2020 Federal Budget Recap: Four key take-aways SME's need to be focusing on

Last night the Treasurer, Mr Josh Frydenberg, and the Federal Government announced more than $30 billion in tax cuts for business as part of its 2020-21 Federal Budget.

This year’s Budget focuses on job creation and reducing the unemployment rate, with Mr Frydenberg stating in the lead up to handing down the budget “it’s our first, second and third focus.” The Government is currently fast-tracking of $7.5 billion in infrastructure projects across the Commonwealth, as well as support packages for the manufacturing and skills sectors.

The Budget also contains an action-plan to “kick-start” the economy. There are individual tax rate cuts being fast-tracked to place more money back in people’s pockets and encouraging business investment with a ‘full value’ eligible asset write-off.

Mr Frydenberg said that “Tonight, we embark as a nation on the next phase of our journey. A journey to rebuild our economy and secure Australia’s future. Our plan will grow the economy. Our plan will create jobs. Our plan will continue to guarantee the essential services Australians rely on. Without increasing taxes.” Going forwards, the measures in this Budget will play a key role in Australia’s economic recovery.

Listed below: Four keys that SME businesses need to focus on.

Two initiatives, an extension of the instant asset write-off and the new ‘Loss Carry Back’ will assist businesses, encouraging them to invest as we emerge from the pandemic.

Here are four key takeaways in which your business will be impacted.

1. Loss carry back

SME businesses that make tax losses in FY20, FY21 or FY22, but have paid tax in FY19 or later years, will be able to “carry back” the tax losses and get a refund of the tax paid in the earlier years. Planning around the impact on franking account balances and dividend payments will be critical.

  • Review your FY20 tax position – is it likely to be a loss?

  • The refund can’t be obtained until the FY21 (or FY22) tax return is lodged, so focus on PAYG Instalment variations in the interim.

2. Instant asset write-off

SME businesses will get a full tax deduction for the cost of any new asset they acquire from now through ‘til 30 June 2022 (or to 30 June 2021 for second-hand assets).

  • If your business sells depreciable assets, or provides services to those businesses, engage with your customers.

  • Review and plan your capital expenditure.

3. Economic stimulus measures

The Budget includes a range of spending initiatives in areas such as manufacturing, research, roads, infrastructure and residential construction. This will directly benefit SME businesses in these industries, and indirectly benefit SME businesses that supply into these industries.

  • Consider how your SME Business can be positioned to take advantage of the unprecedented level of Government spending that will occur now and over the coming years.

4. JobKeeper and JobMaker

The Budget implies that JobKeeper arrangements will cease on 28 March 2021, and the new job support payments for businesses are much less financially generous. Under the new JobMaker system, a subsidy is available for new apprentices, and for hiring new employees aged 16 – 35 who have previously been on JobSeeker or similar benefits.

  • Review your JobKeeper eligibility for the December 2020 quarter and the March 2021 quarter.

  • Assess the impact that the cessation of JobKeeper will have on the profitability and cashflow of your business.

  • Assess your eligibility for the new JobMaker subsidies.

For more comprehensive information on the JobKeeper Extension update, read more here.

If you're confused by these new updates and the implications they could have, do not hesitate to contact us. For detailed information that applies to your situation specifically, please call our team on 1300 001 132 for help or contact us via our website.

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