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Tax expert pushes for permanent change with instant asset write-off threshold

Tax

Amendments before Parliament will see a more significant increase to the instant asset write-off threshold but for a limited time frame only, says a tax expert.

By Miranda Brownlee 10 minute read

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Recent amendments to the bill containing the instant asset write-off measure in Parliament are a welcome development but may be difficult for business owners to adopt given the short time frame for the measure, says tax specialist and education provider John Jeffreys.

The Support of Small Business and Charities Bill, which is yet to be passed after amendments were made by the Senate, will increase the instant asset write-off threshold, but only for the 2023–24 income year.

Originally, this bill was intended to increase the instant asset threshold to $20,000. However, amendments made to the bill by Senator Jane Hume will see the threshold increase to $30,000, if passed by the lower house. 

The threshold for the scheme will drop back down to $1,000 from 1 July 2024 onwards, unless further changes are introduced by government.

In a poll run by John Jeffreys in a recent webinar, most accountants said clients would likely cope with the recent changes when they’re passed while some accountants believed it could be a real problem for clients.

“The point is that there is only two and a half months left till the end of the financial year and the asset must be installed and ready for use by 30 June,” said Jeffreys.

“So if your client is thinking about ordering some new item, they best get their skates on and ensure that it’s in place by the end of the financial year.”

Jeffreys said while the changes will “very likely be enacted” this won’t occur till at least the budget sittings in mid-May.

It is also possible that the government may look to announce further changes to the instant asset write-off threshold in the federal budget in May, he said.

“In around a month’s time we shall see whether yet again the instant asset write-off is a game change,” he said.

“Or maybe they might just get around to putting something permanently in the law that won’t change. Wouldn’t it be good if we all just knew that it was going to be $30,000 from here on in for businesses with less than $50 million [in turnover]? Don’t hold your breath though.”

The Tax Institute has long advocated for a permanent change to the scheme to be introduced for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

The Institute of Public Accountants has also previously advocated for a higher instant asset write-off threshold becoming a permanent feature of Australia’s tax system.

“The need for this initiative to be set in stone, particularly for small businesses, is paramount as it brings an injection of economic growth, giving small businesses the confidence to buy new equipment, reinvest in their operations and grow,” said IPA chief executive Andrew Conway previously.

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Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee

AUTHOR

Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

You can email Miranda on:miranda.brownlee@momentummedia.com.au
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