Tax time tips for small businesses

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is lending a helping hand to nearly four million small businesses to get their tax right this tax time.

The top 3 issues that ATO sees when small businesses lodge their tax returns are:

  1. Failing to report all of their income
  2. Not having the necessary records to prove small business expenses claims
  3. Claiming private expenses as business expenses

There are three golden rules to remember about claiming deductions – one, the expense must have been for your business not yourself. Two, if you use something for business and private purposes, you can only claim the portion that is related to your business, and three, you need a record to prove it.

New factsheets to address common claims

This year the ATO has developed fact sheets to help small businesses claiming three of the most common expenses:

Use these fact sheets to find out more about what can be claimed.

Keep accurate records

The top tip for small business operators is to ensure that your records are kept up-to-date. Good record keeping will help you complete and lodge your tax returns, manage cash flow, meet your tax obligations and understand how your business is doing.

In addition to making it easier to meet tax, super and salary obligations, good records mean that businesses can measure their performance against the ATO’s small business benchmarks.

Benchmark data for more than 100 industries is available by using the business performance check tool in the ATO app.

For more information on what records are needed for tax returns visit ato.gov.au/taxreturnrecords or use our record keeping evaluation tool to evaluate how well a small business is keeping business records.

The instant asset write-off has been increased and extended

Small businesses are also entitled to a range of tax concessions at tax time. One of these is the instant asset write-off, which allows eligible small businesses to claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of assets that cost under a certain threshold. More information about the instant asset write-off and other small business concessions is available at ato.gov.au/concessionsataglance

Most small businesses use a registered tax agent for tax advice and to lodge their tax return. If you feel you need some assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out.