The standard business reporting program that was recently released by the Federal Treasurer will offer no reduction in the amount of reporting required for small business, according to Deloitte tax partner David Pring.
Last Thursday the Federal Government announced it will spend more than $200 million over the next three years to develop a system to make it easier for business to lodge statements such as BAS online.
The standard business reporting program, scheduled to be in place by 2010, should allow business owners to use accounting software such as MYOB to automatically pre-fill government reports such as business activity statements, company income tax returns, TFN declarations and the quarterly business indicators survey.
The pilot program is set to commence in mid-2008. Stage one will be rolled out during 2010 and the expected take up will be between 2011-2013, at a cost of $208 million.
The Government estimates that the savings to businesses will be $795 million per year.
But Pring points out that it is expected that businesses will have to incur costs on advisers and software upgrades, yet the announcement has not made any estimate of what that investment will be. “Business would like to see a reduction in the amount of reporting and regulation, not just a more efficient way of doing the same level of reporting,” he says.