You walk in the door at 8.30am, set up for the day, answer some emails and suddenly it’s lunch time and you haven’t gotten around to that to-do list on your desktop, let alone your taxes.
Being a small business owner is tough – you have a million things to do at any one time and tax time is just one more incredibly annoying, though incredibly important task to do.
There’s only a few days until the end of the 2015/16 financial year – are you ready?
If the answer is no, it’s not too late. Here’s a comprehensive list of everything to tick off your to-do list before 30 June.
Get your records in order before 30 June
It’s no good giving your tax agent or accountant a receipt for a transaction made before 30 June in July just as they’re doing your file. Make sure you have everything in order!
- Under Australian tax law your records must be able to explain all transactions that occurred in this financial year, in writing, in English, and kept for a minimum of five years.
- Stocktake your inventory
- Reconcile your bank accounts, your accounts receivable, and your accounts payable
- Complete your quarterly or annual Bank Activity Statement (BAS)
Be sure to visit the ATO website or call them at 13 28 66 if you need clarification.
Use a registered tax agent or an accountant
You can always do your taxes yourself however, employing the services of a tax agent or accountant can help enormously. They can help with keeping up to date with tax law and regulatory changes that may affect you, as well as submitting your tax returns.
But make sure you’ve compiled your records well beforehand – your tax agent or accountant isn’t a magician – they can’t produce your records from nothing.
Review your staff salaries and rewards
Make sure all your staff salaries and rewards are compliant with any award regulation or statutory requirements.
Make sure you know what tax deductions you can claim
Tax laws and regulations governing tax deductions change frequently. Keep up to date! Some things that are tax deductible include:
- Purchases of machinery, computers etc.
- Travel expenses
- Home based business activities
The 2015/16 Federal Budget announced that small businesses could immediately write off assets which cost under $20,000 and were purchased and installed between 12 May 2015 and 30 June 2017. More information can be found at here.
You should check the ATO website for all tax deductions applicable to you and your business.
Review what government grants are available to you and your business
The Australian Government has made a point over the last two years to promote the interests of small businesses. As such, the number of government grants are numerous and target several different areas, ranging from research and development, importing and exporting of goods and services, to expanding businesses and training staff.
- If your business is already receiving a government grant, make sure you’re still meeting the requirements of that grant.
- If you’re seeking a government grant, go to [https://www.business.gov.au/assistance] and search for one that suits your requirements.
Don’t forget – even when you’ve done what is required of you by 30 June 2016, there’s still more to do to ensure the continued growth and prosperity of your business in the new financial year.
Make a habit of collecting receipts and records
This doesn’t mean you can throw all your receipts in a shoebox and then hand them over to an account when June rolls around. Keeping your records easily understandable and available should be your goal.
Cloud-based accounting software would be enormously helpful for keeping track of accurate and easily searchable records. There are many out there, so find one that is suitable for your team and business. You can backup and secure your files so when 30 June 2017 rolls around, you’ll be better placed to breeze through it.
Get an accountant or a registered tax agent
They are enormously helpful in keeping you up-to-date on regulation changes and helping you with the financial health of your business. A weekly meeting with them could go a long way in ensuring the financial health of your business – and let you concentrate on other important aspects of your business.
Review and update your business plans
The end of financial year is also an excellent time to review and update your business plans. Adjust those plans to suit the needs of your current business reality. If you need to expand or otherwise grow your business capacity with a small business loan, alternative financial institutions like Spotcap are perfectly placed to help you realised those goals.
We know that small businesses, though immensely rewarding, can be tough at times. The end of financial year poses a burden that can be overwhelming – but this list should help you get key things in order and ease you through this period.
There’s only a few days left though – so I recommend setting aside a day or two to get it all sorted if you haven’t already!
This post was approved by our friends at Charltons, our go-to source of accounting advice.
Originally published June 24 2016 , updated January 18 2017