GST "kickback" for small businesses

It has been estimated that the cost of the handout to business will reach $175 million, with businesses having to order equipment before June 30th to receive the benefit. Any purchases made do not have to be received or installed for the next twelve months, according to the Treasurer, but can still be written off against the financial year ending this June.

Mr Costello said that the offer allows businesses "Immediate tax deductibility for anything that's ordered before June 30th," emphasizing his point that the deduction applies even if equipment isn't installed for another twelve months.

"You don't have to depreciate it over 3 years, 4 years, 5 years or 7 years, whatever the life of it is, it will be immediately tax deductible against the 99/2000 year", said Mr Costello. The Treasurer assured his audience there would be "An immediate write off for the full cost if it is plant or equipment which has been bought to help with operating the GST system."

Mr Costello said that the deduction applied to businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million. Some small business operators have suggested the deduction is a play on the timing of depreciation, as it's factored into accounting, with one saying that "The deduction will help, if you've made a profit". The deduction applies to all computing hardware and software bought to deal specifically with the GST.

The scheme is yet to be detailed, with the Treasurer's announcement the only details released so far.

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Miguel D'Souza

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