ATO warns SMSF trustees about tax avoidance schemes

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) trustees and retirees about the risks of illegal tax avoidance schemes.  

ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said the ATO knew most people did the right thing and worked hard to save for their retirement.

“If a taxpayer becomes involved in any illegal arrangement, even by accident, they may incur severe penalties, jeopardise their retirement savings, and risk losing their rights as a trustee to manage their own fund,” Mr O’Halloran warned today.

Keep track of your vege intake with an app

There seems to be an app for everything these days and a reminder to eat your vegetables is one of the latest.

CSIRO’s new VegEze app aims to motivate Australians to add extra vegetables to their daily diets and form long-term, healthier habits through a 21-day 'Do 3 at Dinner' challenge.

"Our research found two out of three Australian adults are not eating enough vegetables, especially as part of their evening meal,” the CSIRO’s Senior Principal Research Scientist Professor Manny Noakes said.

Virtual reality tech helps vision-impaired

New medical technology is now available for people with low vision, helping them with everyday tasks such as reading, writing and personal care.

Developed in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins optical clinic in the US, IrisVision uses customised software on a Samsung smartphone and Samsung Gear VR.

“New technologies like IrisVision can make a substantial difference to the quality of life for some people with vision impairment,” said Vision Australia’s Ron Hooton.

Christmas shopping well underway

Australians are powering ahead with their Christmas shopping, with nearly half saying they have already started buying presents.

Comparison website said 47 per cent of those surveyed had already made Christmas purchases, with the rest saying they will buy their gifts in December.

Finder’s money expert Bessie Hassan advised people to start early and beat the crowds.

Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness

Antibiotics are becoming overused and losing their power to cure, health authorities say.

NPS MedicineWise said that using antibiotics for common conditions such as leg ulcers, respiratory tract infections and middle ear infections in children could add to antibiotic resistance.

This week marks World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13-19 November) and Australians are being reminded to actively discuss the appropriate use of antibiotics with their health professionals.

Sign up to organ donor register

Australians are being urged to register as organ donors and help save the lives of up to 10 people.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said  living and deceased organ and tissue donors and their families would be honoured on Sunday (19 November), which is DonateLife Thank You Day.

“This day is an opportunity to say a special thank you to those who have given so many Australians a second chance at life through the gift of donation,” Mr Wyatt said.

Rising energy prices are our biggest single concern, survey shows

Soaring energy prices are the biggest single domestic issue facing Australians, a new study has found.

The national survey by Roy Morgan Research showed that unemployment, housing affordability, the gap between rich and poor, and the economy in general were mentioned by 29 per cent of survey respondents.

But just over 14 per cent singled out energy – its infrastructure, reliability and price. This was up from 11 per cent since the last issues survey in the middle of the year.

Queensland Seniors Minister an essential

By National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke

Queenslanders go to the polls in just over a week’s time. The last state election was back in January 2015. This time you must number all the boxes on your ballot papers. Think carefully because it could make a big difference to the final make-up of the 93-seat parliament.

The Greens, Katter’s Australian Party and One Nation could all play a key role in the result, and may hold the balance of power.

Seniors less enthusiastic about same-sex marriage

National Seniors members appear less enthusiastic about same sex marriage than Australians generally.

The result of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) national postal survey returned a close to 62 per cent yes vote for legalising same sex marriage, with only about 38 per cent of respondents against.

But the results were in contrast to an online poll of National Seniors’ members in September when 52 per cent were in favour.

Members were asked: Will you be voting yes or no in the postal survey on same-sex marriage?

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