Changes to the small business instant asset write-off
On 29 January 2019, the Prime Minister announced that legislation will be introduced to:
- extend the small business instant asset write-off by 12 months to 30 June 2020; and
- increase the write-off threshold from less than $20,000 to less than $25,000 (effective immediately).
The current threshold of $20,000 has applied since 7.30pm AEST on 12 May 2015 and was due to revert to $1,000 on 1 July 2019.
Under the proposed changes, from 29 January 2019 until 30 June 2020, small businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million may claim an immediate deduction for the business-use portion of each depreciating asset costing less than $25,000.
To illustrate, assume an individual acquires a van for $22,000 (excluding GST entitlements) on 1 February 2019.
The individual is a small business entity and estimates the van will be used 90% for the business and 10% for private purposes.
Under the current rules, while the business-use portion of the cost of the van is less than $20,000 (i.e. $22,000 x 90% = $19,800), an immediate deduction is not available because the entire cost is $20,000 or more.
However, the van may be depreciated as part of the taxpayer’s SBE small business pool.
In contrast, an immediate deduction of $19,800 may now be claimed under the proposed changes, as the entire cost of the van is below the new threshold of $25,000.
This measure is expected to benefit more than 3 million eligible small businesses.
On 13 February 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off for Small Business Entities) Bill 2019 was introduced in the House of Representatives.
Once this Bill becomes law, it will open up opportunities for small businesses to claim an immediate deduction for depreciating assets (where they cost less than $25,000) up until 30 June 2020.