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A Chattel Mortgage Can Help Keep Your Business Cashflow Under Control
In our Xero Daily Reconciliations Course, you’ll learn how to set up a chart of accounts, among other things such as running balance sheets and Profit and Loss (P&L) statements. For the most part, daily transaction reconciliation is pretty straightforward, until you get to a capital purchase, which, if it’s over $20,000 or was purchased prior to May 2015, needs to be dealt with differently.
In most cases, when a business purchases major assets, such as a motor vehicles, it’s known as a capital purchase, which is made via a loan. There are two types of loans the business can take out: a hire purchase loan or a chattel mortgage.
Buying assets on hire purchase
This is an agreement between you and the lender to acquire a motor vehicle. During the hire period, the lender legally owns the car and you pay regular instalments to the finance company. For tax purposes you can claim depreciation, running costs and interest paid against your business income. When you pay off the loan in full, legal ownership is then transferred to you.
Buying assets on chattel mortgage
Chattel mortgage is essentially a mortgage over goods to be financed. Chattel mortgage is classed as a cash sale in that the goods automatically become your property on purchase and the finance company takes a mortgage over the chattels.
Just as a hire purchase you can claim depreciation, running costs and interest paid, against your business income. The chattel mortgage allows businesses to claim the full input tax credit from GST incurred expenses immediately (next BAS statement).
Chattel mortgages are more popular
Chattel mortgages became popular when BAS and GST was introduced, because businesses could claim the GST at the time of purchase, whether they ran a cash system or an accrual accounting system. Plus, under a chattel mortgage, the allowable depreciation and interest payment are also tax deductible.
How capital purchases affect cash flow
If a business doesn’t take out a loan to make a capital purchase, it will have to dip into its savings, which can adversely affect cash flow, especially on big ticket items. Taking out a chattel mortgage, however, helps to keep cash flow under control because the business can borrow the funds (and claim the interest back as a tax deduction) without any major impact on cash flow. You will also then be able to factor the repayments into your monthly forecast projection.
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