2nd April, 2019
An increase in the Instant Asset Write-Off from $25,000 to $30,000, extra funding for export reimbursements and personal tax cuts are the biggest takeaways from this year’s Federal Budget.
Although we are anticipating a Federal Election fairly soon, and many, if not all, of the measures announced won’t be legislated before it, the Coalition has taken a swing at keeping small businesses on board with a range of benefits. Let’s take a look at them:
The big one. The Government has announced that effective from April 2, 2019 at 7.30pm, until 30 June 2020, businesses can instantly write off any asset worth up to $30,000.
The best part? The threshold for accessing the write-off has now expanded from $10 million to $50 million.
That’s a huge number of businesses that can now access this benefit that wouldn’t otherwise be able to, although it pays to note this is another temporary extension of the incentive.
All the rules for applying the write-off are the same. You need to have equipment purchased and installed by the end date. But apart from that, go nuts.
Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it – it’s good. The EMDG reimburses small businesses for any spending on export activity, which includes things like research trips overseas, advertising, and so on.
If you’re a small business hoping to expand, the EMDG can be a crucial part of those efforts. You’d have an opportunity to do so, without all the risk of plunging into a new market.
Remember last year? The Government announced a huge number of changes to personal tax rates, some of which are scheduled for the 2024-25 year. Those were all legislated and ready to go.
Now, the Government wants to add some more.
Business owners would surely be pleased: Australians will be running around with extra money in their pockets, and there’s equally the opportunity to keep employees happy, too, as they take home more of what they earn.
The Government also proposed expanding the recently introduced Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting regime to allow the ATO and other Commonwealth agencies to collect more data on employers.
The expansion is priced in to the tune of $82.4 million, but the Government is yet to share much detail on exactly what data might be collected other than “more information about gross pay amounts”.
The Government has also made clear that it doesn’t intend these changes to introduce more compliance complexity, or require employers to collect more details from employees than they already have.
While this may not be of primary concern for small business owners yet, STP is now mandatory, and this provides added motivation to make sure your payroll software is compliant.
Anyone with an ABN obviously needs to keep up to date with the tax records and returns. Now, the Government is cracking down on those who aren’t.
If you hold an ABN, from July 2021 the Government would make it mandatory for you to file your tax return if you have a tax obligation.
From July 2022, you’d need to provide an annual update on your ABN status and your personal details.
If you’re already lodging your tax returns, then you wouldn’t need to worry! No matter what, though, in 2022 you’ll need to start updating ABN details every year. Something to keep on the calendar.
Fancy hiring an apprentice? A boost to Skills Shortage payments introduced in this year’s budget will pay you $8,000 for hiring one – instead of the current rate of $4,000.
It’s all part of a huge $80 million investment in skills shortages. If you were already planning on doing this, well, it could be good timing.
These might not be on your radar, but they affect business in general and you should still know about them: