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Don’t Spend Tony Abbott’s Money Yet

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Expense It Rather Than Depreciate It

Utility Vehicle for small business tax write off concessionsThe other week, we wrote a couple of blog posts, discussing the recent $5.5b worth of breaks [tax deductions for cars for small business] the government was throwing to Australian small businesses in the form of an immediate $20k tax write off for an unlimited number of asset purchases.

Tax breaks make it easier for people to start their own home-based businesses because the costs of setup are deducted from their total income and you only need to pay tax on the resulting net profit. As an example, a graduate of one of our MYOB training courses could deduct an unlimited number of asset purchases of computers, office furniture or company vehicles that they incur in the setting up of their home-based business, as long as they were each under $20k.

This is twenty times the amount small businesses were previously allowed to claim as an immediate tax deduction. Up until the budget announcement, any asset purchases, such as computers or cars or office furniture, costing more than $1000 were pooled together and depreciated over time. Here’s some information about how asset purchases and depreciation normally works (how to handle this in MYOB is included in our MYOB training courses)

Immediate tax deductions for purchases under $20k

Announced in the recent federal budget, small businesses with an annual turnover of under $2m will able to claim any asset purchase made between budget announcement night last week and June 30 2017 as an immediate tax deduction. But that doesn’t mean small businesses should go on a spending spree because, while the budget may have been very generous to small businesses, there were unpopular cuts to paid parental leave, along with changes to childcare subsidies.

The scariest thing about promises made by politicians is that they are announced to demonstrate how much a political party care, but the announcement is often just the first step in the ensuing process that any decision needs to go through before it becomes law.

What if the budget doesn’t pass through the senate?

This could be problematic if the budget fails to pass through the senate. Though it looks likely that Labor will support the small business tax breaks, they’re unlikely to support some of the other unpopular reforms, which makes banking on the tax breaks a bit dicey.

There’s every chance the terms of the tax breaks could be revised or that it possibly won’t even pass at all; there’s also a chance of a double dissolution, which has been lingering over Prime Minster Abbott’s head ever since last year’s disaster of a budget.

With such uncertainty around whether the budget will pass through the senate, it would be unwise for small businesses to make asset purchases above or beyond what they could reasonably have afforded before the tax breaks.

Don’t let the tax breaks influence your spending

Don’t go out and buy three top-of-the-range computers if you only need one. In fact, if you weren’t planning on spending many thousands of dollars on an asset purchase for your business (or new business), it’s still wise to shop smart and, if necessary, be frugal.

If you’re thinking of starting your own small or home-based business, we offer a number of online training courses to help you get your business idea off the ground, including a Small Business Management Course and training courses in MYOB. For more information, visit our website or continue reading our blog.

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