It's official, size doesn't matter!
In a great move forward for small businesses and the environment, one of many benefits in the federal budget this 2015/16 financial year, is a single standardised 66 cent per km car claim amount.
On the 12th of May 2015, the Australian 2015 / 2016 Federal Budget was announced. This new Federal Budget includes many changes affecting Small Businesses, their owners, operators and families.
Small business is the backbone of the Australian economy and the government has stepped up to support us in a range of exciting ways.
A lot of the changes in this year's federal budget that focus on small businesses are specifically designed to aid in small business support and growth, as well as benefit business owners, families and beneficiaries.
The government refers to 'Small Business' as a range of business structures including companies. The primary requirement is an income below $2 million.
Company Tax Cuts
I know many of you will be excited to hear about these generous Tax cuts!
Starting from 1st July 2015 the company tax rate for companies that are inside the small business threshold, will be reduced from 30% to 28.5%. This 1.5% reduction in company Tax is a great benefit to small business owners.
Other Small Business Tax Cuts
A generous 5% discount will be provided to individuals receiving income from other unincorporated businesses / entities, such as trusts and sole traders.
Significantly Increased Depreciation
Immediate asset depreciation up to $20k. That means a new business asset purchase that is below the dramatically increased $20k threshold, can be completely written-off in the same year it's purchased. It's also worth noting this is available immediately! (12th of May 2015)
It's official, size doesn't matter... Big or small, the government has standardised the car expense claim methods and amounts. Cents per km method will become 66 cents per km, regardless of vehicle or engine size. Plus 2 of the (less used) 4 methods will be dropped.
There are a range of other benefits as well, such as assisting and encouraging startups and Fringe Benefit Tax exemptions. Please see your Tax professional to find out more.
My take on all this?
Although there are some clear immediate benefits, writing-off large Tax benefits makes easier accounting but doesn't provide much more benefit in the longer term, because in the following years the tax will then be higher, with less to offset.
These government changes are clearly designed to stimulate the economy and increase re-investment in small business growth.
I do expect to see a run on cheap company cars under $20k, to capitalise on the immediate offset benefits combined with the standardised kilometer claim amount.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not legal or tax advice and is only my interpretation of what has been presented to me by professionals, banks and interested parties. You should always seek your own professional advice before making decisions based on anything you read or hear.
Written by: Ross Pepper