees or independent contractors. As an employer, you have certain tax and superannuation obligations you need to be aware of.

These obligations include:

  • Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding. When you make payments to employees or contractors, you may be required to withhold an amount and send it to the ATO at regular intervals. They call this process PAYG withholding.
  • Superannuation. Under superannuation law, you need to pay superannuation for your employees, in addition to their salary or wages.
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). A separate tax paid on certain benefits employers provide to their employees or their employees’ associates (typically family members).

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Acknowledgements

A brief guide to running a dance business Pub. Ausdance ACT, July 2011

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