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2024 Budget Takeaways

Key takeaways from the 2024 Australian Federal Budget for medical and dental practices:


Small business $20,000 Instant Asset Write-Off Extension: Good news for small businesses! The Government has announced an extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off until 30 June 2025. Small businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million can claim an immediate deduction for eligible assets costing less than $20,000 if they are first used or installed by 30 June 2025. If the assets exceed the threshold, they can be added to the general small business pool and depreciated at 15% in the first year and 30% in the subsequent years. However, it's important to note that Parliament is still considering the legislation for this measure, so small and medium-sized businesses should stay updated on the instant write-off limits applicable at the time of acquiring assets.


Small Business Energy Rebate: The Government has expanded the Energy Bill Relief Fund to support small businesses' cash flow and alleviate cost of living pressures. This expansion will provide $3.5 billion in energy bill relief for all Australian households and eligible small businesses. Starting 1 July 2024, around 1 million small businesses will receive a $325 electricity bill rebate, while approximately 10 million households will receive a $300 bill rebate. This initiative aims to lighten the financial burden on small businesses and households, giving them some relief in these challenging times.


Reversal of Proposed Changes to the ABN System: Previously, there were plans to strengthen the ABN system by requiring ABN holders to lodge their income tax returns and validate their details on the Australian Business Register annually. However, the Government has now decided not to proceed with these measures. Instead, they are focusing on enhancing administrative processes implemented by the ATO to address integrity issues in the ABN system. As a result, ABN holders will no longer be required to meet additional lodgement obligations, providing some relief from compliance burdens for small businesses.


Update on Debt Collection: The Government has recognized the need for a more practical approach to managing tax debts. Previously, the ATO employed an administrative approach to "put on hold" debts considered uneconomical to pursue, and they refrained from offsetting taxpayer refunds against these debts in certain situations. However, existing laws did not provide explicit discretion for this practice. In response, the Government plans to amend the law, granting the Commissioner of Taxation the ability to use discretion when offsetting tax debts against taxpayer refunds. If a tax debt was placed on hold before 1 January 2017, the Commissioner can refrain from using the taxpayer's refund to offset that specific debt. This change aligns with the ATO's existing administrative practices and will apply to individuals, small businesses, and not-for-profits. However, details regarding the ATO's discretionary powers and the turnover threshold for eligible small businesses are yet to be announced.


Small Business Helpline and Support: Small business owners often face financial and mental health challenges. To assist, the Government has allocated $10.8 million over two years from 2024-25 to extend the Small Business Debt Helpline and the NewAccess for Small Business Owners program. These resources offer financial counselling and mental health support expressly tailored to the needs of small business owners. This initiative aims to provide valuable guidance and resources to help alleviate the unique pressures small business operators face.


These key takeaways from the 2024 Australian Federal Budget aim to support and empower small to medium businesses in these uncertain times. Stay informed and utilise the available resources to maximise these opportunities for your business's financial well-being.


Visit https://budget.gov.au/ for all the in-depth takeaways of the 2024 federal budget, or download the full report.


2024 Budget Overview
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