With the end of the tax year approaching, it’s time to take action to minimise the tax liability for your retail business. Here are the top tips for end of year tax planning:
Take advantage of temporary full expensing
One of the best tax breaks for business is Temporary Full Expensing - which means that you can score an immediate tax deduction for the costs of capital assets - and with many businesses offering End of Financial Year promotions, now is the ideal time of year for your businesses to take advantage by acquiring some much needed assets to build your business and, at the same time, reduce your taxable profits.
The tax break works by offering an immediate deduction for all capital assets against your profits for the year. There is no ceiling on the cost of assets you can acquire and provided your business has turnover of less than $5 billion, you are included.
Temporary full expensing runs through until 30 June 2023 but from a tax-planning perspective, purchases immediately before the end of the financial year always make the most sense so now is the time to take the plunge.
Whilst now isn’t the ideal time to make large capital purchases for many retailers, if your business needs to invest in new capital equipment and has the cash flow (or the borrowing capacity) to finance it, now is certainly the time because generous tax breaks like this will probably never recur. Amongst the items you could look at claiming are the following:
Cash registers and other POS devices
Store fittings and fixtures
Computers, laptops and tablets
In store security systems
You can get an immediate tax deduction for certain pre-paid business expenses. The basic rule is that a deduction is available for expenses that cover a period of no more than 12 months. That covers expenses such as insurance premiums, telephone and internet services, subscriptions to trade or professional bodies, rent or leasing charges on your retail premises and bookings for seminars, conferences or business trips.
Employers have to pay superannuation contributions within 28 days of the end of the quarter. Ensure that all June quarter superannuation contributions are paid by 30 June to accelerate the tax deduction. Note that contributions must actually be paid, cleared in the business bank account and received by the employee’s super fund before 30 June for a tax deduction to be available. Any other outstanding amounts should also be paid before year end.
The Golden Rule - Keep Records
Good record keeping is your best friend for efficient business management and will also make life easier if the ATO ask you questions. It’s essential that records are kept to substantiate what’s in your tax return; any unsubstantiated deductions, for instance, are generally not allowable.
Tax law requires that records be kept for five years, and they should include:
credit card statements
employee records (wages, super, tax declarations, contracts)
lists of debtors and creditors
Records can be kept on paper or electronically, but should be easily retrieved. In our experience, businesses often stumble when asked by the ATO to verify transactions by providing supporting records, with the consequence that even “innocent” businesses can find themselves stung by the tax man where they are unable to provide the requested evidence.
Don’t assume that pre-filled details are correct
Pre-filling – whereby the ATO takes third part data and inserts it directly into your tax return – can be a boon for both taxpayer and ATO alike. But don’t assume that pre-filled information is either correct or complete. The obligation to file a correct return rests with you so if any of that data is wrong, or missing completely, the ATO absolves themselves of any responsibility. Make sure you check pre-filled data against your own, original, source documents.
Still have some questions about lodging your tax return? Talk to GBS Accountants. Our experienced tax consultants will be able to help.
Happy tax claiming!
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