There are over 2.5 million small businesses operating in Australia. If you’re one of these many business owners, or you plan to start a business, you must carefully look into your cash flows to maximise profits.
Learning how to segregate and put businesses expenses for claiming tax is a great way to do it. Track and categorise the things that qualify for tax deductions for your small business. This helps you reduce the income you have to pay tax on, and subsequently increase profit.
So, let’s quickly look at the process of tax claims for businesses in Australia in this article.
What is Tax Deduction, and Why it is Important
A tax deduction is something you pay for through your income, and the same can be added to your tax return list.
Taxable income is calculated by subtracting it from your gross income, which is why it’s referred to as a tax deduction. Business expenses are subject to tax deductions as long as there’s evidence of the expense, like invoice, receipt, or a credit card/bank statement.
Put simply, it’s a business expense that can lower your taxable income – helping you save costs in the long run.
Things You Can Claim on Tax in Australia
In general, business owners in Australia can claim tax for most expenses associated to their business.
Here is a list of all the things you can claim on tax in Australia.
A. Business Travel Expenses
Under this category, you can claim:
- Transport costs (bus, train, taxi), including expenses for air travel
- Expenses incurred on accommodation and meals for business travel
- Specific expenses related to motor vehicles
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides more information on business travel expenses on their website.
B. Home-Based Business Expenses
Among the things that home-based business owners can claim on tax include:
- Occupancy expenses – This includes rent, premiums paid on insurance, mortgage interest and land taxes.
- Running expenses – Among these include expenses incurred on electricity, lighting, phones and the depreciated value of assets such as furniture.
Visit ATO’s website and learn to calculate tax deductions for home-based businesses.
C. Operating Expenses
As a business owner in Australia, you can also reduce the cost of general operating expenses through a tax refund. The list of operating expenses includes the items below:
- Costs incurred on maintenance of a business website and other similar online expenses
- Expenses related to social media campaigns
- Stationery expenses
- Interest rates on business loans and fees for business name registration
- Accounting costs
- Expenses on journals, books and news subscriptions
- Repair, upkeep and maintenance costs
- Expenses on salary, wages and superannuation contributions
- Depreciation costs on assets and other capital expenditures
D. Other Items Eligible for Tax Claim in Australia
Among these include:
- Fringe benefits – As business owners, you’re eligible for a deduction on tax for any expenses offering a fringe benefit to your staff/employees.
- Advertising and sponsorships – You can also claim tax for promoting or sponsoring your brand.
- Car expenses deductions – Any expenses for an owned or leased vehicle, as long as used for business purposes, can be claimed for tax deduction purposes.
What Can You Claim on Tax without Receipts?
While having receipts is mandatory to claim on tax, you can also claim up to $300 for work-related transactions without them. However, it still requires written proof or alternative/secondary documents to support the tax claim, such as credit card or bank statements.
Keep these in mind when claiming deductions on tax without receipts:
- The expense should be directly related to and needed for your business.
- The expense must have been incurred or paid for by you, and the same hasn’t been reimbursed already.
- There needs to be a record to prove the expense.
Apart from these, the ATO has also defined certain industry-specific guides to understand what business owners can and can’t claim as an expense.
Grow Your Business Profit by Understanding Tax Claims in Australia
ATO allows certain business expenses to be categorised as tax deductions to help businesses reduce the cost of operations. When it comes to running a successful business in Australia, taxation is an aspect that business owners need take care of – aside from getting a domain name, and web hosting to compete in the country’s digital-first audience.