Navigating the world of taxes can be daunting for small and medium businesses (SMEs), especially those just starting out. However, Australia’s tax system offers numerous tax concessions, benefits, and deductions designed to support such businesses and alleviate some of their financial burden. Let’s delve into several key tax deductions and benefits that can significantly reduce your tax bill and potentially boost your bottom line. These include government schemes like instant asset write-off, and claiming various business costs that you may not have thought of such as depreciated business assets, prepaid expenses, business loan interest payments, and personal super contributions. By gaining a clear understanding of these small business tax deductions, business owners can maximise their tax savings and maintain healthier finances.
What is your taxable income?
The ATO calculates your taxable income using this formula:
Assessable income – tax deductions = taxable income
This is why it’s so important to claim deductions. They effectively lower your total taxable income, which in turn reduces the amount of tax you owe. Every deduction you claim brings down your taxable profit, freeing up more of your hard-earned money to reinvest back into your business or to provide a buffer for future uncertainties. From machinery and equipment to office furniture, every item you can claim helps reduce your final tax bill. Hence, understanding and making the most of the various tax deductions offered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can lead to substantial financial benefits for small and medium businesses.
Plan for these tax deductible expenses
Instant asset write-off and temporary full expensing
The instant asset write-off and temporary full expensing schemes allows businesses to immediately deduct the value of purchased assets on their tax return. The exact numbers differ based on asset value and business income, so be sure to read up on how instant asset write-off and temporary full expensing work before starting your instant asset write-off application.
Under this scheme, businesses can claim the entire cost of purchased assets on tax up front – instead of writing them off over several years – for a specific period of time.
Claim depreciated business assets
If your business assets don’t meet the criteria to be claimed for their full value, you can still claim the depreciation in its value over time. This means that you can deduct a portion of the cost of an asset, such as computer equipment or office furniture, from your tax bill. When calculating the depreciation for each asset, you must also consider any repairs and maintenance to keep the asset in working order.
Learn more about how claiming depreciations works with the ATO.
Business expenses paid for the next financial year before 30 June can be added as a tax deduction for the financial year in which you pay. This includes insurance premiums, rent, or utility bills. There are some conditions, the expense must be entirely related to your small business, have a service period of 12 months or less,
Deduct the interest on your business loans
Some businesses may be able to claim tax deductions for the interest paid on payments to their accounts and business loans. Note that the principal amount of the loan cannot be claimed, but the interest portion of payments is tax deductible.
Make the most of small business tax deductions
Tax time can often seem like a nightmare, instilling fear in the hearts of many small and medium-sized businesses. However, the reality is far from intimidating when you are well-versed with the wide variety of small business tax deductions available in Australia. With the right information and proper planning, tax season can transform from a period of dread to an opportunity for maximising business finances. Keep the broad range of deductions available in mind and do your research to ensure you don’t miss out on any tax deduction opportunities.
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