Federal Budget 2017: the MYOB verdict

While the Federal Budget is largely positive for Australian small business, there are a couple of wrinkles the government could iron out.

With more than 1.2 million business customers, MYOB is constantly talking to small businesses in Australia about what they see as the big things rocking their world.

Out of this year’s Budget, they pointed to the extension of the $20,000 instant asset tax write-off as a number one priority – and the government duly delivered, with a catch.

It has decided to only extend the program for one year, something MYOB CEO Tim Reed said should be made permanent.

“The government’s decision to extend the $20K instant asset tax write-off for a further year, and to make it accessible to businesses with revenue of up to $10M, up from $2M in previous years, is welcome news for SMEs,” said Reed.

“It encourages business growth and is exactly the type of measure that delivers confidence to the business community.

“However the government should go one step further next year and make the $20K write-off permanent.”

The good

Aside from the extension of the $20,000 write-off, there are several measures in the budget which MYOB applauds:

  • A recommitment to drive company tax cuts for all Australian businesses
  • The $300 million the Federal Government has committed to make available to State Governments to reduce small business compliance costs;
  • The $100 million commitment to the advanced manufacturing industry;
  • Increasing the applicability of crowd-sourcing;
  • Better use of digital technology to make it easier to register a business; and
  • Increase support under the Entrepreneurs’ Programme to provide additional support for regional businesses.

“All these measures will encourage more people to start a business and for those in businesses to invest, grow and increase employment – a win for all Australians,” said Reed.

“Small businesses are at the heart of the Australian economy. In an increasingly competitive global environment, it is great to see the government is continuing its commitment to making it easier to run a business.”

The bad

Aside from the decision not to make the $20,000 write-off permanent, Reed said the introduction of levies on businesses hiring foreign workers was a bad move.

If a small business employs somebody on a temporary work Visa, they will need to cough up $1200 per worker per year.

If the worker is on a permanent skilled Visa, this increases to $3,000.

Reed also said targeting courier and cleaning industries as part of a “black economy” crackdown would have a detrimental effect.

“We are concerned about the extra compliance costs forced on small businesses in the courier and cleaning industries,” said Reed.

“We understand they are measures introduced to try to reduce the black economy but they will end up increasing the burden on all business owners in these industries – something that will increase costs and slow growth.”

READ: Federal Budget 2017: Government cutting red tape with digitisation