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Small business tax planning: A checklist of what to do at tax time

Tax time can be a very stressful period for Australian small business owners. Australian small business tax planning can easily get out of control, so an end-of-financial-year checklist for a small business is a great way to keep up to date.

End-of-financial-year checklist for small business

Getting lost in a sea of paperwork may not be a fun way to spend your free time in June; just hearing the term ‘profit and loss statement’ is enough to send shivers down your spine. Let us break it down step-by-step.

Keep a record of everything

There’s nothing worse than getting to tax time and having to rummage around for papers dated nine months ago. Whether you use accounting software or just simply keep it all in a folder, be sure to keep every:

  • Receipt
  • Invoice
  • Statement
  • Employee records
  • Record of debtors and creditors
  • Business-related purchases

Having multiple copies can also help for peace of mind and depending on how you best operate, consider keeping both physical and digital copies. Accounting software like Xero and MYOB can help with this, or for something simpler, consider looking for apps that upload and keep track of your receipts.

FURTHER READING: Can you afford the start-up costs for a business?

Update who owes whom

If you’re waiting to be paid for an invoice, or if you have yet to pay an invoice yourself, having this recorded and documented will make your small business tax accountant’s life much easier.

For example, let’s say you’re still waiting on an invoice payment from Jack for a job you did last month, but you also need to pay Jill’s invoice for a job she did for you three months ago, you’ll want to have both of these, and any others, accounted for and documented up-to-date.


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This is known as accounts receivable and accounts payable, and recording this in addition to what has physically entered and exited your accounts will provide you with a more holistic view of your business’s finances.

Australian Small business tax deductions

Consider making a list of every expense/asset you’ve had to pay for (this ties back to receipt-keeping that we previously mentioned). If you work from home either full-time or partially, you may even be able to claim some home expenses. Having this information prepared and documented will help your accountant to consider which are the right deductions for your business.

While you’re paying your accountant a visit, you may also want to discuss instant asset write-offs. According to the ATO website, businesses which aggregate less than $10 million within the financial year may be eligible to claim immediate deductions on business assets that were first used or installed within the financial year up to a threshold of $150,000.

Inventory stocktake

This point depends on whether your business carries stock, but if it does, a company-wide stocktake to be completed by 30 June may be essential to provide to your accountant. This will ensure that your records and trading value are accurate, keeping that small business tax-time headache down to a minimum.

Asset depreciation

Much like our creaking knees, business assets may depreciate in value as the years go by. These assets are most commonly machinery, tools, computer equipment, etc.–all items that are reasonably expected to deteriorate over time. Be sure to discuss this with your accountant on your next visit.

A couple sitting at a kitchen bench looking at an iPad tablet - End of financial year checklist for small business tax

If your small business has an annual aggregated turnover of less than $10 million (or $2 million for previous income years), then you’re eligible to use the simplified depreciation rules, which includes the aforementioned instant assets write-off as well as a general small business pool which uses simpler calculation methods for depreciation deductions.

Tax concessions

You may also be eligible for small business tax concessions if you’re deemed eligible as a small business entity. Many of these concessions are dependent on your business’s annual aggregated turnover, as well as the type of Australian small business in which you operate.

The ATO website contains a list of possible concessions that you may be eligible for depending on the type of business you operate, so it’s certainly worth taking a look over and jotting a few notes down to bring up at your next accounting meeting.

FURTHER READING: How to achieve your savings goals

Registering for GST

If your business has an annual turnover (or projected annual turnover) of $75,000 ($150,000 for non-profit organisations), then you’ll likely need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). Not doing so can result in penalty fines, interest charges and backdated GST charges.

Be sure to also cover this with your accountant as it is a crucial factor when growing and scaling your small business.

Tax planning for the future

Small business tax planning is always something to consider in every facet of your business. If you’re finding yourself stressed and unprepared every year as the calendar gets closer and closer to 1 July, it’s time to consider some tax planning options.

Setting aside some automated tax savings from every pay can ensure that you’re prepared for whatever the ATO throws your way. MyBudget can help to automate these savings, allowing you to rest easy knowing that a consistent portion is being put aside.

To learn more about creating a budget, contact MyBudget on 1300 300 922 or enquire online today.

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This article has been prepared for information purposes only, and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

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