A senior tax official has urged small business owners to stay up to date with changing tax rules and to master record-keeping.

ATO assistant commissioner Deborah Jenkins has shared five ways small businesses can meet their financial obligations in the new financial year.

Ms Jenkins said the first step is to stay informed.

Small businesses might be able to capitalise on some new tax rules.

“For example, the turnover threshold for a wide range of concessions has changed and there’s a lower company tax rate for small business,” she said.

“It is a good idea to work out if your circumstances have changed and see whether you can benefit from the measures before you get into tax time.”

Ms Jenkins’ second piece of advice was for small businesses to get on top of their records.

Small businesses will find it easier to manage their tax flow and pay their taxes if they keep good records.

“If you get your records together now, when it’s time to do your tax you’ll have all the information at hand and won’t need to go rummaging through a shoe box of paper receipts,” she said.

“You can use your records to compare yourself against the ATO’s small business benchmarks and check how your business is performing against similar businesses in the same industry.”

Tip number three is for small businesses to search for ways to make things easier.

The ATO has tools to help small businesses meet their tax and superannuation obligations, according to Ms Jenkins.

“For example, you can do most of your business reporting and transactions with the ATO online, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the ATO website to see where you can save yourself time,” she said.

“If you are sole trader, you can lodge your returns using a registered tax agent or myTax. For the first time this year, sole traders can also use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to keep track of your business expenses.”

Ms Jenkins said the fourth step is for small businesses to look after their employees.

Small businesses with staff need to meet their deadlines for employer obligations, including payment summaries and superannuation guarantee payments.

“You need to issue payment summaries to employees by 14 July and you need to lodge your PAYG withholding payment summary annual report to the ATO by 14 August,” she said.

“You should also make sure you know if your workers are employees or contractors because this can affect your obligations.”

Ms Jenkins’ fifth and final tip is for small businesses to know where they can get help.

Small businesses can get help not only from their accountant, but also by calling the ATO.

“We’ve trained more than 4,000 staff to be able to assist small business owners who are dealing with difficult circumstances, including those who are managing mental health issues,” she said.

“If you have a debt that you can’t pay on time, you might even be able to organise a payment plan online.”