29th May, 2024

5 last-minute tax-time tips for Aussie business owners

Wish you’d got sorted for the end of the financial year (EOFY) earlier? Concerned that you’re missing some big deductions?

Not to worry — you still have time to make small but smart moves that could help minimise your tax liability and set you up for success next year.

As MYOB’s Community Relations Manager for Accountants Jody Sitters says, most business owners don’t realise how impactful deductions can be.

“It can make a huge difference — you could have a $10,000 tax bill or no tax bill,” she explains. “It can change dramatically.”

We talked to Jody and MYOB Community Relations Manager for Bookkeepers Leanne Berry about their top tax-time tips for Australian business owners.

1. Max out your digital deductions

Whether you’re adopting an e-commerce platform, streamlining operations with cloud-based solutions, or leveraging social media for marketing, you can generally deduct the cost of a new tech tool on your tax return, lowering your overall tax bill.

So, if you’re considering investing in that new project management software or upgrading your online store, now could be a good time.

Of course, check with your accountant or financial adviser first to ensure it’s a smart decision.

Small business owner, tax time, EOFY

2. Don’t miss minor expenses

Small deductions can add up over a year — so don’t miss those minor claims at EOFY.

For example, people who work outside can generally claim sunscreen and sunglasses as business expenses.

“Tradies can claim sunglasses — there are a few things like that they probably don’t think to claim as expenses,” explains Jody.

Other easily missed claims include office supplies, memberships of professional publications or groups, and the cost of laundering uniforms or work gear.

3.  Consider big-ticket buys

Thinking of buying an expensive piece of work equipment or a vehicle? The end of the financial year could be a good time to make that decision.

Thanks to Australia’s instant asset write-off scheme, businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million can claim an instant deduction of the full value of assets that cost less than $20,000.

The measure was introduced during COVID but kept as a tax break for small businesses.

Jody explains: “In small businesses, there can be a lot of equipment and other assets that may be instantly written off.  Keep good records and allocating these clearing so your accountant can deal with them at EOFY is really important”.

GST mistakes

Free download: MYOB’s EOFY Resource Guide

4. Make the most of smart accounting tools

Deductions are much easier if you have all your receipts in one place — and it shouldn’t be a shoebox or glove compartment.

Using an accounting platform like MYOB, you can record expenses and assign categories as you go for a smoother ride at EOFY.

“You take a photo of the receipt on your Capture app,” explains Leanne.

“It goes straight into your software and can be attached to the transaction from your bank feed, so everything is contained in one place. It makes it easy to maintain your record-keeping.”

If you’re not using an accounting platform — or haven’t been using the tools you have available — make it a goal for the next financial year.

The right software will help you with everything from transaction tracking and cash-flow forecasting to automated bank reconciliations, tax and GST calculations.

5. Talk to a tax expert

Leanne has a simple formula for small business accounting: “Technology + expert = success.”

As she puts it, the right technology, systems and support from a tax expert can simplify tax prep and make your day-to-day business planning more insightful and effective.

An accountant or bookkeeper can also help you take advantage of deductions and other incentives that you might not be aware of.

Things like large write-off purchases, invoicing big clients before or after EOFY, and pre-paying expenses can all make a real difference to your tax bill.

“There are definite levers. It’s important to understand them so you can make choices and get the best outcome,” says Jody.

Looking beyond the last-minute tax-time tips

The final piece of advice “While you can sort out your taxes at the last minute, it’s not the best way to manage your finances. If this year feels messy and rushed, think about what worked, what didn’t and what needs to change next year.”

Want to take the stress out of EOFY and ready your business for success? 

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Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

MYOB is not a registered entity pursuant to the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and therefore cannot provide taxation advice to clients. If you have a query concerning taxation including filing your BAS return or annual tax statements then you should consult with your accountant or other registered tax adviser.