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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Carberry

Your Guide to Minimising Business Tax in 2021

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Is Your Business A ‘Small Business” Entity?

Small businesses can access a range of tax concessions from the ATO. To qualify as a “Small Business Entity”, the business must have an aggregated turnover (your annual turnover plus the annual turnover of any business connected / affiliated with you) of less than $10 million and be operating a business for all or part of the 2021 year.


1. Instant deduction for asset purchases

If your business has a turnover under $50 million, business assets purchased up to the amount of $30,000 (exc. GST) will be immediately deductible.

You should buy these assets and use them or have them ready for use before 30 June 2021.


2. Maximise Deductible Super Contributions

The concessional superannuation cap for 2021 is $25,000 for all individuals. Do not go over this limit or you will pay more tax.

Note that employer super guarantee contributions are included in these caps. Where a concessional contribution is made that exceeds these limits, the excess is included in your assessable income and taxed at your marginal rate, plus an excess concessional contributions charge.

For the contribution to be counted towards the employee’s 2021 contribution cap, it must be received by the fund by 30 June 2021.

3. Tools of Trade / FBT Exempt Items

The purchase of Tools of Trade and other FBT exempt items for business owners and employees can be an effective way to buy equipment with a tax benefit.

Items that can be packaged include handheld/portable tools of trade, computer software, notebook computers, personal electronic organisers, digital cameras, briefcases, protective clothing, and mobile phones.

If structured correctly, the employer will be entitled to a tax deduction for the reimbursement payment to the employee (for the equipment cost), claim any GST input credit, and the employee’s salary package will only be reduced by the GST-exclusive cost of the items purchased.

You should buy these items before 30 June 2021.


4. Pay Employee Superannuation Now

To claim a tax deduction in the 2021 financial year, you need to ensure that your employee superannuation payments are received by the super fund or the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) by 30 June 2021. You should avoid making last minute superannuation payments as processing delays may cause them to be received after year-end.


5. Defer income

If possible, defer issuing further invoices and receiving cash/debtor payments until after 30 June 2021.  This strategy pushes tax payable to future years.


6. Bring forward expenses Purchase consumable items BEFORE 30 June 2021. These include marketing materials, consumables, stationery, printing, office and computer supplies. Spend the money now and get the deduction this year.


7. Repair & maintenance costs Make payments for repairs and maintenance (business, rental property, employment) BEFORE 30 June 2021.


8. Defer investment income & capital costs If possible, arrange for the receipt of Investment Income (e.g. interest on Term Deposits) and the Contract Date for the sale of Capital Gains assets, to occur AFTER 30 June 2021.

The Contract Date is generally the key date for working out when a sale occurred, not the Settlement Date!


9. Motor vehicle log book

Ensure that you have kept an accurate and complete Motor Vehicle Log Book for at least a 12-week period. The start date for the 12-week period must be on or before 30 June 2021. You should make a record of your odometer reading as at 30 June 2021 and keep all receipts/invoices for motor vehicle expenses.

An alternative (with no log book needed) is to simply claim up to 5,000 business kilometres (based on a reasonable estimate) using the cents per km method.


10. Investment property depreciation

If you own a rental property and haven’t already done so, arrange for the preparation of a Property Depreciation Report to allow you to claim the maximum amount of depreciation and building write-off deductions on your rental property.


11. Private Company (“DIV 7A”) loans

Business owners who have borrowed funds from their company in previous years must ensure that the appropriate principal and interest repayments are made by 30 June 2021. Current year loans must be either paid back in full or have a loan agreement entered in before the due date of lodgement for the company return, or risk having it counted as an unfranked dividend in the return of the individual.


12. Year-end stocktake / Work in progress

If applicable, you need to prepare a detailed Stock Take and/or Work in Progress listing as at 30 June 2021. Review your listing and write-off any obsolete or worthless stock items.

Talk to us about your different options for valuing Stock, and how they affect your tax payable.


13. Write-off bad debts

Review your Trade Debtors listing and write-off all bad debts BEFORE 30 June 2021. Prepare a management meeting document listing each bad debt, as evidence that these amounts were written off prior to year-end and enter these into your accounting system before 30 June 2021.


14. Small business concessions – Prepayments

“Small Business Concession” taxpayers can make prepayments (up to 12 months) on expenses (e.g. loan interest, rent, subscriptions) BEFORE 30 June 2021 and obtain a full tax deduction in the 2021 financial year.


15. Trustee resolutions

Ensure that the Trustee Resolutions are prepared and signed BEFORE 30 June 2021 for all Discretionary (“Family”) Trusts. Please see us for more information about these resolutions.


How Verve Group can help you

Do you want to minimise your business tax? Book in your initial complimentary meeting with a Verve Group adviser here or give us a call on (08) 8120 4877.

This is general advice only and does not take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this guide, you should seek professional advice from the team at Verve Group.

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