This year’s Federal Budget is based on a ten-year enterprise tax plan designed to stimulate more small business activity by boosting new investment, creating jobs and increasing real wages.
One of the key features of this plan is that the small business entity annual turnover threshold will be increased from $2 million to $10 million from 1 July 2016. The increased threshold will not apply for the purpose of accessing existing small business capital gains tax concessions.
The Government will also reduce the corporate tax rate for businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million per year to 27.5 per cent from 1 July 2016. This lower rate will be progressively reduced to 25 per cent over 10 years.
An 8 per cent unincorporated tax discount will be provided to unincorporated businesses with turnover less than $5 million per annum, capped at $1,000 per year from 1 July 2016 for the following eight years. The discount will increase to 16 per cent in increments from 2024 to 2026 to coincide with the staggered reductions in the corporate rate.
All Australian small businesses from 1 July 2016 with an annual turnover of less than $10 million will have access to:
Simplified depreciation rules
These include immediate tax deductibility for asset purchases costing less than $20,000 until 30 June 2017.
Simplified trading stock rules
New rules will give businesses the option to avoid end of year stocktake if the value of their stock has changed by less than $5,000.
A simplified method of paying PAYG instalments
Instalments will be calculated by the ATO, removing the risk of under or overestimating PAYG and the resulting penalties that may be applied.
The option to account for GST
Small businesses will have the option to account for GST on a cash basis and pay GST instalments as calculated by the ATO.
Other tax concessions
Other tax concessions that are currently available to small businesses, such as fringe benefits tax (FBT) exemptions (from 1 April 2017 to align with the FBT year).
A trial of simpler BAS
The trial is to reduce GST compliance costs, with a full roll-out from 1 July 2017.
These threshold changes will not affect eligibility for the small business capital gains tax concessions, which will remain available for businesses with annual turnover of less than $2 million or that satisfy the maximum net asset value test.