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Small business tax resources guidebook

The ATO offers a range of tools and services to make it easier for you to get your tax and superannuation right. We want to help you manage and grow your business and get back on track if you need to. You can also speak with a registered tax or BAS agent for help.

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Tax time essentials

Small business tax time toolkit

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Our Tax time toolkit for small business has fact sheets to help you with:

  • home-based business expenses
  • motor vehicle expenses
  • travel expenses
  • using your company’s money or assets
  • pausing or permanently closing your business.

You can also download the Small Business Tax Time Toolkit (PDF, 1.0MB)This link will download a file

For more information see Tax time essentials for individuals.

Reporting JobKeeper payments

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JobKeeper payments are taxable and need to be included in tax returns.

Find out more about how to report JobKeeper.

Reporting cash flow boost credits

You don’t pay tax on cash flow boost credits, as they are non-assessable non-exempt income. How you report the amounts in your returns or financial statements is different depending on your business structure.

Find out more about how to report cash flow boost.

Other government payments

If you’ve received an Australian, state or territory government grant or payment in response to recent natural disasters or COVID-19, you may need to include it in your assessable income. Refer to:

Single Touch Payroll

With Single Touch Payroll (STP), you report employees’ payroll information to us each time you pay them through STP-enabled software.

STP started on 1 July 2018 for employers with 20 or more employees and 1 July 2019 for employers with 19 or fewer employees. If you haven’t started reporting through STP, you need to start as soon as possible.

Every year, employers must make an end-of-year finalisation declaration through STP. Generally, you need to make this declaration by 14 July each year.

You can finalise your data earlier if it’s ready. The sooner you finalise your employees’ information, the sooner they will be able to lodge their tax returns. If you have been impacted by COVID-19 and need additional time, you can complete your STP finalisation up until 31 July. It’s important that you finalise your employees’ data by 14 July if you can, and let your employees know when you have so they can lodge their income tax returns.

Reporting through STP means you no longer need to give your employees payment summaries or lodge an STP payment summary annual report with us.

Your employees can find the information they need in their income statement in ATO online services through myGov, or by contacting their tax agent.

Economic stimulus measures

As part of the 2020–21 Budget, the government is implementing a number of measures to help businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.

JobMaker Hiring Credit

The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years.

Eligible employers can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021.

Through the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme, eligible employers may receive payments of up to:

  • $200 per week for each eligible additional employee aged 16–29 years old inclusive
  • $100 per week for each eligible additional employee aged 30–35 years old inclusive.

All payments under the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme are assessable as ordinary income.

The normal deductions apply for amounts your business pays to employees if those amounts are subsidised by JobMaker Hiring Credits.

For information on tax consequences, go to JobMaker Hiring Credit – tax consequences

JobMaker Hiring Credits are:

  • not subject to GST
  • do not need to be included in your business activity statements (BAS).

Temporary full expensing

Eligible businesses can deduct the business portion of the cost of eligible depreciating assets first held and used or installed ready for use between 7:30pm (AEDT) on 6 October 2020 until 30 June 2022.

Loss carry back

Eligible corporate entities may be able to claim a refundable tax offset in their 2020–21 and 2021–22 company tax returns, if they made a tax loss in the 2019–20, 2020–21 or 2021–22 income years. Loss carry back is intended to interact with temporary full expensing, encouraging new investment which may result in tax losses. The choice to carry back tax losses may result in a tax refund which will increase business cash flow.

You can use the loss carry back tax offset tool to work out if you are eligible to claim the refundable tax offset. It also calculates the maximum amount you can choose to claim if you are eligible. The tool will provide you with a printable report that you can keep for your records. This report will help you complete your company tax return as it displays each label you need to complete to make your claim.

Online services

Our online services help make it quick and easy to manage your tax and super:

  • ATO online services – sole traders can access this on any device to lodge their tax return, manage activity statements, PAYG instalments and accounts, make payment arrangements and more.
  • Online services for business – this service allows you to prepare and lodge activity statements and annual reports, organise payment plans, manage accounts, and more, at a time that’s convenient to you.

Help to lodge and pay

It’s important to lodge on time, even if you can’t pay. This will give you certainty of your tax and super position, which means you’ll have a greater understanding of what you need to do, when to ask for help, and the support options available to you. If you forget a due date or are stressed that you won’t be able to lodge or pay on time, it’s never too late to ask for help.

We have options to help you if you’re having problems lodging or paying on time, including making a payment plan in Online services for business for amounts owing up to $100,000.

Find out what to do if you haven’t been paid and how to deal with business debtExternal Link.

Support is available for anyone who needs help with their tax and super during difficult times.

Tools to help you

Use our calculators and tools to help you run your business. These include:

Find out what to consider when you take on an employee, such as pay rates, workplace health and safety, workers’ compensation and more, visit Hiring employees checklistExternal Link.

Check that businesses you deal with have an active ABNExternal Link and whether they’re registered for GST.

Financial assistance for eligible small businesses is available to help them meet their reasonable litigation costs.

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