Deductions can be maximised for SBE business taxpayers by accelerating expenditure and prepaying deductible business expenses. Former STS taxpayers who have continued to use the STS cash method since before 1 July 2005 cannot accrue expenses, but other SBE taxpayers on an accruals basis can accrue expenses (see above regarding accruing expenditure).
Accelerating expenditure – SBE
Former STS taxpayers who have continued to use the STS cash method since before 1 July 2005 and who qualify as an SBE are generally only entitled to deductions if they have paid the amount by 30 June.
All SBE taxpayers can choose to write-off depreciable assets costing less than $20,000 in the year of purchase*. Also, assets costing $20,000 or more are allocated to an SBE general pool and depreciated at 15% (which is half the full rate of 30%) in their first year. Therefore, where appropriate, SBE business taxpayers should consider purchasing/installing these items by 30 June 2016.
(*) The small instant asset write-off threshold has been temporarily increased to ‘less than $20,000’, for assets acquired and installed ready for use between 7.30 pm (AEST) 12 May 2015 and 30 June 2017.
It should be noted that SBE taxpayers choosing to use the SBE depreciation rules are effectively ‘locked in’ to using those rules for all of their depreciable assets.
Prepayment strategies – SBE
SBE taxpayers making prepayments before 1 July 2016 can choose to claim a full deduction in the year of payment where they cover a period of no more than 12 months (ending before 1 July 2017). Otherwise, the prepayment rules are the same as for non-SBE taxpayers.
The kinds of expenses that may be prepaid include:
Rent on business premises or equipment.
Lease payments on business items such as cars and office equipment.
Interest – check with your financier to determine if it’s possible to prepay up to 12 months interest in advance.
Training courses that run on or after 1 July 2016.