The stress of tax time is having serious repercussions for SMEs, with end of financial year obligations severely squeezing already stretched business owners.
Many are losing time with family on weekends and working well into the early hours of the morning mid-week just to meet all their compliance hurdles as we move into the new financial year.
That is according to the latest Business Monitor report by MYOB, which profiles around 1,000 SME leaders nationally.
The report found 37 per cent are being forced to work on weekends specifically to complete tax-time documentation, and 21 per cent are regularly working past midnight.
Yet, the red tape imposition by government is not the only contributing factor – sadly, many business owners are setting themselves up for a stressful tax time by being underprepared and leaving everything until the last minute.
A quarter (26 per cent) of surveyed entrepreneurs said they had begun preparing their tax documents at least a month before the June 30 deadline, while 9 per cent said they generally don’t bother looking at taxes until two months into the new financial year.
“Preparation is the key to a panic-free tax time for operators of growing SMEs, with businesses whose revenue had increased in the previous 12 months more likely to start their EOFY preparations before the end of the financial year,” MYOB said.
The ATO has revealed it expects to contact more than 1 million taxpayers this year over common mistakes. Proper preparation can help reduce mistakes and with it the chances of a “please explain” from the taxman.
Other things to keep in mind this tax season include an increase in the popular cents-per-kilometre rate used to calculate work-related travel; changes to payroll taxes announced by NSW and SA; and forms of income that do not need to be declared to the ATO.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.