Small business lifelines

Operating a small business comes with many challenges. From work-life balance to getting your employees’ paid on time, to basic daily operations – small businesses have many ins and outs. The Australian Tax Office understands this and has released 2 new webinars surrounding the theme of small businesses at crossroads in terms of whether to continue operating or not. COVID-19 has undoubtedly thrown many things into question, with the sustainability of small businesses as no exception. 

The 2 new webinar additions are as follows:

  • Considering your small business viability 
  • Closing your small business

Register for these webinars or any of the others the ATO has to offer here.

Overcoming Adversity

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has posed unexpected threats to many small business owners – not only in Australia but all around the world. As a result of lockdowns and restrictions, many small businesses have had to close their doors, unable to make rent with dwindling revenue being made. This said, small businesses have been strong in the face of this hardship and it’s not gone unnoticed by the big guys. 

The Financial Review has published an article where they’ve cited the praise to small business owners given by the likes of key players at Google and American Express. The article notes the way businesses have adapted to suit their customer’s needs in an ever-changing environment, such as increasing their online presence or offering home delivery services. 

Get inspired and read the full article from The Australian Financial Review.

Test your knowledge

A free quiz about financial reporting for directors has been released by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) this month. The quiz was released on the premise that most directors feel their knowledge about practical financial reporting isn’t exceptional, a fact that makes prospective clients uneasy. 

According to Tax & Super Australia, the quiz aims to: 

  • “Provide a self awareness of general competence relating to financial reporting requirements”
  • “Provide education in respect of each specific question”
  • “Provide links to additional resources and/or training to maintain or improve competence”

Take the quiz.

Grants and Tax

A common misconception is that government grants and payments are not eligible for tax. Although technically not thought of as ‘income,’ most grants and payments will still need to be detailed in your tax return.

With taxable government payments such as JobKeeper now becoming commonplace, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t relevant for taxation purposes.

Payments or grants that may attract income tax, particularly relevant to COVID-19 are:

  • JobKeeper
  • COVID-19 business subsidies provided by the government to your business to aid continuing through COVID-19.
  • Grants received under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program or similar.
  • Fuel related tax credits or benefits

Other notable payments or grants to include are:

  • Student or youth assistance payments such as Youth Allowance, Newstart and Austudy.
  • JobSeeker and pensions
  • Cashflow boost

Although payments such as these are generally exempt from tax, they still need to be declared in order for the government to understand your financial situation.

If you are uncertain about which payments and grants attract income tax, visit the ATO website.

As BAS agents, we can also help you navigate through any uncertainty. Just get in touch.

Workplace Safety: COVID

With many teams returning to offices after a long time working from home, new considerations arise around people’s health and safety in the workplace.

Much of the advice for businesses revolves around tighter hygiene stipulations such as:

  • Encouraging the use of face masks.
  • Making sure people with even the mildest symptoms stay home.
  • Making sure all employees abide by restrictions, such as encouraging them to avoid large gatherings.
  • Promote regular, thorough hand washing with accessible sanitiser stations available.
  • Regularly disinfecting and wiping down surfaces.
  • Maintaining a distance of 1.5 m at all times.

Downloadable infographics for your workplace are available from the World Health Organisation.

Safe Work Australia has recently launched a new hub, with abundant resources to help protect your staff and your business. User-friendly resources such as infographics and checklists are available, as well as guides on conducting risk assessments.