The Australian Tax Breaks Small To Medium Businesses Need to Know

It can be hard to keep on top of all the various tax breaks and incentives small and medium businesses are eligible for. There are a lot of them. From deducting your stationary to grants for safety equipment.

And this doesn’t even include the lower company tax rate for eligible small businesses. Here are a few other tax breaks and incentives your business might benefit from.

Lifehacker’s guide to saving your business money is presented by Epson. To find out more about how Epson can save your business money, visit Epson Australia.

Calculations image via Shutterstock

1. General expenses you can claim on your tax

You can generally deduct expenses incurred in running your business, as long as they are related to earning an income. The Australian Tax Office breaks these down into two categories — expenses you can claim in the year incurred, and those that can be claimed over time.

Revenue expenses — the costs incurred in day-to-day operations, can be deducted in the year they are incurred. These can include advertising, bad debts, bank fees, travel, legal fees, wages paid, and utilities. You can also claim a capital expense of less than $1,000 in the year it is incurred. Check out the ATO website for a more complete list of revenue expenses.

A capital expense — the cost of an asset with a long life, or the expense of establishing or modifying a structure, can be deducted over time. Computers, tools, furniture, buildings, vehicles and other equipment are examples of capital assets. The ATO website has a more complete list of capital assets, as well as a calculator for figuring out how much you can claim and over how many years.

2. $20K small business tax deduction

In the last federal budget, the government introduced a deduction to encourage small businesses to invest in new assets. If your business has less than $2 million in annual revenue, and you purchased new equipment, software, hardware or vehicles, you may be eligible for an immediate $20,000 tax deduction.

Although, as we have written about before, you won’t be refunded on a dollar-for-dollar basis. You will likely receive a benefit of less than half of the total purchase price of the asset you choose to claim. So its probably best you only deduct something you were going to do anyway.

3. Government grants

All levels of government run a variety of grant programs, many of which you can find through this tool. New South Wales, for example, offers a rebate for small business owners who buy and install eligible safety equipment. Frankston City in Victoria offers numerous grants for businesses who create new employment.

Governments also run programs for businesses, offeringentrepreneurs program, services like business advisers to evaluate your business, and grants for projects and business expansion.

If you’re unsure what you can claim, visit the ATO’s website, call the ATO or check with your tax adviser.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.