Jobs and small business package to help small businesses invest more, grow more, employ more

Tuesday 12 May 2015:

Joint media release with the Prime Minister and the Treasurer:

The 2015 Budget is the next step in the Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.

This Budget is about building jobs, growth and opportunity and providing a credible path to surplus.

The new $5.5 billion Growing Jobs and Small Business package will help small businesses invest more, grow more, and employ more.

This package will help employers create jobs and assist Australia’s unemployed, particularly unemployed youth, to build the skills to get into work.

This is the biggest small business initiative in our nation’s history.

The Government is committed to ensuring Australia is the very best place to start and grow a small business.

Small businesses are the engine room of our economy.

96 per cent of all Australia’s businesses are small businesses, employing over 4.5 million people and
producing over $330 billion of our nation’s total economic output.

As our economy changes, the role of our small businesses will be even more important. With the economy in transition we are freeing up small business to create new jobs.

At the heart of the Growing Jobs and Small Business package are tax cuts for over 2 million Australian small businesses to help drive investment and employment across our economy.

The 2015 Budget delivers $3.25 billion in tax cuts for small business and $1.75 billion in accelerated
depreciation measures in addition to the benefits Australian small businesses are gaining from the abolition of the carbon tax:
* from 1 July 2015, the Government will cut the company tax rate for up to 780,000 incorporated
businesses with annual turnover up to $2 million by 1.5 percentage points to 28.5 per cent;
* from 1 July 2015, the Government will also provide a 5 per cent tax discount for over one and a half million sole traders, trusts and partnership structures which are unincorporated businesses with annual turnover up to $2 million, capped at $1,000, through their end of year tax return;
* from Budget night until 30 June 2017, small businesses with turnover below $2 million will be able to fully and immediately deduct every asset they acquire that is valued up to $20,000 for tax purposes – a substantial increase from the previous $1,000 threshold.

Australian small businesses will have the lowest company tax rate for public and private companies since 1967.

The Growing Jobs and Small Business package also includes measures to reduce the red tape and regulatory impediments that hinder small businesses growth:
* changes to the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) system will expand the FBT exemption for work related portable electronic devices;
* reforms to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rollover will enable small businesses to change the legal structure of their business without incurring a CGT liability;
* the Government will consult on potential changes to the Corporations Act to reduce compliance costs and make it easier for small proprietary companies to raise new capital.

The Growing Jobs and Small Business package will encourage business start-ups and entrepreneurship:
* start-ups will be able to immediately deduct professional expenses incurred when they begin a business, such as legal expenses on establishing a company, trust or partnership, rather than writing them off over five years. This will provide immediate cash flow benefits for small businesses;
*streamlined business registration processes will make it quicker and simpler to set up a new business. A single online registration site will be developed for business registration including company registration;
*the Government will remove obstacles to crowd-sourced equity funding to help promote small business access to finance by increasing the availability of innovative sources of funding; and
*from 1 July 2015, expanded tax concessions for Employee Share Schemes will make it easier for small start-up companies to attract and retain the skills and talent they need to grow.

These measures will help encourage investment, innovation and the start-up of new businesses, which will help Australia’s economic future.

The Growing Jobs and Small Business package will also help employers to take on inexperienced and mature workers.

Since the Government was elected, around a quarter of a million new jobs have been created – but there is more work to do.

New measures will focus on making job seekers more employable, reducing the costs of taking on new staff, and bringing job seekers and job providers together.

The Government is investing $6.8 billion to establish jobactive to improve the quality of services delivered to job seekers and employers. The new jobactive system will be focused on results and reward performance not process.

There will be a $1.2 billion pool for wage subsidies to support employers to provide job opportunities and assist job seekers into work.

The Government will also deliver a $331 million Youth Employment Strategy, an $18 million National Work Experience programme, and changes to Restart to make it easier for small businesses to receive Government support when they employ older workers.

The Government’s Growing Jobs and Small Business package will create the right conditions for Australian small businesses to thrive and grow.

Further details on the Government’s Growing Jobs and Small Business package can be found at www.budget.gov.au