Wayne Hooton, Small Business Tax Specialist at Accounting Professionals, explains the proposed changes to the instant asset write-off scheme for small business. If legislated, an increase in the threshold amount will provide further tax breaks for small businesses until June 2020.

On 29 January 2019, the Prime Minister announced plans for the government to increase the instant asset write-off threshold for small business to $25,000 and extend the scheme by 12 months to 30 June 2020.

This is a $5,000 increase on the existing measure, which allows a small business, with a turnover of less than $10 million, to write-off the business portion of a purchased asset worth less than $20,000.  This threshold amount was due to revert to the lower $1,000 limit on 30 June 2019.

If legislated, small businesses will be able to claim an immediate tax write-off (From the 29 January 2019), for the cost of new and second-hand assets less than $25,000 per item. 

Tip:  It’s not yet law. The government will seek to legislate this change when Parliament resumes on 12 February.

How it will work

It is important for small business owners to consider the cash flow impact of investing in new assets or
the cost of upgrading new assets.

Importantly, the instant asset write-off doesn’t provide small business with a cash refund.  It just brings forward a tax deduction. The tax benefit will be dependent upon your relevant marginal tax rate of the small business owner.

Meanwhile, Labor has announced, if elected, it would introduce the Australian Investment Guarantee, allowing businesses to  deduct 20% of any new eligible asset worth more than $20,000.  Unlike the government’s instant asset write-off scheme, Labor
indicated their plans would become a permanent feature of our tax system.

Regardless of the outcome of the Federal election, it looks like a win-win for small business.

Wayne Hooten is a small business tax specialist and manager in AP’s Tax and Accounting team.  Contact Wayne on
02 4297 0066 or email wayne.hooton@accpro.com.au for your tax related enquiries.