It’s been a big year for business and while the government has extended a plethora of support, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recognises that more needs to be done in 2021 to keep businesses operating through the next period of uncertainty.
Speaking on a recent MyBusiness webcast, the ATO’s deputy commissioner, James O’Halloran, said that some half a dozen business support measures will continue to roll through into next year.
“Obviously, the financial assistance if you like, that’s provided in relation to JobKeeper, continues. The measures that are continuing and have been announced and extended include asset write-off, lodgement deferrals, we continue to try and recognise the individual circumstances of people,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“Of course, in some measures, lodgements are a requirement to gain access to some payments, but nevertheless, we appreciate that there may be times and circumstances where situations differ. Payment deferrals are still in, payment plans will continue and flexibility around trying to make those realistic and fit for purpose.
“And of course, there’s also changing reporting cycles for GST and PAYG et cetera. While we are obviously moving to do some debt and lodgement work, we will commit to doing it in a sensible way."
He sees particular value in the government’s latest instant asset write-off scheme, particularly for small business.
“It runs through until the 30th June 2022. So that’s a significant time. And the temporary full expensing measure allows an immediate deduction for the full cost of new eligible depreciation assets for businesses. And obviously a lot larger than small business. But certainly, for all small businesses, unless you happen to have an aggregated turnover of over $5 billion,” Mr O’Halloran noted.
He admitted that given the tough conditions that have marred much of 2020, the ATO appreciates that there will be businesses that will be in loss situations.
“That’s not a matter that’s taken lightly. It’s just a reality of the environment that we’re in. And so therefore sole traders and individual partners in a partnership who meet certain conditions which are all on our website can offset current year losses against other assessable income, such as salary or investment income in the same year, or they can defer it or carry it forward,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“And again, the full details are available on our website.
"I think there are a range of things there that at least the ATO is administering in line with government policy to try and support a particularly small business move through the next phase of the current environment.”
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