Small Businesses Missing Out On $2.4 Billion This Financial Year

Small Businesses Missing Out On $2.4 Billion This Financial Year
  • A new study revelated a lot of fresh and surprising information about the small business owners in Australia. 
  • Why don't small business owners use the $20,000 tax break and why do these people feel frustrated?
  • A lot of people have poor knowledge about taxations or are still not aware of utilising the instant tax write-off.

A new study* has revealed that a staggering 85% of small business owners (SBOs) in Australia have never used the $20,000 tax break (a total potential loss of $2.4 billion**), despite 96% wanting the Government to continue the scheme for years to come.

The national survey, conducted by Officeworks and H&R Block, found that although the instant asset write-off for small businesses has been extended by the government into FY19, a lack of understanding and education (32%) is hindering small business owners from maximising their tax returns.

Fifty-eight per cent of SBOs claimed to have never heard of the instant tax write-off. While this is a 20 per cent increase in awareness compared to last year***, nearly two-thirds of SBOs admit to feeling frustrated at the fact their knowledge isn’t up to scratch (60%).

Mark Chapman, Director of Tax Communication at H&R Block said: “When it comes to tax, there’s a perception amongst small businesses that it’s always bad news – more red tape, more compliance, more money to pay to the ATO. In reality, sometimes the tax system can work to the advantage of small business and the $20,000 instant asset write off is a classic example of that”\

Despite the clear lack of knowledge of some small business, the $20,000 instant tax write-off has been a great boost to those who have used it and the Government has responded to its popularity by extending its “shelf-life” to 30 June 2019. Really, any small businesses who have a requirement for capital investment should be looking to take advantage of this scheme by shopping at places like Officeworks for tech, furniture or office supplies before June 30,” he said.

Officeworks' Head of Technology, Sandy Young, said: “We’re surprised to see so many small businesses still not aware of or utilising the $20,000 instant tax write-off. With H&R Block’s help, we’re spreading the word about the opportunities available for small business owners, to give them a boost coming into FY19 and beyond.”

Officeworks has worked with H&R Block to develop an online ‘Tax Deduction Estimator’ to help Australians realise some of the potential deductions they could be claiming this financial year.

Officeworks will also be holding free in-store events at 26 selected stores across the country. The events are designed to provide tax advice and tips to local business owners and will be run by a local H&R Block expert.

Mark Chapman

Director of Tax Communications at H&R Block

Mark is a regular commentator on tax matters for a variety of Australian broadcast and print media outlets. In addition to his columns in Money Magazine and My Business Magazine, he has written for a variety of national publications such as the Australian Financial Review, The Daily Telegraph, The Age and The Business Spectator. Previously, Mark was a tax adviser for over 20 years, specialising in individual and small business tax, in both the UK and Australia.