Plan for tax needs


Cockburn Gazette - - FIT FOR BUSINESS - Emma Blake

THE end of the fi­nan­cial year spells tax time for all of us but for small busi­nesses, this an­nual ad­min can be a real headache.

The trick is not to see tax and tax returns as a once a year event but make them part of your reg­u­lar busi­ness plan­ning.

Many com­pa­nies use a book­keeper or ac­coun­tant for their tax needs, but busi­nesses still need to be able to com­mu­ni­cate a change in cir­cum­stances, un­der­stand if any changes to the tax sys­tem ap­ply to their com­pany and know ex­actly what de­duc­tions are claimable.

As this tax year draws to a close, it is a good time to start mak­ing new fi­nan­cial year res­o­lu­tions so that you feel on top of tax when June 30 comes around next year.

Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner Deb­o­rah Jenk­ins said good record keep­ing should be on the top of that list.

“Where you can, go dig­i­tal,” Ms Jenk­ins said.

“Make a res­o­lu­tion to keep records as you go along, par­tic­u­larly if a sole trader.”

The ATO has a range of apps and on­line tools to make it easy for small busi­nesses to com­ply.

These in­clude an app called My De­duc­tions, which lets you record all of your re­ceipts as they come in, rather than de­liv­er­ing an old shoe­box full of faded dock­ets to your ac­coun­tant at the end of the year. There is also an on­line tool to help you work out whether one of your work­ers qual­i­fies as an em­ployee or a con­trac­tor, and a range of we­bi­nars, we­bchats, in­for­ma­tion and a call-back ser­vice.

Just make sure your de­duc­tions are le­git­i­mate busi­ness de­duc­tions.

Don’t rush into pur­chases be­cause ev­ery­one is ad­ver­tis­ing end of fi­nan­cial year deals and you want to make the most of the $20,000 in­stant as­set write-down.

“One of my favourite sto­ries was a tram­po­line pur­chased by a dairy farmer,” Ms Jenk­ins said.

“I had an im­age of the cows get­ting fit on the tram­po­line.”

If you do have a tax bill and are strug­gling to pay it, make sure you let the ATO know as soon as pos­si­ble. They can give you the option of set­ting up a pay­ment plan.

“Cash flow is the num­ber one prob­lem for small busi­nesses,” Ms Jenk­ins said.

“Peo­ple are pleas­antly sur­prised how easy it is to set up a pay­ment plan on­line. Just make sure you seek help early.”

The tax of­fice has var­i­ous free sem­i­nars and web help at

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