Budget 2018: Business

There are lots of changes for business in Budget 2018: the instant asset write-off has been extended, and Directors will become personally liable to the ATO for unpaid GST.

Measures to combat dodgy operators in Australia: 

  • Tough new measures have been proposed to combat “Phoenix” activity. This will prevent business owners intentionally going bust to avoid paying their bills and then starting again in a new structure. Changes will include limiting the ability of directors to resign when this would leave the company with no directors, preventing directors “improperly” backdating resignations and expanding the power of the Australian Taxation Office to retain refunds where there are outstanding lodgements.

Extensions to the Director Penalty Regime: 

  • Extend the Director Penalty Regime to GST, luxury car tax, and wine equalisation tax, making directors personally liable for the company’s debts.
  • Expand the ATO’s power to retain refunds where there are outstanding tax lodgements.

 Research and development:

  • Changes have been announced to the application of the R&D rules, with a $2.4 billion cut. R&D refunds will also be limited to a specific maximum amount.

Instant asset write-off extended:

  • The $20,000 instant asset tax write-off will be extended for another 12 months to June 30, 2019.

Reporting system for payments to contractors:

  • The taxable payments reporting system for payments to contractors will be expanded to include security services, road freight transport, and computer system design industries, effective from 1 July 2019.

Deductions and wage subsidies for businesses:

  • Businesses will no longer be able to claim deductions for payments to their employees where they have not met their PAYG W obligations.
  • Craft beer breweries will receive a tax cut to bring them in line with the bigger breweries.
  • Employers who hire older Australians will receive a $10,000 wage subsidy designed to combat age discrimination.
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