Current tax system sowing confusion among small-business leaders

New research from Officeworks highlights the fact that although small-business leaders are feeling relatively more confident about their business and are increasing their spend on business equipment compared to the same time last year, 73 per cent of them find the tax system confusing.

According to the research, this confusion stems from the findings that one in four small-business leaders were unaware that they could be eligible for the Temporary Full Expensing concession to claim immediate deductions on depreciating assets first used or installed before 30 June. In addition, 54 per cent incorrectly assumed they could no longer claim the $150,000 Instant Asset Write-Off that may be used to claim on items purchased in previous tax years.

For the small-business leaders who are aware of these benefits, 23 per cent have increased their year-on-year spending on office supplies, furniture or business assets to take advantage of the government’s depreciation concessions for an increased tax return, with many indicating that they will spend an average of at least $17,000. The research noted that they may be looking to capitalise on the depreciation concessions available, including the recently announced (although not legislated yet) Technology Investment Boost.

“When Australians were required to work from home during the pandemic, many employees borrowed equipment from the office,” Officeworks General Manager Merchandise, Jim Berndelis, said, “As they have returned to their office in a flexible capacity, we have seen employers updating their office equipment such as ergonomic chairs, monitors and computer accessories. Were also seeing products such as mobile phones, cables and charging devices continue to be popular to ensure staff can stay connected no matter where they are working.

“As we approach June 30, we recommend small-business leaders consult their taxation professional to ensure they are making the most out of the incentives and capitalising on tax-deductible upgrades,” Berndelis added.

Incentives and savings opportunities are available on technology and office supplies to support staff working remotely as well as in the office, and 74 per cent have stated that they will support remote work setups regardless of whether they expert staff to return to the office or not. The research notes that it presents a unique opportunity for business leaders to claim more through the comprehensive Temporary Full Expensing concession.

“Small and medium-sized businesses across the country should be taking advantage of tax-related COVID-19 relief measures and depreciation concessions currently implemented by the Australian Government,” Taxation Manager, Rebecca Morgan on behalf of the National Tax and Accountants’ Association said. “They are not forever guaranteed.”