8th November, 2023
We’re almost half-way into the financial year, and there are still numerous ways you can set yourself up for success.
After all, there are many potential deductions that Australian businesses overlook.
So now is the time to get a better handle on your tax affairs.
Tax receipts act as evidence when claiming deductions. Without them, the maximum you can claim for work expenses is $300.
Furthermore, the Australian Tax Office requires that you retain records for five years from the date you lodged your tax return. Make life easier by keeping digital records.
Use accounting software to track expenses and identify what you can deduct from your tax bill.
Accounting software gives you a searchable database of your income and expenses, making tax returns less stressful.
Another benefit is security, which is crucial to avoid becoming a victim of tax identity theft.
There are numerous solutions, including MYOB. Accounting software like this is designed for everyone from sole traders to growing businesses, so you can adapt it to your needs.
Integrate the software with other platforms you’re already using — Shopify, Square, and Amaka, for example — as well as connecting bank accounts for a real-time view of your finances.
This is where automation comes into its own. Besides saving you time on manual tasks, software pre-fills Goods and Services Tax (GST) and ensures compliance with ATO.
Your business’s tax bill is influenced by its structure. Let’s examine some possible structures to see how.
Using this structure, you pay tax on your total income, inclusive of profits from business and other taxable income, which might include employment or rent from property.
Depending on what you earn, you could incur a tax rate of up to 45%.
There’s no tax-free threshold if you operate a company. Companies pay a rate of 30% on every cent they earn.
Under certain criteria, a company can apply a 25% tax rate if they qualify as a base rate entity.
A trust does not pay tax. If you’re the beneficiary of a trust, you must declare your income share as an individual. The trustees can distribute income in a way that minimises tax as much as possible.
Partners declare business income as individuals, regardless of how many members there are. The partnership, as an entity, doesn’t pay tax.
Firstly, keep a log of business calls made with your personal phone as you can claim against these.
Secondly, establish how much you’re using it for business and claim a percentage of your bill.
Also, you may be able to claim against internet costs if working from home.
Finally, establish what percentage of your internet use is work related and claim a portion of your internet bill as a tax deduction.
Equally important, if you work from home, additional expenses that may be deductible include:
Donate to a worthy cause and you can claim tax relief. You’ll need a receipt to prove the donation is to a registered charity. You don’t have to use it for good PR but charitable giving can often give businesses a reputation boost.
Also, if you rent out property, there are several possible tax deductions available to you.
Believe it or not, you can claim against your tax management costs. Tax agents can do taxes for you.
Accordingly, it’s their job to keep abreast of changes in tax rules and help you save on your tax bill.
If you use an agent, deduct the fees paid to your registered tax agent who prepares your return.
Running a tax-efficient business can be difficult but there are many ways to minimise taxes.
Also, you could get assistance from an agent. It’s a good idea to use software to make the most of tax minimisation too.
For this reason, keep records safe digitally to make sure you’re always compliant.