Small business rebates and subsidies
An overview of key rebates and concessions for small businesses for the 2023-2024 financial year, and an accountant’s tips for making the most of the initiatives.
At a glance
Here’s a snapshot of the advice from our interviewees:
- Rebates are available for eligible small businesses as we move into the new financial year.
- Some initiatives require assets to be bought or installed by a certain date, so don’t forget to check the deadline.
- Accountant Craig Dangar warns against making a significant purchase to access a scheme such as the instant asset write-off simply for the monetary value.
- According to Craig, the time invested in applying for a grant or allowance should match the value it presents to your business.
With the new financial year underway, we recap some of the major rebates and concessions for small businesses in the 2023-2024 financial year, and present an accountant’s tips for making the most of these initiatives.
Rebates, concessions and allowances
Instant asset write-off
The instant asset write-off, a scheme originally introduced as part of COVID-19 response measures, has been extended until the end of the 2023-2024 financial year.
The initiative allows eligible small businesses to deduct the full cost of assets up to $20,000 in value, so long as those assets are first used or installed for use between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024.
The $20,000 threshold applies to individual assets, so small business owners can write off multiple assets at once.
Small Business Energy Incentive
The Small Business Energy Incentive aims to help small businesses with the upfront costs of investing in energy-efficient equipment.
A 20% deduction will be available for businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that spend on electrification and the more efficient use of energy.
Up to $100,000 of total expenditure will be eligible as part of this new tax incentive, making the maximum bonus tax deduction $20,000 per business.
Energy Bill Relief Fund
The Energy Bill Relief Fund intends to provide eligible small businesses with between $325 and $650, depending on the state or territory, to alleviate pressure on their electricity bill.
You can find more information about the allowance value available in each jurisdiction on the energy.gov.au website.
Small Business Technology Investment Boost
The Small Business Technology Investment Boost offers an additional 20% tax deduction to eligible businesses to support their digital operations and digitise their operations.
Eligible expenditure may include:
- Computers and computer software
- Digital media and marketing content
- E-commerce goods or services
- Cybersecurity systems
Small Business Skills and Training Boost
A 20% tax deduction may also be available for eligible businesses via the Small Business Skills and Training Boost, which applies to external training courses delivered to employees by registered training providers. The training of non-employee business owners such as sole traders, however, is ineligible.
Delivered by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), the Cyber Wardens program aims to improve the cybersecurity practices of small businesses by helping them train in-house cyber wardens.
A summary of key details for each initiative is below – but make sure to check the full details of each scheme.
|Instant asset write-off
|30 June 2024
|Small Business Energy Incentive
|30 June 2024
|Energy Bill Relief Fund
|Small Business Technology Investment Boost
|30 June 2023
|Small Business Skills and Training Boost
|30 June 2024
|Cyber Wardens cybersecurity program
An accountant’s tips
Craig Dangar, Senior Partner and Principal Consultant at Vault, says myriad grants and government support, at local and state levels, are ready for small business owners to make the most of.
“It all depends where your business is located,” he says. “At a federal level, it’s a mix of tax concessions and direct subsidies covering areas such as technology and employment support.”
– Craig Dangar
For some businesses, these allowances can prove essential.
“We work heavily in the rural sector where flood and drought grants can be the difference between staying in farming or needing to leave,” explains Craig.
He warns against making a significant purchase to access a scheme such as the instant asset write-off simply for the monetary value.
“They should be a supplement to income, and not the reason you are in business,” he says. “We always encourage business owners to explore how an asset will improve what they are already doing or improve their business outlook.”
In all, he suggests business owners consider how schemes can enhance their operations, procedures or team, without relying on them.
“A lot of time can be wasted on grants if you are not ready,” says Craig. “Here in Queensland for example, several business support grants have a short application period and a lot of information to compile.
“Larger cash grants can be very labour- and time-intensive, and depending on the nature of the grant may require a substantial investment before any funds are received. Make sure to align this with your business plans.
“Grants can certainly be helpful, but the time invested needs to match the value they present your business.”
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