Small businesses have been advised to get their records in order, check for deductions and investigate possible concessions.

Struggling with your taxes? The Australian Taxation Office has said it’s here to help.

ATO assistant Commissioner Mathew Umina said the ATO wants to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to understand their tax obligations.

With that in mind, Mr Umina has five tips for small businesses:

  • Get your records ready
  • Investigate small business concessions
  • Check your deductions
  • Find out if tax changes apply to you
  • Know where to get help
  1. Get your records ready

Mr Umina said that small businesses will find it easier to do their taxes if they keep up-to-date records.

“Small businesses need to keep records explaining all transactions that relate to their tax affairs containing enough information to calculate the income, expense and other amounts that must be reported in tax returns,” he said.

  1. Investigate small business concessions

Small businesses could also benefit from capitalising on a range of tax concessions, according to Mr Umina.

“For example, simplified trading stock rules means if the estimate of the difference between opening and closing trading stock is $5,000 or less, the small business doesn’t need to do a stocktake,” he said.

“There are also concessions that allow new small businesses to claim an immediate deduction for start-up costs like professional, legal and accounting advice.”

  1. Check your deductions

Mr Umina said that small businesses can deduct most expenses incurred in running their business, including operating expenses, business travel expenses, home-based business costs and costs of employing people.

“When working out what business deductions to claim this tax time – it’s important to remember the three golden rules,” he said.

“One – the money must have been spent for your business not yourself; two – if you use something for business and private purposes, you can only claim the portion that is related to your business; and three – you need a record to prove it.”

  1. Find out if tax changes apply to you

Small businesses should find out if they’ll be subject to the new tax rules that will take effect from 1 July, according to Mr Umina.

For example, employers with 20 or more employees are required to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll, unless they’ve been granted a deferral or exemption.

“Also, if a small business is registered for GST and imports low-value goods for business use in Australia, they may not need to pay GST,” he said.

“They simply need to tell their supplier that they are registered for GST, and provide them with their ABN.”

  1. Know where to get help

Mr Umina said the ATO offers a range of resources to make it easier for small businesses to lodge their tax return correctly, including small business webinars and workshops.

“There are a number of services where small business operators can chat to us one on one such as our live chat, after-hours call back service and our business assistance program offering tailored support over 12 months,” he said.