Federal Budget 2021 introduces tax concessions for small businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard this year. Lulled into a state of complacency with the comparatively quick and easy defeat of its predecessors (swine flu and before that SARS), COVID was not foreseen by Australia nor by its Treasurer.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Pre-COVID estimates for the finances of the country this year therefore were inadequate.
The cash balance was thus blown out by more than $90 billion due to this.
Budget repair will not be able to take place until the unemployment rate falls below 6%, which is likely to happen only after 2023.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (A Tax Plain for the COVID-19 Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 contains a number of the key tax measures announced in the budgets which have been introduced into Parliament.

Small business tax concessions

Ten small business concessions that were originally available only to businesses with an aggregated annual turnover less than $10 mil have been loosened to be made available to businesses with an aggregated annual turnover less than $50 mil.
From 1 July 2020:
  • Immediate deduction for certain start-up expenses
  • Immediate deduction for certain prepaid expenditure
From 1 April 2021:
  • FBT exemption for car parking benefits
  • FBT exemption for multiple work-related portable electronic devices
From 1 July 2021:
  • Simplified trading stock rules
  • Remit PAYG instalments based on GDP-adjusted notional tax
  • Settle excise duty monthly on eligible goods (instead of weekly)
  • Settle excise-equivalent customs duty monthly on eligible goods (instead of weekly)
  • Two-year amendment period
  • Simplified accounting method determination for GST purposes

Depreciable asset measures

Another six months have been given to businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 mil which seek to claim the existing $150 000 instant asset write-off.
This places the deadline of 30 June 2021 to first use or install ready for use assets that were acquired by 31 December 2020.
Depreciable assets acquired on/after 7.30 PM on 6 October 2020 that are first used or installed by 30 June 2022 will be available to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $5 bil to fully expense.
Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 mil turnover may deduct the cost of acquiring second-hand assets. However, larger businesses can only deduct the cost of new assets or the cost of improving an existing asset.
Small businesses must fully expense any general small business pool balances as at 30 June 2021.
These new rules are a temporary measure, and are a version of the 2013 rules, repealed by the Abbott government in 2014.

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