Small business is front and centre of this year’s federal budget with the unveiling of the government’s $5.5 billion Growing Jobs and Small Business package.
The government claims this is “the biggest small business initiative in our nation’s history”.
In his budget speech Treasurer Joe Hockey will point to his own background growing up in a “small business family”.
“That small business put a roof over our heads. It paid the bills. It gave all of the family a better chance at life,” Hockey will say.
Hockey says small business is critical to Australia’s economic prosperity.
“Our future growth will come from growing small business into big business,” he will say.
“Every big company in the world started small.”
The key budget measures that will impact SMEs are:
- Cutting the company tax rate to 28.5% for incorporated businesses with a turnover of under $2 million;
- A tax “discount” of 5% for unincorporated businesses, capped at $1000;
- Immediate tax deduction for any individual assets costing less than $20,000;
- Expanded Fringe Benefits Tax exemption for work-related portable electronic devices;
- Capital Gains Tax rollover relief when businesses change legal structures;
- Expanded tax concessions for employee share schemes;
- Streamlined business registration process;
- Removing obstacles to crowdsourced equity funding;
- Provides $330 million for training programs to support young people to becoming job-ready;
- $1.2 billion in subsidies for employers that hire specific groups of job seekers;
- An extra $265.5 million for the Australian Tax Office to crack down on GST fraud.
The budget also:
- changes the tests for aged pension eligibility;
- allocates $3.5 billion to childcare;
- cuts paid parental leave in full or in part for those parents who receive parental leave from their employer;
- Launches a Youth Transition to Work program for community workers;
- Provides for a Multinational Anti-Avoidance law;
- Subjects foreign businesses supplying digital products and services to GST;
- Starts the process of creating a voluntary corporate disclosure code for big business.
“This is a budget for small business people who want to innovate and grow,” Hockey will say in his budget speech.
“I believe our nation’s best days are ahead of us. So now is the time for all Australians to get out there and have a go.”