Small businesses are hoping for lower company tax rates and the slashing of red tape, as the government prepares to hand down its federal budget in less than three weeks’ time.
Tax cuts, red tape reduction on SME budget wish list: MYOB
The federal budget on 6 October is predicted to deliver mixed results for businesses, with just half of SMEs confident the budget will deliver benefits for their business, according to a special Budget Edition of MYOB Business Monitor, in partnership with Nous Group.
The survey of over 1,000 SMEs found that a lower company tax rate was a top priority, with 31 per cent hoping to see changes in that area.
The removal of bureaucratic processes and red tape to better support businesses efficiently in a post-COVID environment was next on the list at 26 per cent.
“Driving a post-COVID economic recovery presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the government to make changes that will significantly benefit Australia’s largest private sector group: small business,” MYOB chief executive Greg Ellis said.
“While bigger businesses have benefited from increased productivity through flexible working or faster adoption of online services and e-commerce by customers, 66 per cent of sole traders and 49 per cent of micro-businesses saw no benefit afforded by the pandemic versus the national average response of 35 per cent.
“This demonstrates many smaller businesses lack optimism about the future and should be a critical focus within the upcoming federal budget.”
The report revealed that confidence differs greatly by business size: 75 per cent of businesses employing 100 people or more feel confident the budget will deliver benefits to them.
The number drops to 39 per cent for micro-businesses and 28 per cent for sole traders.
“What is also clear from our research is that it’s time to sharpen the focus on sole traders and micro-businesses,” Mr Ellis said.
“Our data shows 18 per cent of sole traders and 36 per cent of micro-businesses accessed the first wave of JobKeeper versus the average of 42 per cent.”
The report also showed that small-business owners also wanted more support for training and apprentices along with subsidies for businesses employing young Australians looking for work.
SMEs also believe the government could make the instant asset tax write-off a permanent policy.
MYOB has also called on the government to mandate more B2B e-invoicing to help SMEs to overcome the challenges of late payments.
Furthermore, they believe the federal budget should focus on revising online payment frameworks to protect SMEs from fraudulent liability and also deliver tax incentives for SMEs to increase adoption of essential digital tools.
“This budget presents an opportunity for Australia to accelerate digital adoption for our small businesses, setting them up to prosper as we map the road to recovery,” Mr Ellis said.